After a wild start to the season, we now break down the fantasy football winners of losers of Week 1. Winners will be considered as a player who didn’t get a lot of attention going into the week, while the losers will be players who were expected to produce right away. Hopefully your teams are off to a hot start, but those who have started 0-1, don’t worry. We have all the waiver claims to help you get back on track for Week 2. All points will be given in standard, non-PPR format.
Lamar Jackson (33.56 points)
Whenever you throw 4 touchdowns in your first 9 attempts, you’re going to end up on this list. Lamar laid a solid Year 2 foundation, as he hung 52 points on the Dolphins defense. The most intriguing part of his performance, however, is that only .6 points came with his legs. The ceiling with for Lamar is very high, and he has another favorable matchup against Arizona in Week 2.
Dak Prescott (33.4 points)
Jerry Jones, pay this man. Dak went out and proved he is worth a new contract, even if it is more than people think he deserves. He hung up 405 yards and 4 scores while having a perfect passer rating against New York. With a matchup against Washington in Week 2, Prescott may earn himself a few more million if Jerry Jones doesn’t doesn’t act fast.
Tom Brady (25.64 points)
The Patriots are known to bully the Steelers, but what they did on Sunday Night was on a new level. Brady marched up and down on Tomlin’s defense for 341 yards and 3 TDs. The running game wasn’t as much of a factor as projected, but he showed he can still sling it when he needs to. With the addition of Antonio Brown to this offense, Brady looks every bit the part for how late in drafts he was going. (ADP QB12 in ESPN rankings)
Austin Ekeler (33.4 points)
With the absence of Melvin Gordon in Los Angeles, most people expected more committee approach to the run game using both Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson, but Sunday against the Colts was all Ekeler. He had 18 touches to Jackson’s 7, and ended with 154 total yards and 3 scores. While Gordon continues to hold out, expect Ekeler to build off his impressive start.
Derrick Henry (27.9 points)
I will be the first to admit I was not very high coming into the year on Derrick Henry or the Titans offense in general, but they proved me wrong Sunday. Henry picked up right where he left off last season, when he ended the season as the number one fantasy back in December and January. While he isn’t known for his passing game usage, he did break his only reception for a 75-yard TD.
Sammy Watkins (37.8 points)
Even before Tyreek Hill left the game with a shoulder injury, Watkins was having himself a game. Now with the Chiefs number one receiver likely on the shelf for what looks like “a few weeks”, Watkins should see an uptake in targets in the weeks to come.
TJ Hockenson (19.1 points)
In his first game for the Lions, Hockenson set a record for most yards in a TE rookie debut. He saw 9 targets, hauling in 6 for 131 yards and a score. Matthew Stafford loves reliable pass catchers, so he has a lot of potential in this offense. He and Kenny Golladay led the team in targets, so it’s safe to say he has a legitimate role.
Dalvin Cook (24 points)
Marlon Mack (25.4 points)
Le’Veon Bell (17.2 points)
Desean Jackson (27.4 points)
Michael Gallup (15.8 points)
Terry McLaurin (18.5 points)
Delanie Walker (17.7 points)
Ben Roethlisberger (9.74 points)
With no Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, Big Ben and the entire offense struggled against the Patriots on Sunday night. When the Steelers did get deep into the red zone, they settled for a field goal from inside the five. Just an all around bad look for Roethlisberger, who has another difficult matchup against Seattle next week.
Joe Mixon (1.7 points)
Not only was Mixon disappointing in the first game of the season, he left the game due to an ankle injury. Head coach Zac Taylor says he is day-to-day, and his MRI reveals his sprain wasn’t too severe. The Bengal’s offense was surprising overall, so if he can avoid missing time he should find success in the coming weeks.
Leonard Fournette (7.4 points)
In a game that was mainly pass heavy due to being down multiple scores, Fournette still got 17 touches, including 4 catches for 28 yards. He did have a fumble that hurt his already mediocre performance. Now with Nick Foles on IR, Gardner Minshew is the starter in Jacksonville, so Fournette’s fantasy value could see an uptick.
Mike Williams (2.9 points)
Mike Williams was only targeted 3 times in his week one matchup against the Colts, but head coach Anthony Lynn said he is a “heck of a football player and we’re going to need him.” As long as Melvin Gordon holds out, Willaims should be seeing strong usage as the season rolls on.
Zach Ertz (5.4 points)
For how high Ertz was draft (ADP TE2), he had quite an underwhelming performance. He did see 7 targets in the Eagles’ comeback win, but team owners are expecting more than 54 yards from their anchor tight end.
Jared Goff (11.44 points)
Jameis Winston (points)
Sony Michel (1.4 points)
James Conner (6.5 points)
David Montgomery (points)
Stefon Diggs (3.7 points)
Tyreek Hill (2.1 points)
Robby Anderson (2.3 points)
Lamar Jackson vs Cardinals
The Ravens disguised their offensive plan very well throughout the entire preseason, which ended up hurting Jackson’s fantasy value in drafts. If he went undrafted in your league, here is your chance to grab him, because he won’t be there after Week 2. Should he duplicate his performance in Week 2, against a Cardinals team that needed a magic rally from Kyler in the fourth, you will have a dual threat QB with a lot of promise in your lineup.
Malcolm Brown vs Saints
Although he has a much harder matchup in Week 2, Brown had 11 carries in Week 1 and saw almost all of the goal line work for the Rams. Todd Gurley’s knees are a huge question mark this season, so Brown could be more heavily involved as the season rolls on.
Chris Thompson vs Cowboys
Although the matchup doesn’t warrant an immediate start, with Guice on the shelf expected to miss time, the Redskins backfield is down to Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson. He will be a good change of pace back and his receiving ability gives him a higher ceiling than most backup running backs. Most leagues are a barren wasteland when it comes to waiver wire backs, so Thompson may be a solid grab.
John Ross vs 49ers
AJ Green is not expected back with the team until after Week 3, and if Andy Dalton throws for 50+ attempts each game, there will be plenty of targets for John Ross, the speeder top 10 pick from a few years ago. He will look to build off his 2 touchdown start against the 49ers next week.
Marquise “Hollywood” Brown vs Cardinals
After booming onto the scene Week 1 against a bad Dolphins defense, Brown should have similar success against a slight better Cardinals defense. While he only had 4 total receptions, he should receive more targets based off his productivity.