Week 1 of the NFL season is in the books. Stars were born, hopes were dashed, and while you and your teams may have won or lost the battle, the war has only just begun.
The good news is that we finally have some real data to work with after months of research and speculation. We know that there are plenty of targets to go around in Denver to satisfy three wide receivers, and a tight end. We know that the Jets and Raiders are not the automatic point generators we thought for opposing defenses, though the Jaguars certainly seem to be. And we know that the Eagles really do have a dynamic new offense that could shatter the faux pas of stacking in FanDuel NFL contests.
Here’s a look at the top value picks, highest scorers, and biggest busts of Week 1.
Top NFL Value Picks from Week 1 (most bang for the buck)
1. Anquan Boldin – WR, SF ($6,000) – 33.3 fantasy points
2. Julius Thomas – TE, DEN ($4,500) – 25.5 fantasy points
3. Peyton Manning – QB, DEN ($9,300) – 46.28 fantasy points
4. Jared Cook – TE, STL ($5,500) – 27.6 fantasy points
5. Joique Bell – RB, DET ($4,600) – 23.7 fantasy points
6. Kansas City Chiefs – D, KC ($5,000) – 26 fantasy points
7. Dallas Cowboys – D, DAL ($5,000) – 26 fantasy points
8. Victor Cruz – WR, NYG ($7,000) – 32.3 fantasy points
9. Leonard Hankerson – WR, WAS ($4,900) – 22.5 fantasy points
10. Julian Edelman – WR, NE ($5,300) – 23.4 fantasy points
Anquan Boldin picked up right where he left off after the Super Bowl, only for a different team, registering a league-leading 13 receptions on 17 targets for 208 yards and a touchdown this week. His efforts have earned him top honors in the Week 1 value list, and a price increase of $700 on FanDuel for Week 2.
Sleeper tight ends were the flavor of the week when drafting lineups, and several turned out to make a major difference, led by Julius Thomas and Jared Cook. Cook, who finished with 7 receptions on 10 targets for 141 yards and 2 touchdowns, could have ended up the top play of the week had he not fumbled near the goal line after a 47-yard reception in the first quarter, costing him a third touchdown.
Top Performers in Week 1 (highest scorers)
1. Peyton Manning – QB, DEN – 46.28 fantasy points
2. Anquan Boldin – WR, SF – 33.3 fantasy points
3. A.J. Green – WR, CIN – 32.7 fantasy points
4. Victor Cruz – WR, NYG – 32.3 fantasy points
5. Eli Manning – QB, NYG – 31.8 fantasy points
6. Adrian Peterson – RB, MIN – 31.1 fantasy points
7. Colin Kaepernick – QB, SF – 30.68 fantasy points
8. Demaryius Thomas – WR, DEN – 30.6 fantasy points
9. Jared Cook – TE, STL – 27.6 fantasy points
10. Reggie Bush – RB, DET – 27.1 fantasy points
Peyton Manning had a record-tying performance this week with 7 passing touchdowns as he threw the ball at will for 462 yards against the defending Super Bowl champs. Brother Eli nearly matched him, throwing for 450 yards and 4 touchdowns of his own. Peyton will look to remain king of the points hill next week when the Broncos face the Giants.
It was also quite a week for greedy wide receivers as offenses were ready to air it out in Week 1. There were 3 wide receivers in the top 4 scoring plays this week, and 4 in the top 10. In a list usually dominated by quarterbacks and running backs, it will be interesting to see if this becomes a trend.
The Week 1 Bust List
1. David Wilson – RB, NYG ($7,700) – -2.1 fantasy points
2. Lamar Miller – RB, MIA ($6,900) – 1.5 fantasy points
3. Stevan Ridley – RB, NE ($7,100) – 2.6 fantasy points
4. Roddy White – WR, ATL ($7,100) – 2.9 fantasy points
5. Mike Wallace – WR, MIA ($6,500) – 2 fantasy points
6. Dez Bryant – WR, DAL ($8,300) – 4.2 fantasy points
7. Maurice Jones-Drew – RB, JAC ($7,500) – 4.5 fantasy points
8. Calvin Johnson – WR, DET ($8,800) – 5.7 fantasy points
9. C.J. Spiller – RB, BUF ($8,700) – 6 fantasy points
10. Marshawn Lynch – RB, SEA ($8,600) – 6.2 fantasy points
David Wilson delivered the dreaded negative fantasy outing this week with 7 rushes for 19 yards and 2 lost fumbles. Expectations were high coming into the game, with Wilson a top 12 back in most rankings, looking to be the primary ball carrier in a high scoring offense. Unfortunately he fumbled the ball less than two minutes into the game, and then fumbled again less than two minutes into the second half, proceeding to spend the rest of the game on the bench. Da’Rel Scott replaced him, and the Giants are already working out Brandon Jacobs and Willis McGahee to give them more options. With Wilson’s price actually rising to 8,100 for Week 2, he has multi-week bust labeled all over him.
There were plenty of other pricey running backs that pulled up numerically lame this week. Just another reminder of how important it can be to look beyond names and prices and focus on the matchups.
Big Winner Spotlight – rljenkins22 approaches 200 points, wins a trip to Vegas
Colin Kaepernick ($8,700) was the third highest scoring quarterback this week. With Peyton Manning playing on Thursday, he was unavailable in FFFC lineups, so Kaepernick was second among available QBs. Kaepernick was not a hugely popular play despite his known ability and friendly matchup against Green Bay’s secondary. Well, he outscored Aaron Rodgers by 5 points, beat out Drew Brees by almost 10, and nearly doubled Tom Brady’s point production.
Lesean McCoy ($8,300) was the most likely beneficiary to the Eagles new offensive scheme, and he came through big time with 184 rushing yards and a touchdown on 31 carries. Oddly enough, McCoy is the only player in the NFL with more rushing yards than Terrelle Pryor (112) after Week 1.
Adrian Peterson ($9,500) was the obvious choice for anyone who wanted to spend a lot of money at RB. The consensus #1 back broke his first carry for a 78-yard touchdown. He only managed 15 yards on his next 17 carries, but scored on one and caught a pass for his third touchdown.
Victor Cruz ($7,000) continues to prove he is the most lethal weapon at Eli Manning’s disposal. He caught only 5 balls on 8 targets, but 3 went for TDs including a 70 yarder.
Reggie Wayne ($6,700) caught all 8 balls that were thrown at him, totaling 96 yards and a touchdown. Andrew Luck is the star of the Colts, but Wayne is the guy that makes you remember how good this team has been for a long time.
Brandon Myers ($5,000) was one of the many cheap tight ends that produced this week. While there were three cheaper tight ends that produced even better, Myers was great value. If anything, taking him meant you didn’t take Zach Sudfeld.
Kansas City Chiefs ($5,000) showed that the Jaguars are the team you want your defense to face. Blaine Gabbert is by far the worst starting quarterback in the league. He’s so bad I actually think they would be better off with Tim Tebow. Thankfully, Chad Henne takes over the reins this week to give them some semblance of an NFL offense.
Meanwhile, Kenbrell Thompkins ($4,500) and Blair Walsh ($5,100) are proof that you don’t need to have the perfect team to win it all, you just need to have the best team. Thompkins was a popular play this week with New England’s receiving corps in flux, and Walsh was the highest ranked kicker available for $5,100 or less. Many users were likely disappointed with their point totals this week, but for rljenkins22 those 14.2 points turned out to be enough.