Who's in and who's out of the early games in Week 1


Who's in and who's out of the early games in Week 1

Man, it sure did feel good to wake up today. I've never been so happy to get out of bed at 6 a.m. That's because today is the day. The first Sunday of the NFL regular season. Day one in your step toward a fantasy football championship.
And yet, there are numerous players already banged up. It's quite amazing, but keep checking back in on this post up until the early kickoffs for the latest news on injured stars such as Arian Foster @ArianFoster, Marques Colston @MarquesColston, Trent Richardson, Adrian Peterson @AdrianPeterson and many more.

Notable players already ruled out for Week 1 include Patriots running back Shane Vareen, Packers running back James Starks, Bengals running back Bernard Scott, and Chargers running back Ryan Mathews.


**Adrian Peterson is officially active for the Vikings and will start. That's an amazing turnaround for such a physical player after suffering a brutal knee injury less than nine months ago. Yahoo's Jason Cole says Peterson and Toby Gerhart will "share carries." I don't know if that means a 50-50 split, but this backfield sounds pretty confusing right now. I really liked Gerhart today, but these recent reports of Peterson getting up to 15 touches saps Gerhart's fantasy value. Both guys are really, really risky fantasy starts. I'd still favor Gerhart but only as a low-end flex.
**Texans running back Arian Foster is active. He might be limited against an opponent in Miami that Houston can defeat without him. But I don't see how he's not in your lineup unless you are absolutely loaded at running back. The upside is too great.
**Colts wide receiver Austin Collie @AKCollie_17 is inactive today. He suffered his fourth concussion of the past 21 months a few weeks ago and is just not quite ready. But he practiced during the week and hopes to gain clearance soon. I like him as a sleeper this season. But for today, he's out. Donnie Avery will start in his place.
**Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson is active. He's been hampered by a groin that was surgically repaired in May. But he practiced during the week and was expected to play all along. He's going to go one-on-one with Darrelle Revis, but Johnson's had decent success against him recently. I think Johnson is a WR3.
**As expcected, Trent Richardson is active and will start for the Browns today. We've heard conflicting reports on him today -- Albert Breer said he'll split early down work with Montario Hardesty and come to the sidelines on third down while Chris Mortensen said Richardson will get "plenty of touches" as a runner and receiver. This is a really difficult one because the Eagles don't have a great run defense and Richardson is a great talent even as a rookie. But the Browns will probably err on the side of caution, meaning Richardson won't get more than 12 touches. If you're OK with that, he's a risky flex play. Otherwise, put him on your bench.
**Jets tight end Dustin Keller is active despite a hamstring injury. He shouldn't be limited much, but I wouldn't want to start any Jets receivers today, not until we see what this offense looks like when the games mean something.
**Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon is active. He had been listed as probable because of an ankle injury. He has a fantastic matchup versus Minnesota's secondary, and I'm fine with starting him as a WR3.
Saints wide receiver Marques Colston is active despite a sore foot. He knows how to play through pain. Get him in your lineup as a WR2 or low-end WR1. Saints running back Darren Sproles is also active. No worries here.
**Two important cogs on the Chiefs' defense -- Brandon Flowers and Tamba Hali -- won't play today versus Atlanta. Hali is serving a suspension while Flowers has a heel injury. Starting free safety Kendrick Lewis and starting defensive tackle Anthony Toribio are also inactive. Those are big losses to the front and back of KC's defense. Matt Ryan and Co. should put up big numbers today.
**Jonathan Stewart @Jonathanstewar1 tweeted this morning that he will not play today because of his sprained ankle. Mike Tolbert will pick up some extra carries, but I love DeAngelo Williams today versus the Bucs' bad run defense. He's a strong RB2.
**Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes was limited by bruised ribs for most of the preseason, but he's active today versus Buffalo. He's a risky WR3 and the only Jets receiver I would consider today in 12-team leagues.
**Here's a piece of news regarding a late-game player: ESPN's Adam Schefter said this morning that Marshawn ** Lynch will play against the Cardinals, but Lynch will "probably not get the full workload." Robert Turbin will see an increased number of carries, but probably not enough for you to put him in your lineup. Lynch will probably get 15-20 touches; I would start him.
**Texans tight end Owen Daniels is active despite missing some practice time due to an illness. He's a sneaky start today just outside that TE1 range.
**Austin Collie isn't the only Indy receiver out today. T.Y. Hilton is also inactive because of a shoulder injury. Donnie Avery will start and while I wouldn't start him right away, I would put him on my bench and see what happens.

Fantasy Analysis:

**With Vareen out, Stevan Ridley should get plenty of work today versus the Titans. I like him as a rock-solid RB2.
**Starks has fallen down the depth chart in Green Bay, behind both Cedric Benson and Alex Green. Benson is the clear starter here, but it's hard to endorse him as more than a risky flex play against San Fran's run defense, which was absolutely outstanding last season.
**BenJarvus Green-Ellis may see a little extra work with Scott inactive. He should get 20 carries, but he's an average RB2 versus the Ravens.
**The Chargers look like they are going to go with a three-man backfield with Ronnie Brown, Curtis Brinkley and Le'Ron McClain on Monday night. Brown is the No. 1 guy, but I'm not trusting anyone here. Too many cooks for just one stove.


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