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Week 1 fantasy football notebook

» Eli Manning connected with young tight end Larry Donnell to cap a 79-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter. I'm guessing #ThatHelpsNoOne.- MF

» The Giants made the mistake of leaving Calvin Johnson wide open in the first quarter on Monday night. Oops. Matthew Stafford hit Megatron for a way too-easy 67-yard touchdown reception. The duo has already connected for two touchdowns. - MF

» Julius Thomas nearly earned himself the top fantasy score of the weekend, catching three touchdown passes from Peyton Manning and finising with 28.4 fantasy points. Meanwhile, Montee Ball had a solid debut as the starting running back, finishing with 67 rushing yards, 16 receiving yards and a rushing score. Demaryius Thomas had a quiet night, but all in all, this Broncos offense looks like the real deal once again. - AG

» Andrew Luck had a strong night in a losing effort, throwing for 370 yards with two touchdown passes and two interceptions. No one else from the Colts really registered on the fantasy radar, although sleeper pick Dwayne Allen had four catches for 64 yards and a long touchdown, while Reggie Wayne returned to action with nine catches for 98 yards of his own. The Broncos kept a lid on T.Y. Hilton, limiting his production tonight. - AG

» With the only end zone visit of the first half, Panthers' tight end Greg Olsen caught a touchdown pass from backup quarterback Derek Anderson in the second quarter against Tampa Bay. Sans Cam Newton (ribs), Olsen leads Carolina with six receptions. The Bucs can't seem to get anything going as running back Doug Martin has only managed a measly three yards on five carries and Josh McCown has only completed three passes. Carolina's defense is the story in this one limiting the Bucs to 84 total yards of offense at halftime. - MF

» The Cowboys defense is as advertised thus far. Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers offense met little resistance as they rolled down the field for their first touchdown -- a pass to Vernon Davis -- covering 80 yards in three plays. Start everyone against the Cowboys every week. - AG

» Despite not finding the end zone today, Bears running back Matt Forte managed 169 yards from scrimmage against the Bills in an overtime loss. He averaged 4.8 yards per carry on 17 attempts for 82 yards and added eight receptions for 87 yards boosting his PPR value. A touchdown would have been nice, but fantasy owners should still be pleased with this performance. - MF

» Le'Veon Bell rewarded his fantasy owners today with 197 yards from scrimmage and a rushing touchdown. Wideout Antonio Brown did his best to keep pace with Bell totaling five catches for 116 yards and a touchdown when all was said and done at Heinz Field. - MF

» The Rams offense is a mess right now. We'll see how things turn out next week, but if today was any indication, they'll be a hard group to trust this season. - MG

» Geno Smith's decision-making still needs some work, but he has definitely shown improvement from a season ago. Having quality weapons like Eric Decker and Chris Johnson certainly won't hurt. - MG 

» The Jets defense certainly looked tough up front, but there are still a lot of questions about the Raiders backfield. Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden combined for 26 yards on 13 carries. And next week, they'll face the same Texans defense that mauled Washington today. Good luck with that. - MG

» Mark Ingram leads the Saints committee backfield today with 13 carries for 60 yards and two touchdowns. Khiry Robinson also found the end zone while Pierre Thomas did some damage in the passing game with 58 yards on six receptions and added seven carries for 31 yards. At least we have a better idea of how New Orleans will use their running backs in an overtime loss to Atlanta. - MF


Matt Ryan wants you to know last year was a fluke. The Falcons signal-caller finished the day with a single game franchis record of 448 passing yards against the Saints with three touchdowns. Five of his receivers had over 50 yards, including Devin Hester who finished with 99 receiving yards. Carry on.  - AG

» It took awhile but the Eagles offense finally got going, thanks to some of the expected contributors. Darren Sproles and Zach Ertz each have scores. The key will be whether Nick Foles can protect the football. - MG

» With Ben Tate out of the game with an injury, undrafted free agent running back Isaiah Crowell has two rushing touchdowns for Cleveland as the Browns fight back against the Steelers in the second half. - MF

» Flashing greatness, Cordarrelle Patterson broke an incredible 67-yard touchdown run in the second half to put the Vikings up 20-3 over the Rams. Fantasy man-crush confirmed. - MF

» Five field goals made for Mike Nugent of the Bengals. The only scoring so far in the game. Nugent's longest was 49 yards. His sixth field goal attempt was blocked. - MF

» Brandin Cooks is having a great NFL debut as the rookie has six catches on six targets for 68 yards and a touchdown at halftime in Atlanta. Tight end Jimmy Graham is second on the Saints with five catches for 55 yards at the half. Fantasy owners are still anxiously awaiting a Graham touchdown. - MF

» In the first half, Zac Stacy carried the ball just four times for 13 yards. So much for St. Louis leaning on the running game early. Maybe things change in the second half, but this is certainly not what fantasy owners expected. - MG

» The Rams receiving corps was going to be a tough group to figure out. So far today, Brian Quick looks like the top target with four catches or 70 yards. We'll see if this continues. - MG

» Jeff Cumberland is currently the Jets' leading receiver. Do what you will with that. - MG

» The Steelers are stuffing the stat sheets in the first half as Ben Roethlisberger stayed alive to avoid a sack and threw a beautiful touchdown pass to Antonio Brown. And Le'Veon Bell owners can breathe easy as he ran in a touchdown from nearly 40 yards out on the next drive.  - MF

» After nursing a thumb injury but still getting the start today, Redskins tight end Jordan Reed has now left the game with a hamstring injury. His return is questionable, which means this day is not off to a good start for Reed owners.  - AG

» Vulture alert. LeGarrette Blount's first touch of the game was a 7-yard touchdown run. It's exactly what Le'Veon Bell's fantasy owners were dreading. Bell had six carries for 12 yards and two catches for 28 yards leading up to the Blount touchdown run. Keep in mind that Bell did run one into the end zone early in the first quarter, but the play got called back on a penalty.  - Matt Franciscovich

» Over in Miami, the Patriots committee backfield of Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley appears to be just that, as the backs have been rotating frequently and evenly. That also applies to the goal line, where Vereen surprisingly got the looks -- and the touchdown.  - Alex Gelhar

» Yes, it's early but Allen Hurns is trying to prove that preseason could actually mean something. With Shorts out of action, Hurns snags a TD pass from Chad Henne. He'll be worth monitoring as the game goes along. - MG

» The first full list of inactives didn't offer a lot of surprises. Rob Gronkowski will play. Cecil Shorts will not. The real drama will come later in the day when we find out if Michael Crabtree and Cam Newton will be on the field. Stay tuned. Those inactives will be released 90 minutes before kickoff. - Marcas Grant

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