The Hangover: NFL Week 1 Fantasy Recap

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Baltimore Football Urban Ravens Nfl City Stadium

In this brand new weekly segment, we will look back at the week that was in the NFL. Along the way, we will provide a few tidbits to propel your fantasy teams forward. 

BUCCANEERS 31 COWBOYS 29

Tom Brady picked up right where he left off following a Super Bowl title run for Tampa. Brady was 32/50 for 379 yards, 4 TD, and 2 INTs in the Bucs come from behind victory. The Bucs will not throw 50 times per game, but with the stars around him, Tom Brady is a very safe fantasy play moving forward. Chris Godwin led the Bucs in targets with 14. Godwin turned those targets into nine receptions for 105 yards and a TD. Godwin appears set to be a prime bounce-back player in 2021, and a borderline WR1 season-long performance is not out of the question. Rob Gronkowski continues to turn back the clock with eight catches on as many targets for 90 yards and 2 TD. We cannot expect a Bucs shootout every week, but Gronk feels like a Top 10 option at the TE position. Antonio Brown was the most dynamic option on the field for the Buccaneers on Thursday Night. Brown reminded us just how good he is with five catches on seven targets for 121 yards and a TD. Those who drafted Brown are smiling from ear to ear. AB is poised to be a great value pick and return high-end WR2 numbers in 2021. We saw the problem with Mike Evans coming a mile away. Three catches on six targets for 24 yards. Evans has been TD-dependent for a long time, and that dependency could hurt Evan’s fantasy managers in 2021. Leonard Fournette ran for 32 yards on only nine carries. Ronald Jones II was even worse with 14 yards on just four carries, including a fumble that cost him playing time for the remainder of the game. The Bucs backfield remains a mess. I wouldn’t recommend counting on anyone if you can afford it. Dak Prescott looked fully recovered from off-season leg surgery. The Cowboys were not shy about putting the ball up. Prescott was 42 of 58 for 403 yards, three TDs, and an INT. The Cowboy’s defense did not appear to be much better than the version we saw in 2020. Expect plenty of shootouts. Dak Prescott is firmly in the Top 5 fantasy quarterback conversation. The Cowboys will be the Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb show for the foreseeable future. Fellow receiver Michael Gallup will miss 3-5 weeks with a calf strain. Cooper was wildly efficient in this game, turning a team-high 16 targets into 13 receptions, 139 yards, and 2 TD. Lamb showed us his explosiveness, seven catches on 15 targets for 104 yards and a TD. Both players are WR1 in Fantasy moving forward. The Buccaneers have a dynamite front seven, and the Cowboy’s offensive line was missing Zack Martin, so don’t make any rash decisions, but Ezekiel Elliott didn’t look great. Initially, I thought Zeke showed more burst. Tony Pollard was once again more efficient and effective with his touches. Zeke is a volume-fed RB1 for now. Keep an eye on the Cowboys backfield moving forward. 

EAGLES 32 FALCONS 6

Jalen Hurts put the doubters to rest for at least one game. Hurts looked to be in complete control against the Falcons. Hurts completed 27 of 35 passes for 264 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Jalen Hurts also ran for 62 yards on seven carries, elevating his fantasy ceiling and floor. Jalen Hurts feels safe as a Top 10 fantasy quarterback option, with the upside for top five in the right matchup. Rookie DeVonta Smith led the Eagles in targets with 8, turning those targets into six catches for 71 yards as he found the endzone on the Eagle’s first possession of 2021. Smith has a rookie-of-the-year vibe to him, and it wouldn’t be surprising at all if he leads the Eagles in targets all season long and performs as a WR2 for your fantasy team. Having Jalen Reagor provide a little juice to the Eagle’s offense is great news all around. Reagor has six catches on as many targets for 49 yards and a TD. The Eagle’s offense appears to spread the ball around. If you can ‘sell high’ on Jalen Reagor after this performance, I would look to trade him in your fantasy leagues. Preseason darling Quez Watkins was very involved early on. Watkins had the first three catches of the game, totaling 23 yards. After that, he vanished. I would expect Watkins to have some big moments, but ultimately, be too hot and cold for your fantasy lineups. Miles Sanders looked significantly better than the player we often saw in 2020. 15 carries for 74 yards, four catches on five targets for 39 yards–Miles Sanders showed the versatility that we knew he had back in 2019. Sanders puts himself into the borderline range between RB1 and RB2. File away the name Kenneth Gainwell. Gainwell is the RB2 for the Eagles. Gainwell looked strong in spots. Gainwell had 11 total touches, scored a rushing TD, and had a TD reception called back due to a penalty. Gainwell is very involved in the Eagle’s offense, and in the right game, he is worth a flier in your Flex position. We may have to downgrade our expectations for this Falcons offense. There were times on Sunday that this offensive line could not get out of their own way. Matt Ryan looked pedestrian at best and is barely a streaming option at this point. I wouldn’t worry too much about Calvin Ridley. Ridley still saw a team-high eight targets. You were expecting more than the five catches for 51 yards. Ridley will be forced fed in this offense. Up and down debut for Kyle Pitts. The good news is Pitts tied for the team lead in targets with eight. The bad news is he only converted them into four catches for 31 yards. Don’t sell Kyle Pitts. Pitts is irrationally talented. Try to have patience. Cordarelle Patterson looked like the best rusher for the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. This statement may be the only thing you need to know to understand how poorly their running game is. We sold the Mike Davis talk at every turn this offseason, and through week one, we are not backing off. If I am a Mike Davis fantasy manager, I would attempt to hold out for a strong performance and trade him immediately. 

STEELERS 23 BILLS 16

The Steelers/Bills game was a much uglier affair than we thought it would be. Big Ben was mediocre. 18/32 for 188 yards with a touchdown and zero interceptions is not exactly a strong stat line for your fantasy quarterback. A mixed bag for rookie running back Najee Harris. Sixteen carries and three targets are bell-cow numbers you want for your fantasy running back. Forty-nine total yards is not. In fantasy football, volume is king. If Najee Harris continues to receive this amount of volume he will be an RB1. The 36 receiving yards is not a great start for Diontae Johnson in 2021, but I leave this game highly encouraged. Johnson regularly led the Steelers in targets in 2020, and he did so again in the opener with ten targets. JuJu Smith-Schuster and Chase Claypool were both just ok. JuJu had four catches on eight targets for 52 yards. Claypool had three catches on five targets for 45 yards. Moving forward, Diontae Johnson is a high-end WR2 with JuJu and Claypool more of the low-end WR2/Flex options. The Bills’ offense remains the Josh Allen show. Allen was 30 of 51 for 270 yards, one touchdown, and zero interceptions. Allen was also second on the team in carries with nine for 44 yards. The Bills rarely run the ball out of a traditional set. Josh Allen remains one of the best fantasy options at the quarterback position. Stefon Diggs remained the alpha in the passing attack with nine receptions on 14 targets. It is fair to be disappointed by the 69 yards receiving, but you know, with Stefon Diggs, the big performances are on their way. Cole Beasley remains THE guy in the slot for the Buffalo Bills. Eight catches on 13 targets for 60 yards. Beasley is a Flex option in non-PPR leagues and is certainly a consideration for WR2 in PPR leagues. Emmanuel Sanders and Gabriel Davis are going to eat into each other’s volume too much to trust either in fantasy leagues at the moment. Devin Singletary looked pretty good on Sunday–11 carries for 72 yards. I imagine Zach Moss will factor into this backfield sooner rather than later, so don’t go wild on Singletary.

BENGALS 27 VIKINGS 24

Following preseason reports that focused on the lack of confidence surrounding Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase, their Sunday performances were a breath of fresh air for fantasy managers. Burrow looked to be in complete control of the offense. Burrow was 20 of 27 for 261 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Burrow’s performance against the Vikings should place him in the back-end QB1 conversation. Chase led the team in targets with seven, resulting in five catches for 101 yards and a TD. Ja’Marr Chase is a rare talent. Proceed with Chase as a mid-WR2. Tee Higgins also shined with four catches on five targets for 58 yards and a TD. Expect the Bengals’ passing volume to take a significant leap, only benefiting the young duo at the wide receiver position. Twenty-nine carries and four targets for Joe Mixon is the type of workload that the Bengals coaching staff talked up all offseason. The elephant in the room is ‘how often can the Bengals sustain a lead as they did on Sunday?’ For the time being, I would recommend treating Joe Mixon as a Top 10 fantasy back. Kirk Cousins made some clutch throws in the Viking’s comeback on Sunday. 36/49 351 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions will do the trick for your fantasy team. Adam Thielen was one of the most impressive players from any game on Sunday. Nine catches on ten targets for 92 yards and two receiving scores was an impressive performance that let us all know that Adam Thielen is ready to be a WR1 in fantasy once again. Justin Jefferson faces lofty expectations in his second season. Five catches on nine targets for 71 yards isn’t a horrible line. If you recall, he JUST missed the endzone by a half-yard. If Jefferson scores, fantasy owners are ecstatic with his performance. Dalvin Cook was up to his stellar fantasy performance, even if it wasn’t always pretty. 20 carries for 61 yards and a TD, as well as six catches on seven targets for 43 yards, remains strong. Outside of Christian McCaffrey, there is not a safer back in fantasy than Dalvin Cook.

 49ERS 41 LIONS 33

What do we make of the San Francisco 49ers? Kyle Shanahan is a fantasy football maniacal genius and has all of us on edge. Begin with the fact that Trey Sermon, the presumed starter at the running back position, was a gameday inactive. Jimmy Garappolo gets the start at quarterback for the 49ers, and yet, Trey Lance was the one who threw the first TD pass. 2nd-year wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk seems to have lost the confidence of the coaching staff. The forgotten Deebo Samuel was a force with nine receptions on twelve targets for 189 yards and a TD. George Kittle was solid but unspectacular with four receptions on five targets for 78 yards. Raheem Mostert will reportedly miss 6-8 weeks with a knee injury, opening up the door for Elijah Mitchell. Mitchell ran for over 100 yards and a TD on Sunday, replacing Mostert. Elijah Mitchell should be the top waiver wire adds for Week #2 regardless of format. Making sense of the 49ers’ offense will be a test in patience for fantasy players in 2021. In comeback mode, quarterback Jared Goff worked his way back to have a fine fantasy day. Goff was 38 of 57 for 338 yards, 3 TDs, and an interception. Garbage points count too! Jared Goff and the Lions will often chase in 2021. We wondered if T.J. Hockenson would post the breakout 2021 season, and he appears well on his way. Eight receptions on ten targets for 97 yards and a TD solidifies Hockenson as the top pass-catcher on the Lions roster. Give the Lions credit for not having much at the wide receiver position the Lions turned to their running backs in the passing game. D’Andre Swift led the team in targets with 11. Swift caught eight passes for 65 yards and a TD, with 11 carries for 39 yards. Jamaal Williams was the Lion’s most effective runner with nine carries for 54 yards and a TD. Williams caught 8 of 9 passes for 56 additional yards. The Lions talked up their backfield all off-season long, and we saw it play out that way in the opening game. Swift can remain in the mid-RB2 conversation, whereas Williams is a solid flex option. 

CARDINALS 38 TITANS 13

Murray shredded against the Titans secondary.

Kyler Murray was sensational on Sunday. 21 of 32 for 289 yards, four touchdowns passing, with an interception. Murray also chipped in 20 rushing yards and another score. Kyler Murray was the top quarterback in fantasy football for the first half of the 2020 season, and he is off to an eerily similar start in 2021. DeAndre Hopkins remains the alpha option in the Cardinals’ passing attack. Six catches on eight targets for 83 yards and two touchdowns places Nuk in the running for the top fantasy receiver in the game. A.J. Green was second on the team in targets–but why? Green is dust. The Cardinals will be better off getting Rondale Moore and Christian Kirk more involved in the offense. James Conner led the Cardinals in carries, but the backfield remains a committee, and I would say that Chase Edmonds remains the more valuable play. Edmonds was the far more effective runner. Chase Edmonds also provided four catches on as many targets–giving Edmonds over 100 total yards against the Titans. The entire Titans offense was a disappointment. The Titan’s offensive line struggled to hold up against the Cardinal’s front seven. Ryan Tannehill was under duress all afternoon long, resulting in poor performance, 21 of 35 for 212 yards, a touchdown pass, and an interception. Tannehill saved his fantasy day with a touchdown run. When Chester Rogers leads your team in receiving yards, you know the day didn’t go as planned. A.J. Brown led the team in targets but just never truly got it going. Four catches on eight targets for 49 yards and a touchdown. Speaking of disappointing, Julio Jones‘ debut for the Titans was forgettable. Three catches on six targets for 29 yards is an ugly start. Derrick Henry‘s poor performance is one of the more surprising of the weekend. Twenty total touches for just 77 yards. Henry is a prime bounce-back candidate in week two. I am still buying the Titans offense as a whole. Take this opportunity to buy low and trade for a piece in this offense from an owner in panic mode. 

SEAHAWKS 28 COLTS 16

Russell Wilson came out red hot in this one and never really cooled off. Wilson was virtually perfect–going 18 of 23 for 254 yards, four touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Tyler Lockett was the Seahawks’ receiver to have on Sunday. Four catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns, Lockett was incredible. D.K. Metcalf was still good–four catches on five targets for 60 yards and a touchdown. For the season, I still believe Metcalf is a better fantasy play than Lockett. The difference between the two isn’t as substantial as you would think. Gerald Everett found the endzone on two targets. Everett is a name to keep in mind when the passing volume increases as we proceed. Chris Carson was the rushing attack for the Seattle Seahawks, and it is not going to change any time soon. Chris Carson is firmly on the low-end RB1 status moving forward. Carson Wentz looked rather pedestrian in his Colts debut. 25 of 38 for 251 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions–not a horrible performance, but not one that inspires much confidence in Wentz’s fantasy future. Do not overreact to a week one anomaly and go nuts for Zach Pascal. Pascal’s four receptions on five targets for 43 yards and two touchdowns will be the highwater mark on his season. There will be better days for Michael Pittman Jr. Three catches for 29 yards–actively attempt to buy low on Michael Pittman Jr. if you can. Jonathan Taylor is the dominant force in the Colts’ offense. Taylor wasn’t very efficient with his touches, but you will take the 23 touches in the opening game. Taylor remains a top 10 option at the running back position. Nyheim Hines was also a factor as a runner and receiver. Hines and Taylor, with eight and seven targets respectively, led the team by a wide margin. Hines remains a solid flex play in PPR leagues.

CHARGERS 20 FOOTBALL TEAM 16

Justin Herbert had an outstanding rookie season, and in the opening game, Herbert picked up where he left off. Herbert went 31 of 47 for 337 yards with a touchdown and an interception. What I found most impressive in this game for the Chargers was how centralized their passing attack was. Keenan Allen with 13 targets. Mike Williams with 12 targets. Jared Cook with 8. It was odd to see Austin Ekeler with zero targets, but the point remains, the Chargers get their stars involved early and often. Allen, with nine catches for 100 yards, is going to be a PPR monster. We have heard all off-season how this offense will feature Mike Williams–that was certainly the case on Sunday. Austin Ekeler found the endzone as a runner, which saved his fantasy day. Don’t panic just yet, but if Austin Ekeler is not featured more in the passing game soon, it might be time to sell. Ryan Fitzpatrick attempted a total of six passes before sustaining a nasty hip injury that will put him on the shelf for some time. Taylor Heinicke is an interesting waiver addition. The Washington Football Team has weapons, and Heinicke has enough mobility to be a worthwhile addition in Superflex leagues. This game was an ugly performance all the way around for the WFT offense. I wouldn’t take away anything of note from the poor performances of Terry McLaurin or Logan Thomas. The main takeaway is that this backfield belongs to Antonio GibsonJ.D. McKissic was supposed to have a larger role, and this was inaccurate. Gibson is the bell cow for the foreseeable future. Antonio Gibson is a locked-in Top 10 fantasy running back.

PANTHERS 19 JETS 14

Zach Wilson got beat up by the Panthers’ pass rush.

Sam Darnold‘s debut with the Carolina Panthers was a victorious one. Darnold finished 24 of 35 for 279 yards, with a touchdown pass and a touchdown run. It didn’t take Darnold long to figure out where his bread is buttered in Carolina. Get the ball to Christian McCaffrey. 21 carries for 98 yards rushing, throw in nine catches on as many targets for an additional 89 yards, and McCaffrey is alone at the top as the top fantasy back once again. D.J. Moore was strong in this one from start to finish. Six catches on eight targets for 80 yards. If Moore can ever find the endzone with more consistency, he would be a Top 10 fantasy wide receiver. I would be a bit worried about the usage of Robby Anderson. Anderson had the highlight-reel 57-yard touchdown reception, but that was the only catch he had in the game. Christian McCaffrey’s return to the Panthers’ offense may have complicated things for Anderson. I might put out feelers to see what type of trades you can pull off in exchange for Robby Anderson. You will have to be patient, but Dynasty managers who drafted Terrace Marshall Jr.–you have a good one. Speaking of patience, Jets fans, you are going to need some with this rebuilding roster. Zach Wilson will need time to develop consistency but shows glimpses. Corey Davis is the apple of Zach Wilson’s eye. Five catches on seven targets for 97 yards and two touchdowns was a strong Jets debut for Corey Davis. Preseason darling Elijah Moore had an inauspicious debut. One catch for -3 yards. Better days are to come. Put out a few trade offers for Elijah Moore in your fantasy leagues. 

TEXANS 37 JAGUARS 21

Tyrod Taylor stunned the Jacksonville Jaguars in Trevor Lawrence‘s debut. Taylor was 21 of 33, two touchdowns, with zero interceptions. Taylor also chipped in with 40 yards rushing as well. Brandin Cooks was the lone bright spot in the receiving department for the Texans. On seven targets, Brandin Cooks caught five passes for 132 yards. Trust Cooks as a low-end WR2/high-end flex option. Mark Ingram dominated the Texans backfield in the opening game. Ingram ran for 85 yards and a touchdown on twenty-six carries. The Texans will not be winning big often this season, so don’t expect this volume for Mark Ingram very often. There will be better days for Trevor Lawrence. It wasn’t all bad for Lawrence, as he went 28 of 51 for 332 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions. D.J. Chark Jr. was highly ineffective, turning twelve targets into just three catches. Marvin Jones Jr. received nine targets, catching five, turning them into 77 yards and a touchdown. Laviska Shenault Jr. was also heavily involved, catching seven of nine passes for 50 yards. I would trust the Jaguars wide receivers in that order, but only as high-end flex options for the time being. Urban Meyer is up to his old tricks. Carlos Hyde rushed the ball nine times, James Robinson only five. The Jaguars’ backfield may be a backfield to avoid for now.

CHIEFS 33 BROWNS 29

Patrick Mahomes had it all working on Sunday against the Browns. 27 of 36 for 337 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Throw in a touchdown run, and Patrick Mahomes did it all in the come from behind victory. The Chiefs’ stars had it working in this one. Tyreek Hill was unbelievable. 11 receptions on 15 targets, for 197 yards receiving and a touchdown. Tyreek Hill’s performance against the Browns makes his case for the best receiver in the league. Travis Kelce left no doubt that he is better than ever as the league’s top tight end. Six receptions on seven targets for 76 yards and two touchdowns–Travis Kelce is the TE1. Clyde Edwards-Helaire had a subpar game, but the usage was encouraging. CEH had fourteen carries, Darrel Williams only received one carry. The Chiefs will have plenty of games protecting leads, and CEH will have some big games. Games like this are why it is hard to trust Baker Mayfield in fantasy football. The Browns scored 29 points, played efficient ball the entire game, and yet, Mayfield leaves with 321 empty passing yards and zero touchdowns. Odell Beckham Jr. was unable to go in this one. The Browns spread the ball around offensively. The primary takeaway from this one is that Nick Chubb is still controlling the Browns’ backfield. Chubb had 15 carries for 83 yards and two touchdowns. The lack of pass-catching limits Chubb’s upside, but there may not be a better pure runner in the league. Keep an eye on Anthony Schwartz. In Dynasty leagues in particular, if Schwartz is available, he is worth an addition to see how things play out long-term. 

DOLPHINS 17 PATRIOTS 16

The two recent Bama QB grads went head to head on Sunday. Tua came out on top.

Tua Tagovailoa didn’t have to do anything special in this one to be victorious. A balanced team may limit Tua’s ceiling in fantasy. Tua Tagovailoa’s stats were 16 of 27 for 202 yards, a touchdown passing, and running with one interception. DeVante Parker and Jaylen Waddle both passed the eyeball test and looked spry in the Dolphins’ opener. It will be interesting to see how this receiver room plays out when Will Fuller returns. Mike Gesicki is not involved in the Dolphins passing game. Time to move on here. Myles Gaskin led the uninspired Dolphins rushing game on just nine carries. Gaskin fantasy managers are hoping for an increase in volume to satisfy Gaskin as an RB2. Even in a loss, I left impressed with Patriots quarterback Mac Jones. Jones went through his progression and threw the ball with great anticipation. Jones finished the Dolphins game 29 of 39 for 281 yards and a touchdown. Nelson Agholor was the big free-agent addition to the wide receiving corps, and Agholor paid dividends immediately. Five catches on seven targets for 72 yards, and a touchdown–Nelson Agholor is a flex option at this point. Jakobi Meyers was the most targeted Patriots pass-catcher. Meyers was targeted nine times, resulting in six catches for 44 yards. I like Meyers a bit more than Agholor in PPR formats. The Patriots made a splash in free agency when they brought in both Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry. Smith totaled five catches on as many targets for 42 yards. Henry totaled three catches on as many targets for 31 yards. The Patriots will continue to throw to their tight end position. Just know the upside is limited here for each player while they are both running out there. Damien Harris was the Patriots running back to have in this one. Harris out-touched Rhamondre Stevenson 25:2. If Damien Harris can find the endzone, we have an RB1 on our hands. 

SAINTS 38 PACKERS 3

The most stunning result from the weekend had to be the Saints throttling the Packers. Jameis Winston looked great in his first game as the starting quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, only attempting 20 passes, completing 14 of them. Winston made the completions count as he turned those completions into five touchdown passes. Head Coach Sean Payton will continue to trust Jameis under center as long as he takes care of the football. Many are ready to jump ship on Marquez Callaway. Preaching a little patience here with Callaway as he was matched up with Jaire Alexander all afternoon. I like Callaway to bounce back. The Saints’ tight end situation is a bit murky. Adam Trautman led the team in targets with six but did very little with it. Juwan Johnson caught all three of his targets, turning two of them into touchdowns. Alvin Kamara received his usual workload, 20 carries for 83 yards. Given his versatility and dynamic ability, Kamara remains a Top 5 fantasy back. For the Green Bay Packers, this is one of those games where you burn the tape. You will hear some overreaction this week. I would suggest taking a breath. Make some offers to acquire Aaron RodgersDavante AdamsAaron Jones, etc. The Packers’ offense will gel and will bounce back quickly. Capitalize on the ‘buy low’ opportunity while you still can. 

BRONCOS 27 GIANTS 13

Teddy Bridgewater did a fantastic job in his Denver Broncos debut. Bridgewater was 28 of 36 for 264 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions. We know that Bridgewater is a game-manager and doesn’t possess the ceiling you prefer in your fantasy quarterback, but performances like this keep him on the streaming radar. Jerry Jeudy looked spectacular early on–six catches on seven targets for 72 yards. Unfortunately, Jeudy sustained a nasty leg injury. The early expectation is that Jerry Jeudy is going to miss 4-6 weeks. In the absence of Jeudy, expect KJ Hamler to step up into a larger role. Noah Fant was featured heavily in this game. Six catches on eight targets for 62 yards will have Noah Fant in the Top 5 tight end conversation. Melvin Gordon III did have a spectacular 70-yard run, but I would not overreact based on this play. Javonte Williams out-snapped Gordon in the opening game, and I would anticipate that trend to continue as the season progresses. When your quarterback, Daniel Jones, is your team’s leading rusher, you know it hasn’t been a great day for the New York Giants. Jones was rather pedestrian with a 22 of 37 performance that included one touchdown pass and one touchdown run. It is hard to fathom Daniel Jones as a starting quarterback in the NFL beyond 2021. The Giants have spoken publicly that they want to ease Saquon Barkley back into the offense. Barkley had 10 carries for 26 yards and doesn’t look like the player he once was. If you can trade Barkley for an Antonio Gibson type, I might consider that move. Sterling Shepard appeared to be the only receiver with a pulse in this one. Shepard turned nine targets into seven receptions for 113 yards and a touchdown. Consider Sterling Shepard a flex option.

RAMS 34 BEARS 14

Stafford looked sharp in his L.A. Rams debut. The NFC West put the NFL on notice in Week 1. They are the top division in football.

Matthew Stafford‘s Los Angeles Rams debut was a thing to behold. Stafford was highly efficient and effective to the tune of 20 of 26 for 321 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Stafford was in complete control all night long and should be a fantasy force in 2021. Cooper Kupp certainly appears to be Matthew Stafford’s new best friend. Stafford leaned on Kupp heavily in the opener–seven catches on ten targets for 108 yards and a touchdown, and they just missed on a second score. Tyler Higbee played every single down for the Rams in this one, so expect his production to be steady all season. Don’t give up on Robert Woods just yet. Woods is an integral part of the Rams offense. Van Jefferson was our favorite best ball late flier, and he hit in week one. Darrell Henderson Jr. iced the game away late with 16 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown. Given how many points we expect the Rams to score this season, Henderson Jr. remains a solid RB2. For the Chicago Bears, the clock on Justin Fields begins now. Andy Dalton is simply going to hold back this offense from its potential. Allen Robinson III didn’t provide the production that you hope for from a player of his caliber. You do like the fact that he received a team-high 11 targets. Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet tied for second on the team with seven targets. David Montgomery looked terrific on Sunday night. The Rams are a tough run defense, and Montgomery cut them up to the tune of 108 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. The Bears have the pieces in place to have an electric offense–once they turn the keys to the car over to Justin Fields.

RAIDERS 33 RAVENS 27

Derek Carr was sensational in the come from behind victory over the Ravens on our opening Monday Night Football game. Carr was 34 of 56 for 435 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception, that was not his fault. Darren Waller was targeted NINETEEN times in this game. This game plan isn’t sustainable long-term, but if you are a fantasy manager who has Darren Waller on their fantasy team, enjoy the ride. Hunter Renfrow remains a sneaky PPR play as he was second on the team in targets with nine, turning the targets into six catches for 70 yards. Bryan Edwards turned it on late with four catches on five targets for 81 yards. Perhaps this is the beginning of Edwards turning the corner. Josh Jacobs is banged up and not 100%. He battled it out for 10 carries, 34 yards, and two touchdowns. Lamar Jackson was the entire Ravens offense on Monday Night. The Ravens’ passing game looked a bit suspect. Lamar was 19 of 30 for 235 yards and a touchdown. Jackson ran for 86 yards on 12 carries. You can be happy with the result if you are a fantasy manager who drafted Lamar Jackson, but keep an eye on this offense as it needs to progress. Ty’Son Williams looked the part as the Ravens starting running back. Nine carries for 65 yards and a touchdown, Williams also caught 3 of 4 targets for an additional 29 yards. 

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