Recappin’ Dat Ass is a weekly article that gives you a recap of some of the major stories in the NFL. In a vein attempt to provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions in subsequent weeks, I will look at specific players and situations that are especially pressing for fantasy owners.
While there are plenty of fantasy story lines from Week 1, these are the ones that I feel are especially important. If you survived the craziness that was the first week of the 2013 season, take a deep breath. You made it. Let’s take a look back at what happened.
Julius Thomas absolutely exploded onto the fantasy football scene Thursday night after catching 5 receptions for 110 yards and 2 scores. He was mentioned by fantasy writers as a good option for owners who stream their tight end position. That was certainly true and it looks like Thomas has the potential to be much more than that. I have already seen a handful of articles that directly dissect his situation in Denver, so I will keep my analysis short. Grab him.
While we’re talking tight ends, it should be mentioned that this was the most prolific week for fantasy tight ends in the history of the NFL (@4for4_Josh filled me in). While the position was somewhat shrouded in mystery before Week 1, we were able to see quite a few players display a ton of potential. If Jared Cook is still available in your league, you need to get him in your lineups. He finished as Week 1’s top scoring tight end and should continue to post consistent numbers. He possesses real potential to finish 2013 as a top 10 fantasy tight end.
Welcome back, Larry Fitzgerald. We have all missed you. It turns out that the Cardinals’ acquisition of Carson Palmer was exactly what Fitzgerald needed to return to his true form of fantasy dominance. He looked great on Sunday as he grabbed 8 passes for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns. I don’t like to jump to conclusions after Week 1, but I think that Fitzgerald is back in a big way. He could end up being a huge value to owners who took him in the 3rd or 4th rounds of their drafts.
Anquan Boldin is another receiver that could pay huge dividends by the time 2013 is in the books. On Sunday, the former Raven caught 13 (yes, 13) passes on his way to 208 yards and a touchdown. He looked quick and alive in San Francisco’s offense and could become a dominant target for Colin Kaepernick. I wouldn’t expect Boldin to post these kind of numbers every week, but it’s reasonable to expect consistently good performances from him during 2013.
CJ Spiller, David Wilson, Lamar Miller, and Stevan Ridley were surely some of the biggest disappointments this weekend for fantasy owners. Both Wilson and Ridley were benched early in their respective games because of fumbling issues. Ridley fumbled twice and lost one, but one was apparently enough for Bill Belichick. Shane Vereen took over the running back duties for New England after Ridley was exiled to the dog house. He finished with 14 carries for 101 yards and 7 receptions for another 58 yards. Unfortunately, Vereen suffered a wrist injury in Sunday’s game and has been put on short term IR with a designation to return. The earliest we will see this PPR darling return is Week 10.
Out of the four running backs mentioned above, the only one that I’m worried about is Lamar Miller. He did very little with the 10 carries he was given; he only was able to accumulate 3 yards on the ground. It seems as though we might have overestimated his value in 2013, although I have a feeling that future weeks will look better than this one.
Where there once was hope, there is only ashes and a bunch of injured players. Look at me being artistic. The Pittsburgh Steelers have caught an awful case of the injury bug. Not only did they lose incumbent first string running back, Le’Veon Bell, in the preseason, but they also lost Maurkice Pouncey (center), Larry Foote (inside linebacker), and LaRod Stephens-Howling (running back). Phew. The Steelers’ issues were exposed in their loss to the Titans on Sunday and these injuries do not help. They have since resigned running back, Jonathan Dwyer, but I don’t think this signing will make much of a difference and I’m not looking for a lot to come out of the Pittsburgh run game. Isaac Redman, Felix Jones, and Dwyer look to have some sort of timeshare and I’m not buying into any of it. That being said, Le’Veon Bell should be a player that remains on your roster. When he returns, the backfield will be his.
The Detroit Lions looked fantastic on Sunday, due in no small part to the success of their running backs, Reggie Bush and Joique Bell. Both players came up huge for fantasy owners and finished as top 5 running backs. I’m buying into Bush and Bell as it looks like Detroit’s offensive scheme fits both backs perfectly. Bush has the potential to finish as a top 10 fantasy back, while Bell should have no problem finishing within the top 24. Calvin Johnson was close to non-existent for fantasy owners on Sunday, although he did have a touchdown reversed at the 1/2 yard line. His Week 1 performance was surely an anomaly and he should bounce back in Week 2.
Terrelle Pryor was the focal point of many fantasy discussions as we approached Week 1. While he was incredibly polarizing, he came through for his backers in a big way as he tore the Colts apart on his way to 112 rushing yards and 217 yards through the air. Oakland might have lost, but Pryor showed us that his talent should be respected and (frankly) exploited against good matchups. He looks to be a streaming darling in 2013 and I think he’s worth a waiver acquisition if you’re hurting at quarterback.