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Dave's Deep Dive-Week 1

David Lorenz, PT, DPT

September 21, 2022

The year was 2013. It was one of the best days of the year. Fantasy football draft day. During this draft, a dear friend of mine, we’ll call him Ray, did something we still rag on him to this day about. He drafted a bust in the first round. Who was this bust? Well, it would be CJ Spiller. Now, to be fair, CJ Spiller had a fine NFL career, which is something that 99% of us can absolutely not relate to. So kudos to him for that. However, some of you may recall the hype on him going into the 2013 NFL season. This hype was well-earned. Just the prior year, Spiller racked up 1,244 yards rushing, a (6.0!!) YPC, with 6 rushing touchdowns; as well as 43 catches, 459 yards, and two more touchdowns. And then, the 2013 season happened. While Spiller still managed to play in 15 out of 16 possible games, he was far less effective than the year prior. Due to his incredible 2012 season, Spiller was a first or second round pick in just about every fantasy league that year. Some teams, including my friend Ray’s, were bold enough to make Spiller a top 5 pick. The result? Well, not a championship, that’s for sure. Some of you may be thinking after week 1, “Did I draft this year's version of  CJ Spiller?” Or, any other notable bust from the past several years. BUT, let’s not forget, it was only one week. Let’s not overreact. Or, let’s have some fun and overreact. In this weekly segment, we’ll discuss the week that was games, and what to make of each game's most fantasy relevant player, or players, performance. Following that, I’ll speak my peace and give my opinion on whether we need to take a breath, make a plan, or take some action. Now, you all have the choice to either heed my advice, or do the exact opposite. Can’t hit them all, but I’ll do my best. I have a few fantasy football and basketball championships to my name (I promise!!!), so I like to tell myself I kind of know what I’m doing. Anyway, LET’S OVERTHINK THIS. Week 1 games:

Bills 31, Rams 10

Bills top performer(s): Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, Josh Allen, etc. Honestly, there are no concerns with the Bills offense from a fantasy perspective. The only question coming into this season was, “Who’s going to be the top RB?” If this game was any indication, and I think it will, it’s Devin Singletary. Remember the buzz around James Cook? Well, he fumbled on his first carry. Not a great start. If you drafted Cook, it’s time to make a plan. This can include brainstorming various trade scenarios, scouring the waiver wire for a replacement, or just waiting it out for another week. Rams top performer: Cooper Kupp went off. What else is new? On the other hand, Stafford threw 3 picks. Now, he won’t be facing off against the machine that is the Bills defense every week, but that performance, combined with the elbow injury, has me slightly concerned. If you drafted Stafford to be your unquestioned QB1 the entire year, I would make a plan. It’s never too early to think about upgrades. If it were my team, I would give it another week, though.

Eagles 38, Lions 35

Eagles top performer(s): The offense was BUZZING. 4 rushing touchdowns, including one by Jalen Hurts. The day belonged to AJ Brown. Debuting for his new team he had a 10 catch, 155 yard day. Big year ahead for Brown. Meanwhile, Devonta Smith had 0 catches on 4 targets. Even with this stat line, it’s time to take a breath with Smith. The tape and stats last year speak for themselves. Lions top performer: Swift!!! As some of you may know, we here at The Fantasy Doctors were very high on Swift this year. He had a great start to the 2022 campaign with 144 yards rushing and a TD. On the down side, Jamaal Williams vultured 2 goal line TD’s. It’s going to happen, unfortunately. Swift got banged up in the game, but let’s all take a breath. Could be a huge year for Swift. If somehow you have him as a RB2, you could be looking at a league title.

Saints 27, Falcons 26

Saints top performer: Gotta be either Jarvis Landry or Michael Thomas. Landry had over 100 yards receiving and MT had 2 TD’s in his first return to game action. Alvin Kamara was a disappointment, but let’s take a breath. Remember, it was one week. Kamara is as talented as they come. There might be some frustrating weeks, but don’t make a rash decision. He’ll bounce back. Falcons top performer: Cordarrelle Patterson continued his great fantasy stretch, dating back to last year. Over 100 yards rushing and a touchdown. Some folks were down on Patterson this year, claiming he was a one-year wonder. We’ll see. Kyle Pitts disappointed with 2 catches for 19 yards but take a breath. Pitts is a beast. He’s going to be just fine.

Bears 19, 49ers 10

Bears top performer: Pretty ugly game here due to the crazy monsoon in Chicago, but I’ll go with Khalil Herbert or Justin Fields. Kudos to Fields for gutting it out and getting the W. Herbert had less touches than Montgomery, but got in the endzone. If you have Montgomery, you need to take some action. I would try and acquire Herbert to secure that tandem. 49ers top performer: Deebo Samuel was solid with a rushing touchdown and over 50 yards on the ground. With the injury to Elijah Mitchell, Samuel could continue getting more carries. Trey Lance wasn’t that good, but did I mention the weather? If you have Lance, take a breath.

Steelers 23, Bengals 20

Steelers top performer: Pat Freiermuth had a solid game with 75 yards receiving. Najee Harris disappointed and had some issues with that foot that plagued his training camp and preseason. Still, if you have Harris, take a breath. But, this pendulum could swing quickly. Will be watching him in week 2 closely. Bengals top performer: Jamar Chase is dynamic as they come. Not much more to say. Burrow had 4 INTs, but the Steelers D was relentless. He’ll be better. Take a breath.

Dolphins 20, Patriots 7

Dolphins top performers: Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are going to be a nightmare for defenses all speed long. Remember in Superbad when Seth Rogen’s character is out of breath panting, “he’s the fastest kid alive” in regard to Michael Cera? Yeah, well the Dolphins have two individuals capable of that speed. Chase Edmonds was a disappointment, but there’s a lot of mouths to feed in the Dolphins offense, so let’s take a breath. Brighter days ahead. Patriots top performer: Do I really have to pick one? Ugly showing for them. But I’ll go with Jakobi Meyers. A pedestrian 4 catches for 55 yards, but hopefully he gets steady volume all year. If you had either Patriots RB, I would start to make a plan. See how week 2 unfolds. Who gets more touches and goal line carries. Then try to pounce and acquire that guy. Or maybe you already have him. I like Stevenson in the long term, but this offense could struggle all year.

Ravens 24, Jets 9

Ravens top performer: Devin Duvernay with 2 touchdowns. Rashod Bateman with a long touchdown. The WR’s looked good. Lamar looked good, but it was the Jets. Let’s all take a breath with the Ravens offense. The off-season questions were valid, but with Dobbins’ return on the horizon, they could have multiple pieces be fantasy relevant. Jets top performer: Another one I feel gross trying to pick. I’ll go Michael Carter. The preseason fantasy hype around Breece Hall was always puzzling to me. Carter looked good with his chances last year. Dynamic in both the ground and passing attack. As the year progresses I see this becoming a true RB by committee. So, if you took Hall early, time to make a plan.

Commanders 28, Jaguars 22

Commanders top performer: Carson Wentz, welcome back to the NFC East. Although he did have a couple of ugly turnovers, he had 4 TD’s passing. Remember the concerns with Antonio Gibson? Well he had 7 catches for 72 yards. Yes, catches. Take a breath with Gibson. Could be a steal. Jags top performer: James Robinson’s return from his Achilles injury is impressive. Christian Kirk also looked good in his debut. Etienne, on the other hand, didn’t do much. This backfield will fluctuate week to week. So, again, take a breath.

Browns 26, Panthers 24

Browns top performers: Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb. Can be incredibly frustrating on a week to week basis trying to determine which one will go off, but you’re playing either if they're on your team. Take a breath. It’ll be maddening some weeks, but quite rewarding other weeks. Panthers top performer: Robbie Anderson. Long TD catch. Another boom or bust option, but his chemistry with Baker was promising. CMC is going to put up points as long as he stays healthy. DJ Moore wasn’t seen much but take a breath. There’s a theme here. It was one week, and Moore is an incredible talent. I’m looking for him to have a big week 2.

Colts 20, Texans 20 (even typing that was blah)

Colts top performers: Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman were fantastic. The offense put up yardage, but only ended up with 20 points. No concerns with their offense in regard to fantasy performances yet. Taylor and Pittman are weekly plays, and Hines is a decent PPR flex option too. Take a breath. Frank Reich will get this offense scoring more points soon enough. Texans top performer: OJ Howard with 2 TD’s. Yes, that OJ Howard. I think he will have his fair share of red zone targets but if you pick him up on the waiver wire do not be surprised if you end up some weeks with a goose egg. If you drafted Dameon Pierce, well it depends on when you drafted him. His ADP rose steadily through the off-season. If you got him late round I’m taking a breath. If you drafted him as a RB2, well time to make a plan.

Giants, 21, Titans 20

Giants top performer: Welcome back Saquon Barkley! What a game. Looks to be gelling well in Daboll’s offense. Kadarius Toney barely saw the field, so if you have him, time to take some action. He’s probably droppable. Titans top performer: Dontrell Hilliard. 2 TD’s receiving. Surprised it wasn’t Derrick Henry, but those games are coming. If you took Henry in round 1 take a breath. I think some regression is coming from Henry, but he was a safe first round pick. I still see him putting him a solid stat line when it’s all said and done.

VIkings 23, Packers 7

Vikings top performer: Justin Jefferson. Just an absolute beast. Best WR in the game? He’s in the conversation, if not the correct answer. Dalvin Cook had a solid stat line but no TD’s. They’ll come. I promise. Seriously, take a breath.

Packers top performer: AJ Dillon was the only good thing about the offense. The WR situation remains murky, and if I took Aaron Jones early, I would start to make a plan. Unless you secured the Dillon handcuff. Then, props to you.

Chiefs 44, Cardinals 21

Chiefs top performer: Patrick Mahomes. 5 TD’s. Sheesh. Yeah, he will miss Tyreek Hill some games, but I think he will be just fine. The guy with the biggest stat line might change week to week, other than the usual suspects of Mahomes and Kelce, but let’s all take a breath in regard to their offense. They’ll be okay. Big Red knows what he’s doing. Cardinals top performer: Hollywood Brown had a TD in his debut with his new team. Needs to hold down the WR1 role in AZ until D-Hop returns. Kyler Murray was getting pressured all day, and was held to under 200 yards passing. If Murray is the only QB on your roster, time to make a plan. Any promising QBs on the waiver wire? If so, pounce.

Chargers 24, Raiders 19

Chargers top performer: Justin Herbert. Pre-season MVP hype looked legit. Austin Ekeler was a disappointment, but he will continue to be a great RB1 option, especially in PPR leagues. Take a breath. Raiders top performer: Davante Adams. If there was any doubt if Adams could produce in Vegas to the extent he did in Green Bay, it’s gone now. Josh Jacobs averaged 5.7 yards a carry, but he got 10 carries, and the Raiders only ran 13 times total. If Jacobs is your RB2, time to make a plan. I like Jacobs, but think the Raiders pass a ton this year. Look to get more RB depth.

Buccaneers 19, Cowboys 3

Bucs top performers: Lenny Fournette and Mike Evans. Both looked great. Godwin went down with a hamstring, so that means even more targets for Evans. Tough matchup with Lattimore and the Saints this week, but you are not benching him. If Julio Jones is available on your waiver wire take action. Like, now. Cowboys top performer: Hard to pick one when you put up 3 points. Dalton Schultz had 7 catches and 62 yards, so if you took him as your TE then you were pleased. However, now with Dak’s injury, the whole offense takes a huge hit. Better start making a plan. If you haven’t already, I’m disappointed.

Seahawks 17, Broncos 16

Seahawks top performer: Geno Smith. What year is it?? His final stat line wasn’t overly impressive, but he avoided mistakes and threw a couple of TD’s. Rashaad Penny averaged 5 YPC, but now Kenneth Walker is set to debut this week. If you are a Penny owner make a plan. Watch the backfield split closely. As always, secure the handcuff if possible. Broncos top performer: Jerry Jeudy. Looked great in his debut with Russ. Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams fumbled at the goal line, which is a crazy occurrence. Still, the ground game racked up over 100 yards, so let’s take a breath.

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