NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -
Let me start this by saying that when I one a fantasy league a few years ago, I started 0-3 before catching fire and dominating opponents. So as long as you can say your roster “just had a bad day,” and it’s not a case of having the wrong players or a bad draft, you’re going to be just fine. Here’s how I feel about a few week one trends.
Trends I’m NOT PANICKING over
Vikings WRs don’t produce big numbers
With as bad as the Falcons played, this game was over before it even began. Dalvin Cook ate Atlanta’s defense alive, and there was never a real need to air it out. That’s probably the way that Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer likes it, but there’s no way they have another game where Kirk Cousins only throws 10 passes. Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs will be called upon more when they have to be.
Damien Williams usage
Some are hitting the panic button, but I guess that depends on when you had your fantasy draft. If you waited until after the preseason finale and saw LeSean McCoy signed by the Chiefs, you probably got Williams at a value that warrants less volume. However, if you thought Williams was going to be the RB to carry your team, you’re going to be disappointed. But despite McCoy inevitably cutting into his touches, WIlliams still caught six passes to go along with 13 carries. Typically, everyone eats in Kansas City’s offense, and with Tyreek Hill injured, Williams will receive plenty of work to produce double-digit outings.
What has me a little CONCERNED
Steelers offense struggling
It was just one game, and they faced one of the best defenses in the league. They will be better, especially when they play at home. But the fact that their receivers struggled so much to get open down the field makes me worry a little. That was my main issue with JuJu Smith-Schuster’s second-round average draft position. As the top receiver without Antonio Brown, he has to be better.Still, though, with 79 offensive plays run in the opener, which is 13 more than their average in 2018, Pittsburgh’s offense has high enough floor.
We were sold a dream of Baker Mayfield taking a Patrick Mahomes-like jump into his second season. Instead, we saw one touchdown to go along with three interceptions. What has me concerned is the offensive line and their pass-blocking. At times, it was very shaky. Outside of that, there will be better days. Even in a losing effort, they fed Nick Chubb enough to keep his low-end RB1 status. Hopefully, the TD’s to Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry start to come as well.
The Broncos running back situation
We all heard that Denver would split the carries more evenly between Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay, and in Monday night’s opener against the Raiders, they stood true to that. While Lindsay looked like the better back for most of the night, Freeman had the longest run of the game for 26 yards in the second half. If that remains the case, and the rushing totals remain low (just 99 yards between the two running backs), I’m not liking how that looks for any fantasy owner trying to find reliability from Denver’s backfield.
Hitting the PANIC button
Todd Gurley’s usage
While his health is fine, and he still had a good enough day with more than 10 points in half-PPR leagues, what made Gurley one of the best fantasy football backs is his volume of touches. It appears that volume’s going to be eaten up by Malcolm Brown, who vultured two touchdowns in the opener against the Panthers. Keeping the wear and tear off Gurley is good for him and the team, but bad for anyone running him out as their RB1.