Week 1 is nearly complete, and we will wrap things up with a Monday Night Football doubleheader. Please keep in mind, this means you are required to eat TWICE as many wings, and drink TWICE as many adult beverages during the games. Don’t argue with me, I don’t make the rules!
There is a long list of great performances from Sunday, and a lengthy list of stinkers as well. Let’s take a quick spin through some of the players who either carried you to a win, or left you needing a cool 33.5 point night from Nate Kaeding on Monday…
Alfred Morris- Who led the NFL in rushing attempts on Sunday? Oh, a Redskins running back. Of course! Alfred Morris was Washington’s top backfield choice this week, and did a decent job with a huge workload, as the ‘Skins played ahead of the Saints for most of the afternoon. 28 carries for 96 yards and 2 scores is a nice performance for a player who could be staring you in the face from the waiver wire. Go get him, but be prepared for the usual tricks from Shanahan.
Doug Martin- While we are on the humungous work load topic, let’s move to Tampa’s Doug Martin. Twitter’s favorite running back had a solid debut, with 95 yards rushing on 24 carries, and even chipped in with 23 receiving yards. If you were not hip to this scoop before Sunday, LeGarrette Blount is OFFICIALLY done in Tampa Bay. Let’s hope the rookie can build on this performance.
Stevan Ridley- While the Pats were easily handling the Titans, Ridley cruised to a big fantasy day, with 152 total yards and a touchdown. Ridley now has a firm grip on the former role of BGE, and Ridley is actually good. Look out.
Arian Foster- Foster turned a boat load of pregame fantasy lineup anxiety into his usual Sunday outburst, as he scored twice and handled 26 carries on his sore knee. Most importantly, Foster emerged from the game with no further knee issues. Ben Tate, Ben Shmate….Foster is a beast.
Michael Bush/Matt Forte- The Bears duo both had big days against Indianapolis, and this is exactly the type of performance Forte owners were apprehensive about. Forte racked up 120 total yards, and Bush hammered home 2 goal line touchdowns. We knew this was coming, but now it has been confirmed. Forte is still great, especially in PPR formats, but Bush will be a startable flex player all season long. If you own Forte, you’ve just gotta wear this one.
Matt Ryan/Julio Jones- I have a very strong feeling that a TON of fantasy teams feature both of these Falcons this season. Those teams won this week. How is that for analysis? Ryan was a machine on Sunday, and Julio kept the momentum rolling from his ridiculous preseason. The Atlanta offense is going to be awfully fun to watch this season, and if you own any piece of this passing attack, there will be an rump load of fantasy points in your future. Consider that your fortune cookie message for the week.
Reggie Wayne- Leading the NFL in targets Sunday was our old friend Reggie Wayne, with a whopping 18. The horse shoes were way behind for most of their game today, forcing them to wing it around, and Wayne was the beneficiary. As Andrew Luck adjusts to life as a pro, he will be leaning on the veteran Wayne, so we should be able to see quite a few performancess like this as Indy chases their opponents late in games.
Brandon Marshall- The Bears looked solid on Sunday, and they were led by Marshall, who is in for a MONSTER season. Cutler loves his old buddy from their Denver days, and was force feeding him the rock all afternoon, even on a few occasions when Marshall was simply blanketed by defensive backs. Marshall turned his 15 targets into 9 grabs for 119 yards and a score. There will be plenty more of this to come.
Jeremy Maclin- Maclin had a nice performance with 96 yards and a score. You’d like to see him haul in more than 7 of his 14 targets, but hey, I’d like a house made out of the Taco Bell Doritos Locos taco shells. We don’t always get what we want.
Chris Johnson- 2011 Chris Johnson is back. The only thing that barely salvaged his 11 carry, 4 yard performance was his 47 receiving yards on 6 catches. Brutal. We have danced this Macarena before, but give him a few more games until we completely give up on him.
Isaac Redman- If you drafted Redman early this summer, when his stock was high, my condolences go out to you and your family. Redman is toast, as he turned 11 carries into a whopping 20 yards, while Jonathan Dwyer was much better (9 for 43 yds), and a Mendenhall return is looming. This guy could be on waiver wires in a hurry.
Dexter McCluster- In PPR news, Dexter McCluster turned in a useful performance against Atlanta, catching 6 passes for 82 yards. McCluster was used exclusively in the passing game in this one, as the Chiefs tried to keep pace with the Falcons (which we all know is impossible). Take a stab at picking up speedy Dexter in PPR leagues and see if this role continues, or perhaps even grows.
CJ Spiller- The lone bright spot in an absolute crapper of a day for Buffalo was CJ Spiller. After Fred Jackson went down (MRI coming up this week, stay tuned), Spiller sliced his way to 169 yards and a score. We all saw what Spiller is capable of late in 2011, and he may just get his chance again. Nice score for those of you with Spiller on the bench…jerks.
Robert Griffin III- To the sheer child-like joy of all who drafted him, RGIII was incredible against New Orleans on Sunday. With his legs, and the cannon attached to his shoulder, the ‘Skins rookie looked awfully impressive. If you drafted RGIII in a keeper or dynasty league this year, go get yourself celebratory brewski….or ten.
Kevin Smith- While the Lions battled back against St. Louis, Kevin Smith had himself a nice little Sunday, with 91 total yards and two scores. Smith will continue to see lots of work through the air, making him a solid PPR back, even when Mikel Leshoure returns. Any part of the Detroit passing game will be valuable all year. It’s a fantasy points piñata.
Adrian Peterson- The possibility of this type of return was in the back of everyone’s mind, whether we wanted to say it or not. Peterson is such a stud, that he even makes returning from a shredded knee look easy. AP rumbled to 84 yards and 2 touchdowns, making his 2nd round ADP seem absurd. Saddle up and enjoy another great season from one monstrous running back.