Wow. Did I mention that week one is unpredictable? Blaine Gabbert scored more fantasy points than Tom Brady; RGIII had the second-best fantasy day of anybody; the top-scoring wide receiver, Kevin Ogletree, had only 25 career receptions prior to his week-one outburst; and it just keeps getting more bizarre. Hopefully you survived the first week despite some of the obscure performances. Now that all the teams have played the question is how to evaluate all the new information.
I’m going to judge these random performances, good and bad, on whether you should add, drop, trade, or wait on the guy.
Kevin Ogletree, wide receiver for the Cowboys, made himself an instant household name during Wednesday night’s opener versus the Giants when he went off for eight receptions, 114 yards, and two touchdowns. Could he be Tony Romo’s new Laurent Robinson? This is the obvious question being posed in Dallas, given Robinson’s breakout campaign last season as the third receiver. On paper they are almost identical players. Both players were veterans—Robinson entering his fifth season last year and Ogletree now entering his fourth—who had yet to find an impactful role. Their heights and weights are almost identical at around 6-feet, 200 pounds. Their opportunities were both spurred because Dallas needed a player to step up to cover for injuries. That being said, the Giants had a horribly banged up secondary and they hadn’t prepared for Ogletree during the week because they were focused on stopping the high-profile receivers Dez Bryant and Miles Austin. Ideally I would like to see how he performs when the opposition knows he exists, but I say add him now and you can trade him high if he has another decent game. As of now he is available in 73 percent of ESPN standard leagues.
The sixth-round pick for the Redskins was nearly as impressive as their first-round pick on Sunday. Alfred Morris rushed for 96 yards and scored two touchdowns on 27 carries in his Washington debut. His 21 fantasy points were second among running backs to the Bills C.J. Spiller, whom I’ll talk about later on. Redskins Head Coach Mike Shannahan is a fantasy nightmare with how he uses running backs, but he decided to start Morris earlier in the week leading up to their matchup with the Saints and early on, he seems to have made the right decision. Although New Orleans doesn’t necessarily have a top-tier defense, since Morris’s inaugural start went so well I think he will get every opportunity to succeed for at least the next few weeks. I say add him now and see how he responds in week two versus the Rams before starting him. Morris is available in 84 percent of ESPN standard leagues.
Randall Cobb could be Aaron Rodgers’s new play toy. The Packers lined Cobb up in the backfield six times during Sunday afternoon’s loss to San Francisco. He was targeted nine times by Rodgers and caught all nine for 77 yards. He also returned a punt for a touchdown, which is an awesome bonus for fantasy owners. The numbers say it all for Cobb, you should add him. Cobb is available in 86 percent of ESPN standard leagues.
Perhaps the most surprising outing of the first week came from Jets rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill. It only seems fitting that during the most unpredictable week of the season that the Jets led the league in scoring with 48 points. This is the same Jets offense that during the preseason didn’t score a touchdown until the last week of games. They were led by the aforementioned Hill who boasted five receptions for 89 yards and two touchdowns. The downside of Hill is that he is a rookie and the Jets probably won’t score 48 points again this season. The upside is that he starts and if the Jets do score there is a decent possibility that Hill is a prime target. I want to see if Hill can play this well next week against Pittsburgh and show he is the real deal. I say wait on him. He is available in 95 percent of ESPN standard leagues, so no rush.
Wes Welker had a terrible game. That much is evident from his three receptions for 14 yards. Unfortunately the more telling statistic is that he was only on the field for 43 of 67 offensive plays. That sounds like a lot but no other starting receiver or tight end missed more than 10 plays. Now, I don’t think this means Welker is worthless by any means I just think this means he isn’t going to live up to his current value. He will definitely have big games this year, just not top-five receiving numbers. For this reason I say trade him to someone who believes Welker will be his old self.
Fred Jackson is hurt again and C.J. Spiller ran all over the Jets 7th-ranked defense. You don’t need me to tell you that this is awful news for Jackson owners, but this is awful news for Jackson owners. As of now the reports are that he will miss at minimum three weeks and then be reevaluated. That leaves plenty of time for C.J. to cement himself as an elite starting running back. My verdict is to try to trade Jackson if anyone will take him, or I would be okay with dropping him if you want to roll the dice on a free agent this week.
DeAngelo Williams had the most baffling fantasy day of all when he compiled negative one yard on just six carries. The Panthers were in a close game against the Buccaneers so nobody knows why he didn’t get more carries. On top of that, his cohort Jonathan Stewart missed the game with a sprained ankle. Williams should have gotten a lot more work than he did given the nature of the game, so we don’t want to overreact. I say wait on him for a couple weeks before thinking about dropping him.
I can’t stand Chris Johnson. I refuse to even talk about how bad he was against the Patriots on Sunday. I said last week I would stay away from him and my advice stays the same. If you own him, trade him. Now. I don’t believe he will ever revert to the form he once had when he eclipsed 2,000 yards, or even his 1,000-yard form from last year.