There are still two games left to be played for the NFL’s opening weekend, but it’s not too early to discuss what has happened already.
Sunday gave us a lot of expected results. Players like A.J. Green, Colin Kaepernick, Victor Cruz and many others reassured us of their dominance. Since those guys aren’t worth discussing, let’s talk about the surprises and the disappointments of Week 1.
Lamar Miller, Mike Wallace - Let’s start in Miami. There were two high-profile Dolphins players who put up terrible performances. Miller, who was being selected in the third round, ran the ball 10 times for three yards. It’s never a good sign when your yards per carry is less than a yard.
Miami's other option is Wallace, who caught just one pass the entire game. I thought going in that he’d have an off game, but I didn’t think it would be this bad. Wallace himself was upset with how little he was used.
Calvin Johnson - Our next upsetting performance of the week came from Megatron. For a guy who averaged 122 yards a game last year, a 37-yard performance is disappointing. To top it off, he nearly had two touchdowns, which would have made him a top performer.
Cecil Shorts - Usually when a team gets blown out early, it is good news for fantasy receivers. They can get garbage-time touches and pad their stats. That was not the case with Shorts.
Shorts hauled in just three balls for 40 yards. It was a disappointing stat line for a receiver who showed a lot of promise a season ago. Don’t give up on Shorts just yet. With Chad Henne scheduled to start the next game, I expect Shorts’ production to go up.
Lance Moore - He was a 1,000-yard receiver a year ago, but right now he’s on pace for fewer than 400. Moore caught just two passes for 23 yards against the Falcons in a game where the Saints passing offense was doing well.
Moore’s numbers should improve throughout the season, but this is a rough start for a good receiver.
Roddy White – He wasn’t included on this list because he had a reason for a disappointing game. His injury made him a risky choice.
Cam Newton – His numbers were low, but he had a tough opponent this week against Seattle.
Maurice Jones-Drew – Jones-Drew fell victim to his team falling behind early. His numbers should improve.
James Jones – Jones was a no-show Week 1 with zero receptions. His goose egg is surprising, but his lack of production isn’t. I don’t expect a lot from Jones this year.
Stevan Ridley – It's hard to be productive when you get benched for fumbling issues. He’ll be okay in the long run.
There were some surprises among players that already had some hype like Jordan Cameron, Jared Cook, Terrelle Pryor and Shane Vereen. But I’m going to focus on players that nobody was expecting to have a big performance.
Jerome Simpson - Simpson is well known for his flip into the end zone as a member of the Bengals, but since then, he’s fallen into obscurity. He changed that on Sunday.
Simpson caught seven passes for 140 yards against the Lions. He vastly outperformed Greg Jennings and rookie Cordarrelle Patterson, two receivers who were expected to get the most looks.
For now let’s just tally this up as a one-time thing. It should be safe to leave him on the waiver wire.
Joique Bell - Reggie Bush was projected to be the man to own in Detroit, and he didn’t disappoint. But the surprise in was Bell. Once you get past his unique name, you’ll see his incredible stat line.
Bell ran in for two touchdowns while catching five passes for 67 yards. That’s a productive day for a backup rusher.
Harry Douglas - If you gambled on Roddy White’s health this week, you lost the bet. It was revealed early Sunday that his injury was more serious than we believed, and it affected him as he only caught two passes for 19 yards. Stepping up in his place was Douglas.
Douglas has been known in the fantasy community because he’s the third option behind two elite receivers. When one of them goes down, we expect his role to increase. It usually doesn’t. On Sunday, it did.
Douglas caught four passes for 93 yards including a 50-yard catch. He didn’t get in the end zone, but it was still one of his better performances in the NFL.
Julian Edelman - Everyone was all in on Danny Amendola, Zach Sudfeld and Kenbrell Thompkins, but Edelman emerged as New England’s threat. He scored twice on seven receptions and 79 yards.
Edelman looks like a guy to own in fantasy this year. He was targeted often and has chemistry with Tom Brady.
Anquan Boldin – He’s a good option, but no one expected that kind of a performance. Boldin picked up right where he left off in Baltimore.
Julius Thomas – There was some hype surrounding Thomas heading into the first game. No one saw two touchdowns and 100 yards coming, though.
Brandon Gibson – With Wallace being absent without leave, Gibson stepped up and had a solid game. His seven receptions for 77 yards were worth a flex start in points-per-reception leagues.