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Week 1 is for learning. Learning what we thought we knew and what we were wrong about. While it's important not to overreact, making roster moves before Week 2 can drastically shift your fantasy team's trajectory. Usage is the most important trend to notice in Week 1, and that usage has some guys moving up and down my rankings. Let's dive in!
RB Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons' draft day selection of Bijan Robinson was surprising. Tyler Allgeier had a very effective rookie season, especially considering his lack of draft capital. Drafting a running back felt like an unnecessary luxury for a team without a secure quarterback and holes throughout the defense. Allgeier eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards as a rookie. His rushing yards over expectation per attempt ranked ninth-best in the league. He was in the top 20 in yards per touch, juke rate, evaded tackles, and breakaway run rate. While many expected the newly drafted Robinson to push Allgeier to the wayside, the Falcons will provide a heavy dose of both backs this season. Robinson is the more dynamic of the two and will be plenty involved in the receiving game. But Allgeier has a size advantage and could be the RB1 in the run game, including goal-line touches. Looking at opportunities (carries and targets), the running backs combined for 35 on Sunday. Five went to the wide receivers. Three went to the tight ends. There will be enough volume for Robinson and Allgeier to be in your weekly lineups.
WR Puka Nacua, Los Angeles Rams
No Cooper Kupp, no problem! Fifth-round rookie Puka Nacua generated a steady drumbeat throughout the preseason, but his Week 1 outing was surprising. His ten receptions were the second-most ever by a rookie in their NFL debut. His 15 targets were the third-most. While the other names on those lists include Terry Glenn, Anquan Boldin, and Julian Edelman, Earl Cooper, and Keke Coutee also had similarly impressive debuts before relatively quiet NFL careers. It's important not to overreact too much to a single game, but he was the clear WR1 on a team that looked much better than people anticipated. He was catching quick balls near the line of scrimmage, making contested catches, stretching the field, and making plays after the catch. He looked, dare I say, awfully similar to Cooper Kupp! And, like Kupp, he doesn't possess elite athleticism. But his knack for finding soft spots in zones and shaking defenders translated from college fields to the NFL. Still available in most fantasy football leagues, he should be a priority target in all formats.
QB Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers
Did the Packers stumble into their third straight Hall of Fame quarterback? It might be too early to make that proclamation, but Jordan Love looked very comfortable in his first outing as the Week 1 starter. He diced the Bears' defense up for 245 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. He did this without their WR1, Christian Watson. Romeo Doubs was limited to less than half of the offensive snaps with a hamstring injury. Aaron Jones was knocked out of the game with a mid-game injury and played just 47 percent of the snaps. Jayden Reed also left the game early. Love wasn't being buoyed by an elite group of pass-catchers (did I hear someone say Brock Purdy's name?), but he was actually elevating the talent around him. He was great at evading pressure, displayed his athleticism and arm talent, and made plenty of anticipatory throws. His passing chart hit every layer of the field. While this outing could have been the product of an abysmal Bears' defense, ignoring the outcome is tough. He immediately becomes a part of the QB steamer discussion as early as this week against the Falcons.
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