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The Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens will be playing their first game at the Mile High City against the Denver Broncos.
A defending champion has not played their first game on the road in ten years. Baltimore is unable to open at home due to a stadium conflict with the Baltimore Orioles of baseball.
Although quarterback Joe Flacco signed an extremely lucrative contract in the offseason, he is not a viable option to start for your team this week.
Two of his top three targets from last year will be missing in Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta and Flacco was never a prolific scorer in fantasy football anyways.
Running back Ray Rice has a first round billing which means he will be a key piece to your lineup in every game. Start him if you got him.
With Anquan Boldin being traded to San Francisco, wide receiver Torrey Smith is now the undisputed No. 1 target in the passing attack. Smith will look to build upon his 855-yard season in 2012 and perhaps hit 1,000 for the first time in his short career but he'll have to go through Champ Bailey first.
Tight end Dennis Pitta emerged as a valuable asset last year but a hip injury will sideline him for multiple games. Until then, Ed Dickson and Dallas Clark will do their best to fill his shoes. We have yet to see what Dickson can do with Pitta completely out of the picture so don't rush to pick him up. Clark is just there to play the role of the savvy veteran.
Good start: RB Ray Rice, WR Torrey Smith
Middle of the road: QB Joe Flacco, TE Ed Dickson
Bad start: Ravens D/ST
Quarterbacking the other team is a man who has the same amount of Super Bowl rings as Flacco but a much different career. Peyton Manning will be leading the Broncos for a second year and expectations from Denver and his fantasy owners are a mile high. Manning has proven for 14 seasons that he is an elite passer. This year is no different.
There are question marks surrounding Denver's backfield. Montee Ball is the high draft pick Denver has lofty hopes for but he struggles with pass protection which will cut into his playing time. Knowshon Moreno's stock has been rising in many leagues which suggests there will be a running back-by-committee. If forced to pick one, former Heisman finalist Montee Ball is the back to own and start.
The Broncos have no shortage of talented wide receivers. Both Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker emerged as top 10 wideouts in 2012 and they also added Wes Welker in the offseason. Since 2007, Manning has completed 74.8 percent of his passes to his primary slot WR. If anybody's value takes a hit, it is Decker, but still a decent flex option.
Tight end Julius Thomas elevated himself as the first tight end on the depth chart with his strong preseason showing and huge upside. With so many mouths to feed, Thomas may be unable to make a name for himself in an offense with elite playmakers. Baltimore also allowed the least amount of points to tight ends last year so that doesn't help Thomas' case at all.
Good start: QB Peyton Manning, WR Demaryius Thomas, WR Wes Welker, Broncos D/ST
Middle of the road: RB Montee Ball, WR Eric Decker
Bad start: RB Knowshon Moreno, TE Julius Thomas
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