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Monday, September 12, 2016

FANTASY FOOTBALL WRAPUP: WEEK 1

-While he has been a bit too much an all-or-nothing player over the years, it was a nice debut with the Baltimore Ravens for WR Mike Wallace as he caught 3 passes for 91 yards and a touchdown in the team's win over the Buffalo Bills.  The speedster is always a big deep threat and in the mold of a Desean Jackson.  He works best in a standard formats given that he has not been a bit receptions guy in his career.

-Cincinnati Bengals ace wideout A.J. Green went nuclear on Sunday.....and against Darrell Revis of all players as he caught 12 balls for a ridiculous 180 yards and a touchdown.  In fact it was downright dominant how Green handled Revis and there will certainly be a narrative that the latter is declining rapidly.  As far as Green is concerned, he will threaten 100 catches this season as I said over the summer given the high amount of targets he will receive with Marvin Jones and Mohamud Sanu departing in free agency. 

-It was a complete bomb of a day for Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson as he rushed for just 31 yards on 19 carries despite the team winning handily over the Tennessee Titans.  However keep in mind Peterson had a rough week 1 last season before putting up another monster season so there is no need to worry.....Yet!  We emphasize yet because Peterson is aging as well all know and as we saw with Marshawn Lynch a year ago, sometimes the decline comes overnight. 

-How about the debut for Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz?  After the Eagles drafted Wentz from a D-II program, they dealt away Sam Bradford on the eve of the season and installed the rookie.  Wentz was actually pretty damn good as he completed 22-of-37 passes for 278 yards and 2 scores.  He hooked up with Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor and also found tight end Zach Ertz all game.  In other words Wentz spread it around and he didn't get picked once.  Very good day and the future for now looks bright.  Still I wouldn't make a move here unless you are in a two QB format and have someone like Alex Smith as your second passer. 

-I told you all on Football Friday to bench both Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard Sunday given the massive New York Jets defensive line and that was the way to go as the running game did nothing for the Bengals.  While Hill saved his day with a score, Bernard rushed for just 25 yards on 5 carries and caught only 2 passes.  He should only be used in PPR formats. 

-The Tennessee Titans did nothing on the ground on Sunday but at least DeMarco Murray did good things in the passing game as he caught 5 balls for 35 yards and 2 scores.  As far as running the ball, Murray picked up just 42 yards on 13 carries and lacked burst once again.  Derrick Henry was a complete ghost himself so both guys did nothing on the ground.  At least Murray did something in the passing game which makes him somewhat of a RB 2 option in PPR formats only. 

-It was a great day for Bengals QB Andy Dalton who completed 23-of-30 passes for 366 yards and 1 TD.  We say great day because Dalton was sacked seven times as the fierce New York Jets defense went to town on him.  Dalton is a polarizing QB in fantasy football given his playoff failures but truth be told he has been good in the regular season.  A top backup in all leagues and a solid QB 2 in leagues that play two passers. 

-Tajae Sharpe looks like a player as he caught 7 passes for 76 yards against the Minnesota Vikings.  With the Titans severely lacking in wideouts that can make plays, Sharpe has been fast-tracked into a starter and has as good a chance as any rookie receiver in fantasy football to be the best impact guy.  Will be a hot pickup this week for sure. 

-Drew Brees is something else.  Getting a new contract did nothing to dull the aggressiveness in the passing game for the New Orleans Saints veteran as he completed 28-of-42 throws for a crazy 424 yards and 4 touchdowns.  Brees hit wideout Brandin Cooks for a 98-yard score and once again is showing no letup in his game at the age of 38.  I own Brees in the Experts League where I quickly scooped him up in Round 4 and needless to say I expect 30 TD's easy. 

-I admit I was down on New York Jets running back Matt Forte coming into the season.  I talked about the capable Bilal Powell taking away work, his age, and recent history of injury.  Well Forte was back to his workhorse self on Sunday as he rushed for 96 yards on 22 carries to go along with catching 5 passes for 59 yards.  In other words it was vintage Forte.  Not sure Forte could keep up with that kind of workload but this is great news for anyone owning stock in him. 

-I drooled all over Houston Texans rookie wideout Will Fuller this summer and he showed why in the opener by catching 5 balls for 107 yards and a score.  While Fuller was limited by a sore hamstring during this past week, he looked in sync with QB Brock Osweiler and in actuality was his preferred target over DeAndre Hopkins.  If he is sitting on the wire, there will be a fierce battle for him this week. 

-Lamar Miller was the dominant workhorse back we all said he would be as he got an insane 28 carries for 106 yards to go with 4 catches for 11 more yards.  Not sure I want to see Miller get that many carries every week but he is set to be a top five back all season. 

-There was no other young QB who I was higher on this summer than Tampa Bay Buc's second-year man Jameis Winston.  Operating the always pass-heavy Dirk Kotter offense, Winston was insane on Sunday by completing 23-of-33 passes for 281 yards with 4 TD and 1 INT.  The schedule gets rough over the next month but you should have drafted him as a backup anyways.  Still the ceiling is very high here and I tweeted last week the FLOOR for Winston should be around 25 TD. 

-Very disappointed in the outing of T.J. Yeldon for the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.  Starting in place of the injured Chris Ivory, Yeldon rushed for just 39 yards on 21 yards but luckily he scored.  He also chipped in only 4 catches for 30 yards.  Not what was anticipated and this should reinforce the Jacksonville coaching staff plan to heavily involved Ivory when he is ready. 

-I have never been a big fan of Tampa Bay Buc's wideout Mike Evans as he is more of a standard league player who lacks the reception totals to be a big WR 1.  However he has a nose for the end zone as he showed Sunday by catching 5 passes for 99 yards and a score.  He should be the top target for emerging QB Jameis Winston so good things will likely continue to take place with the guy. 

-A touchdown saved the day for Julio Jones owners.  The Atlanta Falcons ace wideout caught only 4 passes for 66 yards but he had the one touchdown which saved an otherwise uneventuful day.  Jones did hurt his ankle again which cost him a few plays but he returned to the game.

-Well there goes that committee thing.  Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has a history of annoying the fantasy football community with his misdirection when it comes to player usage and moves and that happened again Sunday when Spencer Ware was a huge bellcow weapon in the team's comeback win over the San Diego Chargers.  Ware rushed 11 times for 70 yards for a TD while also catching 7 balls for 129 yards. Meanwhile Charcandrick West was a non-factor.  Clearly Ware has skills and now the issue becomes if he will remain the starter when Jamaal Charles is ready to return.  A bad situation is starting to get worse for Charles owners. 

-Alex Smith has his detractors as he doesn't like to throw down the field and is not a numbers QB.  However he did his part Sunday in completing 34-of-48 yards for 363 yards and 2 TD's with 1 INT.  He also picked up a rushing score on the ground.  This is obviously a rare occurrence for Smith and was dictated by the score of the game and so his QB 2 status stays intact. 

-It was a monster start to the game Sunday for San Diego Chargers running back Melvin Gordon as he rushed for 57 yards on 14 carries with 2 touchdowns.  He did nothing in the second half though as Danny Woodhead got most of the work but at least Gordon built on a decent summer.  He couldn't be any worse then he was as a rookie though but Gordon still has work to do to be trusted. 

-I told you all to stay clear of Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman entering into the 2016 fantasy football season and that was for a number of reasons.  The first was that his rushing average was under 4.0 per carry a year ago and Tevin Coleman was now going to split work with him now that he was healthy for this season.  Well Coleman was actually better than Freeman Sunday as he picked up 22 yards on 8 carries while also catching 5 passes for 95 yards.  Freeman meanwhile managed 40 yards on 15 touches.  It stands to reason Coleman will continued to get at least half the workload in the Atlanta backfield and that could grow if he continues to play this well.  The receptions were a nice surprise and if Coleman is available, pick him up this week. 

-We finally got a glimpse of what second-year Indianapolis Colts wideout Philip Dorsett could do Sunday when he caught 4 passes for 94 yards.  Dorsett was a first round pick in 2015 for a reason and now he looks much more comfortable the second time around.  The Colts like to spread the wealth and Dorsett has two guys ahead of him on the depth chart but at least he should be watched going forward.

-We have had the great fortune of watching one of the best wide receivers ever in the form of the ageless Larry Fitzgerald and if you didn't already know it, witness his game Sunday night when he caught 8 passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns.  Not since Cris Carter has a receiver had as good a set of hands as Fitzgerald and he once again made the tough catch look easy last night.  He set a career-high in receptions in 2015 and seems well on his way toward having another huge season in 2016 which he vows will be his last.  He will be missed.

-David Johnson so far is living up to his early first round hype as he last night rushed for 89 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries while also catching 4 passes for 43 yards.  The best news of all for Johnson owners is that he was used in a workhorse role as Chris Johnson got literally one touch.

-Jimmy Garappolo looked just like Tom Brady at times last light as he dissected a tough Arizona Cardinals defense by completing 24-of-33 for 264 yards and a score.  The kid looked poised throughout the game and led the Pats to a late fourth quarter victory.  That went better than ever the most ardent Pats hater would admit.

-I said repeatedly going into the season that Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford was severely underrated as many gave too much credene to Calvin Johnson retiring and thus hurting the gunslinger's numbers.  However the Lions went out and signed the impressive Marvin Jones and still have excellent slot man Golden Tate so they remained well-stocked.  Stafford then went out and completed 31-of-39 throws for 340 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Just like I drew it up.  The gun is a QB 1 folks and an every week starter.






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