Mark’s Remarks: Fantasy studs, duds, and come ups of week 1

Marks Remarks: Fantasy studs, duds, and come ups of week 1

Mark Lindahl, Sports editor

Week 1 was an uninspiring one for most fantasy owners across the country.

But the main story line will of course be about David Johnson’s hand injury keeping him out at least 8 weeks.

With the consensus #1 fantasy player now knocked out of play, who will be the guy to step up for you in week 2?

In this edition of Mark’s Remarks, we will discuss who killed it week 1, who under performed, and who may be the guy to carry you into the sunset next week.

Week 1 studs:

#1: Kareem Hunt. Many people could tell the writing on the wall that Hunt would possibly be a big play fantasy stud after Spencer Ware was put on the shelf before the season started due to a knee injury, but no one expected the monster game he had in week 1.

By way of breaking the record for most scrimmage yards to begin an NFL career, Hunt carried a beastly stat line of 148 yards and a touchdown on the ground from 17 carries, along with 5 catches for 98 yards with two more touchdowns to add.

If Hunt keeps receiving a steady dose of touches and passing opportunities throughout the season, owners may end up getting a top 5 running back at a steal of a pick in the draft.

#2: Stefon Diggs. With the Vikings opening up last season with a hot 5-0 start, they looked just the same to start this year led by emerging top wideout Stefon Diggs. A final stat line of seven catches on eight targets resulting in 93 yards with a big two touchdowns easily paced the receivers in fantasy production in week 1.

While Diggs has had big games in the past, owners shouldn’t quite 100% buy into the hype just yet, because any talented wide receiver should be able to blow the roof off of the Saint’s maligned secondary.

#3. Sam Bradford. The Vikings had such a great game that Bradford had to be thrown in here as well. While many people view Bradford as just a dink and dump quarterback, he connected with Adam Thielen and Diggs for multiple deep passes, thwarting this assumption partially in thanks to the improved offensive line play.

Bradford ended the game completing 27 out of 32 passes for 346 yards with three touchdowns to add. Finishing only one game last season with better stats, it looks as if Bradford is ready to take the next step into a starting quality fantasy QB option.

Week 1 duds:

#1: LeVeon Bell. Basically the second overall pick in every draft known to man, Bell vastly under performed compared to the investment fantasy owners made in him during draft day. A measly 32 yards on 10 carries to go with 15 yards on 3 catches will not fly for the engine that made the Steelers go last season. Remember, Bell did choose to hold out during the offseason in hopes of a new contract, so maybe the rust got the better of him during week 1. Fantasy owners will sure be hoping he kicks it back into gear for a week 2 match up against a stout Viking’s defense.

#2: Dez Bryant. Forget about the Cowboys vs. Giants rivalry, it’s now become the Janoris Jenkins vs. Dez Bryant rivalry. While Dez is considered a top tier receiver in the NFL, Jenkins always seems to get the better of him, evidenced by limiting Bryant to just two catches on a whopping nine targets, three of which were in the end zone, for 43 yards. The amount Bryant struggled this week against the Giants secondary should be more than enough to make you consider benching him against possibly the best secondary in the NFL in Denver.

#3: Eli Manning. 29 of 38 pass attempts completed doesn’t sound bad on the surface, but when you realize it led to no touchdowns and one interception against a banged up and inexperienced secondary in the Cowboys, it shows Eli Manning has fallen off of the playable status as a fantasy QB. Without Odell Beckham Jr., there is no big play dynamic for the Giants sputtering offense.

Week 1 come ups:

#1: Tarik Cohen. Versatility is key to any sport, especially for fantasy running backs. Cohen burst onto the scene as Chicago’s second string running back, but filled many roles other than that. In addition to running the ball for 66 yards, Cohen also caught eight passes for 47 yards and a touchdown. Two of these receptions were lined up as a slot receiver and one as a wide receiver, along with 45 return yards to add. With production in that many facets of the game, Cohen should at least garner serious consideration for your flex spot weekly.

#2: Kenny Golladay. Yes, there was a ton of buzz already about Golladay in the preseason, but I don’t think anyone pictured him getting to work this early. Ending his professional debut with a stat line of four catches on seven targets for 69 yards and two touchdowns definitely caught the eye of fantasy owners looking for receiver help. While he may still be more of a project than a sure fire starter, having a big time red zone threat with Matthew Stafford feeding him the ball, it would be smart to stream him as a flex option based on weekly match ups.

#3: Alex Smith. Is this the year the short yardage, “game manager” quarterbacks finally get that monkey off their backs’ and blossom into starting caliber fantasy players? For those looking for QB help, Smith might be a game changer. In the coming weeks the Kansas City Chiefs will be facing the Eagles, Chargers, and Redskins, all of which hardly strike fear into opposing fantasy owners with players going up against them. We will see if Smith is ready to start shredding middling defenses, or if he just had a great game with some help from great players like Tyreke Hill and Hunt doing extraordinary thing.