It’s time to take stock of the winners and losers from week one of NFL action. Opening weekend was great with plenty of surprises to boot, but how should you be feeling about your team? You might be wondering if you should panic about your first round draft pick. Or if your seventeenth round sleeper is really going to pay off. Hold your horses. It’s only week one, but trends have to start somewhere, so let’s take a look.
(All point totals in standard scoring)
If you were to tell someone that Green Bay and New Orleans would face off to the tune of 38-3, you would assume that Aaron Rodgers did Aaron Rodgers things and obliterated the Saints. Nope. Aaron Rodgers (we’ll get to him later) wasn’t exactly good, while Jameis Winston was exactly good. Great, in fact. The yardage wasn’t impressive (148 yds) but the touchdowns were (5) which was good for 29.6 standard fantasy points. Winston has always had huge upside, but he’s had some teeny, tiny, nagging little troubles with turnovers. Week one was fun, and there might be more like it for Winston and the Saints, but don’t expect this to be an every week affair.
Kyler Murray (33.5 pts)also went full blown bonkers throwing four touchdowns and running for another just for good measure. Unlike Winston, I think Murray keeps this up, proving why he was one of the first QBs to come off of most managers boards this draft season.
And of course we can’t forget Pat Mahomes (33.2 pts). I don’t think there is anything that needs to be said about the guy that you don’t already know. If you are facing off against Mahomes, buckle up, it’s about to be a less than pleasant week for you.
Aaron Rodgers (1.32 pts). Oof. What was that? Rodgers looked disinterested and indecisive. Obviously, he’s too good for this to be a trend. Or, he is sabotaging the Packers as one last prank before he retires.
People have been drafting Joe Mixon for what seems like an eternity now hoping that he would make good on his RB1 upside. He sure got off to a good start this year. Mixon put up 127 yards on the ground with an additional 23 yards in the air and a rushing TD which was good for 21 standard fantasy points. Will this finally be the year of Mixon?
Melvin Gordon (17.8 pts) shut up the the Javonte Williams (4.1 pts) truthers by outgaining the rookie back with fewer touches (15-14). The fact that the workload was equally split should concern those who roster Gordon, but enjoy the ride while it lasts. Gordon has always been an above average talent, and should see plenty of opportunity in Denver.
Will D’Andre Swift be ready for week one? Or wont he? A lot of fantasy managers hemmed and hawed over that since drafting, and it appears there was little to worry about. Same goes for those who roster Jamaal Williams. Apparently, at least in week one, both backs are worth rostering, as Swift put up 16.4 points while Williams finished the day with 17. If anything, the addition of Jared Goff should be exciting because the dude is a dump off machine.
And finally, the one that no one saw coming: Eli Mitchell. With Trey Sermon being a surprise inactive, and Raheem Mostert playing his favorite game of “getting hurt immediately”, Eli Mitchell was able to take over the San Francisco backfield to the tune of 16.4 fantasy points (104 rush yds and one TD). Could this be his backfield? Who knows. The 49ers backfield is as hard to predict as the New York Stock Exchange.
The Cowboys aren’t going to throw the ball 1,000 times every week, right? Right?!? If you have a friend who rosters Ezekiel Elliott (3.9 pts) you ought to call them and check in on them. Listen, Zeke didn’t look like himself last year, but there were a lot of mitigating factors that were in play. However, if he continues to look like he’s lost a step, people who spent a top five overall pick on Elliott are well within their right to panic.
Anyone who spent an early to early-ish pick on Trey Sermon (inactive). He wasn’t just a bust, he didn’t even suit up. Considering he was going somewhere in between rounds six and eight, that hurts big time. Even worse was the fact that Eli Mitchell had such a great performance.
Aaron Jones (2.2 pts) was also an early to mid first round pick, and totally boffed it this week with less than ten yards on the ground. Of course, all of Green Bay sucked. Expect this to change next week when they play Detroit.
Expectations have been lowered for the former first overall fantasy pick, but those who roster Saquon Barkley (2.7 pts) still might be panicking a bit today. It’s okay, y’all. He’s going to get healthy and you can probably expect that to be his worst performance of the year.
Raheem Mostert will be out for the next eight weeks.
Derrick Henry (7.7 pts) put up a dud, but it could have been worse.
Apparently Urban Meyer is actually going to get Carlos Hyde involved in the run game. Those who roster James Robinson (5.4 pts) might actually want to panic a bit.
Najee Harris (4.9 pts)is a great talent, but oh man that Pittsburgh offensive line is brutal. He’ll have the volume all year, but whether he can do anything with it will remain to be seen.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Ronald Jones II (-0.6) fumbled and was never heard from again.
Sterling Shepard (17.3 pts) made good on the preseason hype surrounding him, which can be attributed to volume and opportunity. In week one, he caught seven of nine targets for 113 yards. True, when Saquon Barkley is 100% and Kenny Golladay return, there will probably be less to go around for Shepard. Don’t forget, though, that Shepard was supposed to be the next big deal in New York when he was drafted. He’s not a knock-your-socks-off talent, but he can definitely handle the opportunity if it is given to him.
Amari Cooper (25.9 pts)is stuck in a trio of great receivers, so he can’t be trusted, right? Well, him and Dak sure seem on the same page. Cooper brought in thirteen of his sixteen targets for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Cooper finishing the season as WR1 isn’t too wild of a possibility.
Tyreek Hill (26.1 pts) did Tyreek Hill things almost gaining 200 yards through the air. Hill finishing as the overall WR1 would be almost expected.
Deebo Samuel (22.9 pts) didn’t disappoint. He hauled in nine of twelve targets which was good for 189 yards and a touchdown.
Corey Davis (21.7 pts) might finally have his breakout year with big armed Zach Wilson throwing him the ball. This Sunday he was good for two TDs.
Is Ja’Marr Chase (15.9 pts) the WR1 in Cincinnati? It sure looked like it in week one. I wouldn’t bank on this one yet because Tee Higgins is a superb talent and Tyler Boyd isn’t chump change himself, but Chase and quarterback Joe Burrow have experience with each other dating back to their days at LSU.
Is Antonio Brown washed? Antonio Brown (18.7 pts) is definitely not washed. He was a mid-late round favorite for many this draft season, and it wouldn’t be surprising to seem him put up a monster year, even with all those mouths to feed in Tampa Bay.
Brandon Aiyuk (0.0 pts) did absolutely nothing. Like, he didn’t even play. Those who roster Trey Sermon and those who roster Aiyuk ought to get together and really hug it out. Except they can’t. Because, you know, COVID. This is another situation that might be worthy of panic.
Julio Jones (2.9 pts) was more seen and less heard in his debut with the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. While I don’t expect Julio to be the force that he was in Atlanta, I also can’t imagine that he is going to be reduced to a bit role player. He’s more of a mid level WR2 instead of a WR1, but still very worthy of starting week in and week out.
Why didn’t Rob Gronkowski (21 pts) get any preseason love? I simply don’t get it. He and Tom Brady are only, oh, I don’t know, the best QB/TE duo in the history of the game and he’s also had a whole year of learning the Tampa Bay offense. He’s a high end locked and loaded TE1 every single week he suits up.
I think everyone saw a big year coming for T.J. Hockenson (17.7 pts) but it could be bananas big with Goff being told by the coaching staff (presumably) not to throw anything over ten yards.
Kyle Pitts (3.1) can’t help it that the Falcons are really bad. However, the Falcons can totally help it when it comes to the wunderkinds usage. I don’t think he’s going to wind up being the overall TE1 like some might suggest, but I don’t think Atlanta will be totally clueless as it pertains to his usage all year.