Fantasy Football Week 1: Takeaways from Sunday's Action
What an exciting opening weekend of the 2016 NFL season.
After plenty of thrilling games, this NFL product certainly did not disappoint.
There was one really sad moment: San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen suffered what is most likely an ACL tear, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. As a result, the 24-year-old will miss the entire 2016 season after missing the last half of 2015 with a lacerated spleen.
In this article, we'll cover a replacement for Allen, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' young, explosive offense and the Detroit Lions and the Jim Bob Cooter-led offense, manned by quarterback Matthew Stafford.
These are just a few, however. There was a ton of fun this weekend. Hopefully this is a recurring theme with the NFL this season.
Eagles WR Jordan Matthews Has a Pulse
Entering the 2016 campaign, there were plenty of question marks surrounding the Philadelphia Eagles offense—in particular their wide receivers.
That notion was especially heightened after the Eagles traded quarterback Sam Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings, thus paving the way for rookie quarterback Carson Wentz.
Well, not so fast.
Albeit against the Cleveland Browns, Wentz and wide receiver Jordan Matthews had a special connection all afternoon.
When it was all said and done, Matthews corralled seven catches for 114 yards and a touchdown.
Again, it was against the Browns, and they had zero pass rush. But Wentz looked poised enough to warrant us bringing back Matthews in the discussion of perhaps WR2 relevancy.
Next week, Wentz and Matthews will contend with the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football; another great opportunity for Matthews to shine.
Tampa Bay: Really Good Offense; Winston Top-10 QB?
Although they escaped with only a margin of victory of seven, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at one point led 31-13, trouncing the Atlanta Falcons in the process.
At the end of it all, Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 281 yards and four touchdowns.
The four passing touchdowns all went to different guys—wide receiver Mike Evans, running back Charles Sims and tight ends Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Brandon Myers.
Evans continued to show why he is a borderline first-round pick, and the Myers touchdown was one of those "that helps no one" scores.
Expected to be behind fellow tight end Cameron Brate on the depth chart, Seferian-Jenkins might have just put himself back in the starting conversation.
And Sims, just wow. On his receiving touchdown, he broke maybe eight tackles.
On the ground, the Buccaneers combined for 90 yards on 28 carries. To no surprise, running back Doug Martin led the way, accounting for 62 of those.
While we probably wanted to see more from Martin on the ground, this offense is poised to put up points this year—especially in a division that consists of the Carolina Panthers and their young secondary, the New Orleans Saints and their terrible defense, and another crack at the Falcons.
Winston has perhaps top-10 quarterback upside.
Chargers WR Keenan Allen Injured; Travis Benjamin Next Up
This was just awful to watch. San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen has most likely tore his ACL. What a bummer.
The problem came on a non-contact injury during a route being run by Allen.
Heading into this season, I've got to say—I don't believe there was a single player I was more excited for.
Based off of the non-contact nature of the injury (me playing doctor), you have to assume it's his ACL.
With this devastating news, fellow wide receiver Travis Benjamin is next up and is expected to assume the WR1 role in the Chargers offense.
If Benjamin is available in your leagues (he shouldn't be, but who knows), pick him up—now.
Let's wish Allen a speedy recovery.
Colts Defense Is Pedestrian
A Vegas over/under of 51? Yeah, definitely too low of a number.
In what was an expected shootout, the Detroit Lions defeated the Indianapolis Colts at home, 39-35.
As the headline says—the Colts defense was subpar, to say the least. With that said, I suppose you could say the same for the Lions.
However, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford finished 31-of-39 passing for 340 yards and three touchdowns.
Moving forward, teams playing against the Colts (at least until cornerback Vontae Davis returns) should be able to rack up some points, setting the stage for some potential streaming options.
The Colts defense showed how poor they were—the Lions marched up the field with less than a minute in regulation to cap the game off with a 43-yard field goal from kicker Matt Prater.
And, oh yeah, there was a safety in the end zone after the kickoff.
With Davis out for at least the first month of the season and the injury to fellow defensive back Patrick Robinson, the Colts will do battle with the following over the next three weeks: the Denver Broncos and Trevor Siemian, the San Diego Chargers and Philip Rivers, and Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Falcons WR Mohamed Sanu Is More Than a Gadget Player
One of the biggest surprises of Sunday's action was Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu.
Have the Falcons finally discovered a formidable option to line up opposite fellow wide receiver Julio Jones?
To recap, Sanu finished with five catches for 80 yards and one touchdown. To put that in perspective, the closest line the 27-year-old posted in 2015 with the Cincinnati Bengals was four catches for 84 yards. Furthermore, he scored a big ol' goose egg in the touchdown department last season.
Could this be a Week 1 anomaly? Perhaps.
Worst-case scenario, he helps propel Jones to another level. However, Sanu could prove to be a valuable WR4. Remember—he signed a huge contract in the offseason. The Falcons like him.
Falcons: Tevin Coleman 1, Devonta Freeman 0
Coming into 2016, there was speculation that Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman could push fellow running back Devonta Freeman for touches. It seems like he did so in Week 1.
Granted, the Falcons found themselves down at one point, 31-13, so they needed to throw—but, man, did Coleman impress.
His final stat line included just eight carries (though only three less than Freeman) for 22 yards, but he had five receptions for 95 yards.
We all knew of Coleman's ability; in fact, he had the starting job at the start of 2015 if not for an injury.
Coleman is making his presence known, and points-per-reception league players will remember his name.
He is a flex play in PPR.
Little Clarity in Ravens Backfield
Cut just over a week ago before being brought back by the team, Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett had 10 carries for 41 yards in the season-opener for the team. However, fellow running back Terrance West had 12 carries.
We knew that the Ravens backfield was a mess heading into the season, and it's clear that trend will continue.
In a surprising move, running back Buck Allen was a healthy scratch for Week 1.
For the time being, it appears to be the West and Forsett Show, but who knows what the Ravens' plan is with Allen moving forward or when rookie running back Kenneth Dixon returns.
Have fun with this one, fellas.
Vikings: Good Thing They Have Sam Bradford
With all due respect to Minnesota Vikings quarterback Shaun Hill, it's definitely a good thing that the Vikings have Sam Bradford waiting in the wings.
Although the Vikings managed to win their opener against the Tennessee Titans, running back Adrian Peterson was a non-factor.
The quarterback play was definitely a catalyst. Peterson finished the day with 19 carries for 31 yards. If not for two defensive touchdowns, the Vikings would have lost this game.
With Bradford, opponents will have to respect the team's passing attack moving forward, resulting in less box stacking to contain Peterson.
While he's one of the greatest to ever do it, it's hard to run when the entire defense hones in on you.
It's a good thing Bradford will be out there Week 2. Peterson will (obviously) rebound.
Seahawks: Christine Michael Is Here to Stay
Seattle Seahawks running back Christine Michael—or C-Woke as some may call him—did well all things considering Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins.
In what was an odd game that the Seahawks won just 12-10, Michael led his team in carries with 15 for over 60 yards, averaging over four yards per carry.
In 12 carries, fellow running back Thomas Rawls averaged just 2.7 yards per carry, totaling a mere 32 yards on the ground.
The reports earlier this offseason of an "awakening" appear to hold true. Michael remains at least a flex play moving forward.
Chiefs: Spencer Ware Is Good at the Football; Jamaal Who?
Move over, Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles—fellow running back Spencer Ware is ridiculous.
In what was a thrilling 33-27 overtime win for the Chiefs, Ware played a critical role in the comeback for the team.
Get a load of these numbers: 11 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown and seven receptions for 129 yards. Have a game, why don't you.
When Charles returns, it would be a little shocking if Ware is delegated back to solely backup duties.
Let's see what happens with Charles leading up to Week 2.
Follow me on Twitter @RichardJanvrin.