Fantasy Football Fix: Don’t overthink Week 1 results
You can only read so much into Week 1. Is Jamaal Charles (seven carries for 19 yards) really going to be invisible all season? Um, no. At some point, the
Chiefs will realize they may want to hand the ball to the best player on their roster. Charles wasn’t the only big name who got off to a disappointing
Of the top four players taken in most drafts — Charles, Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy and Matt Forte — none found the end zone in Week 1.
And only Forte really looked like himself. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers started his season with a subpar outing as well. Some are blaming that on the fact that
he’s dating Olivia Munn now, but I’ll just take it as a reminder that Seattle’s defense is otherworldly and move on.
You don’t want to be the owner who
freaks out after one game. We all laugh at that person.
Then again, you only get 16 games in an NFL season and things do change quickly. Fantasy championships are won by walking the fine line between panicking
too early — sort of like Jerry Jones — and waiting too long to make the necessary changes — also sort of like Jerry Jones. You need to get out in front of
the players on the rise, and a number of rookies are already making the case that their names belong on that list. Brandin Cooks was electrifying for New
Orleans, Kelvin Benjamin showed signs of being the legit No. 1 option that Carolina sorely needs and Terrance West stepped in nicely for the injured Ben
Tate in Cleveland. Even Derek Carr offered some hope in Oakland (that was a joke. Don’t pick up Derek Carr.)
Of course, the quickest path to fantasy success is to find the strong players that are facing weak opposition and cash in. With that in mind, here are the
Money Matchups for Week 2…
QB: Andrew Luck, IND (vs PHI).
There might not be a player in the NFL I’m watching closer than Andrew Luck this season. He’s clearly a special talent with the potential to be great for a
long time in this league, and this could be the year he takes the next step. But there’s always been some who question whether he can be as valuable to
fantasy owners as he is to the Colts. Will offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton stop focusing on trying to pound the ball with Trent Richardson and finally
turn Luck loose?
Only time will tell. But it sure wasn’t an issue in Week 1, as the young QB went off for 370 yards and 2 scores (plus a rushing TD) on
53 attempts. Sure, they were facing Denver and had to rally. But a) they really don’t have much of a running game to fall back on, b) now they’re playing a
Philadelphia team that struggled to stop Chad Henne, c) the game is on Monday Night, when players like Luck tend to shine and d) see point A.
Eagles run that up-tempo offense that leads to a greater volume of actual plays during a game — typically good for fantasy purposes. I’ll take my chances
Honorable Mention: Jake Locker, TEN (vs DAL).
Kind of a deep sleeper, but Locker quietly puts up decent points when he’s healthy. And they don’t seem to believe in actually playing D in Big D.
RB: Arian Foster, HOU (@OAK).
Foster might not have been the most exciting pick on draft day, but he’s a gifted running back who gets virtually all his team’s carries — a rare commodity
in today’s NFL. His 27 rushing attempts led the league in Week 1, and he made them count to the tune of 103 yards.
Now he faces an Oakland defense that
just made the tandem of Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory look like Bo Jackson and Marcus Allen.
Honorable Mention: Adrian Peterson, MIN (vs NE).
Not exactly rocket science here. He’ll be looking to bounce back after a relatively quiet Week 1, and the Vikings will gladly feed him the ball in an
effort to keep Tom Brady and friends off the field.
Oh and the Patriots just allowed the Dolphins to run all over them for 191 yards.
WR/TE : Percy Harvin, SEA (@SD).
A receiver’s fantasy value hinges on whether or not their quarterback can get them the ball each week. Harvin has the luxury of working with Russell
Wilson, plus he’s a dual-threat who gets the ball out of the backfield now as well. His injury history is shaky, and you’re probably holding your breath
every time he goes back to return a kick. But he’s healthy right now, and the Seahawks will get him touches against a San Diego defense that ranked 31st
against the pass in 2013.
Honorable Mention: Michael Floyd, ARI (@ NYG).
The Giants appeared to be boycotting the very idea of even trying to cover Calvin Johnson on Monday night. And it showed (164 yards, 2 TD). Granted, Floyd
isn’t Megatron. But he’s an emerging talent who has the size (6-foot-3, 225-pounds) and skills to get behind the shaky secondary in New York.
D/ST: Houston Texans (@ OAK).
It’s hard to argue with Houston’s performance in Week 1. Really, it’s just hard to argue with J.J. Watt in general. The 2012 Defensive Player of the Year
was his normal, disruptive self on Sunday, delivering 2 tackles for loss, a sack, a fumble recovery, a pass defensed, and a blocked extra point – just for
good measure. Losing rookie phenom Jadeveon Clowney for 4-6 weeks with a torn meniscus hurts, but there are other strong players on this unit. And they’re
facing Oakland. In retrospect, I probably could have just led with that argument. So, to recap: J.J. Watt and a defense with something to prove against the
Raiders and a rookie quarterback.
Honorable Mention: Arizona Cardinals (@ NYG).
The depleted Cards D looked just fine on Monday night. And now they face a New York team that was almost unwatchable. Granted, the Giants have some nice
offensive weapons on paper, but Victor Cruz seemed confused a number of times on Monday, and Eli Manning just always kind of looks lost now. Arizona could
do some damage.
The Fantasy Football Fix podcast will be available on ArizonaSports.com every week during the NFL season, with Luke Lapinski, Jordan Byrd and Paige Dimakos
giving you all the insight you need to rise to the top of your league.