Fantasy Football: Fitzpatrick, Kamara standout in Week

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick passes in the first half against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

Football is back, and with it comes the return of fantasy, which really is the best part of football.

Let’s reflect on the best performances of Week 1 and see how they might do in their Week 2 matchup. Spoiler alert, the most frequently appearing player on this list last year makes his return.

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 41 points standard, 42.1 points

PPR

Fitzpatrick and the Buccaneers shocked the world on Sunday, beating the division favorite Saints 48-40. The 35-year-old quarterback threw for 417 yards and four touchdowns, embarrassing the New Orleans defense. Fitzmagic also took to the running game 12 times, going for 36 yards and reaching the end zone once. He outplayed his projection by 27 points and had at least 10 more fantasy points than the next highest scoring quarterback.

Now is he going to do this again next week? Absolutely not. His 417 yards were the most he putup in a single game throughout his now 14-year NFL career. If Ryan Fitzpatrick had this game last season, it would have been the highest single-game fantasy performance of all QBs over the entire year. This was most likely a fluke, and I would not start him next week against the Philadelphia Eagles or even own him, as he is going to lose his starting spot Week 4. If you were part of the 0.7 percent that started Fitzpatrick this week, congratulations, but don’t expect this again.

Honorable Mentions: Drew Brees, Philip Rivers

Running back Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints: 33 points standard, 43.1 points PPR

He’s back! Kamara was a fantasy star four times last year from Week 4 to Week 13, the time which this series ran, and this season he picked up right where he left off. Despite falling victim to Ryan Fitzpatrick’s monster day, Kamara and the Saints still put up 40 points, and he was the focal point of the offense. Despite touching the ball only 17 times (8 rushes, 9 receptions), Kamara totaled 141 yards and three touchdowns.

After a breakout rookie year, Kamara showed up on Sunday and proved he is the real deal. No sophomore slump for him. He cemented himself as a Top-4 running back alongside Gurley, Johnson and Elliott (especially since Bell is continuing his holdout). Next week the Saints go up against the Cleveland Browns and will be looking for revenge after that embarrassing loss to Tampa Bay. Kamara will once again be extremely heavily used and is a must-start in all formats.

Honorable Mentions: James Conner, Melvin Gordon

Wide receiver Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs: 34 points standard, 42.3 points PPR

Tyreek Hill was an explosive weapon once again, using his speed, elusiveness, and pass catching ability to destroy the Los Angeles Chargers defense. He caught seven receptions for 169 yards and two touchdowns and returned the first punt of the game for another touchdown. He was big play dependent like normal, but when he comes through it is certainly not a problem at all.

Patrick Mahomes clearly liked throwing to Hill, as almost half of his completions were to him. Mahomes looks like the real deal and is one of the few quarterbacks in the league that thrives throwing the deep ball. In fact, his 14.6 yards per pass was the highest of all quarterbacks Week 1. If he averages that for the whole season, it would be the highest mark by a quarterback this past decade, and he would beat it by over a yard. This bodes really well for Hill, and he could very easily end up as a top-10, maybe even top-5 receiver in fantasy.

Wide Receiver Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints: 22 points standard, 38 points PPR

Michael Thomas was unstoppable Sunday, reeling in an astonishing 16 passes for 180 yards and one score. While he was only the third highest scoring receiver in standard scoring behind DeSean Jackson’s 26-point performance, in PPR he blew Jackson and the rest of the competition away, aside from Hill that is. His 16 receptions and 180 yards each led the league, and his 18 targets was second, just behind Julio Jones’ 19.

This first game is one of the best signs for Thomas possible. He is clearly Drew Brees’ favorite target and doesn’t have much competition in Ted Ginn Jr. and Cameron Meredith. Brees is also set to throw the ball much more than he did last season, as his 536 attempts was the lowest total of his career since 2009. Thomas should easily get the bulk of the looks at wide receiver and could easily turn in a top-5 season.

Honorable Mentions: DeSean Jackson, Kenny Stills

Tight end Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders: 18 points standard, 26 points PPR

Cook had a great game Monday night despite the Raiders 20-point loss to the Rams, hauling in nine catches for 180 yards. His 180 yards was tied for the league lead with the aforementioned Michael Thomas, and his 12 targets was the most of all tight ends. Cook is very interesting going forward this season. He was clearly a focal point of the new Jon Gruden led Raiders offense, and a favorite target of quarterback Derek Carr. He also led all tight ends in fantasy points despite not scoring a touchdown, something that is very impressive in a rather touchdown dependent potion. He has no competition at tight end in Oakland and Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson should not affect his workload very much. Based on his now expected large volume of targets, Cook is a must own in fantasy moving forward and could seriously help out fantasy owners who lost Delanie Walker or Greg Olsen on Sunday.

Honorable Mentions: Rob Gronkowski, Will Dissly

Bonus: Jets D/S

The Jets defense put up 25 fantasy points on Monday night as a result of only letting up 11points, picking off Lions quarterback Matt Ryan five times, and scoring two touchdowns. While they cannot be trusted every week, they could be worth starting again Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins and Ryan Tannehill.


Jorge Eckardt is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at jorge.eckardt@uconn.edu.