Chargers 30 - Colts 24
No Melvin Gordon? No problem, when you have Austin Ekeler. It took Ekeler only 18 touches to get over 150 yards and three touchdowns as he led the way to an overtime victory over the Colts. Phillip Rivers had a good game against a solid Colts defense, airing it out for 333 yards and three touchdowns (two to Ekeler). Keenan Allen secured Rivers’ remaining touchdown pass to go along with 123 yards on eight receptions. News broke late Wednesday that Henry will be out for 4-6 weeks with a tibial plateau fracture and Williams is very questionable for Week 2 with a knee injury. Dontrelle Inman is next man up in the receiving corps while Virgil Green will see an increase in snaps at tight end.
Justin Jackson didn’t get the run most thought he would, playing a mere 16 snaps to Ekeler’s 48. He still managed 57 yards on only six carries and should remain in the mix with Gordon still holding out. This offense seemed to be clicking on all cylinders without Gordon but might have an uphill climb without their starting tight end and wideout.
The Colts’ first game without Andrew Luck did not end in a win, but the offense showed it still had fantasy relevance with Jacoby Brissett. Brissett was respectable with 190 yards and two touchdowns, both of which went to T.Y. Hilton as a part of his 87 yards receiving. The rest of the passing offense was rather quiet. Deon Cain made a pair of nice grabs and is a player to watch as fellow wide receiver Devin Funchess got placed on IR with a broken clavicle. Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle were afterthoughts and neither can be trusted as starting fantasy tight ends at this point in time.
Marlon Mack certainly did his fair share for fantasy owners. He had an impressive 25 carries that led to 174 yards and a touchdown. One particularly impressive play was a 63-yard touchdown in which Mack showed burst and contact balance. Despite the downgrade at quarterback, Mack should have many productive games this year with this type of volume.
Seahawks 21 - Bengals 20
Russell Wilson is a great quarterback. Russell Wilson is not a great fantasy quarterback. We have known this for a while now but some still draft and start Wilson based on name. Wilson attempted a total of 20 passes in a close game from start to finish. That is not a promising sign for good future volume. He did have two touchdowns but finished with less than 200 yards passing and only eight yards on the ground.
Chris Carson appears to have won the starting running back competition against Rashaad Penny, playing on 41 snaps compared to 14 for Penny. While Carson only had 46 yards rushing, he did score on the ground and got involved in the passing game with 35 yards and a second touchdown. Penny is the clear backup for the time being.
Rookie wideout D.K. Metcalf had a stellar debut, making some really tough grabs for 89 yards on the day. He looks like a star wide receiver in the making with only things that will hold him back is health (college injury history) and Seattle’s lack of passing volume. Tyler Lockett was quiet apart from a long 44-yard touchdown bomb from Wilson. He should have better games moving forward but won’t take a huge leap in production from last season’s numbers with Metcalf blooming so quickly. Will Dissly left with an injury but it’s not expected to be serious. Regardless, he and fellow tight end Nick Vannett are better left on fantasy waiver wires.
Andy Dalton put on a show in a losing effort with 418 yards passing and two touchdowns. His 35 completions were a career high and partially due to an early injury to Joe Mixon. Mixon has a high ankle sprain and is questionable for Week 2. New head coach Zac Taylor completely ignored the run as second stringer Giovanni Bernard finished the game with only seven carries. Bernard should be a good start against the 49ers in Week 2 if Mixon were to miss the game.
John Ross showed for the first time why he was a first round pick in the 2017 draft, showing off his elite speed as he took 33- and 55-yard passes to the house. He finished the game with 158 yards and becomes a boom or bust play while A.J. Green remains sidelined. Opposite of Ross, Tyler Boyd worked the short game, snapping up eight receptions for 60 yards. Damion Willis played the most snaps at receiver and is worth a flier at the end of fantasy benches. Tight end C.J. Uzomah played more snaps and had better production (4/66) than Tyler Eifert (5/27). He is the tight end to own in Cincinnati.
49ers 31 - Buccaneers 17
Jimmy Garappolo is finally back healthy from a torn ACL last season. He struggled in the first game back throwing for only 166 yards and a single touchdown and a pick six to cap it off. He did have two touchdowns to George Kittle called back due to offensive line penalties which prevented him from a solid week in fantasy. He is a shaky start in fantasy until he shows more.
The expected timeshare between Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida was as advertised until Tevin Coleman left with a high ankle sprain. With Coleman likely to miss multiple weeks, the timeshare now pivots to Breida and Raheem Mostert. Mostert had success on the ground in limited work, gaining 40 yards on just nine carries. Breida had less success but is a bounce-back candidate for Week 2.
It seemed like yesterday that Dante Pettis was the fantasy darling everyone was trying to get on their rosters. In Week 1 he seemed to be in the coach’s doghouse, only seeing the field for two snaps while rookie Deebo Samuels (60), Marquise Goodwin (50), Richie James (26), and Kendrick Bourne (17) all got more playing time. Pettis’s lack of involvement is still a bit strange, but chances are he will see an uptick in work in future weeks as the 49ers spent a second round draft pick on him just over a year ago. George Kittle nearly had a monster day but still managed to lead the team with eight receptions and 54 yards.
Jameis Winston had about as bad of a game as we’ve witnessed in years. He was inaccurate, made very poor decisions, and threw three interceptions (his two fumbles were recovered by the offense). Winston will have better games but will always have this type of low floor. His poor game reflected on both Mike Evans (2/28) and O.J. Howard (4/32). However, they should still both be rolled out as starters in Week 2. Chris Godwin scored the Bucs only offensive touchdown and led the way with 53 yards receiving.
Oh, let the Ronald Jones truthers rejoice. It’s only been one week, but Jones looked like the player he was drafted to be. Despite dreadful blocking from a rebuilding offensive line, Jones managed to gain 75 yards on 13 carries to go along with his sole reception for 18 yards. Dare Ogunbowale played as the third down back and had four receptions for 33 yards but no carries. He should see snaps in gamescripts where Tampa is playing from behind, which could be frequently in 2019.
Cowboys 35 - Giants 17
The Giants ended up scoring first in this contest but thereafter it was all a total air show by the Cowboys offense. Dak Prescott hit the 400 yard passing mark for just the second time in his career while adding four touchdowns on what was one of his best games to date. His favorite target since the trade last season has been Amari Cooper, and Cooper did not disappoint on Sunday gaining 106 yards and a touchdown. Second year wideout Michael Gallup had an even more impressive day with 158 yards on seven grabs. His stock has been skyrocketing all offseason and will continue to do so after this performance.
New slot receiver Randall Cobb joined in on the scoring as well, adding his own touchdown and 69 yards. He won’t be a consistent fantasy option in standard leagues but should have a decent value in PPR. Jason Witten found the end zone on his return game after a one year retirement, but his upside is capped by the emergence of fellow tight end Blake Jarwin and his 39 yards and a touchdown.
Ezekiel Elliott was oddly an afterthought in the game, splitting carries evenly with rookie back Tony Pollard. Elliott was able to get in the end zone as a part of his 53 yards rushing to Pollard’s 24. The split between these two should widen as Elliott ramps up his workload after holding out for the entire preseason. Pollard should be viewed as a handcuff.
The Giants had a few offensive bright spots. Eli Manning dinked and dunked down the field with short passes most of the game but ended up with 304 yards and a score. Evan Engram was peppered all game long as he finished with 11 receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown. Cody Latimer - starting in place of suspended Golden Tate - had three receptions for 74 yards. He is worth a look if available in your leagues as Sterling Shepard is currently in the concussion protocol after going for six catches and 42 yards. Bennie Fowler should get more run as well if Shepard misses time. Fowler had a cool five for 40 yards as the third receiver.
Saquon Barkley did what Saquon Barkley normally does: he dominated. Win or lose Barkley gets his yards and he got the Cowboys for 130 on 13 total touches. He will find the end zone in future games to vault him back to the top of the fantasy scoring leaderboard. Wayne Gallman got a garbage time touchdown and is a decent handcuff option if you have a roster spot.