Baltimore Ravens Vs. Denver Broncos
Peyton Manning and the Broncos had been game planning for revenge since last season’s stunning playoff defeat to the Ravens. Manning’s rumored renewed power in his right arm was not noticeable, but his timing and accuracy didn’t seem to suffer. Peyton tied an NFL record with 7 touchdown passes and threw for over 450 yards. The Broncos backfield was once again fantasy wasteland as Montee Ball rarely saw the field and Knowshon Moreno looked like his agility was sapped by off season surgery. All of Peyton Manning’s targets looked like sure-fire Fantasy All-Stars as they racked up huge numbers. Even Eric Decker looked like a viable WR2 or flex in all formats as he had the targets, but failed to capitalize on his opportunities. Julius Thomas showed that he was a high upside tight end 2 on draft days and will now be a start/sit headache for fantasy GMs. If he is on your waiver wire you have to get him where you can, I may even blow my FAAB budget to get a young Antonio Gates clone.
The Ravens looked as thin at wide receiver as we thought. Marlon Brown was forced to come into the lineup as Jacoby Jones was injured on a fair catch attempt. I think Brown will have value in deeper leagues, but I’m not that high on him. Ray Rice took over as Joe Flacco’s security blanket in the passing game, but failed to get the ground game going against a tough Denver run defense. Bernard Pierce found no running room, but did see the field a lot and looks to be a big part of the Ravens running game plans. Torrey Smith looked like he was in for a big night early, but once again disapeared for long parts of the game and will once again be a boom or bust fantasy option.
Patriots Vs. Bills
EJ Manuel looked calm and collected as he kept the game close and didn’t make the big mistakes most rookies seem to make against the Patriots. CJ Spiller had a nightmare start to the season as Fred Jackson out rushed him. Stevie Johnson’s fantasy value will still be limited because of the Bills conservative approach with a rookie QB.
Tom Brady was not his surgical self, but still pulled out a win. Brady was still able to feature an injured Amendola, but failed to get Zach Sudfeld involved. The Patriots other fast rising UFA fantasy commodity Kenbrell Thompkins looked nervous in his first regular season action as he and Tom Brady couldn’t hook up regularly. Julian Edelman was the surprise fantasy star as he caught two touchdowns from Brady and looks to be a big fantasy free agent pick up in week 1. Stevan Ridley couldn’t have started the season worse as he was benched after once again fumbling away a golden opportunity for fantasy points. Shane Vereen capitalized on his chance and was the only running back on Sunday to rush for over 100 yards. Unfortunately Vereen broke a bone in his wrist and will be sidelined through week 11.
Buccaneers Vs. Jets
Josh Freeman looked like a man who will be holding a clipboard later in the season for most of the game. He looked to lead the Bucs on a game winning drive, but a last minute penalty helped the Jets to a win. Doug Martin was bottled up for most of the day, but still managed a touchdown. V-Jax was as dominant as advertised as he exploded for a huge yardage day, but was caught from behind by a linebacker on a play which would have seen him score a big touchdown. Mike Williams found the endzone once again and still looks like a solid fantasy wide receiver.
Josh Smith looked almost as solid as EJ Manuel as he became an instant Jet legend with a big comeback win. Jeremy Kurley suffered a concussion and Stephen Hill saw a decent amount of targets in week 1. Santonio Holmes was non existent and will be limited by his foot injury early on. The most surprising thing to come from this game was the reemergence of Kellen Winslow at the tight end position. I’m sure he got into his young quarter back’s ear and will try and build a relationship similar to the way a young Freeman leaned on a healthier version of Winslow.
Bengals Vs. Bears
Andy Dalton had a few costly turnovers, but was able to get the ball to AJ Green almost at will in tough away matchup. AJ Green proved to be one of the top 3 wide receivers in the league as he torched the Bears for a huge day. The Bengals tight ends were heavily involved as both Eifert and Gresham had 5 receptions. Muhamed Sanu had tough day as he had a fumble that was a big reason that the Bengals lost. The lawfirm of Benjarvis green-Ellis once again plodded to very little yardage, but managed to get into the endzone. Giovani Bernard did not get enough touches in week one to be fantasy factor, and has me leaning to a wait and see for his flex value.
Jay Cutler put up representative numbers, but surprisingly managed to not get sacked. Matt Forte didn’t find a lot of running room, but still managed a short yardage touchdown. Brandon Marshall did not see huge target numbers, but was still a fantasy star as he topped 100 yards and scored a touchdown. Alshon Jeffrey did not have a huge day, but I would snatch him up if an owner overreacts and puts him on the waiver wire. Martellus Bennett managed to get in the endzone and join in the week 1 fantasy tight end scoring bonanza.
Browns Vs. Dolphins
Brandon Weeden was a turn over machine early on in this matchup and Trent Richardson owners will hope this doesn’t become the norm. Richardson was a non-factor as the Browns were forced to play catchup. With Josh Gordon suspended the Browns’ wide receivers proved to be not fantasy relevant. Many fantasy GMs were happy to see Jordan Cameron be the number 1 target for Weeden week 1 as he was one of the fastest rising players during fantasy draft season. Cameron has solidified his TE1 status with his strong performance.
Ryan Tannehill won the game and took what the Browns gave him during the game. His numbers didn’t prove Warren Sapp’s preseason prediction of Tannehill passing Dan Marino’s records to be possible. (not like we didn’t see that coming.) Brian Hartline was the beneficiary of soft coverage and put up huge week 1 numbers and even managed to get in the endzone. With teams paying close attention to Mike Wallace, Hartline can have a very nice season. Pick him up if you need help at your flex position or WR4. Brandon Gibson had a nice day in deeper PPR leagues as he outpaced the man he replace Devone Bess with 7 receptions and 77 yards. Mike Wallace was erased for much of the day by Joe Haden and was visibly frustrated after the game. Lamar Miller had a nightmare start to the season as he just couldn’t get going against a tough Browns run defense.
Vikings Vs. Lions
Christian Ponder is not an NFL quarterback. He only plays one on Sundays. Ponder struggled and will severely affect any fantasy usefulness from Kyle Rudolph and Greg Jennings. Ponder managed to hit Jerome Simpson deep a few times and Simpson ended up having a very nice day(7 receptions 140 yards) as a result. Adrian Peterson started the season where he left off as he broke a 78 yard touchdown run on his very first carry. He was frustrated for the rest of the day in the yardage department, but still managed two more touchdowns.
Matthew Stafford is going to throw the ball a ton this year. He also really likes his new toy in Reggie Bush. Bush had a huge week 1, but as expected did not come out unscathed. Bush pulled a groin muscle and dislocated a thumb, but played through both injuries to put up a monster fantasy day. Bush’s back up Joique Bell vultured two rushing touchdowns and had a nice day receiving as well. Calvin Johnson also started 2013 where he left off in 2012 as he once again had trouble securing touchdowns. Huge case of deja vu with Megatron’s week 1 performance, but I wouldn’t be too worried about it. Brandon Pettigrew had a very surprising quiet day and was outpaced by Joseph Fauria. Ryan Broyles injured knees had Nate Burleson show up in the boxscore, but I wouldn’t pay much attention to him.
Falcons Vs. Saints
The Falcons didn’t let anyone in on the secret that Roddy White was essentially going to be a decoy in week 1. White’s injured ankle killed a lot of fantasy owners out of the gate and he should be a wait and see for week 2. Julio Jones looked good in his chance to take over as the WR1 in Atlanta. It may actually be a changing of the guard in Atlanta, even if it’s due to injury and not effectiveness. Tony Gonzalez found the endzone and Harry Douglas managed to top 90 yards from the slot. Matt Ryan topped 300 yards, but failed to win the game on a last minute drive. Steven Jackson could have had a huge week, but did not receive the touches necessary to wear down the defense.
Drew Brees topped 350 yards and used all of his weapons. Mark Ingram was once again, well, Mark Ingram. His production and play disappointed. The only running back you can count on in New Orleans is Darren Sproles, especially in PPR leagues. His late 35 yard reception put a smile on many owners’ faces. Lance Moore had a surprisingly quiet day. Kenny Stills had a nice game, mostly because of one long catch and run. Colston and Graham found the endzone and all is right in the fantasy football world.
Raiders Vs. Colts
Terrelle Pryor is not a good NFL quarterback, but that doesn’t matter in fantasy football. He managed to rush for over 100 yards and was a top 10 fantasy QB even though he is very limited in the passing game. The Raiders lack of talent and depth along the offensive line made Pryor and this new running offense the only option. Darren McFadden managed to score a touchdown and almost had a nice touchdown catch if he could have gotten his feet down. Both Raider wide receivers have no better than WR5 value even after catching touchdown passes.
Andrew Luck once again managed to run for a touchdown and may put up more than Aaron Rodgers bonus running numbers this season. Luck once again locked in on Reggie Wayne as they managed to hook up for a touchdown. TY Hilton was a fast riser during drafts, but managed to have a disappointing week 1. Vick Ballard had the Lion’s share of touches in the backfield, but did not do anything to think that he can hold off Ahmad Bradshaw once the Ex-Giant is healthy. Even though Allen managed a touchdown catch I would still stay away from starting a Colts TE until they show they can produce TE1 numbers.
Titans Vs. Steelers
Jake Locker and the Titans offense were far from spectacular. Chris Johnson got 25 carries, but failed to break any long runs and finished with pedestrian numbers. Locker’s lack of accuracy will always be an issue as trusting any Titans receivers going forward will be hard.
Ben Roethlisberger had a nightmare start to the season. His starting runningback fumbled twice. His only quality offensive lineman was lost for the season with a knee injury and he wasn’t able to make any of his normal Big Ben big plays. The lack of talent along the offensive line will keep all of the Steelers off my must start list for a while. I had expected a big day from Antonio Brown, but obviously that didn’t happen. He is still a flex option going forward, but He isn’t a WR2 until they can prove they can throw the ball.
Seahawks Vs. Panthers
Russell Wilson compiled a nice passing day, but his penchant for throwing to everyone wearing a Seahawks jersey makes starting any of his receivers iffy. Marshawn Lynch had a tough time finding running room a against a revamped Panthers front and preseason phenom Christine Michael failed to see the field.
Cam Newton had a slow start to the season as was expected against a stingy Seahawks defense. Steve Smith managed to get in the endzone on a short crossing patterna dn greg Olsen was once again the number two target in Carolina. DeAngelo Williams had a nice start to the game, but failed to reach pay dirt.
Chiefs Vs. Jaguars
Alex Smith did what Alex Smith does. He threw the ball short and managed the offense. His presence kills Dwayne Bowe’s value, but he is going to win games for the Chiefs. Jamal Charles looked good early as he was involved in the passing game and scored a touch down rushing. He wasn’t needed late and was taken out before he could have a huge day.
Blaine Gabbert was injured and I’m pretty sure Cecil Shorts isn’t too upset about it. Shorts was able to get a reception until Chad Henne came on in relief and got Shorts on the score sheet. Maurice Jones-Drew had a rough day as he just couldn’t get going. The Chiefs are an underrated defense and hopefully MJD will get it going next week. This offense desperately needs solid quarterback play to have their players be fantasy relevant. Justin Blackmon is also sorely missed.
Cardinals Vs. Rams
Carson Palmer and Bruce Arians have saved Larry Fitzgerald from the fantasy football abyss. Palmer was able to get the ball to Fitzgerald and find Michael Floyd deep early on in the game. Andre Roberts was able to put up nice numbers as Palmer fed him late in the game. Rashard Mendenhall looked okay early on, but was in a surprising time-share with Alfonso Smith. Smith didn’t do anything to scare Mendenhall owners, but I would rather see Mendenhall get the Lion’s share of touches to make him flex worthy.
Sam Bradford was able to finally show that he can be fantasy relevant as he found his new favorite target Jared Cook for two touchdowns. Chris Givens was bottled up and Tavon Austin failed to provide any explosive plays. Daryl Richardson failed to break out in his first week as the undisputed starter in St. Louis. With Isiah Pead coming back from suspension week 2 Richardson will still see the most touches, but will be a flex play more than a RB2 option. Hopefully week 2 will see him break out for the Rams and fantasy owners.
Packers Vs. 49ers
Aaron Rodgers was once again dominant as he carved up the 49ers for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jordy Nelson was a popular wide receiver to bench because of a bad matchup, but proved he is WR1 material every week. James Jones failed to make a catch and showed inconsistent hands again. Jermichael Finley had a very nice day, but once a gain made a big blunder by dropping a pass that turned into an interception. Randall Cobb had a big day and looks like he could exceed my expectations going forward. I felt like he was overdrafted, but he looked like his value may have been just about right. Eddie Lacy had a costly fumble, but managed to bounce back with a nice short yardage touchdown.
Colin Kaepernick was unbelievable in week one. He threw the ball for over 400 yards against a stunned Packers defense. While many thought he would once again rush the ball at will again against the Packers the 49ers reversed course and opened up the passing playbook. The beat writers in San Francisco had said that Kaepernick had a great rapport with both Boldin and Davis at practice and if week 1 results are any indication they will all be monsters going forward. If Kyle Williams would have been able to come down with a few balls Kaepernick may have topped 500 yards. Frank Gore managed to get in the endzone and didn’t find much running room otherwise. I still would use him as a flex because he will score plenty of touchdowns in this offense.
Giants Vs. Cowboys
Well the elephant in the room was the abortion that was David Wilson’s week one performance. He was picked in 31% of DraftStreet daily fantasy lineups, but put up negative points. They Giants turned to Brandon Jacobs on Tuesday to mentor the young running back and hopefully he will get out of the doghouse quick. Eli Manning was forced to play catchup and threw the ball for over 450 yards and four touchdowns. Victor Cruz had a monster day as his heel was not a problem on Sunday night. Hakeem Nicks managed to go over 100 yards and looks like he took it easy in the preseason. Rueben Randle was great best ball asset as he also topped the 100 yard mark. Brandon Myers had a lot of late action and scored a late touchdown to put his numbers into TE1 territory.
Tony Romo threw the ball early and often, but failed to make any big plays. He also failed to get Dez Bryant involved in the game and ultimately lost Bryant to a foot injury late in the game. Miles Austin looks to be a PPR asset as the Cowboys featured him as a possession receiver. DeMarco Murray had a decent game, but the Cowboys were once again a passing team first. If they get back to a more balanced offense I think he will have RB2 value going forward. Jason Witten was his usual dominant self and the reports from Dallas that he would see more redzone targets were accurate.
Eagles Vs. Redskins
LeSean McCoy owners should rejoice. 20 carries for 115 yards in the first half. WOW! Michael Vick was mistake free and Desean Jackson burned the Washington secondary for over 100 yards and a touchdown in the first half. Brent Celek had two long receptions, taking one to the endzone and looks to be a nice TE2 going forward. The Eagles took their foot off the gas in the second half and let the Redskins get back into the game. I love the Eagles going forward, but I did not like that Michael Vick decided to go head first for a rushing touchdown. If he keeps taking chances like that you can expect Nick Foles to see the field.
Robert Griffin III had trouble shaking off the rust in his first action since knee surgery. With Griffin and Morris turning the ball over early the Redkins were forced to watch as the Eagles put on a show in the first half. Griffin managed to top 300 yards chasing the Eagles lead, but Morris was not able to get going. Morris did manage a touchdown and even caught a screen pass to prove he may be more involved in the passing game. I was surprised Fred Davis didn’t have more targets and was even outproduced by rookie Jordan Reed. Leonard Hankerson outproduced Josh Morgan and looks to be in line for more playing time according to Rotoworld. Pierre Garcon was one of my big week one misses in daily leagues a he didn’t manage to put up WR1 numbers. I still like him going forward.
Texans Vs. Chargers
Arian Foster out touched Ben Tate, but looked to be the lesser back on multiple occasions. He had two big drops and failed to get in the endzone. Ben Tate did nothing to hurt his fantasy stock going forward and looks to be in line for more touches if Foster struggles. Andre Johnson was his usual dominant self as he ripped off big catch after big catch. Once again he was non existent in the redzone. Owen Daniels had a huge day as Matt Shaub was able to find his tight end twice for touchdowns. Matt Shaub put up huge numbers after the Texans fell behind 28-7 to the Chargers on the road. If Foster isn’t his dominant self I would expect Shaub to put up nice numbers. The rookie DeAndre Hopkins had a nice night and hopefully will benefit from teams having to double AJ going forward.
Philip Rivers was a popular pick for a bounce back season, and looked to be well on his way as he threw four touchdowns against a tough Texans defense. Then the inevitable happened as Rivers threw an interception at the exact worst moment in the game. Ryan Mathews had Twitter buzzing as he caught a wheel route for a touchdown on the first play on offense for the Chragers, but it became painfully obvious throughout the game that the Chargers are featuring a RBBC. With Ronnie Brown seeing the field in key situations Mathews and Woodhead’s value take a hit. Antonio Gates managed 2 receptions for 49 yards, but was blanketed in the redzone. Vincent Brown and Malcolm Floyd looked like WR4 options at best as slot receiver Eddie Royal exploded for two touchdowns.