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The Weekly Wipe Up – Week 1: Sept 9th – Sept 13th

Keep an eye out for this article every Tuesday bringing you a brief overview for NFL and fantasy impact, both redraft and dynasty.   Thanks for reading!

Dallas Cowboys 29 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31

Raymond James Stadium – Tampa, FL

Dak Prescott came into this game with lingering questions about his health.  He declared in a booming voice that health is not an issue, by throwing for over 400 yards and 3 TDs.  The Dallas receiving core is going to be as good as advertised with Cooper and Lamb both going over 100 yards. Lamb looked poised to make his leap into superstardom and was running free all over the field.  Ezekiel Elliott was a no show against the elite Tampa Bay run defense. I don’t believe this is anything to worry about and Zeke should be an every week starter in fantasy, going forward.  Tony Pollard is firmly planted in the backup role to Zeke, but made the most of his touches.  

For as good as the Cowboys played, they came up just short due to the mighty leg of Ryan Succop and, some might say, an offensive pass interference no-call on Chris Godwin.  The ageless one Tom Brady moved the ball efficiently averaging more that 2 yards per pass better than his Dallas counterpart.  The Bucs running game was abysmal with Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones ll combining for a 3.53 yards per carry average.  I don’t want any part of this backfield in redraft or dynasty.  Chris Godwin was a dude.  Mike Evans was barely involved in the offenses pulling in 3 receptions for 24 yards.  The biggest fantasy nugget to take away is Antonio Brown and his 5 recs for 121 and 1 TD stat line.  Brown is a must roster for redraft purposes, if he’s somehow still available on your waiver wire.  I do believe this is a three-headed monster passing attack and could be tough to predict for fantasy.  When you add in that Gronk looked like Gronk from 5 years ago, with his 8 for 90 and 2 TDs.  Treacherous waters lie ahead trying to navigate the vast depths of Buccaneers offensive talent for fantasy purposes.

Arizona Cardinals 38 @ Tennessee Titans 13

Nissan Stadium – Nashville, TN

Remember in Dr. Strange, when Dormammu kept killing Strange over and over again?  We saw that play out on a football field over four quarters as the Cardinals gave no quarter to the Titans in Nashville. Kyler Murray didn’t have record breaking yardage numbers, but he still managed to have a monster fantasy day.  The Arizona defence gave the team short fields to work with all day and Murray capitalized by throwing 21 out of 32 passes for 289 yards, 4 TDs, and 1 INT.  He also added 5 rushes for 20 yards and another TD on the ground.  Murray spread the ball all over the field with Deandre Hopkins and Christian Kirk being the main beneficiaries combining for 153 yards and 4 TDs.  Rookie, Rondale Moore looked good, as well, catching 4 balls for 68 yards.  AJ Green was quiet in his first game as a Cardinal catching 2 passes on 6 targets for 25 yards.  The running backs split the load with Chase Edmonds and James Connor each logging 16 touches.  The Cardinals, and especially Kyler Murray, look like they could be spicy this year.

The Titans simply couldn’t handle the Arizona defense and thus the entire offense struggled.  Somewhat surprisingly, in an offense with AJ Brown and Julio Jones, it was Chester Rogers leading all Titans receivers with 4 catches for 62 yards.

Jacksonville Jaguars 21 @ Houston Texans 37

NRG stadium Houston, TX

Tyrod Taylor played a pretty good game for a Texans team, who most had written off completely.  He got it done on the ground and through the air.  Brandin Cooks was the real star catching 5 passes for 132 yards.  Proving to be a value for as late as you were able to grab him in redraft leagues.  With the overall lack of options, I look for these types of games to continue all year; they just might be extremely hard to predict.  Mark Ingram handled a crazy amount of work, for a man who will be 32 years old in a few months, notching 26 carries for 86 yards.

The Jags were forced to throw due to being down early and never established the run game, taking James Robinson out of the game script.  Trevor Lawrence played like a rookie in his first NFL game.  He made plenty of mistakes while throwing three interceptions but also flashed signs of brilliance including a 41 yard touchdown pass to DJ Chark.  The offense as a whole looked like it should have plenty of upside but they just need to put it all together.  

Los Angeles Chargers 20 @ Washington Football Team 16

FedEx Field Landover, MD

This was an ugly game, from start to finish, riddled with penalties and turnovers.  When it was all said and done, The Chargers came away with the win.  This game was pretty much to script from the fantasy side of things.  Herbert looked great, Ekeler carried the load at running back, and Keenan Allen paced all wide receivers with Mike Williams nipping at his heels.  

On the Washington side, the offense was mostly stifled once Ryan Fitzpatrick was knocked out of the game with a hip injury.  Fitzpatrick will be out a projected 6 – 8 weeks and Taylor Heinicke will start at QB, unless the team goes after a free agent (Cam reuniting with Ron Rivera?).  Antonio Gibson shouldered much of the load carrying the ball 20 times for 90 yards while adding 3 catches for 18 yards.  Washington totaled 135 passing yards for the game and will be in big trouble if Fitzpatrick’s injury is long term.

Minnesota Vikings 24 @ Cincinnati Bengals 27

Paul Brown Stadium Cincinnati, OH

The story of this victory, for the Bengals, was Joe Mixon being a complete workhorse.  He toted the rock 29 times for 127 yards and a touchdown and also, caught 4 passes for 23 yards.  If there was a buy low window on Ja’Marr Chase, it officially slammed shut as he dismissed all the preseason drop issues by corralling 5 passes for 101 yards and a touchdown.  Joe Burrow was extremely efficient as the Bengals did what they needed to do in the win.

All the usual suspects showed up for Minnesota.   Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, and Justin Jefferson all produced for your fantasy team.  The surprise contributor was K.J. Osborn, who caught 7 of 9 targets for 76 yards.  With Adam Thielen nearing the age cliff, Kyle Rudolph gone, and Irv Smith on IR, it’ll be interesting to see if Osborn can carve out a role that makes him valuable on your fantasy team.  He might just be worth the add, if you have room at the end of your bench.

New York Jets 14 @ Carolina Panthers 19

Bank of America Stadium Charlotte, NC

Christian McCaffrey is officially back.  He shouldered the load for the Panthers amassing 30 total touches for 187 combined yards.  No other running back recorded a carry.  Sam Darnold looked pretty good against his old team completing 73.5% of his 35 attempts or 279 yards and a touchdown.  DJ Moore and Robby Anderson compiled the most yardage for Darnold, but Terrace Marshall Jr. was targeted six times, double that of Robby Anderson.  I loved the tape on Marshall coming out of college and I wonder if there is chemistry developing between him and Darnold.  Might be worth a stab in redraft if you have an empty roster spot.  

The biggest take away from this Jets loss wasn’t the loss on the scoreboard, but the loss of starting left tackle Mekhi Becton to a knee injury.  With a rookie quarterback, you don’t want him “seeing ghosts” as his predecessor Sam Darnold put it last year.  Zach Wilson had all kinds of pressure in his face throughout this game and it showed with his 54% completion rate.  This offensive line is bad and it affected not only the quarterback play but the run game suffered as well, producing only 45 yards on 18 carries between different running backs,Tevin Coleman, Ty Johnson, and Michael Carter.  The lone bright spot was Cory Davis and his 97 yards from 5 catches and 2 touchdowns.  

Philadelphia Eagles 32 @ Atlanta Falcons 6

Mercedes-Benz Stadium Atlanta, GA

This game was a snoozer almost from the start.  The Falcons looked asleep at the wheel and couldn’t get anything going.  The positive takeaways were that Mike Davis looked like a competent running back and that Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts got plenty of targets which should translate to fantasy points over the course of the season.  Beyond that, the landscape is as dark as the real world in the matrix.

The Eagles are trying to make me change my mind about Jalen Hurts.  I was not a fan going into the season, but he looked impressive both running and throwing the ball.  More importantly, he completed 77.1% of his passes, an area he struggled mightily in last season.  Miles Sanders had 20 touches, which you love to see, and Kenneth Gainwell had 9 carries and 2 catches.  DeVonta Smith looked as good as advertised when he was selected by the Eagles with the 10th overall pick.  He led the team in targets and found his way into the end zone in his first NFL game.  It was also the Eagles first TD of the season.  Most likely, an especially positive moment for Eagles fans. 

   

Pittsburgh Steelers 23 @ Buffalo Bills 16

Highmark Stadium Orchard Park, NY

This game had to have been a huge let down to Bills fans everywhere going into a season with Super Bowl aspirations.  The Pittsburgh defense had Josh Allen flustered for much of the game.  He was sacked 3 times and fumbled twice.  Devin Singetary raised some eyebrows with his efficiency as he totaled 72 yards on 11 carries for a 6.5 ypc average.  

For the Steelers, I’m honestly not sure what this win told me.  The offense did not look good.  Ben Roethlisberger only completed 56% of his passes for 188 yards.  The lack of overall yardage dragged down the stats of all the pass catchers.  Diontae Johnson led the team in targets with ten.  Najee Harris was underwhelming in his rookie debut rushing 16 times for 45 yards.  Najee Harris had only 45 yards on 16 carries but was on the field for 100% of the running back snaps. 

Seattle Seahawks 28 @ Indianapolis Colts 16

Lucas Oil stadium Indianapolis, IN

The Seahawks went into this game with new offensive coordinator, Shane Waldron, calling plays for Russell Wilson, who hadn’t taken a single preseason snap.  None of that mattered as Wilson threw 4 touchdowns on a day that belonged to Seattle on both sides of the ball.  Chris Carson helped keep the defense honest by turning his 16 carries into 91 yards, opening up the field for Wilson to work. Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf were the beneficiaries of most of Wilson’s targets.  What was most interesting to me was the usage of rookie wide receiver D’Wayne Eskridge.  He was hardly involved in the passing game, only catching 1 ball for 6 yards, but he did record two carries for 22 yards.  Running back Rashaad Penny left the game with a calf injury which could open up some vacated carries depending on the length of time he misses.  If they can find creative ways to get Eskridge involved in the run game, I’ll be curious to see what he can do with the opportunity.

The Colts really struggled to get things going and it showed by the target share in the pass game.  QB Carson Wentz was checking down all day making running backs Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines the teams leaders in passing targets with 7 and 8, respectively.  Wide Receiver Zach Pascal had an odd stat line catching 4 of his 5 targets for 43 yards and 2 touchdowns.  For fantasy, I don’t think his TD production is going to continue throughout the season, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.

San Francisco 49ers 41 @ Detroit Lions 33

Ford Field Detroit, MI

The Detroit Lions gave the 49ers all they could handle, down the stretch in this one, but San Francisco held onto the win. This was mostly due to the 49ers taking their foot off the gas, after being up 38-17 at the end of the third quarter.  If you’re a Lions fan, you like that they were competitive and that they had the heart to at least get this thing close. The offensive line, that was suspect going into this one, looked sharp.  What you didn’t like, was the overall play of the defense that looked moribund for much of the game.  CB Jeff Okudah, the 3rd overall pick a year ago was outclassed and is firmly entering bust territory being beaten time and time again. He was also injured later in the game and will miss the rest of the season with a ruptured Achilles. Jared Goff played well in his Lions debut throwing for 338 yards with 3 TDs and 1 INT.  The running backs were extremely busy in this one with Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift both receiving 20 touches each on very similar stat lines. T. J. Hockenson had a game fantasy managers thought he might have, by contributing 8 catches for 97 yards and a TD, and is primed to have a great season for the rebuilding Lions.

The 49ers looked like a team destined for the playoffs on Sunday, despite letting the Lions back into the game at the end.  There were lots of bright spots for San Francisco but Deebo Samuel jumped off the screen on his way to 9 receptions for 189 yards and 1 TD, including a 79 yard touchdown for Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo fought off draft pick Trey Lance in training camp to earn the starting role and proved his worthiness, completing 68% of his passes for 314 yards and a TD. The fantasy diamond-in-the-rough was RB Elijah Mitchell who, according to reports, simply beat out highly Twitterized Trey Sermon for a spot on the active roster. Mitchell showed us why, by running for 104 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries after taking over for the injured Raheem Mostert. Mitchell (at the time of this blurb writing before the Monday night game) should be the top waiver wire target for the week, especially if Mostert misses significant time. 

Cleveland Browns 29 @ Kansas City Chiefs 33

GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium Kansas City, MO

Defense was an afterthought for both teams in this game. We were treated to a high scoring affair in Kansas City.  Cleveland Browns, Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, and Jarvis Landry all produced for your fantasy team. David Njoku also had 76 yards on his 3 catches. He was tied for the team lead in targets and his usage going forward is worth monitoring.  Sharing in that team high for targets was rookie Anthony Schwartz who turned his 5 targets into 3 catches for 69 yards.  With Odell Beckham Jr slowly coming back from his torn ACL, Rashard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones are the top competition for Schwartz, for targets, behind Jarvis Landry.  It’s a situation worth keeping an eye on. 

Kansas City did Kansas City things and almost comically.  Very little commentary is needed about their performance.  The offense played great which is what we expect out of this group. Clyde Edwards-Helaire wasn’t great, but he did prove that he is the workhorse back for KC by carrying the ball 14 times with no other player (besides Mahomes) carrying more than once. CEH also caught 3 passes. Despite the offensive explosion, Mecole Hardman was noticeably lacking on the stat sheet, only catching three passes for 19 yards. My feeling on Hardman is that he’s going to be a boom or bust play from week to week and much better suited for best ball than redraft or dynasty except if there is an injury to Tyreek Hill. 

Denver Broncos 27 @ New York Giants 13

MetLife Stadium E. Rutherford, NJ

These are exciting times for Denver as a team that perpetually has all the pieces to succeed, except for a QB.  But they may have found that this off-season. Teddy Bridgewater in his first start for the team looked calm, cool, and collected as he completed 28 of 36 (77.7%!) for 264 and 2 TDs. He also added 19 more yards on 3 rushes.  He completed passes to 9 different recievers on the day which could be a thorn in the side of fantasy managers, since his touchdown passes went to WR Tim Patrick and TE Albert Okwuegbunam.  The backfield for Denver is a messy situation with Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams receiving 14 and 15 touches, respectively. Gordon did flash on a 70 yard touchdown run, right through the heart of the Giants defense. 

Saquon Barkley was only able to produce 26 yards on 10 carries behind a dreadful offensive line. Daniel Jones played your average Daniel Jones game with some flashes of brilliance but with a red zone fumble sprinkled in to remind you of his shortcomings. Sterling Shepard had a big day hauling in 7 catches for 113 yards and a TD and should be one of the most unsexy year long fantasy starts that can help you win a championship. 

Green Bay Packers 3 @ New Orleans Saints 38

TIAA Bank Field Jacksonville, FL

Jameis Winston ate a big “W” in his first start as the New Orleans Saints quarterback.  Throwing 5 touchdowns en route to beating the breaks off of the Green Bay Packers. For as much hype as Marquez Callaway received in the preseason, he only caught one ball for 14 yards. Deonte Harris had the most receiving yards for the Saints with 72 yards but only had two targets in the contest. Jameis was efficient throwing for only 148 passing yards on the day, and thus, no receiver really jumped off the stat sheet. Alvin Kamara was great as always and TE Adam Trautman was targeted 6 times on the day. A trend that, if continued, could make him a legit streaming option at the position. 

Not much can be said for the Packers, who were flat at every position. Even Davante Adams was held to 56 yards on the day.  On the bright side, Green Bay hosts The Detroit Lions next Monday night offering a ripe opportunity to get their season back on track. 

Miami Dolphins 17 @ New England Patriots 16

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

Running back Damien Harris had a big day logging 25 touches and 117 yards for the Patriots but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Dolphins in a scrap battle, in Foxborough.  Harris averaged 4.3 yards per attempt on the ground and looks like the real deal.  Speaking of the real deal, Mac Jones gave hope to all of New England in his first NFL start going 29/39 for 281 and a touchdown.  Nelson Agholor had the most yardage out of the Patriots receivers, but Jakobi Meyers received the most targets.  Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith caught all eight of the targets that went their way, and I suspect they will become more involved in the offense as the season goes along.  

Tua Tagovailoa looked solid for the Dolphins completing 16/27 for 202 yards 1 TD and 1 INT and rushed for another touchdown.  Myles Gaskin was heavily involved in the offense, rushing 9 times for 49 yards and catching all 5 of his targets for 27 yards.  Rookie Jaylen Waddle came out of the gate hot catching 4 passes for 61 yards and a TD.  The Dolphins are a frisky team with a shut down defense and if the offense evolves throughout the year, Miami could find themselves in the playoffs.

Chicago Bears 14 @ Los Angeles Rams 34

SoFi Stadium Inglewood, CA

As a Detroit Lions fan, I hated the Stafford trade.  Rams fans now know what we’ve known for years in Detroit, that Stafford is a legit dude always limited by the team around him.  The new Los Angeles quarterback completed 20 of 26 passes for 321 and 3 touchdowns and put the Rams firmly on the radar of Super Bowl hopeful teams.  The normal cast of characters showed up for the offensive party with Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson, and Tyler Higbee all producing solid numbers on the day.  Robert Woods was only targeted 4 times on the day, but caught 3 of those for 27 yards and was able to salvage a little value for fantasy players with a late touchdown.  The biggest question I had going into this game was, how were the Rams going to split time between Darrell Henderson and newly acquired Sony Michel.  At least for this week, it was Henderson who had the position on lock down carrying the ball 16 times for 70 yards and a TD.  Michel only carried once, and couldn’t even get touches in the 4th quarter with the game in garbage time.  

For the Bears, David Montgomery did some heavy lifting with his 16 carries for 108 and a TD but he didn’t get a whole lot of help.  It was a very Andy Dalton game in which he was solid and consistent, but stalled in the red zone and couldn’t step up in the big moments.  Allen Robinson was the heavy leader in targets for the Bears with 11 but was only able to catch 6 passes for 35 yards on a day when the passing game as a whole was mediocre.  

Baltimore Ravens 27 @ Las Vegas Raiders 33

Allegiant Stadium Paradise, NV

What a fantastic way to cap off week 1!  The Raiders found a way to win a wild overtime thriller over the Ravens. Tight end Darren Waller was a human highlight reel hauling in 10 of his 19(!) targets for 105 yards and a TD.  Behind Waller, Hunter Renfrow continued to be a heavily targeted piece of the Raiders offense, catching 6 of his 9 targets for 70 yards.  Derek Carr shined, spreading the ball around to 9 different pass catchers completing 34/56 for 435 yards 2 TDs and 1 INT.

Lamar Jackson was only asked to throw the ball 30 times and powered the offense with this running ability on 12 rushes for 86 yards.  He also fumbled twice, which ultimately led to the Raiders victory.  Ty’son Williams and Latavius Murray split carries behind Jackson and despite this being such a run heavy offense, they figure to continue to frustrate fantasy managers.  Sammy Watkins received the most targets in the passing game with 8 but only catching 4 for 96 yards.  Marquise Brown was more efficient by securing all 6 of his targets for 69 yards.  We’ll have to see how the targets trend in Baltimore, but with the low volume pass attack, it could be a rocky ride.  

Well, that’s it.  Week 1 Wipe Up is in the books.  It is great to have football back in our lives.  Games were won, stats were accumulated, and, hopefully, everyone enjoyed watching REAL football again.  I hope you won your fantasy matchups this week and I hope this consolidation of gameday action helps.  Onto week 2!

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