Week 1 Fantasy Football Roundup | Sharapova's Thigh

You may have seen our 'Pre-Draft Fantasy Football Roundup' last week, and now we have our first roundup for the 2012 NFL regular season. If you've been a Thigh frequenter over the years, you're well familiar with the weekly roundups.

But for those of you assholes that haven't cared to read this site before (eh, who am I kidding... I can't blame you):

In the weekly fantasy football roundups, you'll find plenty of links to fantasy football projections, rankings, and other useful fantasy football articles that I come across on the web. Oh, and you'll see some picks of my own (the top-5 weekly best at QB, RB, WR, TE, D/ST; sleeper picks; shit picks).

Hopefully, this will all help you kick ass and win your leagues (and please don't rely only on my own fantasy football advice for that; make sure to click the links and read the opinions of therealexperts).

And if you're a commissioner that is trying to figure out a good way to gather and store your league's entry fees, I HIGHLY recommend LeagueSafe.Com. It's what I use.
Other Great Links...
Picks Of My Own...

Week 1's Best

QB:
1. Tom Brady- His first chance to show off yet another weapon in wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, and against a defense that got very little pressure on the quarterback in 2011 (second-fewest sacks at 28).
2. Cam Newton- I wouldn't be surprised if Cam ends up becoming the top fantasy quarterback in what is his second season, and he'll start it off with a big performance against the Bucs, who were last in sacks in 2011 with just 23 (yikes).
3. Drew Brees- The Redskins' pass rush should be one of the best in the league with Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan coming off the edge, but Brees still shouldn't have much trouble picking apart the Redskins' secondary at home.
4. Aaron Rodgers- Yep, even against the 49ers' defense. He's a top-5 play against anyone.
5. Matt Stafford- 41 touchdown passes last year and a nice matchup against the Rams at home.

RB:
1. Arian Foster- The consensus top pick of 2012 gets maybe his easiest matchup of the season against the woeful Dolphins at home.
2. LeSean McCoy- Shady faces the Browns (who I think win no more than 3 games this year) and their defense that finished 30th against the run in 2011.
3. Darren McFadden- Maybe the most talented back in the NFL, and could end up being the top fantasy back of the year if he can stay healthy. Major, major "if" with him though. Having said that, I've gone all-in and used a first-round pick on him in three drafts.
4. Ray Rice- Faces a Bengals defense that he put these ridiculous numbers up against over two games in 2011: 44 carries, 295 yards, 4 touchdowns; 7 receptions, 51 yards.
5. Chris Johnson- Fully believe that CJ2K bounces back with a monster season, and the Titans are likely going to need a monster game from him if they want to hang with the Patriots in week 1.

WR:
1. Calvin Johnson- Good luck, Rams... you're going to need it.
2. Julio Jones- He's going to break out in a big way this year, and could end up being the #2 overall receiver.
3. Andre Johnson- My only concern is that the Texans will be up too many points on the Dolphins by halftime to even give Andre a chance to catch too many passes. This should be a blowout. Also, on the topic of Andre, I think he's being way too underrated this year and many of you were lucky to snag him while he was still around in your draft.
4. Dez Bryant- (UPDATE: Jason Witten is ACTIVE, which nobody saw coming. Still, Dez appears to be a great play this week) With no Jason Witten (or so it appears as I write this not far from game time), Tony Romo will look for Bryant even more in the red zone than usual. Also, Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara is out, which is another bonus for Bryant.
5. Brandon Marshall- Jay Cutler and Marshall won't waste any time doing their thing again.

TE:
1. Jimmy Graham- No reason to think he can't have an even bigger season this time around.
2. Rob Gronkowski- Gronk put up absolutely insane numbers from the tight end position in 2011: 90 catches, 1,327 yards, 17 touchdowns.
3. Antonio Gates- With all of these fancy new tight ends, don't forget about Mr. Gates and what he can do., and keep in mind that Vincent Jackson is gone (and Ryan Mathews may not be a factor in the offense for a couple weeks).
4. Aaron Hernandez- People around the Patriots think he may even be targeted more than Gronk this year. Yes, really.
5. Vernon Davis- The 49ers are going to have to be able to throw the ball to keep up with the Packers in Green Bay, and Vernon's the #1 target (especially in the red zone) for Alex Smith.

D/ST:
1. Houston Texans- Get a terrible Dolphins offense and a rookie (and very raw) quarterback in Ryan Tannehill.
2. Philadelphia Eagles- Like the Texans, face a crappy offense (Browns) and a rookie quarterback (Brandon Weeden).
3. Seattle Seahawks- The Cardinals' offense is a disaster right now, particular at the quarterback position with John Skelton (who only got the job because Kevin Kolb was god awful in the preseason). The Seahawks are one of my top sleeper D/ST squads for 2012.
4. Chicago Bears- Face a rookie quarterback, but arguably the most prepared rookie quarterback to ever enter the NFL in Andrew Luck. Still, I think he throws a couple picks, and the Bears frequently turn takeaways into 6 (oh, and there's always a chance Devin Hester gets a return touchdown).
5. Buffalo Bills- A good bet to be the most improved defense in 2012 with a defensive line that can be dominant, and facing a Jets team that couldn't score a single touchdown in 35 preseason possessions.

Sleepers

QB:

Jay Cutler- Finally has a legitimate supporting cast around him in Chicago, and as I said earlier, I think he and Marshall look to get it going immediately. Also factor in that he gets a Colts defense that allowed a 103.9 QB rating per game in 2011, with only the Vikings getting more dominated by quarterbacks.
Robert Griffin III- I like his chances to put up high totals both on the ground and in the air, and he'll have to if the Redskins want to keep this game close in New Orleans.

RB:

Robert Turbin- Marshawn Lynch sounds very questionable for Sunday's game against the Cardinals, and if he can't go, Turbin would replace him. The rookie back was very impressive in the preseason, and would likely be good for double-digit points against the Cardinals. (UPDATE:Marshawn Lynch will reportedly try to play. So... obviously I'm not nearly as high on Turbin now.)
Stevan Ridley- New England's #1 back looks impressive, and we know he's going to be in the red zone a lot in this offense. For that reasons, BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 11 touchdowns as a Patriot in 2011. And Ridley faces a Titans defense that was 24th in the season last season.

WR:

Malcom Floyd- The #1 wide receiver option right now for Philip Rivers, and he'll likely see plenty of targets in a AFC West divisional battle to start the year.
Pierre Garcon- If I like RG3 to have a big game, I have to like Garcon (the Redskins' new #1 receiver) to have at least a decent game as well.

TE:

Kyle Rudolph- I'm actually starting Rudolph this week (over Jermaine Gresham) in a 10-team league. He could be Christian Ponder's top target this year (and will definitely be that in the red zone), and got rave reviews constantly in training camp. Major sleeper potential (like top 7-12 tight end), and gets a great matchup to start the season with the Jaguars in the Metrodome.
Jared Cook- Another talented tight end that could really break out this year, and he may get more targets against the Patriots than he will in any other game this year.

D/ST:

Minnesota Vikings- Not a defense you want to own past week one, but a great plug and play for this game against the Jaguars. Jared Allen will try to destroy Blaine Gabbert, whose pocket presence looked awful in his rookie season.
Denver Broncos- It will be loud for the Broncos' opener/Peyton Manning's Broncos debut at home on Sunday night, and the Steelers' offense right now isn't what it will be in a month+. Rashard Mendenhall is unlikely to play, and we don't know what to expect for Mike Wallace after holding out. And their offensive line is a major question park.

Shit

QB:

Ben Roethsliberger- What I said about the Broncos' defense.
Josh Freeman- My weekly hunch pick. And I like Josh Freeman and hate the Vikings... so odd choice, but it's just how I feel.

RB:

Cedric Benson- I do think he'll get his fair share of touchdowns and put up solid yardage on the ground, but it's hard to see that being this week against the 49ers' awesome front 7.
Maurice Jones-Drew- Even if active, stay away, as it sounds like the Jaguars aren't going to allow him to get many touches.

WR:

Stevie Johnson- He left practice on Wednesday with an injury, leaving his status for Sunday against the Jets in question. And even if he does play, he'll likely have the game's top cornerback in Darrelle Revis covering him.
Justin Blackmon- Rarely do rookie wide receivers have big games in their debuts.

TE:

Jacob Tamme- I think Joel Dreessen may end up being the Broncos' tight end to own, and regardless, the Steelers' defense isn't a good matchup, even with safety Ryan Clark out.
Jermaine Gresham- Terrible matchup at Baltimore, but I do think he has the potential for a breakout season with second-year quarterback Andy Dalton.

D/ST:

San Francisco 49ers- Arguably the best defense in the NFL, but going on the road to face arguably the best offense in the NFL.
Cincinnati Bengals- As I said earlier, Ray Rice ran all over them in their two meetings of 2011.

Feel free to email me any more links, at sharapovasthigh@gmail.com. If you have any fantasy questions, either ask them in the comments or hit me up on Twitter (@SharapovasThigh).

I'll likely update the post with more links/fantasy news, so make sure to check back before the Sunday games.


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