Last year I gave you the low-down on all the gridiron action in Hook’s NFL Weekly Wrap-Ups. This season, I will focus solely on fantasy football. If you want box scores or the play by play, watch the games like a real man or head over to ESPN or CBSSports for the game recaps.
Each Monday night I’ll be posting articles featuring the fantasy studs and duds, which players to add/drop/keep an eye on, and my survival football pick for the following week. Why should you trust my advice? If the facts that I’ve been playing fantasy football for 15 years and I watch every single game aren’t enough for you, just check out some of the excerpts from last years articles:
-Must adds Mike Thomas WR JAC and Michael Vick QB PHI, keep an eye on Brandon Lloyd WR DEN and Marcedes Lewis TE JAX. If you added these 4 guys there’s a good chance you won your league last year.
-Must Adds Brandon Lloyd WR DEN, Peyton Hillis RB CLE, must drop Garrett Hartley K NO, keep an eye on BenJarvus Green-Ellis RB NE. Hillis was the breakout star of the 2010 season, I saved you further heartache with Hartley, and BJGE became a solid RB 2 or 3 for the rest of the season.
I could go on about how I told readers to drop Mike-Sims Walker in Week 4 or gobble up LeGarrette Blount midseason, but you get the gist of it. I’m not saying I’m going to be spot on every time, but my track record speaks for itself.
You may be asking yourself why Monday night? What about MNF? I’ll include as much MNF info as possible, but with most leagues set to Tuesday waivers you’re going to need the info before morning. So, without further ado, here’s Hook’s NFL Week 1 Fantasy Football Recap:
Studs and Duds
For our studs, we all watched Drew Brees QB NO and Aaron Rodgers QB GB throw for 3 TDs each on Thursday night as both guys spread the ball around as usual. Steve Smith WR CAR and rookie Cam Newton QB CAR had quite a day on Sunday. Smith went off for 8 rec 178 yards and 2 TDs while Cam broke records with 422 passing yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, and 1 rushing TD. Newton was the first QB ever to throw for over 400 yards in their NFL debut, but the Panthers still suck and lost the game. Mike Tolbert RB SD contributed with 9 rec, 58 rec yards, 35 rush yards and 3 TDs before being sidelined due to injury. He’ll be a headache for Ryan Mathews RB SD owners all year as Mathews does the grunt work and Tolbert gets all the goal line carries. Ray Rice RB BAL rushed for 107 yards, had 4 receptions for 42 yards and scored 2 TDs. Kenny Britt WR TEN is living up to his slightly overhyped ADP with 5 receptions 136 yards and 2 TDs in Week 1 (just don’t expect this type of production every week, one of those TDs was an 80 yarder where the MLB absolutely whiffed… should have been a 65 yard 1 TD game). LeSean McCoy RB PHI had 137 total yards and 2 TDs. Matt Forte RB CHI had 158 total yards and 1 TD. Cedric Benson RB CIN fresh out of jail tallied 123 yards and 1 TD. Ryan Fitzpatrick QB BUF stunned everyone with 4 TDs on 208 yards passing with 0 INT in the upset of the day. Megatron WR DET had 6 rec 88 yards 2 TD (he’s a force when Stafford QB DET plays). Finally the other 100+ yard producers included Reggie Wayne WR IND, Early Doucet WR ARI, DeSean Jackson WR PHI, Devery Henderson WR NO, Ben Tate RB HOU, Jason Witten TE DAL, Hakeem Nicks WR NYG, Fred Davis (who?) TE WAS, Cadillac Williams RB STL, Michael Turner RB ATL (actually had 3 receptions, too), Ryan Mathews RB SD, Fred Jackson RB BUF, Jahvid Best RB DET, Mike Wallace WR PIT, and scoreless Adrian Peterson RB MIN. UPATE: Tom Brady QB NE blew up on MNF with 517 passing yards 4 TD and 1 INT. He’s baaack. Wes Welker WR NE (8 rec 160 yards 2 TD including a 99 yard score), Aaron Hernandez TE NE (7/103/1TD), Deion Branch WR NE (7/93) and Rob Gronkowski TE NE (6/86/1) were the major benefactors of Brady’s huge night. On the other side of the field, Brandon Marshall WR MIA went for 7 rec 139 yards and Chad Henne threw for 416 yards, 2 TDs 1 INT and also had 59 rush yards and a rushing TD. Darren McFadden RB OAK also had a stellar Monday night.
As for our duds (I don’t usually do this to injured players) Arian Foster RB HOU leads off as the consensus #1 pick in fantasy drafts sat out with a hamstring injury. Chris Johnson RB TEN produced a lackluster 49 total yards. Rashard Mendenhall RB PIT had 45 rushing yards and 1 FL (the Steelers looked AWFUL). Those are 3 round 1 guys who blew it for you, but plenty of other guys also disappointed in Week 1. Speaking of the Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger QB PIT turned the ball over 5 TIMES. Matt Ryan QB ATL threw for 319 yards but had 1 INT 0 TDs. Even worse was Sam Bradford QB STL who had 188 passing yards, -15 rushing, 1 FL and a hand injury (expected to play next week). But enough picking on QBs. Shonn Greene RB NYJ managed only 33 total yards (Jets RBs rushed for under 50 yards combined as Sanchez went to the air in their Sunday night comeback victory). Vincent Jackson WR SD only had 2 rec for 31 yards. DeAngelo Williams RB CAR was neglected in Cam’s big day with 36 total yards. Mark Ingram RB NO managed only 40 yards in his debut. Jeremy Maclin WR PHI is still shaking off his off-season illness (I’m still not convinced it wasn’t AIDS) with just 1 rec for 20 yards. The biggest duds of Week 1 were LeGarrette Blount RB TB who had 15 total yards and Dwayne Bowe WR KC who managed only 2 rec for 17 yards. Gross. UPDATE: Chad Ochocinco WR NE had a measly 1 rec for 14 yards in his New England debut. I think that trend will continue until he learns the offense.
Must Add: Cadillac Williams RB STL (Jackson RB STL quad injury could linger) Cam Newton QB CAR, Ryan Fitzpatrick QB BUF (both these guys are better than your backup, just check your starter’s bye week), Devery Henderson WR NO (Colston WR NO has a broken collar bone), Early Doucet WR ARI (this year’s Brandon Lloyd WR DEN, you heard it hear first. Remember when Fitzgerald WR ARI and Boldin WR BAL were on the same team? He’s Boldin’s replacement 2 years later), Ben Tate RB HOU (can’t understand how this guy is available in 55% of yahoo leagues, if Foster’s injury lingers he could be HUGE)
Must Drop: Thomas Jones RB KC (Dexter McCluster RB KC is the handcuff you need, not this guy), Danny Amendola WR STL (Dislocated elbow, possibly out for the year), Nate Kaeding K SD (out for the year)
Keep an Eye on: Scott Chandler TE BUF (TE is deep this year, but Fitzpatrick seems to like this kid. If you’re starting Owen Daniels TE HOU or Greg Olsen TE CAR you should seriously consider other options), Randall Cobb WR GB, Doug Baldwin WR SEA, Ted Ginn Jr WR SF, Jermaine Gresham TE CIN, Deji Karim RB JAX
New this year is fantasy football Buy/Sell/Hold. These are players that have value and are owned in most leagues. Buys you should try to trade for, Sells you should try to trade away and hold are players that are likely to be either Buys or Sells in the near future.
BUY: Tom Brady QB NE (he looked a lot like 2007 Brady tonight, but you’d have to give up your first round pick for him…do it.), Mike Tolbert RB SD (unless injury is serious), Matt Forte RB CHI, Dez Bryant WR DAL, Darren Sproles RB NO, Jordy Nelson WR GB, Plaxico Burress WR NYJ, Stevie Johnson WR BUF, Jermichael Finley TE GB, Jimmy Graham TE NO, Wes Welker WR NE
SELL: Chad Ochocinco WR NE (going to struggle for about half the season, will be a BUY around week 6 if you want to waste a roster spot that long), Ryan Mathews RB SD (unless Tolbert injury is serious, then keep this guy), Fred Jackson RB BUF, Greg Olsen TE CAR, Peyton Hillis RB CLE (no repeat of 2010 in sight), Dallas Clark TE IND, Reggie Wayne WR IND, Marques Colston WR NO, Owen Daniels TE HOU, Shonn Greene RB NYJ
HOLD: Steve Smith WR CAR. Some people will tell you to sell this guy on the high. I’m not convinced this won’t be a big year for someone who was the #1 ranked WR as little as 3 years ago.
That wraps it up for Week 1. For my Week 2 survivor pick, the absolute locks are NYJ over JAX or GB over CAR (in that order, Jets are home while the Pack is away), but if you don’t want to blow top tier teams this early in the season, go with NYG at home vs a very banged up STL.