Fantasy Football Believe It or Not: Patrick Mahomes is matchup-proof, James Conner a star

Welcome back, old friend. We didn't even know how much we missed you.

Week 1 was awesome, full of exciting comebacks, enormous plays, and even a rain-soaked tie. But amidst all that awesomeness we also got some mixed signals. Ryan Fitzpatrick looked like Tom Brady while Ben Roethlisberger looked more like Fitzpatrick. We saw stars like Alvin Kamara and Tyreek Hill sparkle while injury-replacements in other games looked like the stars they were replacing. So what should we believe? Let's dive in.

Patrick Mahomes is a matchup-proof QB1. 

Remember all those concerns about Mahomes on the road against the fearsome Chargers defense? Forget about them. Mahomes lit the Chargers up for 256 yards and four touchdowns on just 27 pass attempts as the Chiefs started 1-0. He only completed 55 percent of his passes, but that doesn't matter much when you average 9.5 yards per attempt. Mahomes took full advantage of Hill's out-of-this-world speed and put together a top-five performance. 

Verdict: Don't believe it.

But it's close enough. Mahomes has a matchup against the Jaguars in October and another trip to L.A. in November to play the Rams. He also has a date with the Ravens in December. I'm not ready to say I'm definitely starting him in those games, but that's about it. The thing is, Mahomes performance didn't look particularly sustainable. Two of his touchdown passes were flips in the backfield that traveled less than a yard combined in the air. On one hand, those are the types of easy plays Andy Reid creates. On the other hand, we should probably expect a few of those to turn into Kareem Hunt touchdowns down the road. 

Mahomes had an awesome performance and certainly looks like a top-12 quarterback rest of season, but he's not in the Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady class yet.

James Conner is a top-10 RB until Le'Veon Bell comes back. 

I'm not totally sure what Bell's plan for sitting out, is but if it's to prove the Steelers need him this wasn't a great start. Conner handled all of the work for the Steelers and looked a lot like his predecessor with 36 touches, 192 yards and two touchdowns. Before you start thinking "yeah, but this was the Browns," consider that the Browns were one of the best run defenses in the league last year. We have no indication as to when Bell will return, but until he does Conner is a top-10 back.

Verdict: Believe it.

I may even be under-selling it. No other Steelers running back touched the football in this game. If you've got a talented back with over 90 percent of his team's touches in an elite offense? You're probably getting a top-five performance most weeks. The hardest thing now for Conner owners who don't have Bell is knowing how high to sell. Because Bell could return this week and destroy Conner's value or Conner could be the feature back for the rest of the season. I'm holding unless I can get a true No. 1 running back or receiver in return. 

Philip Dorsett is the best receiver in New England.

Pete Prisco likes to refer to the "New England car wash" where the Patriots take players seemingly no one wants and turns them into useful players. Dorsett looks like the early candidate for this year's version. Dorsett saw seven targets in Week 1, more than any other receiver, and caught all seven for 66 yards and a touchdown. He tied with Rob Gronkowski for the team lead in receptions and finished second behind him in receiving yards. Chris Hogan was irrelevant in this game, catching just one pass on five targets. Race to the waiver wire to pick up Dorsett and enjoy the latest product of the car wash.

Verdict: Don't believe it.

Not yet anyway. Remember Danny Amendola's Week 1 last year? He caught six passes for 100 yards, outproducing Hogan and Brandin Cooks. Amendola didn't reach 100 yards again the rest of the season. Dorsett is certainly someone to look at on the waiver wire this week, someone to add even. But he's not the top priority and his ceiling is capped by the fact we're now another week closer to Julian Edelman's return.

Joe Flacco and Ryan Fitzpatrick are relevant in one-QB leagues.

If you didn't love watching Fitzmagic this week, I'm going to assume you're either a Saints fan or you started their DST in Fantasy. The 35-year-old had the game of his life, tossing four touchdown passes and running for another against a Saints defense that looked nothing like it did in 2017. Meanwhile, Flacco was lighting up a Bills secondary that we thought was actually the strength of their defense. With an injury to Marcus Mariota and the disappointments of Matt Ryan and Dak Prescott, you should be looking for Flacco and Fitzpatrick on the waiver wire.

Verdict: Don't believe it.

First off, we've got close to a decade of these quarterbacks being definitively bad. I don't think they're going to have a breakout in their mid-30s. At the very most they are going to be streaming options, but you probably won't want to do that this week. Flacco faces the Bengals on Thursday night football, and we all know what Thursdays usually do to passing games. Fitzpatrick faces a very good Eagles defense in his encore. These were great stories in Week 1, but unless your league requires two quarterbacks, they don't matter in Fantasy.

Tyler Lockett and Brandon Marshall are both relevant without Doug Baldwin.

So first off, let's all just hope Baldwin is OK. He suffered a sprained MCL to the knee that wasn't previously injured, and there's realistic hope that his absence will be a short one. But if does miss time it looks like we have a pair of waiver wire options for the Seahawks. Marshall led the team in targets, scored a touchdown and had another one called back. Lockett caught three of his four targets including a 51-yard bomb for a touchdown.

Verdict: Believe it.

In fact, one of these guys may be relevant even if Baldwin is active. That's partially because of the lack of weapons in Seattle and partially because we still don't know how effective Baldwin will be. Marshall should be a red-zone threat at the very least who has a chance to be flex-worthy every week with a score. Lockett is more of the big-play specialist who still has upside beyond that if he can stay healthy. Both should be on your radar when making your waiver claims this week.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Heath Cummings is a Senior Fantasy Writer that covers Daily Fantasy Sports of all types. Before coming to CBS Sports he was a staff writer for Footballguys and the host of The Fantasy Football Show on... Full Bio

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