Pittsburgh Steelers 21 Cleveland Browns 18
Owners who spent a top pick on Le’Veon Bell are asking for a re-draft after Week 1. Bell held out all of training camp but the Steelers said he would get a full workload on Sunday. He finished with 10 carries for 32 yards. Bell added three receptions for 15 yards. There will be better days for Bell in the future but he sunk a lot of fantasy owners in Week 1.
Extra Points: While one Steelers stud flopped, the other delivered. Antonio Brown caught all 11 targets for 182 yards…Martavis Bryant was supposed to make an immediate impact but he barely made a blip on the radar in the opener. Bryant caught just two of six targets for 14 yards…Tight end Jesse James was the Steelers second biggest fantasy star behind Brown on Sunday. James caught six of eight targets for 41 yards and two short touchdowns…DeShone Kizer had a predictably up and down first game. The rookie completed 20 of 30 passes for 222 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Kizer made some nice throws but he also needs to make better decisions…Isaiah Crowell saw 17 carries but managed only 33 yards (1.9 YPC) against a tough Steelers rush defense. His 19 touches are a good sign going forward though.
Buffalo Bills 21 New York Jets 12
There wasn’t much offense expected to come out of this game. It didn’t disappoint. LeSean McCoy led the way with 110 yards on 22 carries (5.0 YPC). He also caught five balls for 49 yards. McCoy lost a short touchdown to Mike Tolbert when he left the game briefly with a hand injury and Tolbert walked into the end zone on the next play.
Extra Points: Tyrod Taylor had a solid fantasy day. He threw for 224 yards, two touchdowns and one interceptions. Taylor added 38 yards on the ground. Expect that to be a typical outing for Taylor when the Bills win…Charles Clay could have some sleeper appeal at tight end with the Bills weak at receiver. Clay was targeted a team-high nine times. He caught four passes for 53 yards and a touchdown…Jermaine Kearse caught seven passes in his Jets debut for 59 yards. He’s clearly the No. 1 receiver on a bad offense…Bilal Powell only saw 12 touches. No one outside the Jets organization knows why. Or maybe we do (Sam Darnold).
Atlanta Falcons 23 Chicago Bears 17
Matt Ryan didn’t have the big game in the opener fantasy owners were hoping for out of the reigning MVP. Ryan was solid with 321 yards and a touchdown but the Falcons offense wasn’t the machine it was in 2016. Only time will tell if the reason is it’s Week 1 or more serious like Kyle Shanahan being in San Francisco.
Extra Points: Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones were even bigger disappointments. Freeman did score but managed just 39 yards on 14 touches. Jones finished with four receptions for 66 yards on five targets. Again, it’s early but the Falcons offense looked out of rhythm on Sunday…The fantasy star for the Falcons was tight end Austin Hooper. Hooper only caught two balls but he made them count. They went for 128 yards and a touchdown…We have a developing situation in the Bears backfield. Stop if you heard this before: John Fox is ruining your fantasy football team. Top 20 pick Jordan Howard ran for 52 yards and a score on 13 carries. Meanwhile, little-owned Tarik Cohen racked up 113 yards and a touchdown on 13 touches. Cohen will be one of the top waiver wire targets this week…The Bears receivers weren’t part of the game plan at all. If you start one, you’re tanking worse than the Jets.
Baltimore Ravens 20 Cincinnati Bengals 0
The ugliest performance of the week award goes to the Bengals, in particular, their offensive line. Andy Dalton (28.4 QBR) will get most of the criticism, and he was bad, but the Bengals offensive line got abused by the Ravens defensive front. The Ravens defense finished with four interceptions, five sacks and a fumble recovery on its way to a shutout.
Extra Points: The Bengals rotated three backs on Sunday. Giovani Bernard was the most effective gaining 40 yards on seven carries (5.7 YPC). Rookie Joe Mixon only gained nine yards on eight carries (1.1 YPC)…The Ravens offense didn’t do much and it didn’t have to. The main thing to take away from this game is the Ravens backfield. After Danny Woodhead went down with a hamstring injury early, Terrance West and Javorius Allen split carries. West finished with 80 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries (4.2 YPC), while Allen recorded 71 yards on 21 carries (3.4 YPC). Expect Allen to take over Woodhead’s role if he’s out for an extended period.
Detroit Lions 35 Arizona Cardinals 23
This game pitted Matthew Stafford vs. Carson Palmer. One just became the highest paid player in the NFL. The other thought about retiring. One threw four touchdown passes. The other threw three interceptions. There’s no twist here, it ends like you think it would. Stafford (292/4/1) had a big day, while Palmer (269/1/3) struggled behind a poor offensive line. The Cardinals started to decline last year. They look like a team about to slip even further on Sunday.
Extra Points: David Johnson left in the fourth quarter with a wrist injury. X-rays came back negative and Johnson will have an MRI on Sunday. Reports say he has a sprained wrist and he could miss time. Johnson only ran for 23 yards on 11 carries but added six receptions for 68 yards. Obviously, any injury to Johnson would be devastating to fantasy owners. Kerwynn Williams and Andre Ellington will take over if Johnson misses time…Larry Fitzgerald had a favorable matchup on paper but caught just six of 13 targets for 74 yards because of Palmers erratic play…Rookie receiver Kenny Golladay exploded on the scene with two touchdown receptions. Golladay is supposed to be splitting time with T.J. Jones for the No. 3 role but he’s the superior player. He got 44 snaps compared to Jones’ 19. Golladay should be owned in most leagues now…Golden Tate continues to be Stafford’s favorite receiver. Tate was targeted a team-high 12 times, catching 10 passes for 107 yards.
Oakland Raiders 26 Tennessee Titans 16
The Raiders and Titans didn’t play the shootout many expected but David Carr kicked the season off with a strong fantasy performance. Carr threw for 262 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Extra Points: Amari Cooper scored and led the Raiders in targets (13) but he was only able to catch five of them for 62 yards. Cooper’s day could have been even bigger if not for a drop in the end zone…Marshawn Lynch looked good in his first game with the Raiders. Beast Mode ran 18 times for 76 yards (4.2 YPC) and just missed out on a touchdown…DeMarco Murray got bottled up by the Raiders defense. Murray finished with just 44 yards on 12 carries (3.7 YPC)…Rookie receiver Corey Davis missed all of training camp with a hamstring injury but he had a promising first game. Davis led the Titans with 10 targets, catching six passes for 69 yards. He should be a hot name on the waiver wire this week.
Philadelphia Eagles 30 Washington Redskins 17
Carson Wentz received a lot of preseason hype and after one week, it looks like it was well deserved. Armed with a new group of receivers, Wentz completed 26 of 39 passes for 307 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. If Wentz continues to progress, he’ll be in the weekly QB1 discussion.
Extra Points: LeGarrette Blount only ran for 46 yards on 14 carries (3.3 YPC) but he shocked the world by catching a one-yard touchdown pass. Don’t expect to see many more of those this season…Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor were the Eagles top pass catchers with Josh Norman on Alshon Jeffery. Ertz caught eight passes for 93 yards. Agholor caught six balls for 86 yards and a score. Each player was targeted eight times. The Eagles are going to have a much more diverse passing game than last season now that they have actual NFL-caliber receivers…Rob Kelley went nowhere on Sunday. He was held to 30 yards on 10 carries. You have to wonder how long it is before the Redskins fire up rookie Samaje Perine…Terrelle Pryor’s debut as the Redskins No. 1 receiver was a mix bag. He caught six of 11 targets for 66 yards. He also dropped a sure touchdown.
Jacksonville Jaguars 29 Houston Texans 7
We came into this game expecting to see a defense dominate a dreadful offense. That’s exactly what happened only it was the Jaguars defense that dominated the hapless Texans offense. The Jaguars defense piled up 10 sacks, one interception, three fumble recoveries and scored a touchdown.
Extra Points: Jaguars No. 1 receiver Allen Robinson suffered a serious knee injury after making his first reception of the season. He’ll miss the rest of the season. Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee will now see an increase in targets…Leonard Fournette said the NFL was easy during the preseason. He made look easy in his first game. Facing a tough rush defense, Fournette toted the rock 26 times for 100 yards and a touchdown. He also caught three passes. Fournette is going to be the focal part of the Jaguars offense, especially with Robinson gone…Tom Savage was awful. Rookie Deshaun Watson was almost as bad. Somehow DeAndre Hopkins caught seven balls for 55 yards and a touchdown.
Los Angeles Rams 46 Indianapolis Colts 9
The Rams defense was a popular play this week with Scott Tolzien replacing an injured Andrew Luck. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan. This was not one of those times. The Rams defense dominated from the opening kickoff. They sacked Tolzien four times, picked him off twice and returned both picks for scores. Oh, and they got a safety. The Colts badly need Luck to return and it doesn’t look like he’s going to any time soon. Jacoby Brissett will get the start next week.
Extra Points: There’s good news and bad news if you own Todd Gurney. The good news is he touched the ball 24 times. He scored and caught five balls for 58 yards. The bad news is he rushed 19 times for just 40 yards (2.1 YPC) against a very soft run defense. Gurley is going to face much tougher defenses, so let’s not start throwing parades for him just yet…Cooper Kupp made an instant impact in his first game with the Rams. Kupp caught four of six targets for 76 yards and a touchdown…Jared Goff looked like a real NFL quarterback. He completed 21 of 29 passes for 306 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. It’s amazing what happens when Jeff Fisher goes away.
Green Bay Packers 17 Seattle Seahawks 9
In a game that featured Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, a lot of fantasy numbers were expected. We didn’t get it. Rodgers threw for 311 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Wilson was completely shut down. He got limited to 158 yards and no touchdowns.
Extra Points: The Seahawks need to find a running game. With Thomas Rawls out, Wilson was the team’s leading rusher with 40 yards. Rookie Chris Carson was impressive in the preseason and he showed promise again on Sunday, gaining 39 yards on six carries (6.5 YPC). Carson got 27 snaps, compared to Eddie Lacy’s seven. It’s time to put Lacy (0.6 YPC) on the bench and move forward…Ty Montgomery owners must be happy to see him get 19 carries. Montgomery scored but managed just 54 yards (2.8 YPC). His volume is the big story though, as he’ll have easier matchups on the horizon…Randall Cobb is coming off a disappointing 2016. It’s always tough to predict Green Bay’s target share beyond Jordy Nelson but Cobb’s Week 1 performance is encouraging. He saw a team-high 13 targets, catching nine passes for 85 yards.
Carolina Panthers 23 San Francisco 49ers 3
The Brian Hoyer era got off to a rocky start in San Francisco. After a strong preseason, Hoyer bombed in Week 1. He threw for just 193 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. Hoyer was also sacked four times, as Carolina’s defense stymied Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
Extra Points: Christian McCaffrey’s Panthers career got off to a good start. The rookie saw 18 touches and racked up 85 yards…Cam Newton wasn’t spectacular but he didn’t need to be on Sunday. Newton connected on 14 of 25 passes for 171 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Cam did miss some open receivers down the field though. He’ll need to be more accurate against tougher competition…Carlos Hyde got just nine carries. He did rush for 45 yards, while adding six catches for 32 yards. Hyde is in line for a lot of touches if the 49ers don’t get behind like they did on Sunday.
Dallas Cowboys 19 New York Giants 3
Ezekiel Elliott was allowed to play in Week 1 and he delivered for his fantasy owners. Zeke rushed 24 times for 104 yards (4.3 YPC). He added five receptions for 36 yards. It was an ugly game but Elliott’s 29 touches show he’s ready for another large workload in 2017.
Extra Points: Dak Prescott had a better real-world game than fantasy game. Facing one of the NFL’s best defenses, Prescott made changes at the line of scrimmage and delivered the ball quickly. He finished with 268 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. He added 24 yards rushing. Dak faces another elite NFL defense in Denver next week before things start to ease up…Dez Bryant was once again held in check by Janoris Jenkins. Bryant caught just two passes for 43 yards. Again, Bryant has a tough matchup next week and then the following week vs. Patrick Peterson…The Giants did next to nothing on offense. Brandon Marshall was invisible. It looks like Marshall retired and just didn’t tell anyone. Sterling Shepard will be the Giants No. 2 receiver once Odell Beckham Jr. returns from an ankle injury.