Fantasy Football Week 1 reactions and Week 2 early waiver wire after injuries, breakouts
We saw a couple of big-name tight ends go down with what could be significant injuries in Week 1. Dave Richard breaks down the ramifications of that and everything else we saw in Week 1.
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Week 1 brought a ton of touchdowns, some unreal stat lines (five touchdowns, Ryan Fitzpatrick??!?) and, of course, a handful of health scares. No position was hit harder than tight end, where two veteran mainstays suffered what appeared to be serious injuries.
For the Panthers, Greg Olsen appeared to re-injure his right foot in the Panthers' win over the Cowboys. Before the game even ended, Olsen was spotted with a walking boot on his foot and on crutches along the sideline. Rookie Ian Thomas saw more playing time in his place, picking up two catches for 4 yards.
If Olsen misses serious time, bank on the Panthers utilizing more three receiver sets, giving some Fantasy hope for Devin Funchess. He caught 3 of 5 targets for 41 yards against the Cowboys but stepped up in a major way last season without Olsen, averaging 9.3 Fantasy points per game in non-PPR when Olsen was out. We should also see more snaps for D.J. Moore, the Panthers rookie receiver who went targetless in Week 1.
Meanwhile, Delanie Walker of the Titans looked to have his right ankle rolled up on late in the game and was quickly carted off with his leg in an aircast. Players from both teams came out to wish him well, a tell-tale sign that he suffered a serious injury — and reports indicate he suffered what will likely end up being a season-ending dislocation. He was replaced by Jonnu Smith, a second-year tight end with one target and no catches on Sunday and 18 catches for 157 yards with two scores in limited playing time last season.
Smith might be a lesser tight end option to target off waivers, well behind George Kittle (69 percent owned in CBS Fantasy leagues) and Eric Ebron (52 percent). Both were involved in their offenses — Kittle had nine targets for the 49ers, Ebron had five in his Colts debut – and both have plenty of enticing potential as downfield threats in their respective offenses. Kittle particularly has some intrigue in his Week 2 matchup at home versus the Lions.
Another name of note: Will Dissly of the Seahawks. Much of his breakout game came on a 66-yard play where he bounced off a bunch of Broncos after making a catch down the field, nearly scoring after racking up approximately 53 yards after the grab. Dissly also picked up a 15-yard touchdown earlier in the game and had five targets, tied for second-most on the Seahawks. A lot of Fantasy owners will chase him on the strength of this game, but he shouldn't be a priority add. He played just 34 snaps and ran a pass route on 58.8 percent of those snaps. It just seems unlikely for Dissly, a fourth-round pick, to pick up Jimmy Graham's workload and numbers, even if this game looks like he can do it.
More tight end waiver targets
- Jared Cook (plays at DEN in Week 2)
- Antonio Gates (plays at BUF in Week 2)
Fournette gives a scare
This one was a little reminiscent of David Johnson's 2017 season. After rumbling for 41 yards on nine carries and hauling in three targets for 14 more yards, Leonard Fournette left in the second quarter at the Giants holding his right hamstring. He didn't play again, leaving most of the rest of the Jags' rushing workload to T.J. Yeldon, who totaled 69 yards with a touchdown catch from Blake Bortles.
Luckily, it seems like it was only a scare. Fournette told ESPN's Josina Anderson immediately after the game that he plans on playing next week. Coach Doug Marrone also seemed to feel good about the injury.
"They said it was in a good part (of his hamstring), which I don't know if there's any 'good part' of those things," Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said after the game. "I talked to him, he's had them before, he knows how to treat it, so that makes things pretty optimistic whereas normally I'm not that optimistic."
It'll make T.J. Yeldon a waiver consideration, but if Fournette plays in Week 2 then he won't be helpful to anyone except Fournette owners as a handcuff. He also won't be the only running back to check out.
We thought a Broncos rookie would dominate touches and pace their run game, and that happened, but it wasn't the one we thought it would be. It wasn't Royce Freeman. Though Freeman did salt the game away in the fourth quarter, it was Phillip Lindsay who wound up doing plenty of damage in the first three quarters for Denver. In a stunner, Lindsay took 15 carries and turned them into 71 yards, just as Freeman did, but added two grabs for 31 yards including, a 29-yard touchdown from Case Keenum to give the Broncos their first score of the year.
After the game, Broncos coach Vance Joseph said he went with Lindsay because he had the hot hand but expressed that one game does not make him the king of the backfield. "Every game is different," Joseph cautioned.
Lindsay and Freeman basically had the same amount of snaps played, creating what appears to be a running back-by-committee we just didn't see coming. Lindsay will absolutely be a popular waiver add, but counting on him to keep up these numbers while splitting with Freeman seems wrong. Freeman is the better bruiser and will be counted on at the goal line more often. It just so happened that on Sunday the Broncos ran one play inside the Seahawks 20-yard line. Freeman had the snap.
More running back waiver targets
- Austin Ekeler (62 percent owned, plays at BUF next week)
- Nyheim Hines (PPR running back, 29 percent owned)
Baldwin's knee sidelines him
Even if you didn't watch the game, you knew something went wrong when you saw Baldwin with one catchless target. That's because Baldwin got his leg caught under Broncos defensive tackle Domata Peko early in the game. He came back and tried to play (even getting an end-zone target) but didn't stay in the game long.
After the game, a 27-24 Broncos win, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll announced Baldwin sprained his right knee and said "we've just got to see what that means." Given Baldwin had a knee issue in his left knee and is now hindered in his right, it probably doesn't mean anything good.
The Seahawks seemed to do just fine without him. Russell Wilson threw for 298 yards and three touchdowns, connecting with Tyler Lockett on a 51-yard score and Brandon Marshall on a 20-yard end-zone visit. The aforementioned Dissly obviously played a huge role and the running backs, Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny, combined for 63 receiving yards.
Lockett is available in 59 percent of leagues, Marshall in 91 percent, but they're not the headliners to chase after if you're looking for receiver help. Phillip Dorsett (available in 91 percent of leagues) and John Brown (54 percent) stand out as the most interesting Fantasy receiver additions, even if they weren't the most prolific on Sunday.
Dorsett caught all seven of his targets from Tom Brady for 66 yards and a touchdown, putting together one of the most complete games of his career without needing a deep ball to do it. That's a feature the Patriots can come back to with him, potentially as soon as next week at Jacksonville or the week after at Detroit.
Brown wasn't targeted too much because the Ravens didn't have to throw too much in their blowout win over Buffalo. Unlike Dorsett, Brown did have a 29-yard play to his credit, but also scored on a pass from inside of 10 yards to end up with a modest stat line (three catches, 44 yards, one score). There should be bigger games ahead for Brown, who looks as spry as ever catching passes from an impressive-looking Joe Flacco.
We'd be wrong not to mention DeSean Jackson's best game since late 2016, a two-score, 146-yard face-melter of a game at the Saints. Assuming he comes out of the concussion protocol okay, Jackson is also worth some consideration even if the style of his play at this point is very boom or bust. Jackson was one of three Bucs receivers to score on Sunday, something that won't happen often. He'd take on his former team, the Eagles, if he's cleared.
More wide receiver waiver targets
- Ted Ginn (42 percent owned, plays vs. CLE next week)
- Cole Beasley (PPR receiver, 12 percent owned)
- Bruce Ellington (another PPR receiver, 1 percent owned)
Watson looks lost
All offseason we heard about how good Watson looked in practices and scrimmages as he came back from a torn ACL. On Sunday at New England, he looked slow to make throws and was off target on several occasions. It didn't help that his offensive line played poorly while also losing starting right tackle Seantrell Henderson to injury. Watson also was spotted stretching his leg after the final play of the game, a Hail Mary pass that fluttered 10 yards short of the end zone. He said he had cramps and was fine.
It's too soon to push the panic button on Watson, but a smart Fantasy owner has to consider carrying a backup quarterback behind Watson. If Watson continues to put up weak numbers, you're not going to want to start him. And if Watson's offensive line can't protect him, he could suffer another injury that could cost him some playing time.
Who to chase? Case Keenum (38 percent owned), Joe Flacco (15 percent owned) and Tyrod Taylor (24 percent owned) all had strong starts and could be serviceable starters. But there's also a fun quarterback situation brewing in Tampa Bay — if Ryan Fitzpatrick keeps piling on numbers like this, he won't lose the starting job when Jameis Winston comes back from suspension in Week 4. If he doesn't, Jameis Winston inherits the gig and would be a sensational backup to carry behind Watson. Winston is available in 40 percent of CBS Sports leagues, while Fitzpatrick is out there in, predictably, 97 percent of leagues.
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