Fantasy News & Analysis

NFL Week 1 Fantasy Football Recap: Immediate takeaways from Thursday's game

Los Angeles Rams RB Darrell Henderson played the vast majority of snaps over Cam Akers and was the team’s leading rusher, signifying why he should be a fantasy starter next week.

Buffalo Bills WR Gabe Davis scored the game’s first touchdown and played every snap for the Bills on offense except for the kneel down; therefore, he needs to be prioritized by fantasy managers.

Rookie RB James Cook played only one snap in the first half and fumbled on the play, but fantasy managers should remain patient.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

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Add and Start Darrell Henderson: Henderson surprisingly started over Cam Akers, who didn’t see the field until the second quarter and never played more than a few snaps at a time.

  • Henderson was considered a sleeper before the season because he was capable of being the Rams’ lead back.
  • He gained 47 yards on 13 carries, as well as five catches for 28 yards.
  • This was considered a poor matchup for the Rams running backs. Fortunately, Henderson has better matchups ahead and should put up better numbers.
  • He is available in over half of ESPN’s leagues and should not only be picked up but also inserted into starting lineups next week.
  • Akers gained 0 yards on three carries.
  • Akers should not be dropped, as the Rams running back situation will likely remain fluid. There is still a decent chance Akers will receive double-digit touches in games later in the season.

Gabe Davis is a must-start receiver: Davis played every offensive snap for the Bills except for the kneel down, making it crystal clear that he is a focal point of the Bills offense.

  • He caught four passes for 88 yards and the game's first touchdown.
  • He was on the bench in more than 50% of leagues at ESPN. 
  • This was considered a below-average matchup for Davis. Luckily, he has much better matchups coming later in the season.

Reason for concern for Stefon Diggs: The Bills receiver rotated out of the game more frequently than in any game since joining the Bills outside of a blowout in the last week of the 2021 regular season.

  • He was taken off the field roughly half the snaps in two wide receiver sets, as well as a fourth of the snaps in three-receiver sets.
  • Jake Kumerow was almost always the player replacing Diggs on the field.
  • A significant number of these plays were run plays, but it also cost Diggs a number of routes.
  • This could be a problem for fantasy managers, especially in clear Bills victories if the Bills rest him some early in the game and do not need him late.
  • He remains a weekly must-start, but his trade value has decreased.
  • Fifth-round rookie Khalil Shakir was a healthy inactive.

Add but don’t start Isaiah McKenzie: The Bills receiver started and played a clear majority of his snaps from the slot, but he was taken off the field a little too often to be trusted without a great matchup.

  • He caught two passes for 19 yards and a touchdown while seeing the majority of the snaps from the slot.
  • Jamison Crowder rotated in for him at times and was a frequent target for Buffalo. He gained three catches for 28 yards.
  • The Bills almost always passed the ball when McKenzie was on the field but were more balanced when Crowder was in the game.
  • There were a few plays with Davis, McKenzie and Crowder on the field together, where McKenzie either lined up outside or all three receivers played on the same side.
  • McKenzie is available in over 80% of ESPN leagues.

Add Zack Moss: Devin Singletary was a clear starter for the Bills, but Moss saw significant playing time and should at least be on rosters.

  • The Bills would rotate over time rather than situation, as Moss played several snaps in a row before he was taken off the field.
  • Moss is known more as a rusher, but he caught six passes for 21 yards. It was the second-most receptions in his career.
  • He should see even more carries in games where the Bills have a comfortable lead throughout the game.
  • He’s available in over 90% of ESPN leagues.
  • Rookie James Cook played one snap in the first half and fumbled. He played another snap in the second half.
  • Cook was drafted highly enough by the Bills that he should remain on fantasy rosters. He should see more playing time as the season progresses.

Don’t give up on other underperformers: A few players didn’t put up the stats fantasy managers would like, but their usage was encouraging enough to not give up on them.

  • Rams' new wide receiver Allen Robinson II never left the field for their offense outside of three snaps in the last three minutes. He only caught one pass for 12 yards.
  • Bills starting tight end Dawson Knox caught one pass for five yards but also rarely left the field. 
  • He stayed in to pass block more than any other game last season, likely to deal with the Rams' pass rush. He should be running more routes in other weeks.

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