Happy weekend guys and gals, kickoff weekend is officially underway. As a Le’Veon Bell owner in a few leagues, I just want to say ***** **** you, to all the people who swiped away James Conner. I’m sure all the Bell owners will side with me on that one–pour one down for your fantasy season. It’s nothing compared though to the few people who literally ended up with Bell and Jerrick McKinnon as their first two running backs. Sheesh…

So let’s talk a bit about last night, shall we? What a horrible first game of the season. I guess as fans we’re just spoiled on opening nights, and how can you blame us? We’ve been waiting since February for some football on TV, so by default we were just hyped in general. It’s like having blue balls and meeting your partner at the bar after a few drinks–instead of going home with that person, you get the Heisman stiff-arm and now you’re out of bounds instead of in the end zone with your balls in your hand like Julio. Ayyooo.

Okay, fine! I’ll stop with the corny jokes. Overall it was a good defensive battle we saw last night, and despite me preaching how you should bench Ajayi in Week 1, I came out looking like I know what I’m talking about. Coleman got in the end zone, so I’ll pat myself on the back right there. Here are my weekly Man up/Step Aside selections.

MAN UP

Week 1
(USA Today Sports)

Jordan Reed

It seems like it’s been forever since Jordan Reed has last been relevant for our fantasy lineups. A late round steal in many drafts this season, he will be a great addition to many rosters, if he can stay healthy. That being said, he’s entering Week 1 a bit hobbled up after toe surgery, but I’m willing to gamble with Reed in my lineup this week. Also Arizona was one of the Top 10 worst red zone defenses last year.

James Conner

The Pittsburgh Steelers are going to feed Conner the ball as if he was Le’Veon. Maybe the talent doesn’t quite matchup, but you like at what De’Angelo Williams did when Bell was absent from the team.

Andrew Luck

Some people are worried about Luck this week and would rather wait it out to see what happens, but I’m not. I’m a Luck fan boy, and he’s always had success playing at home. Get hyped!

Josh Gordon

Another player that we know what he’s capable when he’s on the top of his game, but some off-field issues have owners worried when it comes to Gordon and their lineups. Cleveland’s coaching staff has also said that Gordon will be on a pitch count, but I’m calling bull s*** because after a few big plays, I don’t know how they keep Gordon out of the game.

Michael Crabtree

What an excellent flex option–who else is going to catch the ball for Flacco? Crabtree is one of those guys who I feel gets overlooked sometimes, but he continues to produce.

Royce Freeman

Looking at this matchup, your natural response would be to avoid Freeman at all cost. This is a great home game for Denver and Freeman will definitely see the volume early to rack up the points.

Philip Rivers

Eric Berry isn’t 100%. Hell, he might not even play and Rivers has the perfect opportunity to put up some big numbers against a Chiefs defense that isn’t quite what it once was.

Will Fuller

Hey Deshaun Watson is back!

Step Aside

Week 1
(USA Today Sports)

Derek Carr

I want to root for Carr. Love the guy as a player, just not thrilled about what Oakland has brought in when it comes to playmakers. You’ve got an aging Marshawn Lynch and Jordy Nelson–so I’m praying that Amari Cooper can finally have that breakout season that we’ve all been hoping for. But against the Rams, no thanks!

Mike Evans

I basically have to start Evans in a few leagues, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, just don’t expect him to blow up in Week 1. A tough divisional game, with a back up quarterback, against Super Bowl contenders, could be a long day for all of the Bucs players.

George Kittle

If you saw our weekly MFST pick’em section, you saw that I’m picking the Niners here, but tight ends have had some bad experiences when facing Minnesota. Look elsewhere this week.

Evan Engram

The Giants have officially cleared him to play this weekend, but against the Jags…

LeSean McCoy

Because Peterman could throw another five picks here, Shady will be facing stacked boxes all afternoon.

Case Keenum

Not many people are starting Keenum, but I know there’s still fans out there who are expecting the same level of play from his magical run with the Vikings last season.

Kelvin Benjamin

From getting fat from sleep overs at Eddie Lacy’s house, to getting punked out by Cam Newton in the preseason. I’m keeping Benjamin out of my lineup until Buffalo gets some steady quarterback play.

Isiah Crowell/Bilal Powell

Good playmakers, tough road game with a rookie quarterback.

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