Hot Fire Fantasy Football Questions (Week 1)
Our “Hot Fire Fantasy Questions” series begins taking a look at Week 1 following up recent news, fantasy performances, and implications for owners moving forward. Our Hot Fire contributors from our Fantasy Footballers writing staff includes: Matt Okada (@FantasySensei), Ben Cummins (@BenCumminsFF), Nate Hamilton (@DomiNateFF), Ryan Weisse (@TheFantasyFive), Eric Ludwig (@FF_Gouge) and Travis Strickland (@DFS_Travis). Give them a follow on Twitter.
Make sure you listen to today’s podcast to get Andy, Mike, and Jason’s reactions from all the Week 1 action.
1. Whose fantasy performance in Week 1 was exactly what you thought they would be all offseason?
Remember when I said Fournette would be a bell cow running back this year, and an RB1 in fantasy? Well that’s exactly what he was in Week 1, against a strong Texans defense. Fournette had 29 touches for 124 yards and a goal line touchdown, and the Jaguars absolutely forced him at Houston all day long. You’ll see 20 carries and a goal line touchdown nearly every week from Fournette and he’ll continue performing as long as he’s healthy. -Matt Okada
He was my Fantasy MVP due to the offense he plays in and past production when healthy. He looked great in Week 1 catching 9 passes for 85 yards and proved he’s going to be a big part of the offense this season. -Ben Cummins
I’m probably going to get some eye rolls and “oh yeah right” responses to this, but I loved Tarik Cohen this offseason. Here’s what I wrote about him in April after the NFL draft. Once I saw him breakout in preseason, I was all in. I’m not overreacting to one good week as he’s still only interesting in PPR leagues. I still don’t consider him to be a much better play than other 3rd down pass catching backs like Theo Riddick, Duke Johnson, Darren Sproles, etc. -Travis Strickland
I’m going to go negative with this one. I literally took him off of my draft board when he went to Green Bay. They don’t use their TEs like other teams, especially the Patriots, and there was no way he’d live up to his draft position. The end result was 3 catches for 43 yards in a game where Aaron Rodgers threw for over 300 yards. -Ryan Weisse
I’ve mentioned Hopkins in many preseason articles calling for him to have a better season. Even with the awful play at quarterback, he ended Week 1 with 7 receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown. DeShaun Watson could be what Hopkins needs to get back to WR1 status. -Nate Hamilton
2. Which player disappointed fantasy owners the most? What is their outlook moving forward?
His matchup was phenomenal and still we got nothing. Don’t hit the panic button though. Stay the course. Bell reporting to the team just over a week before the Steelers’ first game played a much bigger role than we wanted to let ourselves believe. As soon as next week, Bell could be the stud workhorse RB we all know and love. We won’t have to wait long to see his first huge game. -Ben Cummins
When you expect a player to easily be one of the top two at his position in a given week, they’re intrinsically a big candidate for disappointment. Bell’s 47 total yards, though, stung owners especially bad because of the matchup. Redraft, dynasty, DFS, wherever you had shares of Bell you were expecting a big game. Instead, it was one of his least productive in recent memory. That said, expectations for Bell should not change. He may be a little rusty following a contract holdout, but he will be elite very soon. -Matt Okada
Rob Gronkowski. This one is easy to break down. Tom Brady had an off night (16 for 36) and Eric Berry shut Gronk down all night. Don’t hit the panic button. Rob Gronkowski will give you the value you spent on him moving forward. -Nate Hamilton
I hate Andy Dalton. I bought him all over and his performance was disgusting. Throwing for 170 yards, 0 TDs, and 5 turnovers is not the way to start a season. His outlook is the waiver wire and far away from my teams! -Ryan Weisse
I knew Baltimore had a defense that was probably a bit underrated, but I never expected an implosion by the Cincinnati offense. I loved Andy Dalton going into this year, but I’m significantly less excited after that game. -Eric Ludwig
Joe Flacco, Russell Wilson and Brian Hoyer all had rough days at their respective offices but nobody stunk it up quite like Andy Dalton. Zero TDs, three interceptions in the first half plus a lost fumble left many of those that played him with negative fantasy points. If you have him, then at least you got him late and I wouldn’t blame you for hate dropping him. That said, if you’re thin at the QB position, he’s still worth picked up if someone else in your league drops him. This will almost definitely be his worst game in 2016. He’s still a great streaming candidate. -Travis Strickland
3. Which rookie performance stood out the most to you? How should we view them for the ROS?
He needs to be picked up immediately in all leagues. His pass catching skill set will come in handy for the point chasing Bears all season long. Depending on your situation, Cohen already looks to have instant flex appeal after a phenomenal Week 1 performance. -Ben Cummins
He was involved a ton on the ground and in the pass game on the Panthers offense. McCaffrey looks to be a better Theo Riddick as he is more than a pass catching back. Temper your expectations of him being an elite option though, Jonathan Stewart is still heavily involved in this offense, receiving more carries than McCaffrey and even catching a TD pass from Cam Newton on a play where McCaffrey was on the field. -Nate Hamilton
He didn’t have a huge game but he was heavily involved in the Panthers offensive game plan, receiving 18 total touches. Overall the offense was pretty anemic, but it was no fault of McCaffrey who made several key 3rd down conversions and would often be found lining up as a slot receiver even when Jonathan Stewart was in the backfield. -Travis Strickland
The Rams’ rookie receiver made some tough catches, posted 76 yards on four catches, and hauled in a touchdown. Moreover, he probably would’ve had more production had Los Angeles not been running away with an absolute slaughter of the Colts. Especially in PPR, Kupp is a legitimate starting fantasy WR and could be one of the best values of the year considering the trust he’s earned from a resurgent Goff. -Matt Okada
4. Which surprising Week 1 QB (Smith, Kizer, Taylor, Goff, others) should be picked up? Why?
These QBs are still very matchup dependent. Good luck hitting the lottery when playing these guys. If you want safety, we know who Smith and Taylor are and what they’re capable of. If you’re looking for a dynasty QB, Goff would be my choice now that he should be part of an improving offense moving forward. Go Kizer if you like to gamble. -Eric Ludwig
Goff looked great but he did it against the terrible Colts. Smith had possibly the greatest game of his entire career. Tyrod still has questions regarding his long-term job security. As for Kizer, he looked solid in his first game against a tough Steelers’ defense and offers rushing upside. I’m intrigued by his metaphorical ceiling and would take a shot on Kizer before any of the other listed names. -Ben Cummins
I hate to say it because I’m not a big supporter of him but Tyrod Taylor should be picked up in all leagues. This quarterback was a top 10 fantasy QB last season and the world is ready to forget it. Yes, it was the Jets, but Tyrod looked explosive and extended a number of plays on his own using his feet, something that heavily contributes to his fantasy value. Jordan Matthews looked great and Charles Clay may end up being a tight end to own thanks to the chemistry he and Tyrod Taylor showed. -Nate Hamilton
He was the QB I trusted most out of this list before Week 1 because of his rushing abilities, so I’ll stick with him. As long as he’s able to continue to rack up fantasy points with his legs, he’ll be in weekly consideration as a streaming candidate. Kizer deserves honorable mention for the exact same reason. -Travis Strickland
It isn’t so much Smith’s stats themselves (which were explosive), it was the offensive scheming success and the performance of his weaponry. The Chiefs have a LOT of options. Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt can both take Alex Smith’s short passes and turn them into solid fantasy points. Plus, it’s possible the whole Mahomes-scaring-Smith-into-more-aggression narrative holds water, as Smith threw the ball down the field and threw it well. Smith can be a very solid QB2, superflex, or even startable QB1 in the right matchups. -Matt Okada