Everyone feels good about his or her fantasy teams heading into Week 1 of the NFL season. You've done all of your research, drafted a team full of studs and sleepers that you think will carry you to the Promised Land. And every year it seems there's one star player who ends up injured by the end of Week 1, ruining that owner's optimism for the entire season. Here's to hoping that doesn't happen to you this year. Happy Week 1!
GOOD MATCH UPS
Beanie Wells vs. Panthers defense: Many people believe that Beanie is poised for a breakout season with Tim Hightower now taking carries in Washington. Wells will certainly have a chance to get his 2011 season off to a good start with a Week 1 match up against a very weak Carolina run defense.
David Garrard vs. Titans defense: The Titans pass defense was one of the worst in the NFL last season, allowing 252 yards per game through the air. They haven't made any major additions to the defense so, unless there's tremendous improvement from within, they're likely to get burned through the air again this season.
NOT SO GOOD MATCH UPS
Michael Turner vs. Bears defense: There's been a lot of talk that Turner is on the downside of his career and that his stock as a fantasy running back is dropping. He didn't have the best performances towards the end of last season, rushing for more than 88 yards just once in his final five games of the season, and that came against a very poor Carolina run defense. On the flip side, the Bears were second in the NFL in run defense last year and with Julius Peppers headlining the front four, the Chicago defense is likely to be fierce again.
Miles Austin vs. Jets defense: It might be a different year but, until I see evidence to the contrary, starting any wide receiver opposite Darrelle Revis is not a good match up. Austin has been dealing with a hamstring issue this preseason, though reports say it's nothing to worry about. Hamstring or not, I'd be more worried about Revis and would look for other options at WR for the opening week.
WAIVER WIRE WATCH
Kerry Collins, QB, Colts: Reports are floating that Manning will miss Indianapolis' opener and possibly much more than that. If you drafted Manning, you need to at least have Kerry Collins on your roster if you don't have another sufficient backup. He's not going to put up Manning-type numbers, but if you were planning on Peyton as your starter, you're choices may be limited.
Kyle Mulligan is a contributing sports writer for the Observer. He welcomes your feedback and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.