So how did Week 1 go for y’all? It was a wild up-and-down ride for yours truly. I faced Sammy Watkins in way too many leagues. Such is life. Thankfully I survived a few of those. I hope you all came through well.
As we talked about in the Rotobahn Draft Plan, Week 1 is prime time to reset our rosters and clean up any miscalculations we may have made on draft day. This is a time to be aggressive and to avoid the shiny objects for the long term guys who can help us all season long.
As always, this is a living article. I will be updating it up until about 7pm and maybe later as I continue to watch all of the Week 1 film. I post the in-process article to give you all something to chew on, but please check the final version before making your claims. Lots more players to come this week! This article is just getting warnmed up!
Additionally, the podcast will provide context for most players in terms of how they fit different team build and league scoring.
I’ll be back on a regular in-season weekly schedule now, so look for lineup rankings on Thursday with a Saturday update. The DFS podcast should be a regular Saturday morning feature.
Sam Darnold, Jets
He’s available in about 75 percent of Yahoo leagues and though he did not light it up in Week 1, he did enough good things to be excited about his prospects the rest of the way—particularly once the Jets schedule lightens up around Week 9. From that point on, I think Darnold will shine. Until then, he’ll be a serviceable second option.
Jacoby Brissett, Colts
I’m impressed with what I saw against a tough defense in a road setting against the Chargers. This guy could end up being a pretty good asset in plus matchups because he can score points in multiple ways. He’s in a quality scheme run by a very good coach in Frank Reich. So impressed with Jim Kelly’s old backup.
Josh Allen, Bills
He sort of out-dueled Darnold in their Week 1 matchup at Met Life Stadium, but the reason you want him in plus matchups is because he scores points with his feet in combination with all his high-stakes downfield throws. When Allen hits, he can hit big. Unlike Darnold, he has winnable matchups in Weeks 2 and 3.
Matthew Stafford, Lions
He’s a steady hand and now that we see TJ Hockenson’s impact, we can start thinking big things for Stafford’s surrounding skill group. The pace of play and pass volume are still potential limiting factors, but Stafford is looking more fantasy viable than he was a week ago.
Case Keenum, Washington
His Week 1 performance was hugely overrated, but his value is still higher than it was thanks to the Washington receivers—who look a lot stronger than the football world thought this summer. With Jordon Reed returning soon and with guys like Trey Quinn and Terry McLaurin surging, this offense can work for fantasy in deeper leagues. They are likely to be more pass-heavy with Guice now injured. I still think we see Dwayne Haskins relatively soon, but for now, Keenum is the Case that they give us.
Derek Carr, Raiders
Has a nice shootout (yes, they’ll be chasing) on tap next week at home versus the Chiefs, but it’s a nasty three week sequence (Vikes, Colts then Bears) after that.
Andy Dalton, Bengals
He gets the 49ers next week in Cincy, so has some streaming appeal.
Gardner Minshew, Jaguars
He’s a guy to chase hard in Superflex leagues but the wrinkle is that they just dealt for Josh Dobbs. My money is on Minshew and he’ll start this week.
Malcolm Brown, Rams
If Brown is available, you really ought to go get him. He’s the clear alternative to Todd Gurley based on what we saw in Week 1. Brown played ahead of rookie Darrell Henderson and really looked the part, scoring two times while accumulating 53 yards in 11 attempts. The thing is, it was impressive to watch. Brown is making strong inside cuts and it’s hard to imagine him not getting a lot of goal line love going forward. The bottom line is this. Gurley is a major injury risk and the Rams are an awesome fantasy platform for a running back. Brown is next in line and may have some stand alone value with Gurley healthy. There’s nobody out there this week who I want more, especially if I am invested in Gurley.
Ronald Jones, Bucs
Jones is a swing at upside. He has some nice explosive traits and he’s in Bruce Arians’ scheme. He could flame out and he could go nuts with plenty of potential stops in-between. If an immediate starter is what you need, he could be the best add at RB. Brown still has the most upside, but Jones could merge with no injuries on his team.
Justice Hill, Ravens
Hill is a long play but I love his ceiling in the Ravens RPO and run laden offense. He’s already got flex appeal in larger formats and he’s a highlight waiting to happen. I own this guy everywhere already.
Alexander Mattison, Vikings
Mattison got plenty of work behind Dalvin Cook and looks like the clear handcuff option, which has obvious value in the Vikings ground-based attack. He’s also a good receiver. He’d have three down potential if Cook was to go down.
Gio Bernard, Bengals
With Joe Mixon looking potentially iffy for Week 2 (ankle sprain), Gio could be a great pickup. Check the late info on Mixon before bidding and definitely prioritize Gio if you are a Mixon team.
Carlos Hyde, Texans
Hyde has been traded and released a bit too often over the last year or so, but he did look good on Monday night versus the Saints. He’s in a battle with Duke Johnson for snaps and touches and should be rostered in all 12-team leagues.
Justin Jackson, Chargers
Jackson only played about 25% of the snaps in Week 1, but he looked good out there and he should get more action is the weeks go by. He’ll also be a fantasy stud if anything happens to Ekeler.
Chris Thompson, Washington
His role is about to grow by leaps and bounds. Granted, it’s a short term thing until Darrius Guice gets healthy, but CT is coming this week, and he can help you, especially in PPR formats. Ho long his battered frame can last is anybody’s guess, but for the now, he’s a low-end RB2 in deeper PPR formats or a strong flex play.
C.J. Anderson, Lions
CJA is once again, a thing. He played 26 snaps and received 11 carries and while he was not targeted, we know that’s coming soon. He’s a must-own handcuff in deeper formats and he has some stand-alone appeal in those same formats. He can be used as an anti-fragility play if you are a zero RB team.
Ito Smith, Falcons
Split the snaps right down the middle with Freeman, and did not do much, but in all honesty, the backs had very little in the way of creases in this game. Minnesota dominated. This backfield should improve going forward.
Raheem Mostert, 49ers
We know he can play in the scheme and we assume he’ll be playing ahead of Jeff Wilson as the next man up behind Matt Breida. This is in the wake of Tevin Coleman’s high-ankle sprain, that will keep him sidelined for multiple weeks. For those who employed a zeroRB draft strategy, Mostert could be a nice short term find.
Adrian Peterson, Washington
AP is a right now acquisition and is worth more in non-PPR formats. He’ll fill in for Derrius Guice, who will be out several weeks with a meniscus injury. My concern here is that Jay Gruden clearly dislikes the limitations AP places on his scheme. It would not shock me if he was splitting early down reps with Wendell Smallwood, who fits the scheme better. Obviously Chris Thompson is going to get all the work they think he can handle.
Dare Ogunbowale, Bucs
In deeper PPR formats, he could end up being a thing. No carries but he was targeted
Gus Edwards, Ravens
For deep leagues or 12-team standard league—Edwards ran well, was involved early and got some red zone usage. He’s the guy if anything happens to Ingram. If your league rosters over 200, he should be rostered,
Mike Davis, Bears
In deep leagues, he’ll have some bye week replacement appeal, but the bigger value is what happens if Montgomery were to go down. Davis is a legit baller and he can handle a workload if need be. Can play all three downs.
Frank Gore, Bills
It … is … alive. Gore continues to run pretty well for any age but he’s no longer involved as a receiver so his value a s apart timer is limited to deeper—preferably non-PPR leagues.
Rex Burkhead, Patriots
He’s a now player for deep PPR leaguers but he looked good out there and most importantly, healthy.
Darren Sproles, Eagles
As I said on the pod, I suspect that his value will go down as we move forward, but in deeper formats, he could have flex appeal.
Mark Walton, Dolphins
This one probably surprises some folks, but Walton got a few snap and looked springy. He’s a very talented back who could do something if either Drake or Ballage gets hurt, and with the kind of sledding the offensive line will create, they very well may get hurt. Walton could be a PPR gem if he’s getting enough action. In 14-teamers and larger, he’s a guy to monitor or even add.
Parris Campbell, Colts
Devin Funchess broke his collarbone and will be out until at least Week 10. In my view, that will be too late for him, because Campbell will become a fixture due to his super freaky nature. He’s got more ceiling than anybody else out there for my money. Deon Cain is another Colts receiver to target, but I’d be going after him in deeper formats. As I said in the WW podcast, you DON’T need to spend heavy to get him as he’s not being pimped anywhere but here. He’s a guy to land with a lower bid (or secondary claim) while using your big money on the guys who went off.
Terry McLaurin, Washington
McLaurin is one of my favorite rookie receivers, and he’s looking like he’s a little bit ahead of schedule with five balls for 125 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. The Ohio State product is bigger than many realize, at six feet tall and weighing 208 pounds. He looks like he’s already Washington’s number one receiver—unofficially playing 93 percent of the offensive snaps. I watched that game end-to-end and he rarely left the field. McLaurin was my number one receiver target this week before I’d seen the news on Funchess. He’s still arguably the best option. Close call depending on what you care about most.
John Ross, Bengals
Two scores and a 12 freaking targets are a serious attention-grabber. Long time Rotobahn readers know of my love for Ross’ talents, and, until AJ Green returns, he’ll continue to see volume, and we’re talking deep volume too. Ross is not my top add BUT he IS my top short term add and he could be of considerable help to you for 2-6 weeks—depending of Green’s status.
Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Ravens
Brown played sparsely, but when he was targeted, it was a fireworks display. Granted, the Dolphins defense was an abomination, but we saw that old Hollywood explosiveness that we saw at Oklahoma. We also saw a solid connection building between Brown and Lamar Jackson, to the tune of four catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns. It won’t be like this every week and unlike with McLaurin, we have health risks with Brown. Still, the upside was on full display even though Hollywood is just getting healthy. This kind of talent is always a priority add.
A.J. Brown, Titans
He played less than half (unofficially) of the Titan’s offensive snaps, but he made, by far, the biggest impact. What was telling was that he out-snapped free agent signing Adam Humphries by a decent margin. That’s a great sign this early in the going. Tennessee is a conservative team, so targets are hard to come by for any receiver, but if Brown continues to earn more time, and specifically, time in the slot, he could become a weekly starter in 12-team leagues. He’s a player to add this week in all PPR formats and all leagues with 12 or more teams.
DK Metcalf, Seahawks
I have not yet watched this game, so I will hopefully update this later on, but the usage alone is enough to place him as a target for tonight’s bids. Led Seattle in targets, which is huge given that he just had knee surgery.
Deebo Samuel, 49ers
He didn’t do much but he led the 49ers receivers in snaps so he is a must-add player as we speak. I’ll be watching this game soon, so expect an update here.
Mecole Hardman, Chiefs
He played major snaps after Tyreek Hill left with a shoulder injury and with Hill likely to miss multiple games, Hardman could be a very nice upside WR3 and a potential panacea for Hill teams. He’s madly explosive and you don’t need much else in the Chiefs’ scheme. Demarcus Robinson is also worth a look in deeper leagues assuming Hill misses some time. We’re hearing 2-3 weeks at present.
Diontae Johnson, Steelers
One of my favorite receivers to come out this year. He’s good at a lot of things. He can get off the line despite not being a big receiver and he’s a serious play-maker. I’m not shocked that they are slow rolling him to some degree, but I’d be surprised if we don’t see more of him soon. I’d stash him now if possible or at least make it a priority if you open up a roster spot. He fits well with Big Ben, too.
Jamison Crowder, Jets
He’s best deployed in full PPR scoring but don’t let last week’s low yardage fool you, this guy can make big plays too. The Bills are a tough defense and they were able to pay closer attention to Crowder than they would if Chris Herndon was active. Things should balance out going forward. Fewer catches but more yardage.
Tre’Quan Smith, Saints
I love his game and he obviously has a lot of upside if he can pass Ted Ginn on the depth chart. I think it’ll happen if he stays healthier than he did last year. He’s a shaky flex right now, but he could be a weekly play within the month.
Marquise Goodwin, 49ers
He played a lot (74%) so I’ll overlook the meager production and continue to buy the upside. He’s playable right now if you need an option. He’s always a risk to go down.
Trey Quinn, Washington
He played almost all the snaps so he could really do some things for as long as he can stay healthy. I had Quinn fairly high in The 500, so some folks may already have him, but he’s a guy to target for immediate production.
Cole Beasley, Bills
In full PPR formats he’s a real sleeper. While Josh Allen limits his appeal with his lack of accuracy, there’s also a unique connection here. Beasley uncovers with ease against most slot corners and Allen has an easy sightline on those inside routes. This could become a thing.
Preston Williams, Dolphins
Most of you know how much I love his talent. He was my WR1 for rookies heading into the combine. Was really bummed that he slipped through the draft. Now he’s producing early and he can help you now in deeper leagues. My concern is what happens once Fitzmagic turns tragic and they go to Rosen—who is less aggressive and less able to deal with the cluster-fuck that is the Miami “pocket.” So I’d add him and use him as a flex in deeper leagues and pray it lasts.
DeVante Parker, Dolphins
For Parker, my take is very similar compared to Wilson. I like Wilson more because Parker has NEVER stayed healthy. They’ll be somewhat productive during the Fitz phase.
Chris Conley, Jaguars
I’m a bigger fan of Conley and he will probably be the cheaper add in comparison to Chark. They both made big impacts last week with the team in catchup mode. Both should start going forward though we do need to keep an eye on Marqis Lee.
DJ Chark, Jaguars
I’ve never been his biggest fan, BUT he’s not without value or merit. He’s big and crazy fast and he has some agility to go with it. What he lacks are ball skills, but if he can get open frequently enough, his team will likely live with the drops.
Breshad Perriman, Bucs
In deep leagues, he can be a weekly flex because they are going to throw the ball plenty and they use a lot of trips–and it’s always going to be the same three by the looks of things.
Myles Boykin, Ravens
He’s a stash though he did score in very limited action. Boykin and Hollywood both played sparingly, but Seth Roberts and Chris Moore will be giving up most of their snaps soon enough. Boykin’s a target in deep formats and on the watch list in smaller ones.
Willie Snead, Ravens
A deep PPR option who will probably fade over the next half season—as others emerge, but he’s viable right now in 14-team formats.
Keesean Johnson, Cardinals
He played 76% of the snaps so he’s a guy to taget in deeper formats due to the high octane nature of the Cardinals scheme—assuming they get the thing cranking.
Hunter Renfrow, Raiders
He could earn a role at some point, and they are obviously desperate to find targets. In deep PPR league, I’ll burn a roster spot for a test drive.
Jakeem Grant, Dolphins
If Albert Wilson (calf) misses this week with a calf injury, Grant brings a lot of the same explosive traits to the table.
Cody Latimer, Giants
One of my few misses from 2014, Latimer is a big strong dude with enough speed to challenge corners on deep routes. His calling card, and the reason he’s stuck around as a pro, is his blocking, which is top shelf, but if Sterling Shepard misses Week 2 with a concusion, Latimer is a legit flex play in 12-team leagues. It’ll be a short window of relevance, but it’s there if you need it.
T.J. Hockenson, Lions
If you are a Rotobahn reader, then there’s a good chance you already have Hockenson, but if you let him pass by on draft day, you have one more shot. This guy will be universally owned by the end of this week. If you already have a stud tight end, then maybe you will prioritize another position, but I like this kid enough to add him just to set up a trade. He’s got that much potential. As if six catches for 131 yards and a touchdown didn’t tip you off on that. The deeper your league’s rosters, the more you want this player, but there are no leagues where I wouldn’t be making an effort.
Darren Waller, Raiders
He’s available in more than half of Yahoo leagues and based on his usage on Monday Night versus the Broncos, I’m ready to take the plunge if tight end help is what I seek. He lacks the superstar upside of Hockenson, but he has a secure role in his offense and has a solid line on weekly targets.
Chris Herndon, Jets
Easy stash if you have need at tight and a roster spot to play with. Based on the Jets tight end usage in Week 1—four targets for Ryan freakin’ Griffin, Herndon could be a weekly stater when he returns in Week 6.
Jack Doyle, Colts
He played ahead of Eric Ebron as expected and he played 68% of the snaps which is very encouraging given his injuries. He only had one grab but it was a nice catch and run and I think we can expect more of that as we move ahead.
Noah Fant, Broncos
He’s an offensive tight end and he played 81% of the snaps in Week 1. That’s a good sign for value going forward. Only two catches on five targets but still, not bad for a rookie tight end in his first outing.
Irv Smith, Vikings
He played significant snaps and who knows what might happen in games where they actually throw. He’s a nice add in deep leagues and in TE premium formats.
Jimmy Graham, Packers
He was uninspiring to be honest, but we saw Rodgers giving him some trust so he’ll have some value on most weeks. Definitely a decent free pickup.
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins
He’s been looking pretty good lately and he was active in Week 1, playing 68 percent of the snaps and seeing six targets.
Vernon Davis, Washinton
His big play was pretty awesome but it was also non-repeatable due to a very odd sequence of events. Still, if Jordan Reed is out, VD is a guy you can start. He’s a horses for courses pickup and could be a good add if Reed is a guy you need.