Starting off with a quick bit of housekeeping, here: I’ve already covered Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow, Ja’Marr Chase, Amon-Ra St. Brown, D.J. Chark and more in my Week 1 Target Report, so don’t forget to check that one out as well!
Here and now, we look to Week 1 snap counts. Who were the busy men in their season openers? Let’s dive right in and look…
Matt Ryan has a new best friend
Look, I’m all about honesty – I’ll often be the first one to say, well we don’t know about their chemistry because they haven’t played together yet. And I probably said that about Matt Ryan and Michael Pittman, but that didn’t seem to matter in Indy’s opener where Pittman turned a whopping 90 snaps into 121 receiving yards and a touchdown. Pittman was a hype player in fantasy circles heading into the season, and he certainly didn’t disappoint those with high hopes.
Rookie receiver Alec Pierce is in the concussion protocol this week, so Pittman should be busy again in a juicy division game vs. the 0-1 Jacksonville Jaguars. Don’t forget about Parris Campbell, either – he was awfully active with 71 snaps in game 1.
A door opens for Tyler Boyd… temporarily
Speaking of concussion protocol, Bengals’ standout Tee Higgins ran into the same trouble as Alec Pierce out the gate. With Higgins sidelined, veteran WR3 Tyler Boyd played 80 taxing snaps, good for third among all wide receivers. Higgins is making “good progress” through the protocol this week, so expect Boyd’s snap count to drop in Week 2 against the reeling, down-on-their-luck Dallas Cowboys.
When the Jets brought in tight end C.J. Uzomah during the offseason, he was supposedly bringing veteran leadership and “winning ways” over from the Bengals who were fresh off a surprising run to the Super Bowl. But in New York’s ugly opening loss to Baltimore, Uzomah played just 23 snaps in comparison to Tyler Conklin’s 77. Is Conklin officially the TE1 for the Jets? Does this really even matter in most fantasy leagues? As a lifelong Jets fan and analyst, I can tell you from depression experience… probably not.
74 Useless Snaps
WR1 A.J. Brown had a rousing debut for the Philadelphia Eagles, but his counterpart DeVonta Smith out-snapped him 74 to 67. The bad news out of this interesting split? Smith turned those 74 snaps into zero receptions for zero yards. It goes without saying, with this type of snap count, he’ll obviously be far more productive going forward.
Who said you have to bring rookies along slowly?
Rookie Jahan Dotson was a slate buster for the Commanders this weekend, hauling in two touchdowns on 68 impressive snaps. The real news, here? Curtis Samuel was a waiver wire hero this week, but he only played 55 snaps. Looks like the youngster Dotson is here to stay as one of Carson Wentz’s new favorite targets.
More snaps, same old story
Austin Hooper is finally out of the way in Cleveland, and David Njoku is supposedly going to step up in a major way. However, in the opener, he turned 71 snaps into a measly 1 reception for 7 yards. It was an ugly performance, and to me, that usually tends to be the case with Njoku. He has all of the physical tools and gifts, but we never see consistency of production or performance.
Best of luck in fantasy and betting in Week 2! I’ll see you right back here next week.
John Frascella is a published sports author who has been covering the NFL for 18 years. Follow him on Twitter @LegendSports7 for all things football throughout another action-packed season.