Welcome to the big time! There may be nothing quite like the sweet taste of victory in week 1 of your fantasy football league. It establishes your dominance early, and displays your ingenuity and deep knowledge as the players you’ve valued and drafted all offseason start producing results in your lineup. Here are the stars of week 1 that likely helped you win your matchup.
Lamar Jackson – My start of the week, Lamar Jackson annihilated the Miami Dolphins to the tune of 324 yards and 5 touchdowns, most of which came before halftime. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens as a unit played so well, we saw RGIII come into the game for mop-up duty. Next week, the Ravens face the Cardinals, so I’ll be staying in the fire with “Action Jackson”.
Patrick Mahomes – The reigning MVP and number one scorer in fantasy football last year, Patrick Mahomes continued to do Patrick Mahomes things. Playing through injury, Mahomes had amassed 300 yards by halftime. Though he cooled off in the second half, he still finished as one of the highest scoring quarterbacks of week 1.
Dak Prescott – Dak Prescott just made a case that he’s worth every penny he’s trying to get from the Dallas Cowboys. Dak dropped 405 yards and 4 touchdowns on a lackluster Giants defense, and Ezekiel Elliott didn’t even seem like he was all the way back from missing camp and preseason action. Dak will remain a QB1 this year at this rate, given a relatively soft defensive schedule, especially in his own division.
Case Keenum – I take back every bad thing I’ve ever said about Case Keenum. Keenum delivered the most surprising quarterback performance of the day, dropping 380 yards and 3 touchdowns for a team that was routinely considered dead in the water before the season started. I don’t think Keenum is going to be a game-breaker, but he’s definitely reminded the NFL what he’s capable of.
Marlon Mack – I expected Marlon Mack to have a good game, I did not expect him to carry the Colts to a near upset in overtime. Mack was the best player on the offense, picking up 174 yards and a touchdown. I expect his usage to continue, and as long as he’s healthy, Mack will be an RB1 most weeks.
Christian McCaffrey – Run CMC has picked up right where he left off last season, as he dominated the supposedly rugged front seven of the Rams. Including an incredible touchdown in which CMC hopped on one fist while stretching for the end zone, CMC was the Panthers entire offense. He’s locked in as an RB1 and will compete for the number one scorer in fantasy football among running backs.
Derrick Henry – Much to my chagrin, Derrick Henry has continued to ball out basically since leaving all of my rosters last year. Since then, Henry has been a consistent RB1, and he even broke off a 75-yard touchdown… in the passing game. Continued at this rate, Derrick Henry is a weekly starter.
Mark Ingram – Nobody took more advantage of the Dolphins sad-sack defense than Mark Ingram. Ingram scored early and then pounded out a little over 100 yards on 14 carries, adding another touchdown along the way. Don’t look for Ingram to slow up too much, as he faces the Cardinals next week.
Dalvin Cook – The only thing that stops Dalvin Cook from being a premier asset in fantasy football is health. This week, he was healthy and showed off why he’s so highly considered as an electric playmaker in this league.
Sammy Watkins – Until Sunday happened, I think Sammy Watkins was considered a low-level bust as a fourth overall selection in the 2014 draft. One game doesn’t change the history of his career, but if Watkins can continue to be the primary wide receiver for the Chiefs, an entire season of production just might change the opinion on Watkins’ career. The fact that Tyreek Hill is out for the next few weeks means Watkins should retain a semblance of the value we saw on Sunday.
Desean Jackson – The prodigal son returneth!
John Ross – Another first round bust looking to turn his career around, John Ross produced almost as many yards on Sunday than he has in his career. While I don’t expect Ross to continue to produce at such an astronomical rate, he may just have more value than expected in Zac Taylor’s system.
Marquise Brown – What an introduction to the NFL. The two first receptions of Marquise Brown’s career went for two long touchdowns. The electric route runner had defenders jumping out of their shoes trying to cover him, and they failed miserably in doing so. Brown may not have proven he is a consistent week to week starter, but he has a juicy matchup against the Cardinals next and he is clearly the best receiver on the Ravens roster.
TY Hilton – There may not have been a wide receiver in fantasy football who’s ADP did as much of a 180 as TY Hilton, but he proved the doubters wrong. Hilton was clearly the primary option for Jacoby Brissett and found the endzone twice on Sunday. If you drafted Hilton after Luck’s retirement, you’ve already gained an incredible return on a value pick.
Evan Engram – I had Evan Engram on my sit list this past week, as I thought he’d be the focal point of the Cowboys defense. Perhaps I underrated Engram’s skills, or just how bad the Giants defense really is, but in either case, I was totally wrong about Engram. As long as he’s healthy, he will compete with George Kittle and Travis Kelce for the number one scorer in fantasy football from the tight end position.
Mark Andrews – Mark Andrews has immediately separated himself from the rest of the tight end room in Baltimore. The sophomore tight end came out and caught all 8 of his targets, most on the team, for 108 yards and a touchdown. Andrews was a favorite sleeper of many, and he’s already provided a return on his investment.
Delanie Walker – Old man Walker makes the list thanks to two touchdowns against an overhyped Browns team. Delanie Walker remains Marcus Mariota’s favorite target, especially in the red zone, so as long as he’s healthy, he has value.
TJ Hockenson – No rookie tight end in the history of the NFL has surpassed 1000 yards except for Mike Ditka in 1961. Hockenson needed to deliver a big game to have a chance at NFL history, and he delivered. The athletic tight end made plays all over the field, and if he can maintain a healthy target share in the Lions offense, he will crack 1000 yards with relative ease.
Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens absolutely waxed the Miami Dolphins, exposing this team as the worst in the league. Miami didn’t have a prayer after trading away Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills, and whether it was Ryan Fitz-tragic or Josh Rosen in for Miami, the Dolphins got chewed up and spit out. Next week, the Ravens will take on the Cardinals, so I’m comfortable keeping them in my lineup.
NY Jets – The Jets took advantage of Buffalo early, led by defensive free-agent signing CJ Mosely. Unfortunately, Mosely went down with a groin injury and the defense was not the same after that, allowing the Bills to come back and win the game. If Mosely is out next week, the Jets defense will be worse for wear, especially against the all hype Cleveland Browns who will look to rebound after a terrible showing themselves.
Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings came out early and made a case as the best defense in the NFL. They held a game Falcons offense to just 12 points and completely shut down the run. The Vikings will take on the Packers at home, and as good as they looked in week 1, this is a matchup I’m still avoiding for now.