Fantasy football season has kicked off and many owners are already faced with tough decisions. We’re here to read between the stat lines and help you determine the value of players moving forward. We recommend waiver wire pickups, players you should pass on, and trade targets to exploit.
Here are the four categories of players we’ll look at each week in the “Fantasy Smoke & Fire”:
- On Fire – These are players that are exceeding expectations (or ADP), and we expect it to continue. Think waiver wire adds!
- Smoke (and mirrors) – These are players that have performed well recently, but we do not expect it to continue. Don’t buy into the hype; pass on the waiver wire pickup. Possibly look to trade them away with the value is high.
- False Alarm – These are players that are underperforming recently, but we expect them to turn around. Don’t cut bait too early. Possibly look to acquire them in a trade while the value is low.
- On Ice – These are players that have not performed well, and we expect a poor season to continue. They should stay on the bench (or be cut depending on the player/circumstances).
On Fire – Obviously all of these players aren’t on waivers, but they impressed week 1 and I expect it to continue.
|Pos||Player||Week 1 Stats / Comment|
|QB||Tom Brady||In mid-season form; nuff said!|
|QB||Philip Rivers||34/51 424-3-1: Usually puts up QB1 stats.|
|RB||James Conner||31-135-2 (5-57 on 6 targets): Le’Veon who???|
|RB||Adrian Peterson||26-96-1 (2-70): Use him now and trade mid-season before he wears down.|
|WR||Tyreek Hill||7-169-2 on 8 targets: Maybe they will utilize him in enough gadget plays to make him useful all year.|
|WR||Emmanuel Sanders||10-135-1: Expecting a great year and drafted him accordingly|
|WR||Kenny Golladay||7-114 on 12 targets: He just may break through in year 2; at Marvin Jones expense|
|TE||Jared Cook||9-180 on 12 targets: Carr couldn’t hit the WR’s at all. He may be a top 6 TE year; especially with Olsen and Walker injured.|
|TE||George Kittle||5-90 on 9 targets: See Jared Cook above…|
|TE||Baltimore (3 TE’s)||Boyle/Williams/Andrews 13 targets combined for 9-103-0. How will Hayden Hurst fit in and when will he return?|
|TE||Indianapolis (2 TE’s)||Jack Doyle 7-60 on 10 targets, Eric Ebron 4-51-1 on 5 targets|
Smoke – They had a good first week, but I’m not sold on it continuing.
|QB||Ryan Fitzpatrick||21/28 417-4-0 (7 incompletions): Don’t expect a repeat; but could take job from Winston.|
|RB||Lamar Miller||Don’t expect 20 carries and 5 ypc every week.|
|RB||Chris Thompson||5-65 (long of 16) & 6-63-1 on 7 targets: He’ll get 10-15 touches per game, but I don’t see a consistent 10 yards per touch.|
|WR||Kenny Stills||Don’t count on Stills 4-106-2 on 5 targets weekly. 2 TDs on 5 targets isn’t sustainable. And DeVante Parker is returning soon.|
|WR||DeSean Jackson||5-146-2: See Stills above…|
|WR||Randall Cobb||9-142-1: Rodgers spreads the ball around. I’m not sold that Cobb will be the guy week to week.|
|TE||Will Dissly||3-105-1 on 5 targets: This guy isn’t a pass catcher and won’t get another 66 yd TD in his career.|
False Alarm – Don’t overreact to these players just because of a slow start; they’ll be fine moving forward.
|QB||Ben Roethlisberger||355-1-3 (5 turnovers total): Tough week against a hungry team. Ben is always good for a few stinkers and plays better at home.|
|QB||Matthew Stafford||27/46 286-1-4: See Ben above…|
|RB||Alex Collins||7-13-1 (1-6 on 1 target): The week 1 game was a blowout, Dixon got garbage time, he’ll be just fine.|
|RB||Kareem Hunt||16-49 & 1 target: He’s a fantasy 1st round pick for a reason. If he has a tough week 2 @ Pittsburgh, I’d try to buy low from his owner.|
|RB||David Johnson||9-37-1 (5-30 on 9 targets) – The offense is definately suspect, but DJ is too good! Look for a big bounce back game in week 2.|
|WR||Josh Gordon||1-17-1 on 3 targets – He will win contested balls; he just needs the QB to throw them.|
|TE||Zach Ertz||5-48 on 10 targets: Wentz will be back soon and Ertz is still the teams receiving crutch.|
|TE||Trey Burton||1-15 on 6 targets: Better things to come.|
On Ice – These guys are not performing and I don’t expect it to turnaround any time soon compared to their draft spots.
|QB||Nick Foles||19/34 117-0-1: Still doesn’t look good and Wentz might be back for week 3.|
|QB||Matt Ryan||21/43 251-0-1: Overrated for fantasy since his Superbowl season; becoming more of a game manager not a slinger.|
|QB||DeShaun Watson||Will he live up to his top 5 QB draft status? Maybe in a few weeks.|
|QB||Jimmy Garoppolo||15/33 261-1-3: Played against a tough Minnesota defense, but I think he was overrated going into the season. He’s a high QB2.|
|RB||LeSean McCoy||We all knew it was going to be a tough year. It may get ugly.|
|RB||Ronald Jones||Inactive and can’t block.|
|RB||Duke Johnson||9-37-1 (5-30): He’ll catch some balls, but it’s Hyde’s backfield.|
|RB||Ezekiel Elliott||15-69-1 (3-17): Looks like a tough year and that’s what I expected. He won’t be a top 5 RB, but he’ll still get 1,200+ yards and 10+ TDs.|
|RB||Jamaal Williams||15-47-0 & 2 targets: I was hoping for more going into the season. He better turn it around quickly before Aaron Jones steals the job.|
|WR||John Ross||1-3-1 on 2. Will he show up this year? Doesn’t look like it as of now.|
|WR||Robby Anderson||1-41-1 on 1: Probably the best WR on the Jets. He was only targeted once, but it was a 41 yd TD. Should be Darnold’s bff!|
|WR||Amari Cooper||1-9 on 3: Another dreadful game. The team doesn’t look good.|
|TE||Jimmy Graham||2-8 on 4 targets: Aaron Rodgers didn’t utilize his new target in week 1. Can’t count on Graham til the chemistry develops.|
Hit me up on Twitter with any questions/comments @PghJohn36