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Monday, September 10, 2018

2018 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 1 WRAPUP

-On a day that included some shockingly great performances by passers who were almost completely ignored in summer fantasy football drafts, Baltimore Ravens veteran Joe Flacco had a day in the park as he completed 25-of-34 passes for 236 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Clearly the additions of John Brown and Michael Crabtree (one TD a piece) boosted Flacco in this one and this was a good way for him to quiet the Lamar Jackson chorus for a bit.  Despite the big game, Flacco is still just a backup QB in single passer leagues but he may be worth a look now in two-passer setups.

-Even the biggest fantasy football novice knew that Buffalo Bills QB Nathan Peterman was no good and he actually made it a debate about whether his outing in Week 1 was just as bad as his five-INT meltdown in his one 2017 start.  Peterman completed just 5-of-18 throes for 24 hours and two INT's before mercifully being sent to the bench.  This has to be the Josh Allen show now but the bigger story has to be how running back LeSean McCoy was completely bottled up in facing stacked defenders in the box.  Anyone who owns stock in McCoy can't be feeling very good about their investment.

-The sophomore campaign of Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon is off to a smashing start as he rushed for 95 yards and a score with one TD; while also adding 5 catches for 54 yards.  This is the kind of monster PPR output expected of Mixon in his disappointing rookie campaign but the talent was never in question here.  Those who bought low on Mixon this summer are already well ahead of the game.

-It was a very successful return to the field for New York Giants ace wideout Odell Beckham Jr. Sunday as he hauled in 11 balls for 115 yards in the team's loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.  After missing almost all of 2017 due to a broken ankle, Beckham looked none the worse for wear in quickly getting back on the same page with QB Eli Manning.

-Typical Tom Brady Sunday as the ageless wonder completed 26-of-39 throws for 277 yards with 3 TD and 1 INT.  No matter how old he gets, Brady doesn't seem to ever drop-off statistically and 2018 looks no different.  After Aaron Rodgers, Brady is right in the conversation as the second-best QB in all of fantasy football.

-We spoke for much of the summer about how Houston Texans QB DeShaun Watson was concerning to us coming back from the second torn ACL going back to his college days and he struggled badly Sunday as he completed just 17-of-34 throws for 176 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.  Clearly there is a rust factor here as Watson hardly played at all in the preseason and he missed almost all of 2018 after that amazing but short-lived debut run.  Have patience here as Watson looked good running in picking up 40 yards on 8 carries but there could be some short-term growing pains.

-Having lost his favorite receiving target in Marquise Goodwin early in the game, San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo was terrible Sunday in a tough matchup versus a top Minnesota Vikings defense.  Garoppolo completed just 15-of-33 throws for 261 yards with 1 TD and 3 INT but we can overlook this one a bit given the level of defensive competition.  Still, we advised you all not to pay teh exorbitant cost on Garoppolo in drafts this summer as he could be going through some growing pains in his first full season as a starter.

-While he was bottled up for most of the day, New York Giants superstar rookie running back Saquon Barkley got his big-play TD as part of his 18 carries for 106 yards and a score outing versus the tough Jaguars defense.  He also added two catches for 22 yards in showing off his pass receiving game as well.  Considering that Barkley still went for over 100 rushing yards against the toughest defense in the league, bright days are ahead.

-Cincinnati Bengals ace wideout A.J. Green had a typical day at the office for him as he caught 6 balls for 92 yards and a score versus the Indianapolis Colts.  With the Bengals now having some weapons to help Green out in the offense, he could be headed back toward 80-plus catches and around 10 scores.

-It was the stuff of legend Sunday night as Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers took his fantasy football owners on a roller coaster of emotions.  First it looked like Rodgers was done for the season before even playing a half as he injured a knee and then went to the locker room, on a cart. Rodgers would return for the second half though and would throw three touchdown passes to lead the Pack to the win over the Chicago Bears.  Overall Rodgers completed 20-of-30 passes for 286 yards and the 3 scores basically on one leg.  While Rodgers may be limited in practice this week, he should be ready to go in a tough matchup versus the Minnesota Vikings.

-Packers wideout Randall Cobb was the main target of Rodgers in the great second half comeback last night and the slot man looks to once again be a top WR 3 who could maybe reach 2 status in PPR formats.  Cobb wound up catching 9 ballsfor 142 yards and a score and for now should be placed as a firm every-week guy as long as Rodgers is upright. 

-Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton has never been someone I actively chased in yearly fantasy football given his inconsistency the last two seasons and the fact only once in his career has he been a big passing numbers guy.  Sunday was no different as he completed 17-of-26 throws for just 161 yards but Newton did pick up a rushing score in rushing for 58 yards on 13 carries.  As always, it comes down to what Newton does in the run game that makes a big difference in his weekly outings and I still would not feel comfortable having him as my weekly starter. 

-With the Seattle Seahawks having seen tight end Jimmy Graham leave for Green Bay and ace wideout Doug Baldwin not even be able to finish the opener, veteran wideout Brandon Marshall may have a fantasy football role to look into as he caught 3 balls for 4 yards and a score.  While the last two seasons have been rough, Marshall could be back as a number 1 wideout in an offense if Baldwin sits this week.  Pick him up.

-It was a mixed bag outing for Tennessee Titans wideout Corey Davis on Sunday as he hauled in 6 balls but for just 62 yards.  Now with QB Marcus Mariota banged up, Davis remains a shaky WR 3 going forward.

-Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey had arguably the most impressive preseason of any offensive player in football which caused his stock to soar in summer drafts but he was back to his more usual self on Sunday in catching 6 balls for 45 yards and adding 50 yards rushing on 10 carries with a lost fumble.  Ron Rivera has made it a point to get McCaffrey more involved in the run game but C.J. Anderson got 7 carries and of course Cam Newton got the rushing score.  McCaffrey is still a top RB 2 in PPR formats but in standards his weekly output may not be as conducive to that format. 

-The Miami Dolphins backfield setup was a hot topic during the summer drafting season and the opener gave credence to the notion that Frank Gore would split work with Kenyan Drake.  Gore wound up rushing for 61 yards on 9 carries as he showed terrific burst and cutting ablility despite his advanced age and he was much better on that side of things than Drake who rushed for just 48 yards on 14 carries.  Now Drake did add 3 catches for 18 yards which helps in PPR but this looks like a frustrating setup for the latter. 

-I said all week that Dolphins wideout Kenny Stills was a big play with Devante Parker out injured and he came through by catching 4 balls for 106 yards and 2 scores.  Stills has always had a knack for scoring touchdowns and Sunday was no different.  He remains on the WR radar in all leagues. 

-Let's not go overboard with Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissley who known for his blocking in college and not much else.  Yes the 3 catches for 105 yards and a score was a nice surprise Sunday but Dissley likely just caught Denver defenders off guard.  For now just monitor Dissley's progress but an add is not yet needed. 

-Alex Smith has a new favorite toy in the Washington Redskins offense and it is running back Chris Thompson as the latter caught 6 balls for 63 yards and a score; while also adding 5 carries for another 65 on the ground.  Thompson has already stamped himself as a very good RB 2 in PPR formats and this just confirms such a notion. 


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