Fantasy managers tried to set their best lineup ahead of Week 1. Some likely had a great week, as there were certainly some players that put up great performances. Other early draft picks had a slow start to the year (Aaron Jones, Aaron Rodgers, Derrick Henry… and more). Others ended up injured before finishing their first game of the season (Michael Gallup, Raheem Mostert, Ryan Fitzpatrick… and more).
All this means is that it is now time to tweak your lineup. Use the waiver wire. Add players where you need to and drop players that may have been late-round flyers that you are not going to start. At this point, grabbing a guy that at least has proven himself in one week of NFL action is better than a guy you drafted that “might” pan out.
Jameis Winston, QB, New Orleans Saints (44 percent rostered)
Winston only completed 14 passes in Week 1, but five of them were touchdown passes. He only threw for 148 yards, and he added 37 rushing yards. Winston actually looked serviceable on a team that has minimal pass catchers. He certainly will have games where he has those 148 passing yards and does not have anywhere near five touchdowns, but for the time being, he should be in the conversation as a high QB2.
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Houston Texans (4 percent rostered)
Many fantasy managers wrote off the entire Texans offense once the Deshaun Watson drama broke out. However, the Texans looked good in Week 1, under Taylor. He connected with both Danny Amendola and David Johnson for touchdowns. He ended with 291 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. He did fumble on a rushing attempt, but overall Taylor proved that he can be a viable QB2. He connected with Brandin Cooks for 132 yards and it seems that some Texans may be fantasy-relevant after all.
Taylor Heinicke, QB, Washington Football Team (0 percent rostered)
When Ryan Fitzpatrick went down early in Week 1’s game with a hip injury, Heinicke came in and actually helped the offense produce points. Thanks to an acrobatic catch by Terry McLaurin, Washington scored an offensive touchdown (Heinicke to tight end Logan Thomas). He didn’t do much else in the game, finishing with 11 completions for 122 yards and that one touchdown. He only threw the ball 15 times, which hurt Washington’s entire passing game. However, he has plenty of weapons and is a serviceable QB2 as Fitzpatrick is likely to miss at least six weeks.
Elijah Mitchell, RB, San Francisco 49ers (9 percent rostered)
With Trey Sermon a surprise inactive before the game and Raheem Mostert getting injured (again), Mitchell was the running back to step up for the 49ers. He had 19 carries that he turned into 104 yards and a touchdown. It’s clear that he is the next man up for the 49ers and Mostert has been put on IR, so he's gone for at least six weeks. For fantasy managers that have FAAB, don’t be afraid to spend a solid amount on him. He’s the No. 1 add this week.
Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (8 percent rostered)
Perhaps it was game flow, but the breakout of carries for the running backs in Philadelphia are: Miles Sanders with 15 carries for 74 yards and four receptions for 39 yards vs. Kenneth Gainwell with nine carries for 37 yards and a touchdown. He added two receptions for six yards. For fantasy managers that drafted Boston Scott, it seems like he can be dropped for Gainwell. Sanders is still the No. 1, but the teammate that eat into his carries is Gainwell.
Jaret Patterson, RB, Washington Football Team (1 percent rostered)
For Antonio Gibson fantasy manager, Patterson should be owned. He is the clear backup to Gibson and while he doesn’t need to be rostered in most formats at this point, he is someone to keep an eye on. In Week 1, he only had two carries for nine yards but he came in immediately when Gibson left. It may be early in the season to be thinking about handcuffs, but Gibson’s managers will be happy to have him if something were to happen.
Larry Rountree III, RB, Los Angeles Chargers (1 percent rostered)
Austin Ekeler started the week as a question mark. It is likely that he will end up missing time at some point this season, and if Week 1 showed us anything, it’s that Rountree is his backup. Ekeler didn’t have any receptions (neither did Rountree). Rountree had eight carries for 27 yards; Ekeler had 15 carries for 57 yards. A touchdown saved his fantasy day, but it is odd that he was not used in the passing game. Until the Chargers can figure out how they are using their running backs, fantasy managers should just grab Rountree as an Ekeler handcuff.
Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona Cardinals (14 percent rostered)
When the Cardinals drafted Rondale Moore, it seemed that Kirk would fall into the background. However, Kirk wasn’t giving up his job that easily. He caught all five of his targets in Week 1 for 70 yards and two touchdowns. He seemed to connect with Kyler Murray and after that performance, it seems that he will be more involved in the offense. DeAndre Hopkins is the No. 1, but Kirk may try to stave off Moore as the No. 2. He should be added in most formats.
Tim Patrick, WR, Denver Broncos (2 percent rostered)
The Broncos lost Jerry Jeudy to a high ankle sprain in Week 1. The receiver to step up was Patrick, who had four targets. He caught them all for 39 yards and a touchdown. KJ Hamler should also be considered in 12-team leagues or leagues that start three or more wide receivers as long as Jeudy is out. Hamler had three receptions for 41 yards. If he caught his fourth target for a touchdown, his stat line would be better than Patrick’s. Both wide receivers are going to have to step up with Jeudy out.
Trent Sherfield, WR, San Francisco 49ers (1 percent rostered)
Brandon Aiyuk was drafted fairly high on draft day and likely started as a WR2/3 in Week 1. Fantasy managers were rewarded with a goose egg. He wasn’t even targeted as Deebo Samuel stole the show. However, Sherfield played opposite Samuel. He caught a touchdown from Trey Lance (who threw one pass – to Sherfield – all game). This may be a case of a good rapport between Lance and Sherfield or it may be that Aiyuk is dropping on the depth chart. Sherfield is a speculative add at this point.
Cedrick Wilson, WR, Dallas Cowboys (0 percent rostered)
Because Dallas played on Thursday night, Wilson may be forgotten. However, fantasy manager should consider adding Wilson as the team announced that Michael Gallup will be out for at least three weeks (potentially up to five weeks) with a calf injury. Dak Prescott is back and looks healthy. He’s throwing the ball plenty and even though Wilson will be the third receiver on the team, he should see enough volume to be considered a low WR3/high WR4.
Adam Trautman (11 percent rostered) and Juwan Johnson (11 percent rostered), TE, New Orleans Saints
The Saints' tight ends should be looked at on the waiver wire this week. Trautman had six targets (and considering Jameis Winston only threw the ball 20 times, that’s impressive) but ended the game with only 18 yards. It seems that Winston does look for him so he should be considered in deeper leagues. Johnson caught all three of his targets for 21 yards, but two of those passes were touchdowns. In Yahoo leagues, Johnson has dual eligibility at wide receiver, if that is something your team needs. Both tight ends are not must-start players, but they should be considered in deeper leagues.
Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Green Bay Packers (22 percent rostered)
While the Packers did not look good at all in Week 1, they are home on Monday night for Week 2. They face division rival Detroit and Jared Goff is known to throw a pick or two. The Packers are typically a team that does play better at home, and after their Week 1 embarrassment, look for them to come out strong. The Packers are a solid streaming DST for Week 2.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.