Fantasy Football : Week 1 Wrap-Up & Week 2 Preview

Aaron Rodgers is happy to be facing the Jets at home after a rough Week 1 in Seattle.
Aaron Rodgers is happy to be facing the Jets at home after a rough Week 1 in Seattle.

Week 1 of the fantasy football season is in the books. We had some NFL elites put up some pretty measly numbers, and some no-namers blow the roof off. 

Before moving into my Stud, Dud and Surprise of the Week, let's take a look at how the Packers fared from a fantasy standpoint.

Like I said last week, Seattle is a mighty fine defense. They wasted no time adding Aaron Rodgers to their list of elite quarterbacks who have struggled to efficiently move the ball against them.

The Legion of Boom limited Rodgers to 189 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception on the night, which was good for only 9.4 fantasy points in ESPN standard leagues.

Eddie Lacy didn't fare much better as he only managed 34 rushing yards and 4.5 fantasy points. He also left the game early after suffering a concussion after a rough hit from Seattle safety Cam Chancellor.

Lacy's night could have been salvaged with a touchdown, but John Kuhn got the first quarter, goal line call and punched in the short score to vulture points from Lacy. Hopefully this doesn't turn into the norm for the season.

Despite Rodgers' struggles passing, the receivers still managed decent fantasy nights. Jordy Nelson caught nine passes for 83 yards (good for 8.3 points in non-PPR leagues), and Randall Cobb's late touchdown gave him a total of 11.8 points.

Stud of the Week: Matt Ryan absolutely obliterated the Saints defense on Sunday, throwing for 448 yards and 3 touchdowns for a total of 31.3 fantasy points. This is the elite play we expected to see out of Ryan last year, but an early injury to #1 receiver Julio Jones squashed his chances of a monster year. Looks like he's poised for a huge 2014! (Thankfully, my Week 1 opponent had Ryan on his bench. Phew!)

Dud of the Week: Despite the Chiefs only having the ball for a total of 22 minutes against the shockingly impressive Titans defense, Jamaal Charles' 11 touches was still a surprisingly low number. To make things worse, those touches only translated to 3.4 fantasy points (19 yards rushing, 15 yards receiving). As a running back who was consistently drafted Top 3 in most fantasy drafts, these Week 1 numbers are insanely disappointing. While the team doesn't have any easier of a task next week at Denver, Charles' production should be much higher.

Surprise of the Week: With Jacksonville receiver Cecil Shorts sidelined by a hamstring injury, rookie Allen Hurns made a fantasy splash catching four passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns against the Eagles. Unfortunately, those stats were wasted in virtually all leagues since Hurns was only owned in 0.5% of leagues at the time. With Shorts still questionable for Week 2, a pick-up of Hurns may not be a bad idea in deeper leagues if you're lacking in the wide receiver department.

The Packers' Week 2 matchup against the J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets! at home looks juicy for fantasy owners. The Jets defense last year gave up an average of 261 yards and 1.6 TDs/game to opposing quarterbacks - good for 19 fantasy points per game.

Add in the fact that 1) it's the home opener at Lambeau and 2) Eddie Lacy could be sidelined or see limited action, and Rodgers' numbers could reach the mid-20s. Be excited about him this week! This also translates well over to Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb - must starts!

Unless Lacy is cleared to play, I would probably stay away from playing any other Packer running backs this week. While their pass defense is middle-of-the-pack at best, the Jets have really built up a solid defensive line that hold opposing backs to only 72 yards per game in 2013.

If he plays, Lacy will be running hard to make up for his performance in Week 1, but I don't trust James Starks to shoulder the load at running back for my fantasy team this week.

As for the rest of the league, here are a few players I'm excited about this week:

  1. Even though he's on short rest with a Thursday night game, it's hard to ignore and push aside the performance Le'Veon Bell had on Sunday against the Browns. Look for him to do more of the same against their rivals in Baltimore.
  2. Quarterback Jake Locker looked fantastic in the new-look Titans offense on Sunday against the Chiefs. In Week 2, they travel home to Nashville to face the porous Dallas Cowboys. Look for both Locker and his #1 target Kendall Wright to light up the fantasy scoreboard.
  3. If you think you can get trade value for him, I would advise to get rid of Zac Stacy! In Week 1 he already saw his offensive snaps down more than 35% to teammate Benny Cunningham. With a bad offensive line and potentially a third-string quarterback taking the reins Sunday at Tampa Bay, I'm not sure I'd play Stacy this week if I had the depth.