By Mitchell Westall, Sports Editor
Week one was wild. I spent a solid amount of time figuring out how I was going to open up this
edition of IVEFF and that’s what I came up with. The biggest question for prognosticators this
offseason was if the Patriots could do one better than their 2007 season and finish the season
without losing. Nope. Anyways, you’re here for fantasy football so I’ll get to it.
What we learned:
The kids are legit. Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook and Kareem Hunt all had strong games (or
in Hunt’s case, historic). Even Deshone Kizer put up 18 points in his debut. At wide receiver,
Kenny Golladay scored 18 points in his debut. Out of nowhere, Bears running back Tarik Cohen
put up 17 as the compliment to Jordan Howard. All but Kizer should be regular plays in your
lineup. Cohen is tricky, but worth a stash if you have Howard.
The Colts need some Luck. I’m sure this pun has been played out every single time he gets
hurt, but the point is that without Andrew Luck in the starting lineup, no Colts player should be
in yours. Tolzein and Brissett aren’t capable of throwing a football so TY Hilton won’t be able to
catch any. With that knowledge, any good defense is going to stack the box against Frank Gore.
He just isn’t fast enough anymore to play that game so hopefully you have other options.
Le’Veon Bell (RB, Pittsburgh)– No preseason? No problem! Even without a preseason you
would think Bell would torch the Browns, right? Well, he had his worst game of his career. 47
yards on 13 touches is not what you would want out of a top 3 fantasy draft pick. Unfortunately
for Bell owners, it only gets tougher this week against the Vikings ferocious front seven. All in
all, I’m chalking this one up as a fluke, but his lack of training camp and surplus of Dairy Queen
blizzards might be catching up to him.
Tom Brady (QB, New England)– Tom Brady hadn’t lost a game at home to an AFC opponent
in over a decade until last Thursday night. He also had a rare touchdown-less game which led to
his 10.68 point flop. To be fair, he didn’t look bad so I’m not going to freak out yet with
memories of Peyton Manning’s final season. However, keep that possibility in the back of your
mind. Look for him to bounce back against a Saints secondary that ranks towards the basement.
Michael Thomas (WR, New Orleans)– Following the departure of Brandin Cooks to New
England, the hype train for second year wideout Michael Thomas picked up a lot of speed. He
was being drafted in the second round in most standard leagues, but week one was a flop. He led
the Saints in targets but failed to muster much success against the Vikings strong secondary. He
should find a little bit more space this week against New England, and look for Drew Brees’ new
favorite target to take off in the coming weeks.
Trending down: Kirk Cousins (QB, Washington), Doug Baldwin (WR, Seattle), Dez Bryant
Kareem Hunt (RB, Kansas City)– We see one or maybe two performances like this a year. The
truly astounding part about his performance was that IT WAS HIS FIRST GAME EVER. There
was so much hype surrounding this years rookie running back class with names like Fournette,
Cook and McCaffrey. But it was Kareem Hunt, a third round draft pick this past spring who stole
the show. He put up over 40 points which is absolutely nuts. The Chiefs used him all over the
field and will continue to do so. My only advice to you is to resist the temptation to sell high on
him just yet.
Mike Gillislee (RB, New England)– Gillislee won the RB carousel sweepstakes this week in
New England. Who knows who will carry the torch next week? Gillislee scored three
touchdowns with 45 yards to go along with it. I think he’s worth a high risk/high reward flex
start on a weekly basis, unless you truly have other options.
Adam Thielen (WR, Minnesota)– Thielen along with Stefon Diggs torched New Orleans this
week. Thielen went for 157 yards on nine receptions. It looks like a 1A and 1B type of deal in
Minnesota at wide receiver, so be cautious when throwing one of them into your lineup. There
are going to be weeks where one of them has to suffer. Alas, Thielen is definitely worth a flex
spot until further notice.
Trending up: Terrance West (RB, Baltimore), Corey Coleman (WR, Cleveland), Todd Gurley
(RB, Los Angeles Rams)
Rookie of the Week: Kareem Hunt (RB, Kansas City)
His performance was profiled above, so there isn’t much more to say. He’s looking like an
absolute steal if you had an early draft and took him late. Even after Ware went down with an
injury he was available in the fourth or fifth round. If you play in a keeper league then you are in
better shape than most people.
David Johnson (RB, Arizona)– This one hurts. He had surgery to repair his wrist and the
Cardinals hope to have him back by December. At least he went down early so you have time to
make trades to replace your top pick. His backup Kerwynn Williams makes for a solid
replacement if needed.
Allen Robinson (WR, Jacksonville)– With a torn ACL, Robinson will miss the rest of the season.
Allen Hurns should receive the majority of his shares of the targets and is definitely worth a
stash in the absence of Robinson.
Graphic by Billy Ferguson