Sep 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; A general view of MetLife Stadium prior to the NFL season opening game between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
Seeing as the NFL Football season kicks off tonight at 8:30 with the Dallas Cowboystaking on the New York Giants in New York at Metlife Stadium, I figured I'd post a little something for the fantasy football junkies out there scrambling to set their fantasy line-ups.
Every week join myself your Fantasy Football Expert (termed loosely lol) to sit down and discuss your options in Fantasy Football Start Em'/Sit Em' for the week. After the jump take a look at my thoughts on the Dallas/Giants fantasy starts and sits.
DeMarco Murray- While Murray might not be durable enough to last an entire season as the featured back he'll likely at least last through this week! And that's all we care about today. Start him against this Giants D that averaged giving up 121 yards per game on the ground last year. And that's not even taking the receiving yards out of the backfield into consideration! (rubs hands greedily)
Victor Cruz-No brainer. Three words. Start the man.
Dez Bryant- Cowboys Wide Receiver Dez Bryant (knee) has practiced fully all this week. Bryant dealt with jumpers knee the last few weeks in camp, but he'll be close to if not 100% against the Giants. With Jason Witten's spleen likely making him inactive or at least highly limited and Austin returning from hamstring injury that has kept him sidelined, Bryant could turn out to be Romo's No.1 target tonight. Add in the fact that the NY secondary is most definitely its weak point and voila! You have yourself a dona-fide must start.
Eli Manning- If Eli was applying for a job and had to write a resume I'm sure in the title somewhere would state "Dallas Cowboy late game beater". It seems that's exactly what Eli has done consistently since his first year in the league. Now the Cowboys have slightly improved their secondary to handle the Giants outside threats, but Manning is a pretty good bet to find a way to beat the Boys across the middle via Victor Cruz and Marcellus Bennett. Eli should be in the bottom half of must-start class of QB.
Hakeem Nicks- ESPN's Adam Schefter confirms that the Giants fully expect WR Hakeem Nicks (foot) to play in Wednesday night's opener. Per Schefter, "the question is how effective he will be?" It seems that his questionable tag has been slightly overblown this week seeing that he was practicing well last week before the Giants' trainers held him out of Sunday and Monday workout and practices to ensure he would feel no soreness in his foot. Nick's will be matched up against Cowboys Rookie CB Morris Claiborne, who the Giants have publically stated they plan to attack early and often. Beware...but start him.
Tony Romo- I know, I know. I'm talking about THAT GUY. As bad as his public perception is he's still a legitimately good QB. He will likely be without his security blanket Jason Witten, and his o-line is just dredful, and he's playing against a monster front 4...and he'll likely throw a few picks. But with all of that being said don't forget that his biggest games always seem to come against the Giants, even if that pass rush against Dallas' weak offensive line is a scary thought. The Giants will be without a starting cornerback, and fill-in CB Michael Coe will be a frequent target. That definitely doesn't hurt. If you can muster up the courage to click set lineup with him there be my guest. He's not the worst choice out there. But be advised you just may roll snake eyes.
Jason Witten- If he plays, who knows what to expect? The Cowboys medical staff looks to be willing to let him sit another week after suffering a spleen injury in the preseason. He made the trip to New York, according to Adam Mortensen, and the team is calling him a game-time decision. Witten has not missed a game since 2003 and he would like to keep that streak intact. The Cowboys medical staff will have the final say as the Cowboys would probably rather sit their Pro-Bowl Tight End then risk him any further lingering injury later in the season. Leave him on the bench for tonight. If he shows up with a huge game you'll kick yourself...but the odds aren't in your favor that happens.
Miles Austin-Coach Jason Garrett stated over the weekend that Austin was healthy enough to play in a regular season game. I still would sit him for at least a week until he showed me more than being a game one decoy for the Giants secondary.
Cowboys Defense -Rob Ryan finally got what he wanted this offseason-and that was two corners that can play man coverage. Expect many blitzes as the season moves along, but not tonight. Generally the more difficult defenses get better as the season moves along. But early in the season you can expect a few busted coverages. Expect Manning to have a big night against this D tonight. Sit em...but hold on to them for the rest of the season.
Ahmaad Bradshaw-Two words...David Wilson aka the next Brandon Jacobs. Okay, okay. So maybe not the next Jacobs, but he will definitely vulturing carries, third and longs, and possibly even some early down work from Bradshaw. Anyone who has watched the Giants in preseason can see the kid has wheels and he's chomping at the bit for Bradshaw's carries. If you have a better option on your roster sit Bradshaw. He may have an "okay" game, but doesn't seem to have the potential for the huge game as long as Wilson has a say. Even if the impossible happens and Dallas is blown out do you see them leaving Bradshaw in the game just coming of a pre-season injury? Oh yea, and add in that Dallas had the seventh ranked rushing defense in the league last year. No bueno.
Who's in your line up tonight Big Cat Country?