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Quick Notes: Three Quick Things From Each Sunday Game (Week 1)
*Disclaimer – I watch all the games live Sunday, however many at one time, and these are my initial fantasy reactions/notes. I will then watch each game and detail and file a deeper report on each game, and may change my stance midweek on something I say below…but as a quick reaction to Sunday’s action, here’s my quick take…
Games in random order:
-- What happened to Jimmy Garoppolo (15-33 for 261 yards, 1 TD/3 INTs)? A mix of the Vikings defense, the loss of Jerick McKinnon a week ago and the loss of Marquise Goodwin right off the bat in this game, and some tough luck plays (drops, some of the INTs off miscommunications with receivers) converged here. Not much positive to see here but this is not normal for JG, he’ll live to fight another day and kick into gear.
-- The 49ers do not have a great run defense, but the Vikings did not take advantage. Dalvin Cook (16-40-0, 6-55-0/7) was no difference maker here. Latavius Murray (11-42-0) looked better to me. They are splitting in Cook’s favor but it’s going to take all those dump passes for Cook to matter for FF. He’s just not that dynamic a player to be a huge FF impact guy in a 65/35 split.
-- This was the game for Matt Breida (11-46-0, 1-5-0/2) to shine but he did not – the 49ers were down by a couple scores quick and needed to throw their way back into things a lot. It was perfect for Breida to get a lot of cheap targets…but he did not. Two targets, one catch in the game. The cheap dump pass doesn’t seem of interest to Jimmy G. – which is not good for Breida because it’s his reason to exist…a few carries, some nice flare passes. No sign of it here.
-- We can’t take much from this game for either team -- because it was pouring rain and the Bills aren’t necessarily a D1 team, so not much to work with here for the Ravens.
-- Note that Marcus Murphy (6-31-0, 0-0-0/2), star of the preseason, was turned to for touches more than Chris Ivory as the game swirled down the drain. If McCoy goes to jail coming up…I’d rather have Murphy than Ivory, I think.
-- Hard to say if there is any Alex Collins (7-13-1, 1-6-0/1) angst by the coaches because he fumbled and didn’t see many touches – this game was a blowout quick and it was sloppy conditions. I assume Collins will be forgiven, but just note he is a massive fumbler and he has a lost fumble already on the docket.
-- My clever Week 1 Saints DST play was anything but clever…it was a disaster on the level of going in on the Patriots Week 1 last year in their opener vs. KC. I still saw the potential in the Pats when they got smoked last year in Week 1 (and they eventually turned around). However, I don’t see much hope with the Saints…other than that this group was much better than this last season. They can’t be this bad, can they? They never laid a finger on Ryan Fitzpatrick. It was jarring how ill-prepared and ineffective the Saints-DST was. Hosting CLE next week is still doable…an angry Saints team at home vs. a bad Browns offense (but I thought TB was a bad offense/easy pickings for the Saints). If you want to hop off the NO DST, we’ll propose other options.
-- Mike Evans (7-147-1/7) abused Marshon Lattimore (3 tackles, 1 PD), which is odd because Lattimore was a shutdown guy in 2017. Not in Week 1 of 2018. We have to assume he’s not one to fully fear this year until he proves otherwise. The lack of Saints D-Line pressure didn’t help him. It could just be the Bucs are awesome…
-- Cameron Meredith (DNP) was inactive. It’s OK to drop him for better options where they exist. He likely won’t be integrated into the offense for a few weeks…and then it may be a gradual build. Austin Carr (2-20-0/2) started but was barely looked at by Drew Brees in a game he threw 45 times/non-stop.
-- I’m a ‘sell high’ on James Conner (31-135-2. 5-57-0/6) still, but now the price is much higher – an RB1/WR1 etc., must be in the deal coming to me. I’m in no rush to do it, but I’ll do it. Don’t fall in love too hard that it blinds you to an opportunity. Selling to the Le’Veon owner is your best bet for a complete thievery.
-- T.J. Watt (11 tackles, 4 sacks) had 4 sacks leading a pretty nice defensive performance – the Cleveland offense is really pretty bad, so don’t throw away the Saints-DST just yet for Week 2 plays. The Steelers had this game on lock-down until they started turning the ball over in the rain the last few minutes. Steelers-DST vs. KC this week…you can’t play the Steelers-DST but pick them up for the schedule the following 10-11 weeks.
Carry two defenses in Week 2 to be smart – hold PIT, pickup a DST for Week 2 only, then drop that D for Week 3 and ride PIT…potentially.
-- Josh Gordon (1-17-1/3) was a non-factor here. As long as Tyrod is QB, only Jarvis Landry (7-10-0/15) will matter. Once Baker Mayfield hits, then I’m trading Landry ‘high’. Gordon will still be a mystery with Mayfield.
-- I’m looking forward to a deeper study, but it looked like ‘Deshaun Watson got figured out by Bill Belichick’, as I opined could happen on the Video Chat Q&A Sunday. If that’s true…some troubles ahead as defense see ‘the book’ that Belichick may have created.
-- FINALLY, Cordarrelle Patterson (3-13-0, 1-6-0/1) gets used as the runner of the ball he should be used like. Sadly, a nothing in the passing game. A bubble screen is like a hand-off, Josh McDaniels! CP is not a real part of this offense for FF.
-- After watching their dysfunctional running game, and you cannot have Rex Burkhead (18-64-0, 1 -5-0/3) as your lead NFL runner. I’d buy the Sony Michel as a real lead RB coming up. The national analysts love Michel, so rare it would happen easy/cheap for you.
-- This game was a mess…rain, massive delays (two of them), and several injuries. Not a lot we should read into it on for fantasy. Neither team looked good – two bad teams played each other, and one of them won.
-- Delanie Walker (4-52-0/7) is potentially/likely done for the season. Jonnu Smith (1-12-0/3) will be a name national analyst’s chirp about because they think they know Jonnu. Smith is fine, but he’s not Delanie. He’s not a focal point of passing game TE. He’s ‘useful’. If Blaine Gabbert is at QB, it won’t matter…everything is dead in Tennessee at that point.
-- Jakeem Grant (5-38-0/7) and Albert Wilson (2-7-0, 3-31-0/4) seeing good work this game makes me wonder more if DeVante Parker will be slowed to come back OR get traded. Grant is the interesting weapon here…he returned a kick for TD in this game.
-- Do I even really need to comment here…or just bask in the glow of my genius? Can I now be the most trusted person on Tyreek Hill in all fantasydom? Cannot I no longer be questioned or doubted anymore?
Are you ready for this one…?
Tell me Tyreek Hill is not the #1 asset in all fantasy now? Not just because this one game (he’s not scoring 64 TDs this season…only 20-30). Go ahead, tell me I crazy for even thinking it.
-- AND…are you ready…did you hear about this thing? You know about this thing?
Patrick Mahomes is in position to be the clean #1 fantasy QB now and into the.
*If you stacked Mahomes + Hill and won money in daily – you owe me coffee!!! Unless the Saints were your survivor pick…then we’re even.
-- Nearly half of all Philip Rivers’s (34-51 for 424 yards, 3 TDs/1 INT) pass attempts and completions went to Allen-Gordon -- nothing ever changes (Tyrell dropping a TD didn’t help either)…and the Chargers lose at home and go under the gun to start the season with a disappointment. Same old Chargers…sorry, Xavier – they ain’t making it to the Super Bowl (not sure our Saints are either).
-- Greg Olsen (2-33-0/2) down and out for weeks, maybe for the season. I’d rather have Ian Thomas than Jonnu Smith going forward (if both established starters are gone for the season), for sure.
-- This Dallas offense – move on from Dak (19-29 for 170 yards, 0 TD/0 INT) as your cool QB2 if you have options. This is a Jason Garrett mess. Move on if you can upgrade into a future stud like Mitch Trubisky.
-- Tavon Austin, the radical offensive weapon, the sweet RB/WR split option…he got all of 1 carry and no targets. It’s why I say move on from Dak – this coaching staff is nothing and they will never see/develop anything interesting on offense. The play on Dallas ahead…is their DST – slow burn offense and high-pressure defense. They are a poor man’s 2017 Jaguars – weak offense, all obvious run game, stout defense.
-- Sam Bradford (20-34 for 153 yards, 0 TD/1 INT) will last another week or two at best, and then his career is essentially over. Actually, it’s over now. That was a sad a QB play as I’ve seen. He isn’t even trying anymore. He’ll be replaced by Josh Rosen mid-game next week at the Rams, I think.
-- Best Redskins’ receiver to have? Chris Thompson (5-65-0, 6-63-1/7). He’s the best RB to have too.
-- When Josh Rosen does take over…Christian Kirk (1-4-0/2) should emerge as a starter as well, and matter for PPR quickly.
-- Royce Freeman (15-71-0) going 15 carries in Week 1 makes sense. Phillip Lindsay (15-71-0, 2-31-1/5) getting 15 carries is shocking. Kudos to Vance Joseph for figuring this out – Devontae Booker (2-4-0) is not the future or current.
-- Chris Carson (7-51-0, 3-28-0/5) and Rashaad Penny (7-8-0, 4-35-0/4) splitting carries 50-50, now…that I can believe. It won’t be long before Penny is the lead…not sure that’s all that valuable. It will be some kind of split regardless.
-- Will Dissly (3-105-1/5) with 3 catches and 5 targets is totally believable. 105 yards and a 1 TD…’wow’! I’m shocked. Will it keep up? My answer: a firm, “I’m not sure.” I think not but a low-end TE1 is possible.
-- The Bears got up quick with the help of a defensive score…and then they tried to sit on the lead and it didn’t allow them to cut the passing game loose. This passing game will yield more FF numbers ahead…ARob-Gabriel-Cohen-Burton have upside ahead.
-- Jimmy Graham (2-8-0/4) looks dead…like he did in Seattle. Slow moving, average-good tight end. Not a weapon with upside anymore…just hoping for a run of TDs (like last year).
-- You have to kinda like the Bears DST coming up – SEA-ARI-TB-BYE-MIA the next five weeks before they get the Pats, but then NYJ-BUF-DET after that.
-- That’s the way we want Joe Mixon (17-95-1, 5-54-0/7) to be used. He was about 75% Le’Veon utilization here. The problem – the Cincy O-Line is terrible. When Mixon faces a good run defense he might be hosed in those matchups.
-- The late TD saved it, but this was a very weak showing by the Bengals DST – in what should have been a favorable matchup. I might take a look Week 2 against the Ravens at Cincy in a TNF game…but I’m already looking at other plans. Not impressed…unless Indy is better than I thought.
-- Andrew Luck (39-53 for 319 yards, 2 TD/1 INT) did not ‘look fine’, contrary to what will be reported. He did look better than he had in the preseason. Will get better each week. Luck is lucky he didn’t have 5-6 picks in this game. He dump-passed his way through Cincy for 2+ quarters before the good times ran out.
-- If not for the later game, lucky-ish long TD run by Saquon Barkley (18-106-1, 2-22-0/6)…he had a very human, very underwhelming debut. He’s not a generational talent. He’s very good, pretty good., not bad. He’s got all the measurables, he’s just never impressed me with his vision and toughness running the ball – he’s a bit of a dancer. He’s fine/solid for FF…I’m just not blown away by him.
-- What I was afraid of with Keelan Cole (3-54-0/4) – we weren’t sure what his new #1 status meant. Not as much as we hoped. He looked terrific…but he’s with Blake ‘freaking’ Bortles.
-- Evan Engram (2-18-0/5) had an FF-dud…note: he caught a 40+ yard pass called back to a holding call. Was open on another 30+ yarder Eli under-threw under pressure. There were flashes…it’s just the Giants were suppressed from throwing deeper by the Jags’ defense.
Top 5 ‘Buy Low’
1) Leonard Fournette, JAC -- let the panic and frustration of a Week 1 ‘hammy’ lead you to a cheap deal. Try to buy as an RB2 valuation in redraft. The panic is high right now.
2) Evan Engram, NYG -- several near-miss big plays. He’s going to be fine.
3) David Johnson, ARI -- someone else got him from you in redraft, now he’s been shown to be ‘meh’ in their eyes. Fears of the Arizona offense, etc., and general disbelief in DJ as the best in the business. The opportunity may have just opened up.
4) Marlon Mack, IND -- the Colts offense looked pretty good, but they had awful Jordan Wilkins to rely on. Mack would have helped Indy win that game. Mack is going to shock everyone with his volume.
5) Sony Michel, NE -- I’m starting to buy he’ll be ‘the man’ more than stuck in an RBBC. This could start as early as next week.
Top 5 ‘Sell High’
1) Saquon Barkley, NYG – as I’ve maintained since April…get an Ace player + another near-ace player + a strong prospect. Get a three-for-one on the hysteria. Barkley is really good, but he trades like he’s ‘out of this world’, and he’s not showing that. He may someday…but if you can get a David Johnson + Evan Engram (if you have TE needs) + Marlon Mack in a redraft, let’s say – you look to leverage Saquon for all that you can or just hold and have a nice RB1. Melvin Gordon is a nice RB1 as well, but wouldn’t yield what the ‘Saquon’ name does.
2) James Conner, PIT – He’s going to have a good/great season, for about 10 weeks. What if you can turn him into another sweet RB1…a more stable one and get even more in the deal? Could you use to get package a deal for DJ or Fournette? Le’Veon owner will pay just about anything right now (but may not have what you want). No shame in holding but you might hit a homerun here on the ‘name’ of the week.
3) Rex Burkhead, NE – 18 carries, looks like the lead dog. He won’t be for long. Sell off as an RB2 if you can.
4) Kenny Stills, MIA – A lot of fantasy analysts liked Stills preseason and ranked him highly, so people have him rostered (likely not started Week 1). Your best value is to trade him right NOW!
5) John Brown, BAL – A lot of fantasy analysts liked Brown preseason, and a TD against sad Buffalo only embolden. If you bought the hype…I’d sell as the analysts congratulate themselves this week.
Top 5 ‘Waivers to Trust’
1) T.J. Yeldon, JAC – If Fournette is down, Yeldon is the obvious play…but I’m always leery of Corey Grant. TJY makes the most sense. This is just a robotic reaction to the Fournette injury.
2) Ted Ginn, NO – always undervalued and underappreciated. The explosive #2 WR for one of the best offenses in the NFL.
3) Will Dissly, SEA – for those with TE issues, Dissly is the most obvious free agent name that could provide relief, but the hype is ahead of the reality. He’s a solid #10-15 TE week-to-week. Not going to be a top fantasy TE.
5) Darren Sproles, PHI – if you desperately need a PPR RB3 who could have ‘a week’ every so often. Austin Ekeler as similar but, to me, a lesser option at this stage. Either is fine for that PPR jolt hope.
3) Mitchell Trubisky, CHI – for those who need to swap into a better QB2 gamble as an emergency starter…or just dumping Dak and sliding into Trubisky (more on Trubisky in the game recap). Trubisky is not a QB1 yet, I’m just saying if your QB2 blows, get in on Trubisky early.
Top 5 ‘Waivers to Distrust’
1) Jonnu Smith, TEN -- bad offense, and not a high-impact receiver. A TE2.
2) Phillip Lindsay, DEN – I don’t think he’s a bust at all…I’ve been ahead of the curve on him this preseason -- BUT he’s not as good as the hysteria that’s going to this week. There are not many RB stories out there off waivers, so Lindsay seems super important. I think he’s an RB3 people will chase like an RB1.5 this week. Save your free agent powder.
3) Brandon Marshall, SEA – His name sticks out more than his play. People are going to overpay for this wondering if Doug Baldwin is a problem and Marshall is the solution. I like Lockett-Jaron-and a step up for David Moore too, in that case.
4) Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB – Helluva game. I don’t trust it against high pressure fronts the next two weeks – PIT and CHI.
5) Aaron Jones, GB – I don’t care that he’s coming back after next week.
Top 5 ‘Deep Sleeper Plays on the Radar Screen’
1) Curtis Samuel, CAR – assuming he returns for Week 2, and he’s supposed to. Best WR on the Panthers…whatever that means for FF.
2) Christian Kirk, ARI – The Cardinals will soon turn to Josh Rosen and Kirk will elevate to starter as well (with or without Rosen) and become a PPR impact player.
3) Michael Gallup, DAL – Dallas has to change their offense within the next few weeks and put in playmakers. Gallup is their best WR and will become a fixture starter within 3-4 weeks, I believe.
4) Dante Pettis, SF – Goodwin hurt (likely back this week)…Garcon not looking good. Pettis is a playmaker that could get shoved into the lineup fast than anyone expected.
5) Marcus Murphy, BUF – the long shot to the Bills starting RB if LeSean McCoy is arrested.
Top 5 ‘Just Quit On Them Players’:
1) Samaje Perine, WAS – He’ll be cut soon, and then we’ll reevaluate.
2) Jordan Wilkins, IND – If you grabbed him for a Week 1 start, and why did you, abandon ship. He won’t be in the NFL in 3-4 weeks.
3) Anthony Miller, CHI – I tried to warn you. National analysts love him as ‘the guy’ – he’s not even close.
4) Blake Jarwin, DAL – the ‘next Travis Kelce’ potential was a big zero in Week 1. You can look at other gamble TE2s.
5) Cameron Meredith, NO – I think his day will come but it won’t be for several weeks.
Top 5 DSTs Off Waivers (maybe) to Consider:
1) Steelers-DST (No go vs. KC this week, but then they are good-great the next 10 weeks)
2) Cowboys-DST (Weaker O-Lines or mediocre QBs ahead: NYG-SEA-DET-HOU-JAC-WAS-BYE-TEN-PHI-ATL-WAS)
3) Patriots-DST (JAC-DET-MIA-IND next 4 games)
4) Bears-DST (host SEA on MNF, ARI, TB, BYE, MIA the next 6 weeks)
5) Saints-DST (CLE Week 2 hosting at NO)