Royce Freeman was one of the NFL's most hyped rookies (not named Saquon Barkley) heading into Week 1. And yet, he was usurped by his co-star (and fellow rookie) Phillip Lindsay in the opener vs. Seattle. It was like Melissa McCarthy in "Bridesmaids." Now, I had McCarthy as a long-time sleeper going back to her work on "Gilmore Girls" and even a brief appearance in "Go," which is a surprisingly underrated movie. Really, I know a lot of folks talk about "Swingers" being the go-to Las Vegas movie, but I'll take "Go" anytime.
The point is, Lindsay wasn't supposed to be a star, but he is. And he checks all of the boxes for guys I love as breakout players in the NFL. He played for a Pac-12 school (Colorado), wore a single-digit number -- jersey No. 2 -- in the preseason (like this generation's version of Victor Cruz) and that's it. Those are the boxes. Now, I don't fear Freeman being any sort of a bust. He got a lot of work against the Seahawks (15 carries). He still figures to be the goal-line back this season. But Lindsay is going to have a significant enough role in the Broncos' offense moving forward. Lindsay trailed Freeman in snaps and routes run, but looked like the better running back moving forward. I've stashed him in numerous leagues. He along with the Chargers' Austin Ekeler are two buzzy, change-of-pace guys who not only present a challenge for the RBs we drafted this year, but will have some value moving forward.
All right, here are 10 more players everybody has been writing about this week, hopefully with a slightly different bent.
Alex Smith, QB, Washington Redskins (evergreen)
Smith just feels like he has the safest floor of any quarterback. It's like being stuck at the airport and you end up going to the Subway counter because you know what you're going to get. It's usually pretty good. And while it might not be the best sandwich you ever had (although, there was a store in Westminster, Calif., that might challenge this notion), it's going to get the job done. That's Alex Smith. Great matchup this week against the Colts. Andy Dalton didn't really take advantage of them last week, but Alex will.
Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
Coleman and Devonta Freeman had a damn-near even snap split in Week 1. And any thought of Freeman extending himself against Carolina on Sunday will be tempered by him missing some practice time this week. If Freeman is a go on Sunday, look for the two to again split it just about evenly. Freeman was actually targeted more last week, but I would expect Coleman to end up as the more-targeted runner out of the backfield. (UPDATE: Freeman has been ruled out of Sunday's game with a knee injury.)
T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Yeldon is a good back, and I had him rostered all over my deeper squads in 12- and 14-team leagues. He has a role on the team. And if Leonard Fournette misses Sunday's game against the Patriots (or even more significant time) with his hamstring injury, Yeldon is going to be a viable flex option for you. Especially in PPR leagues, because Yeldon is a good receiver out of the backfield. He was targeted seven times against the Giants in Week 1.
Matt Breida, RB, San Francisco 49ers
If you know me at all (and if you don't, hello, my name is Adam), you know my affinity for Breida. Tough Week 1 against the Vikings, which is to be expected. The snaps were pretty close to even with Alfred Morris. But Freddy Mo was putting the ball on the ground (two fumbles, one lost), and Breida didn't look horrible given the formidable matchup. This week's matchup is the opposite of formidable. Here, let me use my thesaurus for this one: Easy. Insignificant. Encouraging. Yes, this is an encouraging matchup this week against the Lions, who allowed 177 on the ground vs. the Jets. But then again, they were facing the Hall of Fame tandem of the Crow and Powell.
Brandon Marshall, WR, Seattle Seahawks
I feel like it's been about 60 years since Marshall played for the Bears. Or maybe it was just 60 teams ago. Seriously, this guy had become a big-time TV star and I thought he was going to be eligible for the Hall of Fame soon. Now he's in Seattle ready to play an important role. I'm still down with the Tyler Lockett breakout. But with Jimmy Graham in Green Bay (at least, I think he's there -- we didn't see a lot of him last week) and Doug Baldwin battling an injury, there are a lot of targets up for grabs. At the very worst, Marshall's going to be a decent red-zone option.
Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions
I feel for those who used all of their great Golladay team-name puns last year when the guy barely played. Now he looks like he's going to be a huge part of this offense. An offense that is going to need him on the field because, oh boy, that defense. I'm surprised the Lions didn't go after a defensive-minded coach ... oh, that's right, they did. But lord have mercy, Golladay was out there out-snapping all Lions receivers and finished with seven receptions for 114 yards against the Jets. I'm here for the Golladay breakout. He's also ready for a breakout in points per lighting dudes up on an interception return. And with Matthew Stafford as his QB, he's going to get a lot of chances in that category.
Quincy Enunwa, WR, New York Jets
I was impressed by Sam Darnold in Week 1. He looked pretty sharp after that pick-six to start the game against the Lions. And really, if there was an event the internet was waiting for, it was that. You all had your jokes and memes ready to go. But Darnold was well beyond solid for the rest of the evening, and the biggest benefactor was Enunwa. He had 10 targets for six receptions, 63 yards and a touchdown.
Ricky Seals-Jones, TE, Arizona Cardinals
RSJ didn't do much in Week 1, but I wouldn't panic here. He played on 49 of 53 snaps. He had six targets, behind Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson. Which makes sense. He's going to be productive with Sam Bradford at quarterback -- that guy places the highest value on actually completing a pass and throwing the ball underneath.
Jonnu Smith, TE, Tennessee Titans
A previous That Helps No One All-Star. He's the direct replacement for Delanie Walker, if you wanted to take the linear path. Smith played in 58 percent of the snaps in Week 1 and ran 15 routes. He's going to get his fair share of chances as the offense evolves under first-year coordinator Matt LaFleur. I wouldn't mind taking a speculative chance on Smith, if I'm being perfectly honest. Which would then imply I'm lying about the rest. But, still.
Ian Thomas, TE, Carolina Panthers
There is obviously no way to replace Greg Olsen. But the Panthers seem optimistic enough. Thomas, a fourth-round draft pick this year, is very talented, but has limited experience. He went the junior college route before ending up at Indiana in 2016. But he's in an offense that favors the tight end, a position preferred by both quarterback Cam Newton and offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Former Panther Ed Dickson had 37 targets in the nine games Olsen missed while battling injuries last season, and Thomas could see a similar number of targets with Olsen sidelined. Thomas was targeted twice on Sunday and made both grabs.