ASK THE EXPERTS appears weekly from training camp through the Super Bowl with answers to a new question being posted Thursday morning. How the guest experts responded when we asked them: Which Week 1 performance will be the biggest mirage?
Ryan Fitzpatrick came to mind first, but he is after all just a suspension-time only fill-in for Jameis Winston. A bigger surprise seen only by tired fans who propped their eyes open long enough to see the Rams ruin Chuckie’s return on Monday night is Jared Cook, no more than a journeyman, having the game of his career with a 9-180-0 stat line. This came in his 10th year, over which he has started only 64 of 134 games. He has scored a mere 19 TDs over that entire time. 2011 was his best season when he averaged 47.4 yards/game. The odds of a repeat performance of Monday night’s stats are infinitesimal. If you are looking for a tight end, take the guy nobody knew a week ago, Will Dissly.
Nease is a member of the FSWA and has been playing the game since 1985, while also writing about it since 2001. He is a writer for Big Guy Fantasy Sports. Over the years he has sampled about all the playing scenarios that fantasy football offers, including re-drafter, keeper, dynasty, auction, IDP and salary cap leagues. You can contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime and during the football season follow him @mikeinsights.
It's too easy to go with James Conner, whose chance at future 30-point outings will be unceremoniously erased by the "I'm back" tweet that is inevitably coming (eventually) from once and future teammate LeVeon Bell, so let's look elsewhere. Based on everything we saw from the Bears on Sunday night I'll say it's extremely unlikely that Trey Burton will be held so much in check hereafter. A team using that many exotic formations cannot help but get the tight end isolated on a confused linebacker with some regularity, and after blowing the huge lead under unrepeatably emotional circumstances, Matt Nagy will have his foot pressed firmly to the pedal the rest of the way. Moving in the other direction (and coming off of the same game), I'll say Randall Cobb's time as the leading fantasy receiver in Green Bay will end very, very soon.
Eleff hosts the Fantasy Index Podcast, available in the iTunes Store now. He has worked for Fantasy Index off and on all century.
Every year there are tight ends that blow up in Week 1 or 2 and are never seen again. Last year it was Austin Hooper’s 128 yards and a score on two catches. In 2016, Julius Thomas (5-64, TD) had his best game. In 2015, Austin Seferian-Jenkins caught five passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns. This year? The rookie Will Dissly reeled in three receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown in his first-ever NFL game.
Dorey is the co-founder and lead NFL analyst for The Huddle and author of Fantasy Football: The Next Level. He has projected and predicted every NFL game and player performance since 1997 and has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, radio and television.
This one may seem a little obvious, but I am going with Ryan Fitzpatrick who shocked just about everyone no doubt as Week 1’s No. 1 fantasy player (and in part after his son picked him up and played him on his fantasy week this week, which is an awesome story). While Fitzpatrick is well worth a waiver-wire addition, and I think he may even start initially when Jameis Winston returns from suspension, eventually Winston will be back under center and Fitzpatrick will come back to earth. We’ve seen him have monster games in the past and then revert, especially don’t forget over a now 13-year NFL career on seven different teams. Going way back, in 2005 threw Fitzpatrick for 310 yards and three touchdowns in a win over the Rams only to lose his next three. In 2014 he actually had a game with six touchdowns, only to throw zero the very next week and that was also the year he was benched for Ryan Mallet. In 2016, he was benched for Geno Smith as well. Defensive coordinators will be watching that tape, and eventually Winston will resume his role atop the depth chart.
Satterlee is the Fantasy Football Insider for the Charlotte Observer and is syndicated in a few other newspapers in the southeast. Satterlee first started playing fantasy football in 1990.
Will Dissly. Three catches for 105 yards and a TD. Sure Russell Wilson is missing Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson and Doug Baldwin is banged up, but Dissly cannot be expected to have many 100-yard games.
Hendricks is the author of Fantasy Football Guidebook, Fantasy Football Tips and Fantasy Football Basics, all available at ExtraPointPress.com, at all major bookstores, and at Amazon and BN.com. He is a 25-year fantasy football veteran who participates in the National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC) and finished 7th and 16th overall in the 2008 and 2009 Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC). He won the Fantasy Index Open in 2013. Follow him at his web site, www.ffguidebook.com.
Hard to limit to just one. Let's go with the negative performances: Chris Hogan, Jordy Nelson, Kareem Hunt/Travis Kelce, Jimmy Graham, and Devonta Freeman. Hogan should be OK, Patriots switch WR allegiances often. Can't see Dorsett or newly signed Corey Coleman turn into players that Brady trusts game to game. Carr had good rapport with Nelson in the preseason, so hopefully Monday Night was an aberration. Kelce is great, Hunt is a producer, both will be better against teams with tougher secondaries where Tyreek Hill won't be running wild. Jimmy Graham will be fine provided Rodgers is healthy. I'm very nervous, though, about Freeman. He is very talented and has been under-utilized. Now with recurring injury concerns and an increase in Tevin Coleman touches, his utilization should be closely monitored.
With two perfect seasons and multiple league championships to his credit, Scott Sachs runs Perfect Season Fantasy Football, featuring live talk and text advice. Scott won the 2011 and 2016 Fantasy Index Experts Auction league, plus he was the winner of the 2012 Fantasy Index Experts Poll.
The easy answers here would be Ryan Fitzpatrick and James Conner, but we all know they probably each just enjoyed their best fantasy outing of the year. Instead, I’ll highlight the Baltimore backfield. Check the stats, and Kenneth Dixon looks like the lead rusher against the Bills. But none of his team-high 13 carries came until the 3rd quarter, after starter Alex Collins had left the game for good. (Plus he's now on IR.) Baltimore probably won’t play any more quite so lopsided games all year, so don’t worry about Collins’ role — at least not yet.
Schauf is a senior analyst with DraftSharks.com. He has been covering fantasy football since 2002, producing content for outlets such as Sporting News, Rotoworld, Athlon and Football Diehards before landing with DS. Draft Sharks has been online since 1999 and is a 4-time winner in the FSTA’s annual fantasy football projections accuracy contests.
Will Dissly (3-105-1) had two big catches and a score and yet Nick Vannett is the starter, so I wouldn't fall for this fool's gold.
Nazarek is the CEO of Fantasy Football Mastermind Inc. His company offers a preseason draft guide, customizable cheat sheets, a multi-use fantasy drafting program including auction values, weekly in-season fantasy newsletters, injury reports and free NFL news (updated daily) at its newly re-designed web site. He has been playing fantasy football since 1988 and is a four-peat champion of the SI.com Experts Fantasy League, a nationally published writer in several fantasy magazines and a former columnist for SI.com. He's also won in excess of $20K in recent seasons of the FFPC High Stakes Main Event. www.ffmastermind.com. Nazarek can be reached via email at email@example.com.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is the obvious answer, posting a bonanza game that isn't going to repeat. But maybe we learned things that are applicable in that game. Perhaps Tampa Bay's skill players came into the season underrepped. Maybe the New Orleans defense is ready to collapse again. If Fitzpatrick shows anything in the next two weeks, and the schedule is not easy, the Bucs might decide to let Fitzpatrick hold the gig through the Week 5 bye (maybe the team doesn't want Jameis Winston to return for a short week, Week 4 at Chicago). And I'll admit, I'm curious what Winston might be able to eventually do with the supporting cast that blew the roof off the Superdome.
Pianowski has been playing fantasy football for 20 years and writing about it for 17. He joined Yahoo! Sports in 2008 and has been blogging 24/7 on RotoArcade.com ever since.
I don't think Jared Cook will put up 180 yards total over the rest of the month of September, let alone doing it in a game again. The history of Cook is that he delivers the occasional big game early to make everyone blow their waiver budget on him (without getting in the end zone, natch) and then disappears for the rest of the season. I suppose I could see him having a decent game in Denver, which like the Rams defense is strong at cornerback, but Cook's long history of disappointment and fear of the end zone makes me confident he will not be a regular fantasy option.
Richardson has been a contributing writer and editor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and www.fantasyindex.com since 2002. His responsibilities include team defense and IDP projections and various site features, and he has run the magazine's annual experts draft and auction leagues since their inception. He previews all the NFL games on Saturdays and writes a wrap-up column on Mondays during the NFL season.