By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
RealTime Fantasy Sports
Alright, here is our PSA. Don't panic over one week of play (you can panic if you own David Johnson, though). Your season is not over because you got beat in Week 1. All the players that stunk it up for you last week likely won't continue that trend. And on the flip side, all those players that went crazy are likely to come back down to earth. It is a long season and things tend to even out over time. You can't ignore what happened in Week 1, but don't throw in the towel because of last week.
Now for my random thoughts for the week. . . . . .
I talked about the rookie backs last week and they sure lived up to the hype in Week 1. Joe Mixon was really the only disappointment out of the highly regarded backs. Leonard Fournette looked great, running hard while serving as the focal point of the offense. Dalvin Cook had a great showing Monday night, hitting the 100-yard mark and getting plenty of chances in the passing game. Lastly, Kareem Hunt was the most impressive of the group. He made huge plays as a runner and receiver. These three backs are going to be fantasy forces all season. It is quite the impressive rookie crop of running backs.
So I'm not old on the Rams as an offensive juggernaut just yet. Their big game came against the team I think is the worst in all of football this year. Plus, the defense scored two touchdowns and got a safety, accounting for a lot of points. Todd Gurley didn't run great behind the new offensive line. He scored a touchdown but did most of his damage in the passing game. I'm waiting for the Rams to play a much tougher opponent to see what they are really made of this season.
I don't think the Cardinals running back situation is one to target going forward. I really think they are going to split the work, making any of those guys iffy weekly plays. I would just steer clear of it unless you are desperate for a back and need to play someone this week. If that was the case, I lean towards Kerwynn Williams but am not confident in that pick.
I didn't learn anything from the way the Saints and Bengals handled their running back situations. Both teams used three backs pretty evenly. Those situations are ones to avoid until a back starts producing consistently and getting consistent touches. I don't want any part of any back in those offenses.
Again, last week proved you don't need to act early on a kicker come draft day. Giorgio Tavechhio lead all kickers in points, making four field goals. He could end up having a big season as the starter in a good offense. So please don't draft a kicker before the last few rounds of your draft next season. There are examples of kickers performing at a high level that weren't drafted every season in fantasy land.
I think Kenny Golladay is the real deal. He might not get a ton of receptions and yards on a weekly basis, but I love his red-zone potential. He is going to keep getting his weekly chances to make big plays in a good Lions offense. Golladay might ned up being the top rookie receiver in all of football this season. That would not surprise me one bit.
I'm not off the Jordan Howard bandwagon just yet. I still think he is going to play a big role in the Bears run-first offense. Sure, Tarik Cohen is an exciting talent and big-play back but he probably isn't suited to be an every-down back at this stage of his career. He will cut into Howard's playing time and get more work as a receiver, but I still see Howard getting a good amount of carries and the goal-line work. Cohen is an obvious concern for Howard owners, but I don't think Howard is headed to the bench because of Cohen.
None of the elite quarterbacks did much last week with guys like Alex Smith, Sam Bradford and Carson Wentz leading the way. I don't think this is a fluke. These guys play in good offenses and have the talent to perform at a high level for fantasy teams. This is another reason I was big on waiting on a quarterback this year come draft day. I was happy with the secondary options instead of acting early for a guy like Aaron Rodgers or Matt Ryan. I do see the elite guys getting going but I'm just not sure there is that big of a point differential between the third and 13th rated fantasy quarterback this year. There are a lot of good fantasy quarterbacks out there right now.
News and Notes: The Texans have not officially named a starting quarterback this week but all indication are rookie Deshaun Watson will start the game Thursday against the Bengals. He is taking most of the first-team reps and his ankle injury doesn't seem to be a big issue. . . . .The Cardinals re-signed running back Chris Johnson. He gives the Cardinals some much needed depth at running back after the injury to David Johnson. . . . .The Eagles signed kicker Jake Elliott off the Bengals' practice squad. Elliott will take over the starting kicker duties for the Eagles because of the injury to Caleb Sturgis.
Randall Cobb, WR, Packers. Cobb was second in targets last week in all of football and finished with nine receptions for 85 yards. It was a good first week of action from Cobb, who looks to put behind him his rocky season last year. Cobb should get a lot of work again this week against the Falcons in what could be a high-scoring game. Atlanta didn't allow many passing yards last week but had a matchup against the Bears, a team that is run first. The Packers can do some damage against this secondary.
Marshawn Lynch, RB, Raiders. Lynch wasn't off the charts in his first game with the Raiders, but he was solid. He didn't seem to have any rust and ran with his usual reckless abandon. Lynch has a matchup for a lot of success in Week 2. He plays the Jets, a team that allowed the most rushing yards last week. New York also allowed the fifth most fantasy points to running backs. Lynch is a top play this week.
Chris Hogan, WR, Patriots. Hogan had a very quiet opener, finishing with just a reception. We like his chances for a much better showing in Week 2. He could get more targets with Danny Amendola likely out and also has a super matchup against the Saints. New Orleans couldn't stop the Vikings last week, allowing three passing touchdowns. The Saints allowed the second most fantasy points to receivers in Week 1. Hogan should rebound in this one.
Ty Montgomery, RB, Packers. Montgomery carried the load in Week 1 for the Packers, getting about all the carries at running back. He had 19 carries and finished with 93 total yards and a touchdowns. This was a very encouraging sign for fantasy teams especially seeing him get work around the goal line. Montgomery has a great matchup for a big game in Week 2, playing the Falcons. Atlanta allowed the second most fantasy points to running backs last week.
Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals. Palmer was not good in the opener but had a tough road matchup against the Lions. Things should get much easier for him this week against the Colts, a team that couldn't stop the Rams passing attack last week. The Cardinals have much better options in the passing game and should be able to rack up the passing yards. Plus, Arizona might pass more with David Johnson out of the lineup, which is good news for Palmer. The Colts allowed the third most passing yards in Week 1.
Jamison Crowder, WR, Redskins. Crowder had a game to forget last week, catching just three passes for 14 yards. He is battling a hip injury, which might have impacted his play. And now faces the Rams, a team that allowed the second fewest fantasy points to receivers in Week 1. This is a much tougher matchup for the Rams, but the defense should be a strength for the Rams. Crowder might have a hard time improving much on last week.
Terrance West, RB, Ravens. West had a good start to his season, rushing for 80 yards and a touchdown. He didn't catch a pass, though, which was a disappointment for PPR owners. He could be a touchdown dependent player many weeks. West plays the Browns this week, a team that allowed the fewest rushing yards in Week 1. And the Browns did that against LeVeon Bell, which doesn't bode well for West. If you have better options, go with them.
Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals. Dalton had a game to forget in Week 1, throwing for interceptions while failing to score a touchdown or hit 200-passing yards. To be fair, a couple of Dalton's interceptions were on tipped balls, but he wasn't sharp by any means. And he gets an equally tough matchup this week against the Texans. Houston allowed the sixth fantasy points to quarterbacks in Week 1. Leave Dalton on your bench.
Isaiah Crowell, RB, Browns. Crowell got 17 carries and converted a two-point try, which were both positives. He had little room to run last week, though, rushing for just 33 yards. Things aren't going to get easier for him in Week 2, facing the Ravens on the road. Baltimore allowed just 77-rushing yards last week and allowed the sixth fewest fantasy points to running backs. Crowell will have a hard time doing much better than last week.
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Bills. Taylor threw for two touchdowns and ran for 38 yards, producing a good fantasy performance. And he did this against a decent Jets defense. Taylor showed he might be worth some spot starts this year. But we aren't sure this is a good week to use him. Taylor is on the road against the Panthers, a team allowed the third fewest fantasy points in Week 1. Carolina's defense looked pretty stout in the opener, which could be a trend for the coming season.
Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks. Carson was the best back on the field for the Seahawks last week. Sure, Thomas Rawls could return this week but expect Carson to continue to get chances for Seattle. He deserves the work. And if he gets double-digit touches against the 49ers, Carson could really produce well for fantasy teams. San Francisco allowed the sixth most fantasy points to running backs in Week 1.
Allen Hurns, WR, Jaguars. With two of their top receivers out for the season, Hurns is looking much better for fantasy teams these days. He had three receptions for 42 yards last week and could be the No. 1 or 2 receiver for the Jaguars the rest of the year. Hurns still might not be a sure thing but worth using in the right matchup. And a matchup against the Titans this week is a good one for him. Tennessee allowed the fifth most fantasy points to receivers in Week 1.
Zach Miller, TE, Bears. Miller was targeted six times in Week 1 and caught four passes for 39 yards. As long as he is healthy, he should get consistent work in the passing game all season for the Bears. He is worth some spot starts for fantasy teams. He gets the Bucs this week, a team he had four receptions against last year. If you need some tight end help this week, give Miller a look.
Corey Davis, WR, Titans. Davis was heavily involved in the Titans offense his first NFL game. He was targeted 10 times and caught six passes for 69 yards. He is going to be a big part of this offense all season long. Davis gets the Jaguars this week, a team that was dominant defensively last week but had a matchup against the Texans. Things are going to be tougher this week for the Jaguars against the Titans, a team that can get it down through the air and on the ground. Davis is worth a look as a No. 3 receiver in this matchup.
Jay Cutler, QB, Dolphins. Cutler gets his first start of the season against the Chargers on the road. This isn't a terrible matchup for Cutler, though. The Chargers have a top pass rush but allowed three touchdowns to Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian last week. Cutler could do similar damage this week as he takes chances down the field to DeVante Parker and others. Cutler might be worth a spot play his first game of 2017.
High/Low Scoring Games
Each week we will take a look at some of the high and low scoring games for the coming week. In high scoring affairs, get your marginal players on those teams in your lineup to take advantage of the possible points barrage. And in the low scoring games, keep those marginal players on the bench and make sure to have your defenses involved in those contests.
High Scoring Games: Patriots/Saints, Eagles/Chiefs, Packers/Falcons, Lions/Giants.
Low Scoring Games: Texans/Bengals, Browns/Ravens, Titans/Jaguars.firstname.lastname@example.org