What We Saw: Week 1

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Seattle Seahawks

 

We made it! The first week of the season is here and we are here for you to help you overreact to the first set of games this week. Coming into Sunday I anticipated this game to be a one-sided affair with the Seahawks taking advantage of an injury-depleted Bengals team. This game did not turn out as I expected but hey, it’s the NFL. Let’s take a look at what we saw:

 

Cincinnati Bengals

 

Quarterback

 

  • Andy Dalton: 35/51, 418 yards, 2 TDs

 

All of the stat lines in this game for the Bengals look to be made up. Coming into the game the Seahawks were the heavy favorites at home with an improved defense and the superior offense. Andy Dalton figured to be in a great position for a lot of volume since they were expected to play catch up the whole game. All he did was throw for over 400 yards and 2 TDs with no interceptions. The first test for Zac Taylor’s offense was a tough one but the offense showed a lot of flashes with impressive play designs and the implementation of their most explosive weapon, John Ross, who we will touch on a little later. Dalton showed that can be a streaming option and possibly a starting option in a 2 QB league. With a date, next week against the 49ers at home, look for him to improve upon his nice outing in this game.

 

Running Backs

 

  • Giovani Bernard: 7 carries, 21 yards | 3 targets, 2 catches, 42 yards
  • Joe Mixon: 6 carries, 10 yards | 3 targets, 2 catches, 7 yards

 

Joe Mixon figured to be bottled up in this game as he is the Bengals’ best player and the Hawks knew they needed to take him out of the game. Well, in the 3rd quarter Mixon left the game with an ankle injury and he did not return. There isn’t much of an outlook as of yet for Mixon’s week 2 status but if healthy he’s a guy that you have to roll with. Coming into this matchup you had to temper expectations but he’s a must-start every week when healthy. Giovani Bernard showed once again that he is one of the league’s most valuable backups. With 63 all-purpose yards in this game, he is an RB2 or flex option if Mixon were to miss any time. That being said, Bernard should be owned by all Mixon owners as a handcuff and he is also someone you should spend your first waiver wire priority on or about 15-20% of your yearly FAAb budget.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

  • John Ross: 12 targets, 7 catches, 158 yards, 2 TDs
  • Tyler Boyd: 11 targets, 8 catches, 60 yards
  • Tyler Eifert: 6 targets, 5 catches, 27 yards
  • C.J. Uzomah: 5 targets, 4 catches, 66 yards
  • Damion Willis: 5 targets, 3 catches, 30 yards

 

This is one of the stat lines I thought I’d never see for John Ross. This truly was a coming-out party for him as the number two option behind Tyler Boyd. Zac Taylor did a great job game-planning for Ross as his first touchdown was scored on a fake jet sweep, flea-flicker in which Ross completely fooled and beat the defense. 12 targets are hard to ignore from any receiver so coming into this week’s free agency, Ross should be picked up in almost all leagues. Boyd was a nice PPR option as expected coming into the year without A.J. Green. It looks like this offense could sustain two WRs each week and possibly a TE. C.J. Uzomah looks like the more explosive of the two but he and Tyler Eifert both saw over 5 targets. The tight end position is still a wait and see position for me on this offense.

Side Note: Zac Taylor looks like he belongs as the head coach and offensive play-caller. He called a tremendous game and did a great job shocking a lot of people by making this game competitive.

 

Seattle Seahawks

 

Quarterbacks

 

  • Russell Wilson: 14/20, 196 yards, 2 TDs

 

Russell Wilson showed a few of his Houdini type plays in this game like we are used to seeing from him and wound up with a decent enough outing as your starting fantasy QB. Coming into the game the thought was that the Seahawks would be able to control the game against the Bengals and Wilson would be able to rack up a lot of points to run away with the game. Wilson ended up getting hit 9 times and sacked 4 as it was a defensive game for the most part. On a few plays, Wilson was able to get away and make a play like his 44 yard TD to Tyler Lockett and another play to Lockett that he couldn’t haul in. Moving forward I am a little worried about the weapons around Wilson as it’s pretty much Lockett, D.K. Metcalf, and the running backs but I would hold steady and look forward to a bounce-back game next week versus the Steelers.

 

Running Backs

 

  • Chris Carson: 15 carries, 46 yards, 1 TD | 7 targets, 6 catches, 35 yards 1 TD
  • Rashaad Penny: 6 carries, 18 yards

 

What a performance by Chris Carson in this game. He touched the ball on 22 of the Seahawks 49 plays in this one as he was effective as a runner and as a receiver. This was a chalky matchup for him as he was over 25% owned in the DFS millionaire-maker tournament. Moving forward he looks to be locked in as an RB1 for the time being as he is very involved in both the running and passing game. Since Carson’s performance was so impressive, Rashaad Penny falls to a handcuff option or deep-league flex player. On a team inept of WR talent behind Metcalf and Lockett, Penny could see some more work in two-back sets or at WR but for now, he is a nice stash if anything were to happen to Carson.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

  • D.K. Metcalf: 6 targets, 4 catches, 89 yards
  • Tyler Lockett: 2 targets, 1 catch, 44 yards, 1 TD
  • Nick Vannett: 2 targets, 2 catches, 16 yards
  • Will Dissly: 2 targets, 1 catch, 12 yards

 

So this might be breaking news to some of you but D.K. Metcalf is a man. Seeing him next to other players on the football field makes even some of the biggest linemen or linebackers look small. Apart from being a physical freak, Metcalf looked really good in this game. 89 yards on 6 targets is a nice start for the rookie that wasn’t even expecting to play following preseason knee surgery. Metcalf should be an immediate add in any format as he and Tyler Lockett are the only two receiving options on this team. As for Lockett, he was brutal for the first 3 quarters in this one being held to a zero until the start of the 4th quarter when Wilson found Lockett for a 44-yard touchdown. The very next drive he threw Lockett another deep ball that he couldn’t haul in or else he could have salvaged his day even more. Still, 11.4 points on one catch will suffice but we expect more from him and Metcalf moving forward. For now, there isn’t another receiving option on this team I’m interested in.

 

 — Colin Weatherwax 

 

 

Michael Miklius

Mike is a lifelong Bears fan and unapologetic Mitch Trubisky homer. Twitter: @SIRL0INofBEEF

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