The NFL season opened Sunday, and there were many notable performances for fantasy owners to analyze as they configure their lineups for the coming weeks.
Here are some fantasy football winners and losers through Sunday’s Week 1 games.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
Stafford led a come-from-behind win over the Arizona Cardinals by completing 29 of 41 passes for 292 and four touchdowns. It was a very encouraging performance from Stafford after he signed his record-breaking contract last week.
Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Hunt dominated the Patriots defense for 148 yards and a touchdown on just 17 carries. He also hauled in five catches for 98 yards with two touchdowns. The rookie running back established himself as the undisputed No. 1 running back in the Chiefs’ offense going forward and should be owned and started in all leagues.
Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Brown entered the season as the No. 1 ranked wideout in fantasy football and he didn’t disappoint fantasy owners in Week 1. He caught 11 passes for 182 yards against the Cleveland Browns as the Steelers opened the season with a 21-18 win.
Austin Hooper, TE, Atlanta Falcons
Hooper was targeted just twice Sunday, but he caught both passes, including one for an 88-yard touchdown. He finished with 128 yards as the Falcons hung on to beat the Chicago Bears 23-17.
Jacksonville Jaguars, Defense
The Jaguars might not win many games this season, but they do have a lot of talent on defense. That was evident Sunday, as the Jacksonville D tallied 10 sacks, one interception and forced and recovered three fumbles against the Houston Texans. The Jaguars’ defense isn’t a bad streaming option, especially when it’s up against lackluster offenses within the division (Indianapolis Colts, Texans).
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
Starting the Bengals veteran proved to be a huge mistake, as he amassed just 170 yards with zero touchdowns and four (!) interceptions. Bengals fans were very critical of Dalton as he left the field Sunday, and we probably will see more of that as the season unfolds.
Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Bell didn’t play in the preseason and it showed against the Browns. He ran for just 32 yards on 10 carries and caught three passes for 15 yards. Bell also failed to find the end zone.
Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers
Benjamin didn’t make much of an impact in Carolina’s win against the San Francisco 49ers. He caught only one pass for 25 yards despite being targeted five times. Fantasy owners need much better production from a wide receiver with his level of talent.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
Gronkowski dropped a first quarter touchdown and didn’t provide owners with the amount of points expected from a second- or third-round fantasy draft pick. Gronk finished with just two receptions for 33 yards with no scores.
New England Patriots, Defense
The Patriots had the No. 1 scoring defense last season, so it was shocking to see them allow 42 points and 537 total yards to the Chiefs. New England has real concerns on defense, but there’s no need to drop this unit right now.
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images