What a fantastic NFL week 1 we got to witness! The Browns and Steelers tied, the Jets shocked the world, FitzMagic and the Tampa Bay Bucs exploded in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and a new superstar duo is being emerged on the Kansas City Chiefs. I came into week 1 expecting less offense than usual but boy was I incorrect. Emmanuel Sanders, Kenny Stills, and Desean Jackson are among players who went off that was somewhat under the radar players. Along with myself and the staff at DailyFantasy305, here are 6 Big Takeaways from Week 1.
1) Opposing TE’s are the way to expose the Rams D (@Fanduel_Bomb)
Jared Cook, I mean…wow! 9 reception and 180 yards. Someone had to replace Martavis Bryant’s role Week 1 and while Cook is a TE, it looks like he stepped up on Monday. Before we buy into the hype, let’s take a step back and look at the other matchups on the field. The Rams had a busy offseason and that was with acquiring Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. Paired with LaMarcus Joyner, the passing secondary is just a nightmare threat for opposing Wide Receivers. Sure it’s a one-game sample and I definitely don’t see Amari Cooper or Jordy Nelson having that kind of performance again, but when you have 3 elite defenders focusing on making WR’s run challenging routes with heavy coverage, somebody’s got to be open. Maybe it was that LB Mark Barran was inactive and he did not have a chance to at least attempt to guard Jared Cook, but regardless, having a soft zone open in the middle of the field will definitely be a beneficiary factor week in week out for opposing TEs. Week 2, the Cardinals enter the Coliseum: watch out for Ricky Seals-Jones (eye emoji).
2) Joe Mixon is a top-7 back this year (@dylanticeff)
Joe Mixon: 22 touches Giovanni Bernard: 2 touches Joe Mixon: 149 total yards Giovanni Bernard 10 total yards. Notice a trend here? The big concern for Mixon owners was what his share in the offense would end up looking like and with numbers like those in Week 1, things are looking really promising for Mixon to be the real breakout candidate this season. This dude is playing behind a completely revamped o-line and is the clear workhorse and focal point in a competent offense. The real test comes on Thursday against the top tier run defense that is the Baltimore Ravens. But in general, for all those that grabbed him in round 3 in your season long drafts, congrats on the grabbing of the future first-round pick.
3) The Broncos are the real deal (Kiliman2417)
The defense was menacing causing 3 turnovers from Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson. Their pass rush, albeit against a poor offensive line, terrorized the quarterback all day recording 6 sacks, 3 from all-pro Von Miller, and having a pressure rate of 60%! A pass rush like this can hide the minor holes in the secondary from losing Aqib Talib, but overall the defense only allowed 306 total yards. Now, Case Keenum and the offense did have its struggles. While doubling their opponent’s first downs, having 11 more minutes in time of possession, and putting up almost 170 more yards, many would believe that the Broncos would have dominated this game, but the score was merely 27-24. Keenum’s 3 picks resulted in 14 points for Seattle and killed a drive when the Broncos were in field goal range. However, these mishaps are normal growing pains for any team with a new quarterback and two young and upcoming running backs, Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay, manning the backfield. As time progresses, the offense will mesh, Keenum will learn the new system, and the young players will become more experienced. Emmanual Sander’s big game Week 1 proves that he and Demaryius Thomas are a dynamic duo WR threat moving forward. Therefore, as long as the defense can continue their dominance, the Broncos could be a strong team, especially for fantasy purposes for weeks to come.
4) Rushing QBs are still the most valuable plays (@Galaxy_DFS )
My biggest takeaway from Week 1 was how terrible a QB can play but still manage to put up a solid week (Cam Newton, Tyrod Taylor, Blake Bortles, Etc.). Week in and week out, we look to the well-known names at the QB position. Rodgers, Brees, and Brady are all household names, but we overlook the fact that real life fantasy QBs are different from fantasy QBs. Tyrod Taylor, the man who went 15 for 40 with 197 yards, 1 passing touchdown, and an interception, was the number 6 quarterback on the week. The number 6! I will be looking to use Tyrod again in a juicy matchup against the New Orleans Saints who just let Fitzmagic gash them through the air and on the ground. Rushing quarterbacks will provide tremendous value and great floors all year for fantasy.
5) Steelers are fine with or without LeVeon Bell (@Justin_A_Byers )
With LeVeon Bell currently on a contractual holdout due to the Steelers attempt to implement a franchise tag on the 26-year-old running back, James Conner put the league on notice. Despite a sloppy contest against the Cleveland Browns, Conner showed the same talent he put on display during his time at the University of Pittsburgh. After being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma following a 2015 MCL injury and returning to football cancer-free and in full strength it is easy to root for James Conner. Against the Brown in Week 1, Conner handled a 100% full workhorse role running for 135 yards on 31 attempts while also finding the end zone twice. Like LeVeon Bell, Conner showed promise in the passing game as well with 5 receptions for 57 yards. With this performance, the Steelers have found that they can be successful even with the absence of arguably the league’s best running back. The Steelers and public still do not know when LeVeon is set to return to the team, until then, the job is comfortably James Conner’s.
6) Believe in Jordan Reed this season (@JustinD_305 )
Jordan Reed had an impressive 1st half before getting 0 yards on 0 catches in the 2nd half. After being up 21-0 at halftime, the Redskins leaned back on Peterson. The Redskins easily secured the W in this one but if this game stayed close throughout, I guarantee you Reed would’ve carried over his success to the 2nd half. Week 2 Jordan Reed looks to face off against the Colts on FedEx Field. Last year, the Colts allowed the 2nd most passing touchdowns and the 3rd most passing yards. Jordan Reed should absolutely destroy this Colts defense. As long as this man stays healthy, fantasy owners along with DFS players should be in for a treat.