Tue Sep 10 8:17am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Dalton looked great in opener
There were a lot of players that produced big things Week 1 that weren’t drafted by many teams. The big thing is to try not to overreact to the first week of the season. You can’t ignore the production of some of these guys but for most, you likely will need to temper your expectations. Many of these players will be inconsistent throughout the season. Don’t get me wrong. Some guys will be good pickups and produce good numbers consistently. But for the most part, many of these players are streaming plays and bench players. Just don’t get too high or low on players after a week of play.
Jacoby Brissett, Colts. Brissett went on the road agains a very good defense and finished 21-of-27 for 190 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. It was a very good showing for Brissett in the first game since Andrew Luck retired. Brissett proved he is worth some spot starts for fantasy teams. He can be a more than capable No. 2 fantasy quarterback.
Andy Dalton, Bengals. Dalton had one of his best games in recent seasons in the opener, throwing for 418 yards and two touchdowns without an interception against a good Seahawks defense on the road. And he did this without his best receiver, A.J. Green, on the field. Dalton really seemed comfortable in the Bengals new offense and looked like a guy that can be a streamer for fantasy teams.
Case Keenum, Redskins. Keenum got the start for the Redskins and looked great, going 30-of-44 for 380 yards and three touchdowns without a turnover. The Redskins aren’t going to be able to run the ball, so don’t be surprised if Keenum gets 40-plus pass attempts often. He is going to have some big games along the way. He struggled last year but don’t forget about his huge season in Minnesota just a few years back.
Ronald Jones, Bucs. Jones emerged as the top back in Week 1, finishing with 13 carries for 75 yards. He was really impressive in the opener, looking much better than any game last season. He could run away with this starter’s job, especially if he keeps playing this week. Jones remains available in 31 percent of leagues.
Justin Jackson, Chargers. Jackson was the backup to Austin Ekeler but got his chances in the offense. He ran six times for 57 yards and caught a pass for four yards, giving him 61 total yards. Jackson is going to get around double-digit touches per week in this offense, giving him some fantasy potential. He is still out there in 27 percent of leagues.
Malcolm Brown, Rams. Brown will be scooped up in a lot of leagues after getting about half the work at running back for Los Angeles. He had 11 carries for 53 yards and two touchdowns. He scored the only two rushing touchdowns of the game for the Rams, making Todd Gurley owners very frustrated. It is looking more and more like Brown will get his playing time in this offense as the top backup for the Rams.
Raheem Mostert, 49ers. Tevin Coleman was injured in the opener for the 49ers and could be out a few weeks, giving Mostert a bigger role in the 49ers offense. He looked pretty good with his expanded chances this past week, rushing nine times for 40 yards. He’ll be worth grabbing if you are looking for some running back depth in the coming weeks. Mostert could be worth a spot play.
Gio Bernard, Bengals. Starter Joe Mixon injured his ankle during the Week 1 game and could miss some time because of this injury. This leaves Bernard the starter for the Bengals. He has obvious potential in this role, starting in an offense that looked very good in Week 1 on the road against a good defense. You have to like the total yardage potential for Bernard in a starting role.
John Ross, Bengals. Ross was a big surprise in the opener, catching seven passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns in 12 targets. He was the top target for the Bengals and finally lived up to his first-round draft status from a few years back. Ross is a speed burner with big-play ability. Maybe a new coaching staff was just the thing to get his career going in the right direction. He is worth a look for fantasy teams, especially with A.J. Green is out of the lineup.
A.J. Brown, Titans. Brown got just four targets in his first NFL game but made several big plays with those targets. He had three receptions for 100 yards, leading the way at receiver for the Titans. And Brown missed most of training camp, so this game is a good indication on how high the Titans are on their rookie receiver. He is going to play big role offensively.
Marquise Brown, Ravens. Brown had a great first NFL game, catching four passes for 147 yards. He displayed his game-changing speed throughout the game. Brown has similar ability to Tyreek Hill, making him an intriguing fantasy player going forward. He is going to have some big games this year. The only concern is the Ravens being a run-first offense. Brown is likely to be hit or miss most week. Brown remains available in 65 percent of leagues.
Terry McLaurin, Redskins. McLaurin is another rookie that enjoyed a great first game. He caught five passes for 125 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. The Redskins don't have a clear No. 1 receiver, so don’t discount McLaurin to take that role for the team. And Washington is going to be a team that throws the ball often, having little success running the ball. McLaurin is definitely worth a look for fantasy teams needing receiver help.
Danny Amendola, Lions. Amendola was heavily targeted in Week 1 for the Lions, catching seven passes for 104 yards and a touchdown on 13 targets. He did a great job out of the slot and Matthew Stafford looked his way often. He has a chance to rack up some catches in this offense. Don’t overvalue him because his track record doesn’t suggest this game will be the norm, but he can still help fantasy teams because of his reception potential in this offense.
John Brown, Bills. Brown was the top option in the Bills passing game Week 1 and should continue to lead the way in targets going forward. He had seven receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets. He has a real chance to have his best season to date, making him a player that can help fantasy teams as a streaming play. Brown is available in 28 percent of leagues.
D.J. Chark, Jaguars. Word out of Jaguars camp was Chark was turning heads and making plays. Well, that carried over to the regular season. He had four receptions for 146 yards and a touchdown. He displayed his big-play ability and looked like a different player from his rookie year. He is another receiver that likely will be erratic but has some weekly potential in the right matchup.
T.J. Hockenson, Lions. The rookie made his presence felt in Week 1, catching six passes for 131 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. Hockenson had a great debut and showed why the team took him in the first round of the draft this year. He can be a low-end No. 1 fantasy tight end and is still available in 26 percent of leagues. This might be the last week you can get him in your league.
Vernon Davis, Redskins. The oft-injured Jordan Reed was out again, making Davis the starter for the Redskins. Davis looked good in that role, catching four passes for 59 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. Davis has fantasy value as long as he is starting in this pass-first offense.
Mark Andrews, Ravens. There was a lot of hype surrounding Andrews this offseason and he lived up to that hype in Week 1, catching eight passes for 108 yards and a touchdown. The Ravens did rotate tight ends, which is a concern for Andrews, but he can make the most of his chances as evident in this game. Andrews remains available in 22 percent of leagues.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Houston Texans RB Duke Johnson played 59 percent of the offensive snaps against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday, Nov. 17. RB Carlos Hyde played just 34 percent of the snaps.
Fantasy Spin: It was the first time since Week 7 that Johnson led the timeshare. Week 7 was also the last time the Texans lost. Johnson is used more in the passing game and should be expected to see more work in the Texans' tougher matchups, while Hyde will continue to be used to run out the clock in victories.
New Orleans Saints RB Latavius Murray played 41 percent of the offensive snaps Sunday, Nov. 17, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. RB Alvin Karmara played 61 percent.
Fantasy Spin: Murray also carried the ball 10 times but for just 27 yards in the victory. This was expected to be the case for the entire season with Murray getting a heavy workload in favorable game scripts for the Saints before QB Drew Brees and Kamara each missed time. Expect him to finish the season with a significant role behind Kamara, and he'll warrant flex consideration in the most appealing matchups.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Dare Ogunbowale played 43 percent of the offensive snaps in the Week 11 loss to the New Orleans Saints Sunday, Nov. 17. Ronald Jones played 31 percent and Peyton Barber made up just 18 percent.
Fantasy Spin: Ogunbowale rushed just twice for no yards and caught three of four targets for only 10 yards. The poor performance from QB Jameis Winston threw things in a blender for the Bucs' offensive plans, but Jones should be expected to be the most productive of an inconsistent trio.
Arizona Cardinals RB Kenyan Drake played 88 percent of the offensive snaps against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Nov. 17. RB David Johnson played just nine total snaps, with all coming on offense.
Fantasy Spin: Drake has totaled 283 yards from scrimmage with a rushing touchdown in three games with the Cardinals. Arizona is on a bye this week which may allow David Johnson to get fully back up to speed and could even see Chase Edmonds return to the mix, but Drake heads into the break as the most appealing option all of a sudden.
Cleveland Browns S Morgan Burnett (Achilles) underwent surgery Tuesday, Nov. 19, and is expected to make a full recovery.
Carolina Panthers WR D.J. Moore has received at least nine targets in each of his last five games.
Fantasy Spin: He has totaled 55 targets in that time and caught 36 of them for 427 yards but has failed to reach the end zone. Moore and the Panthers will have another nice passing matchup against the New Orleans Saints in Week 12 before facing the Washington Redskins and a rematch against the Atlanta Falcons. He's a quality buy-low option at the fantasy trade deadline with some positive touchdown regression ahead.
Indianapolis Colts RB Jordan Wilkins was upgraded to a limited participant on the team's estimated injury report for Tuesday, Nov. 19. The Colts didn't hold a practice.
Fantasy Spin: Wilkins missed Week 11 and he hasn't had a noteworthy day since Week 2 when gaining a total of 82 yards on five carries. That said, he's expected to split time with Nyheim Hines if able to suit up for Week 12 with starter Marlon Mack sidelined. Wilkins could be used as a desperation flex option if cleared, but he'll have a very low floor.
Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (calf) was listed as a non-participant on the team's estimated injury report for Tuesday, Nov. 19.
Fantasy Spin: Hilton remains a longshot to return for Week 12 with the Colts playing Thursday, Nov. 21, against the Houston Texans. He'll need to be started if active, but fantasy managers shouldn't be expecting him to be at 100 percent.
Jacksonville Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette needs to be more involved later in games, according to head coach Doug Marrone Tuesday, Nov. 19, after Fournette didn't receive a carry once the Jaguars fell down 24-7 against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 11. 'That was my mistake. That was a big mistake by me,' said Marrone. '... I thought we needed to score points in a quicker fashion. That's what led to the increased pass attempts. That's on me as a head coach. We need to be more balanced moving forward.'
Fantasy Spin: It's common for running backs to see the ball less often when their teams are trailing, especially by multiple scores, but Fournette is one of the Jaguars' best pieces on offense. Fantasy managers would sure love to see him remain involved later in games rather than having his production capped at around three quarters of work.
Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson (ankle) stayed on the practice report Tuesday, Nov. 19, as a full participant. The report was an estimation.
Fantasy Spin: There shouldn't be any concern over Watson's status heading into an important Week 12 game against the rival Indianapolis Colts. He's coming off his worst performance of the season but remains a high-tier QB1.
Houston Texans WR Will Fuller (hamstring) remained listed as limited on the team's practice report for Tuesday, Nov. 19. The report is an estimation as the team didn't practice Tuesday but will hold a walkthrough at night.
Fantasy Spin: In what has become an all-too-common theme for his career, Fuller's absence continues to be pushed back. He last played briefly in Week 7, catching his lone target for a six-yard gain. He can be dangled as trade bait.
Free-agent RB Alex Collins (Ravens) had his suspension lifted by commissioner Roger Goodell Tuesday, Nov. 19, and is eligible to sign with any team. Collins is also recovered from a broken leg and able to work out for teams.
Fantasy Spin: Collins rushed for 411 yards and seven touchdowns over 10 games with the Ravens last season. He has little to offer in the passing game but could serve a goal-line role. He'll be worth keeping an eye on in case he lands in the right situation.
Houston Texans S Mike Adams (concussion), CB Lonnie Johnson (ankle) and S Justin Reid (concussion, shoulder) did not participate in practice Tuesday, Nov. 19. LB Dylan Cole (knee), WR Will Fuller (hamstring), S Tashaun Gipson (back), OL Tytus Howard (knee) and CB Bradley Roby (hamstring) were limited. QB Deshaun Watson (ankle) practiced in full. The Texans will only hold a walkthrough Tuesday night, so the injury report is an estimation.
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone thinks the team relied on the pass too much in quarterback Nick Foles' return in Week 11 against the Colts. Jacksonville set a franchise record for the fewest rushing attempts in a game with nine -- six of them coming during the first half. Running back Leonard Fournette had five first-half carries and only rushed the ball three times in the second half. "That was my mistake. That was a big mistake by me. . . . I thought we needed to score points in a quicker fashion," Marrone said, via the teams website. "Thats what led to the increased pass attempts. Thats on me as a head coach. We need to be more balanced moving forward." Thankfully Fournette was heavily involved in the passing game as well, but that's two straight disappointments on the ground for him. He should be able to bounce back as a solid RB1 in Week 12 against the Titans.
The New England Patriots officially activated left tackle Isaiah Wynn (toe) from the Injured Reserve on Tuesday, according to a source. Wide receiver Gunner Olszewski (ankle, hamstring) was placed on Injured Reserve in a corresponding move. Wynn is set to return for Week 12 against the Cowboys, which will be a big boost for New England's struggling offensive line. While Wynn won't be a guaranteed upgrade on Marshall Newhouse, it's a good sign after the Patriots afforded Tom Brady little time to throw in the Week 11 win over the Eagles. Dallas' defensive front will be another tough test, so hopefully Wynn will give Brady better protection on his blind side.
Indianapolis Colts TE Eric Ebron (ankle) did not participate in practice Tuesday, Nov. 19. The Colts did not hold a practice Tuesday, so this is an estimation.
Fantasy Spin: Indianapolis did not practice Monday either and won't be going too hard Wednesday with a game at the Houston Texans on Thursday. Nevertheless, owners probably shouldn't expect much from Ebron in Week 12. Consider him a middling TE2 if he plays. If he doesn't, Jack Doyle could be a low-end streamer.
Washington Redskins DE Noah Spence was released Tuesday, Nov. 19.
Indianapolis Colts running back Jordan Wilkins (ankle) and rookie wide receiver Parris Campbell (hand) were both listed as limited participants in Tuesday's estimation of their walkthrough practice. Wilkins was inactive in Week 11 but looks to be on track to play in Week 12 on Thursday against the Texans. It's notable with Marlon Mack (hand) out up to a month, but Jonathan Williams remains the more likely candidate for early down work on Thursday with Mack sidelined. Nyheim Hines should maintain his role as a third-down pass-catcher. Williams is the running back to target off waivers if you're in need, although both Williams and Wilkins could wind up sharing touches. Campbell is making progress but isn't expected to return until next month. He's a fine dynasty stash, but we wouldn't expect much fantasy production from him in redraft leagues the rest of the way.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (calf) and tight end Eric Ebron (ankle) both remained sidelined for Tuesday's estimation of their practice report. The Colts aren't ruling Hilton out for a return on Thursday night against the Texans, but fantasy owners would like to see him at least get in a limited session on Wednesday. While he's been out since Week 8, Hilton would have high-end WR2 upside against a weak Texans secondary if he were to return this week. He's been notorious for having huge games against Houston in the past. Ebron looks to be in danger of sitting out on the short week. If that were to happen, Jack Doyle would have low-end TE1 appeal after throwing up a donut in Week 11. Zach Pascal has been the team's primary receiver in Hilton's absence, but he's a low-upside flex in this run-first offense.