By: Colin Chiles, Caleb Edelman, and Alex Cannata
Week 1 Fantasy Recap – By: Colin Chiles
It was a relatively quiet first week in both the NFL and fantasy, although there were definitely some breakout performers. The biggest storyline I see from week 1 was the success of many rookie RB’s, none more so than KC’s own Kareem Hunt who dazzled in the season opener last Thursday. His ability to run behind and to the outside of the tackles combined with his pass catching ability bode extremely well for those that drafted him. Leonard Fournette of the Jaguars and Dalvin Cook of the Vikings also had impressive first game performances. I have to say, this is a much needed jolt to the position, which has become extremely shallow. Even though Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara (Hutch CC product) and Joe Mixon (probably should be in jail) didn’t put up big numbers, all of them seemed involved with the offense and that will likely only increase as the season moves on and they see more snaps.
Another minor storyline is noted 5 yard noodle arm passers Alex Smith and Sam Bradford put on shows that made them look like the best two QB’s in the league. Bradford had the benefit of going up against a Saints defense that might as well be playing a friendly family of raccoons at corner. I can’t imagine either guy could keep up that level of production but if the Chiefs and Vikings offense are really going to be this good then these are two teams to watch out for.
Outside of Hunt, there really weren’t a lot of gaudy numbers in week one, despite Antonio Brown doing his thing for 182 receiving yards. Hopefully things pick up in week two because I think we can all agree that more points scored is better for all of us.
Hot waiver wire pickups – Week 1 – By: Caleb Edelman
#10 – Austin Hooper TE, Atlanta Falcons. This is definitely a homer pick as I just love Austin Hooper. He only had 2 catches on Sunday, but he made them count with an 88-yard touchdown and another 40-yard reception. Jesse James had a great weekend, as did Coby Fleener and many other enticing TEs, but I think Hooper has a real shot at having a top 10 fantasy TE campaign this year. He gets the Packers at home next week, who just shut down Jimmy Graham.
#9 – Shane Vereen RB, New York Giants. You may not have noticed this, but Shane Vereen had the Giants most receptions on Sunday night with 9 on 10 targets. With this usage, and continued poor performance from lead back Paul Perkins, Vereen may just have a bounce back year and become a PPR gold mine. The Giants will certainly find the end zone next week against the Lions and I like Vereen to have a TD.
#8 – Buck (Javorius) Allen RB, Baltimore Ravens. Buck Allen actually had more carries than Terrance West in this one and was very comparable with a 21-71-0 line. The real difference between the two being that Terrance West got the touchdown. The competition for the #1 RB in Baltimore is closer than expected and Buck Allen should be owned. He has very high upside and could easily take the starting job away from West. He should have room to run against the Browns next week.
#7 – Nelson Agholor WR, Philadelphia Eagles. And it’s DeSean Jackson with the 58-yard Hail Mary TD catch from Wentz under pressure! Oh wait, Nelson Agholor? With 8 targets, he was looked at more than Alshon Jeffrey and certainly more productive with a 6-86-1 line. I like this Eagles offense and want to get a piece of it. A dangerous road trip to Arrowhead and the Chiefs up next though.
#6 – Chris Carson RB, Seattle Seahawks. If you drafted Eddie Lacy, then you made a mistake. Chris Carson looks to wrestle away the starting job in the very near future and has a good shot at retaining it even upon the return of Thomas Rawls. The Seahawks have a terrible offensive line so his upside is limited, but has flex appeal if you are RB needy. The Seahawks get to tee off on the 49ers defense next week so he’s a good pickup if just for week 2, assuming Rawls does not play.
#5 – Kenny Golladay WR, Detroit Lions. He’s talented, scored 2 TDs in his debut, and everyone in Detroit is raving about him. Enough said, but he will face the tough Giants secondary in week 2.
#4 – Cooper Kupp WR, Los Angeles Rams. Cooper tied Todd Gurley for the lead in Rams’ targets with 6 on Sunday and appears to be a favorite new target for Jared Goff. This rookie WR is my favorite to add for week 1 among WRs and I think offers a very safe floor, with top 20 upside. It will be very interesting to see how the Redskins lineup across from Kupp next week.
#3 – Marlon Mack RB, Indianapolis Colts. At the end of the season, I think Marlon Mack and Kareem Hunt will be the 2 biggest surprises of this rookie RB draft. Unlike his counterpart Kareem Hunt, Mack is still largely unowned and I suggest you pick him up. He had an even split with Frank Gore on Sunday, 10 carries a piece which I found very surprising as I expected the Colts to ease Mack into this offense. He was the least productive of the two, but showed great burst on his first NFL touchdown. I think we will see more and more of Mack as the season wears on, especially if the Colts continually find themselves down in games, just be patient with him. Home matchup with the Cardinals on tap next week.
#2 – Tarik Cohen RB, Chicago Bears. The Bears offense was surprisingly effective against the Falcons in their week 1 debut and it was largely due to this sensational 4th round rookie. Tarik was the Bears leading rusher in yards and on only 5 carries. More importantly, he was the Bears leading receiver with 8 catches on 12 targets. The “human joystick” is going to be a big part of the Bears offense this season and you want him on your team. The Bears are at the Buccaneers next week, who are well rested after an odd week 1 bye.
#1 – Kerwynn Williams RB, Arizona Cardinals. Kerwynn is officially listed as the #2 RB behind David Johnson on the Arizona Cardinals depth chart, and the early news on DJ’s injury is not good as he looks to miss at least 8 weeks. This makes Kerwynn your top priority for the week. He is a much smaller back than DJ, only 5’8 and less than 200 lbs., which means he likely won’t get as full a load of work as you were expecting from DJ. In fact, dating back to his college days, Kerwynn has never really had a chance to be “the guy” as he was buried behind Robert Turbin and Michael Smith so there’s potential that he really shines given this opportunity. The best news of all for Kerwynn is that he gets the Colts in week 2, who just got blown out by the Rams, so he will likely have a very good debut in his start.
Players to drop – Week 1 – By: Alex Cannata
These guys aren’t must-drops, but definitely guys to consider.
– Lots of physical skills, but his situation is going to severely limit his usage for fantasy. After 1 week, the offensive line was atrocious, creating little room for any RB. The Seahawks also appear to be using some gross split between Eddie Lacy, Chris Carson, and Prosise, with Thomas Rawls coming back this week. If the offensive line gets better or Prosise moves up the line it would be interesting, but for now he’s not a necessary hold.
All WRs on the Bears and Jets
– Sure, every week might of them will get 50 yards or a touchdown, good luck guessing which one that might be though. Just let your league mates waste roster spots on the fliers.
– Unless you want to hold him as a handcuff to Dalvin Cook, feel free to cut Murray. Cook established himself as the bell cow Week 1
– Really bad Week 1. He’s in the large of tier of streaming QBs, feel free to drop him for any QB on the waiver wire with a better matchup
– Alfred Morris won the job as the backup, Run DMC is a safe drop now.
– Hope was that this would be some type of split. After Week 1 it looks like this is clearly CJ Anderson’s job. Charles looks like a pure handcuff.
Players that you might be tempted to drop, but should re-consider. These are guys that you might be tempted to dump after a poor Week 1 stat line.
– If you look at the box score, AP was the 3rd string RB and posted a low yards-per-carry. Peterson looked solid when he was out there, just a matter of this being such a split backfield. Hold onto Peterson with the hope that Ingram gets hurt and gives AP a bigger role
– Looked like the 6th option for the Patriots Week 1, but thus is life for a Patriots’ RB/WR. Give him another week or two to see if that changes
– Had only one catch Week 1, but made it count with a nice 50-yard-deep ball down the sideline. Hold onto Moncrief until Luck comes back, might be rough until then though.