The 3M Report: Week One

Brian Bulmer

Leo Paciga started the 3M report last season at Dynasty League Football offering a game day manifesto of random thoughts and fantasy facts to entertain and drop some knowledge on our faithful readers. If you missed it, the 3M report refers to a weekly submission of fantasy hodgepodge looking back at the “mayhem, magic, and mishaps” from each week. I will continue this article idea with Leo’s blessing and hope I am able to do this article justice offering some level of entertainment and insight that makes this article so great.

It was great to have football back on Thursday night and see how the Patriots would respond to off-season accusations. In 2007, Tom Brady passed for 50 touchdowns after being accused of spying on the New York Jets. Brady starts with four touchdowns after week one which is one better than he started with in the 2007 season. We will see how this plays out.

It seemed that the notoriously stiff Steelers defense did not know how to defend Rob Gronkowski on Thursday night. The Patriots revived their offense of old with only tight ends scoring touchdowns. My only thought – the Chiefs offense has to be smiling right now.

The first Sunday was exciting to see the return of football and hopefully gain an early season understanding of some muddy situations. The Browns running back situation didn’t shake out at all. Quarterbacks Johnny Manziel and Josh McCown led the Browns in rushing yards. Crowell led in touches with fourteen.

I absolutely love the physicality of Chris Ivory. I know it was Cleveland, but I still love how he refuses to go down.

The Dolphins played a very tight game against the Washington Redskins. The oft-injured tight ends, Jordan Cameron (4/73) of Miami and Jordan Reed (7/63/1) of Washington, both had solid games for their respective teams. What I found to be more interesting is that backup, now third-string quarterback Robert Griffin III, played some scout team safety this week for the Redskins. I immediately starting thinking, who is the highest paid scout team player in the history of the NFL?

harvinBuffalo gets the convincing win over Indianapolis, completing the AFC East sweep for week one. Contrarian players of the week could belong to Buffalo. Sammy Watkins lays a goose egg drawing Vontae Davis all day. Percy Harvin finishes with a receiving line of 5/79/1 and adds nine rushing yards. Karlos Williams leads the Bills in rushing with 55 yards and a touchdown on six carries. I don’t expect this to be the narrative week-after-week, but does this start to concern Sammy Watkins owners more after the hiring of Rex Ryan and a week one dud?

Let’s not forget about the Bills defense. The Bills held Andrew Luck to just over 50 percent passing and finished with two sacks and two interceptions. The Bills absolutely dominated the Colts and it will be fun to see if they can challenge for the AFC East title this season.

After missing eight extra points all of last season in the NFL, three kickers missed in week one. This is just another reason to consider eliminating kickers from fantasy leagues.

It was great to see the chemistry between James Jones and Aaron Rodgers. It may also be a really bad time to try to sell high on Devante Adams. I still love Adams and I think he has a large role in the Green Bay offense. Good time to test the temperature of all Adams owners.

Matt Forte looked great with a 24/141/1 rushing stat line and added five catches for 25 yards. Forte looks to be a monster PPR machine again in 2015.

Blake Bortles looked hurried and off target all day but connected with Rashad Greene on seven occasions. Twenty eight total yards for Greene isn’t saying much, but he did get in the end zone. Greene may be a player to keep an eye on as he could be a release valve for Bortles until Julius Thomas returns.

Cam Newton had 14 rushing attempts in the Panthers game against the Jaguars. It will be interesting to see if Newton utilizes his legs a little more this season. He is now one season removed from ankle surgery and he is missing a major target in Kelvin Benjamin. Time will tell.

Who would have guessed Marshawn Lynch would get stopped on a 4th and one play in overtime? This is the same play the Seahawks should have called in the Super Bowl that was considered a “gimme.”

I loved seeing Tyler Eifert have success on Sunday. He was the clear number two option for Andy Dalton in the passing game. If he can stay healthy, he could be a top five tight end at seasons end. I know that is a big “IF.”

[inlinead]I am huge fan of John Brown. Bruce Arians knows how to pick tough, speedy wide receivers. Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, TY Hilton and now John Brown have all been respected names in fantasy circles under Arians. I found it interesting that JJ Nelson was targeted in the game on back-to-back deep plays. I am not saying he is an impact player this season, but he fits the Arians mold.

Ameer Abdullah’s first carry goes for a touchdown. He looks to be a multi-faceted running back who will be an immediate playmaker for the Lions. Speaking of rookie running backs, Melvin Gordon looked solid, but I hate to see Danny Woodhead stealing those goal-line touches.

Keenan Allen with a 15/166 stat line is glorious. I wonder who will be affected most when Antonio Gates returns. Easy money says Ladarius Green, but Stevie Johnson was running many of those Gates routes on Sunday.

Payton Manning looked like he was playing in the playoffs against the Baltimore Ravens. He was flat and missing many wide open receivers. I know the pressure got to him, but it is not the same Manning with early season laser focus and monster stats. This could be the beginning of the end.

Marcus Mariota had the best half of football for a rookie quarterback in their debut since Fran Tarkenton. That is good company to be in. That is great news for the rookie, but fantasy owners must temper their expectations. He is likely going to have weeks where he looks great and weeks where he looks like Jameis Winston did. Mariota’s game also helped make Bishop Sankey relevant due to the large lead for the Titans. I expected a different game script and thought fantasy owners would see a resurgence of the Muscle Hamster, Doug Martin.

How good did Austin Seferian-Jenkins look without Mike Evans?

The injury bug bit several players in week one including DeSean Jackson (hamstring), TY Hilton (knee), Luke McCown (concussion) Dez Bryant (foot), and Derek Carr (injured throwing hand). For those IDP guys, Terrell Suggs (torn Achilles), Luke Kuechly (concussion) and Antonio Cromartie (knee) also went down. The brutal nature of the game is the same reason building roster depth in fantasy football is so important.

Another muddy fantasy situation is the backfield in Dallas. The game script did not play in favor of a running attack for most of the evening. Fantasy owners did see Joseph Randle with 19 touches, Darren McFadden at seven touches and Lance Dunbar with eight touches. I like Randle as a workhorse back but Dunbar is definitely the primary receiving back in that offense. Tony Romo to Jason Witten was also magic in crunch time. Tony can be clutch.

The AFC South finishes the day at 1-3 with the Titans having the only win. The Titans also finished weekend with the highest point total at 42. Not sure anyone would have guessed that, but I love it for Titans fans.

That wraps up the first 3M report of the season covering the first weekend of NFL action. Hope your week was filled with maximum production and minimal losses. Good luck in the coming weeks!

What were your thoughts on week one?  Share them in the comments below!


brian bulmer
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