Fantasy Football: Studs and Duds from Week 1

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New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) launches an early first quarter pass. The New Orleans Saints hosted the the Green Bay Packers at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL Sunday, September 12, 2021 after the Saint's home game had to be move from New Orleans after Hurricane Ida hit the Louisiana coast. The Saints went into the half with a 17 to 3 lead over the Packers. Jki 091221 Saintsvspackers 28

One thing that is extremely important is to review your fantasy football lineups and see what players did well, which ones faltered, and see who you could add to your team to only turn it into a championship contender. I’ll review and highlight some top performances from the previous week, go over some players that failed to deliver, and go over some waiver wire pickups.

Fantasy football Studs


Jameis Winston – In his first game as the Saints starter, Winston really showed that he has changed as a leader and as a quarterback. While his yardage didn’t wow anyone (148 passing yards), Winston completed 60% of his passes, ran the ball six times for 37 yards, and tossed five touchdown passes with no turnovers.

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Sep 12, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) runs with the ball against the Tennessee Titans during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Kyler Murray – Murray has all of the talent in the world and he showcased that in Week 1 as he was able to throw for 289 passing yards while managing to toss four touchdown passes. In addition to finding the end zone several times through the air, Murray also ran the ball five times for 20 yards and found the end zone once.

Running Backs

Christian McCaffrey
– The top running back in the league continues to dominate in any matchup and McCaffrey delivered once again in week 1. CMC had 21 carries for 98 rushing yards but his upside lies in the passing game as he hauled in all nine targets for 89 receiving yards.

D’Andre Swift – Swift had the second-best week for a PPR back and his performance against San Francisco is one to be remembered. He only had 11 carries for 39 rushing yards but he flashed his receiving skills as he saw the most targets from the running back position with 11 and he hauled in eight of those for 89 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown.

Wide Receivers

Tyreek Hill – Hill had a monster week 1 as he almost eclipsed the 200-yard receiving mark (197 yards) and hauled in 11 catches on 15 targets while having a 75-yard touchdown reception in the process. HIll was involved early and often and there’s a good chance he could push for the top wide receiver spot in the league.

Amari Cooper – Cooper had a little bit of a statement game in week 1 against Tampa Bay as he found paydirt twice on Thursday Night Football. Cooper saw the most targets in the league through week 1 (16) and he hauled in 13 catches for 139 receiving yards.

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Dec 26, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller (83) reacts against the Miami Dolphins during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Tight Ends

Rob Gronkowski – Gronk turned back the clock and had the most impressive opening week of all of the tight-end options. Gronk caught all eight of his targets for 90 yards but emerged as a big-time red-zone threat for Brady and this Bucs offense as he recorded two receiving touchdowns.

Darren Waller – Derek Carr looked Waller’s way early and often as he saw 19 targets in their Monday Night Football matchup against Baltimore. Waller hauled in 10 of those targets for 105 receiving yards while also managing to score a touchdown against his former team.

Fantasy football duds

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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) gets off a pass during early first quarter action. The New Orleans Saints hosted the the Green Bay Packers at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL Sunday, September 12, 2021 after the Saint’s home game had to be move from New Orleans after Hurricane Ida hit the Louisiana coast. The Saints went into the half with a 17 to 3 lead over the Packers. Jki 091221 Saintsvspackers 27


Aaron Rodgers – Rodgers was arguably the biggest disappointment of week 1 across the board. He only completed 53% of his passes for only 133 passing yards and tossed two interceptions. Fantasy owners expect way more from Rodgers and he should deliver in week 2 against the Detroit Lions.

Matt Ryan – Another veteran quarterback that disappointed fantasy owners was Matt Ryan. Ryan completed 71% of his passes for 164 passing yards but failed to find the end zone and he will need to do that since he has very little rushing upside.

Running Backs

Ezekiel Elliott – Zeke fantasy owners were definitely let down in week 1 with his overall performance and usage against the Tampa Bay Bucs last Thursday night. He only had 11 carries for 33 yards but his backup, Tony Pollard, was more involved in the passing game so if Dallas is getting in these shootout types of games, Zeke could have a hard time hitting his 1-2 round value.

Najee Harris – Harris definitely saw the workload as he carried the rock 16 times but was only able to accrue 45 total yards. He should continue to see a workload like that but we will have to see how this Steelers offensive line holds up in front of him as the season progresses.

Wide Receivers

Davante Adams – The top fantasy football wide receiver had a very pedestrian week 1 but the same could be said for the entire Green Bay offense. Adams hauled in five catches on seven total targets and was able to record 56 receiving yards. He should have a bounce-back week against Detroit on Monday Night Football.

Julio Jones – Jones is another receiver who underperformed and let people down in week 1. He saw six targets but was only able to bring in three catches for 29 yards. With him being in a new offense, it could take a few weeks for him to fully settle in and establish rapport with Ryan Tannehill.

Mike Evans – Evans owners were left scratching their heads as they saw Brady favor Gronk, Brown, and Godwin in week 1 while Evans was only able to bring in three catches on six targets for 24 total targets. This Bucs offense is very potent and the go-to guy for Brady could adjust on a week-to-week basis so Evans owners should not fret.

Tight Ends

Mark Andrews – Andrews got a massive contract extension right before the season but failed to deliver as he hauled in three catches on five targets for 20 yards against the Raiders on Monday night. With the injuries on this Ravens offense, Andrews should be able to continue to be featured and have much better performances in the future.

Waiver Wire Pickups

Elijah Mitchell – With Raheem Mostert going down for the season, everyone thought Trey Sermon would be the guy to carry the load moving forward for San Francisco but it seems that Mitchell will be carrying the rock moving forward. Mitchell had 19 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown and if he is able to continue to see that workload, he could be a high-end #2 running back for your team.

Mark Ingram II– Ingram had himself a big week 1 as he had 26 carries for 85 rushing yards and a touchdown. While we know that he will not get 20+ carries on the weekly basis, he could be one that could be a spot start in your lineup should you have an injury or need someone to fill in on the bye week.

Jakobi Meyers– Depending on how deep your league is, Meyers could be taken already but if he is available, he could be worth a bench spot. He saw nine total targets and hauled in six catches for 44 yards. With Mac Jones being a better distributor of the football than Cam Newton, Meyers could find himself leading this Patriots offense with targets and receptions.

Juwan Johnson – Jameis Winston has found himself a big-body target in the red zone with Johnson and this pairing should continue to build rapport as the season goes on. Johnson only saw three targets throughout their entire game against the Packers but he was able to turn those two targets into touchdowns.