Week 1 DomiNaters: Sammy Watkins Explodes!
Welcome to my weekly “DomiNaters” article! This season, I am taking the weekly #1 fantasy football finishers from the quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and tight end positions and breaking down their performance. I will also look ahead to their matchups for the upcoming week to determine if they will “DomiNate” or “DetoNate” in your fantasy football lineups.
All stats are based on .5 PPR format.
Week 1 DomiNaters
#1 QB: Lamar Jackson (33.56 FPTS)
It was pretty apparent Lamar Jackson wanted to silence the “Jackson can’t throw” critics. He did just that in Week 1. Jackson completed 17 of his 20 passes for 324 yards and five touchdowns! To prove the “Lamar Jackson is a running back” critics wrong, Jackson showed in Week 1 that not only can he be the No. 1 QB in any given week, but he can do so without running. Jackson totaled just six yards on the ground on only three carries against the Dolphins in Week 1. He led the Ravens to a 59-10 win over the Miami Dolphins with a perfect passer rating!
There is a reason to be a bit skeptical as the Miami Dolphins were his opponent. Many have speculated the Dolphins are looking to throw their season to obtain the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. It was even reported that multiple players on the Dolphins reached out to their agents in search of trades as they believe the organization doesn’t want to win. With that said, I wouldn’t let it scare you off of playing Lamar Jackson in Week 2. He will be at home against a team that just gave up 27 points to a middle of the road Lions’ offense. Although I do not expect Jackson to throw five TDs again, we could see him use his wheels a bit more in Week 2 as any defense is an upgrade to the one he just faced in Miami.
Week 2 ruling: Look for Lamar Jackson to DomiNate against the Cardinals.
#1 RB: Christian McCaffrey (37.9 FPTS)
Christian McCaffrey is a true every-down back that domiNates on the ground and through the air. He had no problems being a fantasy machine against the Rams defense on Sunday. McCaffrey carried the ball 19 times for 128 yards, an impressive 6.7 YPC. He also tacked on two rushing touchdowns. This alone would have made fantasy owners happy… but wait, there’s more. CMC had a great day in the passing game as well. He caught 10 of his 11 targets for 81 yards. Just a normal day in the office for one of the best RBs in the league. I suspect this won’t be the last time I discuss CMC as a weekly #1 RB this season.
The Panthers do get a short week as they find themselves in the Thursday Night slate against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs did just allow 100 total rushing yards to the 49ers backfield in Week 1 and they are not even close to the level of talent CMC presents. I can’t imagine ever saying Christian McCaffrey will detoNate this season but I’m certainly am not saying it now. He’s a lock start all season.
Week 2 ruling: CMC is going to do CMC things and DomiNate vs the Buccaneers.
#1 WR: Sammy Watkins (42.3 FPTS)
As good as Lamar Jackson was for fantasy in Week 1, no one expected Sammy Watkins to top all positions in fantasy points. Watkins went off, catching nine of his 11 targets for an incredible 198 yards and 3 TDs. He now ranks fifth among Chiefs single-game receiving performances in team history. Watkins was targeted by Patrick Mahomes early against the Jaguars this past Sunday. He was targeted before Tyreek Hill left the game with a shoulder injury. With Hill expected to miss some time, Sammy Watkins has firmly claimed his place as one of Mahomes’ trusted targets.
The Chiefs do draw a divisional game in Week 2 in Oakland against the Raiders. This offense is too potent for any defense to slow down. The Chiefs scored 75 points on the Raiders in their two games in 2018. I expect the Chiefs to score 30+ in Week 2 and Sammy Watkins will be a key part of that especially with Tyreek Hill sidelined.
Week 2 ruling: Remove Sammy Watkins from your bench so he can DomiNate on your active roster in Week 2.
#1 TE: Evan Engram (23.1 FPTS)
Many analysts anticipate Evan Engram to be the next tight end to be in the “elite” conversation in 2019 and with good reason. He’s a great pass-catcher and finds himself on a team with limited options now that Odell Beckham Jr. is gone. Engram wasted no time racking up fantasy points against the Cowboys on Sunday. He led all TEs in targets (14) and receptions (11). Engram ended Week 1 with 116 receiving yards and a score. The Giants are likely to find themselves behind in a lot of games this season and that is good news for Engram owners. Expect to see Engram with his fair share of double-digit target games in 2019.
Although the Giants gave up 35 points in Dallas Week 1, they find themselves at home against the Bills in Week 2. The Bills defense is solid but they don’t have an offense like the Cowboys. The Giants may not have to air it out as much as they did in Week 1 which could limit Engram’s ceiling. Given the options at the tight end position, there is no way you are sitting a tight end you spent up on in your fantasy drafts. Even if Engram has a “meh” type week, chances are it will still be a top-10 performance at the position.
Week 2 ruling: Evan Engram’s volume is enough to assume he’ll DomiNate on a weekly basis, including next week vs the Bills.
This article is written and submitted before the Monday Night games. Should a player from that slate surpass any of the players noted above, this article will be updated by Wednesday.
Nate Hamilton is a regular contributor in the fantasy football industry. He has provided advice & analysis on a daily basis since joining Twitter (@DomiNateFF) in August of 2013. He has written content for many well-known sites including FantasyPros, The Fantasy Footballers, Fantasy Data, and currently, FantraxHQ. He is the co-host of The Fantasy Tilt Podcast with Keaton Denlay. Nate also Co-Authored Amazon’s #1 Best Selling “The Fantasy Football Black Book” with Joe Pisapia & others in 2018. He is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA).
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