Patriots: Rex Burkhead is the guy out of the Patriots backfield
I was extremely concerned with the Patriots running back situation for fantasy owners. With Sony Michel out due to a knee injury, and Jeremy Hill now out for the season with a torn ACL, it’s clear that Rex Burkhead is going to be the workhorse running back in New England. Burkhead had 18 carries for 64 yards in Sunday’s game vs. the Texans. The next most carries that someone had was James White with five.
Jets: Pick up the Jets D/ST, the #1 fantasy defense of week one
The Jets D/ST was absolutely ridiculous in week one, as they had five interceptions, and two touchdowns. The even more impressive thing about this was that they were playing the Lions on the road, and the Lions aren’t normally too bad of an offensive team. The Jets play the Dolphins next week and are available in 99.2% of ESPN fantasy leagues.
Dolphins: Kenny Stills was a tremendous value pick
Kenny Stills had an ADP of 119.6, and was ranked in the 40s for WRs going into this season. The truth is that’s just way too low. Stills is going to be a target monster as the WR1 in that weak Miami offense. He’s one of the only weapons, so I expect big things from him in 2018. Stills caught 4 passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday, and there’s no reason why he can’t be a top-25 wide receiver going forward.
Bills: No Bill other than LeSean McCoy is worth owning
The Bills are by far the worst team in the NFL. I mean… they lost 47-3 to the Baltimore Ravens and have Nathan Peterman as a starting quarterback. Peterman threw for only 24 yards before being benched for Josh Allen. The point is… stay away from the team. If you own LeSean McCoy, you can keep him on your roster, but that’s it.
Steelers: James Conner is a top-5 fantasy RB until Bell comes back
The Steelers have the most running-back-friendly system I’ve ever seen. It’s incredible. They can put De’Angelo Williams back there at 32-years old and he’ll go off, and they can put 23-year-old James Conner out there and he’ll go off. James Conner is a top-five back until Le’Veon Bell comes back. It’s as simple as that. Conner got 36 touches this week, turning it into 192 yards (rushing+receiving) and two touchdowns. He’s talented, and the Steelers just know how to use the running back.
Ravens: I need to see another game before coming up with a takeaway
The Ravens are usually a mediocre team when it comes to fantasy talent. I’m never usually rushing to own any Ravens, as they’re always pedestrian on offense. However, they put up 47 points vs. the Bills the week! Flacco had three touchdowns, John Brown scored, Michael Crabtree scored, and Willie Snead scored. My biggest takeaway from this is that I need to see the Ravens play another game before I can rely on one of these receivers for fantasy purposes.
Bengals: Joe Mixon looks really really good
I’ll be honest. I was a Joe Mixon hater coming into the year. Mixon simply wasn’t that good last season, but it looks like the improved 2018 Bengals offensive line is going to help him out a ton. Joe Mixon finished with 20.9 fantasy points in standard leagues, which ranks fifth among running backs. We’ll see if he can continue this going forward.
Browns: Carlos Hyde is confirmed the RB1 in Cleveland
Many analysts had Duke Johnson Jr. or Nick Chubb ranked higher than Carlos Hyde coming into the season. There’s no way that was ever going to happen. The Browns signed Carlos Hyde in the offseason for a reason. He wasn’t all of a sudden going to come in behind Duke Johnson and Nick Chubb on the depth chart. Hyde had 22 carries in the game on Sunday, compared to a combined 8 for Nick Chubb and Duke Johnson. Expect Hyde to continue as the workhorse in Cleveland.
Colts: Andrew Luck is back, which means T.Y Hilton is back
T.Y Hilton has been Andrew Luck’s favorite target for a long time now, so it’s no coincidence that Hilton had five catches for 46 yards and touchdown in week one. Hilton should return to being a top-15 wide receiver this year, and should be a reliable WR1 or WR2 in your fantasy leagues.
Texans: Lamar Miller continues to get yards, but no touchdowns
Lamar Miller showed us once again, that he’ll get the touches and yards, but rarely ever the touchdowns. Lamar Miller only has eight rushing touchdowns and four receiving touchdowns combined between the last two seasons despite getting 573 touches. He just never seems to get into the end zone. On Sunday, he got his carries and yards (20 for 98), but Alfred Blue scored the one-yard touchdown. That’s how it always is for Lamar Miller.
Jaguars: Leonard Fournette owners need to grab T.J Yeldon
This is pretty simple. Leonard Fournette hurt his hamstring in Sunday’s game against the Giants. T.J Yeldon replaced him and had 14 carries for 51 yards to go along with three catches for 18 yards and a receiving touchdown. Fournette is definitely injury prone, so even if he winds up playing in week two, it’s always good to have Yeldon as a handcuff.
Titans: You can’t trust Derrick Henry
I thought this would finally be the year for Derrick Henry since DeMarco Murray retired, but I was wrong. Henry had 10 carries for 26 yards in the Titans’ loss to the Dolphins compared to Dion Lewis, who had 16 carries for 75 yards. Lewis is more of a passing threat from the backfield than Henry and is a lot more explosive too. That’s why I expect the Titans to continue using Lewis as the main guy going forward.
Chargers: Phillip Rivers lived up to the fantasy hype in week one
Although the Chargers lost the game, Phillip Rivers & co showed us the explosiveness of their offense. Rivers threw for 424 yards and three touchdowns. The Chargers are stacked with offensive weapons such as Melvin Gordon, Keenan Allen, and Mike Williams, and I expect them to be one of the highest scoring teams in the league this year. Phillip Rivers will be the beneficiary of this.
Chiefs: Pat Mahomes and Tyreek Hill… WOW
The Chiefs were ridiculous in Pat Mahomes’ second career start. Mahomes threw for 256 yards and four touchdowns, while Tyreek Hill had seven receptions for 169 yards and two touchdowns. Hill was the best performing wide receiver of week one, and he’ll continue to be on elf the most exciting players to own in fantasy football due to his big-play ability.
Broncos: Emmanuel Sanders should have be drafted higher
The Broncos had one of the best, if not the best wide receiving duo in the league when Peyton Manning was the quarterback. Since then, Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders have been decent, mostly due to the horrendous quarterback play in Denver. Now, with Case Keenum at quarterback, expect both of these guys to have big years. I point out Sanders because he moved into the slot, which is a recipe for disaster for opposing defenses. Sanders’ ADP was 78.6 in standard scoring leagues (WR31). For a guy that’s going to be a target monster (10 receptions, 135 yards and a TD in week one), this was way too low.
Raiders: Jared Cook needs to be added in fantasy leagues
Everything about the Oakland Raiders looks pretty terrible right now, except for Jared Cook. I’m not sure what Jon Gruden is doing with the tight end, but Jared Cook, who’s been the definition of average his whole career, had nine receptions for 180 yards in the Raiders’ season opener. He’s worth an add just based off of that. If it turns out to be a fluke you can just throw him back on waivers.
Giants: Saquon Barkley’s big-play ability is going to win fantasy leagues
I’m not sure if you were watching the Giants game, but if you were it was insanely frustrating for Saquon Barkley owners for most of the game. The Jaguars defense was demolishing the Giants offensive line leaving Saquon no room to run. He had around 16 carries for 34 yards until he broke off a ridiculous 68-yard touchdown run breaking a few tackles before getting hitting the open field. The Giants aren’t playing the Jaguars defense again, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a few games where he has two of these long runs.
Redskins: I was right, Adrian Peterson is a legit fantasy RB this year
Adrian Peterson looked great in the Redskins’ win over the Cardinals, as he carried the ball for 96 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. He had two receptions for 70 yards. Just like I side a couple of weeks ago, Alex Smith offenses LOVE the running back. If he can stay healthy, he’s easily a top-25 running back this year.
Eagles: Jay Ajayi has a ton of fantasy potential if he gets the ball
I was laughing as Jay Ajayi didn’t touch the ball for the first part of the game vs. the Falcons, only to have a big second half with two touchdowns (62 yards in the game). Who knows what’s going to happen in Philly at the running back position. Darren Sproles and Corey Clement combined for ten carries, while Jay Ajayi had 15. If Ajayi gets 20 carries per game, he could be great, but it’s just very up in the air. There’s potential there though.
Cowboys: Allen Hurns? Michael Gallup? No, Cole Beasley.
I was on the Michael Gallup train all offseason, and also thought Allen Hurns would have a solid year. Of course it’s only week one, so they still might, but they only had one reception each vs. the Panthers. Cole Beasley, who’s been in Dallas for years, had seven receptions for 73 yards. How did we all overlook Cole Beasley so much during fantasy drafts? I don’t know, but he could be worth an add in deep PPR leagues.
Packers: AARON RODGERS!!!
Everyone knows what happened in this game. Aaron Rodgers led the Packers down from 20-0 in the second half while playing on one leg. He may just be the most talented quarterback ever to step on an NFL field. Also, the Packers’ top-three receivers, Davante Adams, Geronimo Allison, and Randall Cobb all lit it up, scoring touchdowns in the second half. Expect big things from Green Bay this year.
Bears: Jordan Howard is Mr. Consistency
Jordan Howard has quietly been one of the most consistent running backs in the NFL over the last two seasons as he has over 2400 rushing yards combined and 16 touchdowns in his young NFL career. Howard had another solid game, with 82 yards rushing and 25 yards receiving. He didn’t score, but anyone will take a solid 10+ points per week from a running back and that’s what Jordan Howard is.
Lions: I haven’t seen the Lions look that bad since 2008
The Lions got absolutely steamrolled by the New York Jets 48-17 Monday night. I didn’t think that the Lions would be that good this year. I also didn’t think they’d be this bad. The interesting tidbits to take from this is that Kenny Golladay had seven receptions for 114 yards, while Golden Tate had seven receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown. Tate has been an extremely reliable PPR receiver as he’s had over 90 catches for the past four seasons. It looks like he’ll be on his way to another solid season this year.
Vikings: This offense is going to have some really explosive weeks
I’d buy all the stock in the Minnesota Vikings if I could right now. Yes, the Vikings only scored 24 points, but they looked really really good at times. Adam Thielen had over 100 yards receiving, Stefon Diggs had a touchdown, and and Dalvin Cook had 95 total yards in his first game back from his ACL tear. Kirk Cousins is really going to take this offense to a new level and turn them into a Super-Bowl-caliber team.
Falcons: Stay away from this offense minus Julio Jones
Steve Sarkisian might be the worst offensive coordinator I’ve ever seen, so like I said in the offseason, don’t touch any Falcons except for Julio Jones. Jones had 10 receptions for 169 yards. The Falcons only had 251 passing yards total. Yikes. That’s all I have to say. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman didn’t look great in the running game, but then again, the play calling was awful.
Panthers: Keep an eye on C.J Anderson
C.J Anderson had seven carries in Sunday’s game against the Cowboys compared to Christian McCaffrey’s 10. Of course McCaffrey is going to get his catches also, but watch out for Anderson to gradually become more involved in the running game this season.
Saints: Alvin Kamara isn’t dropping off anytime soon
While Alvin Kamara went in the first round of pretty much every draft, everyone was wondering whether or not he can sustain only getting eight or nine carries per game while putting up great fantasy numbers. The short answer to that question is yes, he could. Alvin Kamara had eight carries for 29 yards and two touchdowns to go along with nine receptions, 112 yards and touchdown in week one. He’ll be more than fine this season.
Buccaneers: I love the potential of these wide receivers
I thought the Bucs were going to be one of the worst teams in the NFL this season, and it’s only been one week, so they still might be. However, Ryan Fitzpatrick had a ridiculous game putting up over 400 yards and four touchdowns. Mike Evans had seven receptions for 147 yards and a touchdown, DeSean Jackson had five receptions for 146 yards and two touchdowns, and Chris Godwin had three receptions, 41 yards, and a touchdown. This wide receiving crew has a ton of potential, we’ll just have to see how the quarterback play is going forward.
Seahawks: Chris Carson is the guy
Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny each had seven carries in week one, and Carson ran for 51 yards while Penny only ran for eight. Carson has looked like the superior running back since the start of preseason (although Penny was hurt for most of it), and I expect him to be the main running back for Seattle going forward.
Rams: Jared Goff has top-10 quarterback potential
Jared Goff didn’t have a top-10 week out of all fantasy quarterbacks in week one, but he did have a solid performance throwing for 233 yards and two touchdowns. With Todd Gurley at running back and Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp at wide receiver, I don’t see how Goff doesn’t finish as a top-10 fantasy quarterback. Sean McVay is also an offensive genius as well, so I see Goff putting up over 20 fantasy points in several different games this season.
Cardinals: Until Rosen starts, this team is going to be really bad
I really don’t know what the Cardinals are waiting for… Josh Rosen is clearly better than Sam Bradford right now. Bradford was horrendous on Sunday as he threw for 153 yards and an interception against a mediocre Redskins team. David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald had very average days as the team only put up six points. It could get ugly real fast in Arizona, so fantasy owners of Johnson and Fitzgerald better hope for a quarterback change.
49ers: George Kittle is worthy of an add in your leagues
I listed George Kittle as a fantasy sleeper going into the 2018 season. Kittle had five receptions for 90 yards in week one, and had 11 receptions for 194 yards combined in his last three games of 2017. Jimmy Garoppolo loves this guy, and I expect him to be a target monster for the 49ers.