OOOOHHHHH BOY what a week 1. From the absolute dominance by the Patriots to the shocking ineptitude by the Browns, this week was full of surprises and obvious points of discussion. On a week where basically every game had a boom player AND a bust, we look back on the best and worst things to consider as week 2 begins.
New York Giants vs Dallas Cowboys
This game went about as everyone expected. The Giants still look to be one of the weakest teams in the NFL but they have 2 shining lights – Barkley (obviously) and Evan Engram. Both eclipsed 100 yards and both had a touchdown, those are more than likely your only hope for points out of the Giants.
The Cowboys though, oh my. They looked good. I generally want them to do bad but it was a pleasure to see. Dak looked legit, probably the best he has been in his career thus far. Zeke had the same amount of carries as Tony Pollard, 13 to be exact. This number will go up as he looked good averaging over 4 YPC. This was your lone game to get Pollard value barring an injury so he’s safe to drop. BUT, look to add Michael Gallup where you can. He’s a nice stash but maybe not an every week starter.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs San Francisco 49ers
This game taught me something, I want no piece of the 49ers except Matt Breida. Jimmy G looked average as expected but average against a lesser defense. Georgie Kittle had 2 TDs called back, which sucks, but will he get that kind of production on a weekly basis? Not with how this offense looked. Breida got a bulk of carries and will get more with Coleman down, but he’s the only player I like.
Tampa, oh Tampa, How’s Bruce Arians whispering into Jameis’ ear? Is it sweet nothings? I think so. How do you have a coach who is a QB whisperer and throw 3 picks. How do you have Mike Evans, a dominant WR, and Chris Godwin, a prospect with unlimited potential, and have under 200 yards? Sheesh this offense looked messy and with Jameis at the helm, it could either go really well from here on out, or really bad. I will say though, Ronald Jones looked good, finally. Keep your eye on him because almost 6 YPC is nothing to sniff at.
Detroit Lions vs Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals looked like a trainwreck for most of the game and then all of a sudden, Kyler got it together. However, he should not be throwing over 50 times a game! I will say, this gave some value to his WR group which if they continue to roll looks like an interesting area to get some value from. David Johnson proved me wrong, I had him on the over-hype list going into the season but he looked fresh and his team allowed him to do what he does best – run and catch and make plays. Keesean Johnson is my sneaky pick-up from this team.
Detroit is a team where I’m staying away from the backfield. Yes, it’s only week 1 so things could change but it’s looking like more of a committee than I would like. You probably grabbed Kerryon in the earlier rounds thinking they were going to commit to him, they aren’t, at least not yet. I think the surprise of this game was Hockenson, he looked really really good with Stafford, they had a connection that never quite developed when Ebron was there and I suspect they’ll keep that rolling, he finished as a top 5 TE in PPR scoring and is rostered in less than 30% of leagues on ESPN, go get him. Also, Danny Amendola had a surprise game, everyone thought Kenny G was going to break out but keep your eye on him, 7 catches for over 100 yards to me is an indicator he will be a factor in that offense.
New England Patriots vs Pittsburgh Steelers
If I’m a Steelers fan or owner of James Connor, I’m pissed. 2.1 YPC when your oline stayed in tact is wild. If I’m a Steelers fan, I’m pissed at Tomlin, you did nothing to change that game. If I’m a Steelers fan, I’m scared that we may have actually needed wild AB. There is one shining light that came out of this, Juju will still get his touches and will produce, 8 targets with 6 catches and some decent yardage, he’ll continue that kind of line but he faces #1 CBs everywhere he goes. I am also concerned about James Washington – You’re supposed to be the #2 and you get 6 targets and only convert 2 of those into catches, he’ll be walkin through the streets with people chanting “shame”
New England baby! My hometown squad, they looked fantastic in the air. Brady of course shows no signs of slowing down. Dorsett had a great game but expect that value to plummet in week 2 with AB coming on as he drops to the 4th option on the roster, DO NOT PICK HIM UP. Edelman saw his volume be consistent with what we expect at 11 targets but his efficiency was poor, almost a 50% catch rate, ya gotta do better. Sony Michel still looked like the lead back, and lead the backfield he did with 15 touches, Burkhead was the next closest with 8, Michel’s efficiency though was terrible, 2.1 YPC. This was weird, don’t panic, hold him. But, in deeper leagues, Burkhead is a good grab as McDaniels loves this guy.
Baltimore Ravens vs Miami Dolphins
This is a hype game for Baltimore. Yes, they are an up-and-coming team but this will NOT be the norm of their performance, do not dump all your chips into them. Lamar is safe to own, his arm was on full display. Mark Andrews is the only receiver I’m keen to pick up – the TE space is often devoid of great players and he is great in that offense, 8 catches for over 100 yards says a lot and I’d scoop him if you need TE help. Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown, you looked good, but this will not be your norm, I’ll bet on it. Grab him if you need some WR help on the bench but be wary about playing him every game. Oh, and Ingram, you can start Marky Mark every game, he will be that consistent.
Miami, you are devoid of fantasy value. That is all.
Indianapolis Colts vs Los Angeles Chargers
Indy, you looked good. Everyone freaked because of Jacoby, people really let Hilton fall to the 6th round in drafts, some people vowed to stay away from him. Ya look silly now. Jacoby can throw and Hilton is still a top-tier player, converting 9 targets into 8 catches for 2 TDs, I’m happy I grabbed him in multiple leagues. BUT THE SURPRISE IS MARLON MACK OH MY GAWD. 25 carries for 174 yards and 1 TD, who are you? Where did this come from? The Chargers are supposed to have a very good defense and you just tore em up! My concern for Indy is who is your #2 with Funchess going down, be aware, wait for week 2 to hit, then make a play for that player, I bet Parris Campbell but who knows.
The Chargers looked normal. They didn’t miss a beat with Melvin gone which signals bad news for him. Ekler looked great and is earning that #1 spot. My eyes turn to the wide receiver core. Keenan was a target monster with 10, Ekler came in second with 7, the #2 and #3 receiver combined for 6. I’m scared owning anyone not named Keenan Allen or Austin Ekler, but if I had to pick one, it’s still Mike Williams.
Some Quick Notes:
- The only player worth owning in Nashville is Derrick Henry, and I’m still skeptical. That performance for the Titans will be the best all year.
- Owning Jarvis Landry and OBJ is a safe thing to do with 11 and 7 targets respectively, that team will put it together soon.
- Devin Singletary is a nice stash in Buffalo, he was explosive, he showed good hands, and he will eventually own that backfield and will be a solid contributor to a fantasy squad
- Aaron Jones, damn you, we all drafted you high and your offense just won’t use you. Stay away from him in week 2 against Minnesota, they made Freeman (I hate you too) look bad and will do the same here.
- Terry McLaurin is my must own on the Redskins offense, he will be their top WR and I bet he will produce this season. Get him cause he’s not owned in a lot of leagues.
- Also, how the hell do you blow that lead Gruden? C’mon man.