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2011 Draft Prep: Our 12-team, $100 auction

Senior Fantasy Writer
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For some Fantasy owners, snake drafts just aren't exciting. For them, there are auctions.

Auctions give every Fantasy owner the same opportunity at every NFL player. Auctions make for a more challenging way to build a Fantasy team. Auctions favor the bold -- the highest bidder gets the player, for better or for worse.

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It's a fun enhancement that Fantasy drafters should consider (CBSSports.com even has mock auctions, in case you'd like to try it out). But it's not without strategy, just like any other Fantasy Football draft.

Shop smart. If you spend too soon, you'll have no shot at the inevitable bargains that exist late in every single auction. If you don't spend early on, you'll have no shot at the stud players inevitably nominated in the first few minutes in every single auction. Knowing who you want, and more importantly, knowing what the players you want should go for, is absolutely vital to Fantasy success. Consult our auction values to get a good idea of what the going rate is from player to player.

Be ready for the bargains. Like in snake drafts, the bargains in auctions generally happen late, not early. If you want in on some of those bargains it's a good idea to save at least 30 percent of your overall budget for the last third of your auction.

Don't drive up bids or mistakenly bid on players you don't need. Bid on the guys you want, not the guys other people want. If you own Antonio Gates, don't bid on Dallas Clark just so they go at the same price. It's better to let another owner get a bargain than for you to clog your roster with too many players at the same position.

If you're on the fence, spend. Bidding the extra dollar or two to get the player you want is always advised so long as you're not going to be forced to add $1 players to more than four roster spots. The difference between getting quality starters and a couple of $2 steals that someone else might otherwise get for $1 is negligible.

Follow the money. Fantasy dollars are not unlimited -- you're on a budget. As such, you'll have to know what your maximum bid is at all times, and if you're really good, you'll want to keep track of what the max bid is for your rival owners too. Typically, no player will go for more than 35 percent of a total budget, and every team will end up with at least a handful of $1 players.

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Recognized for Best Article in Major Media by the FSWA

Early on, nominate players you don't want: If you're trying to cut back on spending, or if you just want other owners to drain their funds, nominate players who you have no intention of winning. For instance, if you just won Aaron Rodgers, you're set at quarterback. But if you nominate Michael Vick and start the bidding at a dollar, someone else will start unloading their money. The more your opponents spend, the less they'll have to take bargains from you later on. You could even look over the roster of the owner with the biggest budget left, uncover their needs and nominate players they might flash their cash for. When the draft enters the bargain zone, that's when you'll want to nominate the players you want and potentially bid an extra buck or two to sway opponents from taking the player you like.

Check out our auction!

To give you the feel of this kind of format, CBSSports.com rounded up 12 experts with auction experience. On Aug. 24, we gave everyone $100 to spend on 15 roster spots, starting one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one tight end, one flex, one kicker and one DST.

Our nomination order
1. Bill Passonno, Fantasy Writer 7. Al Melchior, Data Analyst
2. Ed Gauna, Fantasy Writer 8. Jeff Tobin, Associate Managing Editor, Fantasy
3. John Garcia, Fantasy Writer 9. Eric Kay, Associate Managing Editor, CBSSports.com
4. Scott White, Senior Fantasy Writer 10. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
5. Nathan Zegura, Fantasy Writer 11. Adam Aizer, Podcast Host
6. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer 12. Sergio Gonzalez, Fantasy Writer
Sound off on our auction: Facebook | Twitter | Message Board

2011 Fantasy Auction Draft (sortable)
OrderPlayerPriceBid Won by
103Addai, Joseph (RB IND)$5Adam Aizer
39Amendola, Danny (WR STL)$5Jamey Eisenberg
65Austin, Miles (WR DAL)$13Nathan Zegura
120Bears (DST CHI)$1Sergio Gonzalez
48Benson, Cedric (RB CIN)$9Sergio Gonzalez
139Bess, Davone (WR MIA)$2Jeff Tobin
51Best, Jahvid (RB DET)$12Bill Passonno
17Blount, LeGarrette (RB TB)$17John Garcia
80Boldin, Anquan (WR BAL)$7Sergio Gonzalez
13Bowe, Dwayne (WR KC)$11Adam Aizer
90Bradford, Sam (QB STL)$5Adam Aizer
56Bradshaw, Ahmad (RB NYG)$16Nathan Zegura
29Brady, Tom (QB NE)$22Ed Gauna
161Branch, Deion (WR NE)$1Jeff Tobin
155Breaston, Steve (WR KC)$1Bill Passonno
16Brees, Drew (QB NO)$18Bill Passonno
121Britt, Kenny (WR TEN)$3Bill Passonno
102Broncos (DST DEN)$1Dave Richard
158Brown, Josh (K STL)$1Nathan Zegura
106Brown, Ronnie (RB PHI)$1Jamey Eisenberg
72Bryant, Dez (WR DAL)$9Bill Passonno
94Bryant, Matt (K ATL)$1Jamey Eisenberg
179Burleson, Nate (WR DET)$1Al Melchior
74Burress, Plaxico (WR NYJ)$5Jeff Tobin
66Bush, Michael (RB OAK)$4Nathan Zegura
75Bush, Reggie (RB MIA)$4John Garcia
166Carpenter, Dan (K MIA)$1John Garcia
151Cassel, Matt (QB KC)$1Jeff Tobin
134Celek, Brent (TE PHI)$1Ed Gauna
156Chargers (DST SD)$1John Garcia
8Charles, Jamaal (RB KC)$27Jeff Tobin
36Clark, Dallas (TE IND)$8Dave Richard
109Collie, Austin (WR IND)$3Jeff Tobin
89Colston, Marques (WR NO)$7Dave Richard
178Cook, Jared (TE TEN)$1Bill Passonno
104Cowboys (DST DAL)$1Jeff Tobin
150Crabtree, Michael (WR SF)$1Al Melchior
43Crosby, Mason (K GB)$1Al Melchior
167Cundiff, Billy (K BAL)$1Scott White
118Cutler, Jay (QB CHI)$1Jamey Eisenberg
101Daniels, Owen (TE HOU)$4Sergio Gonzalez
77Davis, Vernon (TE SF)$4Al Melchior
152Driver, Donald (WR GB)$1Eric Kay
64Eagles (DST PHI)$2Adam Aizer
122Edwards, Braylon (WR SF)$3Ed Gauna
136Evans, Lee (WR BAL)$1Scott White
14Finley, Jermichael (TE GB)$7Ed Gauna
26Fitzgerald, Larry (WR ARI)$19Dave Richard
117Flacco, Joe (QB BAL)$3Bill Passonno
131Floyd, Malcom (WR SD)$1Adam Aizer
135Ford, Jacoby (WR OAK)$1John Garcia
55Forte, Matt (RB CHI)$23Ed Gauna
3Foster, Arian (RB HOU)$30Scott White
35Freeman, Josh (QB TB)$4Dave Richard
126Garcon, Pierre (WR IND)$2Ed Gauna
170Garrard, David (QB JAC)$1Al Melchior
24Gates, Antonio (TE SD)$12Jeff Tobin
79Giants (DST NYG)$1Al Melchior
129Gonzalez, Tony (TE ATL)$1Eric Kay
15Gore, Frank (RB SF)$18Jeff Tobin
11Gostkowski, Stephen (K NE)$1Adam Aizer
38Gould, Robbie (K CHI)$1Ed Gauna
113Graham, Jimmy (TE NO)$6Adam Aizer
73Grant, Ryan (RB GB)$4Adam Aizer
86Green, A.J. (WR CIN)$2Scott White
46Green-Ellis, BenJarvus (RB NE)$9Adam Aizer
50Greene, Shonn (RB NYJ)$12Nathan Zegura
124Gronkowski, Rob (TE NE)$1Scott White
9Hartley, Garrett (K NO)$1Eric Kay
85Harvin, Percy (WR MIN)$7John Garcia
177Helu, Roy (RB WAS)$1Al Melchior
165Henery, Alex (K PHI)$1Bill Passonno
125Hernandez, Aaron (TE NE)$1Nathan Zegura
176Hester, Devin (WR CHI)$1Bill Passonno
119Hightower, Tim (RB WAS)$4Ed Gauna
21Hillis, Peyton (RB CLE)$13Scott White
69Holmes, Santonio (WR NYJ)$10John Garcia
49Ingram, Mark (RB NO)$10Jamey Eisenberg
61Jackson, DeSean (WR PHI)$13Eric Kay
95Jackson, Fred (RB BUF)$6Al Melchior
37Jackson, Steven (RB STL)$17Ed Gauna
53Jackson, Vincent (WR SD)$17Adam Aizer
110Jacobs, Brandon (RB NYG)$3Jamey Eisenberg
18Janikowski, Sebastian (K OAK)$1Dave Richard
145Jean, Lestar (WR HOU)$2Ed Gauna
27Jennings, Greg (WR GB)$19Adam Aizer
149Jennings, Rashad (RB JAC)$2Jamey Eisenberg
76Jets (DST NYJ)$3Bill Passonno
42Johnson, Andre (WR HOU)$26Jamey Eisenberg
44Johnson, Calvin (WR DET)$27Bill Passonno
12Johnson, Chris (RB TEN)$26Sergio Gonzalez
57Johnson, Steve (WR BUF)$6Eric Kay
81Jones, Felix (RB DAL)$12Bill Passonno
92Jones, Julio (WR ATL)$7Jeff Tobin
154Jones, Thomas (RB KC)$1Sergio Gonzalez
34Jones-Drew, Maurice (RB JAC)$21Sergio Gonzalez
96Kaeding, Nate (K SD)$1Sergio Gonzalez
174Knox, Johnny (WR CHI)$1Al Melchior
130Kolb, Kevin (QB ARI)$1Jamey Eisenberg
58Lewis, Marcedes (TE JAC)$1Jamey Eisenberg
148Lions (DST DET)$1Nathan Zegura
123Little, Greg (WR CLE)$1John Garcia
97Lloyd, Brandon (WR DEN)$6Nathan Zegura
93Lynch, Marshawn (RB SEA)$7Eric Kay
98Maclin, Jeremy (WR PHI)$5Dave Richard
59Manning, Eli (QB NYG)$3Scott White
10Manning, Peyton (QB IND)$15Eric Kay
60Manningham, Mario (WR NYG)$7Scott White
83Marshall, Brandon (WR MIA)$11Eric Kay
175Mason, Derrick (WR NYJ)$1Sergio Gonzalez
33Mathews, Ryan (RB SD)$9Nathan Zegura
141McCoy, Colt (QB CLE)$2John Garcia
41McCoy, LeSean (RB PHI)$28Jamey Eisenberg
25McFadden, Darren (RB OAK)$17Dave Richard
105McGahee, Willis (RB DEN)$3Ed Gauna
23Mendenhall, Rashard (RB PIT)$16Scott White
164Miller, Zach (TE SEA)$1Sergio Gonzalez
116Moore, Lance (WR NO)$4Nathan Zegura
67Moreno, Knowshon (RB DEN)$9Dave Richard
169Morris, Maurice (RB DET)$1Dave Richard
142Moss, Santana (WR WAS)$3Scott White
168Murray, DeMarco (RB DAL)$1Nathan Zegura
31Nicks, Hakeem (WR NYG)$17Dave Richard
127Ochocinco, Chad (WR NE)$3Eric Kay
112Olsen, Greg (TE CAR)$3Jamey Eisenberg
138Orton, Kyle (QB DEN)$1Dave Richard
19Packers (DST GB)$4Ed Gauna
88Patriots (DST NE)$1Scott White
5Peterson, Adrian (RB MIN)$30John Garcia
100Pettigrew, Brandon (TE DET)$2John Garcia
6Rackers, Neil (K HOU)$2Jeff Tobin
78Ravens (DST BAL)$2Ed Gauna
159Redman, Isaac (RB PIT)$1Dave Richard
20Rice, Ray (RB BAL)$31Eric Kay
108Rice, Sidney (WR SEA)$4Sergio Gonzalez
144Ringer, Javon (RB TEN)$2Dave Richard
7Rivers, Philip (QB SD)$18Nathan Zegura
71Roberts, Andre (WR ARI)$1Adam Aizer
2Rodgers, Aaron (QB GB)$22Al Melchior
82Roethlisberger, Ben (QB PIT)$7Adam Aizer
47Romo, Tony (QB DAL)$8John Garcia
54Ryan, Matt (QB ATL)$7Ed Gauna
163Saints (DST NO)$1Jamey Eisenberg
132Sanchez, Mark (QB NYJ)$1Sergio Gonzalez
70Schaub, Matt (QB HOU)$6Scott White
128Simpson, Jerome (WR CIN)$1Jeff Tobin
147Sims-Walker, Mike (WR STL)$2Nathan Zegura
162Smith, Alex (QB SF)$1Eric Kay
180Smith, Alfonso (RB ARI)$1Bill Passonno
143Smith, Steve (WR CAR)$1Sergio Gonzalez
173Snelling, Jason (RB ATL)$1Bill Passonno
99Spiller, C.J. (RB BUF)$4Eric Kay
140Sproles, Darren (RB NO)$1Jeff Tobin
28Stafford, Matthew (QB DET)$11Jeff Tobin
153Starks, James (RB GB)$1Jamey Eisenberg
4Steelers (DST PIT)$3Eric Kay
114Stewart, Jonathan (RB CAR)$4Jeff Tobin
146Tate, Ben (RB HOU)$1John Garcia
63Thomas, Daniel (RB MIA)$7Adam Aizer
107Thomas, Mike (WR JAC)$3Adam Aizer
111Thomas, Pierre (RB NO)$3John Garcia
87Tolbert, Mike (RB SD)$7Dave Richard
160Tomlinson, LaDainian (RB NYJ)$1Al Melchior
157Torain, Ryan (RB WAS)$1Scott White
22Turner, Michael (RB ATL)$24Al Melchior
1Vick, Michael (QB PHI)$20Sergio Gonzalez
137Vinatieri, Adam (K IND)$1Nathan Zegura
52Wallace, Mike (WR PIT)$16Jamey Eisenberg
133Ward, Hines (WR PIT)$2Ed Gauna
30Wayne, Reggie (WR IND)$14Al Melchior
45Welker, Wes (WR NE)$10Scott White
91Wells, Beanie (RB ARI)$5Scott White
40White, Roddy (WR ATL)$21Al Melchior
172Williams, Cadillac (RB STL)$1Sergio Gonzalez
68Williams, DeAngelo (RB CAR)$11Nathan Zegura
32Williams, Mike (WR TB)$12John Garcia
171Williams, Ricky (RB BAL)$1Eric Kay
84Winslow, Kellen (TE TB)$2Eric Kay
62Witten, Jason (TE DAL)$7Bill Passonno
115Woodhead, Danny (RB NE)$1Al Melchior

Sound off on our auction: Facebook | Twitter | Message Board

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Dave at @daverichard and on Facebook .

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Player News
Report: Wes Welker may play Week 1
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9:48 pm ET) Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker may play Week 1 against the Colts, according to the Denver Post

Welker is expected to be suspended for four games after reportedly testing positive for amphetamines. The league, however, has not officially announced the suspension. Suspensions are typically announced by Tuesday, according to Pro Football Talk. Since the NFL has yet to announce the move, it's thought Welker could be available for Week 1, but would serve his suspension once the NFL announced the move. 

There are a lot of uncertainties regarding the situation at this time. The club expects Welker to be available, provided he passes concussion protocal, but it remains to be seen how the NFL will handle this suspension. 


Randall Cobb to be tested Week 1
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9:36 pm ET) Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb should be in for a tough test Week 1 against the Seahawks.

Cobb caught just three passes during the preseason, picking up 34 yards and a score. His lack of work shouldn’t be a huge concern, as the Packers offense doesn’t need any fine-tuning. The main thing here is that Cobb is 100 percent healthy after playing in just six games last season due to a leg injury.

His Week 1 production could be dampened by a strong Seahawks DST. Seattle was exceptional against the pass last season, holding opposing wide receivers to just 14.79 Fantasy points per game. That figure was the second-lowest rate in the league. On top of that, Cobb may have to deal with Richard Sherman, who is considered one of the best cornerbacks in the league. Sherman may spend the majority of the game stopping Jordy Nelson, but he could find his way over to Cobb on a few occasions.

Cobb’s versatility makes him a strong candidate to be moved around the Packers’ offense. If Green Bay can create some nice matchups, and Sherman is preoccupied with Nelson, Cobb could be in for a better game than people might expect. 

Despite that, expectations should be tempered. Seattle’s DST was strong last season, and while Green Bay boasts a strong offense, things should be muted Week 1. Cobb is a fine start, considering his upside, but he carries more risk this week due to the matchup.


Jordy Nelson in for a tough test Week 1
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9:25 pm ET) Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson should be in for a difficult test Week 1 against the Seahawks.

Nelson had a quiet preseason, catching just two passes for 19 yards. One of those catches wound up being a touchdown. Despite the lack of action during the preseason, Nelson’s upside with a healthy Aaron Rodgers is well-known among Fantasy owners. That said, he’s going to have to work for everything he gets against Seattle.

The Seahawks rated as the best defense in the league last year. They were strong in every facet of the game. Seattle held opposing wide receivers to just 14.79 Fantasy points per game, the second-lowest figure in the league. To make things even more difficult for Nelson, he’ll likely be covered by Richard Sherman. Sherman, by many counts, is arguably the best corner in the game. 

Still, it’s tough to pass up Nelson’s upside with a healthy Rodgers. The Packers boast an overabundance of weapons, and it’s possible moving Nelson around before the play could put him in a more favorable matchup. Even if Sherman covers him the entire game, Nelson is a good enough receiver to make some noise. While he doesn’t have a great matchup, Week 1 is not the time to take a player as good as Nelson out of your Fantasy lineup. 


Eddie Lacy to have his hands full Week 1
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9:17 pm ET) Packers running back Eddie Lacy will have his hands full Week 1 against the Seahawks.

Lacy is coming off a tremendous rookie season, in which he rushed for nearly 1,200 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. He didn’t get a ton of use during the preseason, but seemed to be in midseason form. Lacy rushed for 61 yards on 11 carries, good for a 5.5 average over two preseason games. He also managed to run in a touchdown.

Though he looked strong in the preseason, Lacy should have a tough time against the Seahawks Week 1. Seattle allowed just 12.32 Fantasy points per game to opposing running backs last season. That was the second-lowest rate in the league. While the Seahawks lost three defensive linemen during the offseason, the club is thought to still have the top-rated Fantasy defense.

In many circles, Lacy was considered a strong Fantasy pick after the elite four running backs were off the board. With that in mind, it’s unlikely he’ll be benched in many leagues Week 1. There are better matchups out there, but Lacy is a tough player to sit. Given Green Bay’s offensive capabilities, he’s still a decent start even against the best Fantasy defenses. 


Aaron Rodgers taking on a tough task Week 1
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9:02 pm ET) Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has his work cut out for him Week 1 against the Seahawks.

Rodgers entered the season as one of the top Fantasy options at quarterback, but will take on the best defense in the league. Last season, Seattle held Fantasy quarterbacks to just 10.89 points per game. That was the lowest rate in the league. The Seahawks DST ranked tops in the league in limiting points and yards last year. On top of that, the team forced the most turnovers.

While Seattle lost three members of the defensive line during the offseason, the club is still expected to have one of NFL’s best defenses. If Seattle struggles to get to Rodgers, that could open things up for the Packers offense.

Given the cost to acquire Rodgers, in a snake or auction draft, he’s probably going to start for most Fantasy teams despite his tough Week 1 matchup. While there are better quarterback options for this week, Rodgers still has a strong potential for dominance. He’s healthy and still has a bevy of weapons at his disposal. It might not be Rodgers best game of the season, but he’s shown that he can put up numbers against even the best defensive clubs.


Percy Harvin looking to start the year on the right foot
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(8:37 pm ET) Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin is looking at a strong matchup Week 1 against the Packers.

A quiet preseason was a good preseason for Harvin. After missing nearly all of last season due to a hip injury, Harvin was able to play in all but the final game of the preseason. He missed the fourth game due to a personal issue, and not because of an injury. Harvin caught seven balls for 92 yards in August.

The Packers didn’t boast a strong pass defense last season. The team allowed opposing wide receivers to average 22.94 Fantasy points per game. That wasn’t one of the worst rates in the league, but it was below-average. The team attempted to address this during the offseason, taking Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round. Despite that, there’s no guarantee the team will perform better in the defensive backfield.

Despite the fact that Harvin is a five-year veteran, there are questions about how he’ll be used with the Seahawks. While Harvin was able to play during the club’s playoff run, it was unclear whether he was actually fully healthy last year. Harvin has shown the ability to be a game-changing wide receiver, so it’s assumed the Seahawks will find ways to get arguably their best playmaker the ball. The club has been been incredibly run-heavy over the past few seasons, but a healthy Harvin could make them more balanced. 


Marshawn Lynch ready to roll Week 1
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(8:35 pm ET) Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is looking to get off to a good start Week 1 against the Packers.

Lynch had an abbreviated preseason, carrying the ball just three times for 16 yards. That’s probably not a bad thing considering his high workload over the past couple years. Lynch also had a brief holdout during the offseason, but reported to camp in shape, and should be ready to roll.

The Packers weren’t particularly strong against the run last season, giving up 19.18 Fantasy points per week to running backs. That was the eighth worst figure in the league. While the team tried to shore up things defensively during the offseason, the loss of B.J. Raji should make it easier for teams to gash the Packers up the middle. 

With that in mind, Lynch should be a strong start. The Seahawks modus operandi the past couple years has been the run game, and that probably won’t change now. There are concerns about Lynch’s workload and lack of preseason reps, but his pedigree and matchup make this a strong start Week 1. 


Russell Wilson ready to shine Week 1?
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(8:33 pm ET) Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson begins his post-Super Bowl year with a strong matchup against the Packers Week 1. 

Wilson performed well during the preseason, completing 78.6 percent of his passes. He threw for three touchdowns and zero interceptions. Wilson also managed three rushing touchdowns to cap off a strong preseason.

His ability to put up solid Fantasy numbers should be tested Week 1. The Packers did not boast a great defense against the pass last season. The team allowed quarterbacks to score 20.65 Fantasy points, which was the seventh worst clip in the league. Green Bay has been proactive in resolving the issue, drafting Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round, but it’s unclear how much better the team’s defensive backs will perform. 

The bigger question will be whether the Seahawks open up the offense for Wilson this season. With Marshawn Lynch out for much of the preseason, Wilson showed the ability to carry the team with his arm. Now that Lynch is back, the team could opt to get back to conservative play-calling with the franchise quarterback. Wilson has all the makings of a strong matchup here, but could get the short end of the stick if the Seahawks pound Lynch.


Matt Forte should live up to billing in Week 1
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:25 pm ET) Bears running back Matt Forte was ranked as a top five Fantasy running back going into the season, and he falls in the top five in both weekly running back rankings from CBSSports.com experts. After setting career highs in rushing yardage, rushing touchdowns, receptions and receiving yardage in 2013, will Forte get this season started off on the right foot in Week 1 against the Bills?

While Buffalo put together a strong defense last season, the team's particular strength was against the pass. Rushers were able to gain 4.4 yards per carry against the Bills, leaving them 23rd in the league in the category. While the Bills did a good job defending against pass-catching backs last season, they now have to play without linebackers Kiko Alonso (season-ending injury) and Nigel Bradham (suspended for Week 1) as well as safety Jairus Byrd (signed with New Orleans).

New defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz's defense was just average defending passes against running backs in Detroit last season. Forte has been excellent against Schwartz, who was the head coach of the Lions from 2009 through 2013. He has rushed for 1,005 yards and averaged 4.74 yards per carry while catching 38 passes for 360 yards in 12 career games against the Lions. Ten of those contests came with Schwartz at the helm, and Forte should be able to continue giving the Bills defensive coordinator nightmares this Sunday.


Martellus Bennett worth starting in Week 1
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:09 pm ET) Bears tight end Martellus Bennett posted career-best numbers in 2013, catching 65 passes for 759 yards while matching his career high of five touchdowns. Three of those five scores came in the first two weeks of the season, and he could be on the verge of starting off hot for the third straight season.

Bennett is in danger of getting lost offensively on a week-to-week basis, as there are only so many opportunities to go around for Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte and the tight end. He faces a plus matchup in Week 1, with the Bills dealing with a depleted linebacker corps and the loss of free safety Jairus Byrd. While the one thing new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz's defense did well in Detroit last year was defend the tight end, the Bills don't appear to have the personnel to match up with the imposing Bennett.

Bennett falls inside the top 12 in the weekly rankings of both CBSSports.con Fantasy experts, designating him as starter material in standard leagues. We could see a similar line to his opener against the Bengals last season: three receptions, 49 yards and one touchdown.


 
 
 
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