Looks like I picked the wrong week to face Brandin Cooks in both of my fantasy leagues. When I watched Drew Brees launch that pass from the end zone, catching Cooks perfectly in stride en route to a 98-yard touchdown, I knew it was going to be a long day.
At least my opponents didn’t double up with Brees in their lineups. Or Cooks’ counterpart, Willie Snead. Or A.J. Green, for that matter.
My charges also avoided the dreaded opening-week injury bug that befell those who invested a premium pick in Keenan Allen, who was put on injured reserve with a knee injury. And though Russell Wilson overcame a bum ankle to lead the Seahawks to a comeback win over my beloved, and surprisingly competitive, Dolphins, the injury could force his owners to go to QB Plan B.
Those banking on Sammy Watkins — or Tyrod Taylor, for that matter — got some unwelcome news Monday with the revelation that the receiver’s surgically repaired foot still isn’t right. There are whispers that Watkins could be shut down for several weeks, if not longer, if he can’t manage the pain. And you were hoping Taylor would have a bounce-back game.
Meanwhile, for one week at least, David Johnson rewarded those of us who entrusted him with our first pick, while Zeke Elliott and Adrian Peterson made their owners wish they had gone the wide receiver route.
There were other surprises. Melvin Gordon, who touched the ball more than 200 times in his rookie season without scoring, found pay dirt twice on just 14 carries. Yet, true to form, he still played a lesser role in the Chargers’ offense than Danny Woodhead. Don’t be surprised if that trend continues, especially with Allen out of the picture.
DeMarco Murray’s yards-per-carry death spiral continued in Tennessee, yet he doubled his career total of touchdown catches by taking two passes to the end zone against the Vikings.
And Trevor Siemian, Shaun Hill, Jimmy Garoppolo, Brock Osweiler and Carson Wentz all piloted their teams to victory in their first starts for their respective teams. Wentz and Osweiler might even prove to be worthy fantasy passers over time.
All that said, whether you got “Dez’d” on Sunday or you’re still basking in the glow of Larry Fitzgerald’s ageless performance, just remember that one week does not a trend make. Don’t panic, and don’t rest on your laurels, either. There’s a lot of football left to be played.
Catch ’em while you can
Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers: If you’re in one of the four-out-of-10 leagues that left Winston undrafted, grab him immediately. He put to rest any concerns about a sophomore slump with his 281-yard, four-touchdown performance and, just as important, showed the rapport that was often missing last year with his star receiver, Mike Evans.
Will Fuller, WR, Texans: The rookie earned a starting job in the offseason, and he solidified it by leading the team with five receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown. He won’t outperform DeAndre Hopkins often, but he’ll surely continue to benefit from the double-teams his All-Pro counterpart attracts.
Victor Cruz, WR, Giants: It has been three years since Cruz was a fantasy standout, but after watching him salsa in the Cowboys’ end zone, it’s not out of the question that he could be dancing on a regular basis again. He has a well-established connection with Eli Manning and a superstar counterpart to take the pressure off. He’s worth scooping up and keeping handy should his renaissance continue.
Don’t be fooled
Mike Wallace, WR, Ravens: You know Wallace, and you passed him up in your draft for a good reason. Don’t let his 66-yard touchdown reception in his -Ravens debut fool you. He tallied just three receptions, and Joe Flacco completed passes to nine other receivers. Wallace is the definition of boom or bust.
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Falcons: There’s nothing particularly unusual about Sanu’s strong performance. He had a handful of stellar games throughout his time with the Bengals; just not enough to make him a reliable fantasy receiver. His prospects dim further after injuring his ankle.
Jack Doyle, TE, Colts. Sure, he caught two touchdown passes against the Lions. But there’s a reason you’ve never heard of him, even though this is his fourth year with the team. Doyle is a spare cog in the Colts’ offense, and he’s unlikely to capture your attention again. Starting tight end Dwayne Allen, on the other hand, is worth a look for those who got “Fleenered” or “Barnidged.”
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