Week 1 Observations

It's amazing how much I missed football. I didn't realize it until the full Sunday slate kicked off and then for 15 minutes I was ecstatic.

Until my Survivor Pick, the Steelers, lost their starting center to a torn ACL and shortly thereafter Isaac Redman, whom I started over Eddie Lacy in one league and Rueben Randle in another, fumbled on the five-yard line. Then my No. 1 pick in the $100K NFFC league, Calvin Johnson, got his touchdown reversed, and my No. 1 pick in the NFFC $100K online championship, C.J. Spiller, fumbled and yielded carries to a more-effective Fred Jackson.

It was then I remembered what NFL Sundays are really about: extended stretches of stress and misery, punctuated by rare and isolated bursts of joy.

But at least I had the Giants game to look forward to on Sunday night...

There are at least 10 quarterbacks who are top-five quarterbacks and maybe more. Same with tight ends (h/t Stopa).

Every running back except Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy and Reggie Bush is terrible. In fact, through Sunday night, QB Terrelle Pryor led the league in rushing with 112 yards. The only back over 100 was Shane Vereen with 101, who's now out for a few weeks with a broken wrist. Of course, Arian Foster and Ryan Mathews haven't played yet, and McCoy has 180 and counting.

The record in all of sports that will never be broken is most passing yards and TDs by two brothers. Eli and Peyton added 912 yards and 11 TDs to their totals in Week 1.

I'd take Jared Cook over Julius Thomas the rest of the way. Sure, there's enough to go around for everyone in the Denver offense when the QB throws seven TDs. But when he throws 3-4 and 300-350 yards, everyone can't have a big day. Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker will be the top-two priorities, and Eric Decker isn't going away. Barring injuries to those three, Thomas' ceiling is lower. But Cook is the Rams' only viable red-zone target other than Brian Quick who is the No. 4 WR right now.

Vernon Davis could be a monster. In fact, when Rob Gronkowski gets healthy, Jimmy Graham could be the No. 3 option at the position.

Colin Kaepernick looked like Steve Young Sunday, operating almost exclusively out of the pocket and scrambling when necessary. He's one of six top-3 QBs

Blaine Gabbert was essentially awarded the job this preseason based on what?

Eli Manning's setup could not be better for fantasy purposes. Both Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz are healthy now, Rueben Randle looks like a future star and Brandon Myers is competent at tight end. Stevie Brown (the team's best pass-defending safety) is out for the year, Prince Amukamara (the team's best cover corner) has a concussion and the running game is temporarily dead now that David Wilson is in the doghouse.

Jordy Nelson is a top-10 WR now that he appears healthy.

Tony Romo needs to be downgraded due to a rib injury (apparently he'll play next week) and Dez Bryant's sprained ankle. While Bryant returned to the game, it's much easier to play through an injury before it swells up. It's possible he's out for several weeks.

The Pats can't stretch the field with their current personnel. Kenbrell Thompkins is slow, and Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman are small and not typically dangerous down the field. Aaron Dobson has the size/speed to change that once he gets healthy, and of course, Rob Gronkowski can make plays anywhere.

Without Pouncey, the Steelers offensive line was among the worst in the league. A week of practice will help, but Week 2 in Cincinnati could be ugly. The Steelers also lack red-zone targets with Heath Miller still out.

The Ravens might have hung with Denver had Wes Welker's drop been challenged in the third quarter. Baltimore was winning at that point, and that extra first down to keep the drive alive and go ahead against a winded defense in high altitude was a back breaker. Or maybe the wheels would have come off anyway.


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