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Week 1 Fantasy Football Must Know Notes

Week 1 of the 2023 NFL Football Season is nearly in the books with one game left to go tonight. Big stats, unexpected performances, major injuries, and roles established were the mix we were all anticipating. While it is important to not overreact to Week 1, it is still important to start being more aware, pivoting where needed, and responding to newfound information. Specifically when it comes to Fantasy Football.

Going through each team, I will list some notes I feel are the most important when it comes to Fantasy Football. Through these notes, we can draw some possible conclusions or at least react appropriately with the intent to find Fantasy Football success in the coming week(s). Scoring noted is points per reception (PPR). Written on Monday, so I am covering just the Sunday slate of games.

Check out all of our Week 2 Fantasy Football analysis. It’ll be streaming out all week!

NFL Week 1 Fantasy Football Notes

Arizona Cardinals

  • James Conner was the best Fantasy Football option scoring 12 Fantasy points. 19 total touches shows he continues to be a workhorse for the Cardinals which is encouraging because it looks like this offense could struggle.
  • Marquise Brown totaled 57 yards but 29 of those yards were from his lone carry. Three catches for 28 yards is concerning with Joshua Dobbs under center
  • The yardage was poor (21), but Zach Ertz led the Cardinals in both receptions (six) and targets (10). This makes a healthy Ertz interesting and feels like it kills my Trey McBride hopes.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Tyler Allgeier lit up the Fantasy stat sheet, guided by 75 yards and two touchdowns. As of now, Allgeier’s 24.4 Fantasy points is top 10 for the week. 18 touches does not just make him a handcuff. Two punches into the red zone make him feel like this year’s Jamaal Williams.
  • The rookie sensation, Bijan Robinson, scored a receiving touchdown in his first NFL appearance. 20.3 Fantasy points was a great start for those who invested in Bijan. Six receptions are great for PPR leagues. The concern is conceding goal-line work to Allgeier.
  • Kyle Pitts earned three targets, and Drake London just one. We loved the talent of these two players, but this is extremely concerning with Desmond Ridder only throwing the ball 18 times. Head Coach Arthur Smith is a game manager who likes to pound the rock – which is going to frustrate the Fantasy Football world when it comes to Pitts/London.

Baltimore Ravens

  • Terrible news broke that JK Dobbins tore his Achilles and will miss the remainder of the season. We had high hopes for Dobbins as he was further from that ACL injury. Dobbins scored in this one.
  • Justice Hill and Gus Edwards split carries following the Dobbins injury, with Hill getting the goal-line touches and scoring twice. With Baltimore being a contender, do not be surprised if Leonard Fournette or Kareem Hunt end up a Raven.
  • Zay Flowers earned 10 targets, which was more than both Rashod Bateman (3) and Odell Beckham Jr. (3) combined. Flowers caught nine of those targets for 78 yards and even rushed the ball twice. Great start for the Raven’s first-round investment.
  • Quiet Lamar Jackson game who totaled just 207 yards but that was all that was needed in a 25-9 win.

Carolina Panthers

  • Although it was not a massive game for Miles Sanders, 22 total touches (four receptions) is encouraging to see.
  • DJ Chark missed due to injury, so out of the remaining wide receivers Terrace Marshall Jr. saw six targets (caught two), Laviska Shenault was targeted twice (caught both), rookie Jonathan Mingo earned five targets (caught two) and Adam Thielen caught both of his targets. Looks like Bryce Young is preferring Mingo and Marshall right now within the wide receiver room.
  • Hayden Hurst was a great tight end to stream, scoring 15.1 Fantasy points in this one. Hurst out-targeted all wide receivers with seven and caught five of them for 41 yards and a touchdown.

Chicago Bears

  • Rookie Roschon Johnson led the Bears in Fantasy scoring with 17.5. A lot of Johnson’s work came in the fourth quarter, but the six receptions is significant to note. The touchdown helped his Fantasy production.
  • Khalil Herbert totaled 12 touches and D’Onta Foreman 7. With Johnson touching the ball 11 times, we have a committee. For now.
  • Darnell Mooney earned seven targets, catching four of them for 53 yards and a score. Cole Kmet matched Mooney’s seven targets, catching five of them for 44 yards.
  • DJ Moore had a very disappointing two catches on two targets for 25 yards. Jaire Alexander of the Green Bay Packers made some comments about shutting him down.
  • Justin Fields threw for 216 yards, which would have been his second-highest passing total last season. Throwing the ball 37 times is encouraging as he never threw the ball over 28 times in 2022.

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Joe Burrow threw a mediocre 14/31 for just 82 yards. The Browns completely shut down the Bengal’s passing game.
  • Joe Mixon led the Bengals in Fantasy scoring with 10.3 points, which just shows you the type of day it was for their offense. 16 total touches.
  • Ja’Marr Chase was targeted nine times but caught five of them. Tee Higgins was targeted eight times and caught none. Direct impacts of a bad Burrow day.
  • Irv Smith Jr. earned five targets as the new starting tight end. He may be a potential streamer based on the matchup.

Cleveland Browns

  • Deshaun Watson put up a top-five quarterback Fantasy performance (as of Monday). The passing yardage was not great (154) but scoring both through the air and with his legs helped for a good day.
  • Nick Chubb had a solid day, rushing for 106 yards and catching four passes. 22 touches is the workhorse volume we love for Chubb in what looks like will be a great offense this year.
  • Elijah Moore caught three of seven targets for 43 yards, while Amari Cooper matched the target-to-reception count but for 37 yards. These two look like the focal point of the passing game, with David Njoku and Donovan Peoples-Jones not as involved.

Dallas Cowboys

  • This defense looks great. Two touchdowns scored, two interceptions, one fumble recovery, seven sacks, and one block. The D/ST scored the second most Fantasy points for the week for all players.
  • Tony Pollard had 16 touches totaling 82 scrimmage yards for the day. Garbage time meant rookie Duece Vaughn and Rico Dowdle getting some work in the 40-0 blowout.
  • All of CeeDee LambBrandin Cooks, and Dak Prescott were quiet due to the game script of this one. Dak only completed 13/24 attempts.
  • It is important to note that the new starting tight end, Jake Ferguson, earned seven targets. Ferguson only caught two of them but the volume was there.

Denver Broncos

  • Russell Wilson tossed two short touchdowns in the loss. 27/34 for just 177 passing yards.
  • 10 different players saw targets, but Courtland Sutton capitalized on one of his five scoring a touchdown. A low 32 yards lines up with the 177 total from Wilson.
  • Javonte Williams finished with 17 total touches to Samaje Perine’s 12. Four catches is nice to see but for just five receiving yards is not. Williams tore both his ACL/LCL last season in Week 4, so he should continue to build himself up.
  • Greg Dulcich left the game early, which meant Adam Trautman was the next man up for the tight end position. Trautman earned five targets.

Green Bay Packers

  • Aaron Jones tore up the Bears. Jones scored a rushing touchdown and also a receiving touchdown. Two receptions for 86 yards on the day. Jones did suffer a hamstring injury in the third quarter, which should be monitored.
  • Should Jones miss time due to injury, AJ Dillon would get a big bump. Dillon carried the ball 13 times for an inefficient 19 yards and added two catches to his touch total.
  • Jordan Love threw for 245 yards and three touchdowns without who should be his top option, Christian Watson, in this one. This resulted in a top-three (as of now) Fantasy performance for the week. This could hint at Love being a potential quarterback stream in the future, as he is not highly rostered.
  • Romeo Doubs was targeted five times and took two of them for scores. Only 26 yards on the day, but the two touchdowns meant a solid 18.6-point Fantasy week.
  • Tight end Luke Musgrave, selected in the second round this year, was targeted five times and caught three of them for 50 yards. Musgrave just missed out on a touchdown which could have meant a bigger day.
  • Rookie wide receiver Jayden Reed, also a second-round draft pick, was targeted five times as well in this one. Reed caught two passes for 48 yards.

Houston Texans

  • Nico Collins led the Texans in targets (11), receptions (six), receiving yards (80), and Fantasy points (14). Collins is the team’s WR1, which could draw FLEX-worthy Fantasy appeal.
  • Veteran Robert Woods earned 10 targets on the day, catching six of them for 57 yards. While Woods may not have the same upside as Collins, that sort of volume is important to note. Especially with Woods’ Fantasy relevance historically back as a Ram.
  • CJ Stroud threw the ball a heavy 44 times for 242 yards. A fumble cost him some Fantasy points, and no passing touchdowns did not help much.
  • Dameon Pierce out-touched Devin Singletary 13 to seven, with neither back doing much against a tough Baltimore defense.

Indianapolis Colts

  • Michael Pittman Jr. had a great Week 1, catching eight of his 11 targets for 97 yards and a touchdown. No other Colt finished with 40 receiving yards in this one. Pittman is the true alpha here, which should not be new information.
  • Anthony Richardson put his upside on full display, passing for 223 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 40 yards and another score. Richardson did bruise his knee, so keep an eye on that. Richardson looks like an every-week Fantasy starter.
  • It is important to note that rookie Josh Downs out-targeted Alec Pierce seven to three. Tight end Kyle Granson earned six targets.

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Calvin Ridley is back, and he looks like his former Atalanta self. Eight catches on 11 targets for 101 yards and a touchdown for 24.1 Fantasy points. This is the team’s alpha pass-catcher. The “rust” concerns look laughable.
  • Travis Etienne touched the ball 23 times, scoring a touchdown and catching five balls. Rookie Tank Bigsby drew some attention by scoring a rushing touchdown, but his seven touches is a major difference from what Etienne had. This does not look like a committee.
  • Trevor Lawrence threw 24/32 for 241 passing yards and two touchdowns. Lawrence also rushed the ball seven times. He did have an interception.
  • Zay Jones out-targeted Christian Kirk seven to three and scored a touchdown. Bigger day for Jones with 16.5 Fantasy points. Tight end Evan Engram was targeted five times.

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Austin Ekeler continues to be #GoodAtFootball. We see Ekeler as a pass-catching back primarily, but he rushed for 117 yards and a score on Sunday. Four receptions. 26.4 Fantasy points.
  • Justin Herbert threw for 228 and a touchdown. Herbert also scored with his legs. The rushing game totaled 234 yards for the Chargers which impacted what Herbert had to do to compete.
  • We should keep an eye on Joshua Kelley’s usage. 16 rushing attempts for 91 yards and a touchdown. That is not just handcuff volume in a tight game.
  • Keenan Allen led the team in targets with nine. Allen caught six of those targets for 76 yards. Mike Williams caught four of his five targets for 45 yards while rookie Quentin Johnston caught just two of his three targets.

Los Angeles Rams

  • No Cooper Kupp? Insert fifth-round rookie Puka Nacua, who caught 10 of his 15 targets for 119 yards. 21.9 Fantasy points. Kupp is on the IR, so there is a very real chance Nacua continues to be the number one target and has Fantasy relevance moving forward here. Major waiver wire add for this week.
  • Tutu Atwell had himself a day as well, catching six of his eight targets for 119 yards. 17.9 Fantasy points.
  • Kyren Williams rushed for 52 yards on 15 carries. Far more productive than Cam Akers who rushed for 29 yards on 22 attempts. A touchdown saved Akers from completely busting.

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Jakobi Meyers balled out on Sunday, catching nine of his 10 targets for 81 yards and two scores. 29.1 Fantasy points. Keep an eye on his concussion status. This performance gives Meyers FLEX appeal, which we were unsure of when it came to how he would mesh in this new system.
  • Davante Adams caught six passes for 66 yards on nine targets. Not a terrible day with his Jimmy Garoppolo new tie, but not very Adams-like.
  • Josh Jacobs continued to see heavy volume with 21 touches, but he simply did not capitalize enough averaging 2.5 yards per carry.

Miami Dolphins

  • Tua Tagovailoa threw for a massive stat line – 466 yards and three touchdowns. An interception and a fumble impacted his Fantasy scoring ceiling, but Tua was one of the better quarterback plays for Sunday. The upside is evident.
  • Tyreek Hill was the best Fantasy scorer of the week, finishing with 215 of Tua’s 466 yards through the air. Hill caught 11 of his 15 targets and scored twice. 44.5 Fantasy points. True WR1 overall sort of statement for Fantasy Football.
  • Quiet day for Jaylen Waddle, but the receiving yard upside was on display with him averaging 19.5 yards per catch.
  • No other running back outside of Raheem Mostert touched the ball more than three times. Mostert had 12 touches, with Miami focusing their offense through the air.

Minnesota Vikings

  • Justin Jefferson looked like his 2022 self, catching nine of his 12 targets for 150 yards. Truly an explosive day for last year’s WR1.
  • Kirk Cousins went 33/44 for 344 yards and two passing touchdowns. An interception and two fumbles were costly. The passing volume from Cousins continues to be encouraging for the weapons.
  • Jordan Addison caught four of his six targets for 61 yards and a score. Great way to open up his rookie campaign with 16.1 Fantasy points. TJ Hockenson saw a healthy nine targets but finished with just 35 yards.
  • The game script and tough Tampa Bay defense did not help Alexander Mattison for Fantasy. 14 touches for 44 total yards.

New England Patriots

  • Kendrick Bourne was a hot name this weekend, catching six of his 11 targets for 64 yards and two touchdowns. 24.4 Fantasy points. Eventually, DeVante Parker and Tyquan Thornton will return to compete for targets, but should Bourne’s role be sticky he should be picked up off of waivers.
  • Mac Jones’ Fantasy impact was extremely surprising, with him scoring the second most points for the week so far. 35/54 for 316 passing yards and three touchdowns. Jones did throw a pick, but the volume through the air was huge.
  • Hunter Henry made my Mike Gesicki takes look bad. Five receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown. 16.6 Fantasy points. Gesicki earned just three targets.
  • Rhamondre Stevenson totaled 18 touches on the day to Ezekiel Elliott’s 12. Six receptions for Stevenson vs. five for Zeke is not the separation many of us projected when it comes to getting involved in the passing game. Zeke was more efficient at the end of the day too. This could become a headache.
  • Four catches on seven targets for the expected WR1 JuJu Smith-Schuster. 33 total yards did nothing for Fantasy.

New Orleans Saints

  • Chris Olave lived up to his Week 1 expectations with Derek Carr. Eight catches on 10 targets for 112 receiving yards. The upside was on full display, and this could be a big season for the sophomore. 19.2 Fantasy points.
  • Rashid Shaheed only trailed Olave by .2 Fantasy points on Sunday. Five catches for 89 yards and a touchdown. Shaheed rushed the ball twice as well. The big play ability continues to show.
  • Great to see Michael Thomas back on the field. Thomas earned the second most targets (8) in this one and finished with 61 yards. Back at least into FLEX consideration.

New York Giants

  • No Giants players scored 10 Fantasy Points. Saquon Barkley led the team with 9.3 Fantasy points totaling 73 scrimmage yards on the day. 40-0 game does not create much room for Fantasy positivity.
  • Darren Waller led the Giants in receiving yards with just 36. We need to just hope he stays healthy as he was questionable with a hamstring issue. Darius Slayton earned five targets as well.
  • Daniel Jones totaled 147 passing + rushing yards on the day. 15 completions. Two interceptions. One of his worst NFL games to date in this blowout loss.

Philadelphia Eagles

  • DeVonta Smith caught seven passes for 47 yards and a touchdown. AJ Brown also caught seven passes but for 79 yards. Both wide receivers earned 10 targets a piece. This duo’s success with Jalen Hurts rolled over from last season.
  • Jalen Hurts had a terrible Fantasy day vs. his expectations. 170 passing and 37 rushing yards did not do us much. The same goes for tight end Dallas Goedert who did not catch his only target.
  • The big standout here to me is Kenneth Gainwell touching the ball 18 times to D’Andre Swift’s two. We have seen polarizing reporting for this backfield, but this sort of split is extremely discouraging for Swift managers. Hold Swift, but you cannot play him. Gainwell will be a hot waiver name this week.

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Diontae Johnson suffered a hamstring injury at the beginning of the third quarter. Allen Robinson surprisingly earned a team-high eight targets, catching five of them for 64 yards. Is he back?
  • Kenny Pickett struggled against the 49ers. Two interceptions and only four rushing yards did not help his Fantasy scoring. It was encouraging to see him throw 46 times though, which screams passing volume.
  • George Pickens earned seven targets but did not show us the usual receiving yard upside with him totaling just 36 yards. Pat Freiermuth scored a touchdown but had to leave the game on Sunday due to a chest issue. Monitor that.
  • Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren split work eight to eight when it came to total touches. Warren scored more Fantasy points, but both were under 7 points.

Seattle Seahawks

  • DK Metcalf led the Seahawks with 13.7 Fantasy points. DK caught three passes for 47 yards, with one of them being a score. Jaxon Smith-Njigba (aka JSN) tied Metcalf’s five targets, and Tyler Lockett trailed both with four. My spicy take was that JSN would lead the team in targets this year, and seeing him tie for the lead in Week 1 following a wrist surgery makes that seem possible.
  • Not much of a committee approach look for Kenneth Walker III and rookie Zach Charbonnett with a touch total of 16 to three in KWIII’s favor.
  • Geno Smith was great against the Rams in both matchups last season but failed to impress throwing for just 112 yards and a touchdown on 16 completions.

San Francisco 49ers

  • Brandon Aiyuk caught eight balls for 129 receiving yards and two touchdowns which was one of the more impressive performances of the weekend. 32.9 Fantasy points was a major Fantasy Football boost. Aiyuk looks like he is in line to have a true breakout.
  • Christian McCaffrey got it done on the ground with 152 rushing yards on 22 attempts, scoring a touchdown while also catching three passes. Elijah Mitchell only rushed five times, which may show that these two splitting work on the ground may only be situational.
  • Deebo Samuel caught five of his seven targets for 55 yards. George Kittle caught just three of his six targets for 19 yards.
  • Brock Purdy opened the season with 220 passing yards and two touchdowns. He did not have to do too much due to this game against the Steelers not being close in a 30-7 win.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Mike Evans caught six passes for 66 yards and a touchdown. Evans led the team in targets along with Fantasy points (18.6)
  • Not a terrible first game for Baker Mayfield, throwing for 173 but two scores. Chris Godwin finished with 51 yards but not the most exciting Fantasy week.
  • Rachaad White totaled 19 touches, with 17 on the ground. 39 rushing yards was highly inefficient, and I thought we would see him more involved in the passing game. Rookie Sean Tucker finished with seven touches as the second running back.

Tennessee Titans

  • Derrick Henry’s 17 touches was not the volume we necessarily expected. He managed 63 yards on the ground and 56 through the air on two catches. The Titans abandoned the run for much of the second half.
  • DeAndre Hopkins was clearly Ryan Tannehill’s preferred target, earning 13 on the day and catching seven for 65 yards. Nick Westbrook Ikhine earned seven, which was more than Treylon Burks (3) and Chig Okonkwo (2) combined.
  • Rookie Tyjae Spears should be rostered as Henry’s handcuff. Spears had four touches in this one, which shows the Titans looked to involve him Week 1 straight away.

Washington Commanders

  • Sam Howell threw for 202 yards and a touchdown, as well as rushed for one in the Washington opener. Howell also threw a pick but Washington took home a W.
  • Brian Robinson totaled 20 touches for 66 scrimmage yards. Concerning for Antonio Gibson managers, as Gibson only had four total touches. Not the split we were hoping for.
  • Jahan Dotson led the wide receiver room with seven targets, while Curtis Samuel had five and Terry McLaurin 4. Samuel led the group with 60 total yards. None of these wide receivers were spectacular in this one.
  • Keep an eye on Logan Thomas, who out-targeted the wide receiver room with eight. Thomas caught just four of them, but this usage coming off of a calf injury should be noted.
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