Week One, Fantasy Football Thoughts


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Oh, my! Once again, the NFL season has kicked off with a week of games no one could have predicted.

Did anyone see the Miami Dolphins taking the Seattle Seahawks to the wire? No. I didn’t think so. Could be the year my Phins win the big one ?  OK, maybe not!

It’s great to see real live NFL action once again and as puzzling as ever to figure out what may happen.

That’s why these jaunts down the fantasy road in the in the Griswold family truckster are so much fun.

So let’s fire up the engine and get to it…

If you started Andy Janovich then you should be writing this column.

If you started C.J. Anderson  then you are giving Janovich the ‘stink eye’ for stealing another possible score.  Yes, Anderson had a great game anyway.

I know – Fantasy owners are greedy pricks and always want more points. Just ask Latavius Murray owners how they feel about Jamize Olawale and Jalen Richard.  On a related note, this Richard kid is a waiver wire must add.

So much for all that limiting Kelvin Benjamin’s snaps talk before the game. He played 51 of the 72 offensive snaps.  Welcome back to fantasy relevance Mr. Benjamin.

Demaryius Thomas owners as well as the Broncos are holding their collective breath awaiting the second opinion on his MRI.  The last thing Trevor Siemian needs is to lose a major weapon. That being said the kid had a solid first game.

Have to admit that the opening weekend was a little less interesting without ‘Gronk.’ Hopefully the hamstring doesn’t sideline him for too long.

Ugh. Hate to see Keenan Allen go down with that non-contact injury. He was having a big day and is likely out for the season with what’s initially been reported as a torn ACL.  I traded Jay Ajayi and Josh Gordon in the offseason for Allen and a 2017 1st-rounder. With Ajayi being left behind in Miami, I was just starting to think that I had gotten the better side of this deal…

Travis Benjamin is now the go-to guy for Philip Rivers. Last season Dontrelle Inman stepped up when Allen was out and is a name to keep in mind from the waiver wire. Don’t forget about Tyrell Williams as well.  Look for a boost in targets for both Danny Woodhead and Antonio Gates as well.  Losing the game after having a big lead in addition to Allen’s injury is simply adding insult to injury.

That 30-yard touchdown catch by Austin Seferian-Jenkins is why I can’t give up on the kid. If he can stay out of the doghouse his ceiling is enormous.

Did LBs Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David switch jerseys this week for the Buccaneers? Great game for Alexander.

Quarterback? The Minnesota Vikings don’t need no stinkin’ quarterback. Not with the way their defense played this week. That’s a hard-hitting big-play unit.

Let’s do a quick check on how Toad’s  ‘breakout’ TE Jared Cook did in the Packers’ Week 1 victory. Two targets with one reception for seven yards…sigh.  On the plus side, Cook had a better week than both Gary Barnidge and Coby Fleener. So he’s got that going for him.

The Raiders put up 35 points on the New Orleans Saints and Derek Carr has one touchdown? Shame on you son.

Look no further than your QB counterpart in the game, Drew Brees. Ho-hum. Another 400-yard passing game and four TDs.  That being said, it’s going to be fun watching Willie Snead and Brandin Cooks putting up huge numbers all season long in weekly shootouts. The Saints defense is still that bad.

It appears that rookie WR Will Fuller of the Texans is exactly as advertised. He dropped a sure deep score and still managed to finish with over 100 receiving yards and a score. The youngster is going to be a roller coaster ride.  Fuller had 11 targets to DeAndre Hopkins‘ 8. Somebody introduce QB Brock Osweiler to Mr. Hopkins.

Nice performance from rookie QB Carson Wentz. Even nicer is the fact he gets to face the Bears in week 2.

It appears that Jordan Matthews will retain his fantasy value with the rookie under center.

I’m officially worried about Devonta Freeman moving forward. Just as in the preseason it was nearly a 50/50 split in snaps with Tevin Coleman this week. To make matters worse Coleman looked better than Freeman.

Did we really just see two receiving touchdowns for DeMarco Murray? Week 1 is always a whacky affair indeed.

Don’t believe me? Consider this little fact. Adrian Peterson, Devonta Freeman and DeMarco Murray rushing yards combined were merely four more than Danny Woodhead.  Don’t panic folks as water always finds it level. Studs will be studs.

A.J. Green is simply fantasy money in the bank. I know that’s not earth shattering news but it seems like he’s overlooked as a premier WR a little more each preseason.

Maybe that late season surge by Doug Baldwin last year was no fluke. I’m just saying.

I’m also going on record early that I’m intrigued by the big Week 1 that Mike Wallace had for the Ravens. The combination of Wallace’s speed and Joe Flacco’s arm could be a fantasy dream come true.   Then again, Wallace has been the king of disappearing acts for fantasy purposes.

Speaking of the Ravens. I’m not sure if it will be a weekly occurrence but that looked like the Baltimore D/ST of old.

It’s always a nice week when the games you pick to be shootouts are just that. The Detroit vs. Indianapolis and New Orleans vs. Oakland games lived up to their billings.  Of course, that billing was that all four have defensive issues. They all proved that to be true.

For you Lion’s fans… I can only say…whew. Matt Prater redeemed himself for that botched extra point.

I will also say this about the Lions. Start whichever TE is playing against them on a weekly basis. Two TDs for Jack Doyle (who?) and another for Dwayne Allen tell you all you need to know.

In Week 2, Delanie Walker gets to run wild on the Detroit defense.

I’m not usually a sentimental sort of guy but it was nice to see Victor Cruz doing his salsa dance once again. Cruz has never given up as he’s battled back from some serious injuries.

Here’s some free advice for WR Terrance Williams of the Cowboys. Know the fucking game situation son. Just simply know the game situation and get out of bounds. You are welcome.

In case you were one of the doubters…David Johnson of the Cardinals is the real deal.   Oh yeah, Larry Fitzgerald is still the man as well. When a QB like Carson Palmer trusts you in the red zone then you are fantasy gold. L-Fitz is far from over the hill folks.

For the Patriots, it looks like we trust LeGarrette Blount at RB as he’s the main ball carrier and goal line back. After that in the Patriots backfield I’m not sold that James White keeps the pass-catching role.    Just give rookie D.J. Foster some time to get up to speed. Foster is a guy that should be on your radar.

There will be better days ahead for Martellus Bennett but not until Brady and/or Gronkowski return. In the mean time, the Patriots stole a game at Arizona which is a gift. This was one of those games where Bennett was a better player in real life football than he was in fantasy. And unlike in Chicago, New York and Dallas, he’ll keep his mouth shut. So goes the mystique of the ‘Hoodie.’

That’s it folks. We’ll hit the road for more off the cuff fantasy thoughts once again following next week’s games.

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