Thursday, September 10, 2009

Two Minute Drill: Week 1 Preview

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL? That’s right, the long anticipated wait is over, it is time to make those final roster moves because the season is beginning. If you can’t tell, I am excited, this is my favorite time of year. If you ask me, there are few things as enjoyable as sitting around all Sunday watching football and checking my fantasy stats. I will be here every Friday previewing the games, giving you some of the players I like and hate for each game.

However, I am here a day early to preview the kickoff game, Steelers-Titans. It is the world’s first glance at the soon to be back-to-back champs. I know, I am a bit of a homer. Allegiances aside, I like the Steelers tonight. I just can’t help but feel that Tennessee ended up on the shorter end of the stick this offseason. They lost perennial All Pro defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth to free agency and lost defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Jeff Fisher is a fantastic coach, but I can’t help but think the Titans got worse this offseason.

On the other side of the ball, the Steelers weren’t winners nor losers this offseason. As usual, the Steelers replaced expendable moving parts from within. The key loss was Bryant McFadden to the Cardinals. His departure will hurt the secondary more than most Steelers fans like to think, but the Titans don’t have the passing game to exploit this. Owners of the Steelers D should also keep an eye on the Lawrence Timmons injury. He is doubtful this week, and the Steelers D is a definite downgrade from last year without him.

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Speaking of the Steelers D leads me to my first sit of the year, Chris Johnson. Well I wouldn’t sit Johnson, you just need to have realistic expectations. If he can get 80 total yards and a score, consider yourself lucky. However, Johnson is the only Titans player I would be starting this week. A sleeper pick for the game is Willie Parker. Parker was taken as a second or third running back in most leagues, but I expect the Steelers to test that Tennessee defensive line without Haynesworth. Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward aren’t bad plays, but I would avoid Big Ben, Heath Miller, and Rashard Mendenhall until we see more from this offense.

I am sure Jeff Fisher will have the Titans ready to go tonight. Fisher always seems to have the Steelers’ number, but I don’t think it helps. The Steelers at home on national TV is about as close to a lock as you will ever get.

Tomlin and Co. take their first step to the repeat, 20-10.

Have a lineup question? Don't know who to start or pick up this week? Looking for up-to-the minute injury updates from around the league? We've got you covered. Our fantasy football team will be live-blogging this Sunday from 11am-1pm Eastern to answer all your Week 1 questions. Be sure to check it out!

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