Trashman’s Fantasy Fallout: Week 1
It’s Tyreek Hill‘s world and we’re just living in it. Welcome back RosterWatch Nation, here’s the fallout from Week 1…
Falcons @ Eagles
- Devonta Freeman was sidelined with a knee injury late in the game, but should be fine according to NFL Network’s seldom untrustworthy Ian Rapoport. He gets two more days to heal up than 99% of the players in the NFL, so that can’t hurt.
- Calvin Ridley, the most hyped WR in the 2018 draft, was catchless on 2 targets in this on. He was on the field 45% of the time, so it wasn’t for lack of playing time. Matt Ryan obviously isn’t looking for the kid, but the issue may get forced based on the way the Falcons’ offense stalled in the second half. For now, Ridley is only a hold in dynasty and keeper formats.
- Matt Ryan seems to target Julio Jones everywhere except the endzone, as Jones’ lack of TD prowess only continues. Years ago, I realized he’s just not much of scorer, and he’s rarely proven me wrong.
- Mohamed Sanu got 6 targets on Thursday, though he didn’t do much with them. It’s easy to forget he had 700+ yards and 5 TDs last season, but keep an eye on him in deeper formats. He should see pretty consistent targets in what should be a better Atlanta offense.
- Nelson Agholor paid off, only if you were using him in a ppr league, as he had 8 catches for just 33 yards. True to form, the Atlanta DBs closed things down outside, leaving Nick Foles to target the middle of the field. Agholor will continue to be a major part of the offense even when Alshon Jeffery returns.
- Jay Ajayi had a great game on the stat sheet, but may come out as highly TD dependent. His 2 TDs masked the fact that he was only on the field 39% of the time. His scoring opportunities will be his bread and butter, as both Darren Sproles and Corey Clement were and will be heavily involved from the looks of things. I know it’s early, but it may not a bad idea to sell high on Ajayi for someone who gets a larger share of the carries.
- Nick Foles does not look good to start the season. He was off on deep throws and couldn’t seem to get a rhythm going. We’ve seen this before though. Foles has been very hot and cold his entire career, and it looks like Winter may be coming. Let’s hope it was just first game jitters. Let’s hope Carson Wentz returns sooner than later.
Bills – 3 @ Ravens – 40
- The Nathan Peterman experiment in Buffalo is effectively over, and unlike when I was in grad school where you didn’t get results published that showed a treatment did not work, which I thought was curious, since it could actually help people from having to try it again, Peterman’s ineffectiveness was out in the open for everyone to see, so this may be the last game of his NFL career.. I really do feel bad for how comically bad his short tenure in the NFL has been, but it’s time to move on and this is Josh Allen‘s team now.
- Buffalo only managed 153 yards on the day, or what I like to call a “half Tyreek”, so there’s not much you can take away offensively. Kelvin Benjamin led the team in targets with 7 but only brought down 1, and Zay Jones led the team in receiving with 36 yards, so there’s that. The good news is that things can only get better, right?
- LeSean McCoy escaped suspension, but may have succumbed to a worse fate as the lead back on the worst team in the league. The Bills were taken out of the game early and so was he.
- The Bills made Joe Flacco look like Joe Montana on Sunday (243 yards, 3 TDs), or maybe it was Lamar Jackson‘s giant spectre looming over his head. Either way, you have to be a little optimistic about Raven’s skill players as Flacco’s schedule is one of the easier in the league. Hopefully Jackson’s presence keeps him motivated enough to play like he means it.
- You would have thought Oprah was on the field the way TDs were being handed out to Ravens players throughout the game. 6 different players scored, and in a way it’s almost as hard to take away anything from that as it is with the Bills absence of offense. Everybody got action in the blowout so it’s hard to say who will be the strongest plays moving forward. Kenneth Dixon led the team in rushing, but that’s mostly on the blowout. I do think he’ll have a solid PPR role etched out, as he also led the team in targets(5).
- The good news is that the Ravens starting WRs are all at least worth keeping an eye on, and John Brown should probably be owned.
Steelers – 21 @ Browns – 21
- The news of apocalyptic weather devastating the greater Cleveland area was largely overblown, unlike the hype about James Conner(192 yards, 2 TDs). The question is whether you keep riding high on the Conner wave, or do you ship him off while the going is good. Three reasons why I think the latter. 1. Le’Veon is coming back sooner or later. 2. No other RB registered a touch in the game. I think that’s unsustainable. The scenario where I could see you hanging onto him is the one where you own both Bell and Conner, but the problem there is that you have the headache of deciding who to start when Bell does return.
- The big loser in this one was Duke Johnson(25 yards), who clearly took a back seat to Carlos Hyde(65 yards, 1 TD) in this run first Browns offense. Johnson had 6 targets, but I don’t know that’ he’ll reach the 50+ catch total that we’ve grown accustomed to this season. Instead of dumping the ball off, Tyrod Taylor would just as well take it and run it himself.
- Josh Gordon saw his proposed snap total(20) more than tripled in this one(69). A TD saved his otherwise unspectacular day, but it’s obvious that he’s going to be a major part of this offense going forward. Keep rolling him out there.
- The same goes for David Njoku(3 rec, 13 yards) who might get dropped by those owners who weren’t watching the game. He had 3 catches( 2nd on the team) on 7 targets and that will translate to a better outcome on most days.
Bengals – 34 @ Colts – 23
- Gio Bernard was out-touched 22 to 2 by Joe Mixon in this one. His standalone value looks close to non-existent this season, as the Bengals have realized that Mixon is actually an excellent pass catcher. I’m not holding Gio in any but the deepest of leagues.
- It was Tyler Boyd(3 rec, 5 tar, 26 yards), not John Ross( 1 rec, 2 tar, 3 yards, 1 TD), who acted as the 2nd WR option for Cincy. It’s early, but Andy Dalton wasn’t looking for Ross nearly as often as we’d hoped. He’ll come around.
- Andrew Luck didn’t show much rust(319 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT) against the Bengals pretty stout pass-rush on Sunday, though only one of his passes went more than 20 yards. This looks like a short passing game, which may make things interesting for T.Y. Hilton.
- Ryan Grant( 8 rec, 9 tar, 59 yards) was an integral part of the Colts’ attack, as I presumed on the radio show. Pick him up, especially in PPR formats.
- Jordan Wilkins looked decent(61 yards) and out-touched Nyheim Hines 17 to 12. Unfortunately Marlon is likely to return soon, muddying the mix, and the Colts can’t run block well. I’m going to avoid this situation as best I can. I imagine the best pass-catcher will prevail.
Titans – 20 @ Dolphins – 27
- Marcus Mariota(103 yards, 2 INT) didn’t look good before leaving the game with an elbow injury. Blaine Gabbert (117 yards, 1 INT) relieved him and looked, well, like Blaine Gabbert. If Gabbert has to start against the Texans in week 2, the Texans make a great DEF play and I’m moving away from any pass catcher not named Delan… oh wait.
- Delanie Walker dislocated AND fractured his ankle, ending his season. Jonnu Smith will step up in his place. A very athletic player, I liked Smith at the Senior Bowl last year, and he makes for an intriguing pick-up if you’re looking for a TE.
- Dion Lewis was the preferred option in the Titans backfield, especially once Mariota left. He’s a utility knife that can be used everywhere, and though Derrick Henry is actually a really good pass-catcher, Lewis’ looks like an RB2 with upside.
- Henry(31 yards) actually had a much better game than his stats would indicate, as a 65 yard TD was called back on a holding call. He’ll retain RB3 value, especially if Mariota misses time.
- Frank Gore(9 ATT, 61 yards) is not only holding up with time, he’s defying and manipulating it like Dr. Strange. He had a jaw dropping 6.8 YPC Sunday to Kenyan Drakes 3.4. Drake out-touched him 18 to 9, but Gore isn’t going away.
- Kenny Stills(4 rec, 106 yards, 2 TDs) needs to be owned and started in all leagues. He’s the clear cut no.1 in Miami. Danny Amendola, Albert Wilson, and a 7 target getting Jakeem Grant are all playing musical chairs behind him. Stills is the only one we can depend on for fantasy purposes right now.
49ers – 16 @ Vikings – 24
- Jimmy G threw 3 INTs, unsurprisingly losing his first game to the Vikings. Losing Marqise Goodwin to a quad injury can’t have helped matters. If Goodwin misses time, Pierre Garcon, George Kittle, and an impressive Dante Pettis will see an uptick in targets.
- Kittle(5 rec, 9 tar, 90 yards) looks every bit a TE1. If you’re a Delanie Walker owner and Kittle is unowned, you already know what to do.
- Alfred Morris‘ usage looks alarmingly game-flow specific. He was the guy when the 49ers weren’t trailing but ceded the backfield to Matt Breida when they were behind. This is a full-blown timeshare, as both has 12 touches.
- Latavius Murray had 11 carries to Dalvin Cooks’ 16, but much of his workload came in a clock-killing effort to keep the 49ers off the field. Cooks’ usage in the passing game(6 rec, 55 yards) will keep him viable regardless of Murray’s role.
- Adam Thielen out-targeted Stefon Diggs 12 to 6, but it’s hard to say to what extent that was dictated by Richard Sherman. Both are WR1s until/unless this becomes a trend.
Texans – 20 @ Patriots – 27
- Do we need to temper expectations for Deshaun Watson? Maybe. I said before, after watching two joint practices with the 49ers in August, that the pocket was collapsing too quickly for Deshaun, and this held true in their first game. He was missing Will Fuller too. He needs fast WRs if he’s going to have to deliver the ball so quickly. He’ll have much better days, but the earth shaking totals we were getting used to may be fewer and further between this season.
- Bruce Ellington(4 rec, 8 tar, 37 yards, 1 TD) served as a serviceable no.2 in Will Fuller‘s stead. He’ll be worth streaming in deeper and PPR formats as long as Fuller is sidelined.
- No Patriot RB came close to Rex Burkead’s 19 touches, and 18 of them were on the ground. His usage next week will depend a lot on whether Sony Michel is good to go, but I think the Pats will largely avoid running right at the Jaguars. What’s so useful about Burkhead is that he stays potent even if they go through the air. He’s a weekly flex.
- The biggest surprise here was the absence of Chris Hogan on the stat sheet. He only caught 1 of 5 passes for 11 yards, while Phillip Dorsett had 66 yards and a TD on 7 recs 7 tar. Don’t expect Hogan to bounce back against the Jags either. Dorsett makes for an intriguing play out of the slot though.
Buccaneers – 48 @ Saints – 40
- The biggest shock of week 1 has to be Ryan Fitzpatrick‘s 417 yard, 4 TD monster against a vaunted Saints defense. I don’t know that it really helps anyone, as he was probably in 2% of fantasy lineups, and he gets the Eagles next week, so folks will be gun-shy about putting him in in week 2. What is certain is that DeSean Jackson(5 rec, 146 yards, 2 TDs) is not done, and he needs to be owned. Chris Godwin derailed any fantasy conversation about D Jax coming in, but it would be foolish to overlook a guy who we’ve seen put up similar numbers in the past.
- There’s no question that Peyton Barber has a firm hold on the lead RB job in Tampa. He out-touched Jacquizz Rodgers 19 to 3, and Ronald Jones was a healthy scratch. You can drop Jones outside of dynasty or keeper leagues.
- Maybe Cameron Brate needs Jameis Winston to retain fantasy value, but I don’t know if it’s something I’m willing to wait around for. O.J. Howard out-snapped him 43 to 24 and looks like the future.
- Newly signed Jonathan Williams did not play over Mike Gillislee, but it didn’t really matter, as Alvin Kamara out-touched him 17 to 3 and didn’t come out at the goal line. The fact that the Saints were trailing most of this insanely high-scoring game may have affected the script, but Gillislee is safe to drop if you’ve got someone in mind.
- Ted Ginn‘s 6 targets were third to Michael Thomas(17) and Alvin Kamara(12), but he was effective(68 yards, 1 TD). He makes for a reasonable play against the Browns in Week 2.
Jaguars – 20 @ Giants – 15
- Leonard Fournette seems to have escaped serious injury, as he injured his hamstring in what coach Marrone called a “good part” of his leg…
- T.J. Yeldon was the go-to after Fournette left the game, out-touching Corey Grant 17 to 1. Yeldon needs to be added in all formats, as hamstring injuries are known to linger, and the Jags will be in no rush to bring Fournette back while they have the most formidable defense in the league.
- No Jag WR saw more targets than Dede Westbrook‘s 6. If you’re adding a Jag WR this week, it should be him.
- Saquon Barkley(106 yards, 1 TD) had a coming out party in Week 1 against arguably the best defense in the league. Imagine what he’s going to do to average defenses, even behind a suspect O-line. Jonathan Stewart was an afterthought
Chiefs – 38 @ Chargers – 28
- So much for a slow start to Patrick Mahomes‘ season. The way he lit up the Chargers makes me wonder what the Chiefs would have been capable of last year if they hadn’t been so dependent on the ever conservative Alex Smith. Mahomes probably won’t be this good every game this season, but I feel safe rolling him out in Week 2 and beyond. The Chargers are a good defense, and this was a difficult test.
- I feared that Travis Kelce(6 yards) would fall to earth somewhat without Smith to bolster his production, and that seems to be the case, at least in Week 1. He did have 6 targets however, so all is not lost. With more playmakers on the Chiefs this year, and a QB who will rely on his own legs in busted plays, Kelce is going to be more up and down than ever.
- Got to hold onto Sammy Watkins. Only 21 yards, but he was involved early. He won’t blow up every week, but in this hi-octane offense he’s going to have his days.
- Austin Ekeler(126 yards, 1 TD), was the 2nd best player for San Diego on Sunday, behind Melvin Gordon. It Didn’t seem like any starting WRs could catch other than Keenan Allen, so the RBs just took over. Expect Ekeler to stay involved moving forward, and he has standalone value. He needs to be owned in PPR formats and deep redrafts.
- Mike Williams(5 rec, 81 yards) is playing behind Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams, but he shouldn’t be. He was way more efficient on fewer snaps and has earned a larger role going forward. Make sure he’s owned.
Redskins – 24 @ Cardinals – 6
- Adrian Peterson looked a decade younger on the way to a massive game(166 yards, 1 TD) and was even involved in the passing game. He, Chris Thompson and Jordan Reed made up the bulk of the Redskins offense, and that makes sense seeing a Alex Smith is their QB. The ‘Skins had a lead and he wasn’t going to risk it by taking shots. Temper expectations for WRs in Washington.
- The Josh Rosen age seems nearer than ever after the garbage game Sam Bradford(160 yards, 2 TOs) put forth on Sunday. Things won’t come easier against the Rams in Week 2. I’m staying away from anyone not named Johnson or Fitzgerald.
Cowboys – 8 @ Panthers – 16
- The boys were bad Sunday, as they failed to move the ball effectively for most of the game. The passing game is anemic, as Cole Beasley was the leading WR(73 yards). Hands off everybody but Beasley and Elliott for the time being.
- C.J. Anderson had 7 carries to McCaffrey’s 10, which is too close for comfort. McCaffrey was much more involved in the passing game(6 rec, 45 yards), but his role again seems to have been exaggerated. Anderson should be owned in leagues bigger than 10 teams.
- Greg Olsen was seen in a walking boot after the game and is looking at an extended absence. Devin Funchess should see an uptick in looks as long as he’s gone.
- D.J. Moore played just 17 of 67 snaps Sunday. They weren’t in any rush to bring him along, but that may change if Olsen is out for an extended amount of time. He’s a hold.
Seattle – 24 @ Denver 27
- Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny had the same number of carries(7) and targets(5) on Sunday, but Carson was the much more effective back racking up 51 yards to Penny’s 8 on the ground. Carson is still the better play going forward, but the ‘Hawks ar determined to keep Penny involved.
- Doug Baldwin has a sprained MCL and will be week to week. This bodes poorly for Baldwin owners, and I wouldn’t blame you if you tried to move him. Tyler Lockett, Brandon Marshall and Rashaad Penny will all benefit if he can’t go this week coming, with Marshall being the first priority add, assuming Penny is owned.
- TE Will Dissly had a monster with 105 yards on 3 rec, but most of it came on a 66 yard play. I want to see him do it or something even close this week before adding him outside of the deepest leagues, as he was drafted to block.
- At 5’8”, 190 lbs, Phillip Lindsay is not going to unset Royce Freeman in denver, but he looks to be ahead of Devontae Booker as the no.2 and passing down back. He got the same number of carries and yards on the ground as Freeman(15 for 71). He needs to be owned in all formats.
Bears – 23 @ Packers – 24
- As I thought, The Bears offense was mediocre under Mitch Trubisky‘s arm on Sunday. I love his skill players, but he just isn’t there yet. We have to be realistic about Anthony Robinson and Anthony Miller going forward.
- Don’t give up on Trey Burton yet(1 rec, 16 yards). He had the second most looks behind Allen Robinson(6), but he and Trubisky couldn’t link up. He may be one of the players Trubisky actually can get the ball to on a consistent basis.
- Aaron Rodgers beat the Bears on a busted knee, but there’s no assurance he’s going to be under center in Week 2. If DeShone Kizer gets the start in Week 2, the wheels just might fall off, as he struggled all preseason and during the time he was on the field Sunday night.
- How bout my boy Geronimo Allison(5 rec, 69 yards, 1 TD)?! He needs to be added if Aaron Rodgers is going to be under center, as teams are going to focus on stopping Davante Adams and Randall Cobb.
- Jamaal Williams is the only Packers RB you need to own right now.