Robert Griffin III, Redskins
Looks like RGIII has a chance to be CNII. Nothing like a bad pun to get the year rolling. RGIII looked poised, calm and efficient on his way to a 19-26, 320-yard, two-touchdown performance and his 42 yards on the ground were just icing on the cake. Let’s call him a low-end fantasy starter until he shows us otherwise.
Mark Sanchez, Jets
Who needs the preseason? Looks like the Jets don’t. After a truly awful offensive performance during the preseason, the Jets blew out the Bills with Sanchez leading the way. He threw for 266 yards and three touchdowns and a pick. It was also nice to see rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill establish himself as a deep threat.
Blaine Gabbert, Jaguars
Gabbert looked good in a Week 1 loss to the Vikings, completing 23 passes for 260 yards and a pair of touchdowns, all career highs. No, he’s not going to be savior for your fantasy squad this season but he may emerge as a serviceable backup.
Sorry folks, no quarterbacks are getting thrown under the bus after Week 1.
C.J. Spiller, Bills
Fred Jackson is out at least a month with a knee sprain, his second injury in two seasons and a reminder that he is 31 years old. Spiller went off on the Jets for 169 yards and a score on just 14 carries while chipping in 25 yards through the air. He performed well replacing Jackson in 2011, accumulating 446 yards rushing, 187 receiving yards and scoring five touchdowns over his last six games.
Alfred Morris, Redskins
Morris got the start for the Redskins this week and put together a solid, if not spectacular, game gaining 96 yards and scoring twice on 28 carries. The rookie 6th round pick is currently the apple in head coach Mike Shanahan’s eye but we all know Shanny has a wandering eye. Quite frankly, his production seemed to be based more on volume than ability. No one should be surprised if this turns out to be his high water mark for the year.
Stevan Ridley, Patriots
Ridley flashed his ability during his rookie season in 2011 but after 21 carries, 125 yards, and one touchdown in Week 1, it looks like he is ready to carry the mail for the Patriots on a consistent basis. With Shane Vereen unable to stay healthy, Ridley is splitting the work with Danny Woodhead and that is a far better fantasy situation than in 2011 when four players were vying for touches in the New England backfield.
Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers
With Isaac Redman looking like the consummate plodder, Dwyer may have emerged as the team’s starter in Week 1, at least until Rashard Mendenhall gets up to speed. While Dwyer’s numbers weren’t spectacular (9 carries for 43 yards; 2 receptions for 11 yards), he ran hard and looked like the most explosive player in the team’s backfield.
Chris Johnson, Titans
Ready to bounce back, eh? Four yards on 11 carries against a less than stellar Patriots run defense didn’t do much to lessen the concerns that Johnson went into autopilot after he got his big money deal.
DeAngelo Williams, Panthers
With Jonathan Stewart inactive and a leaky Bucs run defense on tap, Williams looked like a solid start in Week 1. Not so fast. Williams ran for negative yardage on his six carries. This isn’t an indictment on Williams as much as it is of the team’s offensive line.
Michael Turner, Falcons
With the Falcons moving to a more pass-oriented offense, Turner was expected to see fewer touches in 2012. However, his fantasy owners were hoping he would churn out some yardage in blowouts and that wasn’t in the case in Week 1, with Turner gaining just 32 yards on 11 carries. Since we know he can’t catch the ball, it seems clear that Turner is headed to his worst fantasy production since he was a backup in San Diego.
Isaac Redman, Steelers
He looked awful and that is all there is to say about that.
Alex Green, Packers
No PT for Green this week even though Cedric Benson was (is????) awful so maybe he is not Benson’s handcuff after all.
Kevin Ogletree, Cowboys
After his impressive Week 1 performance with eight receptions for 114 yards and a pair of touchdowns (all single game career highs), Ogletree has to be Moving Up. But much like Alfred Morris, don’t sell the farm to get this guy.
Stephen Hill, Jets
Much like Ogletree, Hill has to be Moving Up after a five receptions, 89 yards, and two touchdowns. But let’s face it, the Bills pass defense stunk and Hill likely just used up 25% of his 2012 fantasy production sitting on somebody’s bench. He remains bye week filler but filler you are now more comfortable with.
Lance Moore, Saints
Moore was Drew Brees’ favorite target in Week 1, catching six of the 10 passes thrown his way for 120 yards and a score against the Redskins. While Moore’s target count reflected the fact the Saints were playing from behind early, it is also worth noting that Devery Henderson was targeted just twice. This just might be the year that Moore emerges as a consistent weekly threat in the high-powered Saints offense.
Donald Jones, Bills.
One man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity. But in Jones’ case, it is two men’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity. With David Nelson out for the year and Fred Jackson out for at least four weeks and the wide receiver depth chart consisting of unproven rookie T.J. Graham and journeyman veterans Ruvell Martin and Brad Smith, Jones figures to get plenty of targets in the coming weeks.
Randall Cobb, Packers
Was it just me or did Cobb seem to spend more time lining up at running back than the Packers actual running backs? With the Pack playing from behind, Cobb gobbled up all nine of his targets for 77 yards, making him worthy to stash on your bench.
David Nelson, Bills
Done. For. The. Year.
Brian Quick, Rams
Nailed. To. The. Bench.
Greg Little, Browns
Brandon Weeden looked awful, partly because Little had one bounce off his hands in the red zone and deflect to an Eagles defender. In Week 1, it was four targets and no catches for Little and a little time on the pine due to a hands problem that plagued him during his rookie season.
Coby Fleener, Colts
The preseason hype was all about how fellow rookie tight end Dwayne Allen looked. After Fleener’s six receptions for 82 yards on 10 targets against the Bears, the Week 1 hype is all about how good Fleener looked.
Dennis Pitta, Ravens
Pitta looked good in Week 1, hauling in five receptions for 73 yards and a score in the Ravens blowout win over the Bengals. Better yet, his 9 targets were a career-high and the touchdown gave him four touchdowns in his last seven games. At this point, Pitta shapes us as the Ravens top receiving tight end in an offense that figures to get almost no production out of its backup wide receivers.
Joel Dreessen, Broncos
While Jacob Tamme was looking impressive in getting five targets and catching all of them for 43 yards and a score, Dreessen had just two looks in Week 1. Looks like this isn’t quite the 1A/1B situation many had predicted entering the season.