• Jace Sime

Key Fantasy Takeaways from Week 1

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

Week one has come and gone and what a week it was! We saw a lot that we expected and a lot that really surprised us. Today, I'm going to be taking a look at some key takeaways from each matchup and what it means moving forward as well as some expectation adjustments. There's a ton to dive in to so I won't bore you with a long preamble. Let's get rolling!


 



COWBOYS 29 - BUCCANEERS 31

Antonio Brown is a WR1: In the last 3 weeks of the 2020 season, we saw AB's workload increase to 33% of the teams receiving targets and with that, he posted an impressive 20.1 fantasy points per game average. Thursday night, he continued that trend. Although he only got 25% of the teams targets, he was the primary downfield weapon and put up a 21 point game. I think it's safe the say the chemistry is there with him and Brady and I'm comfortable throwing him in my weekly lineup. Gronk is a reliable weekly starter: There was some hesitation in drafting Gronk this year due to the crowded receiving core of the Bucs, however, after finishing 2020 as the TE8, he came out of the gates swinging and put up the best TE performance on the week with 25 fantasy points. He was targeted 8 times, second most to only Godwin who had 13. The connection is obviously there with Brady and the it's apparent that Gronk is a key piece to this offense that's going to be heavily utilized.

Lamb and Cooper will BOTH be productive and startable but Amari is till the Alpha: There was a lot of speculation going in to this season on who was going to be the primary target in this receiving core and whether to draft Lamb or Amari first. Consensus fell on Lamb to take that second year leap but some analyst, myself included, pegged Amari as the one to own. Truth is, they're both fantastic and with how high powered this offense will be, you could throw both out in your lineup and be comfortable every week. Amari set himself apart though with 13 receptions which almost doubled Lamb's 7. Zeke will be fine; don't over-react: Zeke owners are in shambles and panicking over a disappointing week one, however, there's a few things you need to realize about this situation. 1. The Buccaneers have the 2nd best defense against the run next to the Rams to it's natural that McCarthy was going to game script a passing attack to beat them. 2.Tony Pollard is not eating in to Zeke's touches. He only had 3 carries to Zeke's 11 and to boot Zeke still had a pair of receiving targets. At the end of the day, Zeke still had 80% of the teams rushing work and will continue to be the guy back there. The Cowboys have a tough matchup still next week against the Chargers but not nearly as daunting as Tampa's defense.

 


JAGUARS 21 - TEXANS 27

James Robinson is no longer a workhorse: Last season, Robinson was an undrafted/late round gem who ended up finishing as the RB7 on the season. The underlying data behind his success, however, was his unprecedented workload. He was given 94% of the teams total rushing attempts last season which is absolutely unheard of. Sunday, we watched Robinson as he entered a time share under Urban Meyer and dropped drastically 38% of the teams rushing work. If this trend continues, he's going to be a RB3/Flex play at best, especially when he was unproductive (fantasy-wise) against the worst defense in the league. Chark is the receiver to own: Chark was being wrote off going in to this season as a receiver on the decline, however, what we saw on Sunday painted a different story. Chark had an impressive 40% of the teams target share with 13 targets on the day, significantly more than both Jones and Shenault, who only saw 9. What's concerning is that of those 13 targets, he only came down with 3 of them. It's nice that one was a 41 yard TD in the late 3rd quarter but before that he was 2 for 45 and didn't knotch another catch the rest of the game. This whole offense is a bit of a fantasy red flag that we need to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.

Brandin Cooks is being disrespected: Since 2015, Brandin Cooks has only finished outside the WR15 mark once and going in to this year, continued to be written off due to the Texans bleak situation. Well he proved everyone wrong Sunday when he put up 132 yards on 5 catches and ended up the WR11 on the week. He was by far the target leader of the team and if Tyrod plays like he did yesterday (although he won't have the luxury of facing JAX every week), Cooks could find himself as a solid weekly starter. At the end of the day, he should get enough work to stay productive and fantasy relevant. Tyrod Taylor isn't done: Taylor has assumed the mantle of starting QB in leau of Watsons legal allegations and he took that bull by the horns. Posting a cool 291 yards with a pair of TD's, no INT's and rushing for 40 yards, Taylor led the Texans to an impressive win that nobody saw coming. Although he may not be as flashy as Murray or Jackson, he's still a mobile QB who can provide weekly upside and be a viable flex option down the road. Taylor impressed me this week and I'm curious to see how he fairs against tougher defenses.




 


CHARGERS 20 - WASHINGTON 16

Ekeler may not be "The Guy" like we thought: The intrigue and hype surrounding Ekeler going in to this season was that he wouldn't have much competition for carries and his involvement in the passing game gives him an incredible PPR floor regardless. That hype may be dying down a little as we saw Ekeler forfeit 40% of the teams rushing attempts to teammate Larry Rountree. Ekeler was still fantasy relevant thanks to a 3 yard touchdown run, however, what really concerns me is that he didn't have a single receiving target all game which is where he normally thrives for fantasy owners. New coach, New scheme could spell out disappointment but it could also be a game script thing against a defense that was 3rd best against RB's last year. Definitely a situation to keep an eye on. Mike Williams could be a viable WR2: Williams was pegged as a fantasy sleeper by many analysts this offseason, however, he was pretty boom or bust last year which led to skepticism going in to 2021. What I learned Sunday is that Williams is going to be a key part of this offense and could end up being a key part of winning fantasy rosters as well. Williams and Keenan almost perfectly split targets with 13 to 12 respectively and it was Williams who came down with the score. He'll be a big waiver wire add this week and I would look to spend some FAAB if you need WR depth.

Antonio Gibson is going to thrive off of volume: The RB12 his rookie season, Gibson flashed his talents and helped lead the newly rebranded Football Team to the playoffs. Although he had a relatively quiet start to the season against the Chargers, the data shows that he's not only going to be more involved, he's going to completely command the backfield. Not only did he have an incredible 87% of the teams rushing work, but the stat that stood out is that he had 71% of the teams RB Receving work as well, an area that was almost entirely taken by JD McKissic last year. With Fitz going down, they'll have to lean more on Gibson and that puts him as a huge trade for candidate right now.



 


SEAHAWKS 28 - COLTS 16

Carson is the definition of consistency: Carson may not be as flashy as McCaffery or Kamara but he's a tough, reliable and consistent back who delivers for owners almost every week. Since 2018, he has finished as the RB17 or better and against a tough Colts defense, he still put up 11.2 points off of 16 carries and 3 receptions. He had 84% of the rushing work, 74% of the RB receiving work and continues to be a great RB2 option to get you double digit points. Move forward with confidence. Tyler Lockett is matchup proof: Quick, agile, and always getting open, Tyler Lockett is like Tyreek Hill light. I regret that I had him as a caution play this week due to the tough matchup and his boom or bust past but he proved me wrong this week and earned my confidence. He split the teams target share perfectly with Metcalf but made the most of his opportunities, notching 40 more yards and 1 more TD than his teammate across the field. For a player you likely got in the mid rounds, he has the upside to be a WR1 every week but we'll have to see if he suffers from the same inconsistency issues that have plagued him the past couple years.

Jonathan Taylor is taking another step forward: The 2nd year standout delivered for owners with a 15 point performance after seeing 65% of the teams workload in the backfield. A big takeaway for me was seeing him tied with Hines for receiving work. Last year, Hines had 60% of the RB receiving work to Taylors 35%, however, on Sunday we saw them split that work 45/55. A positive note for Taylor owners moving forward.


Tread carefully with IND's receiving core and avoid SEA's TE room: Wentz had some natural adjustments to make as he started his first game as a Colt and dealt with a lingering injury. He was efficient and avoided throwing any Interceptions, but they spread the ball around so evenly among their receivers and runningbacks that nobody truly made a fantasy impact outside of Pascal due to his 2 TD's. We need to see a little more from them before I can comfortably start a IND WR. As for Seattle's TE room, they were lightly involved, with Dissley and Everett only seeing 5 combined targets and splitting them near evenly. The air in this offense belongs to Metcalf and Lockett.




 


JETS 14 - PANTHERS 19

CMC is on another plane of existence: 21 rushing attempts and 9 receptions, McCaffrey finished as the RB1 despite not scoring a single TD. The only other time that has been accomplished was in 2018 by...you guessed...McCaffrey. He's truly a next level talent and is proving why he remained the #1 overall consensus pick in fantasy drafts. Robby is being relegated and we may need to pump the brakes: Robby Anderson was heavily involved in this offense last year and finished the WR24 after being a consistent WR2 for owners. That, however, was with McCaffrey injured most of the season. With McCaffrey back and healthy, what I saw was quite concerning and that was Robby Anderson only having 3 targets all game. Even rookie Terrace Marshall had twice as many and it's leading me to believe that maybe Andersons fantasy success last year was as a benefactor to McCaffrey's absence. He was still fantasy relevant this week because his one catch was a 46 yard TD so there's a chance you can move him this week and that's an option I would consider.

Corey Davis is an elite receiver: The Jets offense got off to a slow start and overall looked quite abysmal, but there was one shining piece of fantasy treasure underneath it all and that was Corey Davis. After putting up 97 yards and 2 TD's on 5 receptions, he proved to the team why he deserved his paycheck. He also proved to fantasy owners that despite being on a bad team, he's going to hold down one of your WR spots confidently. Next week will be a bit more challenging against a tough New England defense but I'm confident Davis will continue to see enough work to be a solid starter and the more Wilson grows and gets better, the more of a fantasy steal Davis will continue to be.


This is Colemans backfield to lose: A lot of fantasy managers took a dart throw on Michael Carter in late rounds, assuming he would be the commander of that backfield, but it was Tevin Coleman who was given the opportunity to lead and the numbers reflect that. He had a very dismal fantasy output, but his 55% workload share show us that Saleh is entrusting him to lead the RB room and that it will be his job to lose. I'm keeping Carter stashed just in case but let's continue to watch this situation over the next couple weeks and see how the workload adjustments take place.




 


VIKINGS 24 - BENGALS 27

Theilen is steel Reelin: There were some doubts about the aging 31 year old going in to this year and some worries of regression after Justin Jefferson's sensational rookie season. Thielen had a different message to deliver, though, as he posted 92 yards and 2 TD's on 9 receptions. He was a key part of the Vikings offensive success and a Rockstar for fantasy managers. Despite his big day, it's important to note that he didn't demand the targets that are normally associated with these kinds of performances. That receiving room split the target share quite evenly at 34/33/33. Conklin is the TE1 in Minnesota, Herndon is backup: After Irv Smith went down to a season ending injury, the Vikings were quick to trade for NY Jet's TE Chris Herndon and this left a lot of speculation on who would be the leader at the position going in to the regular season. That question was clearly answered on Sunday when Conklin received 70% of the teams TE target share and 100% of the yards. Now there's a chance it was because Herndon is new and they are easing him in to this offense, but for the time being, it appears to be Conklin's job.

Finally Mixon's Year?: Every year we say and every year we're disappointed. Since his rookie year, he's only started the season once with a game as the RB42 or better and that was 2017 where he finished week 1 as the RB3. He ended up finishing that season the RB9 averaging 15.8 points/game. Sunday, he finished the RB2 with an impressive 23 point performance behind a bolstered offensive line and overall offense itself. I personally have confidence in Mixon moving forward and with 80% of the running work and 85% of the RB receiving work, he should be in line for a big role.


Ja'Marr Chase CAN catch a football!: Few players were being as scrutinized and criticized as Chase was going in to the season. "He can't catch a football", "He's too rusty", "Chase says the balls harder to see"; there were plenty of headlines and with that, plenty of reasons to fade Chase, however, he stepped up to the plate and proved to everyone why the Bengals were right to take him #5 overall. Not only did he lead the team in targets with 7 on the game but he turned those targets in to 5 receptions for 101 yards and a TD. He finished the WR14 this week and with his success, has surely earned more confidence from coach Zac Taylor. He faces a Bears defense that got carved up by Matthew Stafford Sunday Night and gave him a near perfect QBR.





 


CARDINALS 38 - TITANS 13

Murray is the fantasy QB1: Last year, Murray was on pace to smash the all time fantasy record of 418 points with a 472 point pace! His unfortunate injury derailed that pace, but he stepped right up and starting delivering again after wreaking havoc on the Titans defense. 5 total TD's including one on the ground left fantasy owners elated to have Murray in their lineup. As long as he stays healthy, there's no reason he shouldn't continue to be the QB1 by a long shot. ARI's backfield is a true committee: Edmonds and Conner both took the backfield and politely shared it with one another. Edmonds had 12 carries and 4 receptions where as Conner had 16 carries and no receptions so they each end up touching the ball 16 times. Edmonds was more efficient at almost 2 yards per carry better and also had the receiving work so he's the more valuable back in this offense moving forward.


Titans offense is struggling: We're not really sure what the whole story is with the Titans but their offense looked awful yesterday. True that a big part of that was the incredible defensive showing by the Cardinals including Chandler Jones and his 5 sack showoff, but the Titans just couldn't seem to get anything clicking all day. AJ Brown was the highlight with his 13 yard TD but Derrick Henry showed signs of his age and I'm hoping for fantasy sake that this is a one off game. Henry carried the rock 17 times but only to the tune of 3.4 yards per carry, the lowest of his career and a bit of a red flag considering he's averaged over 5 yards per carry the last 3 seasons.





 


49ers 41 - LIONS 33

Jimmy is staying the starter - Deebo is returning to 2019 form: Trey Lance has been in the spotlight ever since the 49ers sold the farm to move up and draft him #3 overall. Since then, we've been speculating (until a couple weeks ago) about who the starter would be. Well Shannahan made it clear before week one it would be Garrapolo and Jimmy G played well enough to solidify that position. Deebo Samuel...oh Deebo...he came alive and absolutely decimated the Lions secondary as he racked up 189 yards and a TD on just 9 receptions. He was the clear target leader with more than twice as many targets as Kittle and made the most of every one of them. As long as he stays healthy, he should be in your starting lineup. San Francisco's backfield is a giant question mark: We all knew that Mostert was injury prone but I don't think any of us expected him to only make it a half of a quarter. With Trey Sermon a healthy scratch, it was Elijah Mitchell who played hero and put up a 104 yard showing with a TD to boot. Moving forward, though, is a huge questions mark as Shannahan has come out stating that Sermon is being activated and it was Sermon who was the clear #2 in the preseason. As of now, Sermon is #3 on the depth chart but I don't expect that situation to remain that way for long. They invested too much draft capital in him to just warm the bench.

Hockenson and Swift are leveling up: Hockenson already had a bit of a break out season last year, but he really flashed on Sunday and showed just what he is capable of when trusted with the football. He had just 18% of the teams receiving targets but he turned those targets in to 97 yards and a TD. After finishing the TE3 on the week, Hock owners have to be feeling good about getting him in the 5th round. DeAndre Swift also took a step forward and impressed this week (despite Cambell saying Williams was going to get the bulk of the work) after posting 35 yards on he ground and another 65 through the air with a TD. Although Williams was more efficient in rushing with an astonishing 6 yards/carry, Swift was the one utilized in the receiving game and that inherently gives him the higher fantasy ceiling. It'll be interesting to see how their workload share evolves over the year.


49er's defense might be vulnerable now: The niners have been revered as a stout and formidable defense and kept the Lions in check for most of the game until Verrett went down to a season ending injury. Once he was out of the game, Goff was able to pick their secondary apart and score three TD's in a quarter and a half. It's a telling sign how much of an impact Verrett made on this defense and opposing QB's / WR's may be sneaky plays moving forward.




 


STEELERS 23 - BILLS 16

Pittsburgh's defense is no joke: Nobody doubted the Steelers defense going in to the year, but we also didn't expect them to shut down a high powered offense like the Bills, either. They held Allen to 270 yards and only 1 TD and kept Diggs from seeing the end zone at all. They definitely looked like the best defense of the weekend and I'll be cautious about my fantasy players moving forward if they're facing the steel curtain. Najee is getting off to a slow start but don't panic: After gaining a ton of fantasy hype this offseason, Harris was most people RB1 and left them feeling dread and regret after a 5 performance and only averaging 2.6 yards per carry. It's true that he didn't look very good, but the big number you need to be focusing on and why you shouldn't worry is he had not 80, not 90, but 100% of the teams rushing work including 3 receiving targets. At the end of the day, he's still a rookie that needs to, and will, adjust to the pros. If I have a RB getting all the work, I'm happy and you should be too. He'll get better.

Beasley's role is growing: The Bills offense was quite underwhelming on Sunday and fantasy owners were disappointed to say the least. I'm chalking this one up to the situation of it being the first game coupled with facing such a stout defense in the Steelers. One positive takeaway I got from this teams offense though, was Beasley's increased role. He almost matched Diggs in targets (13v14) and had 33% of the teams target share, an 8% increase over last year. Any receiver that has double digit targets is usually a valuable fantasy asset and Beasley just might be the #2 to own over Gabriel Davis in the offense.





 


EAGLES 32 - FALCONS 6

Love Hurts, Avoid Ertz: Jalen Hurts was entrusted with this offense and given the opportunity to make this his team and he ran away with that opportunity Sunday afternoon. 264 yards through the air and another 62 on the ground with 3 TD's to no INT's is an impressive way to get your season going and with 34.8 fantasy points, owners were also smiling. Ertz on the other hand, after reconciling with the Eagles, marched to the beat of 2 reception on 4 targets. Goedert is the clear #1 on this offense now and I think it's time to remember the greatness that Ertz was and accept that his prime is over. Sanders was impressive; Gainwell was surprising: Miles Sanders was being faded by most of the community as a mid to low end RB2 but he came out and showed why he should be respected more. After getting 63% of both the rushing and receiving work out of the backfield, Sanders turned that into 4 receptions and 113 scrimmage yards. He finished as the RB14 on the week and Sanders owners had to have been satisfied. Gainwell, on the other hand was even more surprising. We all expected Boston Scott to be the guy behind Miles but Gainwell not only solidified that job, he took 40% of the workload and finished as the RB20. Definitely a situation to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.

Cordarelle Patterson Plot Twist: Expectations have been pretty high for Mike Davis after an impressive backup performance to CMC last year. Looking at the depth chart, it was hard not to say he would have this entire backfield to himself, but the Falcons surprisingly had Patterson very involved. He was given 30% of the teams rushing work and outperformed Davis with a very impressive 7.7 yards per carry. Not to say he's going to be fantasy relevant but his surprising usage is going to eat in to Davis' ceiling.


Calvin Ridley's ceiling is in jeopardy; Pitts involvement was relieving: The Falcons looked worst than any other team on Sunday not named the Green Bay Packers. With only a 60% completion percentage and a QBR of 71, Matt Ryan was the captain of a sinking ship and he let the whole crew go with him. There wasn't a single Falcons player that produced any fantasy value and if Ryan continues to struggle, it's going to affect everyone including Ridley. Pitts didn't perform to the level we wanted him to, but I was relieved to see he had 24% of the teams total targets which implies they trust him and want him to be a key part of this offense.





 


BROWNS 29 - CHIEFS 33

Cleveland continues to get it done on the ground: The Browns had another devastating loss to the Chiefs and failed to throw a single TD through the air. Where they carved KC up, however, was on the ground as they had 6 different players with rush attempts and reached the end zone 4 times via rusher. Chubb continues to be the majority stock owner with 72% of the rush attempts that he turned in to 83 yards and two TD's. Hunt and Chubb both posted 5.5 yards/carry numbers with Hunt also seeing the end zone. Baker still threw for 324 yards but it's apparent how the Browns plan to win games and if I own any part of this backfield, I'm feeling pretty optimistic. Njoku is leading the TE room, not Hooper: One of the more surprising takeaways I had from this game was the involvement of David Njoku in the passing game. After being reduced to only 25% of the TE work last season, he was given over 50% of the work this week, led the team in yards, and tied Landry for targets. He ended up the TE10 on the week and is a player we need to keep an eye on as the season progresses.

Keep Calm and Clyde On: Similar to Najee Harris, Clyde disappointed fantasy owners this week, however, also like Najee, Clyde had a substantial share of the workload. 88% of the teams rush attempts and 100% of the backfield receiving work, the Chiefs clearly trust him and want him to be the guy. The Browns were 6th in fewest fantasy points allowed to the RB position and it's only week 1. As long as CEH continues to get this workload level, I'll continue to be optimistic moving forward.


Tyreek and Kelce are the best WR/TE tandem in football: No surprise here, but the trend continues in to 2021 as Kelce and Hill absolutely feasted to the tune of 273 yards and 3 TD's combined. Barring injury, they'll be at the top of fantasy charts every week.





 


PACKERS 3 - SAINTS 38

Hawaii is not training camp...but Rodgers is not your average QB: The most shocking game of the weekend was arguably the Packers-Saints and just how awful Green Bay looked. Rodgers posted his worst game of his career, with a passer rating worse than someone who spikes the ball every play. As surprising as this was, I would encourage everyone not to over react because, well, it's Aaron Rodgers. When healthy, he's never finished a season worst than the QB10 and I'm confident they'll get it turned around like they always do so until next week, let's just R-E-L-A-X. AJ Dillon splitting carries with Jones: Everyone was concerned about the state of play from Rodgers, but where I was concerned was the RB usage. A backfield normally dominated by Jones was split among him and 2nd year RB AJ Dillon. last season, Jones had 60% of the teams attempts and 63% of the RB receptions. This week, he only had 33% of the rush attempts to Dillons 28% and his receiving target share dropped to 50%. I'm not going to completely panic over this but it's a bit of a red flag and something to monitor.

Jameis WINston: What a career comeback game for Mr. 30 for 30. Sean Payton gave Jameis the reigns to this offense after Brees hung up the jersey last year and Winston comes firing out the gate by delivering 5 TD's on only 148 yards! He split the passes around to pretty much everyone on the roster while he carved the Packers defense apart. If he's sitting on waivers in single QB leagues, he's worth a stash to see if he continues his success. 2QB and SFlex leagues he should already be rostered but if he's not, spend that FAAB!


Get Trautman while you can: The preseason hero in New Orleans was Marquez Callaway who ended up disappointing owner with only 2 targets and 1 reception. What's strange is that there really wasn't a stand out player and it may be difficult to predict just who to own in this offense week to week. Deonte Harris had the yards and 1 TD whereas Juwan Johnson had a couple TD's but only 34 yards. The one standout in market share, though, was Adam Trautman with 6 total targets, double that of Johnson who had the second most (Kamara excluded). On paper, it appears Payton wants to involve Trautman and although he didn't produce for fantasy, his workload is a positive sign for fantasy value in the coming weeks.




 


BRONCOS 27 - GIANTS 13

Steady Teddy may just unlock the fantasy potential of DEN's receivers: The Broncos are a QB away from being serious contenders in the AFC and there was a lot of speculation on whether or not Bridgewater could be THAT guys for them, but after Sunday, I'm feeling a lot more optimistic. He didn't post groundbreaking numbers but he was efficient, effective, and kept the chains moving. There's obvious room for growth but Fant and Sutton will be better options with Teddy under center. Don't overreact to Gordon; Good sell high moment: Managers were pretty happy to have Gordon in their starting lineup when he broke off a 70 yard touchdown run that saw him finish with 19.3 fantasy points and the RB6 mark on the week. As great as it is to have those moments, the truth is that prior to that run, he was 10 for 31 and averaging only 3.1 yards per carry. Had he not broke off that run, he'd be in our bust conversation and I think it's a matter of time until Williams takes over. If you can sell Gordon high coming off this game, it may be prime opportunity.

Shepard is the 1, not Golladay: The Giants went out and made Golladay one of the highest paid receivers this offseason. After dealing with injury last year, Kenny G started having hamstring issues again late in camp and it was Sterling Shepard who stepped up and was impressing. That hype carried in to week 1, where Shepard racked up 113 yards and a TD off of 7 reception. He was the clear target leader on the team and will be a huge waiver wire target.


Barkley is not ready yet: We knew going in to this week that Barkley was going to have to be eased back in after suffering a season ending injury last year. He definitely looked like a back that's easing back in as he took his 10 carries and only turned them in to 26 yards. As tough as it is to say, you may have to look to other options the next couple weeks until Barkley is back to good health.




 


DOLPHINS 17 - PATRIOTS 16

Waddle is going to be great: The Dolphins made a pretty bold move taking Jaylen Waddle over DeVonta Smith with the 6th overall pick but he showed plenty of flashes that made him look worth the price. In his NFL debut, he went 4 for 6 for 61 yards and a TD and had the teams lone offensive TD. With Fuller coming back to help the receiving core next week, I'm excited to see the opportunities Waddle will have to showcase his talents. Gaskin is still efficient, just a tough matchup: Gaskin is a player we were excited to see coming in to the season after averaging 17.4 fantasy points a game in his last 6 games of 2020. Although he didn't win anyone the week, he still had 54% of the teams rushing work and ran for over 5 yards/carry. He has another tough matchup against Buffalo next week but as the season goes on, I see him getting better and better.

Damien Harris is the guy: The Patriots traded Sony Michel to the Rams a few weeks ago and, in doing so, instilled their confidence in Harris to lead this backfield. Lead he did, as he put up a 100 yard game to kick off the season and handled 80% of the teams rushing work. His game losing fumble may cost him a bit of work next week but I still expect him to be the primary back moving forward.


Agholor and Meyers will both be productive: Mac Jones was impressive in his debut as well, going 29/39 for 281 yards and a TD without tossing a pick. He targeted Meyers the most but it was Agholor who he found the most success with notching up 72 yards and a TD on only 5 receptions. Meyers will still be valuable in this offense and I'm happy right now owning either of them.





 


BEARS 14 - RAMS 34

Stafford has unlocked this offense: My personal biggest offseason move was the Rams acquisition of former Lions QB Matt Stafford. I felt that a QB of his caliber was all that was needed to take the Rams offense to the next level and so far it's looking like that's the case. Going 321 yards for 3 TD's, he supported 3 startable WR's in Kupp, Jefferson, and Woods. It looks like Kupp has the magic connection but as we've seen in the past, that pendulum can shift between him and Woods any given week. This is Henderson's backfield: A few weeks back, the Patriots traded RB Sony Michel to the Patriots following the season ending injury to second year RB Cam Akers. This left speculation on who would be the starter or how Henderson's role may be limited but from what we saw Sunday, this is Henderson's backfield. With 94% of the teams rushing work and 100% of the RB receiving work, he racked up 70 yards and a TD while efficiently gathering 4.4 yards per carry. Henderson owner have to be happy with what they saw, especially considering the difficult matchup.

Montgomery is a beast: Going in to the week, I was advising people to temper their expectations on Montgomery since he was facing a Rams defense that allowed the fewest fantasy points of any team to the RB position last year. Well he went out and showed that he's an outlier and is not to be doubted as he took 73% of the teams rushing workload and translated that in to 108 yards and a TD while averaging 6.8 yards per carry. Long story short, start him with absolute confidence every week.


Dalton should not be starting: We all knew this would be a tough matchup for Dalton but he looked just plain awful on Sunday and his 206 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception affected everyone else's fantasy value not named Montgomery. As long as he's starting, I'm going to be hesitant to play Bears receiving weapons.




 


RAVENS 27 - RAIDERS 33

Ravens are going to run a committee: After being plagued by season ending injuries to their RB room, the Ravens are down to rookie Ty'Son Williams and newly signed veteran Latavius Murray. It was assumed Williams would at least have the majority of work this week as Murray got worked in, however, the two split the work pretty evenly with Williams at 43% and Murray at 47% of the rushing attempts. Though Murray slightly out-touched Williams, the latter looked much better with the ball, averaging 7.2 ypc compared to Murray's 2.8. On top of getting the teams receiving work as well, I'm putting my money on Williams to be the RB to own right now. More of the same from Lamar: Jackson was a bit hit or miss last year after being a league winning weapon in 2019. Last season, he had 9 games as the QB11 or better but 7 games as the QB17 or worse and was averaging almost a fumble a game. Monday night saw more of the same as he provided value with his legs but couldn't get it done through the air and cost the Ravens the game after fumbling it 3 times including a game sealing one in OT. Jackson is still a valuable and startable fantasy asset but don't expect 30 points every week.

Carr is under-rated and Waller is looking like Kelce: Carr seems to get thrown under the bus every year as an average, run of the mill QB, but he showed up and balled out on Monday with deep bombs left and right that resulted in 435 yards and 2 TD's. There were some shots that he definitely missed but overall he looked good in his 2021 debut. Waller is absolutely incredible, getting almost 40% of the teams total targets and turning that in to 105 yards and a TD. If you have him on your roster, you're going to be in a for a hell of a season pending injury.


Jacobs clearly still dealing with injury: Jacobs has been dealing with a lingering toe injury leading to the start of the season. After being declared active last minute, he was relatively quiet overall but paid out for fantasy owners with a couple goal line touches that turned in to touchdowns. Outside the scores, though, he was only 10 for 34 and we saw Drake with 6 carries and almost all of the receiving work. Look for this committee approach to continue at least for the next few weeks as Jacobs works his way back to 100%.

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