Week 1 is in the books and most fantasy owners are already trying
to discover the definitive answer to many questions after just
60 minutes of football. Slow down and be patient. It takes time,
sometimes a few games, to sift through the piles of dirt, stones
and iron pyrite (fool's gold) before you find the golden nuggets.
RBBC has reared its ugly head in Atlanta
and Devonta Freeman owners are none too pleased.
“Truth hurts. Maybe not as much as jumping on a bicycle
with a seat missing, but it hurts.” (LT. Frank Drebin, Naked
Gun 2 ½)
1) "We know both these guys are
going to be a factor," said Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn.
"We’re going to utilize them both."
Yes, the ugly rumors of this RBBC materialized on Sunday and Devonta
Freeman’s high preseason ADP is now likely unreachable. Tevin
Coleman was the more effective in Week 1, even participating
in the passing game with five catches for 95 yards while Freeman
is still going to get the red zone work. This appears to be a full-blown
shared situation with no end in sight … barring injury.
2) Will Fuller is a viable fantasy
Fuller has talent, we knew that. What we didn’t know is how the
Texans would use it. The good news for Fuller owners is that Brock
Osweiler didn’t try to force it into DeAndre
Hopkins, instead opting for Fuller. The result was 11 targets
to eight for Hopkins. And the advantage of watching games and
not just checking box scores is that the targets were in places
where Fuller could use his speed and not just as a safety value.
Meanwhile, the concern for Hopkins being able to repeat his 2015
performance with a quality receiver across from him is still warranted.
3) Rumors of Jordy Nelson being alive
in Green Bay were apparently true.
I was one of those concerned that after not playing at all in
the preseason, that Nelson wouldn’t be ready for Week 1.
He wasn’t great, and needed a scramble-play touchdown catch
to save the afternoon for fantasy owners, but I was impressed
that he was out there for 54-of-64 plays. I’ll reserve whether
he is all the way back to when he hits the opposition with one
of those long lightning bolts, running away from the secondary
for a touchdown. In the meantime, Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb
and Davante Adams owners should feel better about this offense
after it struggled in 2015.
4) DeAngelo Williams still has NFL
I was one of those guys who thought D-Will’s career was over in
2014, but the 33-year-old has shown everyone he has plenty left
in the tank. He was fantastic last season as a 10-game starter
Bell (suspension and injury) and he was a fantasy stud Monday
night against Washington (26-143-2, 6 receptions for 28 yards).
Unless you get overwhelmed with an offer from Bell’s fantasy owner,
I’d stash him on my bench even after Bell returns from this year’s
three-game suspension. Given Bell’s inability to stay on the field
(he’s played just 35 of 49 games over his career), Williams still
may get another chance to help you later in the season.
5) I’ve been shouting Drew Brees’
name for months and Week 1 is just a preview of things to come.
The Saints have reloaded at receiver over the past few seasons,
letting go of veterans like Marques
Stills, Lance Moore and Robert Meachem for young guys like
Thomas and Coby
Fleener. It has taken time, but it appears Brees and his receivers
are in sync. Given the Saints weak defense (OK I was being kind
how about historically bad), there will probably be many more
days like last Sunday 35-34 thriller. Betting the “over” in Saints
games is likely going to be profitable for gamblers and a successful
strategy for fantasy owners.
“I don’t know which is worse: People who lie, or people who
think I’m stupid enough to believe their lies.” (Unknown)
1) The Buccaneers passed the ball 54 percent of the time last
season (535 passes/455 rushes) and 33 of 61 plays (54.1%) in Week
That doesn’t tell the true story. Over the first three quarters
when the game was still on the line, the Bucs threw 31 times and
ran it just 17 times (64.5%). With a big lead they ran the ball
11-of-13 plays in the fourth quarter. It appears Tampa Bay management
has full confidence in second-year QB Jameis
Winston and his receivers and fantasy owners should expect
a continued increase in production down the road. And Doug
Martin’s numbers may depend on Tampa Bay playing with the
lead more often than in 2015.
2) Melvin Gordon owners should be
elated that he finally found his way into the end zone … twice.
Gordon went 217 touches last season without a score. While it’s
true that he scored twice in the first 16 minutes of the 2016
season and totaled 39 yards at halftime, I’d be more than concerned
that Gordon was on the field for just 23 of 73 offensive plays.
He did rush 14 times in those 23 plays, but if the defense knows
the ball is always going to Gordon when he’s out there it’s easy
to defend (think DeMarco
Murray in Philadelphia last season). Danny
Woodhead was on the field for 50 plays, rushing a team-high
16 times for 89 yards and targeted seven times in the passing
game to zero for Gordon and is the better fantasy option.
3) Jump on the “Wentz Wagon.”
Eagles rookie starting quarterback Carson
Wentz was much better than anyone could have expected in the
season opening win over Cleveland given his lack of preseason
work (22-for-37 for 278 yards, 2TDs, 0 INTs in a 29-10 victory),
but unless you are in a dynasty league, don’t go overboard. He’s
got a lot still to learn and some tough times ahead of him. The
Browns team is fatally young (17 rookies and an average age of
25.08 years-old) and for that reason was forced to play a “vanilla
4) Matthew Stafford and the Detroit
pass offense will struggle without Calvin Johnson.
The team may struggle to run the ball behind Ameer
Abdullah, but without Megatron they are a much more balanced
passing team. Management went out and brought in talented Marvin
Jones to add to a team that could already catch the ball with
Ebron, Abdullah and Theo
Riddick. The result was a 340-yard, four-touchdown afternoon
for Stafford in which he targeted five receivers at least five
times. Detroit has a lot of weak pass defenses on their 2016 schedule
and you should try to use that to your advantage.
5) After watching a truly ugly Rams
game late Monday night you should trade Todd Gurley immediately.
OK, it was a horrible display by the Los Angeles Rams, one that
should have the coaching staff looking over their shoulders, but
you must always guard against over-reaction based on just one
game. Even in a blowout loss, Gurley had 17 carries and three
targets. He’s going to get the work. Besides, you have never heard
me utter the phrase “buy high and sell low.” The early portion
of the Rams schedule is tough so you are going to have to be patient.
Steve Schwarz served as the fantasy sports editor of The Sports Network and is the 2014 FSWA Football Writer of the Year.