Fantasy Football Studs & Stinkers of Week 1

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With Week 1 mostly in the books, The Fantasy Footballers review and react to the Studs & Stinkers performances on the latest episode.  Here, I highlight the best and worst fantasy finishes from Week 1.  Every week, we post a list of studs and stinkers in this article series.  I also provide commentary on a handful of notable studs and stinkers worth highlighting.

Note that all fantasy points are in the ½-point-per-reception format.  Additionally, this article series excludes Monday night players since the Studs & Duds podcast episode airs on Mondays.  To get the full breakdown, don’t miss Week 1 Studs & Stinkers.

Introduction / Baseline

Whether this is your first fantasy football season or you’re a veteran, it’s helpful to place fantasy football production in context.  Before we look at both the huge performances and huge disappointments from Week 1, let’s look at what happened in 2019.  Last season, there were only 11 total fantasy performances of 40+ points from quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends.  To put that into perspective, there were 79 such instances of 30+ points and 423 such instances of 20+ points.  What does that tell us?  A 40+ point game is legendary.  30+ games are great, and we should expect five or so players to reach this mark every week.  And finally, we should expect about 25 players every week to eclipse the 20+ point mark.  The table below summarizes the fantasy football stud games among QB, RB, WR, and TE in 2019.

Biggest Studs

Russell Wilson (QB | Seahawks)
Week 1 at ATL: 31/35 for 322 passing yards & 4 TD | 3 rushes for 29 yards
Upcoming Schedule: NE, DAL, @MIA

Russell Wilson is one of the greatest players in the NFL.  Despite having one of the league’s best quarterbacks, the Seahawks have been a run-first team in recent years.  Both Seahawks and fantasy football fans have been complaining and requesting to #LetRussCook and lean more pass-heavy.  Are we finally there?  I personally don’t think so.  He surpassed 35 pass attempts in 6 games last season.  He also rushed 3+ times in 13 games last season.  I don’t think his workload suggests we should expect a major shift from what we saw last year.  That being said, Wilson was incredibly productive this past week.  As Andy said, this may have literally been his best game ever – which is saying a lot.  He has the weapons to be a league winner.  I hope this is the Wilson we’ll see moving forward, but I personally doubt it – I think he’ll be inconsistent but have a handful of blow-up games.  For reference, Wilson only eclipsed 17 fantasy points in two games from Weeks 7-16 last season.

Aaron Rodgers (QB | Packers)
Week 1 at MIN: 32/44 for 364 passing yards & 4 TD
Upcoming Schedule: DET, @NO, ATL

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What is this, three years ago?  Rodgers was ELECTRIC in his season debut.  Despite minimal additions to the seemingly bare receiving core in Green Bay, Rodgers went nuts.  He looked like old Aaron Rodgers, who used to be drafted in the first or second round of fantasy drafts.  Will this stick?  Time will tell… He had a few blow-up games last year but was inconsistent.  He’s a fine flier Week 2 against a Lions defense that Mitch Trubisky just torched.

Davante Adams (WR | Packers)
Week 1 at MIN: 14 receptions for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns on 17 targets
Upcoming Schedule: DET, @NO, ATL

Adams caught nearly half of the passes thrown by Aaron Rodgers.  He looked incredible, as we all expected.  Those who drafted him early this year were rewarded with a monster first game.  Adams leads all players in total fantasy points (34.6) as of Monday morning.  Adams’ outlook looks good.  Very good.  Like, sky is the limit good.

Calvin Ridley (WR | Falcons)
Week 1 at SEA: 9 receptions for 130 yards & 2 touchdowns on 12 targets | 1 rush for -1 yards
Upcoming Schedule: @DAL, CHI, @GB

Calvin, Calvin, Calvin.  The dude went OFF in his first game as a third-year receiver.  While teammate Julio secured more yards, Ridley had a great game himself and topped it off with two touchdowns.  But it was Ridley who had more fantasy points.  Ridley was impressive, and he even had the intuition to scramble in the endzone to catch a touchdown pass by an under-pressure Matt Ryan.  I think Ridley is going to be a top-12 receiver this season, although we certainly shouldn’t expect a gigantic 29+ point game every week.  It’s Ridley season, you’ve been warned.

Josh Jacobs (RB | Raiders)
Week 1 at CAR: 25 rushes for 93 yards and 3 TD | 4 receptions for 46 yards on 6 targets
Upcoming Schedule: NO, @NE, BUF

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Jacobs had an incredible day on Sunday, making the most out of his 29 total touches.  He recorded the most receptions of his young career, which speak volumes to his upside this season.  Jacobs is Andy’s #MyGuy, and it’s looking like a great pick so far.  While it’s early, Jacobs was a rushing beast last season and appears primed for a monster season.  He has a very tough schedule in the next few games, but his talent and huge workload should put him in a good position to deliver top value again.

Mark Andrews (TE | Ravens)
Week 1 vs CLE: 5 receptions for 58 yards & 2 touchdowns on 6 targets
Upcoming Schedule: @HOU, KC, @WAS

Andrews is the real deal.  Fantasy GM’s that grabbed him a couple of rounds later than Kelce/Kittle are feeling great.  Andrews continues his role as potentially THE most valuable receiving option for Lamar Jackson.  Andrews looked great as usual, and he logged the highest snap count of his career.  Baltimore is looking like Baltimore, and Andrews is looking like Andrews.

Biggest Stinkers

Nick Chubb (RB | Browns)
Week 1 at BAL: 10 rushes for 60 yards | 1 reception for 2 yards on 2 targets | 1 fumble
Upcoming Schedule: CIN, WAS, @DAL

Chubb was a dud in Week 1, which has fantasy GM’s freaking out as we speak.  Chubb was an early second-round pick.  And he was productive with the touches he had, averaging six yards-per-carry.  But only 10 rushing attempts and 1 reception?  That’s concerning.  But don’t freak out just yet.  The Browns played a top-2 offense in the NFL, and the Ravens also have a great defense.  Chubb was unproductive for fantasy in one of the toughest matchups he’ll have all season.  Better days are ahead, but it’s worth noting that Kareem Hunt out-touched Chubb in Week 1.

Odell Beckham Jr. (WR | Browns)
Week 1 at BAL: 3 receptions for 22 yards on 10 targets
Upcoming Schedule: CIN, WAS, @DAL

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Odell Beckham was a polarizing player this offseason.  I was an OBJ believer.  I still am…but I’m concerned.  3 receptions on 10 targets?  Yikes.  I think that Mayfield is the primary cause of OBJ’s struggles.  Mayfield looked bad.  The Browns were supposed to be better this season, right?  I certainly thought they would be.  I don’t know what else to say – the range of outcomes for OBJ this season is somewhere between WR1 overall and WR40 overall.  Your guess is as good as mine, but I’m still in on OBJ.  In fact, I’m looking to acquire him in fantasy leagues…but I admit it’s a risky move.

Michael Thomas (WR | Saints)
Week 1 vs TB: 3 receptions for 17 yards on 5 targets
Upcoming Schedule: @LV, GB, @DET

The last time Michael Thomas was limited to 3 receptions was Week 6 of 2017 (excluding Week 17 matchups where he rests).  This was a strange outcome for a Saints team that beat Tampa Bay in a high stakes matchup.  Apparently, he has a high-ankle sprain, which some players can play through.  Thomas will rebound, but the injury is worth monitoring.  Better days are ahead.

Other Studs

QB           

  • Lamar Jackson vs CLE — 20/25 for 275/3/0 — 7/45/0 rushing
    • @HOU, KC, @WAS
  • Josh Allen vs NYJ — 33/46 for 312/2/0 — 14/57/1 rushing
    • @MIA, LAR, @LV
  • Mitch Trubisky @DET — 20/36 for 242/3 — 3/26/0 rushing
    • NYG, @ATL, IND
  • Kyler Murray @SF — 26/40 — 230/1/1 — 13/91/1 — rushing
    • WSH, DET, @CAR
  • Cam Newton vs MIA — 15/19 for 155/0/0 — 15/75/2 rushing
    • @SEA, LV, @KC

**Honorable Mentions at QB

  • Matt Ryan vs SEA — 37/54 for 450/2/1
    • @DAL, CHI, @GB
  • Patrick Mahomes vs HOU — 24/32 for 211/3/0 
    • @LAC. @BAL, NE
  • Gardner Minshew vs IND — 19/20 for 173/3/0 — 5/19/0 rushing
    • @TEN, MIA, @CIN

RB

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  • Christian McCaffrey vs LV – – 23/96/2 — 3/38/0 on 4 targets
    • @TB, @LAC, ARI
  • Raheem Mostert vs ARI — 15/56/0 — 4/95/1 on 5 targets
    • @NYJ, @NYG, PHI
  • Ezekiel Elliott @LAR – 22/96/1/ — 3/31/1 on 4 targets
    • ATL, @SEA, CLE
  • Nyheim Hines @JAX — 7/28/1 — 8/45/1 on 8 targets
    • MIN, NYJ, @CHI
  • Dalvin Cook vs GB — 12/50/2 — 1/-2/0 on 2 targets
    • @IND, TEN, @HOU
  • Alvin Kamara vs TB — 12/16/1 — 5/51/1 on 8 targets
    • @LV, GB, @DET
  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs HOU — 25/138/1 — 0 receptions on 2 targets
    • @LAC, @BAL, NE
  • Chris Carson @ATL — 6/21/0 — 6/45/2 on 6 targets
    • NE, DAL, @MIA
  • Malcolm Brown vs DAL — 18/79/2 — 3/31/0 on 4 targets
    • @PHI, @BUF, NYG

**Honorable Mentions at RB

 

WR

**Honorable Mentions at WR

  • Russell Gage vs SEA — 9/114/0 on 12 targets
    • @DAL, CHI, @GB

TE           

Other Stinkers

QB           

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  • Jared Goff vs DAL — 20/31 for 275/0/1 — 4/15/0 rushing
    • @PHI, @BUF, NYG

**Honorable Mentions at QB

  • Tyrod Taylor @CIN — 16/30 for 208/0 — 6/7/0 rushing
    • KC. CAR. @TB
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick @NE — 20/30 for 191/0/3 — 5/18/0 rushing
    • BUF, @JAX, SEA

RB

  • Joe Mixon vs LAC — 19/69/0 — 1/2/0 on 2 targets — 1 fumble
    • @CLE. @PHI, JAX
  • Devin Singletary vs NYJ — 9/30/0 — 5/23/0 on 7 targets

**Honorable Mentions at RB

  • Chris Thompson vs IND — Player Name @/vs — rushing stats — receiving stats
    • @TEN, MIA, @CIN
  • Tarik Cohen @DET — 7/41/0 — 2/6/0 on 2 targets
  • David Montgomery @DET — 13/64/0 — 1/10/0 on 3 targets

WR           

  • Keenan Allen @CIN — 4/37/0 on 8 targets
    • KC, CAR, @TB
  • Mike Evans @NO — 1/2/1 on 4 targets
    • CAR. @DEN. LAC
  • Cooper Kupp vs DAL — 4/40/0 on 5 targets
    • @PHI, @BUF, NYG
  • D.J. Moore vs LV — 4/54/0 on 9 targets
    • @TB, @LAC, ARI
  • T.Y. Hilton @JAX — 4/53/0 on 9 targets
    • MIN, NYJ, @CHI
  • A.J. Green vs LAC — 5/51/0 on 9 targets
  • Tyler Boyd vs LAC — 4/33/0 on 5  targets
    • @CLE. @PHI, JAX
  • Marvin Jones vs CHI (Kenny G inactive) — 4/55/0 on 8 targets
    • @GB, @ARI, NO

**Honorable Mentions at WR

TE           

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