Just like every NFL Week 1 there were a ton of crazy stories, wins/losses, injuries, updates, break-outs and breakdowns. While some of the fantasy "sure-things" didn't pan out as planned, there were quite a few players that played much better than expected and are drawing more looks. As always, a new year in the NFL brings out twists, turns and talent that we weren't expecting.
I was hoping to get some feedback from my first post about what would interest people reading this blog more and provide content that people would enjoy sharing with their friends while reading weekly, but I didn't get lucky with that one. So, we will try again. I really don't want to post the same type of things that you can see on ESPN player news reports because there is no fun in that.
Tell me what YOU want/like to read about weekly. I can give you facts and variables about match-ups and players each week or I could go off the rails rambling my thoughts, random news and player development opportunities.
It's up to you.
Week 1 Standouts:
Players that outperformed their projections or showed good signs
Kareem Hunt, KC RB - 17 rush 148 yrds 1 TD, 5 rec 98 yrds 2 TD
We all noticed the potential talent, the opportunity for production and the open offense, but I don't know if anyone saw a 140+yrd game with multiple touchdowns against the NE Patriots week 1...Evidently that fumble on the first carry had an impact on his game....a VERY good impact. This is a great sign for the young prospect. Not only can this rookie run like a bull and lower his head below defenders, but he is strong mentally. That is rare in rookies and a lot NFL backfields. RB 1/2 play worthy for the year.
Leonard Fournette, JAX RB - 26 rush 100 yrds 1 TD, 3 rec 24 yrds
Even if Allen Robinson hadn't been hurt early it was clear that Fournette is the #1 offensive talent on this roster. Fournette should see an even a larger work load now that A.ROB is hurt for the entire season. Blake Bortles isn't reliable enough to run a pass first offense which means Leonard will continue to see at least 20-25 rush/rec attempts a game. If he can stay healthy for the season then the Jaguars won't have a choice but to continue feeding the young back. RB2 play worthy for the year.
Carlos Hyde, SF RB - 9 rush 45 yrds, 6 rec 32 yrds
Hyde may not have notched a touchdown in this game and he might not get many this season, but the amount of targets in the passing game is a plus in PPR leagues. The 49ers didn't run the ball very much at all so the 9 attempts shouldn't alarm you just yet and he still turned out 45 yards on those nine. The opportunity for a better game is no doubt there and we will see a good amount of Hyde in weeks to come because he is just about the only decent offensive player on the roster. He plays the Seahawks in Seattle this week so maybe bench him unless you don't have a choice, but after Week 2 expect RB2/Flex play from Hyde.
Golden Tate, DET WR - 2 rush 7 yrds, 10 rec 107 yrds 1 TD, 12 targets
It was nice to see Tate get one of Stafford's touchdowns considering two went to the rookie Golladay, but the best part was that he got 12 targets. The Lions will be throwing the ball a lot this year with their poor RB situation so expect 8+ targets a game for most of the season. Plus, Stafford likes to throw the deep ball and Golden Tate is the speedy wide-out on the team capable of burning defensive backs. ( was spotted with splint on finger after game )
DeAndre Hopkins, HOU WR - 7 rec 55 yrds 1 TD, 16 targets
Despite the low yardage it was great to see 16 balls thrown Hopkins way, meaning the Texans are really trying to get him more involved after last years troubles. They looked for him moving down the field and found him in the end zone for 1 touchdown on the day. Even though he only hauled in 7 of the targets be on the look out for more solid WR2/Flex play from Hopkins.
Stefon Diggs, MIN WR - 7 rec 93 yrds, 8 targets
The Saints defense is awful and we all know this, but "STEFORD" was on point Monday night. That is probably the best thing that came out of the night. It's clear that Adam Thielen and Diggs will split the WR1/2 spots at times because both have become Sam Bradford's top targets on the team. Overall the Vikings looked better as a whole with a complete running gamethat should lead to more opportunities for him to get open. Expect Diggs to be a good start at your WR2 most weeks.
Alex Smith, KC QB - 28/35 attempts 368 yrds 4 TD
Smith lit the Patriots defense up and Belichick & Co. had no answer to the KC offense. All of his passes were on target and his held his own in the pocket all game. It helped that he had two 50+ yard TD throws, but non the less it was impressive for a QB that went undrafted in almost every 10-12 team league. Although he isn't a for sure QB1 it might be worth keeping an eye on Smith if you need a QB during bye weeks now that Hill, Kelce and Hunt are his prime targets.
Carson Wentz, PHI QB - 26/39 attempts 307 yrds 2 TD 1 INT
Even with the interception in the game this week 1 win was a good look for Carson Wentz. He threw for over 300 yards and looked great scrambling around the pocket against a decent Redskins defense. The pieces are their for Wentz to continue with similar stats throughout the season. If he is your QB1 you should feel a little safer after this showing.
LA Rams D/ST - 9 PA, 2 Int, 1 FR, 2 TD
The Rams will most certainly not hold most teams below 15 points for the rest of the season, but they are only owned in about 39% percent of ESPN leagues and are getting better by the week. There is definite potential for this defense to finish as a top 15 in the league. Keep an eye out for them depending on match up. Could be a great week-to-week play.
Dalvin Cook, MIN RB - 22 rush 127 yrds, 3 rec 10 yrds
Again, they went up against a bad defense (Saints) but he still managed to beat Adrian Peterson's rookie record for his first game with the Hall of Famers former team.....As Peterson watched from the sideline. Damn.
Larry Fitzgerald, ARI WR - 6 rec 74 yrds, 13 targets
The production may not have been there for fantasy points if you started him as your WR1/2 this week, but he did show a lot of promise with 13 targets his way. Also, he was on the field for over 90% of the snaps. There were some critics going into the season about him losing that role, as of now it looks like he is still Palmer's #1 target. Look for better weeks to come.
Week 1 Duds:
Players that fell short of projection or may see decreased role
Lamar Miller HOU RB – 17 rush 76 yrds, 2 rec 31 yrds
Miller worried me coming into the year and this week 1 performance didn't help to settle my nerves on him with his ADP. The Houston offense in general looked rough until the rookie Watson took over at QB and even then it didn't look too good. My worries have nothing to do with Miller's talent, but with his chances. Unless the Texans offense takes a huge leap you can expect similar fantasy games with the team airing the ball out in order to try and play catch up in games.
LeGarrette Blount PHI RB – 14 rush 46 yrds, 1 rec 1 yrds 1 td
Blount excelled last year in Bill Belichick's offensive system and owners were hoping it would carry over the season, but the numbers for Blount in week 1 were not impressive. The lone bright spot was a 1 yard TD catch, something that you won't see much of from LeGarrette. The Eagles will have an obvious split RB system this year with Sproles and look to be a pass first team. I expect most fantasy weeks to look similar for Blount in the future with your random 15-20 point fantasy games thrown in. Although he is the clear #1 RB option in PHI, I can't imagine Blount being more than a RB2/flex next week against the Chiefs.
Ameer Abdullah DET RB – 15 rush 30 yrds, 3 rec 11 yrds
Just like every year since he has been in the league Abdullah started the season with a boom or bust report. If this week 1 showing is any indication then be ready for yet another bust season for Ameer. Hopefully the additional weapons on offense this year will create more space to run for the lead back, but it is a gamble. Next week the Lions face a tough defense against the Giants and it could be another low scoring week for Abdullah. He could be a decent play at flex, but if possible start a different RB1/2.
Brandon Marshall NYG WR - 1 rec 10 yrds, 4 targets
He was a player I put in my first post about players I didn't like going into the season at their ADP and this first week leaned in that favor. Odell Beckham sat out the game and expectations were for Marshall to fill that void...wrong. He ended up finishing 6th in targets on the team. Yes, that is a correct stat. Clearly Marshall will improve on this week going forward but it is clear Manning/Marshall are not synched up yet and when Odell returns he will eat up a lot of targets. I wouldn't be comfortable with Marshall as my WR2 for the season and suggest making changes if he is for your team.
Dez Bryant DAL WR- 2 rec 43 yrds, 9 targets
I was concerned coming into this season about Dez, but I still drafted him on one of my teams thinking that there is no way he doesn't improve off last year. Well, hopefully in the future we see big improvements. The Cowboys spread the ball out the entire game and while Dez did see 9 targets it wasn't exactly promising. Beasley, Witten, Elliot and now it looks like even Terrence Williams will be big parts of the offense. Hopefully Dez improves in week 2, but it will be tough against a Denver defense. I expect Dez to get back to WR1/2 numbers in the near future, but he may not finish in the top 25 players like he was drafted to be.
Kelvin Benjamin CAR WR - 1 rec 25 yrds, 5 targets
The real problem with this stat line is the 5 targets. Kelvin Benjamin is the #1 WR on this team and maybe now even the best receiving option over Greg Olsen on the roster. However, for some reason the Panthers decided there wasn't a good reason to throw the ball on a poor 49ers defense. Benjamin flashes the talent of a WR1, but every year it seems the Panthers won't let him reach his potential. Let's hope that his production keeps moving forward and that he starts seeing closer to 10 targets a game. Right now no matter what the defensive match up is keep Benjamin as a WR2/ Flex option at best.
Tom Brady, NE QB - 16/36 267 yrds
Terrific Tom looked far from terrific. Blame it on the post-Super Bowl Slump or the Madden 18 cover, but no matter the reason...he looked bad. He was clearly not in synch with Brandin Cooks yet and over threw a good amount of decent looks. It is clear that without Edelman and some new pieces that Brady has some more work to do. Don't expect it to take too long though and be looking for top 10 QB week against the Saints bad Defense in week 2.
Russell Wilson, SEA QB - 14/27 158 yrds, 2 rush 40 yrds
Wilson and the entire Seahawks offense looked flat. A sub-par Green Bay defense held them to below 10 points and kept Wilson from converting in the end zone. Wilson struggled most of last season, but he also was plagued by injury. The Seahawks offense still has some problems to work out and players need to find their roles, but Wilson will without a doubt have better weeks to come especially with the 49ers next week...we hope.
Waiver Wire Targets:
Worth a look if you have a roster spot to give up
Tarik Cohen Chi RB – 5 rush 66 yrds, 8 Rec 47 yrds 1 TD
Sadly it looks like the Bears backfield could quickly become a split back offense. The young prospect showed he had plenty of talent and the fact that J. Howard didn't look great helped Cohen's potential for snaps.
Marlon Mack IND RB – 10 rush 25 yrds, 1 rec 21 yrds 1 TD
Just like above, it looks like the Colts offense could be split back system now that Frank Gore is looking more his age and Mack has the talent needed to fill Gore's shoes. Expect more of Mack in weeks to come.
Chris Carson SEA, RB - 6 rush 39 yrds, 1 rec 10 yrds
Although I don't see Carson taking over the majority of snaps weekly, I think moving forward he is worth a roster spot on your bench. Clearly the RB situation in Seattle is a mess and Eddie Lacey looked awful. With Thomas Rawls hurt and Cj Prosise mainly being used for passing downs Carson could see an uptake in volume...if he performs well he could secure a handle in that system.
Kenny Golladay DET WR – 4 rec 69 yrds 2 TD
The young Lions WR looked great in his NFL debut just like he did during the pre-season. He out hustled defensive coverage and made very athletic plays. Expect Golladay to start seeing WR2 numbers on a regular basis and take over Marvin Jones role in the near future.
Cooper Kupp LAR WR – 4 rec 76 yrds 1 TD
Kupp looked great for an LAR offense that seemed to be quite improved from last year. It looks like Kupp could slip into the WR2 spot in the Rams receiving core and see around 6 targets a game. If you are looking for a bench filler with possible Flex upside then Kupp is a definite possibility.
Charles Clay BUF TE – 4 rec 53 yrds 1 TD
The Buffalo offense looked a step ahead of what most people thought in this first week. Tyrod Taylor was throwing the ball decently and Clay showed that he could be a constant help near the end zone. Tyrod likes to look for the small 10 yard dump offs to the TE and could prove to be a good option this season for 8-10 pts a week.
David Johnson, RB ARI - Johnson looks to have hurt the same wrist that was bugging him during the pre-season and immediately left the game after a hit/fumble. The x-ray came back negative, so it looks like DJ will make it back this season. Expect 3-4 weeks of sitting out and Andre Ellington / Kerwynn Williams to split carries in the meantime.
Allen Robinson, WR JAX - One catch into the first game of the season and Allen Robinson is out for the season with a torn ACL. Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee will see a slight bump just because Bortles will need somewhere to throw it in Garbage time. Also, look for Leonard Fournette to carry a heavy load for the rest of the season with 20+ touches a game.
Danny Woodhead, RB BAL - Woodhead suffered a hamstring injury and will most likely miss a few weeks. After the game he commented on the injury and didn't seem very optimistic. That could have something to do with the fact that he missed a large part of last year with an ACL injury. Terrence West and J. Allen will take over the majority of snaps.
Kevin White, WR CHI- After leaving the game early it was released that White suffered a season ending collar bone injury. A disappointing two seasons for this young prospect. Watch for Kendall Wright and Victor Cruz to take over majority of targets.
Danny Amendola, WR NE- Danny suffered a concussion on Thursday and looks to be out for at least 1-2 weeks. This is just another blow to the Patriots receiving core. Gronk, Cooks, Hogan and White will see a spread of the targets.
Also, there was quite a few injuries on defenses throughout the league. Make sure to check into those to see if your defense suffered: Eagles, Steelers, Cowboys and Patriots.
Check out all the league injuries - CLICK HERE
I look forward to some feedback on this post and maybe even some ideas for next weeks post!
Hopefully you enjoyed the read and come back next week.