Jason Wheeler- Week 1 Quick Hits

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My thoughts on all week 1 games

Finally football that counts! Fantasy seasons are underway! It is nice to have film of a whole game to watch instead of speculating on what I see in a couple of drives in a preseason game. Let’s get to the Week 1 action:

Steelers @ Patriots

  • Pittsburgh Steelers
    • Steelers are going to throw a lot and their offensive line looked good, so if you own Le’Veon Bell, you’re happy.
    • Antonio Brown is a stud WR. Now just picture Martavis Bryant running down those deep balls instead of Wheaton and Heyward-Bey. Ben’s value will rise.
    • Sell Heath Miller now as he will see a decrease in targets and production when Bell and Bryant come back
  • New England Patriots
    • Tom Brady hasn’t lost anything. Hasn’t thrown a good deep ball in a couple years and still a very good fantasy option.
    • Rob Gronkowski is a monster and should be treated as a top WR.
    • Julian Edelman only WR worth owning in any format
    • Look for Dion Lewis to play the “Vereen Role” when Blount comes back next week. Usable in PPR formats

Packers @ Bears

  • Green Bay Packers
    • Rodgers is the top fantasy QB
    • Eddie Lacy was good but nothing spectacular. Still a RB1 because of volume in this offense.
    • Randall Cobb is not completely healthy so all of his catches were on short routes. Davante Adams will get a nice share of targets. James Jones makes Ty Montgomery and Jeff Janis just names to monitor and deep dynasty holds.
  • Chicago Bears
    • Jay Cutler is unusable in standard 1 QB leagues, with the possibility of being a streamer option against a good matchup.
    • This offense will run through Matt Forte. He is showing no signs of age just yet. Locked in as an RB1.
    • Alshon Jeffery will see a ton of targets, including possibly leading the league in endzone targets. Could be a possible buy-low option.
    • No other WRs there have much value unless in deeper leagues.
    • Martellus Bennett is the third option in the passing game behind Jeffery and Forte.

Chiefs @ Texans

  • Kansas City Chiefs
    • Jamaal Charles is the main guy in this offense. Locked in as an RB1.
    • Travis Kelce could experience his breakout season here as “Mini Gronk.” He will be a primary weapon in the passing game.
    • Jeremy Maclin is the only WR with value here and will see close to 10 targets a game.
    • Alex Smith is an average fantasy QB that can get the ball to his weapons. Possible streamer some weeks.
  • Houston Texans
    • DeAndre Hopkins is an animal and can potentially lead the league in targets. Not quite ready to buy in to Nate Washington or Ceil Shorts yet, especially with Arian Foster coming back.
    • No QBs or RBs not named Arian Foster are worth owning here.

Browns @ Jets

  • Cleveland Browns
    • Disappointing running game against a tough opponent. Duke Johnson is the better play then Isaiah Crowell, especially PPR.
    • If Johnny Manziel is the QB, he will have some value because of his rushing, but his passing is not good.
    • There are no other weapons here that I am monitoring for Fantasy purposes.
  • New York Jets
    • Chris Ivory is the obvious workhorse RB here. Bilal Powell only got a lot of touches when the game was out of hand.
    • Brandon Marshall is clearly the lead WR, with Eric Decker and Chris Owusu having less value.

Colts @ Bills

  • Indianapolis Colts
    • Luck got it going against a tough matchup after falling behind early. I’m not panicking if I own him.
    • Frank Gore got hurt but should be okay. Just know Josh Robinson is the handcuff to own
    • TY Hilton got hurt and might miss a week or two. Donte Moncrief is the guy you want while Hilton is out. Andre Johnson looks old and slow.
  • Buffalo Bills
    • Tyrod Taylor will have value because of his rushing. He made some good throws but will never attempt a heavy volume of throws.
    • LeSean McCoy did not look great with a decent matchup but he is still banged up. Karlos Williams is the handcuff to own there.
    • Sammy Watkins was shadowed by one of the best cornerbacks this week and saw zero targets because of it. He is a possible buy-low candidate. Percy Harvin will have inconsistent value from week to week, but he should probably be owned in all PPR leagues.

Dolphins @ Redskins

  • Miami Dolphins
    • Offense is very conservative by nature and there will not be many big plays. Ryan Tannehill was just okay and his rushing was not there to keep his floor high.
    • Lamar Miller not involved as much as I thought he would be but it was a tough matchup. He is a buy-low candidate.
    • Jarvis Landry is a PPR stud and will see double digit targets most weeks. No other WR there has value right now for me, but that can change when DeVante Parker gets involved in the offense.
    • Jordan Cameron was a big piece of that offense and can be a top 10 tight end.
  • Washington Redskins
    • Kirk Cousins is a turnover machine but he will throw a lot. He is good enough for his weapons to maintain fantasy value.
    • Alfred Morris was fed the ball and had a good game but he is still not involved in the passing game at all. He is a borderline top 15 RB for me. Chris Thompson played third downs and Matt Jones seems to be the handcuff to Morris.
    • DeSean Jackson is likely out for a month with a strained hamstring, so Pierre Garcon and Jordan Reed get the biggest bump for me. Andre Roberts is a name to monitor in deeper leagues.

Panthers @ Jaguars

  • Carolina Panthers
    • Cam Newton has very few weapons around him but at least he showed he’s willing to run a good amount. It should keep his floor high.
    • Jonathan Stewart is the workhorse RB there and should be around 20+ touches a week.
    • Greg Olsen had a bad day and only saw three targets, but he should be the number 1 option in the passing game moving forward. He is a potential buy-low candidate.
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
    • TJ Yeldon looked very good. I need to remind myself that his offense is terrible, but I loved what I saw watching him on film.
    • Allen Robinson had a scare with an injury but he returned. He is the number 1 option there and saw three endzone targets. Rashad Greene and Allen Hurns both saw a lot of targets, 13 and 7 respectively, but I do not expect that every week.

Seahawks @ Rams

  • Seattle Seahawks
    • The offense was not great and stalls a lot. Their offensive line has a lot of work to do, and they are conservative as a whole, so there are not many reliable options there.
    • Marshawn Lynch is a solid RB and even saw seven targets. He is locked in as an RB1.
    • Jimmy Graham will see a lot of redzone and endzone targets, but his total yards will be down from what we are used to seeing.
    • I don’t trust the wide receivers here, but if I had to choose one to own, it is probably the explosive rookie, Tyler Lockett, whose ceiling is much higher than Doug Baldwin or Jermaine Kearse.
  • Louis Rams
    • Nick Foles looked pretty good and completed 8 passes of over 20 yards, but temper your expectations if you even had any, because the Rams want to run the ball.
    • Benny Cunningham received 7 targets and was very good with his opportunities. Todd Gurley is coming back soon so it will be interesting to see if they still use Cunningham as the pass-catching RB. If they do, he is a usable RB in PPR formats.
    • Jared Cook seemed to be a major part of the passing game as well, receiving 6 targets.

Saints @ Cardinals

  • New Orleans Saints
    • Drew Brees threw a lot of short routes, and that seems to be the way he has been trending since last season. He throws to his running backs a lot, which is good news for owners of those guys.
    • Mark Ingram saw 9 targets to go along with his 9 rushes. It is a little concerning that Khiry Robinson got 8 rushes though. Mark Ingram is a high end RB2 for me.
    • Brandin Cooks did not have a great game but he will be the number 1 option there so he’ll be a middle-of-the-pack WR2. Marques Colston and Brandon Coleman have some value in deeper leagues. I prefer Coleman between the two.
    • Everyone was on the Josh Hill hype train this summer. Well Benjamin Watson played a lot more and saw 5 targets. Josh Hill only ran a total of 7 routes and didn’t get targeted. He is very droppable.
  • Arizona Cardinals
    • Carson Palmer is going to throw the ball a lot and he is a very intriguing option at QB.
    • Andre Ellington is going to get a lot of work if he stays healthy, but that is a big “IF.” He is already out for the next two to three weeks with a PCL sprain.
    • Chris Johnson is the starter this week in place of Ellington, so if you need a spot start, he is your guy. I am higher on David Johnson, who has the higher ceiling, but head coach Bruce Arians has come out and said he is not ready to throw the rookie RB into the fire just yet.
    • John Brown is the wide receiver to own here. He has the highest upside and will see the most targets. Larry Fitzgerald is a possession receiver at this point in his career, and until we see anything different from Michael Floyd, he is a boom or bust WR3 that sees some deep balls.

Lions @ Chargers

  • Detroit Lions
    • Matthew Stafford is droppable. He makes too many bad throws and there are guys with more consistent production.
    • Ameer Abdullah is the running back you want in Detroit. Joique Bell looks old and slow, and is plodding around out there.
    • Calvin Johnson only saw 4 targets but he was double-teamed most of the day. I’m not panicking just yet. Golden Tate is still overvalued to me. He saw 8 targets but it was all short passes.
    • Eric Ebron may be coming into his own and looks like he can be a reliable part of that offense, and a potential option on the waiver wire at the tight end position.
  • San Diego Chargers
    • Phillip Rivers threw the ball a lot, but I’m not sure that trend will continue. Detroit is a very good run defense, so expect a more balanced game flow going forward. He is a usable option at QB.
    • Melvin Gordon and Danny Woodhead split touches, with Woodhead getting more redzone looks and total targets. Gordon looked better than he did in the preseason, but Woodhead might be the better play as of right now.
    • Keenan Allen is going to catch a lot of balls this year, but what seems to be his issue is, can he find pay dirt? Stevie Johnson looked good but he mostly ran short routes like bubble screens. Don’t expect huge numbers from him.

Titans @ Buccaneers

  • Tennessee Titans
    • Marcus Mariota looked like the real deal but I’m not rushing to pick him up just yet. We have yet to see a rookie go through a whole year without making huge mistakes at one point or another.
    • Bishop Sankey ran well and may have put a firmer grip on the starting RB role there. He even caught a touchdown pass.
    • Kendall Wright is the only wide receiver I would want here. Delanie Walker is the number 2 option in the passing game, assuming his hand injury is not bad.
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    • Jameis Winston made some bad decisions but did show that he is willing to throw downfield and even ran some.
    • Doug Martin looked good but they were down early so they had to go away from him. Charles Sims will still play a decent amount of passing downs.
    • Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson will see around double-digit targets in this offense, and no other WR is worth owning. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins had a ncie game but I’m not rushing to add him just yet. I want to see what this offense looks like with Mike Evans playing first.

Bengals @ Raiders

  • Cincinnati Bengals
    • Andy Dalton had a full complement of weapons and he looked good. He is nothing more than a streaming option as of right now.
    • Jeremy Hill is going to dominate that backfield in touches, but Giovani Bernard did get 14 touches. A lot of his work was done after the game was out of hand though. Bernard is still a borderline RB2 in PPR formats.
    • AJ Green and Tyler Eifert are the two main threats in the passing game. Here is to hoping Eifert can stay healthy!
  • Oakland Raiders
    • The only three guys I care about here are Latavius Murray, Amari Cooper, and Michael Crabtree.
    • Interesting to note that it seems as if Taiwan Jones is the Murray handcuff.
    • Cooper and Crabtree will both see 8 or more targets a game, with Cooper having a much higher ceiling.

Ravens @ Broncos

  • Baltimore Ravens
    • Joe Flacco had no time to throw and is in dire need of some weapons.
    • Justin Forsett was not good in a tough matchup but hopefully he can redeem himself this week against Oakland.
    • Steve Smith did not look good at all running routes and may be tough to start on a weekly basis.
  • Denver Broncos
    • Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense looked very dysfunctional. I’m not dropping Manning, but I am concerned.
    • CJ Anderson and Ronnie Hillman did not do much in a tough matchup, but the positive was that Anderson did see 8 targets. We’ll monitor his toe injury, but as of right now, it does not seem to be a huge issue.
    • Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas are the only wide receivers worth rostering at this point. They should both see close to ten targets, if not more, every week.
    • Owen Daniels is droppable at this point.

Giants @ Cowboys

  • New York Giants
    • Eli Manning did not throw downfield at all in what seemed to be a good matchup. He is only a starter in deep leagues or 2QB leagues.
    • Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen basically split snaps, with Andre Williams playing way more than he should have. Vereen remains a viable option in PPR, and Jennings a potential top 25 RB.
    • Odell Beckham Jr. only ran short routes it seemed like. He will dominate targets there with Victor Cruz out. I’m not rostering Preston Parker or Reuben Randle.
  • Dallas Cowboys
    • Tony Romo also threw a lot of short stuff to running backs and tight ends.
    • Joseph Randle led all RBs in touches and looked okay. Darren McFadden showed some bursts but noting to ride home about. Lance Dunbar is an intriguing PPR play with his 8 targets and 70 receiving yards.
    • Jason Witten will be a major focal part of the passing game with Dez Bryant out. Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley’s values should rise. A name to monitor is newly acquired Brice Butler

Eagles @ Falcons

  • Philadelphia Eagles
    • Sam Bradford and the offense looked very bad in the first half. The offensive line got a little better in the second half. Bradford is a buy-low candidate.
    • DeMarco Murray will be fine in this offense. Ryan Matthews and Darren Sproles both played a decent amount of snaps, with Sproles dominating touches when they were in pass-happy mode. All 3 RBs should be rostered, and Sproles really only has value in PPR formats.
    • Jordan Matthews will lead this team in targets by a fair amount. Don’t be quick to drop Nelson Agholor. He was second on the team in routes run behind only Matthews, but the outside wide receivers will be a rotation.
    • Zach Ertz finally played a lot more snaps than Brent Celek. We will see how much of that was based on game flow though. If he continues this trend, he is a very viable tight end option.
  • Atlanta Falcons
    • Matt Ryan was pretty good but did miss some throws. He remains locked in as your every week starter.
    • Tevin Coleman is the running back you want to roster here, with Devonta Freeman only being used as a change-of-pace back.
    • Julio Jones and Roddy White are the two wide receivers with value here. Jones is a monster and has a very realistic shot at being the number 1 WR in fantasy this year.

Vikings @ 49ers

  • Minnesota Vikings
    • This was a very ugly game for Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings offense as a whole. Teddy is not an every week starter.
    • Adrian Peterson did not play much. Maybe they are working him back into the swing of things? Either way, he didn’t look terrible in his attempts. There just wasn’t a lot of room there. He will be used some in the passing game though, which is encouraging. He is possible buy-low candidate.
    • Mike Wallace led the wide receivers in targets, and tied for the team lead with Kyle Rudolph. The only pass catchers I want here are Wallace, Charles Johnson, and Kyle Rudolph.
  • San Francisco 49ers
    • This was the Carlos Hyde show. They are going to ride him all year, so hopefully he can stay healthy. The offensive line did a good job against a pretty good defense. Carlos Hyde is a borderline top 10 RB this year.
    • Maybe this is the Vernon Davis resurgence year. He led the team in targets with 6.
    • I am not high on either Anquan Boldin or Torrey Smith. I don’t trust the offense or Colin Kaepernick enough to think they will help your fantasy teams.

Be sure to listen to our podcast, “Coast to Coast Fantasy Football” on SoundCloud. We are refining our schedule to hit on the key days of the week with Tuesday talking about injuries and waiver wire pickups. On Wednesdays, we will talk about some streamer and sleeper options for the week, and on Thursdays or Fridays, we will talk strictly Daily Fantasy strategies.

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