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Warning Signs: Week 1 Review


Obviously, we cannot overreact too much to Week 1 of the football season. This said, the first installment of this series may be a little shorter than normal.

Just because Mitchell Trubisky looks bad as a quarterback doesn’t mean you should drop him now and find someone else. So what if the Dolphins gave up 59 points to the Ravens? You don’t need to panic about their defense. Ok, that one you should panic about. But something else not to worry about? Aaron Rodgers only having one touchdown pass.

So, with this said, let us turn to a few things to keep on your radar going forward. These may not be official warning signs yet. But if they happen again this week? We may need to truly worry.

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David Montgomery (RB, Chicago Bears)

No one, save Brad Evans from Yahoo, liked Montgomery more than I did coming into this season. He was clearly the most talented running back on the Bears, and he was going to be used as such. Until it happened.

Mike Davis. Yes, Mike Davis had a higher snap share and more touches in Week 1. Lucky for us, David Montgomery looked better and hopefully this means better things going forward. But the fact this happened, even in the passing game where Davis had seven targets to Montgomery’s one, is concerning to say the least. If this three-way division of touches happens again, there may be no one in the Chicago backfield who is worth starting on a regular basis.

Tarik Cohen played primarily in the slot as a receiver this week. This could be a sign of things to come for him. But it could also be due to the ankle injury Anthony Miller was dealing with. If it is the former, then things should still be a go for Montgomery as a runner. But if he does move back to the backfield when Miller is healthy? Well, I along with a lot of others will be disappointed in their fourth-round draft pick in fantasy leagues.

 

Damien Williams (RB, Kansas City Chiefs)

We thought he might end up in a committee with Carlos Hyde or Darwin Thompson. It turns out he is in a committee with an even more dangerous rival - LeSean McCoy.

Despite the committee approach, Williams still had 19 touches and a touchdown on Sunday. The fact he only gained 26 yards on 13 carries is a bit more troubling, especially with McCoy gaining 81 yards on 10 carries behind the same line against the same defense. We didn’t expect it to take long for Shady to get into the flow. He has been in the Andy Reid offense for many years and it was like riding a bike when he got to Kansas City. He loves Reid and the feeling is mutual.

Sure, this could be just an adjustment period for Williams to get fully involved. He did miss a lot of the preseason with a groin injury and they could be slowly getting him into things. We need to hope this is the case.

The rumor going around is that Andy Reid never uses a committee. This may be true. But he has never had a backup with the talent of McCoy and Williams was never set to be a workhorse in the first place. Even at this point in his career, Shady is still a good, if not great back. If this split keeps its current status, Williams should still finish in the RB 20-24 range based on touchdown production. But the top-eight RB season we were all hoping for? Well, it looks like it isn’t going to happen this year, if ever.

 

John Ross (WR, Cincinnati Bengals)

His performance was alarming but in a positively shocking way. Ross had a great game in Seattle. But the Legion of Boom in Seattle is now the Legion of Boom-Boom. It is not your father's Seahawks Defense anymore. Sure, they have a few players. Bobby Wagner is a stud. But they don’t have a complete unit anymore.

Ross had over 150 receiving yards and two touchdowns in Week 1. But things were perfectly aligned for this to happen. Things which should not happen again. For this reason, I present Ross as a warning not to overreact to a great game as he could be a mirage.

For one, Joe Mixon was injured and missed much of the game. This made the Bengals more reliant on the passing game than they wanted to be. This is the reason Andy Dalton passed for over 400 yards in the loss. Another thing to remember is A.J. Green was not there. Sure, it may be a few more weeks before he is there. But when he does come back, he is the clear number one in the pass offense.

If you play in a league in which waivers are done by order, then sure, grab him and hope he hits again. But you better flip him before Green comes back. If you do FAAB waivers? Don’t use more than 20% of your budget on him, even if you're hurting at WR. Using too much on him will cost you later in the season when more valuable waiver wire pickups present themselves. So sure, pick him up. But proceed with caution until you trade him or inevitably drop him later in the season.

 

Mark Andrews (TE, Baltimore Ravens)

We could not do a Week 1 recap of any sort without talking about at least one Raven, could we? We might as well let it be Mark Andrews. Sure, we could have talked about Marquise Brown and how he finished with 158 yards and two touchdowns despite playing on less than 20% of the offensive snaps for Baltimore. But instead, let’s talk about the man who should still be considered as Lamar Jackson’s number one target going forward.

Andrews had eight receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown in the throttling of the Dolphins on Sunday. Miami could not stop anyone, and this included the big tight end out of Oklahoma. He was the favorite target of Jackson last season and he looks like he will remain so this season as well.

He was getting a lot of hype this offseason and it led to his draft price raising up a bit but not as much as others like Hunter Henry or Evan Engram. This said, he is still a tight end. You may see how well he did this week and want to run out and trade for him. You may even want to give up a player like O.J. Howard to do so. Well, here is where the warning comes in.

It was the Dolphins. It was Week 1. Relax. The Buccaneers offense will get better. With their defense being so bad they will have to. Also, the Ravens still want to be a run-first team. So, Howard will have more opportunities to thrive throughout the season. Don’t be hypnotized by one play, or in this case, one game. Let it play out a few more weeks before making any trades. This is especially true with the tight end position as they are so replaceable week over week. You've been warned...

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