It seemed like it took forever for the 2014 National Football League to arrive, but once it did, it did not disappoint. Two overtime games in Atlanta and Chicago, a nail biter in Pittsburgh, an upset in Miami, a blowout in Detroit, and a nail biter in Phoenix, just to name a few. With week one in the books, it’s time to look back at the top players of the week. If you had any one of the players highlighted here in your lineup, there is a good chance you started your season with a win.
Fantasy Football Player of the Week
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons (37.42 points)
Ryan threw for a franchise record 448 yards and added three touchdown passes to wide receiver Roddy White, tight end Levine Toilolo, and running back Antone Smith. He distributed his passes well, connecting with nine different players on the day.
The Best of the Rest
Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (31.70 points)
Bell put his off-season troubles behind him and scored the most fantasy points of any running back in week one. He rushed 21 times for 109 yards and scored a touchdown on the ground. Bell added another six receptions for 88 yards (career high), en route to a career best in fantasy points.
Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks (25.40 points)
Lynch shut his critics up in week one (myself included) and showed he isn’t too old just quite yet. He looked like a youngster out on the field, running over the Packer defenders, and hitting the holes with a purpose. Lynch rushed for 110 yards on 20 carries (5.5 yards per carry), and scored two touchdowns.
Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions (35.40 points)
At the midway point of the second quarter Johnson already had 107 receiving yards and two touchdowns, and he still had two and a half quarters to play. Exactly the reason he was often the first wide receiver drafted in most drafts. He ended the game with seven receptions, 164 receiving yards, and two touchdowns.
Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (27.00 points)
Who is Allen Hurns? That is what many casual fantasy football fans were asking in the first quarter of the Jacksonville Jaguars game against the Philadelphia Eagles. No doubt fantasy football players know his name now! The undrafted rookies’ first two receptions in the NFL were touchdowns of 34 yards and 21 yards. He ended with 4 receptions, 110 receiving yards, and two touchdowns.
Julius Thomas, TE, Denver Broncos (35.40 points)
Thomas scored a career best, three touchdowns and 35.40 fantasy points in his week one game against the Indianapolis Colts. He also added eight receptions for 104 receiving yards to finish as the top tight end of the week.
I was lucky enough to have four of these six players on my two fantasy teams this weekend. In my Yahoo league (12 teams, 1 point per reception), I scored a league best 207.92 fantasy points with Matt Ryan, Calvin Johnson, and Allen Hurns in my lineup. Prior to the first game starting on Sunday I read that wide receiver Terrance Williams was questionable so I looked for a replacement. With wide receiver Cecil Shorts of the Jacksonville Jaguars being ruled out, I decided to give Hurns a shot and it paid off big time. In my MyFantasyLeague (16 teams, 1 point per reception, individual defensive players, I scored a league best 194.90 fantasy points with Julius Thomas in my lineup.
Good luck next week!