Well folks, let’s just say that Week 1 didn’t disappoint with some early season comebacks and upsets. For fantasy owners, your week was either great because your team performed, or sucked because well, your team vastly underperformed, or was hit hard with injuries. I was on the receiving end of a bad week myself as the team I played scored a league-high 164 points. But I digress.
Nonetheless, football has returned and I think I speak for all of us that we couldn’t be more stoked. Remember, it’s only Week 1, so your team has 12 more weeks to make that playoff push!
Right now I’ll be recapping my predictions for the top 3, Week 1 fantasy performers. While I did hit on a some, I was surely mistaken on a handful. So let’s dive in.
You’ve now entered The Recap Zone.
The Recap Zone: Week 1 Top Fantasy Performers
Before we get started, it should be noted that the fantasy stats data that I’m deriving from is https://fantasy.nfl.com/research. Their numbers may appear different than what your ESPN or Yahoo! leagues may say.
For Week 1, I pegged Lamar Jackson, Philip Rivers, and Kyler Murray to be the top three performers at QB. To start, I went 0-3 on these picks. In reality, though, two of the three were still in the top 5.
Rivers was 3rd in passing yards in Week 1 but returned to his recent form with 2 interceptions against one touchdown. He ended the week at #22.
For Jackson and Murray though, they were barely outpaced by the #3 fantasy QB in Josh Allen. The top 2 performers in Week 1 were Russell Wilson with 31.78 points and Aaron Rodgers with 30.76 points. Jackson and Murray had 27.5 and 26.3 points respectively. So while they both had a good start to the season, it was the veterans Rodgers and Wilson with 4 TD passes each against no interceptions who took the top spot.
The RBs in Week 1 were on point as 9 of the top 10 had over 20 fantasy points. The guys that I pegged for my top 3 were Christian McCaffrey, Austin Ekeler, and Josh Jacobs. From this group, two of the three were top performers. Jacobs led the way with 35.9 off a 3 TD game with 93 rushing yards along with 4 receptions for 46 yards.
McCaffrey was in second with 29.4 points on a 2 TD day with 96 rushing yards along with 3 receptions for 38 yards.
The third best performer this week was Ezekiel Elliott whose stat line was also well rounded with 96 rushing yards and a score along with 3 receptions for 31 yards and a score.
As for the wayward pick of Ekeler, well let’s just say rookie Joshua Kelley had a better week than him. Ekeler ended with 84 rush yards and 1 reception for 3 yards for a #35 rank at 9.7 points. Time will tell if Kelley will be the Chargers go to goal-line back, making Ekeler fantasy owners pull their hair out.
The WR also showed out with the top 11 going for over 20 points. The guys that I had in Week 1 were Julio Jones, Michael Thomas, and DeAndre Hopkins. Chalk this one up as another swing and miss, even though Hopkins and Jones both went over 20 points.
Hopkins was #4 with 14 receptions for 151 yards equating to 29.1 points.
Jones came in at #8 with 9 receptions for 157 yards equating to 24.7 points. If you own either of those players in fantasy, you’re definitely not disappointed with their performance. The one thing though that could worry Jones owners is that Calvin Ridley ended at #2 this week with 33.9 points and Russell Gage was #11 with 20.4 points. The positive is that you know the Falcons are going to be passing a lot this year.
For Michael Thomas owners, your season is going to be off to a rough couple of weeks. After coming in at #81 with 4.7 points, you were also dealt the blow that he’ll be out for a few weeks tending to an ankle sprain. It’s a long season though.
The three guys that I had this week were Mark Andrews, George Kittle, and Rob Gronkowski. So far this might be my worst miss on predictions. Andrews did end the week at #2 with 22.8 points off 5 receptions for 58 yards and 2 scores, but Kittle and Gronk failed to crack the top 15 performers.
Kittle was #17 with 9.3 points and Gronk was #35 with 3.1 points. Does this worry me? Not so much as it is only week one. But for my credibility on predictions, it doesn’t bode well.
Dallas Goedert led the way for TEs with 24.1 points on 8 receptions for 101 yards and a score. Coming in at #3 at the TE position was Noah Fant who secured 5 receptions for 81 yards and a score, good for 19.1 points. The TE position this year could prove pivotal for many fantasy owners in their hunt for a championship.
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Before we hop into FLEX, Defense/ST, and Kickers, I feel I need to make a disclaimer about the adjustment I’m making for future predictions. I’ll be taking out the numbers before the player name, and leaving it at just three players. So they don’t have to end up as the #1 guy, they just have to break the top 3.
Furthermore, I may disband the FLEX option, as it is difficult to compare a receiver’s stats for example, against TEs, RBs, and other WRs. I may just expand the WR predictions to the top 6 or expand the article to the top 5 at each position.
So for this week, I picked Cooper Kupp, Davante Adams, and D.J. Chark as my top performers. If you watched any highlights, you know that Davante Adams had a field day. He went off for 14 receptions for 156 yards and 2 scores, good for 41.6 points. I have to give a shout out to the boss man Ryan Dyrud for bringing this one to my attention after Kenny Golladay was ruled out. So Adams was obviously the #1 receiver last week.
Chark came in at #34 with 11.5 points and Kupp was #58 with 8 points.
Disregarding the top 3 fantasy performers for RB, WR, and TE, combined there were 64 players that did better than 11.5 points and 107 players that did better than 8 points. With that being said as I stated above, I think the FLEX header will be taken out. But for the sake of this week, 1 of the 3 did make it in the top 3 of his position.
There were definitely some surprises from some defenses this week. The top fantasy defenses this week were Washington, Baltimore, and New Orleans, all tied at 15 points. So where does that leave my three picks of the Chargers, Bills, and Dolphins? Not bad actually. The Chargers and Patriots came in at 11 points apiece and the Bills and Steelers both had 8 points. So while technically, the Chargers would be in a tie for second and the Bills a tie for third, neither of them were actually the “top 3” performers.
The Dolphins came in at #17 with 4 points. While that may seem bad, they still matched the same points as some good defenses like the 49ers and the Rams.
If you had Stephen Gostkowski, I’m sorry. The veteran kicker had a rough night and cost his 4% of fantasy owners some points. This past week though I had Wil Lutz, Ryan Succop, and Matt Prater. The top 3 kickers of Week 1 were Daniel Carlson at 12 points and then three guys tied at 11 points in Mason Crosby, Josh Lambo, and Matt Prater. Lutz was in a tie with four other kickers at 10 points, while Succop was in the bottom half of the league with five points. Not a bad start for kickers this year, but if you’re like me, sometimes your kickers are a revolving door for the first few weeks unless you have some of the top guys.
Well, it was a rough start for my fantasy predictions this year. Coming in at 5 for 21 on Week 1, I’m currently hitting a .238 batting average, and that is well below Hall of Fame numbers. But this is football, so a better comparison would be I completed 24% of my passes Week 1. Plenty of room for improvement. Nonetheless, it is only Week 1, and I’m kicking off some of the off-season rust. I expect my stats to increase dramatically over the course of the season. I’m shooting for Hall of Fame numbers!
Until next time on The Recap Zone.