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Week 1 Fantasy Football Storylines To Watch: Defenses Dominate

Drafting a QB first
Photo Credit: Brook Ward

The 2017 NFL season has begun, and Week 1 surely has some Fantasy owners scratching their heads. Alex Smith outdueled Tom Brady, Jared Goff actually looked like a starting quarterback and two of the top three running backs disappointed for different reasons.

There is no need to panic this early after all as many fans say, it is only Week 1.

Here are six Week 1 Fantasy Football Storylines that owners must pay attention to from Week 1.

Week 1 Fantasy Football Storylines

1. Defenses Dominate

A moment of silence for those owners playing against the Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars, or Los Angeles Rams defense. Yes, this was the week of the defense. I have always been an advocate for the removal of them in Fantasy Football. They either score nothing or drop an absurd amount of points.

Putting aside my salt, owners will need to keep a keen eye on the Jags and Ravens, and any defense playing the Indianapolis Colts. Swipe the Arizona Cardinals for Week 2.

Pick up the Jags defense if you can as the pass rush seems to finally have matched the secondary. As long as Blake Bortles can avoid putting the defense in bad spots, they will be a Top 8 defense. The Ravens should not be on the waiver wire, but scoop them up if they are.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, do not expect the Dallas Cowboys to dominate on the defensive side like they did this week and the same goes for Green Bay. Those games showed how bad Seattle and New York were on the offensive line, not how great Green Bay and Dallas are on defense.

2. Quarterback Confusion

Rapid fire time Tell me who had the most passing yards this week? Alex Smith. Who had the number two and three passer rating? Yep, you guessed it, Sam Bradford and Jared Goff. Now, who was fourth and fifth worst in passer rating? That would be Russell Wilson and Tom Brady.

A week that was dominated by defenses allowed some very average quarterbacks to appear much better than those you drafted in the early rounds. Do not be fooled. Smith, Bradford, and Goff will come crashing back down to earth and Brady will rebound against the New Orleans Saints next week.

Other notable quarterback performances from Week 1:

  • Andy Dalton was overwhelmed by the Baltimore Ravens. Take this as how great the defense, so don’t bail on Dalton. Actually, if you had Dalton as your QB1, odds are you need to rethink your lineup
  • Kirk Cousins appears to have started his usual one-half season of bad games. Jordan Reed is hurt, as usual, and Terrelle Pryor did not look like he was ready to be a true number one receiver. To the bench with Cousins … for now
  • Oh boy that New York Giants offense is bad sans Odell Beckham. As long as he is out, keep Eli Manning out of your lineup

3. David Johnson’s Injury

Looking back on the recent history of Fantasy Football, it would be hard to find a more devastating Week 1 injury. Johnson was poised to repeat his other worldly numbers from 2016. In an offense that featured an aging Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald, the offense was going to revolve around Johnson.

There has yet to be a timetable set for the injury but it looks like it will at the very least be in the area of a month. Owners need to pick up Kerwyn Williams and demote every Cardinal they have on their team. Without Johnson, everyone on this team is a spot start, at best.

4. Falcons Fizzle

Owners that were very suspicious about the Falcons offense without Kyle Shannahan are now in full panic mode. What should have been a great matchup turned into a nightmare.

Outside of one broken coverage leading to a long touchdown to Austin Hooper, the Falcons did little to nothing the whole game. The running game was lackluster at best, and the Chicago Bears were able to shut down Julio Jones with seemingly ease.

One week does not mean that owners should give up on Matt Ryan. Keeping a close eye on his matchups will be key for the coming weeks. Week 2 against the Green Bay Packers will be very telling for the rest of the season.

5. Beast Mode Comes to Oakland

There was nothing spectacular about Marshawn Lynch’s stat line, just 76 yards on 18 carries, but his presence had a huge impact on the offense. It appears they are now a more balanced offense, and Derek Carr owners should be worried.

Well not exactly worried but do not expect the Raiders to throw the ball every down. This will now be a methodical offense. It will have its moments but with Lynch in the backfield, they will be breaking the wills of defenses running instead of passing all over them.

6. No Luck in Indianapolis

Give Andrew Luck the MVP right now. This was the worst football I have seen played in a very long time.

Without Luck under center, the team looked like they were from a random high school. Nothing against Scott Tolzien or Jacoby Brissett but as long as Luck is out, every player is an automatic bench. Sorry T.Y. Hilton, Frank Gore, and everyone else.


I’ll see you during Week 2 where I hope to have more positive storylines to discuss.

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