31 Things to Know After Week 1
In the spirit of the number 31, David Johnson, the fantasy football consensus number one overall pick, was injured in the first game of the season. This injury was subject to a lot of speculation all the way into Monday, when it was confirmed he’ll be out for 2-3 months for wrist surgery. This does not bode well for an Arizona team that looked awful versus Detroit this week, and will look to both Kerwyn Williams and Andre Ellington to recover for the loss of their main offensive weapon.
The Patriots are not going 16-0. The Patriots had many narratives entering this season that ranged anywhere from Tom Brady is too old to this is the best team to be in the field since their 16-0 squad where they lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl. The Patriots had little to no pass rush against KC, Alex Smith was able to carve up their defense, and the newest rookie sensation Kareem Hunt also had no difficulty rushing the ball on the Pat’s defense.
Houston, we have a problem. The Texans allowed 10 sacks against their division rival Jaguars while also having starting guard Jeff Allen go down with an ankle injury. If the sacks weren’t bad enough, the Savage era appears to be over too: Tom Savage struggled in the first half so much that Bill O’Brien gave rookie DeShaun Watson the opportunity to finish the game, where he managed to get the ball to Hopkins for a touchdown. Watson is now expected to start this Thursday versus the Bengals.
The offense is crumbling in Cincinnati. Andy Dalton had five turnovers with four interceptions in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens where the Bengals failed to score a point. The offensive line looked horrendous which left Dalton under duress the entire day, which prevented any offensive flow. On top of that, rookie Joe Mixon only had two touches, which is not a recipe for success for the Bengals.
Three defenses had 20+ points in fantasy in Week one. Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia all had 4+ sacks and at least two turnovers forced in the game. It is safe to say all these teams won with their defenses being the biggest impact in their given games. The Jags had the most amounts of fantasy points despite the LA Rams scoring two touchdowns in thanks to defense and special teams.
Indianapolis colts handled their QB situation as poorly as possible, and Scott Tolzien was as advertised: horrible. The Rams were not allowing any offensive prowess from the Colts but it was quite evident that Tolzien is not the answer to winning games until Andrew Luck comes back. Jacoby Brisset took over and actually scored a touchdown in the later part of the game and is intended to start in Week 2.
The Jets winless season is still alive. The Jets travelled to Bills Mafia and lived up to expectations by scoring only 12 points, with Josh McCowan dumping and diving his way through the game with limited deep balls being thrown. The Jets are already avidly scouting both Louisville and UCLA to see what QB is destined to be the next starter of this lackluster New York team.
Le’veon Bell only rushed for 32 yards… against the Browns. The Browns kept this game too close for comfort Steelers fans, even though Pittsburgh was still able to pull out a victory in Cleveland. Bell clearly had some rust from not playing until the Monday before the game so hopefully the consensus number 2 in fantasy will bounce back.
Rookie running backs lived up to the hype. Fournette, Hunt and Cook all rushed for 100+ in their respective games, all getting their first NFL Ws as well. For Leonard Fournette, the reports of being fed the ball relentlessly were confirmed with him touching the ball near 30 times. Kareem Hunt put on a clinic versus the Patriots in his first game after having his first NFL catch result in a fumble – his first in over 400 snaps. Hunt broke rookie RB records by totaling over 240 total yards in his first game. Dalvin Cook played a Saints team that corralled him for the most part but the second half we saw his true capabilities. Vikings are not afraid to make him the workhorse back so it should be interesting to see how these rookies do the rest of the season.
Your number 1 &2 quarterbacks for Week 1 are two first overall picks: Alex Smith and Sam Bradford. Going into Week 1, nobody was saying that these two were going to be these two quarterbacks. Sam Bradford demonstrated how bad the Saints’ secondary was when he straight up embarrassed them on multiple occasions. Alex Smith had his 7th career game of 300+ passing yards thanks to Andy Reid’s game plan to keep it simple while keeping Travis Kelce under control throughout the game.
Beast Mode is back! Marshawn Lynch looked like he hadn’t missed a beat, rushing the ball 18 times for 76 yards while also hauling in a 16 yard catch. Lynch didn’t eclipse the 100 yard mark but he looks ready and the relevance of his locker room presence should not be overlooked for a threatening Raiders team.
Dan Quinn got way too excited over a win against Chicago. Atlanta literally had to wait until the last second to unleash a deep breath of victory against the Bears. Mohamed Sanu had more targets than Julio Jones so the Bears succeeded in their defensive game plans and only lost the game due a violent case of the drops in the final seconds where Mike Glennon gave them a great chance to take the lead on three straight plays.
Matt Stafford is worth the money. He may not have had the best first half, but the raging offense came alive in the second half (and especially in the 4th quarter). Matt Stafford was able to utilize his new rookie weapon in Kenny Golladay where he was able to see pay dirt twice in the game. The money man looked composed after throwing his pick six in the first half, and going forward he gives Detroit a good chance at wins week in and week out in the hopes of another playoff birth.
Fly Eagles Fly. Carson Wentz looking confident in his second season where he pushed the Eagles to a relatively easy victory against the Redskins. Eagles dodged a bullet late in the game with a call on the field saving the chances of any comeback by the Redskins being shut down because of a fumble call by Kirk Cousins. The Eagle’s signal caller was very efficient and the Eagles D seem to have a step on the Redskins every down.
One touchdown pass was thrown at Lambeau field on opening day. Russel Wilson and Aaron Rodgers were only able to muster one touchdown in this game between them, and it took until the second half. The offensive line for Seattle was struggling, with flashbacks to last year coming to Wilson’s mind. The Seattle defense has to consider this a win by only allowing AR12 to get to the end zone once, but the offense was unable to get any real flow until the hurry-up offense late in the game.
Jonathon Stewart isn’t going away. Stewart touched the ball 20 times in the Panther’s opener compared to McCaffrey’s 18, but Stewart was the only one out of that two to see the end zone - which he did through the air. It will be interesting to see how the Panthers split the touches the rest of the season, but it should be noted that Coach Rivera said they overused Christian McCaffrey this week.
Cowboys Nation is stronger than ever – or is it just that Eli misses Odell? The Cowboys manhandled the Giants on Sunday night, where it seemed like Dallas had possession the entire game. Eli Manning typically struggles without his star wide out, and he certainly did against Dallas with just 220 yards and no touchdowns, with an interception to top it all off. The Cowboys offensive line looked strong against the Giants D, and their defense only allowed 35 yards on the ground.
Trevor Siemian looked poised. Siemian won the job in Denver and led them to a Week 1 victory versus the Chargers. The Broncos quarterback was throwing the ball downfield when open, placing the ball in small holes to his receivers, and stood his ground quite well considering the 4 sacks by the Chargers. San Diego were one kick away from pushing the game to overtime, but Youtube sensation Younghoe Koo was unable to get the ball high enough.
TJ Watt has more sacks than JJ Watt. JJ’s brother TJ was two of Pittsburgh four sacks in their game against the Browns. In JJ’s defense, his finger popped out mid-game, but he still played to the end after a short break. TJ Watt may still be in the shadow of his brother but after Week 1 he’s looking like the better of the two.
Tampa and Miami had a week off. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Florida, but we should note that both of these teams get an extra week of preparation going into Week 2, but are now both staring down 16 straight weeks of games. Miami will to travel to LA to play Melvin Gordon and the Chargers in Week 2, while Tampa gets home field advantage against the Bears.
Danny Woodhead truly cannot stay healthy. Woodhead aggravated his hamstring yet again and is set to miss about a month of time for the Ravens. Buck Allen should be the new recipient of his touches from game to game.
Allen Robinson tore his ACL. The Jags passing game takes a huge blow with losing their freak of an athlete in Allen Robinson for the entire year. Leonard Fournette was getting a lot of touches before this injury and I can only forecast those numbers increasing. Marquise Lee and Allen Hurns are both valuable waiver wire pickups this week, but the Jags are trying to keep the ball out of Bortles’ hands.
Dont’e Hightower is the only linebacker of value on the Patriots defense. Hightower went down with an injury this game and was unable to come back despite his pain levels not looking too high. After he went down, their defense was completely discombobulated. Keep an eye on his health status for upcoming weeks.
DeMarco Murray is seeing the ball less. Titans had only 21 rush attempts in their game versus Oakland despite having a top 5 offensive line. Murray had 12 of those, but only gained 44 yards, while Derick Henry saw the ball 6 times for 25. Henry’s number of opportunities is going to creep closer and closer to Murray’s as the season goes on.
The Vikings owned two of the top 5 fantasy wide receivers. Adam “Wheelin’ and Dealin’” Thiielen had 9 catches for a tremendous 157 yards and looked to be Bradford’s favorite target in the 20 to 20 range . Stefon Diggs was the other receiver who looked elite on Monday night. Diggs had 7 catches for 93 yards with a pair of touchdowns, where he made multiple tough catches and was another favorite of Bradford.
The Saints have the most crowded backfield in the league. Rush attempts went 7, 6, and 6; with Alvin Kamara receiving the most and Peterson only getting one more yard than Ingram. Combined they had an average of 2.8 yards - nowhere near good enough to beat the Vikings defense.
Hunter Henry did not catch the ball once. Henry was supposed to take over the lead role on the tight end front in LA but Gates was the only one with catches; and even then he only received two of them. If you chose Henry for your fantasy team, you may have to prepare yourself to cut sooner rather than later.
LA Rams tickets were being sold for $6 before game time. I totally see why LA fans are not excited after last season and their number one overall pick not panning out in his rookie season, but c’mon man. The stadium looked empty in their triumphant win over the Colts, but tickets are cheaper than ever, so buy low.
Kevin White with his third straight injury riddled season. The seventh overall pick from three years ago got injured yet again, and now the Bears have even less talent for their wide receiver corps. However, backup RB Tarik Cohen was Mike Glennon’s favorite target in Week 1 and should be near the top of the waiver wire targets for Week one.
Antonio Brown is still a freak. Did not see the end zone but was able to decimate the secondary of Cleveland by tallying 182 yards receiving on 11 catches. Brown made it look easy, he revved up his YAC in this game proving to be Big Ben’s favorite target.
Do not overreact. It is Week 1, funny things happen because of the first snaps each team is enduring with new faces around the field and sideline. Remember to always stick with your gut if you are uncertain, but let’s not forget that Austin Hooper had the best stiff arm since Beast Mode’s run against the Saints.