Mike Wallace – @Cle (60%, 9.61): Wallace struggled with conditioning in camp, struggled to build chemistry with new QB Ryan Tannehill, was dominated by bubble CB Nolan Carroll in camp, might be a bad fit for Miami’s west coast scheme… There was really no good news on Wallace in the preseason and to top that off he is going to be matched up against all-pro CB Joe Haden. I’m going to keep Wallace on the bench until he proves he deserves consideration.
Steve Smith – Sea (66%, 11.6): Nothing against Smith, but playing the Seahawks is the worst possible match-up for any WR. The Seahawks gave up the least amount of fantasy points to WRs last year. I think Smith will get a few catches, but if you have a better option go with it. Some players being started less that I would rather roll with are Shorts, Bolden, and either Austin.
Eddie Lacy – @SF (55%, 11.17): Despite my dislike for all things Packers, I am firmly on the Lacy bandwagon this year but this is a brutal match-up for his debut. The 49ers gave up the fewest fantasy points to RBs last year and I expect a pretty weak fantasy output from Lacy this week. I don’t expect him on this list again this year (except maybe against the Bears).
Ryan Mathews – Hou (38%, 10.83): This goes against my above recommendation for starting injury prone players in week 1, but I just don’t see Mathews putting up good numbers against a stout Houston run defense. The Chargers WRs are banged up and frankly their offense has looked awful in the preseason. I expect Houston to stack the box against Mathews and make Rivers beat them through the air. It could get ugly quick.
Andy Dalton – @Chi (11%, 14.9): If you are considering starting Dalton this week in a 1-QB league, then you seriously screwed up your fantasy draft. There really wasn’t a good choice for this spot. Most of the top 12 QBs have pretty soft match-ups, but for those of you in two QB leagues you should find someone else to start other than the Red Rifle. The Bears have a top pass defense and you would be better off going with someone like Schaub or Flacco.
Larry Fitzgerald - @Stl (97%, 12.92) – The Cardinals line is still a mess, Palmer has looked shaky all preseason, and the Rams defense only allowed 10 WR touchdowns last season. Add that up and I think it equals a sub-par performance for Fitzgerald.