Tunnel Vision of Week 1

Tunnel Vision of Week 1

Free Agents

Tunnel Vision of Week 1

By

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

SUNDAY SALUTES
Quarterbacks Yards TD
Lamar Jackson 330 5
Dak Prescott 417 4
Matthew Stafford 407 3
Patrick Mahomes 378 3
Case Keenum 380 3
Running Backs Yards TD
Christian McCaffrey 209 2
Austin Ekeler 154 3
Derrick Henry 159 2
Chris Carson 81 2
Dalvin Cook 120 2
Wide Receivers Yards TD
Sammy Watkins 198 3
John Ross 158 2
DeSean Jackson 154 2
Marquise Brown 147 2
Phillip Dorsett 95 2
Tight Ends Yards TD
T.J. Hockenson 131 1
Evan Engram 116 1
Delanie Walker 55 2
Mark Andrews 108 1
Vernon Davis 59 1
Placekickers XP FG
Harrison Butker 4 4
Greg Zuerlein 3 3
Zane Gonzalez 1 4
Cairo Santos 5 2
Stephen Gostowski 3 4
Defense Sck-TO TD
49ers 3/4 2
Titans 5/3 1
Jets 1/4 1
Packers 5/1 0
Seahawks 5/3 0

Bumps, Bruises and Bowouts

Baker Mayfield – Bruised wrist
Tyreek Hill – Shoulder/hospitalized
Nick Foles – Broken clavicle
Albert Wilson – Ankle
Tevin Coleman – Ankle
Joe Mixon – Ankle
Mike Williams – Knee
Devin Funchess – Shoulder
Will Dissly – Knee
Juju Smith-Schuster – Toe

Chasing Ambulances

Tyreek Hill – His collarbone doesn’t need surgery but he is expected to miss a few weeks at the minimum. His primary backup is Demarcus Robinson who came in as relief but only caught one pass for no gain from his two targets. Mecole Hardman is behind Watkins and was only thrown one target on Sunday. Bottom line – Sammy Watkins, Travis Kelce, and the running backs will take up the slack from Hill.

Nick Foles – He’ll miss at least six or eight games and maybe more with his broken collarbone. Gardner Minshew is the starter at least for now and was impressive both in the summer and throwing for 275 yards and two scores on the Chiefs yesterday.  The Jaguars have one of the lighter quarterback schedules in the NFL. Minshew is worth owning in deeper leagues.

Tevin Coleman – Wore a walking boot after the game and he’s getting an MRI on his ankle that HC Kyle Shanahan admitted was concerning. Raheem Mostert will take his place for however long he is out. He ran for 40 yards on nine carries in relief on Sunday and caught one pass. The backfield wasn’t that effective in the blowout win in Tampa Bay anyway, but Mostert is worth holding at least for the Coleman owner.

Joe Mixon – Left the game when he rolled his ankle, but they’ll determine his Week 2 status on Monday. Giovani Bernard just took a few more carries in his place but the backfield was terrible in Seattle. Travyeon Williams would see some work if Mixon’s injury proved at all notable but for now, it is just a situation to monitor. Bernard would likely be the only fantasy-relevant back without Mixon there.

Sanity Check

It was just one week. Not that it makes it hurt less. Or that you suddenly have a receiver on pace for 32 touchdowns. In Week 1 of 2018, here are a few players that lit it up only to fade – Isaiah Crowell (102 yards, 2 TD), Dion Lewis (110 yards, TD), Will Dissly(105 yards, TD), Randall Cobb (142 yards, TD), Ryan Fitzpatrick (417 yards, 4 TD), and Case Keenum (329 yards, 3 TD).

And don’t forget Deshaun Watson (176 yards, TD), Travis Kelce (six yards), Kareem Hunt (49 yards), and Amari Cooper (nine yards). On average one in every 16 players just had their best or worst game of the year.

Free Agent Frenzy

The tough part of Week 1 is knowing which free agent is just starting a great year and which one hits the waiver wire again in a week or two.

QB Case Keenum – He threw for 380 yards and three scores but he blew up in Week 1 last year too. He’s worth grabbing if you just lost Nick Foles. He plays the Cowboys and Bears next so he is just depth.

QB Gardner Minshew –  Since Nick Foles broke his collar bone, Minshew takes the reins for the next month or two. The Jaguars have a better schedule than most and Minshew threw for 275 yards and two scores. But he won’t be at home against the Chiefs again either.

RB Malcolm Brown – Ran in two scores and gained 53 yards on 11 carries. Darrell Henderson only ran once for no gain. But Todd Gurley got hot later in the game and ran for 97 yards on 14 rushes. Brown is the obvious “other guy” in the backfield and is worth owning as depth, but unless Gurley is injured or the matchup is very advantageous, Brown would be hard to rely on.

RB Chris Thompson – Caught seven passes for 68 yards as the third-down back for the Redskins. One game into the season and the backfield looks inept so far, but Thompson immediately became an outlet for Case Keenum. That bodes well for receptions. And the Skins look like a team that will need to throw the ball more than most.

RB Raheem Mostert – If Tevin Coleman misses time, Mostert holds fantasy depth value.

WR John Ross – He caught seven passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns. His previous high yardage was only 52 yards so this was an extreme outlier. He’s worth adding for depth but needs to show up more than once to prove it wasn’t just a matchup benefit for one week.

WR D.J. Chark – The Jaguars have featured a large group of indistinguishable wideouts for a few years so any receiver stepping up is notable. The new quarterback in Garner Minshew only threw him four passes but he caught them all with gains of 35, 7, 35 and 69 yards. And one touchdown. He was the second-round pick of 2018 and runs a 4.34 despite being 6-4. Chark is a deep threat and a definite roster add. He won’t have the volume of catches of Chris Conley or Dede Westbrook, but will always be a threat to score a long touchdown.

WR Phillip Dorsett – Leave him on the wire. He may have scored twice and gained 95 yards on the Steelers but Antonio Brown is coming and Dorsett likely had his busiest game of the year already.

WR Terry McLaurin – The third-round pick this year impressed in training camp and it carried over to Week 1 when he led the Skins with five receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown. So far he’s everything that Josh Doctson wasn’t.  As noted, the Redskins schedule is pretty tough the next few weeks so he’s just a depth add.

WR Chris Conley – He caught six passes for 97 yards so he is the other Redskins receiver that merits consideration. But only as depth. This is the same Conley that did little in Kansas City for the last four years.

WR Randall Cobb – Four catches for 69 yards and a score was a nice debut but it was all working for the Cowboys against the Giants. He’s only the deepest of adds for now but worth tracking.

TE T.J. Hockenson – The Cardinals were ranked No. 31  versus tight ends last year so temper the excitement, but the 1.08 pick by the Lions set the first-game record for a tight end with 131 yards and a score on six receptions. In a position that holds so few players of note, he’s a must-add if he is not already on a roster. But he’s still a rookie tight end so temper expectations.

Notable Performances

RB Mike Davis/David Montgomery – The Thursday night game saw the Bears offense struggle in every way. But it was especially unwelcomed to see the much-hyped and hopeful Montgomery be limited to only six carries for 18 yards while Davis ran five times for 19 yards. Davis was targeted seven times while the rookie had only one pass. Until there is a reason to believe otherwise, neither back is a risk-free start.

RB Todd Gurley/Malcolm Brown – As noted, this backfield is starting out as a near-even split. If it happens again, Gurley becomes an RB2 at best.

WR D.J. Moore – He trailed only Christian McCaffrey in targets and ended with seven catches for 76 yards. Facing the Bucs this week should be even better.

RB Derrick Henry – He started slowly, but ended with 19 carries for 84 yards and a score plus a 75-yard touchdown catch.  Dion Lewis only ran three times for seven yards so the Titans are sticking to their plan of featuring Henry.

WR Odell Beckham – First game as a Brown saw 11 targets for seven catches and 71 yards to lead the team. That was one of the few highpoints for the Browns. He and Landry are dominating the targets.

RB LeSean McCoy/Damien Williams – The split was tough to see in a backfield that has been such a fantasy gold mine.  McCoy totaled ten runs and one catch while Williams ran 13 times and caught six passes. But this was McCoy’s first game as a Chief. He outgained Williams 81 yards to 26 yards so the ratio could be changing next week.

RB Leonard Fournette –  Gained 66 yards on 13 runs and added four catches for 28 more yards. That was a good start on the year though it was at home against a weak defense. The catches were a great addition to his workload.

WR Marquise Brown –  The first wideout drafted this year blew up for 147 yards and two scores on just four receptions. The ex-Sooner already totaled 130 yards in the first quarter. Somehow the worst passing attack of 2018 produced 324 yards and five touchdowns. Then again, every NFL player has already checked their schedule to see if they get to play the Dolphins.

The Dolphins – Several Miami players reportedly contacted their agents after the game to ask them to request a trade.  This looks like the team that every streaming quarterback, kicker, and defense will face each week.

RB Devonta Freeman/ Ito Smith – They played in Minnesota so don’t overplay what happened. But Freeman ran just eight times for 19 yards and Smith gained 31 yards on six rushes. Most of that was late in the game. Next week hosting the Eagles should be a better measurement of what to expect.

RB Devin Singletary/Frank Gore – The Bills waited to turn to the rookie until later in the game and he finished with just four carries for 70 yards as opposed to Gore’s 20 yards on 11 runs. That’s bound to be corrected for this week at the Giants.

WR John Brown – Like he did in the preseason, Brown dominated the box scores with seven catches for 123 yards and one touchdown. No other Bills’ receiver merits any consideration.

WR Jamison Crowder – With an obscene 17 targets for 14 catches and 99 yards, Crowder owns the only fantasy value for the Jets receivers so far.

RB Le’ Veon Bell–  His first game since 2017 saw him carry 17 times for 60 yards and added six receptions for 32 yards and a score. Ty Montgomery only rushed twice for four yards. So much for easing Bell back into the game.

WR DeSean Jackson – Led the Eagles with 154 yards on eight catches with two scores. Granted – he avoided CB Josh Norman unlike Alshon Jeffrey but it was still great to see him immediately connect with Carson Wentz.

Philly backfield – Darren Sproles (9-47), Jordan Howard (6-44), and Miles Sanders (11-25) proved that the committee is in strong application again for the Eagles. Sanders is the one that fantasy owners most want to see step up, but this won’t be clean or quick.

RB Derrius Guice – The Redskins players were unhappy when last year’s best offensive player Adrian Peterson was inactive. Then Guice ran for 18 yards on ten carries and caught three passes for 20 more. Chris Thompson caught seven passes. The situation is worth tracking because they’ll face the Cowboys and Bears next. At what point does Peterson re-enter the picture?

RB Marlon Mack – Ran for 174 yards and a score on 25 carries in the loss to the Chargers. The investment in the offensive line means the Colts won’t be nearly as bad off as they were in 2017 when Luck was out.

RB Kerryon Johnson/C.J. Anderson – Yet another head-scratching committee. Johnson ran 16 times for 49 yards to Anderson’s 11 carries for 35 yards. And it was a split for most of the afternoon with Johnson’s workload pulling ahead only at the end of the game. Anderson was no more effective, so it was unclear why they wanted to reprise the old “Blount role.”

TE Evan Engram – His 14 targets for 11 receptions and 116 yards scored one touchdown and looked a lot like his rookie year when Manning constantly ended up dumping off to him.

Cowboys passing game – Dak Prescott threw for 405 yards and four scores against an overmatched Giants team. Michael Gallup (7-158), Amari Cooper (6-106, TD) and Randall Cobb (4-69, TD) all debuted to a big game. This was the first time that OC Kellen Moore’s new offense was seen and the passing game obviously benefitted. Week 3 they host the Dolphins. Just saying.

RB Ronald Jones/Peyton Barber – This was supposed to happen last year and never did. Jones ran for 75 yards on 13 carries and caught an 18-yard pass. Barber was limited to eight runs for 33 yards and two receptions for 12 yards. This mostly means Barber is even less valuable. But Jones finally showed up if only for one week.

Patriots backfield – In a game that they controlled throughout, the rushing effort was brutal. Rex Burkhead (8-44), James White (4-26), Sony Michel (15-14) and even Brandon Bolden (1-7) shared the bounty. White still caught five passes for 56 yards but that may start to change when Antonio Brown starts playing. Michel is the superior rusher, but the Steelers held him in check and the Pats were not shy about using all of them.

Huddle player of the week

Sammy Watkins  –  He likely started out on many fantasy benches for Week 1 but the vaunted Jaguars secondary was shredded to the tune of nine receptions for 198 yards and three touchdowns. Watkins dominated in the game that did not need Tyreek Hill. He just set his personal best playing in Jacksonville. What’s going to happen in Oakland next week?

Salute!

Drama 101 – Somebody has to laugh, somebody has to cry

Comedy Yards TDs Tragedy Yards TDs
QB Lamar Jackson 330 4 QB Cam Newton 237 0
RB Malcolm Brown 53 2 RB Joe Mixon 17 0
RB Wayne Gallman 41 1 RB Sony Michel 14 0
WR John Ross 158 2 WR Tyreek Hill 21 0
WR Marquise Brown 147 2 WR Mike Evans 28 0
WR D.J. Chark 146 1 WR Brandin Cooks 39 0
TE T.J. Hockenson 131 1 TE Eric Ebron 8 0
PK Zane Gonzalez 4 FG 1 XP PK Jason Myers 3 XP
Huddle Fantasy Points = 169 Huddle Fantasy Points = 21

 

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