It’s time to start shuffling up. The overreaction meter is on high alert on following the final gun of Week 1. I know that the Oakland-San Diego game put you to sleep, and not because of the time of day.
Obviously, we don’t want to hit the panic button after one game, but there’s no harm in churning your bench players. Better that potential breakout star rot on your bench than rise up to beat you down the road.
Let’s hit the wire.
1. Matt Cassel, KC: Cassel passed for 258 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in Sunday’s loss to Kansas City. I love the makeup of this Kansas City offense. The injury/suspension-depleted defense was over-matched in Week 1. I expect better things going forward.
2. Mark Sanchez, NYJ: Sanchez passed for 266 yards (19-of-27) with three touchdowns and one interception in a blowout win over the Bills. We’ll see more Tim Tebow in future games (those in doubt), so I’m sure there will be anxious moments down the line. Owners in deeper leagues may wish to take a look-see and stash Sanchez. He’ll make the maddening turnover on occasion, but he also proved an effective fantasy option last year.
3. Russell Wilson, SEA: Wilson was betrayed by his receivers, or he would have finished with a tremendous stat line to open 2012. We’ll leave talk of timeouts for another time. Wilson passed for 185 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He’s got a tough test against the Cowboys and the retooled secondary on tap, but he’s a long-term speculative play and spot starter.
4. Alex Smith, SF: Smith passed for 211 yards with two touchdowns in Sunday’s win over the Packers. He looked more comfortable in the pocket and commanded the offense beautifully. If the running game continues to run through defenders as they did the Packers in Week 1, Smith and his updated receiving corps can be mighty interesting.
1. C.J. Spiller, BUF: I like to go to the less obvious in these pieces, but I can’t ignore Spiller’s potential. Fred Jackson injured his knee in Sunday’s blowout loss to the Jets and will miss up to one month of action. Spiller ripped off a huge touchdown run early and finished the week with the highest rushing total (169 yards). He’s still available in nearly one-quarter of leagues. Go … the chase is on.
2. Alfred Morris, WAS: Morris posted a huge workload for the Redskins, amassing 96 yards on 28 carries with two touchdowns. Mike Shanahan said that he’s the starter “right now.” That’s not quite the endorsement that you’d hope for, but you ride the hot hand while he’s still the man. Evan Royster and Roy Helu, Jr. will eventually devastate you, right when you think Shahanan has befriended you.
3. Jonathan Dwyer, PIT: Isaac Redman got the start, but ran ineffectively against the Denver front. Redman earned 20 rushing yards on 11 attempts. Dwyer demonstrated more power, producing 43 rushing yards on nine attempts.
4. Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL: Michael Turner was ineffective against the Chiefs, producing a mere 32 yards on 11 carries. As such, the “he’s done” talk has begun across fantasyland. You’ll read a lot about Week 1 snap counts here, but remember that the Falcons turned to Rodgers/Snelling in the fourth after the game opened up (34-17 after three). Rodgers logged 22 yards on seven rushing attempts. Add Rodgers as a speculative play for down the road. I’m not burying Turner just yet.
1. Randall Cobb, GB: Cobb caught nine passes for 77 yards in the Packers’ season-opening loss to the 49ers. He steps into a bigger role with Greg Jennings slowed because of a groin injury. Donald Driver played only three snaps in Week 1.
2. Alshon Jeffery, CHI: Jeffery logged three receptions for 80 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown, in the Bears’ blowout win over the Colts. Jeffery was targeted five times.
3. Dexter McCluster, KC McCluster caught six of his 10 targets for 82 yards in the Chiefs’ loss to Atlanta. Owners in PPR leagues need to get to the wire here.
4. Stephen Hill, NYJ: Hill emerged as the go-to option for Mark Sanchez in the season-opening victory over the Bills. He caught five of his six targets for 89 yards, including two touchdowns. He’ll face the Steelers on the road in Week 2.
5. Randy Moss, SF: Moss caught four passes (each of his targets) for 47 yards and found himself wide open in the middle of the end zone for his first touchdown catch since Week 7 of 2010.
6. Emmanuel Sanders, PIT: Sanders caught four passes for 55 yards in Sunday’s opener against the Broncos. This wide-open Todd Haley offense (while they figure out the run game) will be mighty intriguing, though we’re tempering expectations against the Jets in Week 2.
7. Kevin Ogletree, DAL: It seems like an eternity since Ogletree dominated the banged-up Giants secondary to start the Week 1 schedule. He’s worth a look-see as you round out the back-end of your receiving corps, but he’ll need to post another big effort in Week 2 before gaining the full trust of fantasyland.
8. Andrew Hawkins, CIN: The Bengals were dominated by the Ravens on Monday night, but a new PPR hero was discovered in Hawkins, who led Cincinnati with eight catches for 86 yards. The receiving corps is still shaking out behind A.J. Green, but the speedster from Toledo made his case for a big role. Note that most of his contribution occurred before the game got out of hand.
1. Coby Fleener, IND: Fleener caught six passes for 82 yards and emerged, as expected, as Andrew Luck’s second option to Reggie Wayne.
2. Owen Daniels, HOU: Daniels opened the season well against the ‘Fins. He caught four passes for 87 yards in the Texans’ win. Three of those catches went for at least 20 yards.
3. Kyle Rudolph, MIN: Rudolph caught five passes for 67 yards in the overtime win over Jacksonville. He was targeted seven times by Christian Ponder and figures to rank second or third in that category for the Vikings going forward.
4. Dennis Pitta, BAL: The wide-open attack being employed by the Ravens opens opportunities over the middle, and Pitta emerged as a nice No. 3 for Flacco on Monday night.