Fantasy Football

2019 Fantasy Football Week 1 Trends

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Welcome to the 2019 Fantasy Football Week 1 Trends Article.

In this article, I’ll be focusing on statistics such as snap counts, targets, or attempts in an effort to help you win your league.

This week, we’ll be taking a look at the action that went on in Week 1 of the season.


Enjoy!

2019 Fantasy Football Week 1 Trends

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David Montgomery‘s Usage

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In one of the more surprising games of the season, the Chicago Bears mustered just three points against the division rival Green Bay Packers. Their offensive struggles can be attributed to a number of things, including questionable play-calling and lackluster quarterback play.

However, their ineffective RB usage came as a shock to many. After hyping up rookie back David Montgomery all training camp, Nagy & Co. gave the ball to him just seven times. This was the lowest amount of touches between Tarik Cohen, Mike Davis, and himself. Despite rushing for just 3.0 YPC, Montgomery looked the part. He never went down to the first tackler and showed speed, agility, and strength.

When asked why Montgomery was not an important player of the offense, Nagy said they plan to “ease him into it.” This is most likely coach-speak, but it’s a situation to monitor nonetheless. Montgomery is a good buy-low candidate, but I would look elsewhere for my starting lineup next week.

The Vikings‘ Commitment to the Ground Game

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All off-season, HC Mike Zimmer and OC Kevin Stefanski had been wanting to change the culture. They wanted a run-first philosophy. They even spent a third-round pick on a backup RB this year! While analytics show this might not be the most effective way to run an offense, the Vikings found great success on Sunday.

Despite passing the ball a measly ten times, the Vikings were able to put up 28 points. Dalvin Cook looked like the first-round draft pick he is, totaling 120 yards of offense and two touchdowns. Rookie Alexander Mattison also looked good, totaling 49 yards on nine carries. All in all, it was a sound victory for Minnesota over the Atlanta Falcons. The coaches have to be thrilled their game-plan worked.

However, this does affect the value of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Cousins will most likely never throw ten passes again, but being on a run-first offense is tricky. Thielen and Diggs will compete for an already low amount of attempts by Cousins and are going to post some dud weeks.

Looking ahead to next week, the Vikings face a tougher Packers defense, especially upfront. Now that they will have a week to prepare, expect Green Bay to be more prepared for the run than Atlanta was. Game-flow and variance will lead to more pass attempts. Cook, Thielen, and Diggs should be in all lineups.

The Jets Trust Le’Veon Bell

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A couple of weeks ago, there were reports that Ty Montgomery would eat into Le’Veon Bell’s touches. How, people asked, could Bell be expected to handle a full workload? He hasn’t played since January of 2018. Surely, HC Adam Gase and his staff will ease him in, right?

Wrong!

Bell was on the field for 100% of the Jets’ offensive snaps on Sunday. He did alright, rushing the ball 17 times for 60 yards and adding six receptions for 32 yards and a touchdown. The Bills have a formidable defense, and there was some rust for Bell.

But, it’s not his performance that stood out most. It’s the fact that, again, he was on the field for every single offensive snap. That’s unheard of these days. Bell is a very talented running back, and I get the sense that this was not his best game. A guy as talented as him cannot be considered a buy-low candidate, but I have a feeling he is going to be very good this year.

The Rams‘ Running Back Group is Confusing

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Let’s start with what we know; Malcolm Brown is ahead of Darrell Henderson Jr. Brown was successful today, rushing 11 times for 53 yards and two touchdowns. Henderson, however, was not. He rushed once for zero yards. Also, Todd Gurley is still a good running back. He rushed 14 times for 97 yards and added a four-yard reception.

Now, it gets confusing when you add snap counts in the mix. By the looks of the paragraph above, Malcolm Brown looks like the main guy in the Rams’ backfield. The snap counts say something else, though. Todd Gurley played 71% of the team’s snaps, Malcolm Brown played 26%, and Darrell Henderson Jr. played 3%. There, it looks like last year; Gurley is the guy.

However, it gets even more confusing when you look at the red zone touches. Malcolm Brown had five touches in the red zone, Darrell Henderson Jr. had one, and Todd Gurley had zero. Why wouldn’t Los Angeles give the ball to their big-money RB in the red zone?

It may seem like I’m waving a white flag, but I don’t know what’s going on in this backfield. The best advice I can give is to pick up Malcolm Brown if he’s available and drop Darrell Henderson Jr. if he’s on your team. They host New Orleans next week, and hopefully, we get some more clarity then.

49ers‘ WR Snap Counts

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Dante Pettis had a weird off-season. He finished strong last year and was considered by many to be the San Francisco wide receiver to target in fantasy drafts. When training camp rolled around, though, Kyle Shanahan was unimpressed by Pettis. He kept telling the media that he needed to see Pettis get better and he needed to earn a role on the team. But, the 49ers’ depth chart was released and Pettis was listed as their WR1.

Then he played two snaps on Sunday.

Two. Snaps. What? Nine different people saw a target from Jimmy Garoppolo on Sunday, but George Kittle was the only one to make anything of it. Even Marquise Goodwin caught just one catch.

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Looking ahead to Week 2, the 49ers travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals. I’m waiting for some more clarity on their strange wide receiver situation before I start any of them.


Check out the rest of our 2019 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

About Noah Spurlock

Noah’s from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and isn’t afraid to show love for his hometown teams. If there’s a Steelers or Penguins game on, he’ll be watching. He’s been playing fantasy football since he can remember and isn’t afraid to give out some hot takes. Follow him on Twitter @NoahSpurlockNFL!

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