Some standout rookie debuts are expected.
Leonard Fournette rocked the Texans for 124 total yards and a touchdown, just as we hoped. We expected him to have big games. He was the No. 4 overall pick in the NFL Draft.
We wouldn't expect similarly impressive outings from rookies picked 96th and 119th overall. But we got 'em.
Lions rookie Kenny Golladay turned seven targets into four catches, 69 yards and two touchdowns, and Bears rookie Tarik Cohen tallied 113 total yards and a score on five carries and eight catches. Both are unowned in over 60 percent of CBS Sports leagues.
You were warned about Golladay as my deep sleeper of the year. The combination of his big size, good speed, excellent hands and role in a pass-heavy offense made him a late-round pick worth taking.
That combination paid off against the Cardinals in Week 1 when the Lions couldn't get anything going on the ground and Matthew Stafford dialed up 41 pass attempts. Golladay, who started his career with an ugly drop, picked up his first score on a 10-yard flag route, before diving for a 45-yard touchdown bomb to seal the Lions win. Both fourth-quarter plays should cement his status as a regular in the offense, but it's his seven targets -- tied for second-most on the Lions -- that will especially excite Fantasy owners.
In Chicago, Cohen dazzled with his incredible speed, something the Falcons just weren't prepared for. Heck, even if they were prepared, they probably couldn't do anything about it. But as impressive as it was, Cohen's strength and hands were equally on display.
Throughout the game, Cohen made plenty of nice catches off of well-run routes. He also had a nifty one-handed grab on the Bears' last drive. But he took a bunch of big hits and got up every time, plus he barreled through Desmond Trufant into the end zone for his touchdown catch. But it was his big gainer, a 46-yard run, where Cohen took a carry one way, saw no opening, and reversed field and hit an opening that really opened up people's eyes.
Pro Football Focus revealed that Cohen played just 28 snaps, but 15 came in the fourth quarter and eight came on the Bears' final drive (16 plays). Backfield mate Jordan Howard also had eight snaps on the last series. This is a pretty telling sign that Cohen's going to stay involved in the offense from week to week.
Then again, the biggest sign of all is Cohen's 12 targets from Mike Glennon. It didn't take long for the quarterback to make it clear that he likes his new running back. Given the Bears' deficiencies at receiver and Glennon's own personal tendency toward conservatism, it shouldn't be too long before Cohen becomes an even more consistent part of Chicago's offense.
Golladay and Cohen will be two of the three most popular pickups off waivers this week (Kerwynn Williams should definitely get a lot of attention). The one to target first should depend on need.
Carson Wentz Philadelphia Eagles QB
|Carson Wentz was a fast starter as a rookie, and the Eagles' second-year quarterback continued that trend Sunday, as he completed 67 percent of his passes for over 300 yards and two touchdowns with an interception on a tipped pass. He pulled this off with his two new receivers, Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, combining for 68 yards. If Wentz can pull off this kind of performance without leaning on his top two receivers, just imagine what he'll come up with when he needs them. Wentz should be acquired and stashed by anyone nervous about their quarterback situation.|
Cooper Kupp Los Angeles Rams WR
|Cooper Kupp had just six targets in his NFL debut, but it was enough to tie for the team lead in the Rams' blowout win against the Colts. Moreover, his 76 yards and touchdown led all of L.A.'s players. While Sammy Watkins will draw top coverage, it's Kupp's dirty work on shorter routes that will keep him busy from week to week. If you lost Allen Robinson in Week 1, Kupp is a better replacement for your Fantasy squad than anyone on Jacksonville.|
Jesse James Pittsburgh Steelers TE
|You're checking out Jesse James because he caught two touchdowns in Week 1 against the Browns. More significantly is his target total -- eight, with six catches for 41 yards. James is not an overly athletic receiver, but kind of works like Heath Miller used to in the Steelers offense. He's never had more than 59 yards in a game and only had one other game with six grabs before Sunday. Feel free to add him off waivers and use him against the Vikings next week, but don't bank on him becoming a massive touchdown magnet.|
Nelson Agholor Philadelphia Eagles WR
|Agholor's six-catch, 86-yard, one-score effort against the Redskins was his best game in three seasons. It's his first outing with more than 64 receiving yards, and just his fourth with even 50-plus yards. Most of the damage came on a 58-yard bomb when Wentz danced around in the pocket and ultimately chucked it deep for Agholor. It's the kind of fluky play Fantasy owners shouldn't chase. He's got a nice matchup next week but Agholor shouldn't be trusted yet.|
Alex Smith Kansas City Chiefs QB
|Is four touchdowns the new normal for Alex Smith? Probably not. His game at New England was only the second time in his life he's tossed four or more scores in the NFL. Smith's hit a trio of touchdowns just five times with the Chiefs including once against the Patriots. But two touchdowns? He should have a shot at that in any given week with guys like Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt, not to mention Travis Kelce. That trio of gamebreakers could help Smith outperform expectations. He's the quarterback you add off the waiver wire if you miss on Wentz.|