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Fantasy Football Review: Wide receivers excel while running backs struggle in Week 1

Related: Fantasy Football Preview: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers among must-starts for Week 1

Green Bay Packers v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The first week of the NFL and fantasy football season is behind us and we saw some insane performances. We also saw some very poor outings from guys who were picked high in drafts

Let's take a look at who boomed in Week 1 and who was a bust in standard scoring PPR (point per reception) leagues.


WR Justin Jefferson (39.4), QB Patrick Mahomes (34.9), RB Saquon Barkley (33.4), WR Cooper Kupp (31.8), QB Josh Allen (31.48), WR Davante Adams (30.1), WR Ja’Marr Chase (28.9), QB Carson Wentz (27.72), RB Jonathan Taylor (27.5), WR Michael Pittman Jr. (27.1), RB D’Andre Swift (26.5), WR Stefon Diggs (26.2), TE Travis Kelce (26.1), WR A.J. Brown (25.5), RB Kareem Hunt (23.0), RB Cordarrelle Patterson (22.6), RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (22.4), RB Dontrell Hilliard (21.9), TE O.J. Howard (17.8)

The quarterback position saw three players really boom with Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Carson Wentz all putting up 27-plus points. Mahomes and Allen are no surprise as they were projected as the top two QBs in fantasy to enter the year; Wentz, on the other hand, came out of nowhere in his Washington Commanders debut and threw four touchdowns to get him on the boom list.

Running backs had a tough sledding in the opening week but some players did boom. Saquon Barkley looked like he is finally back and healthy while Jonathan Taylor started the season how he did last year. D’Andre Swift surprised as he ran really well against a good Philadelphia Eagles defensive line. Kareem Hunt, Cordarrelle Patterson, Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Dontrell Hilliard all had nice weeks and exceeded expectations by a lot which lands them in this list.

All of the wide receivers who boomed in Week 1 are players who you likely took in the first three rounds of your fantasy drafts. Justin Jefferson was the real explosion, as he registered nine catches for 184 yards and two touchdowns.

The tight end position struggled as well, but Travis Kelce was his usual fantasy self, recording 26.1 points. The next highest scoring player at the position was O.J. Howard who was picked up by the Houston Texans less than two weeks before the season started.


WR DeVonta Smith (0.0), RB Cam Akers (0.0), TE Dawson Knox (1.5) , WR Darnell Mooney (1.8), WR Allen Robinson (2.2), WR Robert Woods (2.3), WR Mike Williams (3.0), QB Aaron Rodgers (3.7), TE Kyle Pitts (3.9), TE Hunter Henry (4.0), QB Dak Prescott (4.46), WR Hunter Renfroe (5.1), RB Ezekiel Elliot (5.9), WR Adam Thielen (6.6), RB Alvin Kamara (7.6), QB Matthew Stafford (7.8), WR D.J. Moore (8.0), RB David Montgomery (8.0), RB Derrick Henry (8.2), QB Trey Lance (9.96), RB Najee Harris (10.6)

The quarterbacks saw four players bust who were supposed to be in double-digits scoring-wise. Trey Lance played in basically a hurricane, so he has a bit of a pass. Matthew Stafford and Aaron Rodgers were just straight up awful, and Dak Prescott was just as bad for three and a half quarters before the injury to his thumb.

Multiple running backs who were drafted in the first couple rounds busted on Sunday. Najee Harris, Derrick Henry and Alvin Kamara all had duds after being top picks in fantasy drafts. David Montgomery, Ezekiel Elliot and Cam Akers all were mid-tier backs who disappointed. Akers is the most concerning as Darrell Henderson Jr. saw a lot of the work on Thursday night.

All of the busts at wide receiver were mid-tier guys. D.J. Moore and Mike Williams are the two biggest names on this list and owners should not be worried about their lack of production. Hunter Renfroe, Adam Thielen, and Robert Woods should all ended up seeing production throughout the season as well. Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney and DeVonta Smith should be concerning: Robinson was a bounce back candidate on a new team and the first showing was not great; Mooney is on a horrible offense; Smith’s production was way down with the addition of A.J. Brown.

The only major disappointment at tight end was Kyle Pitts as he was expected to come out and start the year big. Hunter Henry and Dawson Knox had quiet games as well, but they are usually touchdown-dependent players.

Patriots Fantasy Recap

This was a horrible week for all New England Patriots fantasy players besides Ty Montgomery who exceeded his projection with a touchdown and netted a 10.3. Jakobi Meyers had a 10.2 as well but that is nothing special. Mac Jones registered an 8.52 behind one passing touchdown.

Damien Harris (7.8) and Rhamondre Stevenson (4.7) are usually the more consistent fantasy players for New England, but the run game just could not get consistently going. Newcomer DeVante Parker was another bust as he had just one catch for nine yards.