What a wacky Week 1 of wondrous NFL football (alliteration anyone?). Opening week is in the books and it was a crazy one. I am here now to recap all of the fantasy storylines from the first 16 NFL games…
Week 1 Play Back:
Where oh where did Arian Foster come from? All the former undrafted free agent out of Tennessee did on Sunday was completely steamroll the Colts’ defense for 231 rushing yards and three touchdowns, including 125 of those yards in the fourth quarter. That’s 41 points on opening weekend. To say Foster was fantastic is an understatement, and he just became an overnight sensation in the world of fantasy football. He does have a rough upcoming schedule (at WAS, vs. DAL, at OAK, vs. NYG), but don’t even think about benching him. However, the Texans did not become a running team overnight and Matt Schaub is sure to return to his gun slinging ways, so now is the perfect time to sell extremely high on Foster and demand a king’s ransom in return.
Speaking of the Colts, Peyton Manning threw the ball 57 times on Sunday. I’ll repeat – 57 times! Of course the Colts were down 17 points at one point to the Texans, but it is clear that the Colts don’t like or trust their running game very much. They ran the ball just 10 times on Sunday for 44 yards (all Joseph Addai). Manning, or the Terminator as I like to call him because the man is just an absolute machine, finished the day 40-of-57 for 433 yards and three touchdowns. There seems to be no slowing down for Manning at age 34.
The Seattle Seahawks looked great in their 31-6 rout of the clearly overrated San Francisco 49ers, but stay away from the running game. Pete Carroll is going to make it a nightmare to own any of those guys. Justin Forsett had eight carries (43 yards), Julius Jones had seven (18 yards), and Lean Washington had six (12 yards). If you have to own one of them, it’s Forsett you want as he clearly has the most upside of the bunch, but keep him on your bench until Carroll decides to stop spreading out the carries.
You don’t want to own any, and I mean any, Buffalo Bills on your team. That team is heading for a Top-5 draft pick in April and their players are useless to you. That includes rookie C.J. Spiller. Look, one game is not enough to disown him completely, but it is clear he will not make much of an impact this season because of the Bills’ anemic offense. The Clemson product finished his NFL debut with seven carries for six yards. He also had four catches for eight yards. Folks, that is zero points on 11 touches. Things will surely get better for Spiller, but I would not be willing to roll the dice on him to find out. Keep him in the bench.
It’s amazing what having Chris Johnson in the backfield can do for you. I know they were playing the Raiders, but Vince Young looked fantastic on Sunday. He was extremely efficient throwing the football as he went 13-of-17 for 154 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 30 yards on the ground. The Raiders got suckered in by the play-fakes to CJ2K and Young made them pay. Don’t go starting him next week against Pittsburgh, but he can pay dividends when a good matchup presents itself.
It’s apparent that Miles Austin is not a one-year wonder. Austin’s quick ascension to the top of the wide receiver ranks in 2009 landed him lofty expectations from owners this year, a big payday, and a Kardashian. But Austin picked up right where he left off on Sunday with 10 catches for 146 yards and one touchdown. Don’t sell high on Austin, he is a legitimate Top-3 receiver and should continue to put up big numbers all year.
I would have thought you were crazy if you said…
• Rams’ rookie QB Sam Bradford would throw the ball 55 times in his NFL debut. He went 32-of-55 for 253 yards and one touchdown. He did throw three picks though.
• Wes Welker – or as I like to call him “the Slot Machine” – would catch two touchdowns in his first game back from knee surgery. Note to everyone, Brady’s favorite target is back and better than ever.
• Marcedes Lewis would be the highest scoring tight end. Lewis had two catches for 31 yards, but both receptions went for touchdowns. That’s 15 points in Week 1. He is a good bye week fill in.
• Second-year wideout Hakeem Nicks would score 25 points. The former Tar Heel caught four balls for 75 yards and three touchdowns. The other Steve Smith is no longer the other Manning’s favorite target. Keep him in your starting lineup.
• Austin Collie would be leading the NFL in receiving after Week 1. It helped his cause that the Colts were down big, but it just shows how much confidence Manning has in the second-year pro, who didn’t score a single TD last year. Consider him a WR3 from here on out.
• Peyton Hillis would receive the same amount of carries as Jerome Harrison. Harrison ended the season on a tear last year and got only nine carries against the Bucs for 52 yards. He also had one catch for seven yards. Bottom line, Harrison needs to get the rock more or he should not be in your lineup.
• Michael Vick would be fantasy relevant again. After Kevin Kolb left with a concussion, the Grand Master of dog fighting went 16-of-24 for 175 and one touchdown. He also is currently fourth in the NFL in rushing with 103 yards on 11 carries. If Kolb does not play this week, Vick is worth starting against Detroit.
Go Get ‘Em for Week 2:
QB Michael Vick, at Detroit
RB Brandon Jackson, vs. Buffalo
WR Mark Clayton, at Oakland
WR Mike Williams (TB), at Carolina
WR Nate Washington, vs. PIT
TE Visanthe Shiancoe vs. Miami