First Monday wrapup column. With these, I'm plunking myself down and watching 7-10 hours of football each Sunday, drifting from the red-zone channel to compelling games (Seattle-Green Bay) and then watching highlights and maybe a full game or two as time permits at night. I'll miss some things, but the goal is to pull some of the key fantasy developments out of each game. So let's go.
Jets at Bills:Not much to see here. Jets hung around for a while, but they're terrible. A little odd that in the first half Josh McCown attempted 15 passes and Matt Forte and Bilal Powell combined for 5 rushing attempts, no? I don't think the Bills are any good, but at least they played to expecations by using LeSean McCoy as a workhorse, throwing some balls to Charles Clay, and letting Mike Tolbert vulture a TD. Jermaine Kearse New York's best receiver, kind of says it all.
Falcons at Bears: Which was the less-expected huge game here: Austin Hooper or Tarik Cohen. On Hooper, please note that he was targeted twice all game, and most of his production came on a ridiculously blown coverage for an 88-yard score. I know: those count too. But please do not blow the waiver budget on Hooper. On Cohen, well, he looked really good; fast and explosive. Considering Jordan Howard dropped a short touchdown in the final seconds (heard footsteps), Cohen will certainly get looks like that going forward. Bears defense better than I expected, and Mike Glennon deserves some credit for doing all he could to engineer the upset; Howard and Josh Bellamy dropped nice throws in the final seconds that would have won the game. Kevin White hurt, shocker.
Ravens at Bengals: Some kind of ugly egg laid by the Bengals in this one. If and when Marvin Lewis gets fired, games like this will unfortunately be the ones cited. Anyway, Bengals offensive line struggled, almost like they lost their two best players in the offseason. Jeremy Hill looked like Jeremy Hill, but Joe Mixon didn't fare any better. ... Danny Woodhead quickly left with a hamstring injury, who saw that coming. Decent game for Terrance West, Javorius Allen is a PPR pickup this week. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green should be better going forward, but poor start.
Steelers at Browns: A lot of people who took David Johnson and LeVeon Bell 1-2 are wondering if they maybe should have taken Antonio Brown. Brown literally caught everything thrown his way in having a huge day, while Bell had a quiet one. Jesse James caught 2 TDs, hope nobody started Vance McDonald. Roethlisberger had no luck throwing anywhere else but it should go better at home, albeit against a good Vikings defense. ... Nice game for Corey Coleman, the rest of the Browns offense was quiet. DeShone Kizer is going to vulture some short touchdowns and miss badly on some throws.
Cardinals at Lions: David Johnson has a wrist injury, sprain of some kind, those of us fortunate enough to be able to draft him can hold our breath. As for Carson Palmer, well, not a really pretty outing; off-target on some throws. Story of the late game was Matthew Stafford to Kenny Golladay, 2 TDs including a pretty spectacular diving grab that most receivers simply can't haul in. I think Golladay is your No. 3 going forward. Disappointing game for Ameer Abdullah, but you know what, I saw a lot of near-miss big-play. Still think he'll be good. Mild surprise that Zach Zenner inactive and Dwayne Washington getting the goal-line looks. I'm not buying Washington being a big factor.
Jaguars at Texans: I guess somewhere in all the talk about what a mess Blake Bortles is and how tough Houston's defense is, the fact that Tom Savage is even more of a mess and Jacksonville's defense is also pretty good got overshadowed. Jacksonville put it all together on the defensive side of the ball, or maybe it was just a nice matchup with an easy mark. Anyway, workhorse outing for Leonard Fournette, and that's probably the end of the Tom Savage era, those are the major takeaway. Lots of targets for DeAndre Hopkins which will pay off eventually. Allen Robinson tore his ACL, he's out for the year, glad I didn't drop Allen Hurns in dynasty as I considered.
Raiders at Titans: Raiders defense a little better than anticipated, but their offense, as expected, funnelled through Cooper and Crabtree. Team has talked about getting Cooper more looks near goal line, and looks like -- he caught a touchdown and then dropped two others on the same sequence. Seth Roberts scored against Tennessee for the third straight year. Nice game for Derek Carr. For Tennessee, it wasn't a poor game for Marcus Mariota. Titans couldn't get the running game going and struggled against Oakland's offense. Solid game despite no touchdowns from Marshawn Lynch.
Eagles at Washington: Nice start for Carson Wentz and the Eagles offense, with Washington looking about as flawed on offense and defense as many suspected. Defense definitely has problems, running game isn't good enough, receiving corps takes a step back. I mean, just one week and all, but we have to go with what we see. LeGarrette Blount catches a touchdown, I wonder what the Vegas odds were on that happening. It doubled his career total.
Colts at Rams: Loved the Rams as a Survivor pick and even recommended them in the Saturday comments, but didn't pick them myself. Foolishness. Colts may have to send Scott Tolzien to join Tom Savage on NFL benches and go with the youngster. A nice fantasy day for Todd Gurley (thanks to his passing game involvement and an impressive second-effort touchdown), but you'd kind of like to see the ground game a little more effective against surely the softest defense he'll see. Good game for Cooper Kupp who I assume Fantasy Index readers have everywhere (even if they didn't start him yesterday). Most noteworthy moment for the Colts, I thought, was when Marlon Mack replaced Frank Gore near the goal line and scored a touchdown, but he was ruled short and the Colts failed to challenge it even though Mack clearly knocked the pylon over while still in bounds.
Seahawks at Packers: Seattle wasted a Pick Six in this game which seemed big at the time and indeed it turned out to be since they never got in the end zone. Speaking of which Jimmy Graham lost a touchdown when he was pretty clearly interfered with. Frustrating for those who started Russell Wilson and Seahawks fans, a reminder that this is a lesser offensive line that's going to be an issue at times. Seattle may already like Chris Carson more than Eddie Lacy, Carson needs to be owned in fantasy leagues. Great games for Nelson, Cobb and Montgomery.
Panthers at 49ers: Easy win for Carolina but not pretty. Newton was off-target a bunch (including badly missing a wide open Ed Dickson for a touchdown) and his touchdown to Russell Shepard came on a badly missed tackle. But you got nice PPR points from Christian McCaffrey, and also the only 49ers you should really have been starting, Hyde and Garcon. Hoyer took a couple of deep shots to Marquise Goodwin -- one overthrown, one should have been caught. Maybe next week. Still think San Francisco's offense will be OK.
Giants at Cowboys: As Ian points out, you can't entirely blame Odell Beckham's absence for this loss; Manning has struggled against the Cowboys of late. But certainly Beckham was missed. Noteworthy was the lack of Brandon Marshall (a little surprising) and the painful badness of the Giants running game (not surprising). Don't count on Paul Perkins going forward; hopefully you already weren't. I have Jason Witten in a lot of different leagues; nobody seemed to want to draft him. He won't be that productive every night, but clearly he can still play.
Monday, Monday Times Two:Two games tonight, and I'm sure I'm not the only one with fantasy matchups hinging on Michael Thomas, Keenan Allen and Stefon Diggs, plus all the various running backs. I'm gung ho on the Chargers this year so I'm picking them to win 24-17, while the Vikings should add to the impressive defensive showings of the week by frustrating the Saints and winning something like 23-14. Though as I proved with the Houston-Jacksonville expectations, I'm sometimes wrong. Hope Week 1 went well for you.