Author: Matt “TheJerk” Morrison
Hey y’all. TheJerk here again. Hope you had a great weekend watching what we’ve all missed for seven months. Today I’m going to go through all 32 teams and talk about one player’s performance on each team that shouldn’t cause you to overreact.
This season picked up right in the same place the Chiefs left off last season…dominating good football teams. A lot of fantasy (and real football) implications came from this game, but I would argue that none was bigger than Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s (CEH) debut performance. His night began modestly with back-to-back rushes to the left side, each for three yards. On the next drive, he took a one-yard rush to the right side. So here we are, nearly a full quarter into the game and CEH has three carries for seven yards with zero targets.
Were CEH owners concerned? Probably some. Was Twitter concerned? Very. Was I concerned? Minimally, and the reason is SAMPLE SIZE.
Would I have liked to see CEH rip off the first carry of his career for a 65-yard touchdown? Of course, but I think seasoned dynasty players realize (that while possible) it is not likely. Would it have been nice to see a well-organized screen (the prettiest play in football) develop to CEH? Again, of course it would, but the early game script didn’t call for it. Well as most of you reading this know, those three lackluster plays are where CEH’s lack of success ended. On his fourth carry he broke away up the middle for an 18-yard run. I’m not going to recite the entire play-by-play of his night, but he was very effective from here on out. Continuously picking up 8-12-yard chunks. In total, he ended the game with 25 carries for 138 yards with one sensational 27-yard touchdown run. (I would have liked to see at least one of his goal line carries taken in, but Houston’s defense stepped up inside the five).
So why was I so long winded in laying out that for you? I did it to show how quickly people can tilt or overreact from a small sample of plays. I literally read comments where people were saying that CEH is a bust and anyone that drafted him in the first or second round was wrong to do that. Now I’m sure some of these people don’t really believe what they’re saying and are trying to get others riled up, but that’s my point. Don’t listen to it. Don’t listen to the tilting when you know how small a sample it that is being analyzed. In the same way, don’t listen to the single game over hype that CEH is getting. The hype where people are proclaiming, he’s already heading to the HOF. That he’s a lock to win both the Rookie of the Year and MVP. This is what I say…
He had a great game. No doubt about it. His vision to find lanes were top level in my opinion. His cutting and agility were also top level. In summation, he’s showing us skills that we saw him show in college. What I am more impressed with (and it’s something that he can’t even control) is his usage. 25 carries for a rookie back in his first game on a top three offence. That is valuable. Zero targets are disappointing for sure, but those will come. My bottom line is this…had CEH come out and put up a line of 19 carries for 65 yards and no receptions, my opinion of him wouldn’t change much. I wouldn’t be declaring him a bust or be looking to trade him. Seasons take time to build steam especially in this zero-game preseason. Don’t tilt based on one bad performance. Don’t tilt based on one good performance. There are things that you should tilt on, and I’ll discuss those at the end. For now, let’s go through every NFL team and I’ll give you one player performance from each team that you shouldn’t cause you to overreact.
There were two players I was anxious to watch during this Thursday night game. I’ve already spent a great amount of time talking about the first and the second is David Johnson. DJ (having been traded for DeAndre Hopkins and carrying a 13-million-dollar salary) was under the microscope Week 1. Can he prove this trade was worth it for the Texans? Can he still produce at 28 years old? Can he produce one year removed from a season in which he looked run down?
He had many questions to answer and to be honest, this one game doesn’t answer any of them. He had a good game. He ran hard and he looked like he did three years ago. He finished with 11 rushes for 77 yards and one touchdown including three receptions for 32 yards. A solid game and one to be proud of, but I wouldn’t go out and sell my future for him. Chances are the DJ owner will be looking for a large haul following this good game, but with a 13-million-dollar price tag I wouldn’t be a buyer. Again, I think DJ should have a fine, high floor year, but the price to acquire him, given his salary, is most likely going to be too high.
Please, please don’t freak out about Devin Singletary. I know the box score doesn’t look great. I know what the big concern is, and I’m a little concerned too, but roll with him for a while before you give up. Mr. Singletary posted nine rushes for 30 yards with five receptions for 23 yards and no touchdowns. Zack Moss is the obvious elephant in the room. They both ended with disappointing, but not disastrous fantasy results. The fact is this…Buffalo is going to be using a committee for their backfield. Both Singletary and Moss are above average players and, to be honest, they should both be used. This isn’t what Singletary owners want to hear (especially when you drafted him in the late second or early third). Here is some optimism…Singletary costs less than one million. Singletary is still going to be used in the passing game. Five receptions this week is behind only Hines (8), Carson (6) and Taylor (6). So yes, I think you’ve lost value on Singletary since the draft, but the answer is not to “tilt trade” him. Hang on for a while. Don’t let one game cloud your decisions.
Sam Darnold had a poor performance on Sunday. He salvaged his day by completing a 69-yard touchdown to Jamison Crowder. A play, by the way, that was caught behind the line of scrimmage and involved two and a half-missed tackles. At any rate, Darnold completed a disappointing 21 of 34 passes. His final stat line was 215 yards with one touchdown and one INT. Not the worst performance, but not great either. There will be brighter days ahead for Darnold. Plus, with his salary being in the bottom half of all starting QB’s, he is still a value. Let’s just hope the current coaching regime in NY doesn’t start to cause regression for him.
Miami played New England close for the entire game and while Mike Gesicki had a crucial 18-yard reception during their only touchdown drive, he was otherwise mostly silent. Three receptions for 30 yards is a disappointing stat line for a player of Gesicki’s athleticism. I am unconcerned. There are not many quality receiving options in Miami, and I believe the 24-year-old TE will become more involved, especially with the news that DeVante Parker aggravated his hamstring.
Cam Newton had a great game. Cam did something in one game that Tom Brady didn’t do in the last two seasons combined. That is, he rushed for 75 yards. Cam threw for 155 yards with 75 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. A great fantasy performance and one that any owner is happy with. My problem with Cam is not going to be performance. He will have a good season if he stays healthy. My issue is his value in Dynasty Owner format. Cam is getting paid almost nothing this year. If you want to own him and make a run for the championship now, I have no issue with it. (You may not find a better value at QB) Next year however, and the years to come are concerning. If he puts up similar numbers throughout the entire season, he will get paid in 2021 and it will be north of 30 million. In my eyes, I am not willing to sacrifice what it will take to acquire him, just to lose much of that value next year.
- Team A Receives: Cam Newton
- Team B Receives: Joshua Kelley, TJ Hockenson, 2021 2nd
I understand this trade is hard to consider in a vacuum without any team needs specified, but value wise, I would rather have Team B’s side. This is a reasonable trade that could very easily be offered and accepted. Bottom line: If you have Cam, congrats and sell high if possible. If you don’t have Cam, don’t sell your future for him.
There’s no Raven’s player that I think is in danger of overreaction. Maybe the closest player I can see would be J.K. Dobbins. Dobbins was involved but ended up having a good fantasy day because he converted two carries inside the five-yard line into touchdowns. This was notoriously Mark Ingram’s territory, so it is worth monitoring in the weeks to come.
I’m unconcerned about Nick Chubb. He only rushed for 60 yards. He was out touched by Hunt, and he lost a fumble. All things considered; I chalk it up mostly to the Raven’s defense. There will be better fantasy finishes ahead for the top three running back in terms of talent.
Chubb’s QB is someone I have long term concerns for, and I’ll get to that later.
The Jags shocked me. It’s not necessarily that they beat the Colts. (I’ve been saying all offseason that Jacksonville will not be the worst team in the NFL) It was more about how they won. Every carry by a running back was taken by James Robinson. 16 carries for 62 yards to be exact. That stat line gave him the record for most rushing yards by an undrafted free agent in their debut game. But this anti overreaction is not about Robinson. It’s about Chris Thompson. Chris Thompson had zero rushes and only two receptions for 6 yards. How is that possible? Thompson was sure to be the beneficiary of additional work after the departure of Leonard Fournette. I’ll be honest, the lack of usage is puzzling for me, but for now I’ll say that game script is the reason. The Jags did not need many passes to win this game as Gardner only attempted 20. Thompson is an above average receiving back and should be worked into the scheme more in the future especially as Jacksonville trails games throughout the season. Don’t give up on him yet.
I’m not in danger of overreacting about anyone from the Colts. Rivers is what we thought he would be…a high volume, sometimes very inaccurate gunslinger. Campbell and Hilton will go back and forth as the number one receiver on the team throughout the year. Neither of their stat lines surprised me. I would say the most surprising development for the Colts is the fact that the “one-two punch” we heard about from Frank Reich was not Mack and Taylor, but instead was Hines and Mack. That point is, however, moot with the season injuring Achilles tendon injury to Mack. Look for Taylor and Hines to shoulder the backfield.
Don’t tilt over Antonio Gibson. Gibson put up nine rushes for 36 yards, and he added two receptions for eight yards. He is a rookie who was playing in his first game. In the same way that we shouldn’t have called CEH a bust if he had a poor performance on Thursday, we shouldn’t call Gibson a bust or move his value down at all. Give him time to develop and don’t shop him around for cheap. In fact, buy him low if his owner is panicking.
Zach Ertz had a fine game. It wasn’t spectacular. It may not have been what you wanted, but it was serviceable. Most importantly, it didn’t lose you the week. Just don’t look at Goedert’s box score or game film. Don’t do it…Well, if you own Ertz then you probably already know. While Ertz went for 3/18/1, Goedert went for 8/101/1. Pretty rough right? I say no. Sure; I agree that it would have been nice if Ertz would have received all of that work, but it’s not what’s happening in Philly. They have two above average tight ends and they use both of them. This just happens to be a week that was skewed in favor of Goedert. Don’t panic. Ertz had a good game and will continue to have good games. Stick with him.
Allen Robinson didn’t receive the volume he was expected to receive, or did he? Five receptions for 74 yards and no touchdowns. A solid outing. Nothing special. Robinson, however, did have nine targets. The volume was there, but the early season connection was off. I have no concerns.
AP had a great game, but I don’t expect it to continue. Peterson shouldn’t be dropped and deserves to be rostered in all leagues, but don’t get too attached to him. I expect Swift to be the best running back on the team and take over lead duties eventually. I have AP as a solid bench RB until then though.
Aaron Rodgers is owned in only one third of Dynasty Owner leagues. That’s no surprise. He added no offensive weapons in the offseason and his contract is 33.5 million for 4 years. (Quite a commitment). For those reasons, I don’t anticipate a big increase in ownership after Week 1. Rodgers went 32/44 for 364 yards and four touchdowns. He will not have to pass the ball 44 times a game very often and there will no doubt be more of a focus on the ground game in the future. If you own him, congrats on being able to afford his contract and continue to start him. If you don’t own him, don’t rush to the wire to add him.
The arguments I made against picking up Aaron Rodgers can also be applied to Kirk Cousins. Cousins had a great game. (259/2/1) He also added an unexpected 34 yards rushing. Both of his touchdowns came in the fourth quarter and one was in garbage time. Cousins costs 33 million for three years and is owned in zero Dynasty Owner leagues. It should stay that way. The long-term commitment is not worth the occasional big games. Don’t be tempted.
Looks like we’re on a QB run here with the third in a row. Russell Wilson had a phenomenal game. This was quite possibly the best game Russell has ever played. He threw 35 times, completing 31 for 322/4/0. He had the same number of touchdowns as he did incompletions. Of those four incompletions, two were blatant drops by DK Metcalf, one was tipped as he threw and one was a poor pass. Russell made a single mistake…Amazing. Regardless, Russ is owned in 100% of leagues as he should be. The price to acquire him after Week 1 would be astronomical in terms of trade and salary commitment. For that reason, I predict Russell will be in the bottom 20% of players that are traded this year. If you own him, you don’t want to trade him. If you don’t have him, you probably don’t have enough (assets or cap space) to acquire him.
Where do I begin here? Who do I talk about? How about Matt Ryan attempting 54 passes for 450 yards? How about the fact that three wideouts each had 12 targets, nine receptions and over 110 yards? I’m not a statistician, but I can guarantee you that has never happened in NFL history.
Nope, I’m going to talk about a tight end I was targeting in my DO drafts. Hayden Hurst. Hurst had a subpar game. Three receptions for 30 yards. The majority of the targets went to the aforementioned receivers. The usage will increase. I would tell you to stick with him, but with the scarcity at TE, you may not have any other options.
Don’t panic on the Raider’s rookie receivers. (Edwards and Ruggs) Ruggs actually had a fine day by the box score, but he wasn’t involved much. Edwards’ day was disappointing. They will both get worked in slowly and will make more of an impact in the future. Store them both.
DJ Moore will be fine. He had a disappointing game, but those will happen. (4 for 54) Moore had a very healthy nine targets, but the in-game connection between him and Teddy was not apparent yet. Stay calm, it’s only one week.
I think it’s clear (even from one game) that Austin Ekeler will not be the workhorse back for the Chargers. I’m not sure I expected him to be, but I am surprised by the carries and efficiency of Joshua Kelley. Kelley (12 for 60) scored the Chargers only touchdown. Most surprising is the fact that Ekeler only had one reception on one target. Game script was to blame, and it also seemed like the Chargers struggled at getting their passing game going. Ekeler will rebound.
I’m not concerned about Joe Mixon’s poor performance on Sunday. (19 for 69 with one reception) Continue playing him with confidence.
Not much to overreact to here. Kyler was superb as expected. Drake had a solid game. Hopkins is the man and the number one receiver like we knew he would be. The Cardinals beat a good team, and I look for that trend to continue.
I’m going to change the rules when it comes to the 49ers. I’m going to overreact…I missed the boat on Raheem Mostert. I respected the talent, but I wasn’t sure the efficiency and lack of volume would continue to provide high end fantasy performances. Mostert was the best-looking player for San Fran on Sunday. He was the most explosive player and received the most volume. Mostert will return value for where he was drafted this year especially given his current contract. (2.9 million) I’m second guessing my rank after one game. I would advocate attempting to trade for him if you can get away without overpaying.
It was brutal to watch, but I have zero concern about Michael Thomas this year. You should have none either.
I was worried about Mike Evans coming into Sunday. I thought there was a good chance he wasn’t going to play and an even better chance he would be ineffective if he did. His hamstring strain was worth monitoring and plugging in a safer (earlier game) player would have been the smart move. Evans was also going to be opposed by Marshon Lattimore. Well, it didn’t seem like the hamstring inhibited Evans’ production. Marshon Lattimore, however, did inhibit him. Evans was lined up against Lattimore 29 times in which he caught zero passes on two targets. Evans did, partially, bail out Dynasty Owners with a two-yard touchdown reception. (His only reception of the game) Evans will look towards Week 2 with better and more opportunities.
Don’t fret over Cam Akers’ disappointing game. He is a rookie playing in his first game (notice the theme). Yes, he was very inefficient with 14 carries for 39 yards. Malcolm Brown looked good and will, no doubt, take the majority of the carries until he shows a drop-in production. Hold onto Cam and start him on your bench for now.
Don’t put too much stock into Amari Cooper’s volume on Sunday night (14 targets for ten receptions) While I expect Cooper to be the #1 for the Cowboys year long, I don’t expect him to be the runaway #1. There are a lot of mouths to feed in Dallas and those mouths have a ton of talent. (Elliot, Cooper, Lamb, Gallup) Again, continue starting Cooper, but don’t expect ten reception nights every week.
James Conner hurt a lot of Owners Monday night. He hurt my All-Star League team. He hurt himself, but I believe the team when they say they don’t expect him to miss time. I’d be looking to buy on Conner if his Owner is panicking. But if you are his owner, you know better. We don’t sell low. Hang onto him and monitor his ankle in the coming weeks.
The Giants’ offensive line looked abysmal. They were getting “blown up” nearly every drop back and the rushing attempts were not any better. Saquon Barkley was held to six rushing yards on 15 carries. He also added six receptions for 60 yards which held his fantasy week (somewhat) intact. The O-line’s issues are concerning, but it’s not worth panicking over. Stand firm and start your stud.
Corey Davis had the big volume game that his Owners have been waiting for. He totaled seven receptions. This is only the second time in his career he’s had seven or more receptions and it’s something he didn’t do at all last year. Davis is owned in 74% of Dynasty Owner leagues as his yearly salary is 6.3 million. If you don’t own him, I wouldn’t be rushing out to pick him up.
Everything looked right on par for me as far as the Broncos go. Nearly every player received the amount of work I thought they would. I would say the most surprising outcome was Noah Fant (having five receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown). I believe the breakout is starting. If you drafted Fant, congratulations. I think he will be well involved in the offense moving forward. It remains to be seen how much of his volume will drop off when Cortland Sutton returns from injury.
“So”, you’re asking yourself, “it sounds like you aren’t overreacting about any player. Why didn’t you just write, ‘I have zero concerns about any player’”. Just because I am not overreacting, or tilting, that does not mean that I don’t have concerns. Here is a non-comprehensive list of a few players I am closely monitoring and am putting a high-risk label on…
- Brandon Cooks (salary mixed with lack of recent production)
- Ryan Fitzpatrick (poor play, possibility of being replaced)
- Le’Veon Bell (usage, poor play, current injury, salary, apparent unrest with Adam Gase)
- Mark Ingram (lack of usage, lack of usage around the goaline)
- Baker Mayfield (inaccuracies continuing from last season, lack of connection with OBJ)
Once again, I’m not writing these players off as it was only one game. However, most of them have lingering concerns from the previous year that hopefully won’t turn into trends.
If you couldn’t tell after reading my 32 team write up, then I’ll tell you now. I am a patient man.
I prefer to watch seasons develop and obtain as much information about a player or team that I can before making a regrettable, impulsive decision. I think that is a good quality to have in a fantasy owner, and even more so in a Dynasty Owner. Dynasty Owner is focused on building a team (a dynasty) for a lifetime. This single week is very minor in terms of your entire career at DO. Be patient, and don’t make a team altering decision based off of 60 minutes. Let the season come to you and enjoy it.
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you all next time. Cheers!