What’s going on fantasy football players? Finally, the 2012 season is upon us and if you’re like me you’ve probably been counting down the days since the last day of the 2011 season. This year I want to do something different instead of my usual fantasy football start ’em sit ’em list for week 1. I figure since you drafted the players you want to start for the first week, why not highlight a couple of players who are coming back from injuries and players that held out due to contract concerns and discuss if they are worth starting week one.

First up is the rookie Trent Richardson who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee last month and had a prior knee surgery earlier in the year as well — a scary situation on so many levels. I steer clear of drafting rookies who had to have surgery before they even play a single down in the NFL, and having had two surgeries, makes Richardson an even greater risk. This shows us that Brown’s first draft pick may have durability issues going forward this season.

My gut feeling says that the rookie running back will spend more time on the trainer’s table than on the field this year. Trent Richardson will not be a smart start until we see that he can handle the majority of the workload for a couple of weeks.

Mike Wallace will be a steal if you were able to get him late like I did (4th round in our 12-man Fantasy Couch league) and you must start him week one. I don’t see him having trouble picking up the offense, he will have had two weeks to pick up the offense and from what I’m hearing, he stayed in shape while he was holding out.

The new offensive coordinator Todd Haley is also known to be fond of the passing game, so Wallace should get a few targets right out of the gate. Don’t be shy to start Wallace week one — he should score plenty of points for you.

fantasy football 2012 start 'em sit 'em week 1 - Jamaal Charles

Next up is Jamaal Charles and if you have been watching the Kansas City Chiefs preseason games you know this guy is ready to go. Out of all the players that tore a knee ligament, he has had the most time to heal and he is showing no lingering effects from it.

Everyone wants to make a big deal that the Chiefs brought in Peyton Hillis and how it will diminish Charles’ fantasy value – well, they are wrong. Jamaal’s best season came when he was splitting carriers with Thomas Jones. Charles is made up for a time share role because he brings the speed and elusive moves that only a handful of players can do in this league and when you combine that with the power that Hillis provides, it makes for a devastating one-two punch that most defense’s in the league can not handle.

I can’t believe that I am going to say this but you have to bench Adrian Peterson. The Minnesota Vikings are saying that Peterson is looking good, that he’s ahead of schedule, that there is a possibility he will play week one. The guy tore his ACL and MCL in his left knee on January 1st, just nine months ago and you really expect him to produce week one? The Vikings would be foolish to put their franchise player out there and risk him hurting his knee again. Even if he does suit up at the most he would get is 5-10 touches and this doesn’t warrant a starting spot on your fantasy team.

I wouldn’t feel comfortable starting him the first two months of the season, I want to see him take big hits and carry the ball 15-20 times a game before I even think of putting him in your starting line-up. Until we see him play on consistent basis he should not be starting period.

Last but definitely not least is Maurice Jones-Drew. “Pocket Hercules” really scared fantasy owners who drafted him because he took his hold out as long as he possibly could without missing any regular season games. Don’t expect him to do much, if anything, week one. It will take a few weeks for him to get up to par and game shape.

Jones-Drew should be on your bench the first couple of weeks and would be wise to bench him all the way up until week 5 if you have some depth at the RB position. It will take a month for him to get acclimated to the new offensive scheme new head coach Mike Mularkey has implemented and only then can you expect him to put up solid stats on a regular basis.

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