If you're like me, you built a huge lead during the Sunday games, only to anxiously watch as Carlos Hyde did his best to make you hate him. I went from a comfortable 45-point lead to sweating out a 10-point win. You may have also watched Julio Jones take a huge chunk of your lead during the second quarter of the Falcons vs. Eagles game, or agonizingly watched as the Vikings refused to get the ball in the hands of Adrian Peterson.
Week 1 was full of what I like to call 'Fantasy Life', where you experience all the agonizing lows and the jubilant highs that coincide with playing fantasy football. To those who came out on top—congratulations—and to those who fell short, it's time to get to work. Lets jump into it.
Stud of the Week: Ameer Abdullah, RB - Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
For some reason, an outstanding preseason and a big Week 1 wasn't enough for fantasy owners to realize that Ameer Abdullah is for real. I remember watching him at Nebraska last year thinking how much of a stud the kid would be in the NFL.
All he did for his first pro performance was put up 15.4 points (standard scoring format) on just 11 touches. The Lions get a Vikings team that gave up 31 points to 49er running backs Monday night. A nausea-inducing stat is that only 22.4% of fantasy owners on NFL.com are starting Abdullah. That figure needs to skyrocket and it needs to happen now. Mid RB2/High Flex
Cam Newton, QB - Carolina Panthers vs Houston Texans
Cam Newton and Alex Smith have something in common—their best targets are both TEs. Smith and Travis Kelce shredded the Texans pass defense in Houston. Smith put up 23.22 points against the Texans, I would expect Newton to come close to that figure, while shredding the Texans secondary with Greg Olsen. Mid QB1
Justin Forsett, RB - Baltimore Ravens at Oakland Raiders
Forsett had a rough game against what I consider to be the best defense in the NFL. The Broncos hit Forsett in the backfield often, and when he caught a pass, there weren't any extra yards to gain. The Ravens also lost LT Eugene Monroe early in the game to a concussion, but he should be ready to go for their tilt against the Raiders. Oakland gave up 29.5 points to the Bengals RBs, so Forsett should be able to find plenty of running room, as the Ravens look to establish the running game. Low RB1
Sammy Watkins, WR - Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots
Watkins put up a whopping zero points in his first game with Tyrod Taylor under center—look for that to change in Week 2. Watkins faces a Patriots secondary that is bad with a capital '+B'. New England doesn't have a corner that can matchup with Watkins and gave up 32.6 points to Steelers WRs in Week 1. Playing at home, Watkins bounces back with a big game. Low WR2/Mid Flex
Vincent Jackson, WR - Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints
Not only did Jameis Winston look bad against the Titans, he looked awful. Even with Mike Evans sitting out, Vincent Jackson failed to capitalize on what should have translated into extra targets. Unfortunately the two couldn't connect. In week two, Winston and Jackson face a Saints secondary decimated by injury. Whether Evans is back in the lineup or not, Jackson should have a better day. Low WR2/Mid Flex
Vernon Davis, TE - San Francisco 49ers at Pittsburgh Steelers
I'm waiting for Davis to come back to us. I've been waiting, patiently, for a full calendar year now. The player who has replaced the Vernon Davis I knew from 2013 is no friend of mine, but I think the 2013 version kills 2014 Davis this week, making his triumphant return in 2015. Confused yet? Yeah, me too, just start Vernon Davis. Okay, I'm done.
Colts D/ST - Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Jets
Vontae Davis erased Sammy Watkins from existence in Week 1 and he'll follow up that act by blanking Brandon Marshall. It is true that Ryan Fitzpatrick didn't look awful against the Browns in Week 1, but that shouldn't scare you off from starting the Colts at home a week after a big loss.
Dud of the Week: Jeremy Maclin, WR - Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos
It took one week for Maclin to enter my doghouse. He let me down by failing to break Alex Smith's WR touchdownless streak and failed to make up for it by stuffing the box score with yardage. His punishment is fitting, as he draws the unenviable task of going up against the best secondary in the NFL—the "No Fly Zone" featuring Chris Harris, Jr. and Aqib Talib. Take a seat on the bench, Jeremy.
Marcus Mariota, QB - Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns
Mariota was impressive in his first NFL game, but I'm not ready to deem him a weekly starter. Cleveland will be at home and Joe Haden is looking to bounce back from Week 1, so I'm looking for the Browns defense to bounce back and Mariota to come back down closer to earth.
Frank Gore, RB - Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Jets
The Jets front is for real and may be the most talented 3-man front in the NFL. Gore, along with the rest of the Colts offense, didn't look great against the Bills. The Jets defense isn't as talented as the Bills, but they're no slouches. I'm not yet ready to rely on Gore as a top fantasy back.
Darren Fells, TE - Arizona Cardinals at Chicago Bears
Fells is going to be a popular fantasy add this week, but he will let down owners who look to capitalize on his Week 1 performance.
Seahawks D/ST - Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers
If ever there was a week to sit the defense you inexplicably drafted in the eighth round, it's this week. Aaron Rodgers and company are playing at Lambeau, the Seahawks are missing Kam Chancellor and the Packers will be looking to avenge their devastating NFC Championship game loss. The "Legion of Boom" will be boomless in Lambeau.
Waiver Wire Studs
Sam Bradford, QB - 55.5% owned
Bradford is just going to get better as he gets acclimated to playing football again.
Marcus Mariota, QB - 19.8% owned
Don't start him this week, but his upside is better than most backup options you have.
Ronnie Hillman, RB - 11.2% owned
Why is he not owned in more leagues? He is in a run-heavy offense that has split carries in the past and looked better than C.J. Anderson in Week 1.
Bishop Sankey, RB - 57.5% owned
He's the starter in Tennessee and it doesn't look like he'll be seriously challenged for carries until David Cobb is healthy.
Darren Sproles, RB - 47.8% owned
It seems like Sproles has been in the league for an eternity. The little man still has it and is playing behindtwo injury prone RBs. Whether the Eagles backfield is healthy or not, Sproles will have a role in the offense.
Terrance Williams, WR - 17.3% owned
As long as Dez Bryant is out, Williams should not only be in your roster but likely in your lineup, if you are a Bryant owner you should jump at the opportunity to add Williams.
James Jones, WR - 7.9% owned
Do I even need to tell you why?
Percy Harvin, WR - 18% owned
The dynamic Harvin may once again be dynamic.
Tyler Eifert, TE - 16.2% owned
He's not gonna blow up each week, but he is the main TE option in Cincy for the first time in his career.
Panthers D/ST - 31.4% owned
The Panthers defense looks dominant again.
Waiver Wire Duds
Alex Smith, QB - 37.8% owned
It's Alex Smith, let's not get out of hand here.
Chris Johnson, RB - 2.8% owned
I'm not ready to dub CJ noK as a roster worthy player.
Marques Colston, WR - 38.4% owned
He's not the player he once was, you're relying on touchdowns if you're playing Colston.
Travis Benjamin, WR - 0.3% owned
51 yards and a touchdown came on one catch and run.
In the link below, tune in to Episode 2 of the 'In the Huddle' podcast where I will be the guest, talking all things fantasy football.
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