What an eventful Sunday!
We know not to overreact to the small sample size that is just one week, but it’d be silly to not react at all.
Let’s run through a quick recap of the good and the bad from each game of the main slate.
Buccaneers @ Falcons
Jameis Winston was on pace to throw for almost 5,000 yards last season. His first start since coming off his suspension showed he doesn’t plan on slowing down. Obviously, the nearly 400 passing yards and four touchdowns are great, but five rushes show off his dual threat ability and gives him a great weekly floor.
Matt Ryan continues to light it up. He’s back to playing at his 2016 MVP level and has a favorable schedule going forward. Treat him as an every week elite QB option.
Julio Jones is the best receiver in the NFL.
Austin Hooper keeps gaining trust and is earning that “breakout” label that was put on him in the preseason.
Despite being the best receiver in the NFL, Julio still can’t get in the end zone. Why?
I was all in on Mike Evans, who put up an absolute dud on only five targets. Better days should be ahead, but this one stings.
Tevin Coleman doesn’t seem to be the guy everyone wants him to be. With Freeman not expected to miss a lot of time, this backfield is a mess.
The Falcons defense is atrocious. Keep attacking it.
Steelers @ Bengals
Antonio Brown is the second best receiver in the league and he can find the end zone.
James Conner is every bit as good as Le’Veon Bell and is a poster boy for the “running backs don’t matter” crowd.
Tyler Boyd continues his breakout, snagging two touchdowns. He’s an every week WR2 until he shows us otherwise.
Andy Dalton, a popular streaming option this week, delivered a couple scores but his 229 yards on 42 attempts is certainly disappointing.
Joe Mixon found the end zone and was efficient with his touches, but rushing only eleven times is a joke. The score and involvement in the passing game (seven targets) help him maintain RB1 status.
Chargers @ Browns
I ranked Melvin Gordon RB5 going into the season and that looks laughably low. He’s a top two RB every week.
It’s not sustainable going forward, but Tyrell Williams was a beast on his limited targets.
Duke Johnson finally got some action and showed what everyone has known: he needs to be more involved. It will take another week or two to trust him, but this could be the start of his path back to PPR relevance.
The Chargers only attempted 21 passes, but Keenan Allen continues to kill fantasy owners who took him in the second round.
Baker Mayfield’s Thursday night comeback was exciting, but he is far from a good NFL quarterback at this point. The whole offense is a mess.
Jarvis Landry will see better days, but two catches for 11 yards on nine targets is an all-time terrible performance.
Seahawks vs Raiders
We finally have a Doug Baldwin sighting! The wideout had twice as many targets (8) as the next highest on the Seahawks and made them count. I’m comfortable locking him in as a solid WR2.
The loud narrative was the Seahawks defense is toast but they thoroughly handled the hapless Raiders to the point where it looked like Derek Carr was in tears.
I stumped for Rashaad Penny all offseason and finally found some life out of him. 70 yards on 11 touches means not all is lost yet.
Amari Cooper has been disappointing but this one isn’t his fault. He took a dirty helmet-to-helmet hit on his lone target of the game and didn’t return.
Derek Carr is a long way from his 2016 form. He’s been awful for two years now. The Raiders whole offense should be avoided if possible.
Bears @ Dolphins
I owe Tarik Cohen a thousand apologies. That man is electric, totaling 121 yards and a touchdown. He had a second one called back or it could have been an even bigger day.
Albert Wilson had a monster game and got good volume but he screams trap to me. He’ll be a popular add on this week’s waiver wire, but none of my FAAB dollars will go to him.
Mitchell Trubisky followed up his six touchdown performance nicely. He’s not on my fantasy radar yet, but most of the pieces on this offense are.
Jordan Howard looks slow compared to Cohen. The lost goal-line fumble certainly won’t help his cause, either.
As a Kenyan Drake truther, his own goal line fumble may have killed any trust the coaching staff had in him. The Dolphins ended up winning, but the fumble was inexcusable.
It doesn’t look like Trey Burton is going to be Travis Kelce like so many people wanted him to be in the offseason. The touchdown helps, but his volume is disappointing.
Cardinals @ Vikings
I liked Adam Thielen more than I liked Stefon Diggs but still not nearly enough. This guy is putting up elite numbers on massive volume. A mainstay every week WR1.
Many people felt burned by the last chalk Latavius Murray game, but those that put it behind them were rewarded. Keep playing him if Cook misses more time.
Christian Kirk continues to be the best receiver on the Cardinals, but unfortunately, this whole offense is pathetic.
The Cardinals still don’t know how to use David Johnson. Unimaginative run up the middle after unimaginative run up the middle is frustrating for owners to watch. His goal-line work is a savior.
Diggs is still struggling with consistency. His talent is tantalizing, but he is well behind Thielen in my rankings.
Larry Fitzgerald is toast. Many won’t want to do it, but he’s droppable in most formats.
Colts @ Jets
Andrew Luck’s three interceptions are rough in real life, but in our game, we’re just looking for numbers. Another 300 yards and four touchdowns sure are exciting for those who bet on his shoulder being healthy.
All Eric Ebron does is produce fantasy points. Keep firing him up as a top-five TE as long as Doyle is out.
Marlon Mack put together the best performance of any Colts rusher so far this season, showing why the Colts keep going back to him.
Isaiah Crowell continues to be boom or bust. If he’s not getting those long runs he’s not getting anything.
Quincy Enunwa lost a fumble then got hurt. He was cut from one of my squads before halftime of the early games.
Nyheim Hines’s usage in the passing game surely disappointed most fantasy owners. Only three targets is certainly disheartening.
Panthers @ Redskins
Cam Newton’s nine rushes show why he’s a perennial top quarterback. His rushing makes him a high floor option every week.
Adrian Peterson racked up 97 yards. He just won’t go away, somehow still being a low-end RB2 play.
The entire Washington receiving corps is a clear avoid. I was on the Jordan Reed hype train in the offseason but he can’t get anything going despite staying healthy.
Andy Reid and the Kansas City weapons obviously made Alex Smith a fantasy success last season, not the other way around.
Christian McCaffrey was still massively involved but didn’t do much with his opportunities. He’ll be back to his high-end RB2 status next week.
Bills @ Texans
Houston’s defense was a chalk play and did not disappoint.
DeAndre Hopkins is an elite option no matter how poorly DeShaun Watson plays.
The Bills are atrocious and obviously depress LeSean McCoy’s value, but he’s still getting a ton of volume and doing fine with it.
Watson was the most obvious regression candidate we’ve ever seen and is proving everyone right.
Is Nathan Peterman the worst quarterback to play multiple NFL games this century?
I liked Lamar Miller as a high volume RB2 before the season, but he’s clearly not going to be that guy. D’Onta Foreman is a worthy stash.
Rams @ Broncos
Todd Gurley cannot be stopped. The obvious RB1 every single week and nobody is remotely close.
Emmanuel Sanders is seeing the volume and making it count. He’s another one of those every week WR2s until we see otherwise.
The exact same thing could be said about Robert Woods.
Jared Goff had a rough fantasy day but he just simply wasn’t needed. He’ll shred San Francisco next week.
His touchdown in garbage time saved the day, but Demaryius Thomas’s volume is brutal.
The Broncos backfield is a full blown timeshare, but Phillip Lindsay is dangerous in the passing game. We’ve known this and he continues to be the one to own.
Jaguars @ Cowboys
This is the dual-threat Dak Prescott everyone was hoping to see. It’s only one week, but the rushing could make him fantasy viable.
No surprise, but Ezekiel Elliott is still a high-end RB1.
We were all waiting on a Cowboys receiving option to emerge and Cole Beasley did just that, hauling in nine catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns. Target him over Albert Wilson.
Blake Bortles is horrible and tanks the value of all the Jaguars pass catchers.
How are all of those people who spent a ninth-round pick on the Jaguars feeling right about now?
Ravens @ Titans
Alex Collins wasn’t good by any means, but he did get the goal line work and clearly out touched Buck Allen. Encouraging going forward.
That Ravens defense is good, but they have a rough schedule coming up. I wouldn’t count on this every week.
Michael Crabtree continues getting good volume and finally had a good performance.
What happened to John Brown? After seeing 14 targets last week, that plummeted to just three on Sunday.
The Titans whole offense is a dumpster fire. There’s nobody on that team that can be started right now.
Be sure to check back in over the next few days for a more in-depth look at all the waiver options and injury notes that came from today’s games.