Andrew Luck, Colts
With the Colts defense looking pretty weak, the running game not yet up to speed and the news that the team’s top pass rusher, Robert Mathis, will miss the entire season, Indianapolis may be forced to throw early and often in 2014. That was the case in Week 1 with Luck throwing for 370 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Jake Locker, Titans
With the whispers growing that Locker just might be ready to emerge as a solid starter during his 4th year in the league, he didn’t disappoint in Week 1, completing 22 of 33 passes for 266 yards and a pair of scores. We know that he has the ability to generate fantasy points on the ground, giving Locker an outside chance to finish 2014 as a low end QB1 or upper tier backup.
Robert Griffin III, Redskins
This guy needs to run the ball to be effective. End of story. After a poor performance in the preseason, he was solid in Week 1 but his fantasy owners know that three carries a game isn’t going to be enough to make him anything more than a low tier QB1 at best in 2014.
Terrance West, Browns
The Browns heralded rookie runner may have struggled somewhat in the preseason but he came on strong when called upon to replace an injured Ben Tate in Week 1, carrying the ball 16 times for 100 yards against the Steelers.
Mark Ingram, Saints
Ingram looked solid running the ball against the Falcons this week, gaining 60 yards and a pair of scores on 13 carries. Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson combined for 13 carries with Robinson poaching a touchdown. If this is an indication of the workload split going forward, Ingram rates as a low end RB2 with upside over the balance of the season.
Alfred Morris, Redskins
So much for all those concerns that new Redskins coach Jay Gruden would go with a timeshare approach for Washington’s running backs. Morris toted the rock 14 times for a solid 91 yards while Roy Helu and Darrel Young combined for just five carries.
Justin Forsett, Ravens
Ray Rice is gone and Forsett appears to be the next man up in Baltimore and not Bernard Pierce. Forsett played for Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak in Houston and his game resembles that of Steve Slaton, who ran for just under 1,300 yards as a rookie for Kubiak in 2008.That being said, don’t sell the farm to get Forsett since this situation has time share written all over it with rookie 4th round pick Lorenzo Taliaferro also in the mix.
Bernard Pierce, Ravens
So much for Pierce getting a two-game audition to steal Ray Rice’s starting job. Pierce fumbled in the 2nd quarter and never saw the field again, with Justin Forsett and rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro taking over. Worse yet was that he totalled just 14 yards on six carries.
Ray Rice, Ravens
Not much to add here since the video says all that needs to be said.
Doug Martin, Bucs and Ben Tate, Browns
We don’t yet know the severity of their injuries but it is questionable whether either will play in Week 2. Preseason injury concerns for both Martin and Tate appear to have been warranted. Tate is the bigger fantasy concern with both Terrence West and Isaiah Crowell playing well in his absence.
Trent Richardson, Colts
It’s not so much that Ahmad Bradshaw looked all that great on Sunday night against the Broncos. It’s that, once again, Richardson failed to impress. The fact is that unless Richardson finds the end zone, he isn’t going to score many points on a weekly basis. At some point, ego must give way to reality for Colts management.
Frank Gore, 49ers
It’s not that Gore looked bad, it’s that rookie 2nd round pick Carlos Hyde looked pretty good. Week 1 may have provided some solid evidence that this could be more of a committee approach than previously expected.
Kelvin Benjamin, Panthers
The preseason reports were glowing and despite having Derek Anderson at quarterback in Week 1, Benjamin had an outstanding debut, catching six of his eight targets for 92 yards and a touchdown. Benjamin rates as a high end WR4 with upside the rest of the way.
Brandin Cooks, Saints
Another rookie who failed to disappoint in Week 1 was the Saints Brandin Cooks. New Orleans 1st round pick ran the ball once for 18 yards and picked up another 77 yards and a score by catching seven of his eight targets. The only caveat here is that fellow speedster Kenny Stills missed Week 1 with a quadriceps injury. His return could eat into Cooks’ target count.
Eric Decker, Jets
Decker had a solid debut with the Jets, catching six of his seven targets for 74 yards. He goes from fantasy backup to low end WR3 with upside.
Steve Smith, Ravens
Targets – 15. Yards – 118. Touchdowns – 1. Nuff said.
Danny Amendola, Patriots
Little Danny had the 6th most targets on the Patriots this week. That’s okay when your team is playing from behind like New England was for part of Week 1 but we don’t expect that to be a frequent occurrence in 2014.
Kenny Britt, Rams
The lights go on and Britt goes kaput. After glowing reports out of St. Louis in the preseason about Britt rededicating himself to the game, he fell flat in Week 1, failing to catch a ball. With the St. Louis quarterback situation heading south in a hurry and Brian Quick emerging as the team’s most targeted receiver in Week 1, Britt is waiver wire fodder in most formats.
Martellus Bennett, Bears
A notorious strong early season performer, Bennett caught eight passes for 70 yards and a touchdown this week against the Bills. Alshon Jeffrey left the game with a hamstring injury which partially explained Bennett’s whopping 10 targets.
In the NOT CONVINCED JUST YET category, we present: