Week 1 is a reminder to start your fantasy studs

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Marcas Grant: It's quite the Week 1 dilemma, isn't it? Both players are likely to finish the season among the top 10 at their position, but neither is facing a particuarly favorable matchup to start. Here's where the theory of starting your studs comes into play. Chances are you spent an early pick (maybe as high as the second round) on Rodgers. He's the guy you're counting on to help lead your team to a championship. Sometimes it's not about analyzing the matchups, sometimes it's about trusting your guys. Week 1 is one of those times. Both Rodgers and Rivers could fall short of their normal fantasy totals, but this is where you ride with the guy who is your No. 1. Start Rodgers.

M.G.: You want the guy who's likely to get more touches. In this case, that player is Shane Vereen. He's listed as a co-starter along with Stevan Ridley, but could end up as New England's top back by the end of the year. Because Vereen is effective as both a runner and a pass-catcher, he won't need to come off the field as often. Meanwhile, Jackson begins the season behind C.J. Spiller on the depth chart and seems destined to share snaps and carries unless Spiller suffers an injury or posts another poor season -- neither of which seems likely to be settled in Week 1.

M.G.: I know I just wrote about my expectations for Vereen this season, but that doesn't mean he doesn't come with some amount of concern. After all, Bill Belichick is still Vereen's head coach which creates all manners of uncertainty. Similarly, Percy Harvin has the potential to have a big season, but he also has the very real possibility of missing time with an injury. Stacy, on the other hand, is in line for a consistent workload as the focal point of the Rams offense. Getting two guys in return doesn't necessarily give you equal value for a player who should be a nice RB2 this season. Stick with what you've got.

M.G.:Anquan Boldin is likely to be a matchup-based starter this season ... and this is one of those matchups. The Cowboys look like they could have the league's worst defense one season after that unit posted some historically bad numbers. Dallas could be fantasy gold in 2014 -- on both sides of the football. It will be worth taking advantage of any matchups you can find against the Cowboys defense this season. If you have any 49ers, get 'em in your lineup.

M.G.: The fantasy tight end position is about as vexing as they come. But in this case, you're asking about two players headed in opposite career arcs. Reed was an up-and-coming fantasy option last season before concussion symptoms put him on the shelf. Meanwhile, the decline of Antonio Gates is underway. The man who was once the gold standard at the position struggled to stay in the top 10 last season. While Reed's final totals left him sitting outside the top 20 fantasy tight ends, he averaged a full point per game more than Gates in 2013. With Ladarius Green expected to take an increasing share of the tight end targets in San Diego, Gates' value will continue to slip.

M.G.: You definitely want to have Roddy White in your lineup this week. Chances are good that the matchup against the division rival Saints could turn into a track meet, which means White should see a fair amount of targets. Edelman is an equally good option this week as the preferred No. 1 target for Tom Brady -- especially if Rob Gronkowski doesn't suit up in Week 1. A close third option in Reggie Wayne who could see a lot of action in another game that has the potential for high scoring.

M.G.: That's a pretty loaded receiving corps you're working with there but if I had to pick one guy this week, it might be Cordarrelle Patterson. The second-year receiver will likely be the second option in Minnesota's offense this season behind Adrian Peterson. The Rams secondary could pose some problems for the Vikings passing game, but Norv Turner's offense should find creative ways to keep Patterson involved. The other three are also intriguing options, but they're either the second option in their respective passing games (Cobb, Sanders) or work in an offense with lots of targets and questions at quarterback (Garcon).

M.G.: If you're hot on dropping a player to go after a Broncos wideout, the answer here is Kearse. He's sitting down the depth chart on a team that still features the running game. Amendola is certainly a risk because of his lengthy injury history, but when he's healthy he's likely to see a fair number of targets. The one thing to keep in mind is this ... Wes Welker's suspension is only four games and the Broncos have plenty of other places to go with the football even without their productive slot receiver. Before you completely re-arrange your roster, think about whether it's worth it to add a player who will have limited opportunity for a relatively short amount of time.

M.G.: Both running backs are facing defenses that were less than friendly to fantasy rushers last season. However, the Browns defense was slightly more forgiving in 2013. The other issue is that the Steelers have a little more balance in their offense than the Giants do right now. Did you see Eli Manning during the preseason? In a word, it was #ungood. Until Big Blue's passing game gets it together, Jennings is likely to see plenty of defenders in the box. Pittsburgh offers some weapons in the passing game to go along with a solid backfield. Bell is a better option right now.

M.G.: Let the Cardinals coaches worry about that. All you need to worry about is that Ellington is going to get the rock a lot this year. Bruce Arians has repeatedly said that he would like one workhorse back and Ellington has been tabbed as that guy. Patterson should be in line for a big season, but he'll be hard pressed to get the 300 touches that could be on deck for Ellington this season.

Bonus question:

M.G.: Depends. What kind of links are we talking about? I'll gladly give you some chain links for a few tasty hot links. Anything beyond that will have to involve some negotiation.

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com and a man who is still enjoying leftover Labor Day barbecue. Tweet him your grilling recipes or fantasy football questions @MarcasG.

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