It can be tough to decipher if a performance is an outlier or a sign of things to come. When we only have a week to use as a sample, there are a lot of players that fantasy managers need to make a stand on. You can either call a bad performance a result of a bad game script or just a fluke, but there are times where you have to be true to yourself and admit that a poor fantasy score may be something more real. There are a few names that stuck out to me as players that are potentially in for a rough time moving forward.
Drake London (and Kyle Pitts)
I know this article is coming a bit late, and everyone has already mentioned this – but holy cow are the vibes bad for Drake London (and by association Kyle Pitts). The Atlanta Falcons came into Week 1 with a plan and did not stray from that plan one bit. This team wants to run the ball, dominate possession time, kill the clock, and end the game before their opponents can gain any momentum. Both Bijian Robinson and Tyler Allgeier looked phenomenal in the season opener, leaving the pass catchers on Atlanta wanting more.
Drake London is a talented wide receiver, but when the game plan called for only 18 passes from second year QB Desmond Ridder, there isn’t really much to work with there. It feels like London has to make a highlight reel play in his very scarce amount of opportunities to remain fantasy relevant – let alone startable.
I’m worried that this coaching staff has already decided this teams identity as a run-first, run-always type of offense. With such a small pie of throws, it’ll be tough for London to get much going. This week will be a better indicator of his fantasy outlook for the season as Atlanta will need to keep up with a solid Packers offense.
It feels like we all whiffed on this one. Cam Akers was widely thought of as “the dude” in the Los Angeles Rams camp. He finished last season pretty hot, serving as a top 24 option for fantasy managers for in a crucial part of the season. Signs were pointing towards Akers leading the backfield once more thanks to his end of the year usage.
What we all forgot about was the news of Kyren Williams at the start of the 2022 season.
Sean McVay mentioned early on last year that he really liked Williams in their backfield and how he could easily play the number 1 role. Then he got hurt, giving Darrell Henderson some early work. Then suddenly the Rams decided to hand the backfield over to Akers for the back half of the year.
With the return of a healthy Kyren Williams, I’m worried for Akers. In the season opener Akers received the bulk of his work in the second half when the Rams had essentially locked in the win. Even then he was wildly inefficient with his touches and struggled where Williams succeeded (kinda, Williams still only had 50 yards on 15 carries). Akers seems like a scary prospect to try and start in the coming weeks and is someone I’m most likely moving on from barring any other injuries to Williams.
Another inefficient RB that had plenty of offseason praise was Rachaad White of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. White had almost all of the work for Tampa against the Vikings in Week 1 but didn’t have a lot to show for it. With the amount of touches White was given, you’d really want to see something a bit more promising on the score board and on the field. But we didn’t really get either of that.
You could argue that the Vikings game planned around forcing Baker Mayfield to beat them with his arm. You could say that Minnesota stacked the box and made White look worse than he actually was. Sure those are all fair points but when he has several red zone opportunities and fails to cash in, that’s a cause for concern.
I’ll admit I was pretty down on white to start this season too, and this could be more confirmation on my biases. But after watching the Eagles dismantle the Vikings defensive front, it does bring up several questions about the Buccaneers run game. It’s a bit of a chicken and the egg situation – was White inefficient because of his line, or did the run game look bad because it was White with the rock. In fantasy football, I’d rather not have to figure that out and would be better off seeing this unfold from very far away.
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