The horror…the horror…

Marlon Brando as Colonel Kurtz recites these words before his death in Apocalypse Now, which many historians consider to be one of the more accurate depictions of the Vietnam War. Football is a simulacrum of war, of the battlefield and of attrition. For every victory, there’s a loss. Healthy finishes are balanced by tough injuries. For every career started, there’s a career on the fritz. And it all plays out on our TV and is discussed on social media. Were you a bit embarrassed the last time you stubbed your toe, or slipped on some ice and fell, or biffed it at the gym? Now we’ve got the 8K 120 FPS hyper-zoom of injuries to the likes of Jerry Jeudy. We’ve got Aaron Rodgers crashing in real-time, his State Farm commercials reminding us of what could be if Rodgers went and hosted Jeopardy or did insurance commercials full time like Peyton Manning. It’s OK to lose the love of the game. It’s OK to admit your mortality. It’s not OK to look at Jordan Love and blame him for your downfall. For every commander that wins a battle, there’s another commander that loses. And what we’re left with is a story of the winners — but nobody’s perfect. 

Let’s get everybody caught up on the stats and slates that made the news for Week 1 of the fantasy football season. As we go through, I’m going to focus more on players that you might want to add — you don’t really need me to recap Patrick Mahomes, do you? (If you do, please tell me)


Jimmy GaroppoloWe always knew Jimmy G would start the year with the reins to the 49ers offense; the question is whether Tom Brady’s former protegé would remain under center beyond Week 1, or the bye week, or…or would rookie Trey Lance take over? Jimmy G fumbled his first snap under center and was quickly replaced with Trey Lance for a bit of a reminder that, “Yes Jimmy, you look pretty. But we’ve got your replacement locked and loaded. Trey Lance finished his drive with a TD pass before giving way to Jimmy G, who took the message in stride and finished with over 300 yards passing. Garish Polo finished the day 17/25 for 314 yards and a TD, but he’ll need to produce near that level if he expects to keep his job. The 49ers have an early-ish bye week, so consider the first half of the season as Jimmy G trying to convince the 49ers he’s worth starting. I’d keep him in Superflex leagues and GPP DFS plays, but for your average 12-team fantasy league, Jimmy G isn’t the solution to your QB needs. 

Ryan FitzpatrickLeft the game early with a hip injury after taking a sack. Every person rostering F1 hopes the Magic isn’t Dust. Fitzmagic was replaced by Taylor Heineke, who’s basically fantasy irrelevant. Unless you’re in one of those worst ball leagues. 

Sam DarnoldThe thing about fantasy QBs is that they have a stunning point parity, meaning that QB5-20 have almost the same points come the end of the season. This is what makes the two strategies of QB drafting — one being getting a stud, one being streaming — so intriguing. You didn’t need me to tell you that the Jets DEF could allow 300 yards, but if I told you that Sam Darnold would be the one to rack up 279 yards in the air, you would have laughed. New coach, capable receivers, useful RB — stream away! 

Trevor LawrenceDebuted with 51 attempts as head coach Urban Meyer tried to eek out a win against what many people considered to be the worst team in the league, the Houston Texans. With a less than 60% completion percentage leading to 3 INTs (and 3 TDs), it wasn’t the debut most fantasy managers wanted. Still, he’s a rookie, playing for a first time NFL coach…give it time. Also, he apparently lost his first game ever. This guy has clearly never played DFS. 

Aaron RodgersUh, 2 INT, ~50% completion rate, and benched for Jordan Love at the end of a 38-3 routing by the Saints. March on, Saints. This bodes poorly for A-Rog’s fantasy value, but great for Jeopardy, who I hear is still looking for a host. At least Rodgers will always have the discount double check. 

Jordan Love5/7 for 68 yards in garbage time. I’m not saying you should grab him in standard leagues, but those of you who have those ridiculously deep benches…might want to stash him. 

Jameis Winston14/20, 148 yards, 5 touchdowns. About 1/3 of those yards came on a bomb to Deonte Harris. Winston’s gonna get you some Wins…and Skorish told you all about that in the pre-season

Running Backs

Melvin Gordon11 attempts, 101 rushing yards and a TD, 3 targets and 3 receptions. You all wanted Javonte, right? This was Gordon’s team to lose, and everybody who pushed up Javonte into round 5 deserves to be an extra in a Friends episode. The One Where They Made a Bad Bet. 

Saquon BarkleyI asked people to wait until he gave us reason to not believe…and 2.6 yards per attempt kind of indicates that. He might take some time to ramp up like my 2004 Toyota Corolla that I took up to Pike’s Peak and blew out the brakes on the way down. 

Devin Singletary72 yards on 11 carries with 3 catches while Zack Moss was inactive. The Moss inactive came as a surprise to many reporters and to even more fantasy managers — Moss was usually drafted before Singletary. The Bills are a pass-first team, so the absence of Moss boosts Singletary quite a bit, and if we see Moss continue to be absent, Singletary will be a huge boon to fantasy managers in all formats. And his spiritual predecessor Mike Singletary saved me in Tecmo Bowl so many times! 

Damien Harris23 rushes, 100 yards, 2 catches. I told you in my Week 1 Primer that Damien Harris was your add of the week. Now that I might have made you some money, how about you buy me one of those fancy NFT dragon eggs? 

Raheem MostertWas supposed to have a day with Trey Sermon on the inactive list, but instead he bonked his knee and missed the rest of the game. He’s off for imaging — it’s not an ACL — but he’ll likely miss time. With Sermon not suited up, rookie RB Elijah Mitchell grabbed the reins of the 49ers backfield and ran for 104 yards and a TD…so you’re gonna have to flip a coin and figure out which back you want while Mostert heals. Hopefully he doesn’t go to that cryogenic doctor that Antonio Brown went to a few years back. 

D’Andre SwiftSo the Lions are going to be weird this year — even more so than usual — because they’re looking to kneecap people. But with Jared Goff under center and few receiver plays, it looks like Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift could take extended receiving roles. They totaled up 20 targets on Sunday — Williams with 9 and Swift with 11 — but Swift was the one that made the highlight reel with his sprint down the field: 

Wide Receivers

Deebo SamuelWent nuts with 12 targets, 9 receptions, and a TD. If he’s healthy, he’ll rack up the catches and yards regardless of his QB. 

Deonte HarrisMarquez Callaway was the hot add but as Callaway became the default WR1, he was a WR3/4 on most teams now facing the top defensive corners. Harris stepped in as the Saints’ WR 2/3 and snared 2 catches for 72 yards and a TD. He’s a good add for deep leagues, but the majority of fantasy managers probably won’t get consistent enough targets from Harris to make him a meaningful addition right now. 

Jerry JeudyHigh ankle sprain and out likely 6-8 weeks. Video looked a bit worse, so fingers crossed he returns strong. 

DeVonta Smith6 catches on 8 targets for 71 yards and a TD. Looks like the rookie is ready for the NFL! 

Terry McLaurinMcLovin might struggle if he has to deal with Taylor Heineke as his QB, but as long as he keeps making catches like this, the upside is unlimited: 

Diontae JohnsonBriefly injured and left the field but came back to do the below. Unfortunately, only 5 catches on 10 targets, so hopefully a bit of rest helps bring that number up next week: 

Tyreek Hill15 targets, 11 receptions, 197 yards, and 1 TD. To think that people don’t like him because of his body odor. 

Tight Ends

Juwan Johnson: Everybody went and drafted Adam Trautman based on zero empirical evidence and Juwan Johnson stepped from tight end into the receiver role when the Saints found themselves with almost zero wideouts due to preseason injuries. So, for some of you, he’s a TE. For others, he’s a WR. Either way, he snared 2 TDs on 3 targets, and his usage could soar. Add him. 

David NjokuI bet the under on basically all the Browns lines and got hit hard on those. But, they were all the favorites, so…I’m not alone in taking that loss. Njoku snared 3 catches for 76 yards as the Browns took a surprising lead against the Chiefs, only to give up their lead and lose to the Chiefs. The Browns DEF did get a little bit grumpy with the Chiefs coaching staff though…

OK, I’ve said my part! Let me know about your favorite Sunday plays down in the comments! 

  1. Donkey Teeth

    Donkey Teeth says:

    Well done, Blair! Great stuff!

    Two notes:

    1) I was all about Melvin before preseason started but the tide seemed to turn in recent weeks. Javonte had three more carries than Melvin in this first game, I think that says a lot about how the staff views the rookie. And if Gordon hadn’t broken a 70 TD in the final minutes, after the defense was likely gased, then this would be a different narrative. All this to say, Javonte is on my list of buys to be released this afternoon.

    2) Do you have any idea how expensive dragon egg NFTs are? That’s too much to ask of our readers!

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:

      Yeah, I think MGIII gets run for the first half and then Javonte Williams of course takes over down the line.

      But I think it’s wild that Javonte had an ADP ranging from 4th round to 5th round on many sites.

      I wish I could translate the price of etherium in my head. All I know is my tamogotchi collection in my basement suddenly could help me retire.

      • The Harrow says:

        yeah DEN j-will was going crazy high, price only made sense if he has like a 66% share there right away. i have tons of melgor simply from price. of course moss too.

  2. McKinzie says:

    Crazy first week and we got some Shanahanigans!!!

    So Sermon is in a bad place my man, might never see the field right?

    Uhm so James Robinson……?

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:

      Yeah process kind of failed everybody on Sermon — beat reporters are saying that even they were confused about Sermon. Apparently Kyle Shanahan wasn’t impressed with Sermon and benched him, but now it looks like Raheem Mostert is going to miss time, so Sermon could lineup as RB3 going forward, but it looks like that’s pretty meaningless rn lol.

      Yeah I think we’ve discovered Urban Meyer might have an inferiority complex — he definitely didn’t establish the run and instead went pass wild on his way to being defeated. Hopefully his coaches will tell him to balance out in the future. As I noted in the pre-season, some players with RB1 status might take a few games to get moving because teams are still figuring out their game script.

      Thanks for checking in!

  3. bobsnyder4210 says:

    Several of my teams fared slightly worse than the water buffalo in Kurtz’s death scene.

    And to add scorching insult to catastrophic injury, I benched Deebo everywhere I had him because I thought I had a slightly better option in each case, because, obviously, the Niners are going to get way ahead spreading the ball between KIttle, Deebo and Aiyuk for a while and then just pound the ball and the eat the clock with Mostert and Sermon the rest of the day. Obviously.

    What a ridiculous mess. On to week two…

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:

      I mean, Jimmy G coming off of a broken season, and he’s a 70% bootleg passer, and he’s benched in the first quarter…and goes off for 300 yards. The odds of that happening? 1%? 2% at most?

      Yet here we are lol

  4. scoboticus says:

    Stacking Matt Ryan and Calvin Ridley was a massive bust yesterday. Thankfully, Adam Thielen, DeAndre Swift and Cooper Kupp picked up the slack and I am 25 points ahead with Mark Andrews still to go tonight (my opp has Josh Jacobs).

    Means the while, in my straight up follow DTs rankings league, well I would have won had I started either of my bench RBs Kareem Hunt or Jamaal Williams instead of Saquon Barkley, but that’s just bad management.

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:

      Gotta start the studs until they tell us to do otherwise. Barkley might need a game or two before he gets going (James Robinson last year needed until Week 2 to start revving up and then he cruised for a 10ish game stretch). So, fingers crossed that Saquon will get going here quickly!

  5. Russowl says:

    Who would be your top two running back stashes and top two receiver stashes out of this group? Standard League

    Bell, roundtree, hyde, Mattison, j j Taylor ,gainwell, Hasty.

    Hardman, Mooney, Patrick, hamler, Moore (Ari), Paris campbell, Nelson Agholor,Henry ruggs, shepherd, Jalen reagor, Emmanuel sanders, Marshall Jr

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:

      For me, Mattison and Gainwell there because they have the most to gain from an injury to the main back.

      Tons of WR options there but I give edge to Agholor and Reagor for volume.

  6. Allan Lucido says:

    I currently have Gesicki in one league. Is he droppable for any of these players. Gronkowski, Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith, Gerald Everett, Ertz? It’s a Full Point PPR League btw,

    also would you drop Goedert for Gronkowski? Thanks inadvance

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:

      I think you stay the course on Goedert until we see the new offense — he’s the kind of guy that could manage 100 targets and you want that. The volatility is the new head coach and his attitude towards players (like Hurts and Ertz). Gronk will be very volatile — there are many other great players on that team and the Dallas Cowboys DEF is laughable, so don’t take too much stock in week 1.

      I stay the course for right now on Goedert, but I’m ok with a Gesiki/Gronk swap.

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