Week 1 Studs & Duds (Podcast)
Each week we will have a podcast out after the Sunday games, to talk about the studs and duds of the week and what fantasy owners can take away from weekly action. This week our studs are highlighted by some unexpected names like Cam Newton, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Joe Flacco. While their were some running backs that had strong performances like Matt Forte, Ray Rice and even Beanie Wells it was the quarterback position that dominated the scoreboards.
Matthew Stafford Looks Strong
The Lions are going to be a playoff contender as long as Matthew Stafford can stay on the field, as he looked great against the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay with over 300 yards passing and three touchdowns. Stafford had cramps in the second half of the game, and I believe that had a lot to do with the Lions playing a conservative offense in the second half.
While Stafford’s stat line was solid, it could have been a bigger game as he had 265 yards passing and two touchdown passes at half time. It’s time for us to view Stafford as a possible top five fantasy quarterback as long as he’s on the field, and his matchup against the Chiefs next week, almost isn’t fair to opponents playing him in fantasy leagues.
Newton and Fitzpatrick Breakout
Wow! Didn’t see these quarterbacks playing like Pro Bowlers week one but that is exactly what happened as both Cam Newton and Ryan Fitzpatrick went on the road and played like champs. Of the two, it had to be Newton that was the most impressive as he threw for over 400 yards and almost led his team to victory. This was an impressive start for both quarterbacks, and they should be targeted off the waiver wire this week.
Joe Flacco, Ray Rice
You could tell the Ravens thought about their loss to the Steelers in the playoffs last year all off-season, and it looked like Joe Flacco and Ray Rice wanted to atone for their poor play in that game. Both were terrific, and they should have no trouble continuing that success against the Titans next week.
If you weren’t ready to believe in Beanie Wells as a starter on your fantasy squad, it’s time to believe as Wells will be the main runner without competition in Arizona. Wells posted good numbers against the Panthers with 90 yards rushing and a touchdown. Look for Wells to continue his break out season against the Redskins next week.
Clearly, Chris Johnson wasn’t conditioned to play a full compliment of snaps in week one, and it showed when he only carried the football four times for three yards until the fourth quarter. Johnson will have his big days, but it’s unlikely that he will have strong numbers next week against the Ravens. As Reddog pointed out in our podcast, the main thing that was good news for Johnson is that he didn’t come out of the game with an injury. Let’s hope he stays healthy and by the third week of the season, he should be back to normal.
We talked about Matt Cassel’s struggles this preseason, but I thought he could at least get the football to his star receiver Dwayne Bowe weekly. That didn’t happen, and it’s time to wonder if Cassel can keep things together and bounce back at all this season. Sure, that could be an easy overreaction to a bad week, but to be that far behind, at home, against the Bills and to only throw for just over 100 yards is bad news.
While Reggie Wayne got some garbage time numbers at the end, the Colts have a lot of work to do if they are going to compete weekly. Next week they will get the Browns and that should be an opportunity for a win, but this team is going to suffer without Peyton Manning. Don’t be surprised if they struggle to win more than two games in the first half of the season. This hurts receivers like Austin Collie, Pierre Garcon, Dallas Clark and running backs Joseph Addai and Delone Carter.
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