|Jim Prisching/Associated Press|
|Drew Brees made a huge impact for fantasy owners with a monster stat line against the Packers.|
Who was the Fantasy Player of the Week? Vote on the top performers and decide who was the most valuable player!
Drew Brees, QB, Saints
The Saints might have lost their season opener, but Brees' performance helped a lot of fantasy owners take home a win. The veteran completed 32-of-49 passes for 419 yards and connected on three touchdowns in the 42-34 loss. He hit Robert Meachem on a 31-yard pass, Devery Henderson on a 29-yarder and Jimmy Graham on a 5-yard score. Overall, Brees put up 29.06 fantasy points -- that was good for second among quarterbacks. Next on the slate is a home game against the Bears, who held Matt Ryan to 8.76 points in Week 1.
Cam Newton, QB, Panthers
Talk about making an immediate impact. Newton went off against Arizona with 422 passing yards and three total touchdowns in a loss to the Cardinals. The performance broke Peyton Manning's record for the most passing yards by a rookie in Week 1, but most fantasy owners didn't benefit -- he was active in 4.1 percent of NFL.com leagues. Those numbers will make Newton one of the top waiver-wire adds in fantasy football as we head to Week 2, but he will face a much tougher matchup against the champion Green Bay Packers.
Ray Rice, RB, Ravens
Rice's performance against the Steelers is proof that you should stick with your studs, no matter how bad the matchup looks on paper. He made tin foil of the Steel Curtain, ripping them for 107 rushing yards, 42 yards as a receiver out of the backfield and a pair of touchdowns. His first score came on a 1-yard run, and his second on an 11-yard pass from Joe Flacco in the second quarter. A must-start runner across the board, the veteran out of Rutgers should have another solid stat line against the Tennessee Titans in Week 2.
Mike Tolbert, RB, Chargers
Tolbert, who had his best NFL season in 2010, is on pace to be even better this season. The veteran runner put up a mediocre 93 scrimmage yards but found the end zone three times in what was a 24-17 win over the Minnesota Vikings. Tolbert's three touchdowns came on 1- and 19-yard passes from Philip Rivers and a 7-yard run. Unfortunately, he left the contest late with a leg ailment and didn't return. If Tolbert's ailment is serious, the value of Ryan Mathews will rise. The Bolts face the New England Patriots at Foxboro next week.
Steve Smith, WR, Panthers
Smith, a major disappointment in fantasy land last season, started the 2011 campaign with a bang. And that is putting it lightly. He recorded eight receptions, 178 yards and two touchdowns against the Cardinals. And how's this for a pair of nuggets -- he put up 32.1 percent of his totals yardage and equaled his touchdown totals from 2010! But much like Newton, Smith wasn't active in most leagues -- a mere 7.6 percent of fantasy owners started him. That number should rise in Week 2, despite the fact that he'll face the Packers.
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com. Have a burning question for Michael on anything fantasy football related? Send it to AskFabiano@nfl.com or tweet it at Michael_Fabiano!