By Michael Daley, Guest Writer
Week one was full of surprises and injuries across the entire NFL. It is important to remember to not give up or go all in on players quite yet as week one generally produces plenty of flukes. (All scoring will refer to standard point-per-reception (PPR) scoring).
Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis: Davis hauled in four catches for 88 yards and a touchdown, a solid 18.8 fantasy points on Thursday night’s season opener. The stats were sold for the third-year wide receiver, but these numbers came with a big lead and a run-heavy game plan from the Bills.
Davis hardly left the field all night on offense, even when the game was all but over. In close games expect quarterback Josh Allen to be airing out even more, especially to Davis. Davis is a matchup-proof wide receiver for the next few weeks.
Giants running back Saquon Barkley: Barkley was coming off an injury riddled 2021 season in which he didn’t even register 600 yard in the running game across 13 games. Many fantasy managers steered clear of him this draft season, but his week one performance vs the Titans might be a sign he’s regained his old form.
Barkley rushed for 164 yards, caught six passes for 30 yards and added a touchdown and two point conversion for a fantastic 33.4 fantasy points to make him the highest scoring running back of week one after Sunday. Barkley appeared to be the Giants only offensive threat in their win against Tennessee and, if he remains healthy, will be a steady running back the rest of the season.
Rams running back Cam Akers: Akers was being drafted as a top 40 player and a top 20 running back leading up to the season. In Thursday night’s opener Akers registered a whopping 0.0 fantasy points with three carries for zero yards along with zero targets.
Rams running back Darrell Henderson had 13 carries and five targets after being an afterthought to Akers all offseason to Fantasy managers. If you are an Akers owner, keep him on the bench until he proves himself worthy of starting, but it is far too soon to let him go onto the waiver wire. The Rams game plan could change week to week and you’ll need to watch him closely.
Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb: Lamb is a third year wide receiver who looked poised for a breakout this season with the departure of wide receiver Amari Cooper to Cleveland. This led Lamb to be drafted as a second rounder in the majority of fantasy leagues, and in week one he disappointed. Lamb only hauled in two of his 11 targets for 29 yards.
However last night’s performance from Lamb (which was full of drops) is not the reason his stock has fallen, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a hand injury last night and is expected to miss the next six-to-eight weeks due to his upcoming surgery.
Lamb’s stock will be back up once Prescott and fellow wide receiver Michael Gallup return. Until then, it would be recommended to rest Lamb this week and see how quarterback Cooper Rush performs against Cincinnati.
Don’t give up on:
Rams wide receiver Allen Robinson: Robinson was the defending champions’ big offseason addition and despite a lousy one catch 12 yard performance in his debut, expect the targets to increase these next few weeks as he continues to build chemistry with quarterback Matthew Stafford. Rams head coach Sean McVay said himself they need to get Robinson the ball more these upcoming weeks.
Not Sold On:
Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire: Edwards-Helaire registered 22.4 fantasy points in the Chiefs blowout win over Arizona on Sunday and rewarded the fantasy managers who took a risk to start him in week one. Edwards-Helaire had seven carries for 42 yards, three catches for 32 yards, as well as two touchdowns. Averaging over two points per touch will probably not happen again for Edwards-Helaire as the Chiefs will continue working a running back by committee for the rest of the season.