Fantasy Football: Matt Ryan, Doug Martin Among Week 1 Studs And Duds

by abournenesn

Sep 8, 2014

Matt RyanWeek 1 of the NFL season is almost in the books. Did it go how you expected it to?

If you say yes, you’re probably lying. Sunday’s slate of games featured some wild games and unexpected performances, from the Miami Dolphins putting up 23 unanswered points on the New England Patriots to the Minnesota Vikings blowing out the St. Louis Rams 34-6.

Sunday was also an eventful day in the world of fantasy football, which, of course, is why you’re here. Week 1 is the ultimate fantasy football proving ground, and there were several players who both lived up to the hype and fell short of expectations.

We can’t stress enough that fantasy owners shouldn’t overreact to Week 1 performances, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a look at some of the best and worst from a busy Sunday.

Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints: This kid looks like the real deal. After receiving all sorts of hype this preseason, Cooks stepped up his game in Week 1 to the tune of seven catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. Cooks appears to be locked in as the third, possibly second, option for Drew Brees in one of the NFL’s most powerful offenses.

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings: Another player who lived up to the hype in a big way. Patterson compiled 126 total yards on just six touches in a blowout of the St. Louis Rams, including an absurd 67-yard touchdown run on a toss sweep. If the Vikings keep finding ways to get him more touches, Patterson could be a breakout star.

Julius Thomas, TE, Denver Broncos: Thomas picked up right where he left off and then some Sunday night, putting up 90 yards receiving and three touchdowns in the first half. The Broncos’ offense is still legit, and Thomas appears to be emerging as Peyton Manning’s favorite red zone target. Expect another huge season from Thomas.

Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons: Julio Jones and Roddy White are back, and Matty Ice couldn’t be happier. Ryan absolutely went off against a supposedly stout Saints pass defense, throwing for 448 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Falcons to a comeback overtime win. As long as the dynamic receiving duo stays healthy, expect more big numbers from Ryan.

Knowshon Moreno, RB, Miami Dolphins: Moreno has a message to all the doubters who thought his production would drop after leaving the Broncos’ high-powered offense. He delivered that message to the tune of 134 rushing yards and a touchdown on 24 carries against the Patriots, while his backfield mate, Lamar Miller, had just 59 yards and a fumble. Ride him while he’s hot.

Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: Things don’t look good for Charles and the Chiefs these days. The usual fantasy stud managed just 34 total yards on Sunday as Kansas City fell 26-10 to the lowly Titans. It might be a long season for Charles, who lost several key members of his offensive line this offseason and will be the focal point of opposing defenses every week.

Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Martin laid an absolute dud in Week 1, rushing for just nine yards on nine carries in a loss to the Panthers. Unheralded backup Jorvorskie Lane, meanwhile, took his only carry for 54 yards, while Bobby Rainey found the endzone on a six-yard pass from Josh McCown. If Martin wants to turn things around, he’ll have to do so fast.

Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins: A lot of people expected big things out of Griffin in fantasy this year, but he didn’t deliver the goods in Week 1, passing for just 267 yards and no touchdowns while coughing up a fumble. Luckily for RGIII, Washington plays the Jaguars next week. If he can’t get back on track in Week 2, it’d be hard to consider him as a fantasy starter.

Michael Crabtree, WR, San Francisco 49ers: After an injury-riddled 2013 campaign, Crabtree seemed set to be a focal point of the 49ers’ offense against a porous Cowboys defense. Instead, he tallied just two receptions on 25 yards while Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis combined for 143 yards and two touchdowns. Crabtree owners had better hope that’s not a trend.

St. Louis Rams defense: The Rams’ defense was rated as high as No. 2 in some preseason fantasy rankings, but they looked anything but in Week 1. St. Louis gave up 27 points on defense and recorded just one sack, giving it a whopping total of zero fantasy points in standard scoring leagues. This doesn’t look like the play-making unit we saw last season.

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