The Fantasy Football Wizard: Week 1
Week 1 had its positives and negatives for my team, as a couple of late-round fliers already saw an uptick in their value, while a couple of early-round picks failed to live up to expectations.
However, it's only the first week of the season, and there is no reason to turn on the fantasy roller coaster ride whether you won or lost.
My team saw steady production across the lineup, with the biggest surprise coming from the tight end spot. Drafting the position late, I ended up with Mark Andrews of the Baltimore Ravens (round 12) and T.J. Hockenson of the Detroit Lions (round 16).
Both put up monster numbers to start the season — Andrews caught all eight of his targets for 108 yards and a touchdown and Hockenson caught 6-of-9 targets for 131 yards and a score — and I think both are viable options moving forward. As a matter of fact, I believe both could end up as top-5 TEs by the end of the season.
Andrews is probably not available on the waiver wire as he was a popular late-round sleeper going into drafts, but if Hockenson is available in your league scoop him up (more on that later).
On the flip side, my third pick (No. 26 overall) Devonta Freeman left a lot to be desired on Sunday. The game script didn't go in his favor as the Atlanta Falcons fell behind early, but there is still concern seeing that he split snaps evenly with backup Ito Smith.
Though I'm still optimistic about Freeman's future, I'm approaching the running back situation in Atlanta with caution. Another bad week for Freeman and I'm definitely picking up Smith of the waiver wire (if he's available) and looking to trade No. 24.
Top three pickups of the week
Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens
It was a historic debut for the rookie, who caught 4-of-5 targets for 147 yards and two touchdowns in a 59-10 beatdown of the Miami Dolphins.
There were some questions about Brown heading into the season, not about his talent (he was a first-round pick after all), but about his ability to stay on the field. He missed the majority of the preseason and only played 12 snaps on Sunday.
There is two ways to look at it:
1) He only played 12 snaps so there is still concern about his health.
2) He only played 12 snaps yet was a top-5 wide receiver for the week so the future is even brighter.
Either way you look at it, Brown is a must-add player in leagues of 10 or more, but keep him on the bench for now until we see him put up numbers consistently.
Malcolm Brown, RB, Los Angeles Rams
If you are the Todd Gurley owner in your league, you want to pick up Brown, no ifs, ands or buts. However, if you have a spot on your bench and are looking to cash in on a potential starting running back down the road, go ahead and scoop Brown up, too.
The five-year veteran carried the ball 11 times for 53 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday, and solidified his role as the No. 2 back behind Gurley. Brown outsnapped rookie Darrell Henderson 21-2 and got the rock five times in the red zone.
If Gurley were to miss time, which is certainly possible considering his recent health concerns, Brown could be a lottery ticket for your team.
T.J. Hockenson, TE, Detroit Lions
Aside from the top four or five players at the tight end position, finding a weekly starter at TE can prove difficult. There was a lot of buzz surrounding Hockenson entering the season, and don't forget he was the No. 8 overall pick in the draft, but rookie tight ends usually don't fare well in their inaugural season, at least for fantasy purposes.
I believe Hockenson is going to break the mold.
He finished as the No. 1 tight end this week and is poised to have strong performances down the road after showing a real connection with quarterback Matthew Stafford.
There could be a hint of bias on my part, having drafted the rookie with my second-to-last pick, but I truly believe the Iowa grad could finish the year as a top-5 tight end.
Sleeper pickup of the week
Raheem Mostert, RB, San Francisco 49ers
Tevin Coleman is expected to miss several weeks, and with Jerick McKinnon out for the season, Mostert becomes the de facto No. 2 behind Matt Breida in San Fran.
Though Breida is listed as the starter, I expect the snap count to be split pretty evenly, and Mostert will have an opportunity to shine. In the 49ers opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, Mostert had more rushing yards and a better average-per-touch compared to Breida.
Here's what 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said about Mostert's play on Sunday and his involvement moving forward.
"[Mostert is] going to have to step it up for us if that is the case, and really just like he did last night,” Shanahan said in a teleconference on Monday. “I know Raheem wants to get on the field as an offensive player and he’s had his opportunities here and there. It’s been a little harder for him this year with Tevin coming in and it’s always hard when you’re mixing guys like Tevin and [Matt] Breida, but when Tevin went down … Raheem stepped in and was really a pivotal part of us winning that game.”
Breida has also been injury-prone in the past, he even left the game briefly on Sunday, so Mostert could see tons of action this season. I'd even consider starting him this week against the Cincinnati Bengals if you're in a deep league.
Week 2 surprise player
Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills
Allen goes against the lowly New York Giants defense this week, which just gave up 405 passing yards and four touchdowns to Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott on Sunday.
In his first start of the season against the New York Jets, Allen completed 24-of-37 passes for 254 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He also added 38 rushing yards and a rushing score. I expect his numbers to look even cleaner this week and he could end up as a top-10 play at his position.
Projected stats: 23-of-30, 302 passing yards, two touchdowns, seven carries for 58 yards, one touchdown.
Week 2 letdown player
Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears
Robinson was the only standout for the Bears in Thursday night's matchup against the Green Bay Packers, catching 7-of-13 targets for 102 yards. It seemed like quarterback Mitch Trubisky was forcing the ball to Robinson and I believe he'll try to spread the ball around more this week against the Denver Broncos.
I also think the running back trio of David Montgomery, Mike Davis and Tarik Cohen will get more run.
Projected stats: Three receptions for 38 yards.
If you have any questions or concerns about your lineup, or disagree vehemently with me and want to air your grievances, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or click the tab on the home page.
Good luck in Week 2 y'all!