Miami at Buffalo
Ronnie Brown should open the season with a solid performance, and Ricky Williams is a quality flex option. Chad Henne will have difficulty when trying to challenge the quality secondary, and Brandon Marshall can only be expected to post solid, but not outstanding numbers. Buffalo will try to get the ball in the hands of electric rookie C.J. Spiller as much as possible, but Miami's defense will be ready to key on him and will limit Spiller's big plays. Still, the new Bills RB should finish with respectable overall totals. Trent Edwards will have to challenge Miami's pass defense to loosen it up for the ground game, so expect a deep strike or two to Lee Evans.
Oakland at Tennessee
Even if Michael Bush can suit up for this one, he is still a risk, and Darren McFadden does not inspire any confidence in even the most inexperienced fantasy owners. Oakland will be hard-pressed to establish a ground game, and Jason Campbell's best mode of moving the ball will be short-range passes to Zach Miller and Louis Murphy. Miller is a strong start in most formats, but Murphy should only be used if you are desperate. Campbell may limit turnovers, but won't accomplish much else. The Raiders are hoping to contain the run better than they did last season, but facing Chris Johnson is too big of a test to start the season, and the Tennessee standout will begin the season with a flourish and well over 100 yards rushing. Vince Young was accurate during the preseason, and will take what the defense gives him, leading to a respectable fantasy outing.
Cincinnati at New England
The Bengals will not hesitate to attack the New England secondary, and Carson Palmer should get ample time to throw. Palmer should be a lock to throw more than one TD pass. Chad Ochocinco is a strong start, as the presence of Terrell Owens should draw some defensive attention away from him. Owens may not accomplish much himself statistically, yet he and Ochocinco will open up some nice receiving room for promising rookie Jermaine Gresham. A sound passing game will set up Cedric Benson to pound the ball effectively later in the game and score at least once. Randy Moss won't have an outstanding game against a very sturdy Bengals secondary, but he will still finish with adequate totals. Tom Brady will do his best work on high percentage passes, and TE Rob Gronkowki will be a primary target in the green zone (10 yards and in). Brady will throw more than one TD pass, but his yardage totals will not be spectacular.
Carolina at New York Giants
New York's defense should be improved this year, and will be focused on containing DeAngelo Williams, who will have to work hard to finish with acceptable rushing totals. Jonathan Stewart will be ready to play, yet may not be very effective. Matt Moore will be forced into some adverse passing situations and may make more than one turnover. Steve Smith of Carolina could do his best work when the Panthers play from behind. The Giants will run the ball in an effort to quell the Carolina pass rush, and Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs figure to be quality flex plays. Eli Manning will have to get rid of the ball quickly, and that means lots of catches for "his" Steve Smith. Manning may be limited in his ability to make big plays, which means he and Hakeem Nicks cannot be expected to deliver anything more but good, not great numbers.
Atlanta at Pittsburgh
The Falcons will look to control Pittsburgh's ground game, and Rashard Mendenhall will not thrill his owners with his final output. Dennis Dixon may see his pocket collapse often, and he is not as creative as Ben Roethlisberger, so do not expect big plays while he is on the run. Dixon will use Hines Ward and Heath Miller when he is in trouble, and they are both decent PPR options. Mike Wallace will not get many chances to make things happen downfield. Michael Turner comes into the new season determined to put a forgettable 2009 behind him, and could win out against a Pittsburgh defense that may be on the field for too long. Turner will lead Atlanta's charge, and Matt Ryan will not make many big plays, or risky throws. He will offer only limited fantasy production, as will Tony Gonzalez. Roddy White, however, will catch many of Ryan's throws as usual, and will not let his Fantasy owners down.
Cleveland at Tampa Bay
Jake Delhomme looked like a different QB in the preseason, and can certainly limit his turnovers in the opener, keeping the defense honest enough to create some open running room for Jerome Harrison, who should approach the 100-yard mark. Who Delhomme identifies as his best target is anyone's guess, yet smart money should be on WR Mohamed Massaquio and Ben Watson. Josh Freeman is expected to play, and he will operate a controlled passing game that mainly features Kellen Winslow, who will be fired up to face his old team and should find the end zone. Cadillac Williams will be stuffed early and often, as the Browns key on the ground game and force Freeman to take the game on his shoulders. With the effects of a thumb injury possibly lingering, Freeman cannot be expected to accomplish much in the passing game.
Denver at Jacksonville
The Broncos cannot lean on Knowshon Moreno in the opener, but Kyle Orton will not hesitate to attack the Jacksonville secondary. Orton will throw more than one TD pass, and do not hesitate to start Jabar Gaffney this week. Eddie Royal may also make one of what will be occasional end zone appearances this season. Maurice Jones-Drew will be out to prove his knee is no issue, and expect an impressive performance. The Jaguars will be able to throw the ball well, as the running game loosens up the Denver defense. Mike Sims-Walker is an underrated fantasy contributor, and expect him to start the 2010 season with a strong statistical outing. This matchup may produce more points than the average fan or fantasy player expects.
Indianapolis at Houston
The Colts are dealing with some offensive line issues, and may not be able to run the ball with too much success. Joseph Addai is best used as a flex option, and Donald Brown should remain reserved in larger leagues. Peyton Manning will have to get rid of the ball quickly to avoid pressure, and Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon and Dallas Clark will all fill up stat sheets nicely in PPR leagues. The Texans will use Arian Foster to help them control time of possession as much as possible, and he is a very good start. Foster will continue to build off an impressive preseason. Matt Schaub will use play-action passing to his advantage, and he and Andre Johnson will connect for at least one lengthy score. Do not be surprised to see Schaub actually outgun Manning in terms of fantasy stats.
Detroit at Chicago
The Bears defensive line may get a lot of pressure on Matthew Stafford, so look for the Lions to get rookie Jahvid Best the ball in space. The newcomer will be a quality flex play in his NFL debut and has instant upside in performance/distance leagues. Stafford will use high percentage passes to stave off the defensive charge, and Calvin Johnson will be a PPR standout this week. Detroit looks much better on defense heading into 2010, and its defensive line witl rattle and shake Jay Cutler, who is sure to get frustrated by the deep drops required in the Mike Martz offense. Chicago's passing game will sink fast, and outside of Johnny Knox, you should avoid starting any Chicago WRs. Matt Forte's opener will also be disappointing, as the offensive line will struggle to open holes for him.
San Francisco at Seattle
The 49ers will run the ball effectively, even with Seattle's LB crew intact to start the new season. Frank Gore should start to wear down the defense by the second half. The Seahawks will have a lot of trouble handling Vernon Davis, and the Niners will move Michael Crabtree around to get him loose. Expect Alex Smith to throw more than one TD pass. San Francisco's defense may actually have some issues corralling the nifty Justin Forsett. Matt Hasslebeck, however, will have his timing disrupted by heavy pass pressure, and the Seahawks passing game will be mostly in effective. Do not expect reclamation project Mike Williams to build on his storybook preseason just yet. Olindo Mare is dealing with a new snapper, and may not be as reliable as he was in the past two seasons.
Green Bay at Philadelphia
The Packers will face a quality secondary, and the offensive line still may be an area of minor concern. So expect the Pack to use Ryan Grant often, and eventually set up play action and favorable short passing situations. Grant will post solid fantasy numbers, and Aaron Rodgers will work regularly to Donald Driver and Greg Jennings in a controlled attack. Kevin Kolb may come out firing, and will not be afraid to challenge the Green Bay pass defense. Such an approach may lead to more than one TD pass, but also more than one turnover. DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are good starters with impressive run after the catch abilities. LeSean McCoy may also get in position to cash in some short-range scoring chances.
Arizona at St. Louis
If you are reaching deep for QB help, turn to Derek Anderson. The Rams pass defense will be no match for Larry Fitzgerald, and Steve Breaston is also a quality Week 1 option. Beanie Wells may be less than 100 percent, so the Cardinals will use the passing game to get ahead. Once a lead is established, Tim Hightower can handle the bulk of the load, and he deserves consideration as a flex option. Sam Bradford may find defenses to be more challenging to decipher now that play is beginning for real, and only time will tell which pass-catcher will earn his early trust. Steven Jackson does not back down against any opponent, and you can expect much of the same as last year: Good yardage numbers when healthy, yet TD opportunities may remain scarce, at least in the first few weeks of 2010.
Dallas at Washington
The Redskins will likely display a methodical approach, keeping the pressure off Donovan McNabb by using Clinton Portis to move the chains. Expect a solid opening effort from Portis. Chris Cooley will open one of his better campaigns by being a frequent possession target for McNabb. Santana Moss may not see many deep opportunities. Miles Austin's size/speed combination will present issues for the Redskins, and Dallas' top WR will live up to his lofty draft status. Tony Romo will lean heavily on Austin and Jason Witten. Romo will finish with pretty good numbers, but the Dallas offense may stall at times. If Washington's defense is too aggressive, Felix Jones will make them pay. Marion Barber, however, could be less successful trying to get physical against the Redskins' front seven.
Baltimore at New York Jets
With Darrelle Revis shadowing Anquan Boldin, Joe Flacco will have to take what the defense gives him. Expect Flacco to deliver only adequate fantasy totals, and work mostly to Derrick Mason and Todd Heap. The Jets, playing off emotion in their first game in their new stadium, will limit Ray Rice as a runner. Still, Rice should pad his stats with some quality gains as a flat and short pass-catcher. The Ravens will stifle the promising Shonn Greene. LaDainian Tomlinson could provide some adequate flex numbers as a safety valve for Mark Sanchez. The Jets may not offer much in the passing game. Braylon Edwards, though, has played well before in the national spotlight and should be good for a big gainer or two.
San Diego at Kansas City
This will be the coming-out party for rookie sensation Ryan Mathews. The Chiefs LBs will quickly discover that Mathews has terrific balance and can break tackles like a veteran. Start the first-year player with much confidence. The Chargers will deploy extra tight ends to defend against heavy pass pressure, yet Antonio Gates will still be a frequent target. Philip Rivers will work crisply to Gates and Malcom Floyd as the QB comes through with a quality outing. The Chiefs will get the ball into the hands of Jamaal Charles often, and he is a must-start. Thomas Jones will find yardage much tougher to come by. Matt Cassel will finish with respectable numbers, as Dwayne Bowe presents matchup problems for any secondary, and Chris Chambers will be pumped to face his former team.