Complete Week One Player Rankings & Projections l More Sit & Starts
Ah college football is back! What a great weekend. But with the joy of the game we love returning is the agony of selecting our lineup. We all have our studs we need to start and the no-brainer guys we have to sit. But then there are those guys on the fence, especially in week one, where we dont know where to go. So here are five no doubters to start in week one, as well as five guys that should be benched...for now..
Start Em! Wide Receivers
D.J. Woods, Cincinnati vs. Austin Peay
Woods is the top returning wideout for the Bearcats, a potent offense which put up over 400 yards per game last year. With Armon Binns gone, Woods becomes the team's number one option. He should have plenty of open space to expose the Austin Peay defense in week one en route to a huge day.
B.J. Cunningham, Michigan State vs. Youngstown State
Cunningham is coming off a solid nine-touchdown season in 2010 and will look to open up his 2011 campaign in a big way against the Penguins. His 611 yards were good for second on the Spartans and a 5-100-1 game seems likely in the opener.
Greg Childs, Arkansas vs. Missouri State
Bobby Petrino will be quick to toss Tyler Wilson into the fire and show off his next pro-style QB, as Wilson replaces now-Patriots QB Ryan Mallett. Do not sleep on Childs, who is coming off a knee injury, but should explode back onto the scene against Missouri State in a game the Razorbacks should win by 40+ points.
Damarlo Belcher, Indiana vs. Ball State
Belcher jumped out in a big way in 2010, scoring in each of his first two games on the way to 17 total catches. There is no reason he should not come out of the gates strong in 2011 as well, as the Hoosiers will toss the ball all over the yard against Ball State. With Tandon Doss now in the NFL, Belcher becomes the Hoosiers' number one receiving option and should be a strong play most every week.
Kelvin Bolden, Southern Miss vs. Louisiana Tech
Here is your sneaky play for Week One. Bolden had an up and down 2010 season but with the departure of DeAndre Brown, Bolden becomes the number one option in the attack for Southern Miss. With La Tech likely to put up points in this one as well, a shootout is very likely. Austin Davis will lead the aerial attack and Bolden will be the lead beneficiary. Expect a 7-150-2 game from Bolden in the opener.
Sit Em! Wide Receivers
Nick Toon, Wisconsin vs. UNLV
There is no question Toon is the go-to receiver for Wisconsin, but the Badgers game, despite the addition of Russell Wilson will be ground and pound. We also do not have any idea of the chemistry between Toon and Wilson, so for at least one week it is best to keep Toon reserved.
Da'Jon McKnight, Minnesota vs. USC
McKnight is a big target for the Gophers, but with the Trojans on the schedule on the road in Week One, McKnight should be relegated to your bench. Despite the Trojans being one of the worst teams in the country in 2010 defending the pass, that trend will surely reverse itself as its secondary develops and matures. With instability at QB and a lack of playmakers in the backfield, the Trojans will contain the one guy who can beat them, McKnight.
Luther Ambrose, Louisiana Monroe vs. Florida State
Ambrose is an interesting player for 2011, as he is coming off a breakthrough season for a guy drafted late if at all in your 2010 draft. He is a talented prospect who will be a solid matchup play for 2011, just not in Week One. The Seminoles loom in the opener and if you can base anything off last year, the best defense ULM played was LSU, and Ambrose was held to two catches for 21 yards against the Tigers.
Dwayne Frampton, Arkansas State vs. Illinois
Frampton is another matchup play for he had six games of at least six catches last season, including an eight catch performance against Auburn. Despite that productivity, Frampton should be benched for their matchup against Illinois. Illinois will score at will and likely control the clock in the second half thanks to their ground game. Frampton may sneak a touchdown in, but given some other safer Week One choices, the bench is where Frampton should be.
Nick Harwell, Miami (OH) vs. Missouri
Despite a four game stretch during the season in which he had 37 catches for over 500 yards and four scores, Harwell threw up two stinkers in the fantasy playoffs, combining for 12 catches, 170 yards and one score during the last three games of the year before the bowl game. While Harwell returns as a solid WR3 option, Missouri will gameplan to stop him. While this game should feature some points, Harwell cannot be trusted. At least not by me, a 2010 Harwell playoff-time owner.