Week 1 is in the books and it was everything we could have hoped for except the Sunday night game, which was a big snoozer because no one enjoys watching the Pats roll. If you lost your fantasy matchup, don’t stress! This is no time to panic. Week 1 is not necessarily predictive of the rest of the season but make the appropriate adjustments regardless and move on. Lots of football left to play!
The Thursday Game:
Packers 10, Bears 3. We all watched it with anticipation for some regular-season football action FINALLY! But we were all severely let down by a sleepy, sloppy game. QB Aaron Rodgers had a slow start against a tough Bears front 7, and QB Mediocre Mitch (as I saw aptly named on Twitter) couldn’t find the endzone. Fantasy Implications: Aaron Rodgers will be fine. This was his first game with no preseason work and a new head coach. Packers running backs had more of a split than most people expected but look for these things to even themselves out throughout the season with Aaron Jones being the dominant back. Allen Robinson has never looked better (he was coming on strong at the end of the last season as he is finally healthy) but will Trubisky be able to consistently get him the ball? Fantasy owners across the country drafted Bears RB David Montgomery and were seriously disappointed with the lack of opportunities he had. We hope Matt Nagy figures it out and gives the ball to Montgomery, but the Bears offense looked a little lost.
The Sunday Games:
Ravens 59, Dolphins 10. The Baltimore Ravens ran up the score on the lowly, depleted Dolphins to the point where Dolphins players were calling their agents after the game begging for a way out of Miami. Meanwhile, Lamar Jackson was “not bad for a running back” and threw 5 TDs on his way to a 59-10 victory to start a season filled with high hopes for a Ravens squad with a stout defense. Fantasy implications: I once said you can take a few players from a bad team because someone must score, but with the Dolphins, I think I’m totally out. I’m dropping RB Kenyan Drake and I think he wouldn’t mind being dropped by the Dolphins either. Ravens’ WR Hollywood Brown put up 2 TDs and looks like the real deal paired with QB Lamar Jackson, these two could put up some serious numbers. RB Mark Ingram had a nice first game in Baltimore, and TE Mark Andrews also lived up to some of his hype.
Titans 43, Browns 13. The Titans beat up on the Browns because as Delaney Walker said “they are who we thought they were” so don’t go crowning the Browns quite yet, Baker Mayfield had 3 INT and the defense didn’t show up. QB Mariota is still Mariota and RB Derrick Henry has maintained his newfound beastmode. Fantasy Implications: The Browns needed a good humbling, look for Baker, WR OBJ, and the offense to get on track, and the defense to pick it up (they are a talented bunch). The Titans really fed Henry leaving RB Dion Lewis with 3 carries, confirming he is not a very good fantasy option at this time! TE Delaney Walker did the walking in addition to the talking with 5 catches for 55 yards and 2 TDs.
Vikings 28, Falcons 10. Dalvin Cook is BACK, scoring 2 TDs, Kirky Cousins only had to throw 10 passes, and the Falcons decided to start their season in Week 2 instead of Week 1 I guess? Fantasy Implications: WRs Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley each grabbed a TD from Matty Ice, but the Vikings defense came to play and were generally stifling. RB Devonta Freeman was a big fantasy letdown, but we are only in Week 1, so we assume this is not his norm. WR Adam Thielen continued to be a TD machine snagging 1 TD, but most of the Vikings offense came on the ground.
Bills 17, Jets 16. As Josh Allen continues his quest to prove Jalen Ramsey wrong, he led his team to comeback win over the Jets. Fantasy Implications: Bills WR John Brown put up a nice fantasy line of 7-123 and a TD, and RB Devin Singletary flashed why he could become a great fantasy RB (I have him on my bench waiting to break out!). Le’Veon Bell caught a TD, but other than that had a quiet day.
Eagles 32, Washington 27. The Eagles overcame a slow start that allowed QB Case Keenum to pop off for a few TDs before remembering he’s Case Keenum and they are the Eagles. WR Desean Jackson’s welcome back game was one for the books, showing off that speed and going for 2 long TDs. Fantasy Implications: WR Alshon Jeffrey also grabbed 2 TDs (1 rushing), and the Birds defense came through in the second half. Washington RB Derrius Guice had a miserable day, topped off by a new knee injury to his non-surgically repaired knee (reports suggest meniscus so not season-ending). RB Chris Thompson is your fantasy grab there, especially in PPR leagues. QB Carson Wentz did Carson Wentz things showing brilliance on 3rd downs and moving the pocket, showing patience, and finding his receivers. He spread the ball around and is a top fantasy QB going forward (I’m biased as an Eagles fan, but he looked great!). Washington WR Terry McLaurin showed some speed and may be worth a pickup in a deep league.
Rams 30, Panthers 27. The Panthers made things interesting, but the Rams led by RB Malcolm Brown(!?) prevailed. Fantasy Implications: Rams RB Todd Gurley had an average day with 2 TDs stolen by Malcom Brown, but don’t expect that to be the norm, though the Rams seem intent on not letting a repeat of last year happen (with Gurley overworked and injured). QB Goff wasn’t exactly surgical but got the job done, QB Cam Newton owners were severely disappointed, but RB McCaffrey continues to be a PPR dream with 2 TDs and 10 catches.
Chiefs 40, Jaguars 26. The game was a lopsided win for the Chiefs, who are out for blood this season after last year’s playoff disappointment. Fantasy Implications: This one’s rough, fantasy owners lost Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill with a shoulder injury (me in both my leagues ugh) and QB Nick Foles with a broken collarbone on his first TD in a Jags uniform (you have to feel for the guy). If you decided to not give up on Sammy Watkins, you were FINALLY rewarded with a DAY! The McCoy-Reid reunion netted 10 carries for 80 yards, showing some potential in this high-octane offense. WR Mecole Hardman may be worth a pickup with Hill likely out multiple weeks. For the Jags, WR D.J. Chark is probably available and would be worth a look if he continues to catch 4 passes for 146 yards and a TD.
Chargers 30, Colts 24. Colts showed well for a team that just lost its franchise QB to retirement, and Chargers RB Ekler stood in nicely for the hold-out Melvin Gordon. The Colts came up short, but fans and fantasy owners alike should be excited for this team and their direction moving forward. Fantasy Implications: Many wondered how the loss of Andrew Luck would affect the fantasy value of the skilled players, but RB Marlon Mack had a great day 25-174 and a TD, as did QB Brissett 21-27 with 2 TDs, and with 2 TDs for WR T.Y. Hilton as well- this team is going to be fine! Chargers looked like the same old team, QB Rivers was slinging the ball and QB Keenan Allen, when healthy, will put up his big numbers.
Seahawks 21, Bengals 20. Maybe the Seahawks have finally stabilized the RB position with Chris Carson and the defense looked well-prepared and better than recent years (and they were good before). Although they lost, the Bengals showed some new, fresh offensive concepts including incorporating speedster WR John Ross (2 TDs), and can anyone remember the last time QB Andy Dalton threw for over 400 yards? (Maybe he has but he has been the team has been so average for so long, who even remembers?) Fantasy Implications: With WR AJ Green still recovering from an injury, WR John Ross will continue to benefit in the passing game, but the running game was a bit lacking. RB Joe Mixon and Gio Bernard will get on the board, with Joe Mixon the more talented of the backs, but Gio a solid PPR option with his pass-catching abilities.
Cowboys 35, Giants 17. The Giants’ defense had no answers for the Cowboys receivers who were running freely across the field on any given play, and pair that with Eli Manning literally handing over the football at one point, this thing was never close. Fantasy Implications: RB Saquon Barkley looked every bit of the unanimous overall #1 pick in drafts this year, and TE Evan Engram is on track to be highly targeted especially with WR Sterling Shepherd in the concussion protocol and WR Golden Tate suspended for 3 more games. For Dallas, WR Michael Gallup looks to be the complementary piece to WR Amari Cooper and RB Ezekiel Elliot. If Gallup is still available, he may be worth a pickup or look.
Lions 27, Cardinals 27. Yes, a tie to start the year. With time running out in OT, new Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury decided to settle for a tie by punting the ball from midfield. Kingsbury’s young QB Kyler Murray led a heroic comeback in the 4 quarter after struggling early in the game, and with the team in a full rebuild mode, he could have followed in the steps of Doug Pederson (Super Bowl winner) and his former assistant, now Colts head coach, Frank Reich, and went for it with nothing to lose, but so much to gain in team confidence. We’ll see how this team progresses, but I hate that call. Anyway… Fantasy Implications: Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald proved the haters (Yahoo was definitely a hater when I drafted him) wrong by putting up numbers of old with 8-113 and a TD. Lions WR Danny Amendola looked right at home with his former D coordinator and now head coach Matt Patricia, as did WR TJ Hockenson.
49ers 31, Buccaneers 17. New season, same Jameis Winston. This was Jimmy Garoppolo’s first game back since tearing his ACL last season and he picked up where he left off before his brutal injury. Fantasy Implications: Bucs RB Ronald Jones showed some flash if you are desperate for a running back. 49ers TE George Kittle continues to be a favorite target of Garoppolo.
The Sunday Night Game:
Patriots 33, Steelers 3. We all settled in for an AFC clash of the titans, and we got a one-sided display of the surgical Patriots offense that is about to add another weapon in WR Antonio Brown (maybe not as sexual assault allegations against Brown have just been levied according to reports). The Steelers barely put up a fight, looking like a much different offense sans WR Le’Veon Bell AND Brown. With all eyes (and DBs) on WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, fantasy owners everywhere dropped their heads in sadness, as he did not put up Brown numbers in his solo debut. Fantasy Implications: Pats WR Phillip Dorsett was QB Tom Brady’s best deep threat, catching 2 TDs, but he may also be the odd man out when Brown gets incorporated into the offense. Keep an eye on it!
The Monday Night Games:
Saints 30, Texans 28. This was EASILY the game of the weekend. QBs Deshaun Watson and Drew Brees battled all night, with Watson driving the field in 2 plays for 75 yards and a beauty of a throw to newly added WR Kenny Stills with under a minute to go. That’s when chaos broke loose. Texans kicker Fairbairn missed the go-ahead extra point (XP) leaving the game tied at 27, but a FLAG had been thrown for roughing the kicker- a questionable call. At this moment I was convinced Saints fans would burn down the NFL headquarters but leave it to Brees to drive the field (benefitted greatly by a terrible defensive effort AND scheme by the Texans) and a big boot from kicker Wil Lutz, who had missed a long FG before the half. Fantasy Implications: Not many surprises here, but I like RB Carlos Hyde if he is still available to complement RB Duke Johnson on this potent Texans offense.
Raiders 24, Broncos 16. If ever a team needed a moral and actual win, it was the Raiders. After the circus they endured all offseason (and I’m not even talking about Hard Knocks cameras following them everywhere), the Raiders were ready to move on, led by veteran QB Derek Carr and rookie RB Josh Jacobs. The Broncos were rolling out new QB Joe Flacco for the first time, hoping he can be the missing piece to go with a solid defense. This was not the case, this week at least. Fantasy implications: RB Josh Jacobs is the real deal, and TE Darren Waller could be the solution to your TE problems! For Denver, WR Courtland Sutton benefitted most from veteran QB Flacco, catching 7 passes for 120 yards.
Week 1 had ups, downs, injuries, and heroics. Week 2 has some interesting matchups including the tough Vikings defense taking on Aaron Rodgers and the Pack at Lambeau, the Saints in LA facing the Rams in an epic rematch following the playoff controversy of last season, and a Browns vs. Jets Monday night football date that is interesting for the first time in YEARS. What games are you excited about?! Which players will come up big for your fantasy squad? Will your team bounce back this week?