Who Impressed and Who Didn't Week 1
*-Peyton Manning isn't going to throw 7 TD passes in every game and his owners need to remember that. Conversely Marshawn Lynch isn't going to have just 43 rushing yards and no touchdowns often and his owners need to remember that. The Fantasy Law of Averages dictate that for every game a player has in which he far out-produces his normal production that he must have games where he underperforms. And in reverse, when he is way under his normal, he must have a big game coming in the future.
*-Color me as one who was surprised by both rookie QB's E.J. Manuel and Geno Smith. They weren't spectacular, but both showed well enough to believe there is hope in the future that they become more than just borderline QB2/3's for fantasy purposes.
*-Also impressive was Oakland QB Terrelle Pryor. He had his ups and downs as a passer but was still better than horrible. And the added dimension of his rushing ability has catapulted him into low end QB2 fantasy consideration. It's only one game, but it was enough to give hope that the Raiders are not going to be a complete laughingstock of an offense.
*-Pittsburgh needs to get both RB Le'Veon Bell and TE Heath Miller back asap. Their rushing attack was pitiful and made worse by the fact La'Rod Stephens-Howling is gone for the year with a torn ACL. But it's not just Bell that's missing. Ben Roethlisberger looked a bit lost without big play Mike Wallace stretching defenses and Miller as his security blanket in the middle of the field.
*-I was originally going to say that thumb injury or not, that was vintage Blaine Gabbert yesterday and that it's really time for Jacksonville to move on. But the Jaguars beat me to the punch by declaring Gabbert OUT for week 2 with his hand laceration. Chad Henne isn't much better, but at least he will challenge down the field with his passes and hopefully lead them to a couple of FG's. Who knows? Maybe even - gasp! - a touchdown?
*-Remember: Fantasy and Reality are two different things. In Fantasy, Eli Manning's 450 passing yards, 4 TD's, and 3 interceptions were plenty good enough in most leagues for him to finish as a top 5 Fantasy QB in week 1. In Reality, he was pretty brutal throwing ill-timed picks that helped put his team in a bind. Eli isn't a top 5 Fantasy QB and in Reality he isn't nearly as bad as he played last night.
*-I'm still unhappy with both the Atlanta Falcons and WR Roddy White for hiding the fact his ankle injury was of the "high ankle sprain" variety. While there were a couple of reports that it was a high ankle sprain, the Falcons and White denied it repeatedly. It sucked for projections; it sucked for production.
*-So much for all the hype for New England's undrafted rookies TE Zach Sudfeld and WR Kenbrell Thompkins. Sudfeld got targeted ONCE the entire game and sustained a hamstring injury that caused him to miss the 4th quarter. Thompkins either had a case of nerves or something as he produced 4 catches on a whopping 14 targets. Great to know he got all this publicity and shot up draft boards only to catch less than 30% of the passes thrown his way.
*-However it WAS nice to see Rams TE Jared Cook finally have his day. I touted him all off-season as being one to watch challenge for top 5 fantasy TE status by the end of the season and he didn't disappoint in week 1. He won't do 140 yards and 2 TD's every week, but I'll be happy with an average around 70 yards and a TD every other game. And that definitely seems within reason.
*-It was GREAT to see Adrian Peterson take his very first handoff of the 2013 season, make some moves, push a couple of guys out of his way and ramble for a 78 yard TD. 2,500 rushing yards is a pipe dream, but a second consecutive 2,000+ yards and 15+ TD's aren't far off.
*-Larry Fitzgerald looked like a kid in a candy store catching passes from Carson Palmer. It had to feel good to Fitz to know he finally had a QB who could put the ball on the money after barely seeing it in his zip code with the last 6 Cardinals QB since Kurt Warner retired. Larry is back in as a strong fantasy WR1.
*-Speaking of Palmer, he looked crisp most of the afternoon and played a lot better than I expected despite being harassed often by a strong Rams pass rush. Palmer's stock as a fantasy backup and quality bye week or injury replacement has risen in fantasy leagues.
*-Lamar Miller's hype train came to a screeching halt after he produced 3 rushing yards on 10 rushing attempts. The Browns are an improved defense but not by that much. Hopefully this was a case of jitters or something and not an indication of what we're going to see every week from the talented, but as of yet still unproven, RB.