The 2012 fantasy football season kicked off alongside the NFL last night, and I imagine that Tony Romo owners are quite pleased this morning. (And I imagine several more displeased owners are making a run at Kevin Ogletree as we speak.)
Things resume on Sunday, and if you're looking for some advice on any Buffalo Bills players you may own and whether or not you should consider playing them against the New York Jets, this is the best place to be. We're guessing that not many Bills players are popularly owned across all fantasy leagues, so we'll be sticking with the big names in these weekly posts.
We'll start at quarterback, where if you own Ryan Fitzpatrick in a backup capacity, you're best served keeping him that way this weekend.
Up until Week 12 last year, Fitzpatrick - in four career games against Rex Ryan's jets - had completed just 43.4 percent of his throws with a 5.02 yards per attempt average, four touchdowns, six total turnovers and 11 sacks taken. It was bad. In the last meeting, however, Fitzpatrick put up downright excellent fantasy numbers, completing 26-of-39 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns with no turnovers. It's possible that Fitzpatrick has cracked Rex's code and will replicate that most recent success. Right now, banking on the full history of the matchup is the safer bet.
Similarly, if you've got an embarrassment of riches at the running back position and can reliably put Fred Jackson on the shelf this weekend, you might want to consider it. Jackson has not had good games against the Jets of late; in the last four meetings, he's been held to 169 rushing yards (at 3.6 yards per carry), 75 total receiving yards, and he hasn't scored. He has, however, fumbled three times in those games, losing one of them. If you have to start Jackson this week, don't expect a lot.
When Jackson is a bad play, so is C.J. Spiller. In one career start against the Jets, he was held to 55 rushing yards on 19 carries, 15 yards on three receptions, and didn't score. This weekend he'll be playing second fiddle to Jackson. Spiller's not yet worth a fantasy start, either.
Scott Chandler? Yeah, he's the go-to tight end and has the potential to put up respectable numbers this year. You can do better, however; Chandler has really only been fantasy-worthy when Buffalo's offense has been on fire, and they haven't been on fire in quite a while. That logic applies to the kicker, Rian Lindell, as well.
Here's one player you don't need to be afraid of playing: wideout Stevie Johnson, who will be blanketed by Darrelle Revis on Sunday. All of the talk that Johnson has "Revis' number" is a bit overblown, but Johnson has yet to be completely blanked by Revis. In his last four games against the Jets, Johnson has 19 catches for 262 yards and two touchdowns. That's not elite production by any means, but it's been consistent and fantasy-worthy production.
Finally, unless you invested heavily in Buffalo's defense and special teams units, you may want to take a wait and see approach in using them in your fantasy lineup. Sure, they're playing a Jets offense that didn't score a touchdown in the pre-season, but Buffalo's first-team defense gave up plenty of big plays (and 38 points) in exhibition play, and Mark Sanchez carved the Bills up to the tune of five touchdowns and just two picks last year. Buffalo's defense looks better on paper, but this game will be played on a gridiron - and you may be disappointed by the results.
Is anyone planning on expressly ignoring this advice with respect to Bills players you own this weekend in fantasy?