Tue Sep 10 8:17am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Dalton looked great in opener
There were a lot of players that produced big things Week 1 that weren’t drafted by many teams. The big thing is to try not to overreact to the first week of the season. You can’t ignore the production of some of these guys but for most, you likely will need to temper your expectations. Many of these players will be inconsistent throughout the season. Don’t get me wrong. Some guys will be good pickups and produce good numbers consistently. But for the most part, many of these players are streaming plays and bench players. Just don’t get too high or low on players after a week of play.
Jacoby Brissett, Colts. Brissett went on the road agains a very good defense and finished 21-of-27 for 190 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. It was a very good showing for Brissett in the first game since Andrew Luck retired. Brissett proved he is worth some spot starts for fantasy teams. He can be a more than capable No. 2 fantasy quarterback.
Andy Dalton, Bengals. Dalton had one of his best games in recent seasons in the opener, throwing for 418 yards and two touchdowns without an interception against a good Seahawks defense on the road. And he did this without his best receiver, A.J. Green, on the field. Dalton really seemed comfortable in the Bengals new offense and looked like a guy that can be a streamer for fantasy teams.
Case Keenum, Redskins. Keenum got the start for the Redskins and looked great, going 30-of-44 for 380 yards and three touchdowns without a turnover. The Redskins aren’t going to be able to run the ball, so don’t be surprised if Keenum gets 40-plus pass attempts often. He is going to have some big games along the way. He struggled last year but don’t forget about his huge season in Minnesota just a few years back.
Ronald Jones, Bucs. Jones emerged as the top back in Week 1, finishing with 13 carries for 75 yards. He was really impressive in the opener, looking much better than any game last season. He could run away with this starter’s job, especially if he keeps playing this week. Jones remains available in 31 percent of leagues.
Justin Jackson, Chargers. Jackson was the backup to Austin Ekeler but got his chances in the offense. He ran six times for 57 yards and caught a pass for four yards, giving him 61 total yards. Jackson is going to get around double-digit touches per week in this offense, giving him some fantasy potential. He is still out there in 27 percent of leagues.
Malcolm Brown, Rams. Brown will be scooped up in a lot of leagues after getting about half the work at running back for Los Angeles. He had 11 carries for 53 yards and two touchdowns. He scored the only two rushing touchdowns of the game for the Rams, making Todd Gurley owners very frustrated. It is looking more and more like Brown will get his playing time in this offense as the top backup for the Rams.
Raheem Mostert, 49ers. Tevin Coleman was injured in the opener for the 49ers and could be out a few weeks, giving Mostert a bigger role in the 49ers offense. He looked pretty good with his expanded chances this past week, rushing nine times for 40 yards. He’ll be worth grabbing if you are looking for some running back depth in the coming weeks. Mostert could be worth a spot play.
Gio Bernard, Bengals. Starter Joe Mixon injured his ankle during the Week 1 game and could miss some time because of this injury. This leaves Bernard the starter for the Bengals. He has obvious potential in this role, starting in an offense that looked very good in Week 1 on the road against a good defense. You have to like the total yardage potential for Bernard in a starting role.
John Ross, Bengals. Ross was a big surprise in the opener, catching seven passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns in 12 targets. He was the top target for the Bengals and finally lived up to his first-round draft status from a few years back. Ross is a speed burner with big-play ability. Maybe a new coaching staff was just the thing to get his career going in the right direction. He is worth a look for fantasy teams, especially with A.J. Green is out of the lineup.
A.J. Brown, Titans. Brown got just four targets in his first NFL game but made several big plays with those targets. He had three receptions for 100 yards, leading the way at receiver for the Titans. And Brown missed most of training camp, so this game is a good indication on how high the Titans are on their rookie receiver. He is going to play big role offensively.
Marquise Brown, Ravens. Brown had a great first NFL game, catching four passes for 147 yards. He displayed his game-changing speed throughout the game. Brown has similar ability to Tyreek Hill, making him an intriguing fantasy player going forward. He is going to have some big games this year. The only concern is the Ravens being a run-first offense. Brown is likely to be hit or miss most week. Brown remains available in 65 percent of leagues.
Terry McLaurin, Redskins. McLaurin is another rookie that enjoyed a great first game. He caught five passes for 125 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. The Redskins don't have a clear No. 1 receiver, so don’t discount McLaurin to take that role for the team. And Washington is going to be a team that throws the ball often, having little success running the ball. McLaurin is definitely worth a look for fantasy teams needing receiver help.
Danny Amendola, Lions. Amendola was heavily targeted in Week 1 for the Lions, catching seven passes for 104 yards and a touchdown on 13 targets. He did a great job out of the slot and Matthew Stafford looked his way often. He has a chance to rack up some catches in this offense. Don’t overvalue him because his track record doesn’t suggest this game will be the norm, but he can still help fantasy teams because of his reception potential in this offense.
John Brown, Bills. Brown was the top option in the Bills passing game Week 1 and should continue to lead the way in targets going forward. He had seven receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets. He has a real chance to have his best season to date, making him a player that can help fantasy teams as a streaming play. Brown is available in 28 percent of leagues.
D.J. Chark, Jaguars. Word out of Jaguars camp was Chark was turning heads and making plays. Well, that carried over to the regular season. He had four receptions for 146 yards and a touchdown. He displayed his big-play ability and looked like a different player from his rookie year. He is another receiver that likely will be erratic but has some weekly potential in the right matchup.
T.J. Hockenson, Lions. The rookie made his presence felt in Week 1, catching six passes for 131 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. Hockenson had a great debut and showed why the team took him in the first round of the draft this year. He can be a low-end No. 1 fantasy tight end and is still available in 26 percent of leagues. This might be the last week you can get him in your league.
Vernon Davis, Redskins. The oft-injured Jordan Reed was out again, making Davis the starter for the Redskins. Davis looked good in that role, catching four passes for 59 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. Davis has fantasy value as long as he is starting in this pass-first offense.
Mark Andrews, Ravens. There was a lot of hype surrounding Andrews this offseason and he lived up to that hype in Week 1, catching eight passes for 108 yards and a touchdown. The Ravens did rotate tight ends, which is a concern for Andrews, but he can make the most of his chances as evident in this game. Andrews remains available in 22 percent of leagues.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at email@example.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
New York Giants kicker Aldrick Rosas is on the verge of being streamable this week against the Lions. The former Pro Bowler hasn't had much success this year and has yet to make more than one field goal in a game all season. However, he's in a good matchup. The Giants figure to move the ball against a banged-up Lions Defense, and they will need to push the tempo to keep up with quarterbackMatthew Stafford and the Lions offense. Rosas still isn't a recommended option, but he can be considered in deep leagues.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Zach Pascal has seen his stock consistently grow over the past few weeks. He's still not a player that you can have a ton of confidence in starting, but he does have some flex consideration this week. His size allows him to be a mismatch against most corners, and the Denver Broncos don't have a guy that can match up with him consistently in that regard if cornerback Chris Harris Jr. shadows wide receiver T.Y. Hilton. If you're missing wideouts due to injuries or bye weeks, Pascal gives you upside thanks to his touchdown production and big-play ability.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett went off on the Houston Texans in Week 7. In Week 8, his matchup gets more difficult against the Denver Broncos. Through seven games, Denver has yet to allow a player to clear 300 passing yards, and no quarterback has thrown for more than two touchdowns against them. The Colts have a lot of pieces on offense, especially with the emergence of wide receiver Zach Pascal, but expectations for Brissett should be tempered this week. He's still a starter in two-quarterback leagues, but you have better options at QB in standard formats.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton has a bad matchup this week, but you have to start him anyway. He's scored five touchdowns in the five games that he's played, and he's averaging an impressive 17.2 PPR points per game this season. He has 15 more targets than any other Indianapolis pass-catcher, and quarterback Jacoby Brissett looks his way whenever he needs a reliable receiver. He's gotten at least nine targets in three out of his five games, and those looks will continue to be there for him against the Denver Broncos.
Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack got shut down in Week 7, but he has a good bounce-back spot in Week 8. Teams like the Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars have beaten the Denver Broncos by running the ball at them all game to control the clock. Mack does his best work when he gets a ton of volume, and that's how the Colts like to win games. If the passing game struggles, which is possible against a solid passing defense, they could lean on Mack throughout the game, especially down in the red zone.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs is in line for an increased workload on Thursday night with target-hog Adam Thielen (hamstring) sitting out for the first time in his career. Week 8's matchup against the Washington Redskins is a favorable one as Diggs should be able to take advantage of coverage by either Quinton Dunbar or a struggling Josh Norman. Cousins and the play-action passing game have been on point as of late, as has Diggs with 14 catches for 310 yards and three touchdowns over his last two games. They remain a run-first team and are likely to lean on Dalvin Cook as they're favored by over 15 points at home, but Diggs needs to be started as a WR1/WR2 with upside considering Thielen's absence.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford absolutely feasted on the Vikings secondary in Week 7, and the feast may not be over with the New York Giants coming to town in Week 8. The Giants currently allow 8.92 yards per attempt, which trails only the Dolphins, so fantasy owners could be in for another huge performance from the 31-year-old signal-caller. The Giants don't present much in the way of run defense either, but with Kerryon Johnson recently being placed on IR a more pass-heavy approach can be expected. With top quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Dak Prescott on byes this week, and with Matt Ryan still yet to practice, Stafford vaults up the charts as one of the top quarterback options in Week 8 no matter the fantasy format. Get him in your lineups.
Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (knee) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Fantasy Spin: Wilson threw his first interception last week but still has posted 15 passing touchdowns in seven games. He should have success against the Atlanta Falcons this week and can be a No. 1 quarterback in all fantasy leagues.
Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett (non-injury) was limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Fantasy Spin: Lockett has posted at least 50 yards in each of the last six games and has been targeted 12 times over the last two weeks. He should have a favorable matchup in Week 8 and can be a No. 2 or No. 3 receiver in all leagues.
Seattle Seahawks S Lano Hill (elbow), DE Quinton Jefferson (oblique) and S Bradley McDougald (back) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 23. OT Duane Brown (biceps), OT George Fant (shoulder), CB Tre Flowers (neck), DE Ziggy Ansah (ankle) and S Quandre Diggs (hamstring) were limited during practice. OG D.J. Fluker (hamstring) fully participated in practice.
Seattle Seahawks RB Chris Carson (non-injury) was limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Fantasy Spin: Carson has received at least 20 carries in each of the last four games and has posted three 100-yard games in that span. He will continue to be the focal point in the running game for the Seahawks and is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.
Detroit Lions running back Ty Johnson, arguably this week's hottest waiver wire pickup after Kerryon Johnson was put on IR Tuesday, has a real chance to establish himself as the Lions lead back against a porous New York Giants squad in Week 8. Johnson should see most of the action out of the Lions backfield Sunday and can be expected to be involved in the passing game even with J.D. McKissic likely suiting up as the Lions passing-down back. Johnson's small stature does put into question whether he can be an every-down back, but with the Giants nonexistent run defense standing in his way this week fantasy owners should get some clarity as to whether Johnson can truly take over this backfield. Johnson will be considered a mid-range RB2 this week in a matchup where the game script should work to his benefit.
San Francisco 49ers RB Raheem Mostert (knee) was limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Fantasy Spin: Mostert appears to have a chance to play in Week 8, but fantasy players will know more about his status later in the week. He will see a handful of touches if he is active for the game but can be avoided in most leagues.
San Francisco 49ers FB Kyle Juszczyk (knee), OT Mike McGlinchey (knee) and CB Ahkello Witherspoon (foot) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 23. DE Dee Ford (quadriceps), DT D.J. Jones (hamstring) and OT Joe Staley (leg) were limited during practice.
Arizona Cardinals WR Christian Kirk (ankle) was limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Fantasy Spin: Kirk has been limited during practice over the last two weeks but has also been inactive for the last two games, so his status for Week 8 is uncertain. Fantasy players may want to look at other options since he would have a tough matchup if he plays in the game.
Arizona Cardinals DE Zach Allen (neck), RB D.J. Foster (hamstring), LB Jordan Hicks (calf), DT Corey Peters (non-injury) and LB Terrell Suggs (non-injury) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 23. LB Dennis Gardeck (ankle), LB Haason Reddick (knee), LB Zeke Turner (hamstring) and TE Maxx Williams (ankle) were limited during practice. DT Zachariah Kerr (ankle) and S Charles Washington (shoulder) fully participated in practice.
San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Fantasy Spin: Kittle has been on the injury for the last few weeks but is in no danger of missing the Week 8 game. He should continue to be a weekly starting option in all fantasy leagues.
Green Bay Packers OT Bryan Bulaga (non-injury), TE Marcedes Lewis (non-injury) and CB Tramon Williams (knee) were limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 23. S Adrian Amos (shoulder), CB Tony M. Brown (hamstring), LB Oren Burks (chest), DT Kenny Clark (shin), LB B.J. Goodson (shoulder), LB Blake Martinez (wrist), S Will Redmond (ankle), S Darnell Savage (ankle) and TE Robert Tonyan (hip) fully participated in practice.
Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (non-injury) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Fantasy Spin: Fitzgerald is coming off a disappointing Week 7 performance but has still be targeted at least seven times in five of the seven games this season. He will be facing one of the better defenses this week but still has a chance to be a flex option in leagues.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle, knee) put in a full practice on Wednesday after being questionable for Week 7 against the Raiders. MVS ultimately played, albeit limited snaps, and finished with over 100 yards and a touchdown with No. 1 wideout Davante Adams (toe) sidelined again. Adams missed practice on Wednesday and could very well sit out again this Sunday night against the Chiefs. Against a porous secondary, Valdes-Scantling would be a boom/bust WR3/flex. Geronimo Allison, Jake Kumerow and Allen Lazard should all continue to see more run if Adams misses anymore time, but they're all hard to trust as anything more than low-ceiling flexes in deeper formats.