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Chiefs RB Johnson good selection--just not this week

Having an awful team doesn't necessarily mean your star player is in for a down season. Barry Sanders consistently produced for some woeful Lions teams.

But Larry Johnson is no Barry Sanders.It was tough to pass up the Chiefs' running back late in the first round of your draft, and here you are with a season-opening matchup against the powerhouse Patriots. In New England.

Provided his O-line can keep him healthy, Johnson will get a ton of carries and his share of touchdowns -- someone has to score for Kansas City, right? I don't think the Brodie Croyle-to-Dwayne Bowe tandem impresses anybody.

As for your Pats players: Start 'em, start 'em all. Bill Belichick won't slow down his offense just because the Chiefs are chumps.

Check the mileage

Running backs of a certain age are the most vexing players for fantasy owners. The end sure seemed to come quickly for former MVP Shaun Alexander, while Fred Taylor and Jamal Lewis still showed some spark with strong campaigns in 2007.

This season's quandary is the just-turned-30 Edgerrin James. He's never really caught fire with the Cardinals despite getting the bulk of carries. With Arizona's top-notch passing game and impressive rookie Tim Hightower breathing down his neck, The Edge might be in for a dull season. But plug him into your lineup early on to see what he's got left.

Rookie radar

Marion Barber's a beast for Dallas, so don't jump on the Felix Jones bandwagon just yet. Wait and see how the Cowboys use him. ... Bench your Bears against the Colts, but play Matt Forte if you must. He'll get a lot of carries but might not get anywhere. ... Darren McFadden will get his touches, but don't forget his Raiders backfield mate Justin Fargas has game too.

Start 'em, sit 'em

He's no rookie, but Falcons first-year starter Michael Turner will torch the Lions. ... Expect big things from David Garrard this season, but with his top two receivers hurting, the Jaguars likely will pound their ground game.

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