Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season has come and gone. It's important to take note of different storylines and situations, but it's also important not to overreact to some of these circumstances and occurrences. Let's dig deep and try to decipher some clarity in this wonderful hobby of ours.
To quote a friend of mine on Twitter @calvinandhobby "If you're only focusing on the fantasy points in your analysis, you're doing it wrong."
He is absolutely right about this. Chasing points is real and it's a slippery slope. We've all done it. Player X has a huge week (on your bench), so you do what any self-respecting fantasy enthusiast would do, you start him the next week and he is a disappointment. So now you've lost out on the first week of success and you followed it up with a dud in the second week. What do you do in the third week? We've all been there. Every single one of us. That's the downside of chasing points. The upside of course is racking up the points each week. How can you predict those who will have a successful outcome and those who won't? It's tricky, but there are signs, triggers, and factors. I'll get to that...
Don't worry too much about Week 1 failures. Some teams take some time to right the ship, figure out their blocking schemes, find the right mix of personnel to handle an assignment, the right coaching decisions, play the right opponent, get a healthy player back, etc. Take a look at last year, for example...
- Joe Burrow had 193 yards passing with 0 touchdown passes and 1 interception in his NFL debut against the Los Angeles Chargers. He went on to record five 300-yard games in his next nine games.
- Antonio Gibson had 9 carries for 36 yards with 0 touchdowns in his debut. He finished as the RB13 in 2020.
- Justin Jefferson went 2-26 in his debut. We know how he turned out.
- Chase Claypool 2-39
- Mike Evans 1-2 (with a touchdown)
- Keenan Allen 4-34
- Observe snap counts. How often were they on the field?
- Examine the depth chart around them. Is there an opening for this player to thrive moving forward?
- What are players or coaches saying about this player?
- Did an injury open the door for more involvement?
- Was a particular matchup the main reason for their success or failure?
- Did their points come in garbage time? Will this be a commonality with his team?
- Did their production come from one or two big plays?
- How many red-zone targets did they have?
- What was their target share% compared to the rest of the team?
- Was their fantasy production touchdown-dependent or were they consistent throughout the game?
— Joe Bryant (@Football_Guys) September 14, 2021
Which fringe players who had success in Week 1 are contenders and who are pretenders?
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