Welcome to the Week 1 column of The Bench Warmers. We give you a list of 3 players who should stay off your starting lineup & keep your bench nice & toasty. 1 QB, 1 RB & 1 WR that we don’t like in our starting lineups each week & you shouldn’t start them either. Could these guys have good games? Of course! But all things considered, we don’t like there chances to light up the scoreboard this week. As always, final decisions are yours to make, so don’t kill the messenger & we’ll promise not to say “I told you so”.
QB: Cam Newton, CAR
As soon as Benjamin got hurt and was lost for the year, Cam Newton’s stock took a hit. His WR’s are now Tedd Ginn, Jericho Cotchery, Philly Brown and rookie Funchess. Does that group help you put a ton of faith in Newton in week 1? He does have old faithful TE Greg Olson to throw to so that will help, but it certainty will not be enough to start him. I’m not crazy about the running game the Panthers have, especially when Jonathan Stewart is seeing 8 in the box all game long. Newton can always tuck the ball and rush it in on the goal line, although I don’t feel good about the odds on him running one in. Yes the Panthers are playing the Jaguars but it’s not enough to sway me on believing Cam belongs only on the bench this weekend.
RB: Melvin Gordon, SD
Everyone loved Gordon when he was drafted out of college by the San Diego Chargers and rightfully so. He had a great college career and hopes to continue that success in the NFL. Count me as one of the doubters entering week 1, but not so fast. I don’t think Gordon is going to be a bust, I just have a problem seeing him live up to the hype he has carried with him into the NFL, especially in his rookie season. The biggest threat to Gordon starting in week 1 is the underrated and often forgotten PPR fantasy sleeper Danny Woodhead. His offensive coordinator raved about him yesterday, calling him a “offensive coordinators dream”. He mentioned how Woodhead looks stronger then ever and how he is a quarterbacks dream. I can’t see a coordinator throwing around words like this if he didn’t plan on making Woodhead a big part of the offensive gameplan.
WR: Alshon Jeffery, CHI
Many fans are predicting a shoot-out here in Chicago between the Bears & Packers which I understand, and it may very likely hold true. I have a couple of problems with starting Jeffery this week though. Problem #1: He’s hurt. Alshon & his coaches say he’s likely to play, but he’s been limited in practice. He clearly wont be playing at 100% & what are the chances he get injured during the game? Problem #2: Jay Cutler. Simply put, I’m not a fan. He throws too many INT and the more his team falls behind the more reckless he tends to play. He tends to break mentally, and I think his teammates feel it and its contagious. Problem #3: The Packers. Although there defense alone is not a problem, there offense will jump on the Bears and take a big, early lead. This is when Cutler will feel the need to force big plays and make mistakes. Alshon will make some plays, but not enough to warrant a start week 1 if you have better options.