There were a lot of expectations heading into week 1 of the NFL season and a variety of different results. There was the completely expected: Patriots winning; Aaron Rodgers being da gawd of football. (Yawn.) The slightly unexpected: The Broncos sneaking away with a 27-24 win over the Seahawks; Matt Ryan not returning to his MVP form. (Maybe we all saw that one coming…) And the completely bat-guano, mind-blowing, WTF: Browns/Steelers playing to a 21-21 draw; MVP Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Buccaneers dropping 48 points against the Saints; and the Ravens obliterating the Buffalo Bills 47-3.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. PHI): I guess I have to start here, huh? Fitzpatrick was the highest scoring fantasy QB of week 1 by 10 points! I wouldn’t count on another rushing TD out of Fitz considering he should yield the QB position back to Jameis Winston by week 4. However, next week he’ll get the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles D held Matt Ryan to 8 fantasy points with 4 sacks and a pick in week 1. However with receiving weapons like big Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson (if he gets cleared from the concussion protocol) and O.J. Howard, I think even if Fitzpatrick puts up half the amount of points he did in week 1, he is a viable streaming option.
Tyrod Taylor (@NO): Okay, well let’s just pick on the Saints. They were the victims of Fitzpatrick’s explosion in week 1. Tyrod was no slouch himself facing off against Pittsburgh. He threw for 197 yards and 1 TD/1 INT, but did a bunch of damage on the ground with 8 rushing attempts for 77 yards and a TD. The Saints allowed the 4th most rushing yards to opposing QBs in 2017 and it seems like they might not have solved that issue with Fitzpatrick getting a rushing TD himself in week 1. I like Tyrod as a streamer and QB2 in week 2.
T.J. Yeldon (vs NE): The early reports are that Leonard Fournette may suit up after suffering a hamstring injury in his week 1 game against the Giants. However, a hamstring injury on a 230 pound running back who is the only thing this Jaguars team has going for them makes me a little nervous. Yeldon rushed 14 times for 51 yards in Fournette’s absence and even hauled in a TD reception. This is completely speculative, but you have to be active on the waivers in case that change-of-pace running back gets the opportunity to become just the pace running back.
Phillip Lindsay (vs. OAK): More RB drama in the Mile High City? First, everyone was hyped for Devontae Booker to be the lead dog in Denver. Then, everyone thought better of it and tagged Royce Freeman as the IT running back. Now, a young man with the hair of Sideshow Bob seems to be stealing the spotlight from both of them. He matched Freeman in attempts and yards with 15 and 71, and tacked on two catches for 31 yards and a TD. Heading into week 2, Lindsay could become an afterthought again, but if he continues to get some love in this offense, he’s worth the add.
Marcus Murphy (vs. LAC): I was not a big LeSean McCoy fan going into this season. Between the baby mama drama and the lower body injuries and that dreaded 3 at the beginning of his age — I was expecting a step backwards. Murphy is a 4th round player out of Missouri who seems to be McCoy’s main back-up now and is the lead kick returner for the Bills as well. Murphy returned a LOT of kicks in week 1 after the Ravens dropped 47 points on them. Chris Ivory is still around, but I think he will further become the third-string RB as the weeks go on. Keep an eye on the Razzball’s Bills depth chart here to see how Murphy and Ivory’s snaps get distributed: Razzball Buffalo Bills Depth Chart.
Phillip Dorsett (@ JAX): Every year, it’s a fun game to see which no-name wide receiver Tom Brady is going to make into a star. This year, Dorsett has taken an early lead. Dorsett lead all Patriots receivers not named Rob Gronkowski with 7 targets. Dorsett grabbed all 7 of those targets for 66 yards and a TD. Anticipated WR1 Chris Hogan only grabbed 1 of his 5 targets. If Dorsett continues to establish himself as a reliable target for Brady, he could be in for a huge year.
Ryan Grant (@WSH): We all knew T.Y. Hilton couldn’t wait to have Andrew Luck back under center in Indianapolis. The question was who would step into the WR2 role behind Hilton. Grant was third in targets behind Jack Doyle and Hilton, but was actually the most reliable of the three catching 8 of his 9 targets. Their next opponent, the Redskins, just held the Cardinals non-Larry Fitzgerald pass catchers to 23 yards, so they could have their work cut out for them. If T.Y. is getting most of the attention of the Redskin secondary, maybe Grant could sneak in some extra catches.
Geronimo Allison (vs MIN): I had Allison in this column last week based on cool name value alone, but now he’s shown he’s more than just a cool name. He grabbed 5 of 8 targets for a nice 69 yards and a TD. Randall Cobb and Davante Adams had great performances themselves, but when Aaron Rodgers is your QB there are plenty of passes to go around.
Jonnu Smith (vs. HOU): Speaking of cool name value! Jonnu is going to be more than that too though after the unfortunate season-ending injury of Delanie Walker. Jonnu is a big boy at 6’3” and 250 pounds. In his four years at Florida International Jonnu grabbed 178 catches for 2001 yards and 18 TDs in 41 games. Jonnu already played in 55% of the Titans snaps in week 1 and should see that number rise as the TE1 in this offense.
Washington Redskins (vs. IND): These Redskins have to be feeling themselves after holding their week 1 opponents the Cardinals to two field goals. Now, they’ll head back home to face off against the Colts. Yes, Andrew Luck is back, yes the Colts just put up 23 points against the Bengals, yes I told you to add a Colts WR earlier in this article, but the Colts were held to 7 points after half-time. None of the Colts rushers could get over 50 yards and the highest receiver only had 60 yards.
Brandon McManus (vs. OAK): McManus was 2 for 2 from 50+ yards and 3 for 3 on PATs in week 1 against the Seahawks. He’s only 4% owned in ESPN leagues. If you’re streaming kickers I’d say go for McManus next week against the Raiders.