In The Club:
Saints WR Lance Moore vs. Lions:
Although he underwent offseason shoulder surgery he seems healthy now. He saw some action in preseason and looked good. Drew Brees spreads the ball around enough that he will see some valuable production. Expect the Saints to be throwing the ball down field a couple times verse the Lions defense and move the ball at will.
Projected: 5 rec, 76 yds, 1 td
Ravens RB Ray Rice vs. Chiefs:
He is part of the dreaded three headed monster over there in Baltimore and he has earned the starting job. He should get enough touches in week one to earn him a worthy start on your team. Rice has proved he can pound it in from short and has showed his versatility receiving the ball out of the backfield. The stubborn Raven defense will dominate the game, forcing the Chiefs D to stay on the field for most of the game while Rice and company run laps.
Projected: 15 car, 73 yds, 4 rec, 24 yds, 1 td
Cardinals QB Kurt Warner vs. 49ers:
Warner is a must start against the 49ers’ pass defense. I know he didn’t do well this preseason which is probably due to his limited reps. But last year in two games against the 49ers, Warner posted 525 yards, 4 touchdowns and no interceptions. He is going to find Fitz and the other Cardinal receivers often, as Hightower will not be much of a factor against Patrick Willis and the 49ers run defense. Look for Warner to put up stats quickly in this matchup.
Projected: 28/39, 289 yds, 3 tds, 1 int
Out The Club:
Redskins RB Clinton Portis vs. Giants:
Clinton Portis struggled last year against the Giants. He played them twice last year and had a combined 34 carries for 106 yards and 0 touchdowns. You know the Giants will be focusing on Washington’s run game with the couple new additions they have on their offensive line. Plus, Ladell Betts will be taking some carries away from Portis as well.
Projected: 22 car, 88 yds, 2 rec, 14 yds, 0 tds
Chiefs RB Larry Johnson vs. Ravens:
The Chiefs are playing a tremendous defense in the Baltimore Ravens who are also playing at home. Although LJ did well this preseason averaging 5 yards a carry, his season isn’t going to start off on the right foot. Look for little production and the Chiefs playing from behind for most of the game, thus passing more than usual. I see him as a low end number 3 back this week.
Projected: 16 car, 58 yds, 1 rec, 4 yds, 0 tds
Panthers QB Jake Delhomme vs. Eagles:
Don’t expect much from Delhomme this week. Note the last time he played a meaningful game he turned the ball over six times. Not to mention he is playing a stubborn Eagles defense who finished 2nd in pass defense last year. They will also have a little added motivation after the passing of long time defensive coordinator Jim Johnson. Explore other options this week.
Projected: 16/30, 191 yds, 0 tds, 2 ints
Vikings WR Percy Harvin vs. Browns:
Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Percy Harvin. I also think he will lead rookies in receiving this year, but I don’t like him against the Browns due to the fact that the Vikings are going to really pound the rock this week as they ease Favre into action. The Browns run defense last year was 28th in the league so expect Peterson and Taylor to start padding those stats.
Projected: 4 rec, 48 yds, 3 car, 15 yds, 0 tds
Bills RB Fred Jackson vs. Patriots:
Lynch is suspended for the start of the season so Freddy is the man. He ran for 136 yards on 27 carries last year against the Patriots in last year’s season finale. He will be a solid start in a RB/WR flex position, especially with the recent trade of DE Richard Seymour and the retirement of veteran LB Teddy Bruschi.
Projected: 21 car, 87 yds, 4 rec, 25 yds, 1 td
Vikings TE Visanthe Shiancoe vs. Browns:
With Brett Favre at the helm, he knows how effective the tight end is, notably in the red zone. Expect Shiancoe to be a big target when the Vikings march into the redzone agaisnt a less than stellar Browns defense.
Projected: 5 rec, 56 yds, 1 td
Ravens QB Joe Flacco vs. Chiefs:
Flacco has looked good this season and many are anticipating a breakout year. The Kansas City defense should have many holes for Derrick Mason and friends to be open down field.
Projected: 18/27, 256 yds, 2 td, 1 int
** For the record, I had Chris Johnson “Out The Club” with a projected 16 car, 65 yds, 3 rec, 13 yds and 0 tds, but didn’t get the post up in time. Actual: 15 car, 57 yds, 1 rec, 11 yds and 0 tds.