Each week in this article I will give some quick notes from the games around the NFL to try to explain what happened on Sunday.
Lets take a dive into the action for week one.
Carolina at Jacksonville
This is what Cam Newton is going to be this year. It won’t be pretty and he is going to need to do damage with his legs if he is going to have any value.
Jonathan Stewart is going to get a ton of work and he won’t have much room until this passing game can do anything.
Stay away from the receivers for now. There is nothing there.
Blake Bortles is just not progressing like people had hoped, 2015 might be a repeat of 2014. T.J. Yeldon looked as good as he could with a below average (at best) passing attack.
The most use the Jaguars will have this season is as a team to stream defenses against.
Miami at Washington
There was an expected rise in the Dolphin offense this year, but they could only muster 17 points against the Redskins.
Lamar Miller is the only offensive player I really want to count on for this offense. Jarvis Landry can be useful in PPR but don’t look for much upside. Jordan Cameron is still in that huge group of tight ends after the top three.
The rumors of Alfred Morris’s demise were greatly exaggerated. Morris was great against a good defense today. Keep him slotted as a solid running back in the 10-15 range.
Jordan Reed led the team in targets and catches and could return to what he was before he suffered his concussion. The risk of hit knocking him out of the game is always a worry.
DeSean Jackson left the game with a hamstring injury early on and didn’t return. For a speedster like Jackson the hamstring injury could keep him out a few weeks.
Indianapolis at Buffalo
The big news for the Colts is T.Y. Hilton’s knee injury. He left the game with a sprained knee and it seems like he is definitely out for next Monday and possibly even week 3. Dante Moncrief replaced him after he left and had 11 targets.
Frank Gore was in and out of the game with leg cramps and had trouble finding running room against the Bills.
Tyrod Taylor is going to be a high upside fantasy quarterback with what he can do with his legs. His ability as a passer isn’t great, but it was Sunday.
LeSean McCoy struggled to find room. It is hard to tell if it was because he was less than 100 percent. He did have a touchdown called back for holding that Boobie Dixon ended up scoring.
Percy Harvin looked great and if they keep forcing the ball to him he could be great in this offense. He has great open field ability and if he continues to get touches he can make a good flex option.
Sammy Watkins was invisible for most of the game. He only got three targets and didn’t catch any of them. Watkins has great talent as a receiver so I wouldn’t worry, but I think this is more of a running team.
Cleveland at New York (Jets)
Johnny Manziel got the chance to play after Josch McCown left early with a concussion. He has the ability to be a solid quarterback for fantasy with what he can do with his legs, but that offense has no weapons and I wouldn’t invest.
The running game for Cleveland was bad. No one could get going and I wouldn’t be surprised if Isaiah Crowell loses the job soon. I was high on him, but the coach’s didn’t seem happy with him in the preseason and he struggled today. Stay away from this backfield if you can, stay away from their receivers too while you’re at it.
Chris Ivory ran through a bad run defense. He will be a solid running back this year, like an Alfred Morris light, but don’t expect great days too often.
Kansas City at Houston
Not much to say for the Chiefs side. Travis Kelce was great and Jamaal Charles and Jeremy Maclin did roughly what people should have expected from them. Alex Smith will continue to be a solid second quarterback for fantasy with limited upside.
The Texans got behind big early and had to get away from the running game. Arian Foster could be back soon so those who drafted Alfred Blue with the hopes of starting him for a while, his stay as the starter might be short-lived.
Don’t worry about who the quarterback is, DeAndre Hopkins will be great this year. He hauled in nine of 13 targets for 98 yards and two touchdowns. He has the ability to be a top 10 receiver and there is no other person near his talent in their passing game. He should continue to get in the neighborhood of 13 targets per game.
Nate Washington could be worth a look if in need of a receiver. He was second on the team with 11 targets.
Green Bay at Chicago
James Jones might be a steal for those who grabbed him off the waiver wire. He caught two touchdowns and nearly had a third that was nullified by a penalty. However, it was Davante Adams who led the team with eight targets and Jones only had four.
Randall Cobb was mostly only used in the short passing game. I would worry that his shoulder injury might keep him limited early in the season.
Alshon Jeffery played and played well. Eddie Royal didn’t do much as the second receiver and Martellus Bennett was great in a September game, just like every year.
Matt Forte is going to have to carry this offense if they have a chance this year.
Seattle at St. Louis
Seattle did most of its damage with its defense, leaving little scoring for the offense. Marshawn Lynch will be fine, but I would worry about Russell Wilson. If the rushing numbers aren’t there this year, and I wouldn’t expect them to be, he is a borderline top-10 quarterback.
The Seahawks wont be thrown 40 times a game too often, so take Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin’s targets lightly. I think Tyler Lockett has the most upside, and would be the one I would want to invest in for the upside.
Benjamin Cunningham dominated the backfield but only managed 45 yards on the ground. However, he did some damage in the passing game. Don’t be surprised if Tre Mason doesn’t return next week. Cunningham will be better against the Redskins next week if he carries the load again.
Avoid all the receiving options for the Rams other than Brian Quick who was a surprise inactive.
Baltimore at Denver
Justin Forsett didn’t play well, but I would buy low if I could. He is going to get a long leash as the starter.
Coming into the season I was firmly in the camp that Peyton Manning wasn’t done. After watching this game I am really worried that I was dead wrong. Manning consistently missed receivers down the field. It might be an overreaction, but if you can get someone to buy on Manning I would try to sell.
The Broncos used a complete 50/50 split in the backfield. Ronnie Hillman was better, but neither was great. C.J. Anderson and Demaryius Thomas got dinged in the game but as of now there is no word on their status. Anderson is believed to have a toe injury and Thomas has a hand injury. They have a quick turnaround with a game Thursday night that could potentially hurt their chances of playing in the game, or playing at full strength.
Cody Latimer is safely droppable. I was high on Owen Daniels coming into the season, and would give him one more week before cutting bait.
Cincinnati at Oakland
The Tyler Eifert coming out party was in Oakland. Eifert led in targets, receptions, yards and touchdowns. If he was your late tight end to target you are really happy right now.
Giovani Bernard will have decent flex value behind Jeremy Hill, but with limited upside as long as Hill is around.
Derek Carr left early with a hand injury, but it probably wouldn’t have made a difference. Latavius Murray has limited upside as a two down back on a bad offense.
Amari Cooper has talent but he can’t throw it to himself.
Tennessee at Tampa Bay
Marcus Mariota put on a show for the Titans. Don’t get too excited though. Tampa Bay has a really bad defense.
Sell, sell, sell Bishop Sankey. Again, the Bucs have a bad defense. Don’t buy into what he did today as a turnaround from last season.
Tight end Delanie Walker was seen in a cast after the game. The injury is being reported as a hand contusion and no break.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins kept the great week for tight ends going. I wouldn’t expect it every week. Mike Evans will be back at some point. With Evans out Vincent Jackson led the team with 11 targets but didn’t do a lot with them.
I would be worried to own a Tampa Bay player right now. This team is going to be bad again. Don’t guarantee that Mike Evans is back and ready to go next week either. He has only practiced once, in a walk-through, since injuring his hamstring.
Detroit at San Diego
Ameer Abdullah is going to be great if he can ever takeover the full-time role from Joique Bell. However, I don’t see it happening. I think Detroit will use Bell and Abdullah in a tandem to keep Abdullah healthy.
It wasn’t Calvin Johnson who led the team in targets. No, it was Golden Tate. I wouldn’t panic on Johnson. He is still the man in Detroit, although maybe Tate has more value with Johnson on the field than many of us thought.
Phillip Rivers carved up the Lions defense for 404-yards and two touchdowns.
Danny Woodhead will be the sneaky back to own in San Diego. He might equal or beat Melvin Gordon in total yards on a week-to-week basis.
No Antonio Gates might mean Keenan Allen is a star. Allen caught 15 passes for 166 yards. Don’t expect that every week, but Allen might bounce back nicely after a down year.
New Orleans at Arizona
Remember all the people who said the Saints were going to be run heavy after trading away Jimmy Graham? Well Drew Brees threw 48 times.
Mark Ingram was used as a pass catcher. It was nice to see, but don’t expect 8 catches or 98 yards once C.J. Spiller comes back. Something of concern was how much Khiry Robinson was used in comparison to Ingram. Adding Spiller to the mix could mean bad news for Ingram.
Andre Ellington suffered a non-contact knee injury. As of this writing it appears to be a PCL injury and that could keep him sidelined for 4-6 weeks. Chris Johnson got almost all the work after he left, although David Johnson caught a long touchdown. If Ellington is out for a while I think this is a committee that is led by Chris Johnson.
Darren Fields had a couple long catches, but I wouldn’t invest. Larry Fitzgerald led the team today, and probably will for the season, but I expect the week-to-week numbers to be very volatile for this receiving group.
Carson Palmer will be a top-10 quarterback as long as he is healthy. This is a pass first team and possibly losing its top running back for a while should lead to even more throwing.
New York (Giants) at Dallas
The Giants didn’t do much offensively. Dallas let them dink and dunk underneath. If it wasn’t for their defense the Giants would have been blown out. Don’t worry about Odell Beckham Jr. he is still an elite receiver.
Rashad Jennings looked good in the later part of the game. This backfield will continue to use all three backs but Jennings is definitely the lead man.
Joseph Randle appears to be the back in Dallas, although Darren McFadden is right behind him if Randle struggles.
Dez Bryant left the game twice, but his fourth quarter locker room trip looks like it is bad news. Multiple reports are that Bryant will be out 4-6 weeks with a broken bone in his foot potentially even longer. I would not expect to see Bryant before the Cowboys’ week 6 bye. With his upside he can’t be dropped.
If the diagnosis is true and Bryant does end up missing time, Jason Witten, Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams should get a boost. Beasley would be a good grab for PPR leagues.
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