FFL: Week 1 Matchups

Updated: September 8, 2006, 3:38 PM ET
By Scott Engel | ESPN Fantasy Games
Every week, we preview all of the upcoming games from a fantasy perspective. To help you with lineup decisions, we give you matchups to exploit, some key starting choices and advice on whom to leave on your bench.

Atlanta at Carolina: The Falcons must show they can stop the running game, and they will be tested by DeShaun Foster, who could rip off a few long runs. A quality ground game should set up Jake Delhomme for some play-action passing, but he'll have to get rid of the ball quickly at times if new Falcons DE John Abraham crushes the pocket. Delhomme could look to Keyshawn Johnson often for possession grabs, but the veteran receiver might not do much after catching the ball. Drew Carter could be a surprise option when the Panthers choose to stretch the field. The Panthers will expect the Falcons to run first, so Michael Vick could take some early downfield shots to loosen up the defense. But his receiving crew won't be a consistent challenge for the Carolina secondary, and Vick might have to scramble often with mixed results. Warrick Dunn might have to work hard for his yardage. Start and Smile: DeShaun Foster Watch and Worry: Michael Vick, Roddy White

Baltimore at Tampa Bay: The Buccaneers are dealing with some injuries on the offensive line, so Carnell Williams might not find a lot of running room early. Chris Simms will have to take some quick drops to avoid the rush and could throw often to Joey Galloway, who could also get deep for a big play or two when Simms uses play-action passing. TE Alex Smith could start to emerge as a more viable target for Simms on shorter throws. The status of Jamal Lewis (hip) is unclear, so Steve McNair might have a very busy day that is filled with a lot of passing attempts and inconsistency. McNair might throw more than one TD pass, but he could be intercepted more than once. Sneaky WR Mark Clayton could be a prime target for McNair. Start and Smile: Joey Galloway, Alex Smith Watch and Worry: Jamal Lewis