Week 1 of NFL football is in the books! We saw some crazy performances from guys like Tyreek Hill and Tua Tagovailoa while we also lost some soldiers to injury like JK Dobbins. What we’re going to do here is give our top fantasy football take away from each team - especially if it’s something that could help us out with our Waiver Wire adds. So here’s a top takeaway for every single team this week!

 

Arizona Cardinals

The narrative was there for Zach Ertz all along if you really think about it. In an obvious bridge year, the team released veteran pass catcher DeAndre Hopkins yet decided to keep Zach Ertz even coming off injury. And a big reason for that was that Zach Ertz is one of the few veterans that had played with Jonathan Gannon before in Philadelphia. He tied the team lead running 32 routes and led the team with nine targets. If you are hurting at tight end, he is worth a look.

Atlanta Falcons

Many expected this team to be a three headed monster of Drake London, Kyle Pitts, and Bijan Robinson but, if you were paying attention to what the beat writers were saying, odds were good that it was a four-headed monster with Tyler Allgeier involved as well. It reminded us a bit of what we would see from the Packers with Aaron Jones skewing pass work (Bijan) and AJ Dillon skewing run work (Allgeier). Both could be viable options but we prefer Bijan as targets are more valuable than carries. 

Baltimore Ravens

Zay Flowers was amazing the more actionable information came at running back with the injury to JK Dobbins. Unless they sign someone, the split will be Justice Hill and Gus Edwards. Considering Lamar Jackson is already a threat to take goal line touches from a guy like Gus, Justice Hill looks like the add right now. He actually scored the touchdowns himself and we know he’s the better pass catcher. 

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers committed to heavy 11 personnel with three wide receivers all playing at least 94% of the snaps and even a fourth WR (Laviska Shenault) playing 25 snaps. The real question here is what happens when DJ Chark comes back - Terrace Marshall actually lead the team in routes run with 40 - does he take a reduced role or is it the rookie Jonathan Mingo? Or maybe they rest Adam Thielen? Next week will be interesting. 

Chicago Bears

The Bears ran a bit of a three headed monster at running back but there was no split at tight end - Cole Kmet played 72 of 74 snaps, tied DJ Moore for the team lead in routes run, tied for the lead with seven targets, and even had a carry. And that’s while facing DeVondre Campbell. Cole Kmet might be more involved than we thought. 

Cincinnati Bengals

It was an absolute nightmare day for the Bengals but this doesn’t really change how we view this team - teams have bad games. And the offense operated exactly how we would expect with the three wide receivers, one running back, and one tight end playing the majority of the meaningful snaps. Tee Higgins at least got eight targets even if he couldn’t reel them in. So I’m not treating this team any differently. 

Cleveland Browns

This year is really going to separate the Nick Chubb haters from the Nick Chubb realists. For the longest time, folks faded Nick Chubb and argued it was because of Kareem Hunt. But, with Kareem Hunt gone, they still faded him. Well, Chubb this week dominated before the game got out of hand and Jerome Ford came in for mop up duty (per Hayden Winks, 73% of Ford’s touches came in garbage time. It is wheels up for Nick Chubb

Dallas Cowboys

Hard to really get a good read on a team when it’s a blowout this big. Tony Pollard looked like the real deal for sure. The one place I would throw caution is with Jake Ferguson who played 41 snaps but only ran 13 routes (Peyton Hendershot played 27 and ran 11). Ceedee Lamb for comparison played 46 snaps and ran 23 routes. The six targets for Ferguson could trick folks into thinking his usage was better than it actually was.

Denver Broncos

With Jerry Jeudy out we though maybe the rookie Marvin Mims could carve out a role but he was actually fourth in snaps behind Courtland Sutton, Lil’Jordan Humphrey, and Brandon Johnson. The fact that no one really stood out outside of Sutton is good news for Jerry Jeudy, whenever he returns. Greg Dulcich also leaving with an injury and not returning could mean even further consolidation of the snaps. 

Detroit Lions

There has been much debate about the usage for David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs in this game but the reality is that, based on what I saw, we could have TWO fantasy relevant backs here. The 2017 Saints were the gold standard with Alvin Kamara on pass downs and Mark Ingram on short yardage work. They finished as RB3 and RB7 in fantasy. That’s wishful thinking but they don’t both need to be high end RB1s to crack your starting lineup - every single one of the my league has at least two starting running back spots. 

Green Bay Packers

We warned that Luke Musgrave faced a tough matchup with Eddie Jackson and that’s a big reason why his day wasn’t bigger. But the fact that he led all pass catchers in snaps and even played 16 snaps at wide receiver is promising. He’s definitely worth a stash to see whether that usage can translate to bigger games in better matchups. 

Houston Texans

We were worried that Devin Singletary might be the pass catching back here but his usage in preseason indicated that might not be the case which had folks feeling better about Dameon Pierce. Well, part of that proved true but only because it was actually Mike Boone that was the pass catching back. So Dameon Pierce might not have that full role that some were hoping for. 

Indianapolis Colts

Deon Jackson looked good but there was no Zack Moss so we can’t really set anything in stone. Although Josh Downs got more targets, Alec Pierce played 66 of 72 snaps across from Michael Pittman (70 of 72) which puts him in an interesting position for upside long term. That’s a player I’m looking to stash for cheap after waivers run. 

Jacksonville Jaguars

The rumors were true - Christian Kirk’s role this year is different than last year. With Calvin Ridley in town, one of Zay Jones or Christian Kirk were bound to be a part time player, coming out for two WR sets. Yesterday it was Zay Jones that stayed out there with Kirk coming out. That doesn’t mean he can’t be relevant but he’s not playing the hybrid slot/flanker role that guys like Cooper Kupp, Keenan Allen, and Chris Godwin play. 

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs wide receivers were ROUGH. Kadarius Toney with the drops and limited snaps is a drop. Skyy Moore is still a stash. Marques Valdez-Scantling continues to be boring. The best looking one, and the most intriguing, was rookie Rashee Rice

Las Vegas Raiders

In the words of the late great Dennis Green, Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs are who we thought they were. So I have to feel good about their usage. But Jakobi Meyers also came out and was heavily involved so now he’s a guy that should be on your radar for waivers. Neither tight end was able to separate themselves so they are looking useless for redraft (continue to stash Michael Meyer in dynasty). 

Los Angeles Chargers

There was a lot to like here in this shootout with the Dolphins but keep in mind that the Chargers ran 80 plays (the league average is closer to 65). Guys like Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Austin Ekeler will continue to be heavily involved but Joshua Palmer (52 snaps) and Quentin Johnston (22) would not normally play as much. Let’s hope Johnston can claw away that WR3 role sooner rather than later but for now he’s no more than a stash.

Los Angeles Rams

This game had two big takeaways. One - Kyren Williams is clearly the pass down back for this team with 36 pass snaps to only 5 for Cam Akers. The other is that Puka Nacua is operating out of that Cooper Kupp role and looked pretty darn good doing it. The only question is what his role is like when Cooper Kupp is back. 

Miami Dolphins

We knew this team was going to use Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and a fullback. So the question was whether any other fantasy relevant player could emerge. Durham Smythe played 100% of the snaps and ran 42 routes while blocking on five plays which was certainly promising. He’s basically in that George Kittle role that this offense uses though he’s not George Kittle. That will at least put him in the Yin column of our Yin & Yang TE rankings where his upside relies on an injury to Tyreek Hill or Jaylen Waddle

Minnesota Vikings

The waiting game has begun. Justin Jefferson, TJ Hockenson, and Alexander Mattison played their full roles. C.J. Hamm (22) and Josh Oliver (30) ate up their useless snaps. KJ Osborn (58 snaps) played more but Jordan Addison (36) was the one who flashed. So now we wait for Jordan Addison to take over that WR2 chair completely so that we can trust him in lineups. 

New England Patriots

First, here are the caveats. The Patriots played 80 offensive snaps which is well above average. Also, DeVante Parker was out and JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mike Gesicki are dealing with injuries. Now the fun part - Kendrick Bourne ran 56 of 60 routes and looked awesome. Maybe not fully sustainable but Kendrick Bourne looks like a featured part of this offense. 

New Orleans Saints

Michael Thomas started HOT with four targets in the first five minutes but cooled off a bit as Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed became more involved. Thomas still led the team in snaps and routes run so it looks like, for now, he might be a viable fantasy option opposite Chris Olave. Shaheed was explosive but only played 35 of 65 snaps making him more of a DFS play for now. 

New York Giants

Absolutely gross situation here. The big takeaway for me is that they want Darren Waller involved but he’s clearly not 100%. Will be hard to trust him until that hamstring is sorted out but, when it is, Waller should be a solid start. But these things tend to linger so we’ll keep our ear close to the streets. 

Philadelphia Eagles

I’m glad we were drafting a ton of him across FA Nation as Kenneth Gainwell clearly looked like the feature back here. We’ll have to see what happens when Rashaad Penny gets back but Gainwell played 41 snaps to 19 for D’Andre Swift. Dallas Goedert faced a tough matchup with Kyle Dugger - he has better games ahead. 

Pittsburgh Steelers

The most intriguing thing here was the running back situation. And while Najee Harris did split some early down snaps with Jaylen Warren, it was Harris that played the two minute drill. So Harris right now has the starting role, goal line role, and two minute drill with Warren mixes in sporadically to spell him and for pass downs. Not the Najee Harris of old but not the end of the world either. 

San Francisco 49ers

This offenseis great for fantasy football because of the fullback usage - consolidates touches amount Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, George KIttle, and Christian McCaffrey. Elijah Mitchell wasn’t really a factor and the big takeaway here is that Brock Purdy might just be the real deal. 

Seattle Seahawks

On one side, it was a little sad to see the limited snaps for Jaxon Smith-Njigba but he is a rookie coming off a broken arm. On the other though, Kenneth Walker got the bulk of the work making him a lot more interesting for his fantasy owners. We’ll have to monitor the use of JSN and Zach Charbonnet moving forward. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Sean Tucker rumors this offseason has us nervous for Rachaad White but those proved to be a bit overblown as White played 54 snaps to 10 for Tucker and 8 for Edmonds. It looks like it’s White then no one else. 

Tennessee Titans

Believe it or not, Tyjae Spears played more snaps than Derrick Henry this week. And he ran double the routes (21 to 10). Maybe the Titans finally do have a back that is worthy of playing on pass downs while The King rumbles on early downs?

Washington Commanders

Cole Turner made some noise this offseason but it’s clearly still Logan Thomas’s job. He played 58 snaps and ran 36 routes which was just behind Terry McLaurin’s 39. He also lined up at a WR spot for 30 snaps (28 inline). Logan Thomas could end up being a pretty decent option here for DFS or even spot starts. 

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