RotoDawg: Week 1 player watch

The season is almost here! Tomorrow the defending champion Green Bay Packers take on the Saints from New Orleans.

This game matches up two contenders to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

Last year the Packers did just that in winning it all while the Saints flamed out and lost to the Seahawks in the wild card round.

I bring this up, not to sour those Saints fans who remain loyal to Drew Brees but to make a point: the results from last year really don’t matter a whole lot anymore.

The Saints offense is considered one of the league’s best, but so is the Packers’ defense. Which of these will prevail?

In the NFL, it is hard to predict such things, but in fantasy football, those people who correctly project which players will excel in a given matchup are the owners of a victorious team come Tuesday.

Here are some players who I think will excel in matchups this week.

I look for Kevin Kolb to target Larry Fitzgerald early and often. The Arizona Cardinals should have the ball on offense quite a bit against the Carolina Panthers. Kolb could post some big numbers in this game.

Brandon Marshall should return more to form this season after posting only three touchdowns last year. He is still one of the most talented wide receivers in the game, and the Dolphins have struggled to generate any form of a rushing attack.

The New England Patriots should jump out to an early lead, forcing the Dolphins to throw the ball to catch up.

Wide receiver Lee Evans seems to have a good connection with Joe Flacco in just a short amount of time. Evans can be hit or miss, but his hits tend to be for explosive results. This is more of a gut-feeling call that Evans will outrun the Pittsburgh Steelers’ secondary on multiple occasions, as they have perennially been prone to the deep ball.

Running back Mike Tolbert has been getting the goal line work for the San Diego Chargers so far in the preseason. That is a promising sign, as the Minnesota Vikings lost some key components along the defensive line. The Chargers could exploit that weakness, especially in the red zone.

If your league starts a team defense, take a flier on the Cleveland Browns’ defense this week versus the lowly “Bungles.” They have looked good so far in the preseason against better offensive lines than the Bengals have. Also, the Bengals are starting a rookie quarterback.

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