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Fantasy Football: 10 biggest reactions to NFL Week 1

Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) celebrates after a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Texans RB Dameon Pierce didn’t see nearly the playing time many hoped for, with Rex Burkhead seeing a clear majority of snaps.

• Fantasy first-round picks Austin Ekeler and Najee Harris had poor Week 1 stat lines, and there is some reason for concern going forward.

• Many fantasy managers who left Michael Thomas on the bench due to injury concerns will have regretted it after his standout Week 1 performance.

Estimated Reading Time: 7 mins

PFF's fantasy football recap focuses on player usage and stats, breaking down all the vital information you need to achieve fantasy success in 2022. Here, we touch on only players who are relevant in fantasy football leagues.

These are my 10 biggest reactions to the games from the Week 1 Sunday slate. To get a more in-depth breakdown, check out my full Sunday recap.


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Add Texans RB Rex Burkhead, Bench Dameon Pierce

Burkhead was both the lead rusher and receiving back for Houston, including playing the vast majority of snaps in some key situations.

    • Burkhead played every snap in the two-minute drill.
    • He played on all but one third down. Pierce took one snap on a third-and-2, but Burkhead also played on multiple third-and-2s.
    • Burkhead even dominated early-down snaps, with 17 compared to eight by Pierce outside of two-minute drills.
    • He gained 40 yards on the ground from 14 carries and 30 in the air on five passes.
    • Pierce can be expected to take on more of the early-down work as the season progresses, but it seems unlikely he takes much of the passing-down work. He should be left out of fantasy starting lineups.

Start Dolphins RB Chase Edmonds

The former Cardinal split offensive snaps with Raheem Mostert while dominating snaps on third down, giving him a large enough role to be a must-start player.

    • He gained 25 yards on 12 carries and 40 yards on four catches.
    • This was only a two-man backfield despite Miami keeping four halfbacks on the roster, so Edmonds is competing with only one player for snaps.
    • The Dolphins didn’t have any goal-line opportunities, but the fact that Edmonds was used just as much as Mostert in short-yardage situations is good for his touchdown potential.
    • Edmonds historically has been an inconsistent big-play runner with big-play potential. He gained an explosive run on 13% of his carries in 2020-2021, ranking seventh-best among running backs.
    • His Week 1 performance was his floor. He has the touches, big-play opportunities and touchdown potential you would hope for in a fantasy starter.

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