Week one is in the books for the 2010 NFL season, and with that comes the first week of long-awaited fantasy football matchups. Week one delivered the emergence of sleepers to fantasy stars, as well as letdowns from consistently great players of past fantasy years.
Week one’s breakout player was tabbed by many in the preseason as a “sleeper-pick,” and Arian Foster certainly woke up some fantasy owners with his performance against the Colts. It was the first start for the Texans second year back, and Foster delivered by racking up 231 rushing yards and three scores. The Super Bowl runner-ups had no answer for Foster, as the pass-heavy Texans consistently gave him touches with 33 carries and one reception.
The only problem with regards to Foster was that many owners likely didn’t start him. This being his first start, many owners would like to have seen Foster’s first performance before placing him in their starting lineup. Hopefully, they won’t make the same mistake of not starting him again.
Another big player in week one was a fantasy stud from several years back, Michael Vick. Vick started the week as the backup quarterback in Philadelphia, but when Kevin Kolb left the game against Green Bay with a concussion, Vick stepped in and performed magnificently. With most of his minutes coming in the second half, the dual-threat passer found his groove, completing 16 of 24 passes for 175 yards and a score.
Vick did the most damage, fantasy-wise, when he would escape from the pocket on a passing play and take off using his feet. On just 11 carries, Vick tallied 103 rushing yards, good for 11 fantasy points in most leagues.
Now for every surprise player like Vick and Foster, there are the superstars that let down fantasy owners with subpar play. Week one’s fantasy dud was likely Adrian Peterson, running back for the Minnesota Vikings. You would be hard pressed to find a standard league in which Peterson wasn’t picked number one or two overall. Peterson was given 22 touches on the day, 19 carries and 3 receptions, but tallied only 101 total yards and no touchdowns. For most backs this would seem like a solid day, but for the high-drafted, explosive back we all know him to be, Peterson let us down.
Another disappointment to fantasy owners with just average play was Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Although Rodgers was the winning quarterback against the Eagles, he completed just over 60% of his passes and threw two interceptions. Rodgers, like Peterson, was also drafted very high this season, fitting in with the preseason hype surrounding his team, and 11 points isn’t exactly what most of his owners were hoping for to start off the season.
Now enough about who won or lost our first matchup of the season; who’s going to help us out in week two? It was announced this week that Packer running back Ryan Grant is done for the 2010 season, as he has scheduled surgery to fix the torn ligament in his right ankle.
With every man’s exit comes another man’s entrance, and the Green Bay Packers hope that Brandon Jackson is that man. So do many fantasy owners. Jackson is the favorite among free-agent pickups this week, as he wasn’t owned in most leagues and is getting thrust into a starting job. Though the Packers seem to have established a pass-first type of offense, coach Mike McCarthy does tend to give his running backs their fair share.
Jackson, normally the Packers third down back, is a good receiver out of the backfield so add that to your thoughts if considering giving him a start. If looking for a quarterback, Vick may be your best bet. Vick returned to the limelight in a week one loss, and is scheduled to start since former starter Kolb failed his concussion test. Vick is also facing a Detroit Lions defense that surrendered 372 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns to Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.
Now whether you’re 1-0, sitting pretty tied atop your league, or 0-1 and need a victory, don’t read too much into the stars or strugglers of week one. For all we know, Adrian Peterson could swap stats with Arian Foster, or it may just be more of the same.