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Things I Learned in Fantasy Football: Week 1

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Takeaways from Week 1 as told through @MarcasG's tweets.

Maybe Le'Veon Bell is a system running back. I'm only partially joking. Either that, or the Steelers are especially good at scouting and developing running backs. Back in 2016 when Bell was suspended to start the season, DeAngelo Williams ran for 237 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the first two games. Sunday, James Conner stepped in and produced 192 total yards and two scores. We'll see if this changes Bell's resolve to rejoin his squad. If not, anyone with Conner on their roster should feel pretty good.

I'll admit I tried to go against the trend and suggest that Big Ben could do big things against the Browns this week. That obviously didn't happen ... but five total turnovers?! Geez. Maybe things will get better in two weeks when the Steelers go to Tampa. Maybe. Expect this to be the last time I try to spit in the face of the fantasy football gods.

If anyone tells you they saw this coming, you have my permission to call them a (redacted) liar. It's not that Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't capable of playing well. It's that no one in their right mind envisioned the journeyman dropping a 40-burger's worth of fantasy points on the world against a formidable Saints defense. Next week, the Bucs have their home opener against the Eagles and their stout stop unit. Will you believe in Fitzmagic again? I, for one, am not so bold.

All week long, all of your favorite fantasy analysts recommended every Raven they could think of with the expectation that the Bills would be bad. And boy, did the Bills ever deliver. That means we'll keep picking on Buffalo each and every week. Up next ... the Chargers and Philip Rivers who just dropped 424 passing yards and three touchdowns on the Chiefs.

Maybe it's just one game. Or maybe it's the start of a committee that we didn't see coming. If Royce Freeman was going to split snaps with someone, the assumption was that it would be Devontae Booker. We assumed wrong. Freeman played 29 offensive snaps while fellow rookie running back Phillip Lindsay played 25 -- and outgained Freeman 102-71. We've been continually re-evaluating our projections for this rookie running back class. Things could be shifting yet again.

This wasn't supposed to happen this soon. The Chargers defense was supposed to cause too many problems for a quarterback making just his second career start. Instead, with the help of Tyreek Hill, Mahomes carved up the Bolts secondary for four touchdown passes in a season-opening win. There will still be some bumps along the way for a young quarterback but this should give anyone more confidence to start Mahomes regularly in 2018.

Wait...what?


Alex Collins had just seven carries -- same as Lamar Jackson.

Dion Lewis outsnapped Derrick Henry 21-3 in the fourth quarter.

Michael Thomas had 16 catches on 17 targets.

Nathan Peterman's average completed air yards was -0.4. Yes, that's a negative number.

Blake Bortles averaged 10.5 yards per carry.

Melvin Gordon led the Chargers with 13 targets.

Adrian Peterson led Washington with 70 receiving yards.

And one for the road...


Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com and a man who is glad that real football is back because his hot take reservoir was empty. Send him your glad gridiron tidings via Twitter @MarcasG. If you read all of that, congrats. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (marcasg9).

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