Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season is in the books, folks!  Week 1 is the most challenging week to project due to the new variables in team coaching staffs, roster changes, incoming rookies, new playbooks, and a lack of tape available.  This is true for NFL teams as well as fantasy owners. What does that mean? It’s the perfect time to capitalize on waiver wire pickups and fantasy trades. I recommend looking for opportunities to buy players low (i.e. Davante Adams) as well as sell players high (Delanie Walker).  Regardless of your personal approach, DON’T OVERREACT! Keep an open mind and try to balance your draft day opinions with opinions after week 1. Most importantly, FOOTBALL IS BACK!

Listen to today’s episode of the Studs and Stinkers of Week 1.

Studs of the Week
QB

Lamar Jackson @MIA
17/20 for 324 passing yards & 5 TD | 3 rushes for 6 yards

Jackson exploded and became the new favorite toy for fantasy owners.  What’s surprising is that it came through the air and not on the ground.  Jackson had a safe floor but no monster games like this last season. Moving forward, Jackson has gigantic upside both as a passer and as a runner, but also remember that Miami is well on its way to a winless season.

Upcoming schedule: ARI, @KC, CLE

Dak Prescott vs NYG
25/32 for 405 passing yards & 4 TD | 4 rushes for 12 yards

Prescott impressed against a mediocre opponent.  He’s fighting for a new contract, and he appears to be the real deal after week 1.  He has pretty juicy matchups the next couple weeks…You should be confident with him as your QB moving forward.

Upcoming schedule: @WAS, MIA, @NO

Case Keenum @PHI
30/44 for 380 passing yards & 3 TD

Upcoming Schedule: DAL, CHI, @NYG

Patrick Mahomes @JAX
25/33 for 378 passing yards, 3 TD | 1 rush for 2 yards

HEEEEEE’S BAAACKKK!  Mahomes lit the world on fire once again.  He’s the real deal…the undisputed QB1. The reigning MVP is one of the most electric players on the field even if he loses his favorite receiver in Tyreek Hill.  Even if Hill misses time, fire him up!

Upcoming Schedule: @OAK, BAL, @DET

Carson Wentz vs WAS
8/39 for 313 passing yards & 3 TD | 4 rushes for 5 yards

Andy’s #MyGuy was back to 2017 form.  Wentz should continue to produce as a top quarterback option.  He has the potential to add 30 yards on the ground rushing to cushion his production, although he didn’t demonstrate that versus Washington.

Upcoming Schedule: @ATL, DET, @GB

Matthew Stafford @ARI
27/45 for 385 passing yards & 3 TD | 3 rushes for 22 yards

Stafford put up impressive numbers, although it was against a sub-par defense that was missing some top options including Patrick Peterson.  Stafford should be able to produce in fantasy when he has a good matchup. Moving forward, Stafford is a great streaming QB option when he plays a poor defense.

Upcoming Schedule: LAC, @PHI, KC

Marcus Mariota @CLE
14/24 for 248 passing yards & 3 TD | 3 rushes for 24 yards

Upcoming Schedule: IND, @JAX, @ATL

Philip Rivers vs IND
25/34 for 333 passing yards, 3 TD, & 1 interception | 1 rush for 6 yards

Upcoming Schedule: @DET, HOU, @MIA

RB

Christian McCaffrey vs LAR
19 rushes for 128 yards & 2 TD | 10 receptions for 81 yards on 11 targets

Upcoming Schedule: TB, @ARI, @HOU

Austin Ekeler vs IND
12 rushes for 58 yards & 1 TD | 6 receptions for 96 yards & 2 TD on 7 targets

Ekeler impressed big time in Melvin Gordon’s absence.  Although Gordon could return to the team at any time, Ekeler is a must-start when Gordon’s not on the field.  Furthermore, he is making the case for a higher target share even if Gordon were to return (compared to last year).

Upcoming Schedule: @DET, HOU, @MIA

Derrick Henry @CLE
19 rushes for 84 yards & 1 TD | 1 reception for 75 yards & 1 TD on 2 targets

Upcoming Schedule: IND, @JAX, @ATL

Marlon Mack @LAC
25 rushes for 174 yards & 1 TD | no targets

Mack burst onto the scene with huge production in Andrew Luck’s absence.  Although it’s foolish to jump to conclusions from one week, it appears that Mack will be more valuable than many fantasy experts predicted.  That being said, it’s concerning that he wasn’t involved in the passing game.

Upcoming Schedule: @TEN, ATL, OAK

Dalvin Cook vs ATL
21 rushes for 111 yards & 2 TD | 2 receptions for 9 yards on 2 targets

Dalvin is who we thought he was.  He’s an animal. It’s clear that the Vikings will run through Cook, which was a rumor going around in the offseason.  Kirk Cousins had just ten passing attempts in the entire game! Dalvin Cook caught as many passes as Stefon Diggs and should see more production in the passing game if/when Cousins attempts increase.

Upcoming Schedule: @GB, OAK, @CHI

Mark Ingram @MIA
14 rushes for 107 yards & 2 TD

Upcoming Schedule: ARI, @KC, CLE

David Johnson vs DET
18 rushes for 82 yards | 6 receptions for 55 yards & 1 TD on 7 targets

Upcoming Schedule: @BAL, CAR, SEA

Chris Carson vs CIN
15 rushes for 46 yards & 1 TD | 6 receptions for 35 yards & 1 TD on 7 targets

Chris Carson may be the single most underrated player in football.  If he was a first-round NFL draft pick, he probably would have been drafted at the beginning of the 2nd round among the likes of Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon in fantasy drafts.  Carson’s production in the passing game elevates him from back-end RB1 to potential top-7 at the position.

Upcoming Schedule: @PIT, NO, @ARI,

Le’Veon Bell vs BUF
17 rushes for 60 yards | 6 receptions for 32 yards & 1 TD on 9 targets

Bell impressed during an uninspiring Jets performance.  I expect the Jets to take a step forward this year, although it may take some time.  Hopefully, Bell’s trajectory continues at this rate, although Adam “crazy eyes” Gaze is less than predictable.

Upcoming Schedule: CLE, @NE, BYE

WR

Sammy Watkins @JAX
9 receptions for 198 yards & 3 TD on 11 targets

The lizard king slithered his way into the number one overall fantasy producer week 1 (before the Monday night games).  This advanced reptilian solar being shocked even the most optimistic of fantasy experts. I imagine Jason walked into the office with a pep in his step Monday morning.  I expect that this is Watkin’s best performance all year, but he should be a solid option and has earned the right to be in the top-12 discussion if Tyreek Hill misses time.

Upcoming Schedule: @OAK, BAL, @DET

DeSean Jackson vs WAS
8 receptions for 154 yard & 2 TD on 10 targets

DeSean is known as a boom or bust player, and this week was the former.  Owners may find that he has a higher floor this year with Wentz as his quarterback.  Jackson is a great flex play who has the potential to win you a matchup.

Upcoming Schedule: @ATL, DET, @GB

John Ross @SEA
7 receptions for 158 yards & 2 TD

Upcoming Schedule: SF, @BUF, @PIT

Marquise Brown @MIA
4 receptions for 147 yards & 2 TD on 5 targets

Holywood!  Brown was one of Lamar Jackon’s favorite receiving options, finishing with the second-most receptions on the team (Mark Andrews had 8 receptions).  Despite the limited targets, Brown is explosive and will be one of the top waiver-wire pickups this week.

Upcoming Schedule: ARI, @KC, CLE

T.Y. Hilton @LAC
8 receptions for 87 yards & 2 TD on 9 targets

Hilton impressed on an Andrew Luck-less offense.  Like Mack, Hilton looks like a better option than many fantasy experts predicted.  Hilton dedicated this 2019 season to best friend Andrew Luck and will hopefully be a reliable option moving forward.

Upcoming Schedule: @TEN, ATL, OAK

TE

Evan Engram @DAL
11 receptions for 116 yards & 1 TD on 14 targets

The Giants weren’t kidding when they said Engram was going to be super involved in the offense this year.  Engram looks like he could break into the elite tier of TE. He should continue to provide a nice positional advantage, at least while Eli remains the QB.

Upcoming Schedule: BUF, @TB, WAS

T.J. Hockenson @ARI
6 receptions for 131 yards & 1 TD on 9 targets

Rookie tight ends never produce, he shouldn’t be drafted in redraft leagues.  Wait, what? Hockenson might just be the exception to the rule. We shouldn’t be too optimistic after just one week, but he looks pretty darn good.  He had more receptions than Marvin Jones or Kenny Golladay, although the matchup against Arizona was an easy one. Look for him on waivers!

Upcoming Schedule: LAC, @PHI, KC

Mark Andrews @MIA
8 receptions for 108 yards & 1 TD on 8 targets

Andrews paced all Ravens in receptions in week 1.  Mark Andrews hype was growing all offseason, and it was probably understated.  Andrews was Editor-in-Chief Kyle Borgognoni’s #MyGuy this year, and he looks primed for a huge season.  He has an excellent matchup next week and is making his way into the must-start discussion (although let’s look for a couple more weeks of good production).

Upcoming Schedule: ARI, @KC, CLE

Delanie Walker @CLE
5 receptions for 55 (FIFTY-FIVE!) yards & 2 TD on 6 targets

Upcoming Schedule: IND, @JAX, @ATL

Vernon Davis (also 35 years old) @PHI
4 receptions for 59 yards & 1 TD on 7 targets

Upcoming Schedule: DAL, CHI, @NYG

Stinkers of the Week
QB

Cam Newton vs LAR
25/38 for 239 passing yards & 1 interception | 3 rushes for -2 yards

Upcoming Schedule: TB, @ARI, @HOU

Jameis Winston vs SF
20/36 for 194 passing yards, 1 TD, & 3 interceptions | 5 rushes for 13 yards

The Buccaneers disappointed this week with the exception of Chris Godwin, who managed to catch the lone touchdown pass from Winston this week.  The Arian’s led offense was disappointing all around. Hopefully, Winston improves as the season progresses.

Upcoming Schedule: @CAR, NYG, @LAR

Jared Goff @CAR
23/39 for 186 passing yards, 1 TD, & 1 interception

Upcoming Schedule: NO, @CLE, TB

Baker Mayfield vs TEN
25/38 for 285 passing yards, 1 TD, & 3 interceptions

The Browns disappointed against a solid Tennessee defense in week 1.  Mayfield spread the ball around effectively but came short in the touchdown department.  I think Mayfield (as well as the other Browns) are buy-low candidates. Expect more from him in week 2, although he has some difficult games ahead of him.

Upcoming Schedule: @NYJ, LAR, @BAL

RB

Devonta Freeman @MIN
8 rushes for 19 yards | 3 receptions for 12 yards on 4 targets

Freeman owners were left disappointed after the offseason hype that Freeman was better than ever.  In fact, the entire Falcons’ offense was surprisingly disappointing. Rest assured that better days are ahead.  They played away against a solid defensive unit. Freeman should bounce back, although it is concerning that Ito Smith received 6 carries…almost as many as Freeman.  Chalk it up to a bad week.

Upcoming Schedule: PHI, @IND, TEN

Kenyan Drake vs BAL
4 rushes for 12 yards | 2 receptions for 15 yards on 3 targets

Kalen Ballage vs BAL
5 rushes for -1 yards | 1 reception for 13 yards on 1 target

The Dolphins running backs were both the topic of heated fantasy discussions during the offseason.  We may have failed to realize just how bad the Dolphins could be this year. Several Dolphins players have demanded to be traded.  The Dolphins are the front runners for the 1st overall pick in the 2020 draft, and this should hurt Drake and Ballage this season. There are some tough matchups ahead…

Upcoming Schedule: NE, @DAL, LAC

Derrius Guice @PHI
10 rushes for 18 yards | 3 receptions for 20 yards on 3 targets

Upcoming Schedule: DAL, CHI, @NYG

Aaron Jones @CHI
13 rushes for 39 yards

Aaron Jones was #MyGuy this offseason.  He, along with every other Packers player, was a huge disappointment in week 1.  Furthermore, why was Jamaal Williams on the field so much Thursday? Anyone who watches highlight videos on youtube can see that Jones is the far superior talent.  Will head coach Matt LaFleur fall into the committee trap as he did in Tennessee early last year? I had hoped he learned his lesson, but we shall see. It’s concerning that Jones had zero targets in the passing game.  I won’t give up on Jones just yet, I am optimistic he and the Packers will bounce back from this matchup against arguably the league’s greatest defense (TBD).

Upcoming Schedule: MIN, DEN, PHI

David Montgomery vs GB
6 rushes for 18 yards | 1 reception for 27 yards on 1 target

Upcoming Schedule: @DEN, @WAS, MIN

WR

Davante Adams @CHI
4 receptions for 36 yards on 8 targets

(See Aaron Jones).  Adams disappointed Thursday against a solid defense in Chicago.  He had 80 receiving yards or a touchdown in every single game last year but failed to meet that mark in week 1.  Adams will absolutely improve, and he’s arguably the number one trade target right now. Start Adams with confidence moving forward, despite the challenging matchups in the coming weeks.

Upcoming Schedule: MIN, DEN, PHI

Mike Evans vs SF
2 receptions for 28 yards on 5 targets

Upcoming Schedule: @CAR, NYG, @LAR

Brandin Cooks @CAR
2 receptions for 39 yards on 6 targets

Upcoming Schedule: NO, @CLE, TB

Stefon Diggs vs ATL
2 receptions for 37 yards on 2 targets

Upcoming Schedule: @GB, OAK, @CHI

Robby Anderson vs BUF
3 receptions for 23 yards on 7 targets

Upcoming Schedule: CLE, @NE, BYE

Dante Pettis @ TB
1 reception for 7 yards on 1 target

Who’s the number one in San Francisco?  George Kittle. Kittle had more receptions than Dante Pettis, Marquise Goodwin, Matt Breida, Tevin Coleman, and Deebo Samuels COMBINED.  Pettis got off to a tough start against a beatable Tampa Bay opponent. It looks like it will take some time to see who emerges as the number two and number three options in San Francisco.  Will it be Pettis? Goodwin? Deebo? Time will tell. I’m sitting Pettis (if I can) until we see more.

Upcoming Schedule: @CIN, PIT, BYE

Curtis Samuel vs LAR
3 receptions for 32 yards on 4 targets

Upcoming Schedule: TB, @ARI, @HOU

Corey Davis @CLE
GOOSE (0 receptions) on 3 targets

What is going on with the Titans?  Marcus Mariota actually had a good performance.  And Derrick Henry, the definition of a non-pass catching RB, had more receptions than Corey Davis.  Meanwhile, AJ Brown broke triple-digit receiving yards on three receptions. Is Marcus Mariota the problem?  Or is it Corey Davis? My dynasty team was hoping for better.

Upcoming Schedule: IND, @JAX, @ATL

TE

O.J. Howard vs SF
4 receptions for 32 yards on 5 targets

Yuck.  Howard looked ready to emerge as a top-5 TE this year.  While I think he will improve as the year progresses, fantasy owners have to consider the fact that the Buccaneers hype appeared to be excessive.  I’ll still start Howard moving forward.

Upcoming Schedule: @CAR, NYG, @LAR

Eric Ebron @LAC
1 reception for 8 yards on 3 targets

Jack Doyle @LAC
1 reception for 20 yards on 2 targets

Mo Alie-Cox @LAC
1 reception for 3 yards on 1 target

The Colts tight ends were disappointing in a matchup where Brissett put up a fairly decent stat line (21/27 for 190 passing yards & 2 TDs).  All three Colts TE are dart throws until we see otherwise.

Upcoming Schedule: @TEN, ATL, OAK


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