We are now only a few hours away from the kickoff to the 2011 NFL season. You may have seen my post yesterday about the betting lines for the Cardinals. Now, let's shift our focus towards something else people love to do during the NFL season. Playing fantasy football is something that is almost mandatory for NFL spectators these days, so knowing all of the various offensive threats around the league is imperative.
For week one, you may not have to look very far, as one of our very own Arizona Cardinals has been named a must start by NFL.com's Michael Fabiano. In his weekly, "Start 'em, Sit 'em," post, Fabiano points out that anyone who has Beanie Wells on their fantasy team must start him against the Carolina Panthers.
Some of the members of Cat Scratch Reader (the SB Nation Panthers blog) have been frequenting Revenge of the Birds this week and you can see the post where you can ask them about their team here. One of the first replies one of their members gave was as follows:
There’s a possibility you may see a healthy dose of run blitzes to ease pressure on our thin DL. Definitely an area of concern for us.
The Carolina Panthers are starting two rookie defensive tackles in Sione Fua and Terrell McClain this week. As with any rookie going into their first career game, inexperience could become an issue. Running the ball up the middle behind a set of veteran interior offensive linemen should bode well for Beanie.
Also, as Fabiano states, Beanie Wells is now the primary back in the Cardinals' offense. Rookie second round draft pick, Ryan Williams went down with a torn patellar tendon in the second preseason game against the Packers. Behind Wells, LaRod-Stephens Howling, Chester Taylor and Alfonso Smith make up the depth chart. Needless to say, Beanie will be getting the majority of the carries.
One last point made by Fabiano was that the Panthers allowed over 22 points per game to opposing runners, which is a huge stat. Couple that with a revamped Cardinals offensive line and even less depth on the Panthers' defensive line and Beanie could be well on his way to a huge game.