Fantasy football overview

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:47 PM ET

Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints: The once loaded Vikings are a little less attractive with star WR Sidney Rice out and WR Percy Harvin prone to nasty head issues. But this means a lot of work for RB Adrian Peterson, who racked up 122 yards and three TDs on the ground against the Saints last time they played ... Vikes WR Bernard Berrian is a deep threat and TE Visanthe Shiancoe also benefits from QB Brett Favre's return ... The Saints are in tough against a solid Vikes defence, but QB Drew Brees did manage three TDs in the NFC title game by spreading the ball around. He and K Garrett Hartley are the best options here.

Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bucs RB Cadillac Williams is looking to build off his comeback season of a year ago and gets a great start against the lowly Browns ... Rookie WR Mike Williams looks like the most talented target but leave QB Josh Freeman on the bench for now ... The Browns will have to pound on the ground to get anything going, so look for RB Jerome Harrison to have a decent day as a flex.

Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills: RBs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams could both have big days, but they will also cut into each other's carries this season ... The Bills are too much of a risk. If you're desperate, rookie RB C.J. Spiller is a home run-style threat at the flex spot.

Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans: Stay away from the Raiders RBs. Not only is the workload split uncertain, but the Titans were top 10 against the run last season ... Titans RB Chris Johnson is one of those guys you start every week, but steer away from anyone else in this defensive battle.

Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars: WR Jabar Gaffney has been QB Kyle Orton's hot target this preseason, but WR Eddie Royal might be the red-zone threat. Neither are solid options ... Forget his knee troubles in the pre-season. RB Maurice Jones-Drew should eat up the Broncos defence ... Don't trust WR Mike Sims-Walker against CB Champ Bailey.

Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots: Defensive backs on either side will have a tough time keeping the talented receiving corps from scoring. Pats WRs Randy Moss and Wes Welker should have decent days ... Bengals WRs Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens are TD threats with No. 85 putting up more yardage ... RB Cedric Benson should test the Pats run defence.

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans: WR Andre Johnson should be close to 100 yards with a TD for the Texans ... WR Reggie Wayne will also be effective ... Sit on WR Anthony Gonzalez until you see what he can do after missing a year of action ... QBs Peyton Manning and Matt Schaub should both be solid starts ... if possible, avoid all RBs in what's usually a shootout-type division battle.

Atlanta Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers: Leaning on RB Rashard Mendenhall is the plan while QB Ben Roethlisberger is out, but the Falcons were pretty good against the rush last season ... RB Michael Turner is a stud but faces a tough test ... WR Roddy White is better served as a No. 2 receiver in this matchup.

Carolina Panthers at New York Giants: Not a fan of the Panthers defence this year and that could mean a healthy dose of RBs Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs for the Giants. Both should produce good yardage with Jacobs hording the short-yardage work and TDs ... QB Eli Manning is an OK option, but I wouldn't trust WR Steve Smith just yet ... If you have to start a Panther, I'd go with RB DeAngelo Williams as a No. 2, and Jonathan Stewart as a nice flex option.

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears: The Lions line is suspect, so don't get too excited about rookie RB Jahvid Best just yet ... Bears QB Jay Cutler should have a decent debut, but not sure who his top target will be ... RB Matt Forte is looking to prove he's still got the skills he showed two years ago and gets a good chance to convince people.

Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams: An ugly game full of uncertainty. It's hard to sit Cards WR Larry Fitzgerald but QB Derek Anderson is nothing special ... Rams RB Steven Jackson is the safest option in this one.

Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles: QB Aaron Rodgers could be the player of the week ... WRs Greg Jennings and Donald Driver are also decent plays, along with TE Jermichael Finley ... The Eagles might be in for a stale day offensively, but WR DeSean Jackson is a decent option because of his potential to break big plays.

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks: RB Frank Gore should start his season strong against the Seahawks, but WR Michael Crabtree is a risky play. Your safest options might be TEs Vernon Davis (49ers) and John Carlson (Seahawks). There's too much uncertainty in the Hawks backfield but if you have to play one of their RBs, Justin Forsett would be my pick.

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins: Even if a gimpy Donovan McNabb starts at QB for the Redskins, he's a bad starting option against the Cowboys pass defence ... Start QB Tony Romo and WR Miles Austin and expect one of the other Dallas wide receivers to have a decent day -- either rookie Dez Bryant or vet Roy Williams ... Steer clear of all Redskins for now ... Cowboys RBs Marion Barber and Felix Jones could both shine, but Barber might horde the touchdowns.

Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets: Darrelle Revis returning to the Jets is bad news for Anquan Boldin owners, but it's tough to sit the Ravens WR. Just don't rely on him for much ... RBs Ray Rice (Ravens) and Shonn Greene (Jets) could also have tough days.

San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs: A soft Chiefs defence could mean a nice debut for rookie Bolts RB Ryan Mathews ... With top WR Vincent Jackson out, TE Antonio Gates should post big numbers, but not sure this early on about WRs Malcom Floyd or Legedu Naanee ... Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe has a lot to prove and should have a decent outing ... Not sure right now how the Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones RB platoon will play out for Kansas City in Week 1.

steve.macfarlane@sunmedia.ca


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