If your fantasy team had a rough week, so did almost everyone’s. This week in the NFL featured a lot of star players have mediocre games and a lot of unproven players look elite. Thursday Night Football foreshadowed the entire week as the chiefs and Kareem Hunt dominated the Patriots in Foxboro and held Tom Brady to 10.7 points.
*ESPN Standard PPR
Alex Smith KC – 31 – @NE
Smith put together the best performance of the week in Foxboro. Not many QBs have gone into NE and put together this type of game which is what lead to Smith being the 20th ranked QB for week 1 on fantasypros.com. Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill helped Smith with some Yards After the Catch, but the QB showed more comfort throwing deep balls than we’ve seen from him recently. Expect seeing Smith this high on the list to be an outlier rather than the norm based on Andy Reid’s conservative offense.
Matthew Stafford DET – 27.1 – vs ARI
Sam Bradford MIN – 25.5 – vs NO
Trevor Siemian DEN – 22.7 – vs LAC
Carson Wentz PHI – 18.9 – @WSH
Kareem Hunt KC – 45.8 – @NE
After Spencer Ware’s injury Kareem Hunt became a popular target in fantasy. Any owner that grabbed him is patting themselves on the back after he had a historic night scoring 3TDs and going for almost 250 total yards. The Patriots should be one of the toughest matchups of the season for Hunt which makes expectations high for this rookie back.
Tarik Cohen CHI – 25.3 – vs ATL
I need to write about this guy because him being on this list is very surprising considering he is the RB2 behind Jordan Howard in Chicago. Cohen saw action as a back, in the slot, and out wide so clearly the Bears feel good about his ability on offense. With Jordan Howard still figuring to see most of the carries Cohen sees most of his value as a PPR-centric passing down back. He becomes a sneaky sleeper type pickup this week.
Mike Gillislee NE – 22.5 – vs KC
3 TDS, yep. Taking Blount’s role from last year, yep. Gillislee is a TD dependent start as he assumes goal line duties in the always solid NE offense.
Leonard Fournette JAX – 21.4 – @HOU
Lesean McCoy BUF – 20.9 – vs NYJ
Antonio Brown PIT – 29.2 – @CLE
AB is at the top of this list, but if you’ve followed the NFL recently that’s no surprise. 29.2 points with no TDs is impressive, but even though Cleveland’s defense may be better this year they still need to prove they can stop a WR1 before they aren’t a matchup dream.
Stefon Diggs MIN – 27.7 – vs NO
The Saints defense looked helpless on Monday night, and Sam Bradford’s excellent play saw 2 Minnesota WRs finish in the top 5 in fantasy points this week. Diggs caught 7 of 8 targets for 93 yards and 2 TDs against a rather punch less Saints Defense. Diggs will be good this year, but this is another performance that seems matchup based.
Tyreek Hill KC – 26.8 – @NE
Have I mentioned that the Chiefs beat the Patriots? Tyreek Hill was Alex Smith’s favorite target and TNF showed the world just how fast Tyreek can spin those wheels.
Adam Thielen MIN – 24.7 – vs NO
Kenny Golladay DET – 22.9 – vs ARI
Jesse James PIT – 22.1 – @CLE
Heath Miller was always one of Ben’s favorite targets in Pittsburgh, James looks ready to fill that role in a strong way this season with 2 TDs in the first game. 8 targets is nice volume for a TE, and if he continues to play a big role in Pittsburgh’s red zone offense James could be in for a big year.
Austin Hooper ATL – 20.8 – @CHI
Jason Witten DAL – 18.9 – vs NYG
Zach Ertz PHI – 17.3 – @WSH
Coby Fleener NO – 16.4 – @MIN
David Johnson is the obvious storyline here, Johnson left the Cardinals week 1 game early and looks to be missing extended time with a sprained wrist. Estimates are about 12 weeks for a player that likely went top 3 in every draft. If you own David Johnson (like I do), look to Kerwynn Williams as a possible replacement. He is the favorite to see the bulk of touches in Johnson’s absence, but will likely split some time with Andre Ellington.
Allen Robinson is going to miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Robinson had a down year last year, and thus had rightly limited expectations this year. The Jags will likely increase the roles of Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns without Robinson.
Andrew Luck seems to be out for week 2 as well. The Colts offense without Luck was awful week 1 vs the Rams. The injury drops value for players like Y. Hilton and Frank Gore as the Colts offense seems dependent on the former #1 overall pick.
Danny Woodhead left the Ravens game early with an apparent hamstring injury. No timetable for return has been announced, but leaving a game with a non-contact injury is never a good sign. Terrance West is likely the only Ravens RB with fantasy value at this point.
Kevin White was considered a sleeper type WR for the Bears this year, but seems to be headed to the IR with a broken collarbone. RB Tarik Cohen saw snaps at WR Week 1 drawing 11 targets, while Kendall Wright and Josh Bellamy figure to be the Bears starting WRs until Markus Wheaton
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