Justin Jefferson makes his declare for the No.1 WR crown

September 12, 2022

Justin Jefferson blew up throughout his first recreation with Minnesota’s new teaching employees, as he had already recorded more fantasy points by halftime of the late games than any other non-QB in Week 1. Fantasy managers hoped Jefferson would slide into the Cooper Kupp function with Kevin O’Connell coming from the Rams, and the primary recreation of this supposed function resulted in the most receiving yards in a half by a Vikings receiver in more than 30 years.

Whereas there’s some concern Minnesota took its foot off the fuel within the second half like Mike Zimmer might need, it’s additionally price noting Jefferson’s first TD catch got here throughout a fourth down through which the previous employees possible would’ve kicked a area purpose.

Jefferson was the story of a Week 1 highlighted by large fantasy performances from the league’s prime receivers, and he’d be arduous to move with the highest choose in PPR leagues proper now.

Aaron Rodgers, then again, struggled mightily along with his new receiving group, with rookie Christian Watson dropping a would-be 75-yard landing on Inexperienced Bay’s first offensive play:

Rodgers will bounce again, however down a few offensive linemen and Davante Adams, he’s unlikely to method his stats from the final two seasons … Robert Tonyan didn’t have an enormous recreation, however he’s wholesome and could quickly emerge as Green Bay’s top pass catcher. There have been some actual flops at tight finish in Week 1, and Tonyan is offered in additional than 75 p.c of Yahoo leagues. Go add him.

Contemplating AJ Dillon is three years youthful and the favourite for goal-line work, it’s changing into more and more clear Aaron Jones shouldn’t have been drafted forward of him — not to mention 4 rounds earlier.

It’s normally most secure to stay skeptical of any 31-year-old operating again, however after holding him out all through preseason and making Tyler Allgeier a Week 1 inactive, it’s clear Atlanta has large plans for Cordarrelle Patterson, who noticed 27 alternatives Sunday. He was a monster earlier than struggling an harm final season, and the identical appears prone to be the case this yr (Damien Williams left Sunday however later returned) … Regardless of not throwing a landing whereas dealing with the most effective defenses in soccer, Marcus Mariota was a top-10 fantasy QB in Week 1 because of 12 carries. Count on Mariota to be a top-12 fantasy QB whereas beginning this season … Tough opener for Kyle Pitts truthers, nonetheless, together with yours really …

Down 26-10 within the fourth, Jameis Winston returned after briefly leaving injured and related on two TD strikes to Michael Thomas to drag off the comeback win, as Jarvis Landry in any other case predictably had NO’s greatest receiving recreation given Atlanta’s prime exterior corners … It was a particularly discouraging recreation for Alvin Kamara, and apparently Taysom Hill is going to remain a thing regardless of the absence of Sean Payton.

I’ve defended Baker Mayfield enjoying by way of final season’s torn labrum and having performed 33% of his profession video games in windy situations, however he was completely brutal Sunday, ending within the twenty second percentile in Completion Proportion Over Expectation throughout his revenge recreation … Acquainted shaky Carolina QB play led to disappointing performances from DJ Moore and Christian McCaffrey, who noticed simply 10 targets mixed in comparison with Robbie Anderson’s eight … After rating top-three in goal% to tight ends over the past 5 years, Jacoby Brissett threw David Njoku’s means simply as soon as, though Amari Cooper wasn’t any higher (2.8 yards per goal). Donovan Peoples-Jones (11 targets) will be added in deeper fantasy leagues, however he has restricted upside.

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Trey Lance and the 49ers struggled throughout a recreation that may go down as being performed within the worst climate situations of the season that included Chicago having extra punts than first downs through the first half. Lance missed throws, however fantasy managers like to see the 13 carries, and, virtually comically, the climate turned unplayable the second San Francisco wanted to start out passing.

Lance was not good, however excessive climate and a 35% pressure rate despite not getting blitzed present excuses. Lance backers (cough, cough) ought to actually begin worrying if he doesn’t have a a lot better recreation at dwelling versus Seattle subsequent week … Identical to Raheem Mostert final season, the 49ers’ injury-prone lead again — with a ton of fantasy upside — immediately suffered a possibly major injury in Week 1. Jeff Wilson Jr. is offered in additional than 80% of Yahoo leagues and deserves an aggressive FAAB bid (and Jordan Mason must be added in deeper leagues now as nicely) … Identical to throughout final yr’s matchup towards SF, Justin Fields produced a highlight play that ended in sweet revenge for Dante Pettis.

Don’t drop Cole Kmet. The 49ers are a foul matchup for tight ends.

David Montgomery obtained 26 yards on 17 carries. Khalil Herbert obtained 45 yards on 9 carries — it’s almost as if Herbert is a significantly better rusher!

Whereas it actually helped there was no George Kittle and Elijah Mitchell left injured, I’ll take the L on the subject of Deebo Samuel’s speeding projection. He’s already 14% to final yr’s carry complete, and Mitchell isn’t returning any time quickly. This yr’s Deebo seems to be Deebo once more (minus some targets).

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals

In the event you had the Bengals in Survivor, you’ll possible always remember Week 1 of 2022, which included Cincinnati very practically profitable regardless of Tee Higgins leaving early, committing 5 turnovers and lacking two kicks inside 33 yards (because of a mid-game harm to the lengthy snapper) while running more plays than any team in 20+ years. Ja’Marr Chase benefitted from Higgins’ departure and had this touchdown catch ruled short, which inexplicably wasn’t challenged by Zac Taylor; and that wasn’t even his worst teaching determination of the day!

That honor goes to punting to the Steelers mid-field with 20 seconds left on the play clock with 1:04 remaining in additional time … As anticipated, Samaje Perine was the clear backup to Joe Mixon, who encouragingly noticed a career-high 9 targets … Mitch Trubisky appeared far an excessive amount of like Ben Roethlisberger, with Pittsburgh WRs struggling because of this … Najee Harris suffered a foot injury and left the locker room wearing a boot. Jaylen Warren is offered in 95% of Yahoo leagues.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Detroit Lions

The Lions in some way scored 35 factors with Jared Goff getting 5.8 YPA, as D’Andre Swift ran wild however noticed a modest three targets and misplaced two goal-line scores to Jamaal Williams. It was each a formidable and sneakily worrisome first recreation for Swift, who also saw a significant drop in receiving production after a play caller switch down the stretch last yearAmon-Ra St. Brown noticed a 32.4% goal share regardless of Swift and T.J. Hockenson’s presence, so he looks locked in as a top-15 PPR receiver.

Wide Receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown #14 of the Detroit Lions & Tight End T.J. Hockenson #88 both have fantasy value

Amon-Ra St. Brown delivered a superb fantasy efficiency although he had extra goal competitors. (Photograph by Gregory Shamus/Getty Pictures)

Sturdiness stays a priority, however AJ Brown (9 first-half targets!) can be a first-round fantasy choose in PPR leagues right this moment … After not scoring all of final season, Miles Sanders was one in every of 4 Eagles to run in a landing Sunday. The TDs have been good, however not solely do Philly RBs must compete with an elite rushing quarterback, however the Eagles even have a full-blown three-way committee in their backfield … It appears prefer it’s going to take a Brown harm earlier than DeVonta Smith is price beginning in fantasy leagues, whereas solely well being can forestall Jalen Hurts from ending as a top-three fantasy QB this season.

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Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans

Each quarterbacks struggled badly, though that didn’t cease Michael Pittman Jr. from exploding like many anticipated … Alec Pierce dropped a landing, Nyheim Hines was stuffed late on the goal-line with Jonathan Taylor on the sidelines and the Colts missed a area purpose in additional time to assist finish many Survivor entries. Indianapolis hasn’t gained a season opener in 9 straight years … Any issues concerning the Colts easing Taylor’s workload rapidly ended, as he obtained a league-high 31 carries and noticed seven targets throughout his first recreation with Matt RyanRex Burkhead was a lot more than Houston’s passing-down back, out-snapping rookie Dameon Pierce, 49-19. Burkhead stays extremely unlikely to final a full season at 32 years previous, however Pierce must be on fantasy benches within the meantime.

Truly, the identical might be mentioned for all Texans exterior of Brandin Cooks proper now.

New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins

It seems Invoice Belichick wasn’t enjoying rope-a-dope through the preseason, as New England’s offense is actually a large number. The Patriots additionally committed the most cowardly punt of the season so far. Particularly with Ty Montgomery concerned within the backfield, it’s finest to maintain all Patriots on most fantasy benches for now … Jaylen Waddle getting 69 yards and scoring was good, however he had only one recreation throughout his complete rookie season with fewer than the 5 targets he noticed when sharing the sector with Tyreek Hill for the primary time.

Baltimore Ravens @ New York Jets

Joe Flacco tried a whopping 59 passes and had a median depth of goal (4.9 yards) within the bottom-five percentile (19 targets to RBs Michael Carter and Breece Corridor, who additionally misplaced a fumble throughout his debut) …Rookie Garrett Wilson had a better game than Elijah Moore, whereas Devin Duvernay also surprised by scoring more fantasy points than Mark Andrews and Rashod Bateman (who also had a long TD)  The Jets have little motive to not see what they’ve in Mike White till Zach Wilson is able to return … Baltimore’s backfield stays a keep away.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Washington Commanders

Carson Wentz completed as a top-three fantasy QB, rookie Jahan Dotson completed as a top-15 PPR receiver and Antonio Gibson was a workhorse three-down back in Week 1 simply as all of us predicted all through summer season.

Throughout a recreation through which Wentz threw for 300+ yards and 4 touchdowns, it was discouraging to see Terry McLaurin report simply two catches on 4 targets … Christian Kirk ought to be handled as a top-15 fantasy WR shifting ahead … Trevor Lawrence missed a wide-open Travis Etienne for an early rating after which once more for an additional lengthy achieve quickly after. Etienne responded with a foul drop on a simple would-be landing catch within the fourth quarter, then fumbled within the purple zone proper afterward in a recreation to neglect for Jacksonville’s QB/RB duo … James Robinson appeared quite a bit higher than Cam Akers throughout his return from Achilles surgical procedure, and he’s going to remain a real problem for Etienne’s fantasy managers.

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Kansas Metropolis Chiefs @ Arizona Cardinals

Patrick Mahomes was wonderful throughout his first recreation of the season with out Tyreek Hill, additionally protecting his phrase that no Kansas Metropolis WR can be dependable in fantasy leagues; regardless of Mahomes ending as fantasy’s QB1 and dealing with the league’s worst cornerbacks, no Chiefs WR reached 80 yards or noticed greater than eight targets. In the meantime, each RBs Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Isiah Pacheco impressed throughout a recreation KC somehow got 33 first downs on 66 offensive plays, as Arizona thought it was a good suggestion to blitz Mahomes more than any game of his career … A rubbish TD helped, however Marquise Brown was nonetheless one of many week’s larger busts given the matchup (DeAndre Hopkins and Rondale Moore have been out, whereas Zach Ertz was restricted in a recreation with this week’s highest complete) … Eno Benjamin has large upside as James Conner’s clear backup and must be rostered in all fantasy codecs. He’s obtainable in additional than 90% of Yahoo leagues.

Las Vegas Raiders @ Los Angeles Chargers

Whereas Aaron Rodgers appeared to badly miss Davante Adams, the identical wasn’t true for Las Vegas’ new receiver. Adams led the league in Week 1 with 17 targets, ending because the No. 3 fantasy WR regardless of an off recreation by Derek Carr. In the meantime, Hunter Renfrow didn’t see a goal within the first half of his first recreation sharing the sector with Adams … No Chargers participant noticed greater than 4 targets, and eight different receivers recorded a catch earlier than Mike Williams regardless of Keenan Allen leaving early. DeAndre Carter made extra noise Sunday, however Week 1’s developments look constructive for Josh Palmer shifting ahead … Given his utilization, Austin Ekeler goes to have a particularly tough time dwelling as much as his ADP.

New York Giants @ Tennessee Titans

Saquon Barkley led the league in carries (31) and rush yards (164) in Week 1, with this run longer than any Giants play from all of final season:

He additionally led New York in targets. Not hampered by an ankle harm or recovering from ACL surgical procedure, Barkley’s juice appears again; now we simply want him to remain wholesome.

Think about drafting Derrick Henry forward of Dontrell Hilliard

All joking apart, Hilliard was simply essentially the most useful fantasy backup RB getting ignored till late (if in any respect) in fantasy drafts. Hilliard is nice, will continue to have a major passing down role at a minimum and is offered in 99% of Yahoo leagues … Rumors proved true relating to Kadarius Toney falling out of favor with the Giants’ teaching employees, as Sterling Shepard instantly looks like New York’s No. 1 receiver … In yet one more upset that ruined Survivor entries, the Giants efficiently went for two down 20-19 with 1:09 left after being outscored 79-0 within the ultimate two minutes of halves final season. In the meantime, the Titans have already misplaced as many video games determined by three factors or fewer than all final season (once they completed 6-1).

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys managed simply 3.8 yards per play and misplaced Dak Prescott for “several weeks” to a hand injury in a nightmare recreation to open the season for Dallas. CeeDee Lamb noticed double-digit targets as anticipated, however they resulted in 29 scoreless yards, and he’ll now have Cooper Rush throwing to him for the foreseeable future. Already in actual hassle having Noah Brown as the team’s No. 2 WR and lacking LT Tyron Smith, the Cowboys season seems completed earlier than it’s even began. What a catastrophe.

Leonard Fournette appeared terrific, and Rachaad White appears like his clear backup, though Tampa Bay is down one other offensive lineman with LT Donovan Smith struggling an harm Sunday night time. Chris Godwin additionally left injured, whereas Julio Jones made a much bigger speedy affect than Russell Gage throughout their first recreation catching passes from Tom Brady. The Bucs gained handily Sunday night time, however loads of fantasy questions stay unanswered relating to Tampa Bay’s passing assault.

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