1. Michael Vick had a huge performance in his first extended playing time since his return to the league last season. Eagles head coach Andy Reid’s comment that Kevin Kolb will start this week provided he is healthy didn’t exactly address who would be the team’s starter over the balance of the season. Kind of reminiscent of his comment that Donovan McNabb was the team’s starting quarterback not long before he shipped him off to Washington. Kolb owners who were expecting him to be a worthy fantasy starter would be well served to acquire a solid backup in short order.
2. There is a lot of speculation out of Denver that Laurence Maroney will quickly assert himself and earn a large share of the work out of the Broncos backfield. Knowshon Moreno owners surely weren’t impressed but it says here that his move is more directed at Correll Buckhalter’s performance. The 32-year old Buckhalter seems to have lost a step and Maroney may take away his touches in short order. None of the three players play on special teams so it would seem unlikely that all three would dress on game day which reduces the risk of head coach Josh McDaniels utilizing all three on game day, which would render them all useless from a fantasy perspective.
3. Mike Thomas of the Jaguars was listed as a starter on the depth chart at wide receiver entering training camp and managed to hold onto the job throughout the preseason. He performed well in Week 1 against the Broncos, catching six passes for 89 yards, helping to solidify his starting position. This week, Jacksonville placed Jarett Dillard, Thomas’ main competition for a starting position, on injured reserve with a stress fracture in his foot, which all but guarantees that Thomas will remain in the starting line-up for the remainder of the season provided he can stay healthy.
4. Keeping Falcons wide receiver Roddy White on your fantasy roster is clearly a no-brainer but should a ridiculous offer come your way, you might want to hold off on accepting until Michael Jenkins returns from injury. Although Jenkins is hardly going to eat into White’s targets when both are healthy, White was targeted a whopping 23 times during the team’s Week 1 loss to the Steelers with Jenkins out of the line-up. If White gets anything approaching that many targets on a weekly basis, he is all but guaranteed to average roughly 15 fantasy points per game in regular formats.
5. The Cowboys rushing attack looked pretty mediocre during the team’s Week 1 loss to the Redskins and that result wasn’t exactly surprising given that the team was missing two starters on the offensive line. Look for a better performance moving forward as both right tackle Marc Colombo and left guard Kyle Kosier are expected back in the starting lineup this week. Unfortunately, it appears the team will have a three-headed fantasy monster on their hands with Marion Barber, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice splitting the workload, making none of the three viable fantasy options other than perhaps in deep leagues that employ the flex position.
6. Looks like an injury has resolved the issue of how the Colts were going to allocate playing time at wide receiver opposite Reggie Wayne. In his first game back since missing almost all of 2009, Anthony Gonzalez suffered a high ankle sprain and the team has not disclosed how long they expect him to be out. Austin Collie went gangbusters in Week 1 against the Texans catching 11 of his targets for 163 yards and a score while Pierre Garcon caught just three of his 11 targets for 43 yards, including a three drops with one coming in the end zone. While Garcon may have more upside and for some unknown reason seems to be the sexier player to have on your fantasy roster, Collie is far more reliable and more productive. If you’ve got a chance to grab, do so fast.
7. The Vikings receivers looked pretty pathetic during the team’s Week 1 loss to the Saints. In particular, Bernard Berrian looked completely disinterested while Percy Harvin appeared to be more rusty than anything, although he didn’t always seem to be on the same page with quarterback Brett Favre. There are rumblings that Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson could be on his way to Minnesota but if that doesn’t materialize, Greg Camarillo should be considered a decent option in larger PPR leagues. And just maybe he puts up a big game this week as his former team, the Dolphins, comes to Minnesota.
8. New Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has created a three-headed running back fantasy monster in Seattle by splitting the carries almost evenly amongst Justin Forsett, Julius Jones and Leon Washington. If that hadn’t pretty much extinguished the hope that Forsett would emerge as a breakout fantasy threat in 2010, then the current state of the offensive line will. This week, the Seahawks placed starting right guard Max Unger on injured reserve. The 2009 2nd round pick, who started every game last year as a rookie, suffered a toe injury during Seattle’s opening week win over the 49ers and will be replaced by Eagles castoff Stacey Andrews. Rookie left tackle Russell Okung will miss at least one more with a high ankle sprain. With injury-prone Chris Spencer starting at center and left guard Mike Gibson having made his first start last week, there are plenty of question marks along the team’s offensive line. If there’s a team in your willing to overpay for Forsett, move him now.
9. Don’t be fooled by Tim Hightower’s opening week fantasy performance during the Cardinals road win over the Rams. At first glance, the numbers look good and might have you thinking he’s well on his way to holding off Beanie Wells for the starting job. Not so fast. First off, it was against the Rams. Second, he fumbled twice and lost both, including an inexcusable fumble late in the fourth quarter. Third, he lost playing time to LaRod Stephens-Howling for much of the game. If anything, Hightower’s performance likely means Wells be in the starting line-up sooner rather than later.
10. Why all the fuss about Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson having his suspension reduced from six to four games if he is traded to another team? The Chargers didn’t have to put him the roster-exempt list prior to the season but they chose to do so. With a deadline looming to trade him prior to his roster-exempt status beginning, the Chargers failed to find a trading partner. There’s little reason to think that a team will step forward and meet their demands now.|
11. So much for the Cowboys easing rookie first round pick Dez Bryant into the offense. After missing much of the preseason with an ankle injury, it was expected that the Cowboys would use Bryant somewhat sparingly over the first part of the season. However, he was targeted 12 times in his debut, catching eight passes for 56 yards. If they’re going to throw numerous wide receiver screens to him, he will be mighty attractive in PPR leagues. Looks like Roy Williams fantasy value will take a hit much sooner than expected.
12. Keeping with wide receiver that were injury concerns entering the season, Wes Welker put the worries of his fantasy owners to rest in Week 1, catching eight passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns. Welker commented during the week that he wasn’t at 100% and that the bulky knee brace he wore hindered his cutting ability but he overcame those obstacles with a nice performance. Julian Edelman had some upside if Welker was limited but his fantasy value is pretty much nil if the Patriots are healthy at wide receiver. In redraft leagues, there’s no point in keeping Edelman on your roster.