Week 1 Reactions (And Overreactions)

Some thoughts from the week 1 games, as well as notes about which fantasy players I’m excited about (Robert Woods !) and worried about (The whole Eagles team).

Texans @ Chiefs

  • Chiefs look amazing like last year, CEH was given extremely valuable touches and should be considered a RB1 from here on out, Hardman probably isn’t worth a bench spot, Hill/Kelce/Mahomes great, Watkins a good bench stash
  • Texans offensive line somehow looks worse than last season. David Johnson looked great but if the Texan’s struggles continue, his value may be capped. Will Fuller looks to be the breakout player we predicted this season as long as he stays healthy. 

Jets @ Bills

  • Jets offense looks about as terrible as we expected with Crowder being the same dependable player we saw with Darnold last season. Bell is going to have better days but is no longer a RB2. 
  • Stefon Diggs and John Brown both saw a surprising amount of volume, looked pretty impressive in a blowout victory. Singletary and Moss both disappointed with efficiency and its going to be hard to trust either without an injury in the backfield (as we predicted). Josh Allen looked improved in the passing game but needs to limit fumbles when rushing.

Packers @ Vikings

  • Aaron Rodgers looked like his old MVP self with DeVante Adams having a dominant performance. MVS and Lizard both had solid games, although it isn’t likely Rodgers has this explosion often enough to justify starting them. Somewhat worrying that Jones saw only 16 carries and only 66 rush yards, but scored a touchdown to help save his day. A good RB to watch in case his lack of touches stays low. Jamaal Williams’ 7 carries and 4 receptions on 4 targets is something to note. Before Williams went down early in 2019, the Packers backfield was a committee. Is LeFleur headed towards that again?
  • Dalvin Cook didn’t see a lot of work rushing which isn’t a surprise given the game pace, but his lack of targets (2) is a little concerning. That being said, his 2 TDs gave him a good fantasy performance and he should have better days ahead. Adam Theilen is the only part of the passing offense you want right now, with Olabisi Johnson and Justin Jefferson combining for under 10 points.

Eagles @ Was Football Team

  • Eagles offensive line woes ultimately led to their fall, with Wentz getting sacked 8 times. Reagor had one great catch but was otherwise shut down. Jackson had 7 targets but was unable to get anything going. Without an improved offensive line, this is going to be an offense that struggles. Miles Sander’s owners rightfully should be worried. Dallas Goedert should be rostered in all leagues.
  • The Washington Football Team defense is worth a spot start against the Cardinals next week with their ferocious front 7. McLaurin will have better games but was matched up with All-Pro CB Darius Slay most of the game. The RB situation is a complete mess right now with Barber taking 17 carries for horrendous efficiency. Gibson looked good but will be buried in the depth chart. Logan Thomas may be a starting tight end by the end of the season.

Browns @ Ravens

  • Ravens looked dominant like normal, Marquise Brown is set to explode this year and started his breakout season with a 5/101/0 statline against CB Denzel Ward. The backfield is a scary place to have fantasy players in, with Ingram and Dobbins playing nearly the same amount of snaps. Will be important to watch during closer games and not blowouts, but would keep Ingram as a RB3 and Dobbins as a low-tier flex. Andrew’s took advantage of a crippled Brown’s defense and looks like Lamar’s endzone target.
  • This was a terrible performance for the Brown’s offense and defense. That being said, we’ve likely seen Chubb and Odell’s floor for this season. I think that Nick Chubb will still dominate in the games the Browns win (which won’t be many without dramatic improvement). Chubb only saw 4 touches in the second half (the last which he fumbled), which is possibly a result of game script. I may be an optimist but I would try and see what the Chubb owner would be willing to take for him in a trade after a week 1 overreaction. Same with Odell.

Colts @ Jags

  • Marlon Mack. Oof. With Mack likely gone for the season, Hines may be the back to own. That being said, both Taylor and Hines should be able to produce with Philip Rivers, who throws to the RB more than any QB in the NFL the past 2 seasons and threw 17 completions to the RB. Parris Campbell seems to be taking up that Keenan Allen role that Rivers loves and should be rostered in all leagues. 
  • Minshew Mania is back baby! No idea what to do with his pass catchers though, as Keelan Cole, Laviska Shenualt, and D.J. Chark all had under 50 yards but also had 1 TD. James Robinson is the clear back to own, but a lack of receiving work may hurt his value to that of a low flex.

Raiders @ Panthers

  • The Raider’s offense is for real. Josh Jacobs scored three touchdowns as the Raiders won a wild shootout. Ruggs saw 5 targets in the first half before injuring himself and looked explosive with Derek Carr at QB. He may be a good buy-low candidate from unknowledgable opponents. Hunter Renfrow largely disappointed along with Brian Edwards, who saw a combined 3 targets. 
  • Teddy Bridgewater showed he was able to lead a competent Panther’s offense, although DJ Moore wasn’t his usual self. Rather, Robby Anderson had a breakout game with a 75-yard TD (although Moore led in targets, 9 to 8). Curtis Samuel had a disappointing game with only 38 yards on 5 catches (but 8 targets) and remains a player to watch.

Bears @ Lions

  • Montgomery and Cohen struggled a lot and might not be reliable fantasy options at all this season. Anthony Miller and Allen Robinson might be able to co-exist this season if Trubisky can keep up this performance. Jimmy Graham saw a surprising 7 targets but didn’t do too much with them. 
  • I sincerely feel bad for Matthew Stafford (and Lions fans) after he essentially won his team the game (until De’Andre Swift felt like dropping the winning touchdown). That being said, he looked great and should be a weekly starter once Golladay comes back. Adrian Peterson put up over 100 scrimmage yards a week after signing with his team and dominated in carries (Johnson had 7, Swift had 3). Swift did score the team’s sole rushing touchdown but I have to wonder if his last-second drop is going to impact his snaps in high-stress situations. Definitely something to watch.

Seahawks @ Falcons

  • When they say let Russ cook, this is what people are talking about. Wilson was absolutely electric Sunday, with Metcalf and Lockett both giving great performances. Chris Carson scored 2 TDs through the air but only saw 12 touches, which is really worrying. Carlos Hyde out-carried him which makes me wonder if his week 1 performance was a bit of a fluke. Personally, I would try to trade him while I still can.
  • Matt Ryan probably won’t be throwing for 450+ yards every week, but Julio, Ridley, and Gage all showed up in a huge way. Ridley appears to be Ryan’s endzone threat and Julio looked dominant as usual. Gurley looked great at the beginning of the game but missed most of the 4th quarter as the Seahawks ran away with the game (Likely resting him).

Dolphins @ Patriots

  • The Dolphin’s offense absolutely flopped in every aspect. Starting RB Jordan Howard and starting WR DeVante Parker both got injured. Fitzpatrick struggled and threw 3 picks against the Patriots defense. I’m not sure where the bright side is on this offense and honestly the only receiver I would want on my team is Parker. Preston Williams is worth a stash in a deeeep league. With Fitzpatrick under center, I don’t think Gesecki is a startable TE.
  • It felt great to watch Cam Newton rush into the endzone on Sunday. Unfortunately, that’s all he really could do. With a receiver core with nearly any talent outside of Edelman, Cam struggled through the air. His rushing floor should keep him as a high-end QB2 though. The RB situation is a mess with Michel struggling yet again and White not seeing enough targets to be fantasy viable. I wouldn’t cut White yet but I’m over Michel.

Chargers @ Bengals

  • This was a rough performance for both offenses. Tyrod Taylor was able to get a win off the error of Cincinnati’s kicker but it was ugly. Ekeler inexplicably got 1 target all game, with Joshua Kelly taking the red zone snaps as expected. I think that Ekeler will be alright down the field, but I’m worried about Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. While Taylor is starting, Hunter Henry is locked in as a TE1.
  • Joe Burrow did well against one of the league’s toughest defenses in his first NFL action. A.J. Green led the team with a whopping 9 targets, with C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Boyd next with 5. Green and Boyd are both set for better days after facing the league’s best CB duo in Casey Hayward Jr. and Chris Harris Jr. Mixon should have much better days as well, although it is minorly concerning he struggled against what was one of the league’s weakest run defenses last season. I think he’ll still be a top-10 back with potential to finish in the top-5.

Cardinals @ 49ers

  • As a Niners fan, this hurts me deep (although I’m not fully surprised). Jimmy G looked terrible, to say the least. Without Deebo Samuels or Brandon Aiyuk, I think he’s going to continue to struggle. Mostert and McKinnon dominated the snaps, but I wouldn’t be too high on them. Coleman sat out most of the game due to the air quality, and should see a much higher snap % next game. Kittle did well in the first quarter but disappeared after suffering a scary-looking knee injury. Against the Jets and Giants, the Niner’s RBs should dominate, but I would start searching for trade partners. This looks like a full-blown committee.
  • DeAndre Hopkins. Wow. He absolutely took over this game, along with Kyler Murray’s explosive ground performance. That being said, I don’t know if there is a lot of fantasy value left in this team. Drake and Edmunds looked locked into a committee, although Drake did appear to suffer a minor injury. As a Drake owner, I would be worried. His value, which was found in a lot of short yardage receptions, might suffer from Hopkins more than we initially thought.

Bucs @ Saints

  • The Tom-pa Bay era didn’t get off to a great start Sunday. With Evans on a pitch count, Scotty Miller saw 6 targets (tied with O.J. Howard). Like we predicted, Gronk was a non-factor in the passing game. That being said, he played nearly all the snaps which was incredibly surprising. I would continue to wait and see on Gronk, but it seems the Bucs like him as a blocker more than a receiver. The RB situation seems like it won’t be fantasy viable, with Jones, Fournette, and McCoy all flopping this week. This offense should step back up once Evans returns.
  • In a game where the Saints scored 34 points, Michael Thomas had 17 receiving yards. I definitely did not see that coming. Kamara looked dominant like usual and should be locked in as a top-5 RB. Thomas appeared to suffer an injury to his ankle in the 4th quarter, which puts his future status in question. His performance Sunday is almost guaranteed to be an anomaly along with Brees’ lackluster passing day.

Cowboys @ Rams

  • Robert Woods breakout season is upon us! Malcolm Brown also had a great day, totalling over 110 yards and 2 TDs. Akers saw a decent workload but Brown should be rostered in all leagues. Higbee and Kupp didn’t have great nights but I would expect them to do a tad better from here on out. That being said, I wouldn’t expect their performances from last season to be repeated this year.
  • The Cowboy’s offense struggled against the Ram’s pass rush. CeeDee Lamb looked good in his debut but won’t see much usage with Gallup and Cooper in front of him. Ezekiel Elliot reminded everyone why he is worth a first round pick Sunday night in his dominant performance. Dak Prescott looked good but didn’t put up amazing numbers. I think this Cowboy’s offense was just shaking off the rust and Gallup, Dak, Zeke, and Cooper are all weekly starters from here on out.  

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