As the 2021 NFL season gets underway, so too does a new season of NFL Fantasy Football.
I’ll take a look at some of the fantasy studs from week 1 and also look at some of the performances that didn’t deliver what we were looking for.
I’ll have 1 stud and 1 dud from each position.
QB: There were quite a few standout fantasy performances across Week 1, but none stood out more than what Dak Prescott was able to do in the Thursday Night game.
Coming back from his long layoff with an ankle injury, and also having shoulder troubles during training camp, the numbers he was able to put up against the Tampa Bay defence were sensational.
Dak attempted an insane 58 passes while completing an astounding 42. Putting up numbers of 403 yards and 3 TDs with 1 INT. The Cowboys will be dialling those pass attempts back moving forward, but were forced to have heavy passing volume due to their ineffiency on the ground, which I’ll touch on shortly.
Whilst he wasn’t the #1 overall QB in PPG Dak has proved that he’s recovered from his long layoff and is ready to assume his role as one of the best QBs in Fantasy and well on his way to locking up Comeback Player Of The Year.
RB: Another player coming back from a long layoff and not missing a beat was Christian McCaffrey. He was involved in everything on offense carrying the ball 21 times for 98 yards and adding 9 receptions for 89 yards.
CMC is an absolute cheat code at RB with his heavy workload rushing the ball and constantly putting up big numbers in the receiving game.
Look for him to be even more lethal from a fantasy perspective over the coming weeks when the rushing TDs start to come. Will remain an outstanding safety valve for Sam Darnold to keep drives going.
WR: Does it get any better than what Tyreek Hill put up against the Browns?
15 targets 11 receptions and 197 yards with 1 TD
Hill could be well on his way to a WR1 season with this Chiefs offense remaining one of the most dynamic in the league.
TE: While Kelce could very well be the one here after doing what he’s done so many times, I’m going with T.J. Hockenson.
10 targets for 8 receptions 97 yards and a TD. It was a career high for receptions and as expected in this offense he had a massive target share.
Detroit will be trailing in plenty of games this season, so the opportunity will be there for Hockenson to continue to put up big numbers. This could be the season that we see Hockenson take the leap and join the elite TEs in the league.
QB: As a Packers fan this one hurts to type. Aaron Rodgers put up one of the worst stat lines of his career.
15 of 28 133 yards and 2 INTs. It doesn’t get much worse than that and hurt plenty of fantasy weeks.
After a tumultuous offseason it wasn’t the start fantasy managers or fans were hoping for.
Rodgers and the Packers have the chance to bounce back in a big way against Detroit and you have to believe that it’s the MVP version of Rodgers that we see.
RB: Saquon Barkley was always being eased back into action this season after his devastating knee injury last season. That being said he only put up 26 yards on his 10 carries. Longest rush of 5 yards is a concern showing a lack of his usual explosiveness.
The real concern was his lack of targets in a negative game script. Only seeing 3 targets on the game for 1 catch and only 1 yard is something fantasy managers will be hoping ramps up to bigger numbers quickly over the next couple of games.
While expectations should be held in check early, fantasy managers will be nervously watching his scores over the coming weeks hoping he becomes the elite RB they drafted.
WR: Julio Jones had big expectations in this Titans offense but he underwhelmed in his debut. Jones saw only 6 targets in a game where the Titans fell behind early. 3 catches for 29 yards is a big concern considering the need for the Titans to play catch up football.
Fantasy managers will be hoping this is an outlier of a stat line this season and Julio bounces back in a big way against a tough Seattle matchup.
TE: Robert Tonyan was always boom or bust depending on TD opportunity last season, so it’s not surprising to see him put up a poor fantasy score when the Packers were a shell of themselves on offense.
4 targets for 2 receptions and only 8 yards while being blown out isn’t an ideal stat line for fantasy managers who were hoping they would see some better scores when the TDs weren’t coming for Tonyan.
Opportunity is there for a big bounce back against Detroit and fantasy managers and Packers fans alike will be hoping for some big scores.
Well that wraps up my first instalment of Fantasy Studs and Duds for the season. It was great to finally have the NFL in full swing and see those fantasy scores ticking over. Hopefully you put up some wins in your fantasy leagues, or if you were like me and had more poor scores than good…..just remember: it’s only week 1 and we drafted the sides we did for a reason so have patience and don’t panic. It’s a long season and everything we thought we knew after 1 week can be flipped on its head in week 2.