Kareem Hunt RB, KC: Well how about that for an NFL debut? Hunt goes and fumbles on his first regular season carry, which certainly had fantasy owners everywhere letting out a collective groan, only to bounce back in a major way as he finished the game totaling 246 yards and three scores. Hunt is the No.1 player in fantasy football heading into Week 2 and therefore claims the top spot in the rising stock category.
Tarik Cohen RB, CHI: Rookie running backs made quite the impression in Week 1 and Cohen was no exception as the diminutive third down back of the Bears carried the ball five times for 66 yards while adding eight catches for 47 yards and a score. He will be a hot commodity off the waiver wire heading into Week 2 and should continue to provide flex appeal in PPR formats.
Sam Bradford QB, MIN: I wrote about being a fan of Bradford’s during the preseason and he did not disappoint in Week 1 as he torched the Saints secondary for 346 yards and three touchdowns. Bradford has plenty of weapons at his disposal with Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph all being legitimate pass catchers. Bradford is also owner of the second best fantasy schedule for QB's so I expect a few more outings like this one to come down the road.
Danny Amendola WR, NE: With the injury to Julian Edelman fantasy owners shifted their focus to Chris Hogan in fantasy draft’s as the likely replacement of Edelman in the New England offense. However, I felt that the obvious replacement for Edelman would have been Danny Amendola given the fact that they both play the slot receiver role. In Week 1 Amendola proved that to be true as he caught six passes for 100 yards before exiting with a possible concussion. While the early concussion mixed with Amendola’s injury history is not the greatest of news, it does show that when on the field he will be the man Brady looks to for those quick slant and out routes that he loves to throw. Check the injury report but Amendola is worth a look off waivers this week.
Eddie Lacy RB, SEA: There was already very little faith behind Lacy heading into the fantasy season but with news that Thomas Rawls was going to be inactive Week 1 there was some hope that he could be an effective running back. Unfortunately Lacy managed just three yards on five carries and saw rookie Chris Carson rush six times for 39 yards. There is now word that with Rawls potentially active in Week 2 that Lacy could be inactive or flat out released.
Brandon Marshall WR, NYG: Week 1 couldn’t have afford Marshall a better opportunity to shine as Odell Beckham was ruled out making Marshall the Giants No.1 receiver in his debut game game. While Eli Manning deserves some of the blame for Marshall’s ineffectiveness he still only caught 1-of-4 targets for 10 yards. That one catch came on the Giants final drive that meant nothing to the outcome. Marshall at times looked disinterested and was outplayed by the likes of Sterling Shepard and Reggie Lewis who both saw a greater number of targets.
Andy Dalton QB, CIN: I get that it was a tough divisional matchup against a competitive Ravens defense but to see Dalton throw for just 170 yards and four interceptions is almost inexcusable. The Bengals offense was a mess as Dalton completed just 51.6-percent of his passes and the ground game same all three running backs get an even workload which insured then none of them really got into a rhythm. A.J. Green managed to catch five passes for 74 yards to save his fantasy owners but someone like Tyler Eifert saw just one target. Dalton will need to get Eifert more involved in the offense going forward if fantasy owners can expect anything to come of him this season.
Martavis Bryant WR, PIT: There was certainly a lot of hype surrounding Bryant this offseason as he was returning to the Steelers lineup in a favorable matchup against the Browns. Unfortunately Antonio Brown and Jesse James were the only Steelers offensive players to get anything going with Bryant himself held to just two catches on six targets for 14 yards. The six targets are nice but given that he is more of a deep threat it is unlikely he will have a high reception percentage as Big Ben take shots down the field. The Vikings come to town in Week 2 and boast a better defense than what Cleveland put on the field in Week 1 so another down week for Bryant could be in the cards.
Stock to Watch
Nelson Agholor WR, PHI: Agholor entered the season as the Eagles No.3 receiver and likely No.4 or No.5 target in the offense behind the likes of Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, Torrey Smith and even Darren Sproles BUT that narrative quickly changed after Week 1 which saw him tie for the team lead in targets with eight and finish with six catches for 86 yards and a touchdown. Agholor will likely be moving into the No.2 receiver spot in my handcuff breakdown this week as the former 1st round definitely has the talent to be an impact receiver and maybe in his third year in the league he will finally breakout.
Kenny Golladay WR, DET: There was a lot of hype surrounding Golladay during the preseason which likely saw him taken as a late round flier in most formats and after his Week 1 debut which saw him catch four passes for 69 yards and two scores it would seem unlikely he could be had for cheap but if he is on your waiver wire I would look to grab him. The rookie receiver stands 6’4-213 pounds and is already looking to an end zone threat in the Lions pass heavy offense. Golladay currently slots as the Lions No.3 receiver but last year Anquan Boldin was the team’s No.3 receiver and he finished with 67 catches for 584 yards and eight touchdowns. Those are numbers you can live with in all formats if Golladay continues to find the end zone.