Fantasy Fallout, Week 1: Sunday’s Day Games

Here are some fantasy observations from Sunday’s games. I indicated the games I actually watched with an asterisk.

Lions 21 @ Falcons 34
Holy Michael Turner, Batman! The Falcons’ prized free agent rushed for 220 yards on 22 carries and scored twice. Turner owners should be pleased, but keep your expectations in check – he was playing against the Lions…Matt Ryan had a decent day, but only threw 13 passes since Atlanta was so far ahead. He did connect with Michael Jenkins for a long TD early in the game…Roddy White had only two catches, but made them count for 54 yards. This was kind of a disappointing day considering the opponent…Jerious Norwood turned 16 touches into 99 yards and a score…Jon Kitna got off to a slow start but finished with 262 yards, two TD and a pick. Expect Kitna’s second half numbers to outweigh his first half numbers as the Lions will be throwing more late in games as they try to catch up…Calvin Johnson (7-107) had a nice day and Roy Williams (3-47-1) got off to a slow start but finally scored in the second half…Kevin Smith turned 20 touches into 80 yards and a TD. Not a bad day for the rookie…Rudi Johnson only had three carries, so it looks like Smith is the main guy for now.

Bengals 10 @ Ravens 17
Willis McGahee was active, but didn’t have a carry in the game. Ray Rice turned 22 touches into 83 yards, which included three catches for 19 yards…Joe Flacco finished with decent numbers (129 passing yards, 1 rush TD) and Mark Clayton (3-21) had a 42-yard rush TD on a reverse…The Bengals offense was brutal. Carson Palmer threw for only 99 yards and a pick…T.J. Houshmandzadeh (3-44) and Chad Ocho Cinco (1-22) were both quiet, and Chris Perry turned 19 touches into just 42 yards…With all the firepower they have on that offense, there’s no reason they should be putting up such poor numbers.

Seahawks 10 @ Bills 34
Well, the first part of my DTBC picks turned out pretty well. Week 1 belonged to the BUF DT, and they didn’t disappoint, posting a return TD, five sacks, a pick and a forced fumble…Marshawn Lynch had 21 touches for 91 yards and a score and Lee Evans (4-102) had a nice game as well…Trent Edwards (215 yards, 1 TD) was solid if unspectacular…Matt Hasselbeck struggled to 17 of 41 from the field for 190 yards, one TD and one INT…Nate Burleson (5-60-1) and rookie TE John Carlson (4-52) were the only receivers of note. Carlson is worth a look in deep PPR leagues, and Burleson left with a knee injury…Seattle’s running game was kind of a mess Julius Jones got 13 carries compared to Maurice Morris’ six. Neither player scored…Seattle’s defense registered only one sack and failed to force a turnover.

Jets 20 @ Dolphins 14*
Brett Favre’s debut (194 passing yards, 2 TD) was a good one…I thought Jericho Cotchery would have a few more catches, but he posted 3-80-1 in a solid day’s work…Laveranues Coles (1-5) was a non-factor coming off an injury…Thanks to Jets beat writer Rich Cimini (who said that Thomas Jones looks “a half step slower” this year) for scaring everyone off of TJ. Jones looked great, turning 25 touches into 105 yards and a score. It looks like the improved offensive line and the arrival of Favre will give him a boost…Chad Pennignton (251 passing yards, 2 TD, 1 INT) was good in his debut…Anthony Fasano (8-84-1) was the star in the Miami passing game and will be a hot pickup this week in most leagues…Ricky Williams turned 14 touches into 39 yards while Ronnie Brown had nine touches for 51 yards. This looks like a RBBC until further notice. Both backs are good, so there’s no reason why the Dolphins shouldn’t split the work…Ted Ginn (2-17) was a disappointment.

Chiefs 10 @ Patriots 17
Uh-oh, Tom Brady left the game with a knee injury and didn’t return. Depending on its severity, Matt Cassel (152 passing yards, 1 TD), will be a hot pickup this week…Laurence Maroney owners have to be frustrated. After a solid second half of 2007, he garnered just 10 carries and 51 yards. What’s worse, Sammy Morris played more snaps and had more touches (15), yards (87) and also scored a TD…Randy Moss (6-116-1) and Wes Welker (6-51) picked up where they left off…Brodie Croyle got knocked out of the game with a shoulder contusion. Damon Huard went 8/12 for 118 yards, one TD and one INT in relief…It looks like Dwayne Bowe (5-49-1) will avoid a sophomore slump…Tony Gonzalez (6-55) does what he does…Larry Johnson turned 23 carries into 86 yards, but failed to score.

Bucs 20 @ Saints 24*
If Jessica Simpson is bad news for Tony Romo, Kim Kardashian is the opposite for Reggie Bush. With Big Booty in attendance, Bush posted 163 total yards, caught eight passes and scored a TD…Drew Brees (343 passing yards, 3 TD, 1 INT) had a huge day, but Marques Colston (3-26) was quiet…In addition to Bush and Colston, Brees spread the ball around to Jeremy Shockey (6-54), David Patten (1-39-1) and Devery Henderson (1-84-1)…Pierre Thomas has taken over Deuce McAllister’s role as the change-of-pace back to Bush. Thomas had 12 touches for 63 yards…Earnest Graham got just 13 touches, but turned them into 118 yards…Warrick Dunn had 10 touches for 65 yards…Joey Galloway (6-56) looked okay after not playing in the preseason, while Ike Hilliard (6-45-1) seemed to be the second option for Jeff Garcia (221 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) in the passing game…The Bucs defense scored on an interception return TD, while the Saints defense looked better than it did in 2007.

Rams 3 @ Eagles 38
If he plays a full season, Donovan McNabb is a virtual lock to finish as a top five QB, and he got off to a great start today, throwing for 361 yards and three TD…Brian Westbrook picked up where he left off in 2007, turning 21 touches into 92 yards and two scores…The Eagles had three wideouts go over the century mark: rookie DeSean Jackson (6-106), Greg Lewis (5-104) and Hank Baskett (2-102-1). With Reggie Brown and Kevin Curtis out with injuries, the Eagles’ WR corps will be fluid week-to-week…The Rams didn’t come to play. Marc Bulger (158 passing yards, 0 TD), Steven Jackson (17 touches, 74 yards) and Torry Holt (1-9) all had subpar games.

Texans 17, Steelers 38
I wasn’t high on Willie Parker heading into the season, and after his 25-carry, 138-yard, three-TD performance, I have some egg on my face…Rashard Mendenhall carried the ball just 10 times for 28 yards, so Parker is still “The Man” until further notice…Ben Roethlisberger (137 passing yards, 2 TD) had a solid if unspectacular game, and Hines Ward (6-76-2) had a better game than Santonio Holmes (2-19), who was drafted two or three rounds earlier…Matt Schaub got off to slow start, but finished with 202 passing yards, one pass TD and one rush TD. The TD pass was to Kevin Walter (3-41-1), but Andre Johnson (10-112) was the Texans’ best passing threat…Heath Miller (3-26) and Owen Daniels (3-33) weren’t much of a factor…It looks like Steve Slaton (16 touches, 49 yards) is going to get most of the work in Houston’s running game. Ahman Green carried the ball five times for 28 yards and had four catches for three yards.

Jaguars 10 @ Tennessee 17
Chris Johnson said that his goal is to be Rookie of the Year, and he’s off to a great start after turning 18 touches into 127 yards and a TD against a pretty good Jacksonville defense…LenDale White pitched in with 40 yards and a score on 15 carries…Vince Young had 110 yards passing, one TD and two picks, and rushed just one time for four yards. The Titans need to free him up for some scrambles because he isn’t a pure pocket passer…Bo Scaife (6-105), not Alge Crumpler, was Young’s weapon of choice in the passing game…David Garrard had 215 passing yards and a TD, but threw two interceptions…The Jacksonville running game never got going – Fred Taylor (10 touches, 27 yards) and Maurice Jones-Drew (9 touches, 50 yards) both struggled, which means that the Titans’ defense is probably the real deal…Believe it or not, Matt Jones (6-80) was the only Jacksonville wideout of note.

Cowboys 28 @ Browns 10*
The Dallas offense looked terrific. Tony Romo (320 passing yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), Marion Barber (19 touches, 101 yards, 2 TD), Terrell Owens (5-87-1), Jason Witten (6-96) and Patrick Crayton (6-82) all looked great…Barber left the game with “bad ribs” and Felix Jones came in to carry the ball nine times for 62 yards and a score…The Browns struggled, but it wasn’t Derek Anderson’s fault. He only had 114 yards and a TD, but Braylon Edwards (2-14) dropped at least four passes including a potential score…Kellen Winslow (5-47-1) was his normal solid self…Jamal Lewis turned 14 touches into 76 yards, but the Browns fell behind so he wasn’t that involved late in the game.

Panthers 26 @ Chargers 24
In his first game in a long time, Jake Delhomme looked pretty sharp, posting 247 yards and a score in the best finish of the day…Donte Rosario (who is listed as a TE, but looks more like a WR) led the Panthers with seven catches for 96 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown in the back of the endzone. If he’s a TE in your league, he’s worth a pickup…Muhsin Muhammad (6-56) and D.J. Hackett (5-48) had decent games…DeAngelo Williams (19 touches, 90 yards) led the way in the backfield, while rookie Jonathan Stewart (10 carries, 53 yards, no catches) played second fiddle…Phillip Rivers (217 passing yards, 3 TD) had a huge game connecting with Antonio Gates (4-61-1), Chris Chambers (1-44-1) and Vincent Jackson (3-47-1) for his three scores…LaDainian Tomlinson had a relatively quiet game, turning 25 touches into 112 yards without a score.

Cardinals 23 @ 49ers 13
Kurt Warner had a nice game (197 passing yards, 1 TD) throwing to Anquan Boldin (8-82) and Larry Fitzgerald (3-31-1)…Edgerrin James had 100 yards rushing, but Tim Hightower vultured a TD…The 49ers wisely featured Frank Gore, who turned 18 touches into 151 yards and a score. It looks like those fears that Martz would ignore his best player were unfounded, at least for the first week…The Cards were able to contain Mike Martz’s high-octane passing attack as Vernon Davis (3-51) and Bryant Johnson (3-48) were the only San Francisco receivers to join Gore with at least three catches…The J.T. O’Sullivan era got off to a rough start (195 passing yards, 1 INT).

That’s it for now. Check back later tonight for observations about the Colts/Bears game. I’ll also post an update Monday night for the Packers/Vikings and Broncos/Raiders games.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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