2. Tony Romo (DAL)—The Cleveland defense should be improved in '08, but they are no match for Romo. This game could turn into a shootout and Romo has the potential to put up big fantasy numbers in this one.
3. Kurt Warner (ARI)—Warner threw for a staggering 484 yards and 2 TD's against San Francisco last season. He is unlikely to duplicate such lofty numbers on the road, but Warner should have a big game, and is a must start for your fantasy roster.
4. Peyton Manning (IND)—Most QB's would probably struggle after missing all of preseason and losing their best offensive lineman (C Jeff Saturday), but Peyton Manning is not your average QB. Manning does most of his practicing in the film room anyway, and his arm should be just fine. He will be prepared to give the Bears more than they can handle when the Colts take the field at brand new Lucas Oil Stadium. Check injury report: knee
5. Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)—He is coming off of an impressive '07 fantasy football campaign and Big Ben has never had so many quality weapons at his disposal. The Houston defense looks to be much improved, but their biggest weakness will probably be in the secondary. Roethlisberger should pick them apart.
6. Donovan McNabb (PHI)—He should have a field day at home against an unimproved Rams defense that allowed 226 yards passing per game and 25 TD's through the air last season. If the Rams play man to man, as they usually do, speedy rookie WR DeSean Jackson could propel McNabb to a monster game, but there are no guarantees with rookies.
7. John Kitna (DET)—With a new offense in place, the Lions are expected to lean more towards the run this season, but with a healthy Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson at his disposal, a match up against the Falcons is just too enticing for fantasy owners to pass up. The Atlanta defense ranked near the bottom in both passing yards allowed (228) and passing TD's allowed (27) last season, and that was with now departed star CB DeAngelo Hall (now with the Raiders).
8. Drew Brees (NO)—Brees will have his work cut out for him when he faces a very good and underrated Tampa Bay pass defense on Sunday in the Super Dome. He typically plays well against the Bucs, but has never put up spectacular fantasy numbers against them. A healthy Jeremy Shockey could be the edge he needs.
9. Derek Anderson (CLE)—Anderson will be facing a stout Cowboys defense at home, but he typically plays well in big games. If this game turns into a shootout as expected or the Browns get down early, Anderson will have to go to the air often. Barring any complications from his recent concussion, Anderson should be solid for your fantasy line up in week 1, but you can probably expect at least 1 interception. Check injury report: concussion
10. Brett Favre (NYJ)—He will begin a new chapter in his long and storied career as he takes the field in Miami on Sunday as a New York Jet. While Favre is sure to endure some bumps in the road in his first game in a new offense, he also has a very favorable match up and quality weapons in his arsenal. We like his chances in week 1 against what should be a weak Miami defense.
11. Matt Hasselbeck (SEA)—Despite the fact that Hasselback will be without his best compliment of weapons, he has a knack for turning seemingly bad situations into productive fantasy weeks. He will face what looks to be a much improved Buffalo defense, and while you probably should not expect a huge game, Hasselbeck should have solid week 1 production. Check injury report: back
12. Carson Palmer (CIN)—Historically, Palmer has never had great success against Baltimore. He hasn't played poorly against them, but from a fantasy standpoint, he has not been very productive in this match up. Palmer only has 4 TD's in his last 4 contests against them and did not throw a single TD in his last game vs. the Ravens. That said, this is a new year and he is plenty capable, but don�t expect a monster effort from Palmer in week1.
13. Jeff Garcia (NO)—While he is very efficient, Garcia typically does not have much to offer as a fantasy QB. This week at New Orleans may be no different, but he does have a couple of things in his favor. Garcia typically plays very well indoors, and arguably his best game of last season came against the Saints, throwing for 243 yards, 2 TD's, and 0 interceptions(143.8 QB rating).
14. Aaron Rodgers (GB)—It seems as though practically everyone has already written Rodgers off as a fantasy bust. While he has not done much to prove his worth to this point, Rodgers has done nothing that would indicate that he will be a failure. He will face a scary Vikings defense in week 1, but they did give up a league worst 264 yards passing per game last season. Minnesota's D is a monster against the run, and with Jared Allen bringing the heat off of the end, they should be more effective against the pass, but we are not sold on them in that area yet. There is no question that Rodgers is a risky week 1 fantasy QB, but we think he could surprise his critics with a better than expected performance.
15. Jason Campbell (WAS)—In his lone start against the Giants last season, Campbell only managed 190 yards passing with 1 TD and no interceptions, not exactly spectacular. That said, the Giants defense typically starts slow, and they will be without star pass rushers Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora. Campbell is not your best fantasy option in week 1 by a long shot, but he should exceed expectations.
16. Phillip Rivers (SD)—The match up against a suspect Carolina defense at home bodes well for him in week 1, but you never know what you will get with this inconsistent signal caller.
17. Matt Schaub (HOU)—Schaub has a big arm and big potential, but—The Steel curtain—has a tradition of excellence in shutting down opposing passing games. Schaub will be hard pressed to overcome a fierce Steelers pass rush and a difficult environment in Pittsburgh.
18. Eli Manning (NYG)—He does have two things in his favor heading into Thursday night's match up against the Skins, 1. He is playing at home and 2. Washington's first team defense looked horrible in the preseason. Unfortunately and more importantly, Manning struggled badly in both games he played against the Redskins last season.
19. David Garrard (JAX)—In spite of an otherwise stellar '07 campaign, there is one defense that seems to have Garrard's number, the Tennessee Titans. In his last 2 contests against them, Garrard has thrown 3 interceptions and has been sacked 7 times. Garrard has plenty of upside for fantasy owners this season, but week 1 at Tennessee may not be the best week to have him in your starting line up.
20. Marc Bulger (STL)—A healthy Marc Bulger with a healthy offensive line is capable of going off any given week, but a week 1 match up at Philadelphia is not a safe one for fantasy owners.
Great fantasy QB, Wrong week
Jay Cutler (DEN)—While Cutler has proven to be a worthy starting fantasy QB, his week 1 match up against Oakland has bust written all over it. In 2 games against Oakland last season, Cutler only managed 1 TD pass while throwing 4 interceptions. The scary part is that the Raiders pass defense should be even better in '08. In addition, he will be without his best WR in Brandon Marshall due to a 1 game suspension. Cutler has the ability to overcome his biggest nemesis, but it doesn�t look promising.
Jake Delhomme (CAR)—Delhomme will probably crack the starting line up for the majority of fantasy owners throughout the season, but week 1 should not be one of them. Not only will he be without his go to WR Steve Smith this week, Delhomme will have to overcome arguably the league's best secondary in front of a hostile crowd in San Diego.
Potential Sleeper for Week 1
J.T. O'sullivan (SF)—He is making his first start in the NFL's regular season. That alone is reason enough to steer clear of him on your fantasy roster, but we like his potential in this match up. This game has a recent history of turning into a shootout. You combine that with an already pass happy Mike Martz offense and an Arizona defense that is susceptible to giving up big plays in the passing game, and O'sullivan could raise more than a few eyebrows this week. He also has the luxury of playing at home.