What’s up, folks! Football is back and I know all of us could not be happier. I’m here with a brief recap and the biggest takeaways from each game this week.
Houston Texans vs Kansas City Chiefs
David Johnson actually looked really good in his Texans debut. He showed the ability to make people miss and accelerate past defenders when needed. Although Johnson doesn’t have the same burst as “2016 DJ”, he was still able to put together 109 total yards and a TD. Health permitting, Johnson could surprise many of us.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire was everything we thought and then some in his debut. Despite having zero receptions, CEH received 25 carries, gaining 138 yards. He had an impressive TD run, juking a defender in the open field, then showing off his acceleration. The sky is the limit once he starts to get involved in the passing game more.
New York Jets vs Buffalo Bills
The Jets played the Bills, so I don’t want to overreact too much…BUT the only player that I am willing to own on the Jets in Jamison Crowder. Crowder received 13 targets, hauling in 7 of them for 115 yards and a TD. Many of those 115 yards did come on a long 69-yard catch and run. Crowder should continue getting peppered with targets and rack up the receptions.
I’ll be the first to admit, I am not a Josh Allen fan but he impressed me on Sunday. Allen threw a career-high 46 times, while this isn’t going to happen every week, the fact he attempted so many throws is positive. The Bills are willing to pass the ball this year. Allen also added 14 rushes, which was another career-high. Josh Allen looks poised to be a fantasy rockstar this year.
Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings
Devante Adams is the MAN. Rodgers was finding him all over the field and the Vikings had zero answers. Adams owners couldn’t have asked for a better week 1; his 14 receptions, 156 yards, and 2 TDs likely won you your matchup. I fully expect huge weekly performances out of Adams this year, he has a very strong chance to finish as the WR1.
Kirk Cousins targeted Adam Thielen 8 times. However, Vikings don’t seem keen on passing. It is evident that Dalvin Cook and Mattison will both be used a lot throughout games. Thielen and Cooks are safe plays weekly, but Cousins is very game script dependent. I’m not very high on this team as a whole but Thielen and Cooks will be fantasy studs. Cousins is a solid streaming option.
Philadelphia Eagles vs Washington Football Team
The Eagles have two stud tight ends in Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert but Goedert made his presence felt in a big way. He led the team in targets, receptions, and yards. Goedert is a must-own and must-start in any league 10 team or larger. Even when Alshon Jeffrey and Miles Sanders returns to the lineup, Goedert should still receive plenty of targets to remain fantasy relevant.
In terms of Fantasy Football, The Washington Football Team is extremely underwhelming. Terry McLaurin was quiet with 5 catches and 61 yards. Logan Thomas might be the biggest surprise, he played over 70% of the snaps and ran a route on 86% of those plays. He received a 26% target share which is quite high for a tight end. Thomas is someone I am willing to pick up and hold on my bench to see what he can do in the next few weeks.
Baltimore Ravens vs Cleveland Browns
The Ravens picked up where they left off at the end of last regular season. Lamar Jackson looked like himself, Mark Andrews was unstoppable, and Marquise Brown all but one of his targets leading the team in receiving yards. J.K Dobbins scored two touchdowns but I don’t believe this will be a trend. On any given week, Dobbins or Ingram can find themselves in the endzone. I’m all in on the Ravens offense.
Baker Mayfield looked terrible on Sunday. I was watching for the RB splits and Hunt received more carries and receptions. This might have been due to the lopsided score or because the coaching staff likes Hunt more. Nick Chubb’s season-long ceiling is definitely going to be capped by Kareem Hunt’s presence.
Indianapolis Colts vs Jacksonville Jaguar
Running backs. That is all we need to know about the Colts. Philip Rivers is going to use his running backs early and often. Parris Campbell was another beneficiary of having Rivers as his QB. The largest takeaway is Jonathan Taylor will be a league winner.
Don’t sleep on Gardner Minshew. Minshew showed what many already knew, he is an NFL QB. The entire Jags offense will be fantasy gold this year because they’ll be playing from behind and Minshew is a quality QB who will rack up the garbage time yards and touchdowns.
Las Vegas Raiders vs Carolina Panthers
Josh Jacobs is going to be a baller this year. All offseason Jon Gruden and The Raiders hyped up Jacobs receiving role for this year and week 1 did not disappoint. Jacobs had 6 targets, hauling in 4 for 46 yards. He added 25 carries, 93 yards, 3 TDs. It is rare to find a running back get 29 touches in one game.
Robby Anderson is someone that should be owned in all leagues. With defenses focusing in on DJ Moore and Christian McCaffrey, Robby Anderson will see a lot of one on one coverage. Anderson is a talented receiver who, unfortunately, played for Adam Gase and his talents were suppressed. Anderson was a real surprise week 1.
Chicago Bears vs Detroit Lions
Let’s face it, The Bears looked bad. Allen Robinson, David Montgomery, Mitch Trubisky – none of them looked great. There will be brighter days ahead of Robinson and Montgomery. Trubisky salvaged his game with garbage time touchdowns that turned into game-winning touchdowns. This offense is low volume, the only player I’m confident in starting is Allen Robinson.
T.J. Hockenson showed up in a big way with the absence of Kenny Golladay. As long as Golldaday is out, I expect Hockenson to continue to produce. Adrian Peterson looked like himself, he averaged 6.6 YPC. It looks like AP is going to be the main ball carrier and red zone guy for the Lions. I still think Swift’s role will continue to expand as the season progresses.
Seattle Seahawks vs Atlanta Falcons
Russell Wilson COOKED on Sunday. He was unleashed and provided fantastic numbers. The biggest takeaway from this game was is if Seattle lets Wilson throw 35 times a game then Lockett and Metcalfe will both have outstanding years. The only thing stopping those two from high-end WR2 numbers is passing volume.
I feel like I am repeating myself when I say this but Matt Ryan looked great and there was no shortage is passing attempts. Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Russell Gage had over 100 yards receiving, that is BALLIN. This passing offense will be electrifying all season long. Fire these boys up, weekly.
Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots
Myles Gaskin was the leading rusher for the Dolphins this week. I don’t think anyone saw that coming. Devante Parker injured his hamstring, I’m not a doctor, but, he should miss at least a week. New England does have a great defense still so we might want to chalk this game up and re-evaluate after week 2.
Cam Newton was the storyline of week 1 and he showed out. Cam looked like Cam. He was running, trucking defenders, talking trash, and scoring touchdowns. The passing volume was low, but that might be a product of their opponent’s skill level. In a different game script, a player like Edelman should produce more than 5 catches for 57 yards, although a ball went right threw his hands which would have been a 20-yard reception.
Los Angeles Chargers vs Cincinnati Bengals
Austin Ekeler didn’t have a good week 1, but on the bright side, he had 19 carries and 1 reception. Assuming he receives that workload weekly, he will have brighter days. Tyrod Taylor’s favorite targets look to be Mike Williams and Hunter Henry. I think due to their size and specific routes, they fit Tyrod’s throwing strengths. The Chargers are a low volume offense and not fantasy-friendly at the moment.
Joe Burrow played as good as expected considering he was facing a daunting pass rush from the Chargers with Bosa and Ingram. Burrow showed his rushing ability with a touchdown. Boyd and Green had quiet games and I expect them to bounce back when they’re not facing an elite cornerback group.
Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco 49ers
Deandre Hopkins and Kyler Murray looked like they had been playing with each other for 10 years. The chemistry between the two was apparent with Hopkins 14 receptions. Kyler’s ceiling is higher than I thought if their connection continues to blossom. Drake and Edmonds both looked good, Drake is definitely the starter but Edmonds has a substantial role.
Despite not looking good on the field, Jimmy G had a solid fantasy outing. The Niners run game didn’t look as dominant as last season, but that should improve as the season progresses. They added Trent Wiliams, he can only make the offensive line better. George Kittle has a knee sprain and that is something to look out for.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New Orleans Saints
Tom Brady was not good, he looked like Jameis Winston minus all the passing yards. Ronald Jones looked good when he had the space to work. Fournette wasn’t involved much at all but I expect that to change once he starts to learn the offense more. Scotty Miller is a must-add, he is going to get a lot of targets running all the short routes Tom Brady loves.
Alvin Kamara scored two early touchdowns and that should be expected to continue. Drew Brees had an off game, but if not for the defensive touchdown, Brees likely would have needed to score one more time. Under the lights on Monday Night, Brees is going to light the Raiders up – even without Michael Thomas.
Dallas Cowboys vs Los Angeles Rams
I can’t remember the last time Ezekial Elliot looked so quick and elusive. The Cowboys offense as a whole was underwhelming, only scoring 17 points. Amari Cooper had a really good game with 10 receptions and CeeDee Lamb showed signs of what all the hype was about. There will be better games for the Cowboys as a whole. Chalk it up to week 1 jitters.
All offseason I was drafting Robert Woods ahead of Cooper Kupp and Week 1 I was validated. Woods was targeted early and often, unfortunately, he did not find the endzone. The biggest surprise was Malcolm Brown! He looked better than Cam Akers on every single play – that could be because it was Akers’s first game or Brown has evolved his body and is a quality NFL back now. It looks like Brown’s job to lose but only time will tell how that backfield plays out.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs New York Giants
Juju Smith-Schuster is back, all he needed was Big Ben. Julio Jones wouldn’t produce with Duck Hodges and Mason Rudolph…okay, fine, Julio probably would but Juju isn’t on Julio’s level. Diontae Johnson led the team in targets, he will be a rock-solid WR3 or better this year. Benny Snell lost some weight, gained some speed, and now looks better than James Conner. Conner dealing with injury could lose his job real quick.
The Steelers’ defense is so good that commenting on the Giants’ offense might be unfair. The Giants’ offensive line was atrocious; Saquon Barkley was getting hit behind the line of scrimmage on almost every carry. Darius Slayton is the real deal. Whether he is scoring garbage time points or not, he is going to rack up the yards and touchdowns.
Tennessee Titans vs Denver Broncos
Is Corey Davis back, is he just arriving, was this a fluke? Not sure which but Davis looked fantastic. He was getting open against man and zone coverage. A.J Brown looked like an afterthought in the offense until the 2nd half where he received the bulk of his work. Even though he received 8 targets, they weren’t good ones. Derrick Henry was Henry, a fantastic fantasy option.
The Denver Broncos have a lot of new pieces on the offense this year. Melvin Gordon and Philip Lindsay looked like they were in a legit 50/50 timeshare. Jerry Jeudy was electrifying and with his ability to stop on a dime, he was an exciting player. Noah Fant is going to be a baller, he’s next up as a top TE in the NFL.
Week 1 is full of overreactions and this year’s week 1, in particular, was crazier than ever. With no preseason games, week 1 was the first time any of these guys played real football in months. I expect to see the league come back down to earth as weeks go by due to teams getting better. I can’t wait to see how the season unfolds with all of you.
Peace out – HottakesFF