Week 1 of the NFL season is in the books, and the fantasy football season is off to a flying start.
Several players lit up the fantasy scoreboards, beginning with Peyton Manning's sensational seven touchdown passes, which tied an NFL record. Seven more players scored 30-plus points in points per reception leagues and 37 more players scored 20-plus points in PPR leagues.
With that kind of production, there won't be many teams scrambling to make a bunch of moves on the waiver-wire this week, but a few players will certainly leap off the board.
The first player every fantasy player will be jumping to get is New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman. The long-time understudy to Wes Welker shined in his first big opportunity since Welker's departure for Denver. Edelman hauled in seven passes for 79 yards and two touchdowns in New England's come-from-behind win at Buffalo on Sunday.
While Danny Amendola finished the game with a team-high 14 targets, Edelman should see increased value and more passes thrown his way while Amendola nurses a groin injury. Even when Amendola is healthy, Edelman is a solid flex play as the Patriots' No. 3 wide receiver. With Amendola out this Thursday against the New York Jets, Edelman becomes a must start. If you have a favorable waiver priority this week, jump on Edelman. He won't last long.
While no player on the wavier-wire is as strong as Edelman, especially for long-term value, two more wide receivers also look like decent pickups, though they don't have starter value unless you are desperate. Minnesota's Jerome Simpson and Arizona's Andre Roberts fall into that category.
Simpson led the Vikings with seven catches on eight targets in Minnesota's first game without Percy Harvin, who they traded to Seattle in the offseason. Simpson took those seven catches for 140 yards against the Detroit Lions. Simpson has double-digit potential in PPR leagues, but he depends too heavily on breaking a big play for his touchdowns and is not a good red zone threat.
The same can be said about Roberts, who caught eight passes for 97 yards for the Cardinals against the Rams on Sunday. Roberts will certainly get a lot of passes thrown his way this year as Arizona struggles to find a consistent running back and teams try to limit Larry Fitzgerald's production. But he will struggle to score touchdowns as Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd remain the Cardinals' top-two red zone weapons.
Also worth considering is Baltimore's Marlon Brown, who will step in for Jacoby Jones while Jones sits out at least a month.
Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor showed his upside in Week 1. While he is limited when it comes to passing the ball all over the field, Pryor can make up for it in fantasy terms with his ability to run the ball as he went for 112 yards against the Colts. Expect Pryor to be taken off waiver-wires this week.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants both have running back problems, and new players will be called on in Week 2. However, I would avoid picking up any running backs from either team. The Giants will be in a shootout this week against Denver, and Da'Rel Scott shouldn't get many opportunities. I also wouldn’t buy into Brandon Jacobs’ return to the Giants as anything meaningful in fantasy. The Steelers brought back Jonathan Dwyer after Isaac Redman's fumble problems, but if he wasn't good enough the make the team in the preseason, Dwyer shouldn't be viewed as a viable fantasy option a week after Pittsburgh brought him back.
Several quality No. 2 tight ends options emerged out of Week 1. Kellen Winslow emerged as Geno Smith's favorite target for the New York Jets. If Winslow's knees stay healthy, he could put up decent numbers throughout the year. Despite fighting issues dropping passes, Dallas Clark still appears to warrant fantasy consideration in Baltimore. In his first game with the Ravens, Clark caught seven balls for 87 yards, though he was targeted 12 times and dropped a potential touchdown pass. The Ravens have no choice but to roll with Clark with Dennis Pitta out for the year and Ed Dickson largely serving as a blocking tight end. Joe Flacco needs weapons to throw to, and Clark will see his fair share of targets in the red zone.
A few defenses to consider playing this week are the Carolina Panthers against the Buffalo Bills and the Oakland Raiders against the dismal Jacksonville Jaguars, who will start second string quarterback Chad Henne this week, one week after the Jags scored just two points on a safety against the Kansas City Chiefs.
For those of you in survivor pools, last week was a scary week for suggested favorites such as New England, Indianapolis and St. Louis, but all three survived. This week's lock is Philadelphia to win at home in an early game against the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers are coming off a heartbreaking Monday Night Football loss and have a short week to prepare for the Eagles offense that took the league by storm Monday night in Washington. Traveling east to play a morning game is never good for west coast teams, so expect the Chargers to lose by multiple touchdowns in that game. If you haven't used the Patriots, also consider them to beat the Jets on Thursday night.
That is all for this week, but feel free to send any lineup questions to my email or Twitter.
John Livingston covers sports for The Daily Times and is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He can be reached at email@example.com; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.