Alright there, kids. You know the drill. After just one week, here are those trending up and those with the needle pointing down.
Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks
Watching the Week One match up against the Bengals, it became painfully obvious that this Seattle offense was going to revolve around Chris Carson. We say painfully obvious being that many bought in very early on both Tyler Lockett as a top end receiver and Russell Wilson as a QB1. Carson contributed in both aspects of the offensive gameplan, gaining 81 all purpose yards and finding his way into the end zone for two scores. Adding to his suddenly rising value is the fact that Rashaad Penny only had 6 touches and didn’t receive a single target from Wilson. If Carson keeps up with this newly found role as the Seattle offensive main feature, he’ll find himself inside the rankings along the likes of Le’Veon Bell and James Conner on a weekly basis.
Chris Thompson, RB, Washington Redskins
We’d be lying if we said that we just instinctively had a feeling about Chris Thompson. In reality, we were doing our usual fantasy homework and overheard someone commentating on Thompson. We wish we could sight the source but with all the fantasy hoopla we’ve digested over the last 6 months, it’s tough to give credit where it’s due. That being said, it resonated with us. It brought back memories for us as the NFC East projections commentator for this very site of how freaky good Thompson was as a receiver for the ‘Skins before the domino effect of injuries caught up to him. Now, he’s back, healthy for the first time in forever, and still on the right side of 30. With the newest set back to Derrius Guice and last week’s healthy scratch status of Adrian Peterson, Thompson looks like the only back with a cemented status for Washington’s offense. His 7 catches for 68 yards shows that he is back for at least flex purposes. The state of the Redskins could have Washington playing from behind often with very little to throw to during catch-up periods.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
Honestly, how could we feasibly write a risers segment and not mention a guy who suddenly went from WR3 to surefire WR1 in less than 60 minutes. With Tyreek Hill slated to miss time after suffering his shoulder injury, Watkins becomes a fantasy stud. He showcased his skill set and his chemistry with Patrick Mahomes by picking up 9 catches on the day for 198 yards and 3 scores. Three scores! He now becomes second to only Travis Kelce and in the drivers seat of a WR1 run of games. Things could change fast here though so capitalize while you can. By that we mean that not only will Hill return in what should be a few weeks, but also the fact that Sammy himself has a rather long injury history. Get while the getting is good as Mahomes should be able to turn Watkins into fantasy gold, regardless of the level of competition. With that in mind, Watkins should be able to completely embarrass the Raiders in Week Two.
Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Everyone that we communicate with within the fantasy landscape has a Keenan Allen story. The funny thing is, you tend not to hear heroing stories of a 100-catch season or the fact that he’s been a PPR stud for two years. No. Instead, it’s always the Negative Nancys with stories of knee injuries and lacerated kidneys. Go figure, huh? People that skipped on Allen sure got a serving of crow in Week 1 though. Allen returned to his unquestioned role as Philip Rivers main man going for 8 catches, 123 yards, and a score. How do you think the majority of owners who went with likes of Tyreek Hill, Stefon Diggs, or Mike Evans are feeling this week? We get that it’s a marathon, not a sprint, but it still brings the pressure into your temples to see a guy you skipped go out and kill it. With the offensive line so banged up, it looks like it’s all going to be quick passes and screens to the backs. That means that Allen’s Week One isn’t going to be flash and then fade kind of a thing.
Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
He’s too old, right? He’s too slow, remember? Well, doesn’t Tommy Boy just continue to make the haters look foolish as he continues his fine wine approach to his 20 year NFL career. There was a time, only about 45 days or so ago, where Brady had zero help on offense. After the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, Brady was Will Smith standing alone in the series finale of Fresh Prince. But, life happens fast, and if you’re not paying attention, you just might miss it. The return of Josh Gordon and the surprise signing of Antonio Brown has TB12 looking as pretty as he’s been since 2007. That’s all assuming that the NFL will let the legal process play out before imposing sanctions on the troubled wide receiver. Up until that point, it’ll take Brown a while to fully get this offense down, so don’t buy in too early. Remember, it’s the same Josh McDaniels’ offense that has historically rejected veteran receivers, save for Randy Moss. But here, against Miami, Brady could do some serious damage and pad his stats as he laughs at those who had him ranked outside the Top-15 at his position.