Welcome to the new and improved weekly Fantasy Football summary. I am open to feedback so let me know! The new format will be – 10 things I learned each week. I now bring you…..
Welcome to Toad’s Fantasy Football Weekly Review, where I summarize the aftermath of the past Thursday through Sunday games, but more importantly ten thoughts and their lasting fantasy impact.
1. The Pats are a work in progress
The Patriots did a lot of tinkering with its core starters in the off-season and even up to the last week of the preseason, some notable players were being dropped, acquired or sent off via trade. The end result looked like a team that was lost despite being up in the first half. Then add to it, all of the injuries suffered to the offense by Week 1 and this is going to take a few weeks to sort out. Brandin Cooks is a newcomer. Julian Edelman was a big hit, no doubt. Malcolm Mitchell was placed on injured reserve before the season started. Then Danny Amendola suffered a concussion. Suddenly, the Patriots aren’t as stacked as I once thought. The run game looked good though so give this offense a few weeks to get healthy and for offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to figure out who plays what roles now.
2. Come together… right now
I’ve long suspected this defense would turn the corner. A lot of the promising young, high draft picks needed to get healthy, like Dante Fowler Jr., and Myles Jack. But they came through in Week 1 along with Yannick Ngakoue, smothering the Houston Texans, getting after the quarterback, forcing the Texans to change from Tom Savage to Deshaun Watson. Big free agent signings like Calais Campbell and A.J. Bouye played a big part of this Week 1 victory and have asserted themselves as the new identity of the Jaguars. They are now a popular waiver wire add this week, or elevated themselves from a streaming defense to a potential weekly starter.
3. Black Monday – The Health Report
• WR Allen Robinson tore an ACL and will miss the rest of the 2017 season, making both Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee Blake Bortles’ new main targets, Lee has more upside though.
• RB David Johnson left the third quarter with a wrist sprain, but may miss at least three weeks or much more. Kerwyn Williams is now the next man up but don’t be surprised if they see if Chris Johnson is still a free agent.
• WR Odell Beckham Jr. sat on the sidelines with a high ankle sprain and is week-to-week. The Giants need to learn how to play without OBJ because they looked terrible.
• RB Danny Woodhead strained his hamstring but will not miss the season. He should be down for a few weeks though, but he sure looked good in the short time he played.
• WR Kevin White broke his collarbone, the latest in a long string of season-ending injuries for the young receiver. Having already lost Cameron Meredith, the Bears showed an ineptitude to catch the ball in the red zone.
4. Teams who didn’t do enough to fix their offensive line
The Texans don’t have Duane Brown holding out; the Seahawks were pressured 44 percent of the time, and the Giants were obliterated. These teams didn’t account for their deficiencies on their offensive line and made it tough for all of those teams’ offenses to get going. These aren’t just one-time anomalies. We are going to see these problems come up again and again. We’ll see if the same happens to the Vikings.
5. Quarterback Controversy #1
After getting no traction against the Jaguars, the Texans made the switch to rookie Deshaun Watson, and have already named him the starter for Week 2. It’s the first quarterback controversy of the season, but will not be the last.
6. Rookie running backs won Week 1
The Bears’ Tarik Cohen had 113 total yards from scrimmage and surprised everyone, just remember Jordan Howard is still the bellcow. Leonard Fournette made the Jaguars more disciplined and stabilized them despite losing Allen Robinson. Christian McCaffery saved Cam Newton’s butt a few times and didn’t take away from Jonathan Stewart’s production. And of course, Kareem Hunt ran and scored all over the New England Patriots. And while veteran Marshawn Lynch is not a rookie, he did the right thing coming out of retirement for the Raiders. What a huge day for the running back. I know he is not a running back but rookie T.J. Watt needs a little shout out for his defensive skills in week one (2 Sacks, 1 Int, 6 Tackles).
7. Carson Wentz just keeps getting better
Last year Wentz’s critics liked to pile on, saying that teams figured out the rookie but the reality is that yes, Wentz was learning on the job, but he also had little to work with, but that wasn’t the case against the Redskins. Wentz was composed and made some electric plays with athleticism that made you shake your head at home. This kid is going to be a star and has pieces around him that will help him grow into a bottom line QB1.
8. Nelson Agholor, Zach Ertz, and Austin Hooper are going to see interest in the free agent market
To piggyback off of Wentz’s improvement, let’s give credit to the Eagles trading Jordan Matthews and keeping Agholor and sticking with him to improve into a possession slot receiver. Agholor and Matthews were essentially the same player and they were able to ship Matthews out to improve their secondary. Agholor tied the team in targets (8) along with Zach Ertz and Darren Sproles. Ertz is always forgotten during fantasy drafts but he’ll be out there to grab in the waiver wires, especially for those with Jack Doyle regret. I pick Hooper to have the most upside on a team that’s built around Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman, but his big plays kept the Falcons alive in a game they shouldn’t have won. These players amongst many might slip through the cracks and prove to be better long term solutions vs. the flash in the pan pick-up of the week.
9. Detroit is back to their old ways
While it’s never ideal to repeatedly head into the 4th quarter behind, the Lions seem to handle it better than most. They made it a weekly occurrence last season and this year, setting an NFL record eight comeback wins after trailing in the 4th. In Week 1, they did it (again) and pulled off an unlikely victory again. With all of the mistakes the Lions made, they should have been down by more than just one point. Hand it to the richest man in the NFL, Matthew Stafford, to put on a clinic in the final quarter. He found Kevin Golladay for two deep touchdown passes. Stafford not only has a running back who can keep a defense honest, he has a receiver who he can go over the top and that’s been missing since Calvin Johnson retired. Golden Tate and Marvin Jones are fine, but Detroit needed someone with speed and size.
10. Whoa Black Betty, RAM-a-lam
I expected the Rams to railroad the Colts but I may have underestimated just how big they would do it. Part of this is the Colts’ atrocious offense without Andrew Luck under center. Another is the Rams huge defensive effort. But I was impressed to see Jared Goff build on what he did in the preseason by spreading the ball around, Sean McVay getting Todd Gurley touches where he can make plays, and the offense working effortlessly to move the ball down the field. It’s come a long way from Jeff Fisher’s neander-ball offense, but I have to see them do this against their own division. I’m not ready to say the Rams are the next worst-to-first story in the making, but this is a completely different team and fantasy options are ripe for the picking. Consider Robert Woods or Cooper Kupp if they are still out there in your waiver wire.