What We Saw: Week 1

Deebo Samuel became the King of the Jungle after his performance against the Lions.

Packers @ Saints

Final Score: Saints 38, Packers 3

Writer: Joe Orlofski (@joeorlofski on Twitter)


This was one of the more intriguing fantasy matchups of the week, at least when it came to the quarterback position.  The Packers returned Aaron Rodgers for potentially his final season (at least in Green Bay), and the Saints found themselves with their first new QB in over 20 years, Jameis Winston.

This game was played in Jacksonville due to Hurricane Ida’s destruction, so there wasn’t any real home-field advantage.  The teams were also playing in 100-degree heat, something neither team normally has to do at their home fields.

That said, it ended up being a very one-sided matchup, and a quite surprising one at that.  The Packers’ offense was awful and made a bunch of mistakes that led to short fields for the Saints.  And Winston sure took advantage of it.

Let’s take a look at the fantasy-relevant players in this blowout.


Green Bay Packers




Aaron Rodgers: 15/28, 133 yards, 2 INT

Jordan Love: 5/7, 68 yards, Fumble


Rodgers didn’t look comfortable on the first drive, either throwing short passes or getting chased.  The Packers didn’t really get anything started and were forced to punt.

The second drive didn’t start much better, with a big sack for an 11-yard loss after a few run plays.  The Packers were forced to punt again.

The last drive of the half started with a nice pass to Allen Lazard.  Rodgers then overthrew Lazard twice but got lucky with an illegal hands-to-the-face call that gave the Packers a first down.  Rodgers connected with Davante Adams on the next play for 31 yards.  Unfortunately, he went down inbounds and the Packers were forced to kick the field goal with time running down.

Overall Rodgers threw for 69 yards in the first half, something that not many were expecting after last season’s MVP campaign.

Rodgers came out in the second half and moved down the field well on the first few throws, but then started overthrowing his receivers.  A pass interference penalty on a fourth-down play extended the drive. Unfortunately, Rodgers was heavily pressured in the red zone and threw a bad pass that was picked off.



That was a rare mistake from Rodgers, throwing out of a sack to a double-covered Davante Adams.

The Packers’ next drive started on their own five-yard line and Rodgers continued to get pressured.  On third-and-eight, Rodgers decided to throw it deep for Marquez Valdes-Scantling but it was way overthrown and easily intercepted.



It was a heck of a run by Marcus Williams to get back there, but it still seemed like a desperation throw.

Late in the third quarter, Rodgers continued to struggle to find open receivers and had very little time to get rid of the ball.  Down 24-3, the Packers then decided to go for it on fourth-and-two on their own 21 yard-line. It was a decent throw to Adams but it was knocked away, giving the Saints another short field.

Jordan Love entered the game with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter and really made the only tweet-worthy throw of the game for the Packers.



Love made another good pass to Randall Cobb for 32 yards.  He was relatively efficient, although he did fumble the ball in the red zone, which ended up being the Packers’ last chance to put up some points.  I don’t like that all the tweets for the Packers are negative, but here’s another one!



Overall, Rodgers looked uncomfortable and rushed in the pocket.  The receivers didn’t help, nor did the run game.  The Packers may need to switch things up if they look like this next week.


Running Back


Aaron Jones: 5 carries, 9 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 13 yards

AJ Dillon: 4 carries, 19 yards | 2 targets, 1 reception, 7 yards

Kylin Hill: 5 carries, 14 yards


It came as no surprise that Aaron Jones got the first carry after sitting out the preseason.  The Packers’ offensive line featured two rookies and they were without 3-time Pro Bowl OT David Bakhtiari, so it was tough going for the run game.  Jones made a short catch on the first drive on third down but he didn’t reach the first down marker.

AJ Dillon was next in line, taking over the carries on the second drive of the game.  Dillon took over the second spot with the departure of Jamaal Williams and has looked good so far in relief.

Rookie Kylin Hill, who played very well this preseason, came into the game on the first drive of the second half but wasn’t involved in the play.  Jones was put back in and made another good catch on a shovel pass from Rodgers but still struggled to move the ball on the ground.

Hill seemed to take over in the fourth quarter since the Packers were already down 31-3, but didn’t find much running room himself. AJ Dillon also saw some carries and short passes.

None of the Packers’ RBs did well in this one.  The offensive line could be a bigger issue than people thought.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Marquez Valdes-Scantling: 8 targets, 3 receptions, 17 yards

Davante Adams: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 56 yards

Allen Lazard: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 16 yards

Robert Tonyan: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 8 yards

Mercedes Lewis: 1 target, 1 reception, 19 yards

Randall Cobb: 1 target, 1 reception, 32 yards | 1 carry, 1 yard

Amari Rodgers: 1 target, 1 reception, 19 yards

Malik Taylor: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 14 yards


Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Davante Adams were the first two receivers targeted, but only for short catches.  Adams, unfortunately, faced Marshon Lattimore, one of the best shutdown corners in the NFL.

Allen Lazard got his first target and catch with one minute left in the half.  He was targeted on the next two plays but the ball was just out of his reach.  Adams finally got free for a 31-yard gain, but with time running out, they had to kick a field goal.

MVS was targeted multiple times on the first drive of the second half but was constantly being overthrown by Rodgers.  Adams was also involved but really didn’t have much separation in this game.

Overall, MVS saw the most targets, followed by Adams, but none of the receivers did anything.  They couldn’t get separation and Rodgers had very little time to get rid of the ball.  Hopefully, this is not an issue in the future.

Rookie WR Amari Rodgers got a chance in the fourth quarter, making the great catch seen above.  Rodgers is a highly touted receiver that should see the field more, especially if Lazard and MVS continue to struggle to get open.

Malik Taylor also saw some action but with the backups.


New Orleans Saints




Jameis Winston: 14/20, 148 yards, 5 TD | 6 carries, 37 yards

Taysom Hill: 1/1, 3 yards | 2 carries, 1 yard


Jameis Winston won the starting job this offseason and started his Saints’ career off with a solid 14-yard pass after going through his progressions. He followed that up with two first-down runs.  Winston is not known for his running but made good decisions by not forcing the ball downfield…something he did often in Tampa Bay.  The Packers’ defense held on the first drive and forced a field goal.

Taysom Hill will still probably get his share of gadget plays all over the field, like a third-and-one carry that went for a first down.  He will probably be stealing touchdowns in the red zone all season long.

Winston continued to show improvement in his decision-making, holding onto the ball or throwing it away when no one was open.  In years past, he would for sure have thrown it into traffic.  Winston ran for another first down on a third-and-eight play. Hill did come in for one play near the endzone, but it resulted in a short pass.  Winston then shovel-passed it to Alvin Kamara, who punched it into the endzone.



Winston let Kamara do all the work in the second quarter, except for two fourth-down conversions to TE Juwan Johnson. Johnson is a large target at 6 feet and 4 inches, which allowed Winston to chuck it high in the back of the endzone and still end up with a touchdown.  It wasn’t a great throw by any means, but Johnson’s size allowed him to adjust and pull in the catch.

On the Saints’ first drive of the second half, Winston continued to be efficient, making smart passes and running for short first downs.  The drive stalled and forced a punt.

After the second Rodgers interception, Winston scrambled out of the pocket and made a great throw to ex-Patriot Chris Hogan.



So far it looks like Winston deserves that starting role.

Once again late in the third quarter, Winston was given a short field thanks to the turnover on downs on the Packers’ 21 yard-line.  He did throw an interception in the endzone that was called back due to a questionable roughing the passer penalty call.  Winston took advantage by tossing his fourth touchdown of the game.  The throw was a little high but once again, Juwan Johnson made a great catch.

Winston capped off his performance with a great throw for 55 yards to Deonte Harris, who burned past the Packer defense.




It was a great route by Harris but Winston again was on the money with this throw.  Winston didn’t throw much or for much yardage, but he made the most of it with five touchdown passes.


Running Back


Alvin Kamara: 20 carries, 82 yards | 4 targets, 3 receptions, 8 yards, TD

Tony Jones Jr.: 11 carries, 50 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 3 yards


Alvin Kamara got the first carries but was mostly bottled up, gaining three to five yards each carry. Tony Jones Jr. got his first carry on the second drive and appears to have the backup job held down.

Kamara continued to show amazing catching skills, making an incredible catch on a bad throw to extend the second drive.



It was on this drive that he caught a short pass for a touchdown, giving the Saints a 10-0 lead.

Tony Jones was averaging six yards per carry in the first half and might have some fantasy relevance, even with a healthy Kamara.

Kamara finally started to find running room in the second quarter, running for a 14-yard gain. In the third quarter, Kamara didn’t do much, especially since the Saints had a lot of short fields.  He continued getting carries early in the fourth quarter, but nothing of note.

Jones Jr. finished off the game and looked solid behind Kamara.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Marquez Callaway:  2 targets, 1 reception, 14 yards

Deonte Harris: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 72 yards, TD

Adam Trautman: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 18 yards

Juwan Johnson: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 21 yards, 2 TD

Chris Hogan: 1 target, 1 reception, 10 yards, TD

Ty Montgomery: 1 target, 1 reception, 5 yards


Marquez Callaway has been a hot commodity in fantasy and started off with a nice catch over the middle.  Deonte Harris also saw action early, running a great route that turned the defensive back around and led to a long completion near the sideline.

TE Adam Trautman got his first target on the third drive. Trautman was a bit of a sleeper TE this offseason before getting injured in the preseason. It’s good to see he was able to return for Week 1.

Juwan Johnson, as mentioned earlier, made some big plays late in the second quarter, including this touchdown catch to give the Saints a 17-0 lead.



The throw wasn’t the best but Johnson used his size to make the catch.

Trautman started seeing more targets in the second half, making short-yardage plays over the middle. He did drop a pass on this drive, but it wouldn’t have gone for a first down, so there was no real harm done.

Chris Hogan ran a great route on his touchdown catch, but it was Winston’s feet that prolonged that play and allowed Hogan to find some space.

Who would have thought Johnson would be one of the best fantasy performers this week.  But there is no arguing that he made some great catches, including his wide-open second touchdown of the game.



As I mentioned above, Johnson made a great catch on a tough throw.  I don’t know if that will continue, but Johnson is a guy to look out for on waiver wires if Winston keeps targeting him in the red zone.

Besides Harris’ deep touchdown pass, there were no real WRs of note in this one due to the overall low passing volume from the Saints.


— Joe Orlofski (@joeorlofski on Twitter)

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