Week 1 is in the books. The first week of the NFL is always the sweetest after enduring the grueling offseason. You’re ready to go, your lineups are set, and if things go wrong then by the end of the night you’re on full tilt after your stars didn’t perform the way you thought they would.
If you’re 0-1 and scratching your head, don’t worry, draft stud Davante Adams isn’t going to ruin your fantasy dreams this season, and Lamar Jackson isn’t going to be the next Patrick Mahomes. Sorry Ravens fans, you know it’s the truth. The point is not to lose hope after your stars disappoint. Unless you’re Saquon Barkley, you’re going to have an off night here and there.
Looking ahead to Week 2, here are a few fantasy duds from week 1 that will restore the faith you had in them the night of your draft.
Fantasy Duds To Studs: Week 2
Jared Goff did not get off to a hot start this season. He definitely didn’t put up a performance worthy of the highest-paid QB in the league. For all of Goff’s strengths, he has a history of performing much differently at home than on the road. On the road last season he averaged just shy of 18 fantasy points in a six-point per passing TD format, while at home he averaged 26 fantasy points.
This week Goff is at home and going up against a Saints defense that in 2018 was ranked 31st in fantasy points against the opposing QB. I suppose a better way of saying that is they were second-to-last! Things don’t look like they’ve changed much. Just ask Deshaun Watson.
With a more than capable New Orleans offense traveling into Los Angeles, this looks to be a high-scoring affair between two offensive juggernauts. If the Rams hope to keep up, Goff is going to have to exploit a secondary that’s shown it can be exposed.
The only negative thing you can say about the Patriots Sunday night offensive performance is that their star sophomore running back Sony Michel looked pitiful. He put up an embarrassing 14 yards on 15 attempts. This was not the same player the Patriots rode to the Super Bowl last season.
While the other backs Rex Burkhead and James White found more success on the ground, don’t expect Belichick to siphon work away from Michel on early-down situations. The Patriots face a reeling Miami Dolphins defense in week 2. This is the same team that let Lamar Jackson and the Ravens stack up 59 points last week. I’ve got news for you folks, the Ravens offense isn’t as potent as New England’s, no matter how hard Miami tried to convince us.
On 14 carries last week, Mark Ingram gained 146 yards, which is a 7.6 yards per carry average, and two touchdowns. Yes, that’s two touchdowns! Don’t forget about Michel after one bad week. This is the same player that ran for over 300 yards, coupled with six touchdowns in just three games during the postseason last year. Sony is going to be a stud, but then again, so are all of your Patriots players, so line ‘em up!
It’s hard to criticize a team for being so efficient that they only needed 10 passing attempts to win the game. Regardless, that doesn’t translate well for fantasy, so how dare you, Minnesota! It’s really a shame because the passing game was firing on all cylinders.
While the Vikings face a tougher matchup this week on the road against Green Bay, Stefon Diggs is poised for a productive week. Last season, the Packers ranked 30th in fantasy points against WR’s. We’ve only seen one game out of the Packers secondary this season, but in that game, Allen Robinson feasted (seven receptions, 102 yards).
Diggs’ hamstring concerns seem to have dissipated at this point, so I wouldn’t be concerned about his ability to perform.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense should be able to keep up with Minnesota far better than Atlanta did last week, especially in Lambeau. Look for Cousins to see a significant spike in pass attempts. That means you’re going to see more targets for his two favorite guys, Diggs, and Adam Thielen. Diggs is the kind of player who only needs one explosive play to make him a worthwhile fantasy start, but his volume here shouldn’t be a concern. Last year, Diggs had a whopping target share of 26%. More importantly, he had a 26.5% target share in the red-zone. Minnesota can and will move the ball against the Packers, and Diggs has shown that he’s reliable in the red zone. I expect both receivers to put up respectable numbers this week.
Jared Cook left a lot of fantasy owners concerned last week after their 7th round pick only saw three targets from Drew Brees. For a team that threw the ball 43 times, you would expect Cook to have seen a larger target share, especially considering how the Saints have utilized the tight end position in the past.
New Orleans marches into Los Angeles this week to play the Rams. Last year, the Rams defense ranked 24th against fantasy tight ends. A veteran QB like Drew Brees knows how to find the open man, and Cook is going to find himself in space more than a few times this week against a defense that isn’t strong against his position. This game looks like it’s going to be a barn-burner. Vegas has this game slotted as the highest-scoring game of the week alongside the Chiefs and the Raiders.
Last season, Cook established himself as a deadly red zone weapon. In the current tight end landscape, all it takes is a touchdown to be among the weekly top 12, and I think Cook could easily find himself in the end zone, along with a nice reception and yardage total to match. Cook will be streaky this season, which we saw in Oakland, but this week he’s a full go.