Aaron Rodgers sizzles, Michael Thomas fizzles
SportsPulse: The first NFL Sunday of 2020 was unlike any we had ever seen before. While stadiums lacked fans there certainly wasn’t any lack of drama. Mackenzie Salmon overreacts to all the biggest storylines from Week 1.
These players saw their fantasy values increase or decrease most based on their performances in Week 1:
QB Cam Newton, New England Patriots: This isn’t Tom Brady’s offense anymore as New England implemented an offensive scheme that closely resembled what Newton ran in Carolina. Rushing for 75 yards and two touchdowns was a pleasant surprise.
QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: Rodgers carved up a retooled Minnesota secondary and threw for four touchdowns. He would have easily surpassed 400 yards if receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling hadn’t dropped a potential big-gainer.
QB Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals: The second-year pro found instant chemistry with stud receiver DeAndre Hopkins (14 catches, 151 yards) and rushed for 91 yards (he would have had 100 if not for a pair of kneel-downs to end the game) against what’s supposed to be a pretty good San Francisco 49ers defense.
RB Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders: Jacobs’ three rushing touchdowns were just icing on the fantasy cake though to go along with his 139 total yards, even though it was against a Carolina defense that’s expected to struggle against the run.
WR Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons: Both Falcons wideouts had at least 130 receiving yards, but Ridley found the end zone twice. QB Matt Ryan could be in for another huge year.
WR Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints: The Tampa Bay defense pressured Saints QB Drew Brees into making quick throws to his backs and tight end, leaving Thomas with fewer opportunities. But given his draft position, he needs to score well every week.
WR Odell Beckham, Cleveland Browns: Three receptions for 22 yards, even if it was against a tough Ravens defense, isn’t going to cut it in fantasy. The worst part is Beckham was targeted 10 times and he wasn’t able to convert them into meaningful production.
WR Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Thankfully his one catch was for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter but his other three targets didn’t amount to much. Perhaps a hamstring injury had something to do with it, but the danger with so many options in the Tampa offense is that someone could be left out each week.
WR Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers: After inking a new contract, Allen caught just four passes for 37 yards as the Chargers offense sputtered under new quarterback Tyrod Taylor. They’ll need to step up their game in Week 2 against Kansas City’s offensive juggernaut.
WR Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals: The return of A.J. Green definitely impacted Boyd’s looks — and QB Joe Burrow’s rookie butterflies didn’t help either. Boyd was targeted 147 times last year, so he was at least efficient in the opener, catching four of five for 33 yards.