Week one is in the books and I hope you attained the heights of fantasy football glory to start your season! If you didn’t it is probably a good idea to look back and understand what we learned in week one. Each week I will review each game and touch on a few fantasy relevant topics helping you build your roster and get to the title game!
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants -
Give some credit where credit is due, Tony Romo had a great game! All three of Romo’s wide receivers were fantasy relevant and all of them looked pretty good. Both Kevin Ogletree and Miles Austin scored touchdowns (2 touchdowns for Ogletree) and Dez Bryant looked strong and gained just under 100 yards. I am not too worried about Demarco Murray, despite the fact that he gained almost half his yardage on one broken play he still looked strong and the evidence of the stellar passing attack should lighten the number of defenders in the box. On the flip side the Giants offense was not all the impressive. I do expect a bounce back in week two against Tampa. Ahmad Bradshawsaved his game with a touchdown but was otherwise rather ineffective. If Martellus Bennett wasn’t already on your radar he should be now. Not a stud but certainly a starter in deeper leagues.
Indianapolis Colts at Chicago Bears -
While my prediction that Reggie Wayne would have a bigger fantasy scoring day than Brandon Marshalldid not come to fruition is was not too far off base. Reggie Wayne finished with 135 receiving yards and no touchdowns compared with Brandon Marshall’s 119 yards and one touchdown. Reggie Wayne and Andrew Luck have great chemistry making Wayne a fantasy asset
for the remainder of the year, start him with confidence. Keep an eye on the running back situation in Chicago. Matt Fortegot the lions share of the carries and one touchdown but Michael Bush vultured two scores! Forte is
still a stud but you may want to obtain Michael Bush as a handcuff as soon as possible.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Minnesota Vikings -
The Rashad Jennings experiment did not last very long. The pre-season super star went down with an injury and Maurice Jones-Drew soon took the reins, he will not be giving them back anytime soon. On the other side Adrian Peterson proved his doubters wrong (I was indeed a big doubter) scoring two touchdowns and having a respectable yardage total. Most importantly he took hits and kept on coming. Start both backs with confidence but don’t throw their handcuffs back onto waivers just yet, it is a long season and a lot could happen.
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets -
Mark Sanchez silenced his doubters with a strong showing on Sunday. He spread the ball around nicely and routed the Bills.
Stephen Hill caught two touchdowns and should be added immediately in all formats. Shonne Greenhad a decent game but I still do not trust the guy. For the Bills, Fred Jackson sprained a ligament in his knee and will miss about a month. In his stead C.J. Spiller went nuts. If you own him you now own a top 5 running back for at least the month of September. If he continues to perform he may not give the job back when Jackson returns.
Miami Dolphins at Houston Texans -
The only Dolphins player that looked good was Reggie Bush. He did not have stellar game but should be serviceable when considering the current dearth at running back throughout the league. The Texans defense looked very strong against a pathetic Miami offense. Arian Foster did not kill it in yardage but he did score twice making him one of fantasy footballs top scorers on the week. I was surprised that Ben Tate did not get more carries as the Texans were up big late.
New England Patriots at Tennessee Titans -
Those of us on the “Chris Johnson is back” bandwagon may need to wait one more week to celebrate. The previously elusive
rusher looked decidedly indecisive on Sunday tip toeing around the back field on his way to a 4 yard rushing effort on the day. Look for a bounce back against the San Diego Chargers in week two but do not expect him to go off, his best days may be behind him. New England on the other hand looked just as stellar as we expected, aside from Wes Welker. His dismal performance should not happen again as he is historically one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets. Speaking of favorite targets, Brandon Lloyd led all Patriots receivers with 8 on the day.
St. Louis Rams at Detroit Lions -
Not exactly the offensive performance we were all expecting from the Lions. Matthew Stafford threw a ton of interceptions but got the win when the game was on the line. Kudos to anyone who started Kevin Smith who scored twice. The Detroit running back water could be muddied a bit once Mikel Leshoure returns from suspension for at least one more week Kevin Smith is the man. The St Louis offense looked pretty pedestrian, I for one would not feel comfortable starting anyone other than Steven Jackson who did not look very strong against the Lions front seven.
Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints -
Shocker of the week as the Redskins put it on the Saints. The final score does not reflect the way Washington simply outperformed the Saints in Robert Griffin III’s debut. He and his favorite target, Pierre Garcon, had big games both a sure fire starters next week if Pierre Garcon’s foot is healthy. Alfred Morris, the Redskin’s surprise starter at running back had a nice game scoring twice, enjoy it while you can as you never know what that head coach is going to do. Sell high on Morris today if
you can. The Saints usually scoring threats all hit pay dirt aside from Marques Colston who did have a chance. I am not worried about any Saints as far as fantasy football is concerned.
Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns -
Really Michael Vick? Four interceptions? Seems a bit ridiculous but Mike Vick still had a productive fantasy day. He targeted
Desean Jackson a whole bunch but I still prefer the skill set of Jeremy Maclin. Lesean Mccoy saw one of his goal line touch downs get vultured away but that could have just been a matter of rest. He still had a nice yardage total and should score next week against Baltimore if given the opportunity. The Browns are terrible and their big name draft pick Trent Richardson looked awful against the Philly front seven. He should bounce back but I am selling high if I own him, I see no signs of life in that Cleveland offense.
Atlanta Falcons at Kansas City Chiefs -
Matt Ryan went ballistic throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for one more. Two of his touchdowns went to Julio Jones and one to Tony Gonzalez. Roddy White still got good yardage and a good number of targets but did not hit pay dirt. I am not concerned, defenses cannot stop all three of these guys at once and Roddy White will have his big days in the near future. Michael Turner on the other hand plodded his way to 32 yards and 2.9 yards per carry average. don’t panic just yet but don’t expect him to gain 1,000 yards this season although I do think some touchdowns will come and he will be useful. For the Chiefs, Jamaal Charles led the way with 14 carries for 87 yards on the day. Surprisingly Peyton Hillis did not vulture the goal line score but Shaun Draughn did.
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers -
Nice fantasy game from Frank Gore here going over 100 yards rushing with a score. He is a rock solid number 2 running back going forward. Alex Smith did not have a stellar fantasy football game but he did pass for over 200 yards with two scores, respectable by league standards. Michael Crabtree led the way with 9 targets and over 70 yards receiving. He did not get the touchdowns but he should be the most consistent target on this team other than Vernon Davis. The Packers on the other hand looked a bit over matched against this strong defense. Despite the strong defense I am jumping ship on Cedric Benson who looked awful. Keep an eye on Greg Jennings injury status but I expect a big bounce back in week two against Chicago (Thursday night) Jermichael Finley had a nice game hauling in 7 passes, one for a touchdown. Jermichael Finley is a must start fantasy football tight end.
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals -
Both the Cardinals and the Seahawks looked just awful on offense in this one. I realize the Settle Seahawks fantasy football defense is on the rise but I certainly expect a little more out of any NFL offense. Marshawn Lynch had a respectable yardage total but could not get into the end zone. Aside from Larry Fitzgerald and Marshawn Lynch I am not touching either of the teams until they prove some offensive competence.
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers -
A couple of good takeaways in this one. Steve Smith went over the century mark and Doug Martin asserted himself as the lead dog on the Tampa offense totaling almost 100 yards on the ground. One very bad takeaway from this one; DO NOT trust any Carolina running back! Their leading rusher was a wide receiver who rushed for 5 total yards. Abandon ship if you had planned on starting one of these backs. It should be noted that Vincent Jackson led all Tampa receivers with 10 targets, big games should be on the horizon.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos -
Peyton Manning had a very nice outing showing he truly can be back to his true form this season. He was best when operating the two minute/hurry up offense and completed two touchdown passes. He seemed to favor Jacob Tamme who could prove to be a steal of a fantasy football tight end when considering his draft day price tag. Willis Mcgahee ran hard and ran well but did not hit pay dirt. Not worried, he is still the lead dog in this rushing attack but this Bronco’s team without a doubt belongs to Peyton Manning. On the flip side, the Steelers passing attack did not look all that bad either. Ben Roethlisberger finished with similar stats aside from one game clenching interception. The number of passes to runs certainly indicated that this is in fact a passing offense at this point but if you must start a running back from Pittsburgh it had better be Jonathan Dwyer.
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens -
Joe Flacco showed off his arm strength and accuracy in this one making him viable fantasy football quarterback if he can continue along this path. Ray Rice showed tremendous skill and strength rushing for two scores on just ten carries. I get the feeling the Bengal’s defense may just be that bad but either way this was a nice fantasy outing for the ravens offense and many of its key players. The Bengals offense seemed to struggle against this superior Ravens defense but AJ Green and new comer Andrew Hawkins still posted respectable receiving numbers. Benjarvis Green-Ellis proved he is a solid number two fantasy football running back gaining almost 100 yards on the ground and adding a score.
San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders -
What was expected to be a high flying shootout turned into a rout as the Oakland Raiders replacement long snapper botched snap after snap dooming the Raiders to an opening night loss. Darren McFadden certainly got ever opportunity to get something done receiving 18 targets and 15 carries. When you consider his number of touches he really had a disappointing game overall. Rod Streeter (starting in place of the Injured Denarius Moore) received an inexplicable number of targets when considering his lack of experience. He did not do much with them. Overall Carson Palmer looked rushed and desperate in this one, lets hope for a bounce back in week against a soft Miami Defense. Phillip Rivers on the other hand looked poised and prepared, while he did not have an outstanding fantasy football outing he did manage to finish the game without throwing a pick and he did find Malcolm Floyd in the back of the end zone for his lone touchdown on the night. With the current state of the Charger’s rushing attack expect bigger games from Rivers in the near future.
Trade questions are rolling in this week! Be sure to ask your question early this week with the Thursday night Packers vs. Bears game in mind!