Which Week 1 NFL Daily Fantasy Performances Should You Buy for the Future?
Points, points and more points! There were an abundance of outstanding performances in Week 1, but it’s critical we figure out which ones are worth noting. These are primarily guys who were injured last season that we may have forgotten about, guys who switched teams or simply players that slipped through the crack that weren’t necessarily at the top of their position in terms of salary. There were some other terrific performances, but they mostly had to do with injuries to teammates, injuries to opponents or simple TD variance (ie Isaish Crowell).
Matt Ryan – A grand total of 568 yards of offense than included 445 through the air. We said he would be at the top of the QBs Week 1 in the NFC South Preview. The Falcons will usually be attacking through the air, but the fact that Atlanta averaged 4.9 yards per carry is a very good sign. Obviously the Saints don’t have the greatest defense, but with Julio Jones and Roddy White healthy to go with the experience Harry Douglas has gained, this passing attack shouldn’t go away any time soon (although the Falcons have a bad matchup week 2 vs. the Bengals).
Andrew Luck – It’s no surprise the Colts threw the ball a ton to play catch up at the Broncos, let alone their running game still stinks. Luck has a healthy Reggie Wayne to go with T.Y. Hilton at WR along with a healthy Dwayne Allen to go with Coby Fleener at TE. Hakeem Nicks is now also part of the group. There’s no reason why Luck shouldn’t consistently put up great numbers each week. Oh, and they play the Eagles (worst pass defense last year) at home on Monday Night Football this week.
Matthew Stafford – Whether you’re buying that Stafford is in better shape this year or not, he looked as sharp as ever Monday night against the Giants. Calvin is still megatron. Golden Tate is definitely going to help take some of the pressure off of him, who caught all six of his targets for 93 yards. Reggie Bush still has his PPR value and doing great things in space. Even though the TEs are a work in progress, this offense hasn’t changed a bit. Playing at the Panthers in Week 2 isn’t an ideal matchup though.
Marshawn Lynch – I’ll sum this up in one word – duh.
Arian Foster – Foster carried the ball 27 times for 103 yards to go with two catches for 17 yards. I get he was injured for part of last year, but is that really enough of a reason to him be projected in fantasy drafts at the level of Giovani Bernard? Plus, not only is the passing game iffy at best, the depth behind him is Jonathan Grimes and Alfred Blue I also wouldn’t bank on Foster fumbling inside the 10-yard line again. When Foster gets the right matchup (possibly Week 2 at Oakland), those stats to go with a couple TDs will put him right back at the top of fantasy RBs.
Brandon Cooks – Another pick we nailed in the same article was Brandon Cooks, who was in the perfect position to have a great game. I’ll extend that to a great rookie season. As people noticed on Sunday, he can run just about any route in the books and has terrific hands. In the Saints passing scheme, he’ll get his looks. The only downfall is that he’ll be competing with Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston for targets, but he’ll still get plenty each week. As long as Jor Haden is on Colston in Week 2 vs. the Browns, expect more of the same from Cooks.
Jeremy Maclin – What an atrocious start for Nick Foles. He had negative fantasy points for a majority of the first half. But the Eagles got it together and he looked to his best receiver in Maclin, who hauled in a clutch 68-yard TD. This is an Eagles offense that runs a lot of plays, and I expect this offense to only get better. Granted Maclin owners got a bit lucky since Maclin only caught 4 of his 10 targets (again, most of this was on Foles), but he’ll have more 100-yard games where he isn’t so reliant on TDs for production. He has a great matchup vs. the Colts on Monday Night Football this weekend. Oh, and yes, we recommended Maclin in the NFC East Preview too.
Kelvin Benjamin – While we did say the Panthers were a pass in all phases due to the low O/U, playing on the road and Cam Newton out, we did say Kelvin Benjamin was the one who was going to get some numbers and someone to keep an eye on. Since he got his TD, he turned in a terrific day. Benjamin, even though he’s a rookie, is miles ahead of any other Panthers WR. He has the speed and athleticism you want in a WR. Plus, since he’s easily a No. 1 receiver, I’m not sure why thought he was a boom or bust. With Jerricho Cotchery (11th season) and Jason Avant (9th season) as the other two primary receivers, it’s not like either of those older WRs were going to all of a sudden have a breakout season. With Carolina against the weak pass defense in the Detroit Lions (do not let the horrific NY Giants offense fool you) and Newton returning, Benjamin is a great play in Week 2.
Reggie Wayne – If you had any health concern about Wayne heading into this game, it’s gone now. He racked up nine catches on 13 targets (tied for fourth-most in the NFL for Week 1) for 98 yards. Even though Luck has plenty of weapons at his disposal, there’s no doubt Wayne is the best overall receiver on this team, despite this being his 14th season. He proved again he’s by far the best route runner and still has legit speed. The Eagles are a perfect matchup for him in Week 2, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he tacked on a TD with similar receiving stats.
Rob Gronkowski – There’s two sides to this. First, Gronk only played a limited number of snaps on the Patriots request to ease him back onto the field given his injury issues. Even so, Gronk was targeted a team–high 11 times. He only caught four of those targets, but went for 40 yards and a TD. This isn’t an epic game for Gronk, and I was concerned about how many looks he’ll get considering all the WRs Brady has this year with Patriots experience. It’s clear though Brady still considers him a go-to guy. Once there’s word Gronk is playing full time, he should put up his typical Gronk numbers.
Vernon Davis – Yes, only four catches for 44 yards (should have been five for about 70 yards, but an atrocious offensive PI call took one away). However, Davis is by far Colin Kaepernick’s favorite goal line target, even if Michael Crabtree is healthy and Stevie Johnson are now in the mix. Anytime Davis plays against a team with a weak LB core, he’s a terrific start.View all posts by Nick Juskewycz