Thinking Inside the Box: Week 1

Thinking Inside the Box: Week 1

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), last updated Sep 12, 2016

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John was named the Most Accurate Fantasy Football Expert by FantasyPros for the 2010 and 2014 seasons, finished as runner-up in 2011 and 4th in both 2012 and 2015 for a total of five Top 5 seasons in the last six years. Cumulatively, John was the most accurate expert from 2010-15 while also winning the 2011 Fantasy Sports Trade Association award for the most accurate draft rankings. 

Follow John on Twitter: @4for4_John.

Every Monday, Senior Editor John Paulsen takes to Twitter (@4for4_John) for Thinking Inside the Box, where he tweets different stats and tidbits from Sunday's box scores. We compile it here for subscribers.


The T-Rich Saga continues. Bradshaw outran him 5.0 YPC to 3.3 YPC. 8 touches, 85 yards for Bradshaw; 9 touches, 51 yards for T-Rich.

Bradshaw played more snaps as well. He also looked a lot better. He is a lot better. Great stash if he’s on your WW.

T.Y. Hilton 5-41 (11) had a disappointing game, but Collinsworth said multiple times that Broncos D made him the #1 priority.

Hilton is going to have his share of games if Reggie Wayne 9-98 (13), Hakeem Nicks 5-36-1 (5) and Dwayne Allen 4-64-1 (5) keep making plays.

Coby Fleener out-snapped Allen and saw eight targets to Dwayne Allen’s five. This needs to stop.

Hakeem Nicks played on 77% of the snaps, so it looks like a lot of three-WR for the Colts.

Montee Ball wasn’t efficient (83 yards, TD on 25 touches), but the usage is there for a top 5-type season.

C.J. Anderson looked good (4 carries, 27 yards) as Ball’s backup, but Hillman was a surprise inactive.

Cody Latimer did not play a single snap. It was Andre Caldwell in as the team’s WR3.

It’s a good time to attempt to buy low on Demaryius Thomas 4-48 (11).

Emmanuel Sanders should have quite a few 6-77 (9) type games.

Shayne Graham goes from the waiver wire to scoring 12 points in the first game. Way to go, Shayne.

1st half touches were pretty even, but final touches (Ingram 13, Pierre 13, Khiry 6) were close to our projections (12.6, 10.9, 8.6).

As long as Khiry doesn’t drastically outrun Ingram, I think Ingram's 10-15 touches are safe. He looked good, especially in 2nd half.

Brandin Cooks! 7-77-1 (8) in passing game with another 18-yard run. Helped that Stills was out, but looks like a reasonably safe start.

Pierre Thomas is the #18 RB in PPR formats at this point in the week.

Jacquizz Rodgers ran well, which may limit Freeman’s short term upside. Antone Smith also made a huge play.

Devin Hester with 5-99 (6) on just 21 snaps. We’ve seen flashes before, but this is a new team.

Harry Douglas with 12.9 points in PPR. Ho-hum.

Toilolo will be a goal line target, but in any given week he’s a real threat to put up a goose egg. Saw six targets in Week 1 though.

The Rams… wow. Just… wow.

Brian Quick far more involved - 7-99 (9) - than Kenny Britt - 0-0 (3). Quick led the receivers in snaps.

Cunningham played a couple of more snaps than Stacy, but game flow could have been a factor. Stacy out-touched him 12 to 9.

Cunningham did not get a touch until the middle of the 2nd quarter, after Stacy had four touches and another target.

Not sure we can count on 67-yard runs from Cordarrelle Patterson every week. The 3-26 (5) in the passing game is a little worrisome.

Greg Jennings 6-58-1 (7) continues his fine play with Matt Cassel. He averaged 5.9-70-.57 with Cassel last year.

Adrian Peterson now has 208 receptions in 104 games after two more catches yesterday. MIN may throw to him more when trailing.

Matt Cassel is a serviceable QB streaming option given a good matchup. There is a lot of talent in that offense.

I knew Ben Tate was injury-prone, but I thought he’d finish at least one game. It will be West and Crowell for the time being.

Crowell got the touchdowns, but West is still ahead of him. West saw 16 carries to Crowell’s five and saw 2.5x the snaps.

Miles Austin 2-20 (3) was quiet. Andrew Hawkins 8-87 (10) seems to be the WR to own in CLE. #FreeJoshGordon

Jordan Cameron 2-47 (5) only played about a third of the snaps thanks to an aggravation of his camp shoulder injury.

Antonio Brown 5-116-1 (6) now has had 5+ catches and/or a TD in 22 straight games going back to 2012. Curiously quiet in the 2nd half.

I’d say Markus Wheaton 6-97 (7) had a nice debut as the Steelers’ WR2. In the last four seasons, PIT's WR2 has averaged 65-848-4.5.

So far, so good for the Le’Veon Bell supporters. Saw 27 touches (197 yards, TD) compared to just 4 for Blount and 1 for Archer.

Justin Brown worked as the Pittsburgh’s WR3 with Lance Moore out. Played 81% of the snaps.

Lol at the Jaguars not beating the +10 spread after jumping out to a 17-point lead.

Foles was 12/24 for 139 yards with an INT and two fumbles in the first half. He posted 15/21 for 183 yards and two TDs in the 2nd half.

So much for limiting LeSean McCoy's workload. 27 touches, 115 yards. He averaged 22.9 touches last season.

Darren Sproles with 15 touches for 85 yards and a TD on 33 snaps. That 49-yard run sure helped, but should be RB3/flex-worthy in PPR.

After playing under 41% of his team’s snaps as a rookie, Zach Ertz 3-77-1 (5) played 62% yesterday. Great sign.

Jordan Matthews played 67% of the snaps. Also a good sign. Chip Kelly is finding ways to get his best players on the field.

Allen Hurns! I put his W1 performance in context here: He does have a very good opportunity in JAX.

Marqise Lee 6-62 (10) led team in targets, but Hurns 4-110-2 (9) and M. Lewis 6-35 (9) were close behind. Shorts return will change dynamic.

One worry with Hurns is that he didn’t do anything in 2nd half, even when JAX needed to move the ball.

Was worried about Gerhart’s inefficiency, but the workload is there (20 touches) and PHI allowed just 3.8 YPC last year.

Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory were close in snaps, though CJ out-touched Ivory 18 to 10. The won’t get to face OAK rush D every week.

Geno Smith finished 23/28, TD, INT plus 38 yards rushing. That’s a solid outing. He’s a streaming candidate in good matchups.

Maurice Jones-Drew out-touched Darren McFadden 11 to five, but the snaps were very close. DMC looked slightly less bad.

Rod Streater 5-46-1 (7) played all but two snaps and was the #33 WR in fantasy last year.

CIN RB split overblown (so far). Bernard with 20 touches for 110 yards (6x the snaps) and Jeremy Hill with just four carries for 19 yards.

So Bernard Pierce won’t be taking over Ray Rice’s job in the first two weeks. He was benched after a fumble.

I bet against Torrey Smith 3-50 (7) this week due to poor history vs. CIN. Steve Smith 7-118 (15) and Pitta 10-83 (15) got the targets.

Justin Forsett is a stopgap option for Week 2. He turned 16 touches into 84 yards and a TD and played for Kubiak in HOU.

Side note: Watching Joe Flacco scramble is one of my favorite things to do.

Spiller 18 touches, 64 yards, rec TD; F-Jax 10 touches, 74 yards; Dixon 5 carries, 60 yards.

Robert Woods out-snapped Mike Williams by a significant margin. Also saw twice as many targets (6 to 3).

Bryce Brown might be a weekly inactive since Dixon is a special teams player.

Matt Forte has picked up where he left off — 25 touches, 169 yards. #PPRGold

Looks like Santonio Holmes 2-21 (5) is the next man up after Marshall/Jeffery.

Alfred Morris with 14 carries for 91 yards (6.5 YPC) and nary a target in the passing game. Same old Alfred. (TD vultured by Young. Sigh.)

Niles Paul 4-86 (4) stepped in for the injured Jordan Reed.

29 touches for 120 yards for Arian Foster. I suspect he won’t hold up to that type of workload. Grimes and Blue each got one carry.

Texans very run-heavy yesterday. 29 RB carries and 22 pass attempts (plus four Fitzpatrick runs).

Whiz called a pass play to Kendall Wright in the redzone (a la Eddie Royal)! And he scored! Yay! 6-46-1 (7)

Justin Hunter in on 63% of Titans’ snaps, which is slightly less than expected, but TEN did lead most of the game.

I’m going to hold Bishop Sankey for a while, so stop asking.

That said, it’s a pretty ugly RBBC in TEN right now. Greene (15), McCluster (10), Sankey (6) and Washington (4) all involved.

Nate Washington 4-59 (6), #FantasyCockroach.

Was hoping for/expecting more from Travis Kelce 3-49 (5) with Bowe out, but I did see one redzone fade attempt. Only played 34% of snaps.

TEN D really contained Jamaal Charles and Chiefs offense. Picked them up in a lot of MFL10s due to easy schedule.

TEN D has DAL, CLE, JAX, WAS, HOU coming in next seven weeks.

Shane Vereen’s seven carries and rush TD are encouraging. We know he’s going to be a PPR monster.

Julian Edelman continues to do work. 6-95 (8) plus 21 yards rushing.

I love that Rob Gronkowski only plays 38 snaps but still sees 11 targets. 4-40-1

With Aaron Dobson inactive, there was a lot of Kenbrell Thompkins - 5-37 (10).

So Lamar Miller fumbled and Moreno took over. Turned 24 carries into 134 yards and a TD, but it was Miller in the passing game (4-19-1).

MIA backfield looks like it’s headed Moreno’s way, but Miller will still have a role.

Brian Hartline with just 2-26 (4). Played 84% of the snaps. Very disappointing.

Encouraged by Kelvin Benjamin’s 6-92-1 (8) with Derek Anderson under center. He should turn into an every-week starter.

14 touches for DeAngelo, 12 for J-Stew, 9 for Tolbert. Yuck.

Doug Martin (knee) might burn his owners for the second straight year. I hope that knee is okay.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins 1-26 (2) could have had a big day if not for injury. Myers ended up with eight targets.

Mike Evans 5-37 and V-Jax 4-36 with nine targets apiece. CAR is a tough matchup, however. Things will improve.

Thought Kaepernick was going to have a monster day after a quick start, but just 23 pass attempts and 201 yards.

The ageless Anquan Boldin 8-99 (9). Love that guy.

Feels like Carlos Hyde could have a few of these seven-carry, 50-yard + TD type of games this year. Poor Frank Gore got his TD vultured.

Cowboys are a mess, but it feels there will be a lot of garbage time stats to be had as long as Romo stays upright.

That wraps up Thinking Inside the Box for Week 1. I may do a short one tomorrow for the Monday night games. Thanks for reading.

Filed Under: w2, 2014

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