On Tuesday's edition of the redraft podcast, the Helpers dive into Week 1 action and assess the fantasy damage done. They go over some film, talk waiver pickups, injuries and give some insight into Week 2 matchups.
First, the Helpers dissect some film. Two games featured in this podcast included the Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams in addition to Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers. Below are some notes from the podcast.
Seattle vs. St. Louis
Tyler Lockett, WR for Seattle: Just want to say Lockett saw 58 snaps, which were third-most behind Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse. So while his return numbers are intriguing, you're better off staying away from him for now. Lockett saw no targets down in the red zone, those went to Kearse who had three. Jimmy Graham also saw four targets in the red zone. Until Lockett starts seeing more snaps or red zone, opportunities, steer clear. He follows blocks incredibly well in the return game. I always remember watching Devin Hester, and while Hester was fast, the real reason he was so successful was the Bears loved blocking for him because he always made their blocks count. It was a beautiful thing to see.
Benny Cunningham, RB for St. Louis: Cunningham showed some ability to catch the ball on screen passes. He caught four of six targets for 77 yards. Hasn't shown the ability to run inside as much though. He only averaged 2.8 yards per carry on 16 touches. He likely won't see that many touches once Todd Gurley and Tre Mason get healthy. As a potential deep PPR guy though, Cunningham has value.
St. Louis Rams defense
As a unit: The Rams provided the blueprint for stopping Russell Wilson early on. Known for his patented subtle jukes that allow him to maneuver around defenders, the Rams simply didn't allow Wilson to do that. They smothered him early on. If he tried to roll out, they were right there. The Rams are on their way to becoming one of the better fantasy defenses out there, but they suffer the same problem the Browns did last season in that they don't have a great offense to back up their defense yet. That could change though because of the next guy mentioned here.
The Rams defense would've forced a potential three-and-out early in the second quarter but they had a controversial roughing the passer call go against them on third down that extended the drive for Seattle. The play probably shouldn't have been a no-call but unfortunately the quarterbacks can sometimes get too much leeway when it comes to contact. Trumaine Johnson's interception was incredible. Aaron Donald continues to anchor what is arguably the best defensive line in the NFL.
Nick Foles, QB for St. Louis: Foles is very good at throwing the deep pass. He can also deliver accurate throws while taking a hit from the defender. His height (6-foot-6) has likely helped aid him in that regard when it comes to seeing the defense. He found Jared Cook a bunch of times, who for some reason was wide open on several occasions. Foles is already the team captain, they love his leadership there in St. Louis. When Foles has time, he throws a very pretty pass and can make accurate throws to any place on the field. He's worth owning in 14-team leagues as a backup quarterback. He threw for 297 yards and a touchdown with a very weak receiving corps. Foles also really increases the value of Cook, who finished with 5 receptions for 85 yards. Foles didn't look at Cook in the red zone though, which is something we'll want to keep monitoring next week against Pittsburgh. Keep in mind, tight ends completely dominated Pittsburgh last week, with Rob Gronkowski and Scott Chandler combining for 4 touchdowns. If you had Cook on your bench this week, definitely consider starting him against the Redskins next week and the Steelers the following week at home. Also showed some good improv skills, had a nice flip pass on third down that moved the chains. Dion Bailey, the guy who started for Kam Channcellor, gave up a game-tying touchdown against Lance Kendricks after he slipped.
Tavon Austin, WR for St. Louis: Another guy who needs some praise. Austin was crucial for the Rams in this one. Had an incredible punt return for a touchdown where he tight-roped the sideline. Widely considered a bust by most after being drafted in the Top 10 back in 2013, he put together some impressive run plays including a 16-yard score. He still didn't get much done in the receiving game though, just 2 catches for -2 yards, which is frustrating because he displays his talent in so many other ways you have to wonder why he can't get much done in the receiving game.
Waiver wire pickups
Week 1 list: Marcus Mariota (owned in 46% of Yahoo! leagues). Nick Foles (only in 14% of Yahoo! Leagues). Jared Cook (only owned in 6% of Yahoo! Leagues). Ladarius Green (21% of Yahoo! Leagues). Karlos Williams on Buffalo Bills (owned in 3% of Yahoo! Leagues).