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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

2018 FANTASY FOOTBALL MONDAY NIGHT WRAPUP

Already Week 1 is in the books in 2018 fantasy football as Monday brought up the Detroit Lions absolutely getting destroyed at home by the New York Jets; while the Oakland Raiders came up short in Jon Gruden's return to the team also at home versus the Los Angeles Rams.  As always, let's get to the pertinent fantasy football happenings.

-New York Jets fans you finally have a quarterback.  While things didn't start off well as rookie QB Sam Darnold's first pass was picked off and returned for a score, the USC product was terrific from that point onward in completing 16-of-21 throws for 198 yards and two TD's with the one pick.  Darnold showed great poise throughout the game and deftly scrambled out to complete throws on the run to add another dimension to the Jets passing attack.  Despite it being only one game, Darnold should be added where available as he could gain QB 1 value before too long if this keeps up.

-Not to be overlooked in Sam Darnold's big debut was the smashing performance of running back Isaiah Crowell who rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries in his first game with the team after coming off in free agency.  What is interesting is that Bilal Powell drew the start and got more snaps than Crowell and so this looks like a strict 50/50 committee despite the latter's big game.  That keeps both Crowell and Powell as firm low-end RB 2's.

-Quincy Enunwa made his own return to the Jets after missing all of 2017 with a neck injury and he seemed to quickly become Sam Darnold's number 1 target as he caught 6 balls for 63 yards and one touchdown.  We saw Enunwa do some good things in 2016 in a WR 3 sense and that seems to be where he resides for now in terms of 2018 fantasy football. 

-You couldn't draw up as worse Week 1 for Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford who completed 27-of-46 passes for 286 yards with 1 TD and FOUR INT's while getting banged up on numerous occasions.  At one point Stafford went to the bench after taking a big hit in the first half as veteran backup Matt Cassel came on in relief but he was able to return to what was an epic blowout.  This looks like simply a rough game for Stafford as he has been incredibly productive and consistent throughout his underrated career and so don't cut him loose or jump to any massive conclusions here. 

-While Golden Tate caught the one TD pass from Matthew Stafford, second-year man Kenny Golladay was very good himself in catching 7 balls for 114 yards Monday night.  We all know Golladay has big-play potential and his presence will likely do more damage to Marvin Jones Jr. than Tate.  If available, Golladay should be added where available. 

-The Lions run game was a complete joke last season and so far it seems nothing has changed as starter LeGarrette Blount rushed for just -3 yards on 4 carries before injuring his knee.  While Theo Riddick remains the locked-in receiving back, rookie Kerryon Johnson now has a prime chance to steal the starter's gig with Blount looking unlikely to go in Week 2. 

-Picking up from his insane fantasy football MVP campaign in 2017, Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley was a monster again in Week 1 as he rushed for 108 yards on 23 carries, while adding 3 catches for another 39 yards and a touchdown.  If you own Gurley, you should at WORST make your league's playoffs. 

-Just when you thought Matthew Stafford took the title of worst quarterbacking performance for Week 1, the Oakland Raiders' Derek Carr gave him a run for the money as he completed 29-of-40 passes for 303 yards and 3 INT's.  While the overall accuracy was good, when Carr missed it was a complete disaster.  While Carr looked like a star in 2015, he has really taken a firm step backwards in his development since then and so he has little to no current fantasy football value.

-Raiders tight end Jared Cook had a game for the ages Monday night despite his QB's struggles as he hauled in 9 passes for 180 yards.  Cook has always had uncanny athletic ability for a tight end but never has found much consistency.  It looks like Jon Gruden wants to feature Cook however and so he should be right there as the top add this week and that goes for those who owned stock in Jimmy Graham or Delanie Walker. 

-Another year and another letdown from Raiders wideout Amari Cooper who managed just one catch for 9 yards to go with one carry for another 9.  This is a reminder of how bad Cooper was a in 2017 and despite his terrific overall talent, he looks set to disappoint again this season. 


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