Week 1 Fantasy Tips from the Playbook War Room: AFC Matchups

Fantasy Tips, Playbook War Room

Week 1 Fantasy Blog

Welcome back to the NFL Films Fantasy Football Blog. With the NFL season under way, the guys here at Playbook sat down and put together all our thoughts from the countless hours of tape study we have watched this preseason. Now since it is week 1, we would not advise anyone to make any big shakeups with their starting lineup. You drafted players in the first few rounds for a reason, so play them! With that being said, we left those high picks off this blog and instead decided to focus on some guys people might be “back-and-forth” about starting. Our hope is that by letting you know who to Start and who to Sit.


AFC Matchups:


  • Start: Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin: The Browns secondary has struggled in isolated coverage this preseason and are going to be forced to cover deep plays down the field.
  • Start: Brent Celek: No Browns LB can cover Celek one on one, but know that he is the 4th target in the Eagles passing game.
  • Sit: Trent Richardson: Not based on talent, but it is risky starting a rookie RB who has yet to have any live game action.

Reggie Bush (AP)


  • Start: Ben Tate: The Dolphins have struggled to defend the run this preseason which will allow the Texans to control the line of scrimmage and get to the edges.
  • Start: Owen Daniels: He has been more of a focal point in the offense this preseason and the success of the rushing attack will keep the LBs focus away from Daniels.
  • Sit: Reggie Bush: We like Bush in the Dolphins new zone rushing scheme this year, but not against the Texans 4th ranked (2011) rushing defense.
  • Sit: Miami Offense: With so much uncertainty with the Miami Offense, Houston Defense could generate enough sacks and turnovers to be a top scoring defense this week.


  • Start: Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis: Kansas City has shown a commitment to running the football this preseason and they are going up against a defense we feel they can run the football against.
  • Start: Matt Ryan: With so much confidence surrounding the Atlanta WRs, it is hard not to play Ryan.
  • Sit: Michael Turner: He struggled last year against 3-4 teams, gaining 99 yards in two games against the Packers and Texans. We feel the Chiefs DL possess talent similar to Houston.
  • Sit: Tony Gonzalez: Gonzalez has started to show his age a bit this preseason and his targets could start to shift towards the receiving core.


  • Start: Steve Johnson: With the amount of targets he has gotten this preseason, and his ability to release from press coverage, Johnson should have another good game against Revis Island.
  • Start: Fred Jackson: This preseason has shown that Buffalo is not shifting towards a true 50/50 split in carries, which means Fred’s production should continue from last year.
  • Sit: Jets Offense: we need to see more consistency from this unit until we can feel comfortable starting any player.


  • Start: Brandon Lloyd: He is the Patriots new vertical threat and he has consistently gotten open on isolated routes this preseason.
  • Start: Kendall Wright: There is some risk with him being a rookie, but Wright’s elusiveness and explosion out of his cuts have really stood out to us.
  • Sit: Steven Ridley: The talent is there, but we need to see how New England utilizes him in game situations before we are confident starting him.


  • Start: Antonio Brown: The absence of Mike Wallace this preseason has helped Brown grow as a focal point in this offense. Wallace’s presence down the field should only open up more intermediate space.
  • Start: Peyton Manning: The 3rd preseason game against SF said everything to us. Manning looked like his old self.
  • Sit: Pittsburgh RBs: Until a pecking order emerges out of here, we would shy away completely.
  • Sit: Willis McGahee: Pittsburgh’s front 7 has looked too strong this preseason for us to really feel comfortable starting McGahee this week.

Torrey Smith (AP)


  • Start: Torrey Smith: Smith is clearly Flacco’s new weapon on offense and we feel they are going to generate specific ways to get him the ball down the field.
  • Sit: Benjarvus Green-Ellis: The Baltimore front 7 is too strong and active as a unit for us to feel good about starting BJGE.


  • Start: Philip Rivers: Rivers has had a history of putting up good numbers against Oakland’s man coverage and we think he will continue that trend this week.
  • Start: Antonio Gates: Antonio has looked healthy this preseason which is more than enough for us to feel very confident starting him
  • Sit: San Diego RBs: Since Ryan Matthews is injured, we would avoid any Chargers backs until we know who is going to generate the bulk of the carries until he returns.
  • Sit: Oakland WRs: We simply do not feel confident enough in one player to feel good starting them the first week of the season. Denarius Moore is a receiver that flashes, but puts up inconsistent numbers.
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