Bumps, Bruises and Bowouts
RB Le’Veon Bell – Hamstring
RB Marlon Mack – Achilles
WR Devante Parker – Hamstring
RB Jordan Howard – Hamstring
RB Justin Jackson – Quad
TE David Njoku – Knee
TE Blake Jarwin – Knee (ACL?)
RB Marlon Mack – Reported to have torn his Achilles and that clears up the Colts’ backfield. Jonathan Taylor becomes the primary rusher but he was snapped up in all fantasy leagues. Nyheim Hines is the free agent to note with seven carries for 28 yards and one touchdown as a rusher, and then eight receptions for 45 yards and a second touchdown. The next three opponents – Vikings, Jets, and Bears – all sport above-average defenses but that likely prompts more passes to Hines and Taylor.
RB Le’Veon Bell – While Bell left the Bills game after only six carries, the woeful Jets only totaled 14 runs in the game anyway. Frank Gore would start if Bell misses time but Josh Adams ran in the score against in Buffalo. The Jets face the 49ers next and that won’t be much better than what happened against the Bills. Gore and Adams come into play only in the biggest of leagues and even then, only for the Bell owners.
RB Jordan Howard – Left with a hamstring strain but like Bell, or even worse than Bell, the Dolphins offense is just not something to waste a free agent move on. Matt Breida wasn’t a factor and Myles Gaskin was the best back with just nine runs for 40 yards. He added four catches for 26 yards but Patrick Laird also had a couple of catches. They face the Bills next as well. Gaskin is worth a stash only in the deepest of leagues but keep all expectations from this backfield low.
Free Agents, Flops and Other Notables
TE Jordan Akins – The Texans are searching for new receivers since DeAndre Hopkins left and while Will Fuller had another Week 1 explosion, that’s not going to happen often (or ever if last year serves). The third-year tight end Akins was a star in training camp and caught two passes for 39 yards that included a 19-yard touchdown. Not reliable yet, but at least Akins deserves to land as fantasy depth. The Texans have a bad stretch up next – Ravens, Steelers and Vikings – so Akins won’t be a starting option this month.
TE Greg Olsen – Like Akins, he surprised with four catches for 24 yards and a touchdown against the Falcons. There’s not enough left after D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett take their share, but Olsen is worth at least watching.
WR Russell Gage – The Falcons produced three wideouts with nine catches for over 100 yards in one game thanks to the 450 passing yards by Matt Ryan. It was a great game by Gage to be sure, but he’ll never be as reliable as either Julio Jones or Calvin Ridley. He’s worth rostering only if you own Ridley or Jones as insurance.
Browns running backs – Nick Chubb’s value took a hit with the Browns falling behind so badly since Kareem Hunt plays in more passing situations. Chubb ended with only ten carries for 60 yards and Hunt finished with 13 runs for 72 yards and four catches for nine yards. The good news is that the next two games are at home against the Bengals and Redskins so Chubb should improve.
RB Mark Ingram – The Ravens decimated the Browns and yet Ingram only ran ten times for 29 yards while the rookie J.K. Dobbins gained 22 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries. Gus Edwards had four carries as well so Ingram’s role appears to be shrinking.
RB Devin Singletary – Like Ingram, Singletary’s team had their way with the Jets but he only ran nine times for 30 yards while the rookie Zack Moss took nine carries for 11 yards. Worse yet, Moss scored a touchdown on his three catches for 16 yards while Singletary went scoreless despite five receptions for 23 yards. At least he did not fumble, but the expectations that Singletary’s role would get dialed back was correct.
WR Nelson Agholor – He only caught one pass for the Raiders but it was a 23-yard touchdown and the rookie starter Bryan Edwards settled for just one catch for nine yards. The Raiders are still throwing mostly to Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller, but Agholor is worth noting.
WR Robby Anderson – While No. 1 wideout DJ Moore was held to only four catches for 54 yards in the Panthers new offense, Anderson turned in 115 yards and one score on six catches thanks to a 75-yard touchdown. The scheme intends to be pass-heavy and Anderson has already made a splash as the No. 2 receiver.
RB Adrian Peterson – Kerryon Johnson only ran seven times for 14 yards against the Bears while Peterson accounted for 93 yards on 14 runs and even caught three passes for 21 yards. D’Andre Swift ran in a score but was only used on three rushes for eight yards. Peterson’s value is higher than expected but this will remain a committee.
TE T.J. Hockenson – He caught all five passes and gained 56 yards with the lone receiving touchdown. That’s a positive sign for the tight end that was drafted specifically to be a cog in the passing game.
RB James Robinson – The Jaguars game of musical chairs for their backfield ended with the undrafted Robinson getting the starting nod. He handled all the backfield carries with 16 for 62 yards and even caught a 28-yard pass. He’s worth owning if only for Week 3 when the Dolphins visit.
WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling – Davante Adams is simply a pass-sponge but MVS turned four catches into 96 yards and a score on the Vikings on Sunday. He’s had good showings in the past and then disappeared for almost all of 2019. But notable that he generated some buzz this summer and then delivered.
QB Cam Newton – What says Tom Brady is gone more than having the Patriot’s quarterback run 15 times for 75 yards and two scores? Newton threw for 155 yards and even completed 15 of 19 passes. But a muddle committee backfield just got a lot worse with less scoring and runs to go around.
TE Dallas Goedert – Carson Wentz was surprisingly less effective passing with only 24 of 42 passes completed and Goedert was the only one with notable production when he turned a team-high nine targets into eight catches for 101 yards and a score. That was the same number of catches by all wide receivers combined. The Eagles disappeared after leading 17-0 so hard to rely on any of the outcomes, but Wentz is still having trouble connecting with his wideouts even though they are all healthy now.
RB Peyton Barber – While Antonio Gibson (9-36) got all the hype this summer, Washington turned to Barber (17-29, 2 TD) to lead the backfield in carries. Touchdowns aside, the running backs only combined for 65 yards on 26 carries in a home game they controlled for the second half. Playing in Arizona next week doesn’t look like as much fun as it used to be so Barber is still no safe fantasy start.
RB Joshua Kelley – The Chargers lost Justin Jackson to a quad injury so Kelley hasn’t formally become the No. 2 running back. But the rookie gained 60 yards and a score on 12 carries. Austin Ekeler (19-84) also ran effectively though never more than 13 yards on any carry. But the offense only threw one pass to a running back all game. That’s a major shift from life with Philip Rivers under center.
RB Ronald Jones – The jury was still out on Jones and then once Leonard Fournette was acquired, the fantasy world figured that the third-year back wasn’t going to be a factor. Not so fast. Fournette ran five times to gain five yards while Jones handled 17 rushes for 66 yards and caught two passes for 16 yards. We should know a lot more after the Bucs host the Panthers this week, but Jones ran strong and Fournette isn’t effective, at least not yet.
TE George Kittle – Caught four passes for 44 yards in the first half but then had a shot to his left knee that looked bad and sent him to the sideline. He played in the second half but never caught a pass so fantasy owners need to pay attention to practices to see if Kittle will be healthy to play at the Jets this week. The 49ers ran out of starting wideouts already and finally started throwing to Raheem Mostert (4-95, TD).
RB Malcolm Brown – Cam Akers ran for 39 yards on 14 carries but Brown took the lead against the Cowboys with 18 runs for 79 yards and both rushing touchdowns, along with three receptions for 31 yards. Akers may eventually become the new Gurley, but so far Brown owns that role.
The Week 1 Chill Pill
Before you freak out that your players all suck or that we all whiffed on drafting the stars of 2020, the annual reality check is in order.
The top 3 wideouts from Week 1, 2019 were Sammy Watkins (9-198, 3 TD), DeSean Jackson (8-154, 2 TD), and John Ross (7-158, 2 TD). All three got you nowhere last year after Week 1.
T.J. Hockenson turned in six catches for 131 yards and one score. David Johnson totaled 137 yards, five receptions and one touchdown. Case Keenum ended with 380 passing yards and three touchdowns. It happens.
Joe Mixon opened 2019 with just 17 yards. Tyreek Hill had 21 yards. Mike Evans only managed 28 yards in a season where his team passed for over 5,000 yards.
It’s just one week. And usually very different than the rest of the season.
Huddle player of the week
Davante Adams – While Michael Thomas was turning in a head-scratching Week 1, Davante Adams richly rewarded the fantasy drafters that probably spent a first-round pick on him. Adams roasted the Vikings with 14 receptions for 156 yards and two scores as the best fantasy play on opening weekend. That tied the all-time Packer record for single-game receptions.
Drama 101 – Somebody has to laugh, somebody has to cry
|QB||Cam Newton||230||2||QB||Drew Brees||160||2|
|RB||Peyton Barber||29||2||RB||Devin Singletary||53||0|
|RB||Nyheim Hines||73||2||RB||Le’Veon Bell||46||0|
|WR||Jamison Crowder||115||1||WR||Michael Thomas||17||0|
|WR||Robby Anderson||115||1||WR||Odell Beckham||22||0|
|WR||Russell Gage||114||0||WR||Keenan Allen||37||0|
|TE||Dallas Goedert||101||1||TE||George Kittle||44||0|
|PK||Matt Prater||2 XP 3 FG||PK||Ka’imi Fairbairn||2 XP|
|Huddle Fantasy Points = 134||Huddle Fantasy Points = 39|
Now get back to work…