The Sunday games for week 1 are done, and here are some thoughts.
Lamar Jackson…enough said. Remember when draft analysts were saying that he should work out as a wide receiver instead of a quarterback? Yeah, me too. Well, bravo to Lamar for believing in himself. Granted, he was playing against a depleted Dolphins team who may be the worst NFL team ever assembled, but Jackson completed 85 percent of his passes and had 5 touchdowns through the air…and he didn’t even play the 4th quarter! He had 40+ fantasy points, and that was without using his legs.
All that being said, there would be no better time to sell Jackson than right now. Every owner in your league is clamoring for him, so if you could somehow get someone to give you a stellar QB like Aaron Rodgers (who didn’t have a great week 1), go for it. Chances are that Lamar Jackson will come down to Earth a bit.
Get Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown, if you don’t have them! Big days for both. Hollywood is going to be an explosive weapon.
How ‘bout them Cowboys? How ‘bout Jerry Jones needs to be opening up his wallet and giving Dak that extension? 405 yards and 4 touchdowns against a division rival will definitely help his case to get paid. No, the Giants aren’t a good defense, but those are gaudy numbers against anybody. You’ve got to be feeling pretty good if you drafted Dak.
Many wondered if the Panthers would decrease the touches by McCaffrey. It definitely doesn’t seem to be the case after seeing what happened in game one! After putting up basically a great RB and WR performance in the same game, he’s looking worthy of that top-3 fantasy draft pick. This offense is going through Christian McCaffrey.
Melvin who? After scoring a touchdown on the ground and two more on receptions, I’m sure the Chargers are fine with having Ekeler as their guy for right now. Melvin Gordon may want to look elsewhere for that money.
The sad part about being a Sammy Watkins owner is that when you start him, he does nothing, and when you bench him, he scores 46 fantasy points. I’m sure that many people had Sammy on the bench for week 1. If you had him in your lineup, congratulations! You should also play the Powerball this week. With Tyreek Hill likely missing several weeks, keep rolling with Watkins until he cools off…which could very well be week 2. Be warned.
John Ross has finally arrived. Tyler Boyd will be drawing the CB1 matchups from opponents, so Ross will get a chance to shine. The Bengals spent a high draft pick on him a couple years ago, and it looked like he might just be another reeeeally fast bust, but we’ll see if he can keep the momentum going off this 158 yard, 2 TD performance. Twelve targets is an encouraging sign.
Andy Dalton throwing 51 passes with none of them being completed to the other team is also a good sign. Joe Mixon got banged up, so the Bengals should continue to air it out a bunch.
People tend to forget that Stafford was a top-ten fantasy quarterback for YEARS. One bad season, and he’s been written off. A week 1 showing of 385 yards with 3 touchdowns and zero interceptions is a great way to start the season. It’s still hard to have 100% confidence in rolling him out as your starter in week 2, but if he does it again, he may be back to start-worthy.
T.Y. Hilton and Marlon Mack
Andrew Luck retired, so the feeling was that Hilton wouldn’t be as consistent and that the Colts would have a tough time moving the ball. T.Y. had 8 catches and 2 scores against the Chargers, who have good cornerbacks. It’s still probably that he’ll throw up some duds and be touchdown dependent, but now I feel a lot better about starting him next week.
Marlon Mack picked up right where he left off last year. Nearly 200 yards on the ground with a score is impressive. That Colts offensive line is miles ahead of where it used to be.
I was really high on Engram going into the game against Dallas, and he came through in a big way. Eleven catches! 100+ yards and a score. Eli has a new go-to guy in New York.
Oh, Dalvin. I’ve been a big fan of Cook since he came into the league. He showed tremendous potential as a rookie, but he’s been pretty banged up. The Vikings didn’t even have to throw much in their game against the Falcons because the ground game was so effective. Cook could be scary once he’s catching passes, too.
Raise your hand if you started Marcus Mariota. Now put it down because you’re a liar. If you somehow did, your probably in a really deep league, a Titans fan, or just downright ballsy. He wasn’t incredibly sharp, but he did throw 3 touchdown passes and no interceptions.
Derrick Henry is a man-beast. He had a touchdown on the ground and a 75! yard reception for a score. The big man can move!
The Tennessee defense also did WORK with 3 interceptions, 5 sacks, and a safety. As Lloyd Christmas would say… “Pick ‘em up!”
Tom Brady doesn’t age…but neither does the great one, Larry Fitzgerald! Looks like he’s rejuvenated in this Kingsbury offense. Fitz should remain a PPR monster.
Also, I can’t mention impressive performances without mentioning the Patriots. Wow. Brady looked sharp. Josh Gordon had a beastly touchdown. The offense is a machine…and that’s without Antonio Brown and Demaryius Thomas.
Once again, the experts pump up Jameis Winston because he’s shown flashes in the past. Once again, we bought into it. “Jameis Winston is a week 1 lock against the 49ers.” Well, Jameis did what he does best: throw interceptions. Three of them, as a matter of fact. And he lost a fumble. He will, no doubt, put up some great games this year, but I can’t trust him enough to start him right now.
The only thing you can really say about Cam’s performance is that it was pretty ineffective. He used to be so reliable for the yards and touchdowns that he could get with his legs, but without that threat, his floor is low and ceiling isn’t nearly as high. We’ll see if he can bounce back next week.
The Steelers as a whole were underwhelming. New England’s defense picked up where it left off in Super Bowl 53. Roethlisberger never could get in any kind of rhythm and the ground game wasn’t established with James Conner. Pittsburgh found themselves in an early hole that they couldn’t climb out of. They were just outmatched. I think this was more about how good the Patriots are more than how bad the Steelers looked. Big Ben, Juju, and Conner should be fine fantasy options going forward.
If there was one word to describe Cleveland’s offseason, it would be HYPE. They failed to live up to the hype in their opener against the Titans. Mayfield threw 3 interceptions. With that arsenal of weapons, Baker has to be better than that to live up to his fantasy ADP. I think he’ll be fine, but this was disappointing out of the gate.
Goff wasn’t terrible, or…dare I say… Gofful (sorry). but under-200 yards with just one touchdown and a pick is disappointing numbers for anyone who had him in their lineup this week. He has a trio of talented wideouts, so he should bounce back in a big way.
Kerryon Johnson is very good. There’s no denying that. But, will the Lions give him the ball enough for it to make a difference in fantasy? They split carries between him and C.J. Anderson, which was the worry for many Johnson owners coming into the season. Kerryon was drafted mainly on potential and how he looked at times last year. Will he live up to his draft position? Time will tell. At least the Lions’ offense seems to be able to move the ball. I think KJ will get more touches as the weeks go by.
The Patriots have a history of frustrating fantasy owners who have any of their running backs on the roster. Week 1 was no different for those who have Sony Michel. Michel did have his opportunities, but accumulated a measly 14 yards on 15 carries. Burkhead actually looked much better as the early down back. James White has the highest floor of the trio because of his receiving ability. He had 5 receptions against the Steelers, including one thrown by Julian Edelman.
10 carries for 18 yards and an aggravated knee is not how Guice owners wanted this season to start. Looks like it’ll be Adrian Peterson getting the majority of the work until Guice is good to go.
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