The first week of the NFL is in the books and fantasy football owners are left trying to determine which performances over the first week were legitimate trends or just a temporary illusions. It’s difficult to really spot any trends after just one week of the season but when you look into the numbers, you might be able to get a jump on your opponents early on. Let’s breakdown some performances from various running backs, wide receivers and a few quarterbacks.
Houston Texans RB Arian Foster- Injury issue? Game-time decision? Well, 26 carries and two scores later, Foster looked just fine against the Dolphins. Outlook- Foster needs to start every week unless he has a very serious injury.
Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson- Is Peterson superhuman? Peterson’s effectiveness bodes poorly for owners which selected Toby Gerhart in expectations of getting a few quality starts from him. Peterson should have a nice week against the Colts this Sunday. Outlook- Peterson should continue to get stronger as the season wears on.
Jacksonville Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew- MJD was supposed to play for Jacksonville only as the team’s third down back last Sunday. He wound up the afternoon with 19 carries. Outlook- As with Peterson, MJD should continue to get stronger as the season moves along.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin- The Bucs used Martin a lot against the Panthers Sunday. While I don’t believe he can maintain the pace of 28 carries per game, but he will be the focal part of the Buccaneers offense. Outlook- Martin will continue to be a solid RB 2 for this season.
Washington Redskins RB Alfred Morris- Morris’ performance on the field was overshadowed by the stellar rookie debut of QB Robert Griffin III. The sixth-round rookie gained 96 yards and two scores Sunday. Outlook- Morris flew off waiver wires this week, but buyer beware in regards to Redskins running backs. Morris should be a RB2 starter this week against the rams, but opposing defenses will get stronger in coming weeks.
New England Patriots RB Stevan Ridley- 21 carries for 125 yards and a score was an impressive start for Ridley. More impressive, he accounted for 10 first downs on Sunday, the highest total of any running back. Outlook-For the time being, Ridley appears to be the man in New England, but buyer beware. As with the Redskins, Patriots running backs can be disappointments in fantasy circles.
Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller- Spiller sits atop the NFL with 169 rushing yards. If you subtract a 55-yard run he had, Spiller was still an impressive 13 carries for 113 yards.I was high on Spiller heading into this season as a flex player based on his performance when Jackson was out of the lineup last season. Jackson is now going to be out for at least the next four weeks. Outlook- Don’t be afraid to roll with Spiller as a RB2 in the coming weeks. Favorable matchups are looming with the Chiefs and then Cleveland Browns.
Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne- Wayne led all receivers this past weekend with 18 targets. He finished with 9 receptions for 135 yards. Wayne posted solid numbers last year with a putrid passing attack. I was very high on Wayne as a late round pick this year. Outlook- The Colts should be playing from behind a lot and will be throwing the ball a lot. Don’t be surprised if Wayne isn’t in the top-10 receivers in yards at the end of the season. Start as a WR2 or flex player. Colts TE Coby Fleener was targeted 10 times as well Sunday.
Washington Redskins WR Pierre Garcon- This is another receiver that I liked heading into this season based on reports out of Redskins camp last month. Garcon only finished the game with four receptions Sunday, but he exited early with a foot injury. Outlook- I expect Garcon to become RG III’s favorite receiver this season and his 88-yard score last weekend was just the first on many long touchdowns we’ll see this season from Garcon.
Chicago Bears WR Brandon Marshall- Look for Marshall to return to production like he had in Denver this season. Three straight seasons with the Broncos, Marshall logged over 100 receptions. Outlook- Marshall is a must start every week.
Dallas Cowboys WR Kevin Ogletree- 11 targets, eight receptions for 114 yards and two scores. Ogletree is another player which flew off waiver wires this week. Outlook- Could he become this season’s version of Laurent Robinson for the Cowboys? It’s possible. I might be really wrong here, but after watching a replay of the Giants game, I think Ogletree benefited from favorable matchups and Dez Bryant and Miles Austin had very limited playing time in the preseason. I think he might be a risky flex play as the season moves along.
Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco- The new look, hurry-up offense of the Ravens seems to agree with Flacco. Flacco completed 72% of his passes, had a 10.31 yards per attempt average and had the fourth highest passer rating, 128.4. Outlook- I own Flacco on two of my teams and got him as my QB2. The Ravens did not come to an agreement on a new contract at the start of the season, so I believe he’ll be playing with a chip on his shoulder. I’m expecting a career high season from him.
Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III- The Baylor product had a record setting debut against the Saints. RGIII has a favorable matchup this week on the road again versus the St. Louis Rams. Griffin completed 73% of his passes, posted a 139.9 passer rating and an impressive 12.31 yards per attempt average. Outlook- As teams start to get more film on Griffin, I expect his numbers to come back to earth just a bit. He flew off waiver wires this week but after this week, I think he becomes a QB2 and only a starter in favorable matchups since you likely have a higher rated quarterback on your roster.