Before we look forward, we must look back. The NFL season builds upon itself each week and offers up its share of highs and lows. This is on a cumulative basis but DFS gives us a fresh start each week. The key is to take everything as a learning experience while not overreacting in either direction.
Each week we will take a look at five positive and five negative situations that transpired from the week prior and what it means going forward. Let’s keep in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg and throughout the week we will go into further detail about other players that deserve our attention for the coming slate of games. That is why you need to stick with us throughout the week.
For those who have yet to subscribe, what are you waiting for? As a preview of what you can expect, let’s take a look at Alvin Kamara. Last season Kamara battled injury and could have easily been classified as a disappointment. In PPR leagues that wasn’t entirely the case though with Kamara showing off his skills as a receiver when he was on the field. Despite some pessimism entering the season on the Saints’ running back, he continued to be that receiving threat this past week. As far as carries went, things were split pretty evenly between Kamara (12) and Latavius Murray (15) while neither found much success. Murray (48 yards) was more effective than Kamara (16), but it was Kamara that found the end zone on the ground. More importantly he caught five passes for 51 yards and a touchdown and it gave us a good indication as to what we can expect moving forward. Kamara likely won’t score two touchdowns every week but he should do better than 16 rushing yards. At this point I’m still saying away from Kamara in DFS until we get proof that he can be trusted as a runner but all is not lost.
Behind the paywall, we will continue to take a closer look at some other players that stood out from a busy week of football. So, keep on going and take a look at what we have to offer.
When Adrian Peterson was released prior to Week 1 it appeared like it would be a few weeks, if at all, until he was fantasy relevant this season. That quickly changed though against the Bears as the backfield appears to belong to Peterson. Well that is true at least for first and second down as the veteran was the leading ball carrier for Detroit on Sunday. Peterson took advantage of his opportunity as he ran well and with explosiveness gaining 93 yards and 14 carries. That was a lot better than his peers did as Kerryon Johnson gained just 14 yards on seven carries while D’Andre Swift picked up eight yards on three carries. Swift was a factor in the passing game as he caught three passes for 15 yards with a critical drop of what could have been a game winning touchdown. Peterson is on my radar moving forward while Johnson is off my list with Swift being someone to watch. The rookie has potential and explosiveness, but it might be another few weeks until we see him truly take off.
Indianapolis is another backfield in which we gained clarity this week. Unfortunately a large part of that clarity did come from the season ending injury to Marlon Mack. Prior to departing with what we later learned is a torn Achilles tendon, Mack carried the ball four times for 26 yards while catching three passes for 36 yards. That workload is now up for grabs and it makes things easier for fantasy owners to figure out the Colts’ backfield with rookie Jonathan Taylor playing a large role. Taylor had trouble getting things going on the ground, 22 yards on nine carries, but he did catch six passes for 67 yards. Mack’s injury should clear the path for Taylor to take his role while also making the path to success easier for Nyheim Hines as he looks to reprise the role Austin Ekeler had with Philip Rivers on the Chargers. While Hines gained 73 total yards on Sunday and his eight receptions for 45 yards is easily repeatable, don’t bet him scoring two touchdowns each week (one rushing and one receiving). In PPR leagues he has real value though as the Colts should be able to sustain both running backs with Taylor seeing the true increase in value.
I was wrong about Clyde Edwards-Helaire. That cannot be made any clearer as, at least for one week, he lived up to pre-season status. There wasn’t any question as to who the Kansas City backfield belongs to as Edwards-Helaire gained 138 yards on 25 carries while scoring a touchdown. With his longest run being just 27 yards it was steady success for the rookie as he looked both explosive and comfortable. The fact that Edwards-Helaire didn’t catch either of his two targets and wasn’t a factor in the passing game doesn’t concern me as that will come with time and his rushing success was more than enough.
The move to Arizona appears to be working out great for DeAndre Hopkins as there appear to be no chemistry issues between him and Kyler Murray. Hopkins wasted no time adjusting to his new home as he was targeted early and often against a tough San Francisco defense. He caught 14 passes for 151 yards and eight first downs and it is clear Murray will look his way early and often. Murray didn’t have the best of passing games with just 230 yards and a touchdown but with Hopkins by his side, he should be able to build on this effort as a strong option at the position. From a fantasy perspective, Murray ran for 91 yards and a touchdown and while that won’t happen each week, the rushing potential provides a nice floor.
What got into Aaron Rodgers? After scuffling through last season Rodgers’ stock was down entering the season, but that changed drastically this week. Taking advantage of a weak Minnesota secondary we saw Rodgers throw for 364 yards and four touchdowns this week. Not only was Devante Adams unstoppable with 14 receptions for 156 yards and two touchdowns there is also a lot to like about Allen Lazard (four receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (four receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown). Green Bay has to be recognized as a top fantasy offense.
George Kittle was in prime position to dominate last week but that didn’t happen. As the most expensive tight end on the Sunday slate big things were expected of Kittle but instead he caught just four passes on five targets for 44 yards. In fairness to Kittle though he was limited by a sprained knee but despite that he missed just one snap. Kittle should dominate against the Jets this coming week but that is very much dependent upon his knee. Don’t write off Kittle off due to his struggles but don’t look to roster him this week unless we see positive reports coming out of practice this week as he isn’t worth the investment otherwise.
Entering the week I didn’t feel especially confident about Tom Brady or Rob Gronkowski and neither former Patriot did much to prove me wrong. Brady managed just 239 yards and two touchdowns while also throwing two interceptions in what was supposed to be a high scoring battle with the Saints. The fact he surprisingly ran for a touchdown helped save his value from a fantasy perspective but I’m staying away until I see something more. The same goes for Gronkowski as he was targeted just three times as he caught two passes for 11 yards with O.J. Howard appearing to be Brady’s go to tight end as he had four receptions for 36 yards and a touchdown on six targets. For now with Mike Evans battling a hamstring injury, Chris Godwin (six receptions for 79 yards) is all I’m interested in on Tampa Bay but Scotty Miller is firmly on my radar as he caught five passes for 73 yards.
Game flow didn’t work in Todd Gurley’s favor this week as Atlanta was trailing all afternoon. In his first game with the Falcons, Gurley gained 56 yards on 14 carries while also finding the end zone in what could been seen as a disappointing effort. With little true competition in the Falcons’ backfield there won’t be any issues of volume for Gurley and he showed enough last week against a tough Seattle defense to be a viable option this season and he should find more room to run against the Cowboys this week.
Stay away. That advice can apply to a lot of players and situations but right now it applies to Odell Beckham. In a game where Cleveland never had a chance and game flow should have dictated success for him that simply didn’t occur. That should have been the case as he was targeted 10 times but instead Beckham caught just three passes for 32 yards. Baker Mayfield wasn’t much better with 189 yards and one touchdown and I’m not expecting things to improve this week against Cincinnati on Thursday with a quick turnaround.
Joe Mixon got the work on Sunday but that didn’t translate to much in the way of results. He carried the 19 times which was a very positive sign but all it led to was 69 rushing yards. With just one catch for two yards Mixon wasn’t a factor in the passing game and while fantasy owners have a right to be disappointed, I wouldn’t stray just yet as we can expect a rebound against the Browns on Thursday.
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