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Just want to say a few things before we kick this off. Everyone needs to relax. It's Week 1. 80% of the key players shit the bed this week. Most people's teams stunk, outside of those that had a Chiefs stack. Here are a few stats that might help you sleep a little bit better:
- Excluding QBs, 4 of the top-10 scores this week were defenses... in 0.5 PPR.
- In Week 1 of 2016 - QBs threw 48 touchdowns.
- In Week 1 of 2017 - QBs threw 38 touchdowns.
- In Week 1 of 2016 - RBs rushed for 25 touchdowns.
- In Week 1 of 2017 - RBs rushed for 15 touchdowns.
It was just an ugly week all around.
Also want to say, Wednesday morning shouldn't just be for checking who you won on waivers.. you HAVE to check who your league mates dropped. Examples of guys dropped in just my 4 leagues: Eric Ebron (in a 14-teamer), Rishard Matthews, Eric Decker, Frank Gore, ARZ D who struggled vs. DET but gets INDY in Week 2.
Anyways: We power forward homies and homettes.
Key Injuries from Week 1
David Johnson - RB (ARZ)
- Will have surgery on his wrist and be out 2-3 months. Arians hopes to have him back by "Thanksgiving or Christmas".
- Kerwynn Williams came in and carried it 5 times for 10 yards, scored a touchdown, but was out-snapped by Andre Ellington 20-9.
- Cardinals re-signed Chris Johnson to their roster and we know how Arians loves veterans. I see this in in two different ways. 1. It's hard to imagine that CJ2K plays a big role after being released in favor of these two and is just insurance and a guy that knows the offense. 2. Maybe he thought Williams and Ellington were better compliments to DJ and now he'll use CJ in the same situations as DJ to an extent.
- Williams is named the starter for Week 2, and I actually think he can be a nice plug-in RB2/flex for this week against the Colts, ARZ is a 7 point favorite, so Vegas expects them to be winning. Goal-line opportunity or two should be there for him. It's a messy backfield at best. After that, it's a full-blown RBBC, between Kerwynn, CJ2k and Ellington is my favorite PPR play.
Allen Robinson - WR (JAX)
- He suffered a torn ACL on his first catch, leaving Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee as the Jags WR1 and 2. Hurns has an impressive track record, while Lee impressed last season catching 63 passes for 851 yards and was a more highly touted prospect as a 2nd rounder out of USC. I like both guys to pick up the 150 targets than Robinson has averaged over the last two seasons.
- At 6'3, Hurns is my bet for touchdown upside in this passing offense. He notched 10 during his sophomore campaign and 6 during his rookie season in 2014.
- They both played 77% of JAX snaps in Week 1 and neither have a crazy overall ceiling given the nature of their new team, heavily reliant on the ground game and a strong defensive presence. But, not every game will go like Week 1 went, and their will undoubtedly be passing volume to go around in this offense when they're trailing. I'm not sure what everyone's infatuation with Marquise Lee is, like he's a god compared to Hurns, but give me Hurns over Lee in all formats. They'll both play outside in 2-WR sets, but Hurns comes inside on 3-WR sets which is a position that usually sees easier coverages + more targets. Dede Westbrook's return is expected in Week 9 I believe, so he's someone to keep in your head after a monster preseason.
Danny Woodhead - RB (BAL)
- Woodhead, well on his way to a big game after catching 3 passes for 33 yards in about 14 seconds, pulled up lame in the first quarter with a semi-serious hamstring injury.
- We've heard he's expected to miss anywhere from 4-8 weeks, leaving fantasy owners in no-mans land. They're deciding whether or not to throw in If you have a deep bench or an IR spot, hold him if you can. You could see just how heavily utilized Woodhead would've been if healthy.
- Javorious Allen is the favorite to lead Baltimore RBs in receptions, but should also play a big role in running game. Think about all offseason while Woodhead was recovering from the hamstring issue, it was Buck Allen that was practicing and taking reps in that role, the pass-catching role. It's carved out in that offense and I think he's just a puzzle piece to fit in there. Allen out-rushed Terrance West 21-19. They both saw 50% of the team's snaps on Sunday. That volume is highly unlikely to carry over week-to-week given the game flow of their 20-0 victory over Cincy, but both backs should see 12-15 touches going forward and provide RB3/flex value.
- For those worried about whatever noise they heard about Michael Campanaro:
- In my eyes, it was literally just Flacco saying other people need to step up, there are targets up for grabs. It's not like Campanaro is going to be getting 50% of the snaps from the RB position. It goes back to people always saying "oh he's going to play the Darren Sproles role" like it's just fit someone in. It's the same with Woodhead, he's actually very good, and I don't expect Buck Allen to give you 100% of what Woodhead would give you but there's little doubt in my mind Allen is the receiving back to own in Woodhead's absence.
Kevin White - WR (CHI)
- Honestly, I think Kevin White just prolonged the inevitable of him proving to be a poor NFL WR. The fractured scapula suffered against the Falcons in Week 1, will mean more targets for Tarik Cohen, Zach Miller and I guess whoever they choose to use on the outside between Kendall Wright and Markus Wheaton. I don't plan on picking up either of the latter, idc that "Glennon has to throw to someone on the outside".
Sebastian Janikowski - K (OAK)
- I normally wouldn't mention kickers here, but Janikowski's being on the I.R. means someone else will get an opportunity to kick for what projects to be a very high-scoring offense in Oakland. My theory on kickers is just to pick on in a high-scoring offense and the rest will play itself out. That guy will be Giorgio Tavecchio the 27-year old kicker from U of Cal. And he looked really good in their Week 1 win over Tennessee.
- Tavecchio knocked in all 4 of his FG attempts on Sunday including a pair of 52 yarders along with a 42 and 20-yard kick. He went 2-for-2 on XPs as well. That's 19 fantasy points... He should get plenty of opportunity in this offense to keep the points coming.
Notable WR/CB Matchups
Larry Fitzgerald - 83.8 (ARZ) vs. Nate Hairston 49.4 (IND)
- Palmer and Fitz didn't look so hot in Week 1, but Indy looked worse. Both Fitz (64%) and Hairston (96%) ran the vast majority of their routes in the slot last week. Hairston struggled against rookie Cooper Kupp, who ran 56% of his routes from the slot caught 4-of-6 targets for 76 yards and a score.
- Without DJ, Palmer will have no choice but to lean on the 34-year old here.
Marvin Jones Jr. (DET) vs. Janoris Jenkins (NYG)
- Much like we saw with Jenkins on Dez, and Patrick Peterson on Marvin Jones, it'll flip and Jenkins is expected to shadow Marvin Jones. We saw Terrance Williams in Week 1, (6-68), have a decent receiving day, but this is a stiff pass defense either way.
- The Lions plays a ton of 3-WR sets as their offense struggles running the ball, as it likely will against the Giants on the road, so with Kenny Golladay's 64% snap rate expected to gradually increase, both him and Golden Tate are preferred but not great fantasy options.
Devante Parker (MIA) vs. Casey Hayward (LAC)
- I'm not sure people understand just how good the CB duo the Chargers have is. Hawyard was PFF's 5th highest rated CB in Week 1 behind Chris Harris Jr. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Malcolm Butler and Aquib Talib.
- Hawyard is a shadow corner and is expected to go toe-to-toe with Parker. It's not saying Parker can't out-due the norm and reel in a big play, but temper expectations for this week.
T.Y. Hilton (IND) vs. Patrick Peterson (ARZ)
- Peterson is a shadow corner.
- Hilton is the Colts #1.
- The Colts still don't have Andrew Luck.
- Hilton is a must-sit this week.
Tyreek Hill (KC) vs. Jalen Mills (PHI)
- Coming off the huge game, it's fair to wonder if Hill can sustain. I think he will, at least for another week.
- After losing Ronald Darby to a dislocated ankle, Philly is without their top CB.
- Jalen Mills, who's expected to bash heads with Hill for most of the day, had PFF's 3rd worst CB rating in Week 1. (He's not a shadow, but neither Patrick Robinson or Malcolm Jenkins are good either).
Pierre Garcon (SF) vs. Shaquill Griffin (SEA)
- Garcon ran 50% of his routes from the left side of the field in Week 1, his primary position. The Seahawks top 2 corners, Richard Sherman and Jeremy Lane man the LCB and slot CB positions, respectively, leaving Garcon to run routes versus Griffin most of the day.
- Garcon was rated PFF's 6th best WR in Week 1 behind guys like Antonio Brown, A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Michael Thomas and he had the numbers to back up the rating, going 6-for-10 for 81 yards. Griffin on the other hand, rated terribly in coverage, finishing in the bottom-10 among 90-100 qualified CBs.
- As 2-touchdown underdogs, the 49ers should be airing the ball out all day.
- All 3 WRs rated pretty good, Decker the worst of the 3, followed by Davis and led by the highest rating of Rishard Matthews.
- Unfortunately, they get a group of CBs that rated out even better than them in Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye and Aaron Colvin.
- None of these guys are shadow CBs, but Ramsey is expected to cover Matthews, Bouye on Davis, Colvin on Decker. Ramsey shut down Hopkins allowing just 3 catches on 6 targets for 23 yards on Sunday, but he didn't practice on Wednesday. He played in every snap on Sunday so it's a bit of a surprise, but a situation to keep an eye on. If Ramsey out, I'd be okay playing Rishard in my lineup.
Murky RB Situations
- With listed starter Thomas Rawls out with a high ankle sprain, Chris Carson led the Hawks backfield with 39 rushing yards on 6 carries, adding a 10-yard catch. He led the backfield in snaps (26 vs. Prosise 16, Lacy 7) and easily looked like the best back on the field, making something out of nothing on multiple plays. Fatboy Lacy is clearly out of the picture.
- HC Pete Carroll said Thomas Rawls will play in Week 2 against SF. It's a nice matchup, but I'd bet Rawls and Carson split early down work near even for now. Their offensive line was atrocious in Week 1. Neither back is anything more than a desperation RB3/flex play in Week 2 until the situation sheds more light.
- If I had to bet right now, Carson leads this backfield in touches by season's end. But I'd roster either him or Rawls for the time being. I'm okay letting go of Prosise.
- Nothing surprising in Cincy's backfield during Week 1. All three backs, Joe Mixon, Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard got their snaps and touches.
- It played out like this - Gio saw an RB-high 44.4% of their snaps, followed by Mixon at 37% and Hill with just 16.7%. It's not surprising given that they were chasing points the whole game and both Gio and Mixon are superior pass-catchers to Hill. Mixon was involved (rush or target) on 20.4% of his snaps which was far more than either Gio (14.9%) or Hill (10.6%).
- Mixon led the team in carries (8) and overall touches (11), but was out-gained by Gio 79-24. It wasn't a good showing from any part of this Cincy offense and didn't really help clear up this backfield at all.
- Chalk it up to a rough start, or Baltimore's great defense, but it'd be smart to stay away from this backfield completely until we get more clarity of there's an injury to one of the 3.
New York Jets
- It's only a matter of time before the Jets hand the keys of their backfield over to Bilal Powell. Don't fret about his Week 1 performance, better days are ahead.
- Despite Matt Forte seeing 60.4% of the teams snaps to Powell's 52.8%, Powell both out-carried (7-6) and out-targeted Forte (6-5). It's a good sing of things to come seeing as how it took nearly 65% of the 2016 season for that to come to fruition.
- Powell also caught a ball and was tackled on the 1-yard line, but it's a good sign seeing as how Powell only had 2 targets inside the opponent's 10-yard line all of 2016.
- The boxscore doesn't line up with the eye test here. Stewart wound up out-touching CMAC 20-18, but McCaffrey was in on 67% of Carolina's snaps compared to just 46% for Stewart and much of that was garbage time/game script. CMac dominated RB touches in the first half, and it wasn't until the game was put away that Stewart padded his line. He had 7 of his 18 carries on the final, close-out drive by the Panthers. It's good to see that even in a blowout win, McCaffrey still caught 5 balls, so as the games get tighter, the rookie the guy to own here. Next week might be more of the same though as the Panthers are 7.5 points favorites at home against Buffalo.
1. Ty Montgomery - RB (GB)
- Is the clear bell-cow, handled 85% of GBs snaps at RB, would of been above 90 had he not left for a couple of plays with a minor bang up. He gets Atlanta in Week 2, who I know from watching their games, are just awful at covering pass-catching running backs. Forget rushing yards, Ty Mont will probably go for 60 through the air. It's not just historical but look what Tarik Cohen did to them in Week 1. The game has a point total of 53.5 according to Vegas, 2nd highest only to NE and NO, expect a lot of points here.
2. Mike Gillislee & James White - RBs (NE)
- I'd gladly start both guys, and I actually am in my Etown Get Down League. They're headed to play in the dome versus New Orleans in a game with a 56 point over/under, as touchdown favorites. They're both the clear favorite for their role in this backfield, Gillislee as the early-down runner, short yardage and goal-line, White as the pass-catcher which is so valuable in this offense who is missing Julian Edelman and now likely Danny Amendola. I like both of them to find pay-dirt in Week 2.
3. Bilal Powell - RB (NYJ)
- On the road @ Oakland, the Jets are 14 point underdogs. This is where Powell will shine and finish with 7-8 catches and put up a monster PPR day for you. Forte out-snapped Powell in Week 1, but Powell had more touches and targets. Even in a time split, Powell is much more suited as the pass-catching back. Last year, in games where the Jets lost by at least 14 points (6 games), Powell averaged just under 5 catches, and 2 of those were in the beginning of the season when Forte dominated touches. He ranked 4th in the NFL last season in both running back targets and receptions.
4. Eric Ebron - TE (DET)
- Did barely anything in Week 1, catching 2-of-3 for nine yards, but he saw a lot of Tyrann Mathieu coverage and he's slowly coming back from that offseason hamstring injury. In Week 2 he gets a New York Giants defense that's really bad against TEs, they let Jason Witten throw up a 7-59-1 spot on them. Look for Ebron to post similar stats on MNF.
Sell High Candidates
Todd Gurley - RB (LAR)
- He is such an easy sell high-candidate for me. He had a big PPR game in Week 1 against arguably the worst team in the NFL - the Andrew Luck-less, Vontae Davis-less, Indianapolis Colts on the road.
- Gurley was terrible on the ground, gaining 40 yards on 19 carries (2.1 ypc) but scored once to save standard fantasy owners. Admittedly, he looked good catching the ball, reeling in 5-of-6 targets for 56 yards, a point of his game new HC Sean McVay said would be more apparent this offseason.
- Todd Gurley has eclipsed 90 rushing yards in a game once over his last 25 games.
- Todd Gurley has eclipsed 90 rushing yards in a game once over his last 25 games.
- Todd Gurley has eclipsed 90 rushing yards in a game once over his last 25 games.
- That was in Week 14 in 2015.
- Gurley gained just one yard on 8-second half carries. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Gurley was the 2nd most inefficient RB in all of Week 1.
- He is an RB2 based purely off of volume and will not see a game script like he saw in Week 1 again in 2017.
- Gurley gets nice matchups coming up vs. WAS, @ SF and @ DAL, but will be the ultimate sell-high fantasy guy following these two games. He gets a brutal run-d slate starting in Week 5 where he sees: SEA, @JAX, ARZ, BYE, @NYG, HOU, @MIN. Not to mention his first fantasy playoff matchup in Week 15 is @ SEA.
Leonard Fournette - RB (JAX)
- It's not often you get told to trade away a guy that touched the ball 29 times. I know how good he looked in Week 1, I get it. 26 carries, 100 rushing yards, a rushing touchdown, caught all 3 of his targets for 24 yards.
- But the Jags will never get a game script like this again, that allows them to give the rookie 29 touches without a worry in the world. Blake Bortles literally only completed 11 passes.
- Fournette attempted 8 goal-line carries in this game and only escaped with 1 rushing touchdown.
- In my eyes, he's still a volume-dependent fantasy back with limited scoring upside. His 3.8 yards per carry is nothing to ride home about.
- I'd expect Yeldon to be back in either Week 2 or Week 3 which should further eat into any passing upside Fournette has.
- Don't get me wrong, I'd be happy to have Fournette as my RB2 in fantasy, but at this moment you can probably get RB1 value on the trade market, which I don't think he will be for the rest of the season. He'll have his big games, benefiting from a relatively easy overall run schedule and premium defense, but I think most games will see Fournette finish with 70-90 total yards without a score.
Guys not to worry about, it's 1 game people.
Le'Veon Bell - RB (PIT)
Just stop. Try offering the Bell owner in your league Kareem Hunt or Fournette or something.
Russell Wilson - QB (SEA)
I'll admit, I'm a little more nervous following Week 1 and seeing just how bad their offensive line is, but I have faith in RW and Pete Carroll to turn it around and make it work just as they have over the previous 5 seasons. Also credit GB defense, they were killed with injuries early on last year which made them look awful, but they're back at full strength and looked much better on Sunday. Wilson's played at Lambeau 3 times in his career, all from 2015 or later, these are his splits: Better days are ahead, especially at home.
Tom Brady - QB (NE)
All Elite TEs
T'was a bad Week 1 for highly-drafted TEs. Move on.
Alshon Jeffery - WR (PHI)
He's not someone I targeted in drafts, but if you did, I wouldn't worry just yet. Him and elite CB Josh Norman faced off on Sunday so Wentz had to look elsewhere, like Agholor and Zach Ertz. The 7 targets is still promising despite being blanketed by Norman. Jeffery is a rule-of-3 guy for me. Give it 3 weeks before you start to panic.
***As for buy low -
The video I made a few weeks ago still holds exactly as I saw it. Weak game from Dez. Weak game from Crowell, but dominated RB snaps (76%) and touches 19, the offense will improve and so will his numbers. Crowell only had 19 touches four times all of 2016 and averaged 127 total yards in those games and scored 4 times in those 4 games. (Show Game Pass footage of Lamar Miller - 20:21 & 26:13) Mariota, as expected had a good Week 1 game against a bad Oakland defense, but gets 3 tough passing matchups over as many games @JAX, SEA and @HOU. Expect him to struggle and make a splash again in Week 5. This goes for all these TEN weapons.
Can Cut List
1. Darren McFadden - Zeke is playing the whole year.
2. Eddie Lacy - goes without saying.
3. Kenny Britt - looks like Coleman is the guy to own here after catching 5-of-6 targets for 53 yards and a tuddy, at least for now. Not necessarily excited about him, but no way CLV can give 2 usable fantasy WRs.
4. Robert Turbin - Team is just awful, Mack out-touched him.
5. Carson Palmer - After their game @ IND. Without David Johnson this team is going to be garbage.
6. Zay Jones - In anything other than full PPR.
7. Latavius Murray - Was in on 5% of snaps while Cook ran away with the game.
8. Either OAK backup RB outside of 12+ team leagues.
Streaming Defenses of the Week
Baltimore - vs. CLE (Owned in 50% of Yahoo Leagues)
After a dominating 20-0 win over division rival Cincinnati Bengals, the Ravens will look to move to 2-0 against another divisional opponent when they take on the Browns at home. This works from both ways in that Baltimore is a very good defense and Cleveland is a very bad offense. The Ravens are coming off a 25-fantasy point performance that included, obviously a shut out, 5 sacks, 4 interceptions and a fumble recovery. The Browns on the other hand, let up 7 sacks, an interception and a fumble to Pittsburgh in Week 1. The Ravens are 7.5 point favorites in a game with the 2nd lowest over/under of all games in Week 2 (40). Deshone Kizer is still very much a rookie and will have his hands full on the road against Baltimore.
Jacksonville - vs. TEN (Owned in 37% of Yahoo Leagues)
I'll be honest, I'm still very much skeptical of the Jaguars as an elite defense, but it's hard to argue against 10 sacks, an interception, 3 fumble recoveries a touchdown and allowing 7 points. How can I possible be skeptical? Well, this was against the Houston Texans and Tom Savage, who sport one of the worst offensive lines in football, and, well, Tom Savage as their quarterback. They'll have a tougher match in Week 2 going against Marcus Mariota and the Titans, who have an elite front 5 blocking for the former Oregon Duck. Jacksonville will be on a defensive high after their Week 1 game. This game has a sub-par over/under total of 43.5. It'll be an interesting matchup for sure.
Cincinnati Bengals - vs. HOU (Owned in 24% of Yahoo Leagues)
I'm in now way advocating the Bengals defense as a good defense, but you could find much worse in Week 2. But, the Bengals play in 36 hours and just barely announced their starting QB in Deshaun Watson. Cincy is a 5-point favorite in the lowest Vegas point total for the week (38).
Locks of The Century (#LoTC)
Record on the Season (2-1)
Week 1 #LoTCs
- NYJ +10 @ BUF = W
- ATL vs. CHI under 48.5 = W
- TEN -2.5 vs. OAK = L
Week 2 #LoTCS
- NYJ @ OAK over 43.5
- LAC -4 vs. MIA
- MIN @ PIT over 45.5
I'm in 4 $ leagues. One is the Etown Get Down, I'm sure a lot of you watched the live draft, I lost that one... I didn't have OBJ for Week 1, I had Woodhead and Allen Robinson in my starting lineup, Dez played the GMEN, so yeah. I was able to grab Buck Allen & Golladay off waivers though. The second league is my college friends, I won that. Third is the Fantasy Jocks office league, I wont that. 4th is the subscriber league, listen to this. I lost by 0.3 points, I accidentally left OBJ in at flex AND I had Dalton starting at QB who got me -3 points!!!!!
BDGE Dad Hat Giveaway
Giving away two BDGE Dad Hats. What you have to do is subscribe on YouTube, give this video the thumbs up, go follow me on Twitter @BDGEatFantasy. Comment on the video the craziest fantasy story from Week 1, could be a W, an L, I don't care just something crazy from one of your matchups.