By: Justin Lynch
Lynch gives his thoughts on the opening weekend of the fantasy football season.
Allen was likely the biggest winner of the week. After breaking out his rookie season, but getting nailed by the sophomore slump, many were unsure what to think of the U-Cal product. Allen threw up 15-166-0 on 17 targets in week 1. Catching 15 out of 17 passes is a feat in itself, but more importantly Rivers showed us that he has faith in Allen. He looked his way early and often and Allen rarely disappointed. The Chargers had a third and long late in the game, and Rivers threw it to Allen on a crossing route and let him juke two defenders in route to the game’s biggest conversion. It’s plays like that that makes you excited about what Allen could be this year.
Yes, this is cheating, but look at the list of tight ends from this week’s matchups:
That’s insane! In PPR leagues, there were 12 TE’s that got at least 15 points. Of course, we can’t expect Darren Fells to go off every week, but for the most part, I think most of these guys can relatively keep it up. Barring injury, Kelce, Eifert, Reed, and Cameron should all have solid seasons. Seferian-Jenkins could be a huge breakout player this year as he gains Winston’s trust. Even guys like Jared Cook and Eric Ebron should be able to consistently put up numbers. And this is all without mentioning Gronk. Also, a notable omission from the list would be Greg Olsen, but don’t expect his woes to continue, he should be right there with the rest soon enough.
Ameer Abdullah is fast. He went 5-70-1 rushing. That’s over 7 yards/attempt in his first game as a pro. He also racked up four catches for 48 yards. Abdullah is versatile. He can beat you on the ground or through the air. He even showed promise as a return man. Abdullah impressed in his debut, and combined with the little we saw from Joique Bell (more on that soon), Abdullah could become a RB2 sooner rather than later.
For one thing, Peyton Manning did not look good (again, more on that coming up), but Manning did look Sanders' way. For whatever reason, Manning seemed reluctant to throw the ball downfield. This spells trouble for Demaryius, but works out perfectly for Sanders. Sanders went 8-65-0 on 12 targets, not a huge debut, but certainly promising. Sanders will still struggle to find the endzone, but his ability to get separation on quick hitters will allow Manning to move the ball up the field without having to air it out deep. Sanders should see big targets every game, and when you’re playing with Peyton Manning, most of those will become receptions.
Anderson did not look good. He ran 12 times for just 29 yards, albeit against a solid Ravens run defense. He also contributed little in the receiving game, catching only four of his eight targets for a mere 19 yards. To make matter worse, Ronnie Hillman looked like he had a little more pep in his step. Anderson also was shaken up and now seems to be dealing with a sprained toe. We saw last year how one injury can change landscape of that backfield, and you can’t help but wonder if Anderson will become 2014 Montee Ball or 2013 Doug Martin.
Manning looked really bad. He completed 24/40 but for only 175 yards. He threw one interception as well, and no touchdowns. He still has plenty of talent around him, but I’m not sure that he’s still Peyton Manning. He did not want to throw downfield, and instead opted for many short throws. As the old saying goes, Father Time is undefeated, maybe Manning is finally done.
What had the potential to be Bell’s breakout season seems to be slowly turning into the Ameer Abdullah show. Bell ran just six times and only managed 14 yards. He was also taken over by Abdullah in the passing game, receiving two targets to Abdullah’s four. Bell’s 29 and has dealt with injuries, maybe Detroit is ready to move on.
2 Things to Think About
Tom Brady and Marcus Mariota
These guys are very different as quarterbacks and are at opposite points of their careers, but week 1 treated these guys similarly. Mariota was 13/16 for 209 yards and 4 TD’s (in just three quarters). Brady was 25/32 for 288 yards and four TD’s. The lesson: neither of these guys are going to put up huge yardage numbers. Yes, both had huge weeks, but the touchdowns is where they got their points. You can’t expect either to be putting up 3 or 4 TD games every week, and therefore, they might not be as good as they seem for fantasy purposes. Mariota brings an added weapon to the table in his running ability, and Brady is the GOAT, but don’t look into the total point score too much. Rather, see that these guys had big days and understand that neither are built for 300 and 400 yard games. Temper your expectations going forward.
Tavon Austin and Percy Harvin
Both had big days. Don’t be too quick to pick these guys up. Both are the definition of versatile. Austin, listed as a WR, had a rushing and return TD, but had just two catches for negative yards. Harvin went 5-79-1 and added nine yards on the ground, but his quarterback is still Tyrod Taylor. Both Harvin and Austin play on teams loaded with offensive talent. Harvin is competing with McCoy, Watkins, and Woods, while Austin is (or will be) competing with Gurley, Quick, Cook, Bailey, and Britt. In these offenses, it won’t be the same player to have big days every week. Don’t see their week 1 stat lines and point totals and feel the need to get either of them. Their success could continue, but I’m not banking on it.
1 Concluding Thought
Can you trust anyone on Arizona?
I’m not sure you can trust anyone on Arizona. Palmer is consistent, but there are much better options out there at quarterback (hopefully, you already have one). Ellington’s injury looks pretty bad, which leaves the pair of Johnson’s (Chris and David) fighting for time should Ellington be out for a significant period of time. At wideout, John Brown scored, Larry Fitzgerald was very average, and Michael Floyd was targeted just once. Darren Fells had the biggest fantasy day and that’s not something I expect to continue. With the inconsistent play at WR, the potential timeshare at RB, and the number of superior options at QB, I’m not sure it’s worth starting anyone on Arizona.
Finally, it’s week 1. Chill out, Calvin Johnson, Justin Forsett, Lamar Miller, and Odell Beckham Jr. owners. And, don’t get ahead of yourselves Chris Ivory, Bishop Sankey, and Brandon Marshall owners. Remember, it’s a long season, and this is just the start.