The Fantasy 32 analyzes the NFL from a fantasy perspective, with at least one note on each of the league's 32 teams. Use these tidbits to make the best waiver-wire, trade and lineup decisions for the upcoming week and beyond. Be sure to check back each week of the season for a new version of the Fantasy 32.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: Fournette lasted only 20 snaps before leaving Sunday's game with a hamstring injury. T.J. Yeldon stepped in and played 40 snaps. He carried the ball 14 times and was targeted on six of 15 pass routes. Corey Grant (six snaps) played a minimal role behind him. Fournette may be back in time for New England this week, but if he's out, Yeldon is headed for a hefty workload in one of the league's run-heaviest offenses and would certainly make for an RB2 option.
Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers: Olsen suffered a leg injury in Week 1 and is expected to miss extended time. The 33-year-old went down on his 13th snap and was then replaced by fourth-round rookie Ian Thomas. Thomas ran a route on 23 of the team's 28 pass plays in the game. Chris Manhertz also was involved, but blocked on 27 of 31 routes. Thomas isn't in the TE1 discussion, but is worth adding in leagues that start two tight ends.
Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans: Walker is out for the 2018 season after breaking his leg against Miami. Walker played 38 snaps on Sunday before giving way to second-year Jonnu Smith. Smith ended up running 15 routes and handling three targets on 39 snaps. Blocker Luke Stocker played 25 snaps (six routes) and Anthony Firkser was inactive. With Walker out, Smith -- a 2017 third-round pick -- figures to slide in as the team's primary pass-catching tight end. Smith caught 18 of 29 targets for 157 yards and two touchdowns last season. There's certainly some upside here for Smith, but he's unlikely to see anything close to Walker's 23 percent target share from last season. Consider him a TE2 for the time being.
Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks: Baldwin entered Week 1 with a left knee injury and exited it with right knee injury. Baldwin was limited to 10 snaps prior to spraining his MCL. If he's out against Chicago this week, Tyler Lockett (37 routes in Week 1), Brandon Marshall (26) and Jaron Brown (nine) will pick up the bulk of the work. This is a tough matchup against a terrific Chicago defense, so only Lockett should be considered a strong flex option.
Throughout this piece, I'll be referencing "OFP" and "OTD." OFP stands for opportunity-adjusted fantasy points. Imagine a league in which players are created equal. OFP is a statistic that weighs every pass/carry/target and converts the data into one number that indicates a player's opportunity to score fantasy points, or his "expected" fantasy point total. For example, if a player has an OFP of 14.5, it means that a league-average player who saw the same workload in the same area of the field would have scored 14.5 fantasy points. OTD works the same way, except instead of fantasy points, it's touchdowns.
That said, here is the Week 1 OFP leaderboard:
Falcons WR Julio Jones paces the field through Week 1. Atlanta's top wideout leads all players with 19 targets, and the heavy usage would've helped an average player to 10 catches for 164 yards and 1.4 touchdowns. Jones failed to score a touchdown in Week 1, but still fell only seven points short of his expected total (FORP). Volume is king in fantasy football and Jones will get it each and every week. And, yes, the touchdowns will follow.
Steelers RB James Conner was on the field for 74 of the team's 80 snaps in Week 1. No other Steelers tailback played a snap. That allowed a Le'Veon Bell-like 36 touches for 192 yards and two touchdowns. Conner's success aligns well with past Bell replacements, as DeAngelo Williams was fantasy's top-scoring running back during Bell's four missed games in 2016 and his 10 missed games in 2015. Conner's efficiency was good (4.4 YPC, 11.4 YPR) in Week 1, but his heavy volume is even more important. Assuming Bell remains at home, Conner is a solid RB1 play against Kansas City in Week 2.
Titans WR Corey Davis posted an underwhelming 6-62-0 line in Week 1, but it wasn't a product of too little volume. Davis racked up 13 targets and ranked 10th in the league in OTD (1.1). Davis handled one end zone target and two additional looks while inside the opponent's 5-yard line. The volume is reason for optimism, but Davis needs a healthy Marcus Mariota on the field. Of his 13 targets, six were caught and four were "off target." Davis' 33 percent off-target rate paced all wide receivers last season. Davis' 7.5 average depth of target suggests he'll be heavily utilized in the short area, which is good news for his PPR value. Hold tight on Davis.
Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett ran a route on 37 of the team's 41 pass plays in Week 1. The heavy usage resulted in seven catches for 66 yards and a score on seven targets. The massive playing time in an offense led by Tom Brady means Dorsett has vaulted onto the fantasy radar. Dorsett figures to fall behind Chris Hogan (39 routes, but only five targets) most weeks and isn't a recommended start against the Jaguars in Week 2, but the ex-Colt's role will keep him in the flex discussion until Julian Edelman's return in Week 5.
Giants RB Saquon Barkley started slowly, but a 68-yard touchdown run vaulted him to 128 yards on 20 touches in his NFL debut. As expected, Barkley was a workhorse, handling 18 of the 21 carries by Giants backs. The 2018 second-overall pick was quiet as a receiver (two receptions), but ran 25 of 39 possible routes and handled six targets (17 percent share), which was third on the team. So far, so good for Barkley's chances of finishing as a top-five fantasy back.
Eagles RB Jay Ajayi carried the ball 15 times and scored twice in Week 1, but a deeper look at his usage should raise some concerns. Ajayi was limited to 27 of 64 possible snaps (10 routes) and was not targeted. Ajayi's 10.0 OFP ranked outside the top 30 at the position. He's a poor bet to average one touchdown per game (let alone two), so his usage will need to increase if he's going to sustain RB2-or-better production. Head coach Doug Pederson said he limited Ajayi early, so a boost in touches is possible, but it's still hard to imagine he'll provide consistent RB2 numbers with Darren Sproles and Corey Clement involved.
Chargers WR Mike Williams (five catches, 81 yards) and RB Austin Ekeler (10 touches, 126 yards, TD) both posted strong Week 1 numbers, but neither can be considered weekly starters. Los Angeles ran 73 offensive snaps in the game. Williams was on the field for 41 (fourth most among the team's wide receivers) and Ekeler handled 22 (32 fewer than Melvin Gordon). Both are situational players who need more snaps in order to allow consistent fantasy production.
Redskins RB Adrian Peterson exploded for 96 yards and one touchdown on 26 carries, and 70 yards on two receptions in his Washington debut. Peterson out-snapped Chris Thompson 40 to 31 and out-carried him 26 to five, but was limited to seven pass routes (Thompson ran 22). Peterson's carry total benefited in a big way from a sizable lead over Arizona and his big plays on a minimal receiving workload can't be counted on going forward. Peterson's early-down carries are safe and his efficiency was good, so Peterson remains in the RB2 discussion, but he's safer as a flex in PPR formats.
49ers running backs: Alfred Morris handled 31 snaps (12 carries, 15 routes, 0 targets) and Matt Breida 28 snaps (11 carries, 14 routes, two targets) in the season opener. At least for the time being, this is a two-headed backfield. Granted the schedule will be easier moving forward, but Morris and Breida should be viewed as no more than flex options.
Vikings running backs: Dalvin Cook played 57 snaps and racked up 95 yards on 22 touches in his first game back after last season's Week 4 torn ACL. Latavius Murray carried the ball 11 times (42 yards) and wasn't targeted on 14 snaps. Cook ran a hefty 28 of the 31 pass routes run by the team's tailbacks. It's clear Cook is picking up where he left off last season as one of the league's rare workhorse backs. Cook is a weekly RB1 play with top-five upside. Murray is no more than a handcuff.
Bengals wide receivers: John Ross scored his first NFL touchdown on Sunday, but he's not yet a viable weekly flex option. Ross was limited to two targets and was on the field for 20 of the team's 30 pass plays. That put him behind both A.J. Green (29 routes) and Tyler Boyd (28 routes). Stash Ross' upside on your bench.
Dolphins running backs: Kenyan Drake's Week 1 wasn't particularly impressive (17 touches, 66 yards), but he was easily Miami's lead back. Drake played 43 snaps (18 routes), compared to Frank Gore's 18 snaps (six routes). Gore ran the ball well (61 yards on nine carries), but recent history suggests he won't be able to sustain good efficiency. Drake remains in the RB2 mix.
Cowboys wide receivers: One of the toughest units to project entering Week 1 was the Dallas wideouts. On 35 pass plays against Carolina, the pass routes were distributed as follows: Cole Beasley (25), Allen Hurns (23), Deonte Thompson (19), Michael Gallup (14), Terrance Williams (10) and Tavon Austin (five). Beasley was the only Cowboy receive more than five targets (he had eight), but his short-area role and lack of touchdown upside (20 career touchdowns on 261 receptions) makes him a poor flex option outside of deep PPR leagues. Hurns and Gallup are still worth bench spots as they settle into a role.
Broncos running backs: A pair of rookies, Royce Freeman (29 snaps) and Phillip Lindsay (25), paced this backfield in Week 1, with pedestrian third-year back Devontae Booker (18 snaps) also heavily involved. Freeman and Lindsay both posted 15-71-0 lines on the ground. Lindsay and Booker each caught two passes and Freeman wasn't targeted. The three-headed attack limits the fantasy upside of everyone involved, but it's possible Freeman (boost in non-PPR) and Lindsay (boost in PPR) can provide flex or better value if their roles increase as the season progresses. This has a 2017 Jordan Howard (Freeman), Tarik Cohen (Linsday) and Benny Cunningham (Booker) feel to it.
Ravens wide receivers: John Brown scored a touchdown, but was targeted only four times against Buffalo on Sunday. Granted, the Ravens' huge lead allowed them to run the ball often and rest players in the second half, but Brown was behind both Michael Crabtree and Willie Snead (six each) in targets. This shouldn't be a big concern considering Brown ran 35 of 42 possible routes, trailing only Crabtree (37) in the category. Brown should be on benches in a tougher matchup against Cincinnati this week.
Saints wide receivers: Ted Ginn Jr. picked up where he left off last season by catching five of six targets for 68 yards and a score against the Buccaneers in Week 1. Ginn was on the field for 40 of the team's 46 pass plays, which was behind Michael Thomas (43 routes), but well ahead of Austin Carr (32), Tre'Quan Smith (five), Tommylee Lewis (four) and Cameron Meredith (inactive). Ginn has finished as a top-35 fantasy receiver two of the past three seasons and early indications suggest he's on his way to making it three of four. Scoop up Ginn if he's on your waiver wire and consider him for your flex.
Cardinals wide receivers: No big surprise here, but Chad Williams ran as the Cardinals' No. 2 receiver in Week 1. The 2017 third-round pick played 48 of 51 snaps and was on the field for all 36 pass plays. He didn't catch either of his two targets, but the playing time provides optimism. The second-year receiver will feel heat from rookie Christian Kirk (43 snaps, 35 routes), but should be on your radar as a sleeper breakout candidate.
Packers wide receivers: Geronimo Allison ran a route on 32 of the Packers' 40 pass plays on Monday night. He was behind only Davante Adams (40 routes) and Randall Cobb (32), with Marquez Valdes-Scantling (two) way off the radar. It's clear Allison is the No. 3 receiver here, which confirms he needs to be on fantasy rosters. Adams and Cobb are weekly fantasy starters and Allison is a fringe flex.
Browns WR Josh Gordon was "limited" in his 2018 debut ... but not really. Gordon was on the field for 66 of the team's 85 snaps, including 38 of 45 pass plays. He was targeted only three times, but scored a touchdown on his only catch. Gordon's usage will only increase as the season progresses and Cleveland will have to throw often at New Orleans in Week 2. He's a WR3/flex option.
Raiders running backs: Seemingly out of nowhere, Jalen Richard paced Oakland's backfield with 37 snaps in Week 1. He delivered the goods, especially on passing downs, posting a 5-24-0 line on the ground and 9-55-0 line through the air. Richard is a name to scoop up in PPR leagues, as it appears he's the team's primary passing-down back. Marshawn Lynch (27 snaps, 11 carries) and Doug Martin (10, 4) will handle most of the carries.
Rams wide receivers: No surprise here, but the Rams picked up where they left off in 2017 when they paced the NFL in three-wide receiver sets. Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp were each on the field for 61 of the Rams' 63 offensive snaps against Oakland. All three are viable weekly starters in one of the league's top offenses.
Is Jets WR Quincy Enunwa back on the fantasy radar? Absolutely. Enunwa was targeted 10 times in Week 1, which was seven more than any other Jets player. "No. 1" receiver Robby Anderson was on the field plenty, but was limited to one target. Enunwa, who posted a 58-857-4 line in 2016 prior to missing all of last season with a neck injury, appears to be Sam Darnold's favorite target, and a target share around 20 percent is certainly reasonable. That would be enough to put Enunwa squarely in the flex discussion.
Can the Lions support three starting-caliber fantasy wide receivers? Maybe! During the 11 weeks Golden Tate, Marvin Jones Jr. and Kenny Golladay all played last season, they ranked 14th, 17th and 43rd, respectively, in fantasy points. On Monday night against the Jets, the trio combined for 35 of the team's 52 targets (67 percent). Jones and Tate were both top-12 fantasy receivers overall last season, while Golladay has looked the part of a rising star and has big scoring upside at 6-foot-4. Jones and Tate remain weekly starters and Golladay is in the flex discussion depending on the matchup.
Is Seahawks TE Will Dissly a must-add following his 105-yard NFL debut? In deep leagues and dynasty, yes. In season-long 10- and 12-team leagues, no. Dissly hit on some big plays and handled a nice 15 percent target share, but he was actually second to Nick Vannett in both snaps (33 to 32) and routes (23 to 19). Dissly is a fine flier for those who lost Walker or Olsen in Week 1, but he'll be a risky start until his role increases.
Is Colts WR Ryan Grant a weekly fantasy starter after posting a 8-59-0 (nine targets) line in Week 1? Not just yet, but he might be soon, so get him on your roster. Grant was the Colts' No. 2 wideout against the Bengals, running 42 of 55 possible routes. That trailed only T.Y. Hilton (55 routes) and Jack Doyle (50) and was ahead of No. 3 receiver Chester Rogers (36). Andrew Luck looked good in his first game back and the Colts are going to throw the ball a ton this season, so his top weapons should be rostered.
Is it time for those who drafted Bills RB LeSean McCoy to panic? Not just yet. The Bills' offense was about as bad as possible with Nathan Peterman under center, but was at least slightly competent with Josh Allen in the game (granted against many defensive backups). McCoy played 32 snaps before resting late and led the Buffalo backfield in carries, routes and targets. He's still a RB2 option at home against the Chargers this week.
Can we trust Texans RB Lamar Miller after a strong Week 1? At least for now, yes. Miller was on the field for 54 of Houston's 71 offensive snaps and handled 26 of the 33 pass routes run by the team's running backs. Miller's efficiency was much better than years past; he averaged 4.90 YPC (3.00 YAC). If this keeps up, Miller can produce RB2 numbers, but remember that D'Onta Foreman is due back around midseason.
Should those who took a gamble on Bears TE Trey Burton look for another option in Week 2? No. Burton's tenure with Chicago is off to a slow start, but there's no need to panic. The ex-Eagle was on the field for 57 of the team's 65 snaps, including 33 of 39 pass plays. He caught only one pass for 15 yards, but was targeted five times. Burton's playing time suggests he's still a TE1 option in Week 2 and beyond.
Does Chiefs QB Pat Mahomes' presence mean disaster for Travis Kelce? No. Kelce was limited to one catch for 6 yards in Week 1, but was on the field for all but one snap and handled six targets (24 percent share). Kelce remains a top-end TE1.
Is Buccaneers RB Peyton Barber the workhorse in Tampa Bay? If Week 1 is a sign of what's to come, the answer is a resounding "yes." Barber handled 47 of the team's 62 offensive snaps, including 12 of the 16 pass routes by the team's tailbacks. His 19 carries were 17 more than next-closest running back Jacquizz Rodgers. Barber won't see a ton of targets, but he'll contribute more as a receiver when the team isn't ahead on the scoreboard throughout most of the game. That could be the case against the Eagles in Week 2. Consider him a flex option in PPR and an upgrade in non-PPR.
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