While it’s wise not to read too far into one game, the Week 1 matchups provided us with plenty of duds from superstars, and some have me raising my eyebrows more than others. While one bad week does make a player a bust, a week of legitimate data is worth more than any and all preseason information, and we can begin to draw conclusions.
Russell’s Running and Gunning Limited by a Bum Wheel
Most Russell Wilson owners left Week 1 disappointed, as Wilson turned the ball over twice and only managed 16 rushing yards on four carries. Wilson’s fantasy value lies in his legs, and a sprained ankle clearly limited him against the Dolphins. As of this writing it looks like he’ll be able to play in Week 2, but with the ankle still bothering him his value takes a massive hit. The Rams, his Week 2 opponent, were blasted by the 49ers run game in Week 1, so it makes sense that the Seahawks’ game plan will follow suit. Wilson is closer to a low-end QB1 than a top-three option as long as his ankle is at less than 100%.
Last Year’s RB1 No Longer a Feature Back
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Most people will forget that it was Tevin Coleman, not Devonta Freeman, who opened the 2015 season as the Falcons’ starting running back before suffering a rib injury. Coleman appears to be back with a vengeance in 2016, as he outgained Freeman 117-40 in yards from scrimmage. Neither back ran particularly well, but Coleman shined in the passing game with five catches for 95 yards. This is concerning for those who invested early-round draft picks on Freeman, as he was supposed to be the primary back on passing downs. This looks like a full-scale timeshare, and Freeman owners should be very concerned that last year’s RB1 is no longer a feature back.
Unclear Injury Status Makes Watkins a Massive Risk
Buffalo Bills star Sammy Watkins is dealing with discomfort in his surgically-repaired left foot, and that should terrify his fantasy owners. After initial reports stated that the Bills might be shutting Watkins down for weeks, it now appears that Watkins is on track to play in the Bills’ Thursday night tilt against the Jets. This has “decoy” game written all over it—Watkins might be out there to draw coverage, but not be utilized as a playmaker. A foot problem can linger for literally months—particularly one stemming from a surgery—which means Watkins could be wearing the “questionable” tag for most of the season. This is not to mention the fact that the Bills offense had its worst game in a decade in Week 1. The arrow is pointing way down on Watkins this year.
Pickups of the Week
1. Will Fuller WR, Houston Texans – The rookie looked outstanding in the Texans’ Week 1 win, and he should be the deep threat to complement DeAndre Hopkins in the cannon-armed Brock Osweiler offense.
2. Tajae Sharpe, WR, Tennessee Titans – The Titans offense didn’t look great in Week 1, but Sharpe was a high point (7-76-0). He should see plenty of volume moving forward as their WR1.
3. Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons – As mentioned above, Coleman was great in the Falcons’ Week 1 matchup, and looks to have carved out a larger role for himself already.
Bill Dubiel is a fantasy football expert at Rotoballer.com.