Football is back! I even had the best quarter of my Lions life. The Lions went up 21-3. That was the end of my excitement. It's a good thing I had a few other players to watch.
There were definitely a few shockers this week. Who knew the Bills would make Andrew Luck look pedestrian, the Chiefs offense would make the Texans D look like hot butter, or the Rams would steal one from the NFC champs? It was a very weird weekend for fantasy scoring. A lot of weeks are like that, but it always seems to be highlighted when it's the first week of the season.
I'm writing this Sunday afternoon, so players from the Cowboys-Giants game or the Monday night games aren't included, but here are a few players that I am definitely crushing on this first week of NFL football. #MCM
Marcus Mariota (QB, Ten) - 209 yds. passing, 6 yds. rushing, 4 TDs.
If you watched this game or watched highlights, you saw that Mariota was awesome. The game plan looked a whole lot like RG3's game plan in his first game. Play action, moving the pocket, and quick-hitter passes. Admittedly, I didn't watch a ton of this game, but what I did see was great. Mariota can be an elite QB option if he is able to be efficient and smart. Going 13-16 passing is a good start. He only ran for 6 yards, and still had an incredible game. Expect that number to go up. If he has games with 200 yards passing, 50 yards rushing, and a couple of TDs, you're in good hands. I wouldn't say those numbers are going to be automatic, but they are a lot more likely than not.
Tyrod Taylor (QB, Buf) - 195 yds. passing, 41 yds. rushing, 1 TD.
Who would have guessed the best QB from the Colts-Bills game wouldn't be named Andrew Luck. Like Mariota, Taylor was very efficient: 14-19 passing is eerily close to Mariota's line. He didn't have the TDs, but he did have the rushing yards. I wouldn't predict this level of efficiency every game, but the rushing yards will be there; and the game plan fit Taylor well. Taylor's not an elite fantasy QB. A good, low-end starter is not out of the questions, however. Remember, Tim Tebow was a good fantasy QB with Denver.
Dion Lewis (RB, NE) - 69 yds. rushing, 51 yds. receiving.
First thing first, Lewis did fumble. That could mean the Stevan Ridley treatment (little playing time for a few weeks). The encouraging sign was that, after the fumble, Lewis got back into the game. Lewis looked like a better runner than Vereen in the pass-catching role for the Patriots. He won't be as good in the passing game, at first., but his running ability should make up for that. He's a low-end RB2 or a flex while in this role.
Danny Woodhead (RB, SD) - 42 yds. rushing, 20 yds. receiving, 2 TDs.
Woodhead is not a big man. That said, he is absolutely the goal line back for the Chargers. I watched a lot of Woodhead today. Entirely too much, if you ask me. He was impressive. I would expect him to get 10-12 carries a game (he had 12 today), and see his receptions go up a tick (he had 4 today). The Lions forgot that Keenan Allen was a part of the Chargers team, so dump downs weren't necessary. Woodhead is a must own in PPR leagues, and he's in the Dion Lewis range in standard leagues.
Percy Harvin (WR, Buf) - 79 yds. receiving, 9 yds. rushing, 1 TD.
He had me at, "Hello." Harvin is the epitome of high upside. He can get receiving yards, rushing yards, and return yards. He's been so good in this role that the "Harvin role" is a position classification. It was encouraging watching him play with Taylor. He can line up in the backfield with McCoy and Taylor, or play outside and catch long TD's like he did today. I don't know that I can trust him, yet, but he should be added in all leagues that have a bit of a bench.
Tyler Lockett (WR, Sea) 4 rec., 34 yds. receiving, 1 return TD.
Lockett didn't have a lot of catches. What he did have was electricity. I was very interested to see how much run Lockett had at WR. Lockett was 4-4 on his targets. That's not a lot of targets, but it was third among the Seattle's WRs. It is encouraging for his first NFL game. He is their guy in the "Harvin role" now that Harvin is gone, and he should see the ball in a lot of different ways this season. He's still only a speculative add, but he's a perfect guy to grab if you're set at WR. He could definitely boom.
Jordan Reed (TE, Was) 7 rec., 63 yds. receiving, 1 TD.
We talked a little about Reed on our show last Thursday (good call Peter). Reed had a ridiculous 11 targets. He is the only proven TE in Washington for now. He's a volume play. He does have a history of health concerns, so that's something to keep in mind. He's a low end TE as long as he's healthy
There are other players I really liked this week as well. Eric Ebron looked good. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins also looked like he could take the next step. Kendall Wright might have a special season, Mariota thinks he's the prettiest girl at the ball. Tavon Austin is also in the "Harvin role" for the Ram. He had 5 targets, 4 carries, and a rushing TD.
I didn't touch on guys that are owned in most leagues. I wanted to talk about players who are probably available on your waiver wire.
I hope everyone had as much fun as I did this Sunday!