Football is back and Week 1 went about exactly as everyone could’ve predicted: Ryan Fitzmagic threw five touchdowns winning a shootout in New Orleans, the Browns won their first game of the season by tying the Steelers and Aaron Rodgers got carted off with a knee injury and then led a fourth quarter comeback for the ages against da Bears. Yup, exactly as we all planed. Good job us.
Now is the time for us all to wildly overreact from what we saw in Week 1 and desperately try and fix everything about our fantasy rosters. I’ll do my best to temper my reactions but no promises. I’m having a hard time reacting to the fact that Kareem Hunt scored four points...
Anyways, here are the players you should be instantly adding to your fantasy team (percent owned in Yahoo leagues).
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3 percent owned)
NEVER DOUBT FITZMAGIC! Even though I spent all week doubting Fitzmagic and saying that Mike Evans wasn’t worth the start. But Fitzpatrick proved my completely wrong, tossing for a career high 417 yards and four touchdowns plus adding 36 yards on the ground AND a rushing touchdown. With Jameis Winston out for at least another game, Fitzpatrick is all set to build upon his incredible start versus the Eagles next week.
RB T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars (15 percent owned)
If Leonard Fournette misses any significant time, Yeldon is clearly a must-add in every league. After Fournette left the game Sunday with a bad hamstring, Yeldon came in and immediately contributed on offense. He rushed for 51 yards on 14 carries and caught three balls for 18 yards and a touchdown. As a Fournette owner myself, I’m hoping his hammie injury isn’t anything major, but given Fournette’s track record of missing games, Yeldon is a great player to have stashed away on your team.
RB Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers (17 percent owned)
Melvin Gordon isn’t going anywhere but it seems the Chargers might have stumbled upon the fantasy-viable running back by committee this year. Gordon got his (15 for 64 on the ground with nine catches for 102) but that didn’t stop Ekeler from putting up points, putting up 39 yards on five carries and catching all five of his targets for 87 yards and a touchdown. I’d except a 60-40 split from LA from here on out and Ekeler has proven talented enough to make that 40 percent fantasy worthy.
RB Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos (3 percent owned)
If I were to tell you “Get the Broncos’ rookie running back” everyone would assume I was talking about Rolls Royce Freeman. Honestly, I thought I would be typing about Freeman today saying how the preseason was right and make sure you own him in your league. That’s not to say that Freeman was bad Sunday—far from it in fact as he rushed for 71 yards on 15 carries—but undrafted rookie Lindsay stole the show with his ability in the passing game. Lindsay also had 15 touches for 71 yards but he also had two catches for 31 yards, one of which was a 29 yard touchdown catch and run.
WR DeSean Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (25 percent owned)
We all know what kind of player Jackson is and by golly that was on full display Sunday as he racked up 146 yards and two touchdowns on just five catches. The only way the Saints’ defense was able to corral him was Jackson getting a concussion. That will be something to watch for heading into Week 2 but it you can be certain that if Jackson is healthy and ready to go, he’ll be looking to replicate this performance against his old Philadelphia team.
WR John Brown, Baltimore Ravens (19 percent owned)
Credit Clark for building his house on the John Brown hill early and never moving no matter how many men in suits come asking if the house is for sale. It’s great property and he could make a bit of cash, but he’s stuck to his guns and now he gets to reap the benefits. Brown finished the game with three catches on four targets for 43 yards and a touchdown but that stat line could’ve been a lot more impressive if the Nathan Peterman and the Bills were good and at least put up a mild fight. One thing’s for sure, Joe Flacco looks alive and well and Brown is a vital part of this offense.
WR Phillip Dorsett, New England Patriots (4 percent owned)
The question everyone will have when picking up Dorsett off waivers is whether or not his Week 1 performance was for real. He certainly looked good, catching all seven of his targets for 66 yards and a touchdown. Dorsett was the third most targeted receiver for the Patriots Sunday, behind just James White (9) and Rob Gronkowski (8). Dorsett made plays for the Patriots last year and it seems that he’s ready to shine in an offense that certainly could use more pass catchers with Julian Edelman suspended.
WR Brandon Marshall, Seattle Seahawks (7 percent owned)
Sorry Doug Baldwin owners but Baldwin might be facing a sideline stint as the receiver sprained his MCL early in Sunday’s game. However, that didn’t slow down the Seahawks’ offense as Marshall stepped right in and caught three balls on six targets for 46 yards and a touchdown. Tyler Lockett also had a good game, catching three balls on four targets for 59 and a touch. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Marshall become Russell Wilson’s favorite goal line target now that Jimmy Graham is in Green Bay.
TE George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers (75 percent owned)
Normally with these lists I like to keep the owned percentage below 50—I find it’s more helpful to give names that might be lesser known than be like “GO ADD JAMES CONNER” (who is already 85% owned)—but Kittle is an opportunity you can’t pass up. If he is available in your league, add him now and thank me later. He led the 49ers in targets (9), catches (5) and receiving yards (90) against the Vikings Sunday and has quickly established himself as Jimmy GQ’s go-to target. Get him while you can.
George Kittle might just be a league-winner.— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) September 10, 2018
Coming off a shoulder injury, Kittle played on 80% of #49ers snaps, led team in targets (9), and his 13.1 average depth of target in Week 1 nearly matched Gronk's (13.4). Look at the vertical element on his routes, per #NextGenStats: pic.twitter.com/dPFBDD4GVa