After the first week of the football season, it is important not to overreact or "chase points." However, you still want to learn from Week 1.
QB – Blake Bortles, JAC (@ Chargers)
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Alex Smith notched the third-most fantasy points among quarterbacks in Week 1 as he threw for 363 yards against the Chargers. Smith hit the 300-yard mark once in 2015 and one time in 2014. Bortles tallied the third-most fantasy points last year. Hit threw for 320 yards last week and yet he’s the 13-most expensive option at QB this week.
Other notables: Eli Manning (NYG), Carson Palmer (ARI), and Derek Carr (OAK)
Diving deeper: Joe Flacco, BAL (@ Browns)
Last week, a rookie quarterback, Carson Wentz, threw for 278 yards and two TDs against this Cleveland defense and now a Super Bowl-winner gets his chance. You’re going to see how bad the Browns defense really is this season and Flacco’s going to benefit.
Last year, Williams rushed for 204 yards and three touchdowns in the first two games while Le’Veon Bell served his suspension. This season, DWill is back at it. He tallied 143 yards and two scores in Week 1, while also adding six receptions to his repertoire. This week, he gets the Bengals. DWill rushed for 147 yards on 32 carries (4.6 yards per rush) and scored twice against Cincy in 2015. Williams will continue to make the most of his opportunities.
Other notables: Jonathan Stewart (CAR), Carlos Hyde (SF), and Jeremy Langford (CHI)
Diving deeper: Rashad Jennings, NYG (vs. Saints)
We are big on Eli Manning and the air attack this week, but don’t forget about Jennings and the running game. He tallied 75 rushing yards on 18 attempts in Week 1 (4.2 yards per carry). In their high-scoring affair last week, the Saints allowed the most rushing yards (167 yards) of any Week 1 team.
WR – Kelvin Benjamin, CAR (vs. 49ers)
Welcome back, Mr. Benjamin. Against a tough Denver secondary, Benjamin was targeted 12 times and caught six passes for 91 yards and a TD. That’s quite the return after missing all of 2015. Greg Olsen was second on the team with nine targets in Week 1. San Francisco wasn’t challenged by the Rams much on Monday night but should have their hands full against Carolina.
Other notables: Jordan Matthews (PHI), Eric Decker (NYJ), and Randall Cobb (GB)
Diving deeper: Tajae Sharpe, TEN (@ Lions)
He was a hot name to target in your fantasy drafts and Sharpe didn’t disappoint in Week 1 (7 receptions, 11 targets, and 76 yards). If he is still available, scoop Sharpe up now before it’s too late. The trio of Colts’ wide receivers each notched at least 60 receiving yards against Detroit last Sunday.
TE – Gary Barnidge, CLE (vs. Ravens)
Before you throw away your drafted TE after one week, remember who his quarterback will be for the foreseeable future. Robert Griffin III was placed on the IR after Week 1 and now Josh McCown will start for the Browns. While Barnidge failed to record a catch last week, he has success against the Ravens. Last year, Barnidge tallied 15 receptions for 230 yards and one TD in his two combined games against Baltimore. McCown was the starting QB for both contests.
Other notables: Jason Witten (DAL), Antonio Gates (SD) , and Dennis Pitta (BAL)
Diving deeper: Clive Walford, OAK (vs. Falcons)
If you had Walford last week and saw the OAK/NO score, you probably were excited to read the box score. Unfortunately, you were then greeted with bad news: 3 catches, 35 yards, no TD. Look for a rebound this week against Atlanta. Oakland is projected to be in another barn-burner this Sunday.
QB – Andy Dalton, CIN (@ Steelers)
One of the benefits of divisional foes is the ability to see a long track record. For instance, Dalton is 3-7 in 10 games against the Steelers. In those matchups, Dalton has averaged 203.4 yards per game and has a TD/INT ratio of 12/10. As far as road games are concerned, Dalton has thrown four INTs and three TDs in the past two combined contests at Heinz Field.
Others include: Tyrod Taylor (BUF), Alex Smith (KC), and Brock Osweiler (HOU)
RB – Christine Michael, SEA (@ Rams)
After seeing Carlos Hyde run all over Los Angeles on Monday night, you might think those numbers would transfer to Michael. However, rumor has it Thomas Rawls is back in the mix for Seattle. If they split carries, or go with the hot hand, Michael’s value could diminish. I would continue to stash Michael on my bench just in case. Also, be wary that Marshawn Lynch is supposedly considering a comeback.
Others include: Frank Gore (IND), Justin Forsett (BAL), and Giovani Bernard (CIN)
WR – Tavon Austin, LA (vs. Seahawks)
The Rams tried to force-feed Austin the ball in Week 1. He earned 12 targets, but only caught four passes. Good luck finding room to work against Seattle. Last week, Jarvis Landry averaged 8.4 yards per catch vs. the Seahawks’ secondary and Ryan Tannehill was held to 186 passing yards.
Others include: Kevin White (CHI), Torrey Smith (SF), and Tyler Boyd (CIN)
TE – Martellus Bennett, NE (vs. Dolphins)
Fool me once, shame on you. You know the rest…I think. Bennett was on the field for 69 of the 71 offensive snaps for the Patriots and was primarily used as a blocker. With Rob Gronkowski returning to action this week, Bennett may only protect Jimmy Garoppolo while Gronk gets the targets.
Others include: Virgil Green (DEN), Jacob Tamme (ATL), and Jared Cook (GB)