Arthur Smith is still the worst…
In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by BetMGM:
- 3 surprises from Week 1
- Pete’s Recap: The Week 1 Kings
- Crushing injury roundup
- Overreaction Monday: Highlights and lowlights
- It’s 9/11. Take it away, Peter Overzet…
Oh man, I genuinely forgot what it was like to have fantasy football back in our lives.
If you didn’t find yourself fist-pumping TDs (hello Mr. Aiyuk!) while simultaneously cursing bagels (seriously, Mr. Goedert??), then you’re likely a robot who should see a doctor about your indifference to the maddening, randomized chaos of Week 1.
There’s so much to dig into after just one day of football and we are going to do our best to tackle it all.
Read on for the 3 biggest surprises from Sunday, the Top 6 performers from Week 1, and three offenses Kendall is overreacting to…
🤯 There’s a new Rams WR1
Not only did the underdog Rams wipe the floor with the Seahawks (30-13), but Rams rookie WR Puka Nacua did his best Cooper Kupp impression with an impressive 10-119 line on an absurd 15 targets.
I flagged Nacua back in May, but I’ll admit that I didn’t come close to predicting this.
Let’s put Nacua’s Week 1 in perspective:
- He had the most targets by a rookie WR in Week 1…of all time
- He had the 5th highest rookie target share in Week 1 since 2020
- He wasn’t just an underneath threat; he was Top 10 in Week 1 Air Yards
Move quickly on both Nacua and Tutu Atwell (6-119) this week because there are zero guarantees with Kupp at this point.
🤯 Javonte 🤝 Lazarus
You won’t see Javonte atop any “Top Performers” list for Week 1 after scoring 9.7 PPR points, but his underlying usage in Week 1 was EXTREMELY BULLISH.
Williams led the Broncos in carries (13) and chipped in four receptions…less than a year after tearing his ACL, LCL, and PLC. Every Twitter doc in the world warned us about the risks of an RB coming off such a serious injury—and I don’t think they were wrong to do so!
Even the biggest Javonte stans—myself included—assumed he would be eased in over the first month or so of the season with Samaje Perine shouldering the load until then.
But that wasn’t the case whatsoever. Javonte was involved early and often:
If you can pull a fast one on a box-score-watchin’ leaguemate, try to steal him away before it’s too late.
🤯 Bijan? No problem…
Tyler Allgeier had a great rookie year, which is what made the Bijan Robinson selection by the Falcons so bizarre.
And the second the Falcons drafted a generational RB prospect in the first round, we all collectively assumed it was over for Allgeier. Sure, he’d always have contingent upside, but there’s no way he’d provide legitimate, standalone value, right?
Allgeier played a similar amount of snaps to Robinson (28 to 32), but out-carried him (15 to 10) on his way to a shocking 75 yards, 2 TDs, and 3-reception game vs. the Panthers.
This isn’t to take away from Robinson, who was used heavily in the passing game (6-27-1), but to illustrate how badly Arthur Smith wants to run the ball.
More on the devastating passing game results from Desmond Ridder, Drake London, and Kyle Pitts in Overreaction Monday below.
For as long as the Falcons stay competitive, Boomer Ball is the reality in Atlanta. It’s beyond tilting for London and Pitts backers, but Allgeier drafters are about to be rewarded handsomely.
👀 Week 1 Isn't Quite Over!
That's right, we have one more Week 1 betting opportunity...
The Hard Knocks Jets and the high-octane Buffalo Bills, under the bright lights.
Sounds like a great game to bet on, huh?
Where, you ask? Well on BetMGM, of course!
How? It's simple:
- Sign up for a new BetMGM account
- Make your initial deposit
- Place your first bet
Thanks to BetMGM, you can bet on the game without worrying about sweating your first bet.
Speaking of first bets, Geoff Ulrich has you covered for tonight.
Geoff is Betting: Garrett Wilson Anytime TD (+145)
"Any questions about whether Wilson would dominate targets were laid to rest in week 3 of the preseason when Aaron Rodgers (who played one series) came out and targeted Wilson three times, including once in the red zone for a TD.
The +145 anytime odds on Wilson at BetMGM are significantly bigger than what we’re seeing on the other elite WR in this game – Stefon Diggs (+100) – who has to deal with increased competition for snaps and being matched up against the best corner in the game in Sauce Gardner."
Peter is here to share his six big takeaways from Week 1. Take it away, Pete...
🐬 Tyreek Hill & Tua run it back
Last year, Hill told us Tua was more accurate than Patrick Mahomes…and we rolled our eyes.
This year, he told us his goal is to break Calvin Johnson’s receiving yards record…and we rolled our eyes.
Well, maybe it’s time we stop rolling our eyes?
🙏 Please be okay, Jakobi Meyers
Before a scary hit that presumably led to a concussion, the former Patriots WR was on his way to
- A banner day (9-81-2)
- Making his former team look like idiots
- Single-handedly making us question whether we over-drafted Davante Adams.
Instead, we get to spend the week sweating injury reports on his recovery.
🤯 Mac Jones did what??
If I told you last week that Mac Jones would be the second-highest-scoring QB on the week heading into SNF on a rainy New England day vs. one of the top defenses in football, you would have asked Fantasy Life to drug test me.
But that’s exactly what happened.
Sure, the Patriots still lost, but Jones making it work with a pass-catching room led by Kendrick Bourne (6-64-2) and Hunter Henry (5-56-1) is nothing short of miraculous.
Both training camp superstar Demario Douglas (4-40) and veteran DeVante Parker (DNP) are worth rostering in case the Return of the Mac is legit.
💪 Calvin Ridley is “him”
I still don’t fully understand what the kids mean when they say someone is “him,” but I’m able to pick up on enough context clues to know that I think it means someone is a high-performing individual.
I was hesitant to capitulate on Ridley steam down the stretch of drafting season, but I’m ready to take a big, fat L on the Ridley fade after he looked phenomenal in Week 1 (8-101-1).
There’s a part of me that wants to point out how bad the Colts’ secondary is—and how good Evan Engram and Zay Jones also looked—but I don’t want to exhaust my copium supply this early in the season.
WR1 Ridley is here to stay…as if it never left.
⏪️ Austin Ekeler picks up right where he left off
The Chargers mixed Joshua Kelley in a ton vs. the Dolphins, but it didn’t prevent Ekeler from popping off for a quintessential bell-cow performance (16-117-1; 4-47).
With the other older Round 1 draft picks succumbing to late-career injuries (Kupp, Travis Kelce), the 28-year-old Ekeler reminded us that veterans can still deliver elite fantasy performances.
✍️ Petition to remove the TE position?
People joke about removing Kickers and Defenses from fantasy leagues because of the whimsical randomness of the position, but we might as well toss the TE bath water out while we are at it.
Hunter Henry (16.6 points) and Hayden Hurst (15.10) were your highest-scoring TEs yesterday. Donald Parham was the fourth highest.
George Kittle, Kyle Pitts and Dallas Goedert combined for 63 yards.
Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews didn’t play.
Burn it all down. I can’t do this anymore.
😢 J.K. Dobbins is done for the year. Brutal, brutal news, but opportunity awaits.
🚑️ Key Week 1 injuries to watch. Some big names here.
💀 A ref goes full undertaker. Lmao.
😎 Data and info from EVERY Sunday game. Pretty good.
📊 It’s never too early to start looking at Week 2. Early-week value remains undefeated.
😡 The Eagles made a mistake. Will they actually fix it?
🧨 Sean Payton kicks things off with a bang. Love it.
🤢 Do the Bucs need to make a change at RB? This ain’t good.
🍽️ Ja’Marr Chase eats his words. Poor elves.
⭐️ A new Cowboys goal line back. And it’s exactly who you’d hope.
We're humans who play fantasy football, which means we are prone to overreact. Today, Kendall overreacts to the offenses who crushed and who flopped in Week 1...
WE MADE IT TO WEEK 1 AND IT NEVER DISAPPOINTS!
Just kidding – Bengals, Steelers we are looking directly at you.
We had highlights, lowlights and WTF moments. Now, folks, it is time to overreact.
🚀 Brandon Aiyuk and Co. to the Super Bowl
I am sure a lot of people owe Brock Purdy an apology. Shoot I may be one of them! Not that victory lapping after Week 1 has ever backfired, but Purdy looks like he will hold his own in 2023.
Oh yeah, and another apology??? BRANDON AIYUK.
Maybe we didn’t need to spend so much time debating Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and who would be the leader in this offense. Yes, the 49ers are a run-oriented offense with a lot of mouths to feed, but Aiyuk made the most out of Week 1.
Look, we're overreacting here, so let’s agree that we will see this 49ers team in the Super Bowl this year (they’re +750 over on BetMGM).
Six months to the day after having elbow surgery, Purdy threw for 220 yards and two touchdowns on 19-of-29 passes. They also outgained the Steelers 391 yards to 239 yards.
The Steelers absolutely did not look good and had some injuries along the way – they possessed the ball for nearly 15 fewer minutes than the 49ers.
This 49ers team is going to be trouble all season…now put Aiyuk in your starting lineups.
🕵️ Missing in Action (Can you find these players, please)
The Bengals: Yeah, you heard me. I don’t need to look for a single player, I need to find the whole team!
In the first game after Joe Burrow signed his mega-deal, he went 14-of-31 passing for 82 yards and zero touchdowns and was pulled late in the fourth quarter.
Here’s a look at their fantasy points:
0️⃣ Burrow: 3.18 / Ja’Marr Chase: 9.10 / Tee Higgins: 0.00 / Joe Mixon: 10.30
Realistically, let’s not panic. Ian Hartitz even wrote about why we shouldn’t panic.
Remember when DeVonta Smith didn’t even record a catch in the opening 60 minutes of last season?
The Bengals will bounce back and so will your fantasy teams.
0️⃣ Drake London
Falcons head coach Arthur Smith still hates your fantasy team, this time he just added Drake London.
Just like Higgins, London found himself with zero fantasy points on Sunday. He played 90% of the Falcons snaps and had one target all game.
Here’s to hoping that things turn around for the super-talented second-year wide receiver.