Fantasy Football Winners and Losers: Week 1by Andersen Pickard September 14, 2021 0 comments
Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season is in the books. For the majority of the league, Tuesday morning brings a whole new week of football and preparing for their next game. However, a handful of players might not want to leave Week 1 so soon. Here’s a look at who impressed and who underachieved this week.
All point totals are based on PPR scoring.
Winner: Jameis Winston (39.6 FPTS)
Winston completed 14 of 20 passes for 148 yards on Sunday, which doesn’t sound great. However, five of those 14 completions came in the end zone, allowing Winston to finish as the QB2. He now leads the league in passing touchdowns and has yet to turn over the football, which is a refreshing trend after his stint as a starter in Tampa Bay was riddled with interceptions.
Loser: Aaron Rodgers (1.3 FPTS)
Rodgers and the Packers put up a dismal showing against Winston’s Saints on Sunday. He went just 15-for-28 with 133 passing yards and a pair of interceptions along the way. While this showing was far from optimal, it’s not enough to warrant benching Rodgers going forward. He should continue to be a mainstay in fantasy lineups given his terrific ability and strong supporting cast.
Winner: Christian McCaffrey (27.7 FPTS)
The Panthers’ dual-threat phenom returned healthy in Week 1 and instantly put on a show, finishing as the overall RB1. He rushed the ball 21 times for 98 yards while adding nine catches and 89 yards through the air. At the end of the day, finishing as the RB1 is incredible. Doing it without scoring a touchdown is even more magical. The consensus 1.01 wasted no time putting on a show.
Loser: Aaron Jones (4.2 FPTS)
The second Packer on this list is Jones, who saw a limited workload with Green Bay playing from behind. He logged just seven total touchdowns and 22 scrimmage yards along the way. Like Rodgers, Jones is still a top-eight fantasy asset at his position. Nevertheless, his quiet start to the season was more than frustrating.
Winner: Amari Cooper (38.9 FPTS)
This past offseason saw tremendous hype for Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb. Perhaps that only fueled the fire for Cooper, who lit up the Buccaneers en route to amassing 13 catches, 139 yards, and two touchdowns on Thursday night. Going forward, Cooper is a very attractive WR2 who has proven that he can still put up phenomenal fantasy showings. This offense could be elite in 2021 and Cooper will play a huge role in its dominance.
Loser: Brandon Aiyuk (0.0 FPTS)
Aiyuk was on the field for just 26 of 55 offensive snaps on Sunday. He fetched zero targets and was essentially shunned by head coach Kyle Shanahan. It’s fair to wonder if this is more than a fluke considering how Shanahan has handled his rosters in the past. Fantasy managers with Aiyuk shares shouldn’t hit the panic button yet, but he’s far too risky to start in Week 2. This will be a fascinating story to monitor going forward.
Winner: T.J. Hockenson (25.7 FPTS)
All offseason long, a large portion of the fantasy football community looked down upon the Lions’ playmakers due to an offense that was allegedly leaps and bounds worse than every other unit in football. How did the team respond? Jared Goff finished as QB6, Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift were RB3 and RB4, respectively, and Hockenson checked in at TE2 in Week 1. This offense looked very strong, nearly upsetting the 49ers. Hockenson remains a top-five option for the rest of the season and could very likely finish 2021 as Detroit’s best receiver.
Loser: Mike Gesicki (0.0 FPTS)
I was admittedly high on Gesicki against the Patriots, ranking him as my TE5. He has killed New England in the past and should have seen an uptick in targets amidst the absences of Adam Shaheen (COVID-19) and Will Fuller (suspension). Instead, Gesicki logged zero receptions and saw just two targets. He still sneaks into the top-12 tight end range going forward, but this Week 1 dud proved that he cannot be considered in the first or second tiers at his position just yet.
Winner: Arizona Cardinals (17.0 FPTS)
There were concerns about the Cardinals’ defense, especially considering their shaky secondary was set to match up against a dominant Titans offense. Instead, they allowed 13 points to Tennessee while holding Derrick Henry to 58 rushing yards and Julio Jones to 29 receiving yards. Along the way, this unit picked off a pass and forced a pair of fumbles. Defensive star Chandler Jones also sacked Ryan Tannehill five times in the process.
Loser: Jacksonville Jaguars (-5.0 FPTS)
The Texans might be in shambles, but they still managed to drop 37 points on the Jaguars. Jacksonville’s defense allowed 449 yards and was unable to force a turnover. They logged just one sack along the way. This unit could very well be the worst in football after such a pitiful performance in Houston.
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