Fantasy Week 1 Recap by James Morris
When all is said and done QBs and WRs carried most fantasy teams, while RBs hurt more than they helped. It would be a great time to buy low on guys like Mike Wallace and Lamar Miller, which selling high on guys like Anquan Boldin and Julius Thomas. Thomas will be up and down as he is 3rd on the target list (at best), and Boldin is a WR3 going forward, and is going to see a major step backwards next week against the Seahawks top tier defense.
Then we have the overhyped Kenbrell Thompkins. The kid had every chance known to man to solidify his spot as an every week fantasy starter as Brady targeted him 14 times. The rookie managed to reel in just 4 of them for 42 yards and no TDs. As I told countless people via email and social media, the kid is an undrafted rookie, and you need to reign in those fantasy starter expectations. He is only starting for the Patriots because they have Danny Amendola and nothing else to throw out there.
Colin Kaepernick – QB 49ers: Kaepernick was projected to be a low-end QB1 this week, but finished #2 overall with 30.68 fantasy points (FP). He was able to throw for 412 yards and 3 TDs against the Packers, but will face a much tougher defense next week as he faces the Seahawks. If he is your QB2, you might consider selling high and upgrade your WR or RB spot with him.
Sam Bradford – QB Rams: Bradford is owned in just 13.0 percent of NFL.com leagues as of Sunday night, yet he put up 299 passing yards, 2 TDs, an INT and a 2-point conversion. Those stats were good enough to rank him 7th for QBs this week. I really like the chemistry he has with TE Jared Cook, and the Cardinals defense is a top 5 for the NFL. If he is on your waiver wire, consider adding him for a bye week filler.
Ryan Tannehill – QB Dolphins: Tannehill is the real deal, and he showed that as he put up 272 yards and a TD against a solid Browns defense. The TD pass to Brian Hartline was perfectly placed and the ball was spread around well. He is going to need a few more games like this before the national media take notice, but dynasty league GMs should see what he will cost via trade right now.
Joique Bell – RB Lions: Bell looks like he is #2 behind Reggie Bush for the Lions as Mikel Leshoure a healthy scratch. He only managed 6 carries for 25 yards, but added 5 catches for 67 yards and 2 TDs. Bell got both goal line looks and Matthew Stafford looked his way on a few passes, making him a nice handcuff for Reggie Bush owners.
Shane Vereen – RB Patriots: As I mentioned earlier, Vereen was the only running back in the NFL to hit triple digits when it came to rushing yards this week (101), then added 7 catches for 58 yards to help his PPR owners out. Vereen finished #5 for RBs in both standard and PPR scoring, and will continue to be a strong RB2/flex play as long as the Patriots have the WRs they did in week 1.
Julian Edelman – WR Patriots: Edelman saw 9 targets on the day and hauled 7 of them in for 79 yards and 2 TDs. Brady is going to rely on Edelman in the slot as Thompkins and Zach Sudfeld were absolutely abysmal and showed why I warned people to stay away from them early in the season. Edelman is owned in just 1.9 percent of NFL.com league, and will be worth a roster spot as a week-to-week flex play in the right matchup.
Brian Hartline – WR Dolphins: Hartline was targeted 15 times on Sunday, catching 9 of them for 114 yards and a TD. You can’t expect these type of numbers from him each week as Wallace will be worked into the gameplan more for sure. But, there is also no way he enters week 2 being owned in just 26.4 percent of NFL.com leagues either.
Jared Cook – TE Rams: Cook dominated the action with 7 catches for 141 yards and 2 TDs in his Rams debut. He showed that the Titans lost a TE1 and that his NFL.com ownership should be higher than the 81.5 percent it is at right now. I would have no problems putting him in as my TE1 going forward and leaving him alone until his week 11 bye.
Kansas City Chiefs defense: It’s not often an NFL team holds their opponent to just 2 points, but that’s what the Chiefs did on Sunday against the Jaguars. For fantasy stats, the Chiefs defense racked up 6 sacks, 2 INTs, and scored on 10 yard interception return. All total, the Chiefs defense put up 23.00 points on the board in NFL.com standard scoring, and it looks like you can just play whatever defense is facing the Jaguars from here on out.
Dallas Cowboys defense: The Cowboys did allow 31 points to the Giants, but their 3 sacks, 3 INTs, 3 recovered fumbles and 2 defensive touchdowns were enough to put 26.00 FP on the board and land them in the #1 defense spot heading into Monday Night Football. The Cowboys will be a situational fantasy defense this season, so pick and choose where you play them.
Miami Dolphins defense: If it weren’t for the Chiefs performance against the Jaguars, the Dolphins defense would have made the list as the clear cut fantasy winner this week. They held the Browns to just 10 points, while totaling 6 sacks and 3 interceptions. They finished week 1 with 16 points and showed they need to be owned in more than the 4.0 percent of NFL.com leagues they are currently owned in.
Tom Brady – QB Patriots: Sure, Brady threw for 288 yards and 2 TDs, but he also threw an INT and lost a fumble, giving him 15.12 FP in standard scoring formats. Those 15.12 points rank him 17th for QBs this week, and nowhere near the top 5 people drafted him at the QB position. I stayed away from Tom-Terrific this season because he’s 36-years-old and his weapons are limited. He is still likely to be an every week fantasy starter, just not someone I will trust without question.
Blaine Gabbert – QB Jaguars: I normally wouldn’t post a player like Gabbert in this list because he shouldn’t be owned in any type of format, regardless of league size or scoring options. But, when a QB throws for just 121 passing yards and 2 INTs, and the team doesn’t cross the 50 yard line until there was just under 8:00 minutes left in the game. It is time to move on and let this one go Jaguars fans. For some odd reason he is owned in 0.2 percent of NFL.com leagues, which means I am praying that the 0.2 percent are reading this now.
Montee Ball – RB Broncos: The guy is owned in 96.4 percent of NFL.com leagues, yet managed just 24 yards on 8 carries in his pro debut. The Broncos RB situation is going to be a frustrating one for fantasy owners all season long, and I would suggest that you avoid using any of them until they settle on one guy to handle the majority of the workload.
Stevan Ridley – RB Patriots: Ridley managed just 46 yards rushing and failed to reach the endzone for the 99.7 percent of people who own him in NFL.com leagues. Ridley’s fumble problems have likely cost him the starting job in New England, and he should be considered nothing more than a boom-or-bust flex play going forward. Try and trade him if you can and pass week 1 off as a buy low situation… I know I will!
Calvin Johnson – WR Lions: Megatron was a mega bust t his week as he managed just 4 catches for 37 yards and no TDs. Everyone has a bad game now and then, and this will most likely go down as Johnson’s worst game of the season. Better to get it out of the way sooner rather than later I suppose.
Dwayne Bowe – WR Chiefs: This game was never close, and Alex Smith was checking down so much that his FB (Anthony Sherman) actually led the team in receiving with 44 yards. Bowe is still a viable fantasy WR, but unless Smith takes some shots down the field, his value is going to be limited to a low-end WR2/high-end WR3. I would hold on to him, but tailor your expectations back a little.
Dez Bryant – WR Cowboys: It’s disappointing to have a guy as high profile as Bryant finish with just 4 catches for 22 and no TDs. He is a lot like Johnson above in that he is a stud and this was just a bump in the road to fantasy glory. If you can trade for Bryant and get a discount on him, I’d do so right now.
Zach Sudfeld – TE Patriots: We all thought Sudfield was going to be the starting TE with Rob Gronkowski out, but that didn’t happen. What also didn’t happen was Sudfeld making a catch in week 1 of the NFL season. He saw one target that was intercepted after he failed to haul in an easily catchable throw. I’d cut him loose if I were the 21.8 percent of people who own him in NFL.com leagues and forget his name.
Baltimore Ravens defense: Speaking of the Ravens being overrated on the defensive side of the football, they finished in the bottom 3 for Thursday/Sunday defenses after allowing 49 points to the Broncos, and adding just 3 sacks and 2 recovered fumbles. The Broncos offense is going to make most defenses look back, but the loss of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed looked like it hurt the team more than people thought it would.
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