We've come to know Saints quarterback Drew Brees as being a great Fantasy quarterback easily capable of throwing for at least 300 yards and two touchdowns regardless of the opponents. Seeing him get 358 yards isn't even a shock to the system. Three or four touchdowns? We've seen it before.
Six touchdowns? That's a little unbelieveable -- even for him.
|Mike Bell proved to be a useful last-minute option, rushing for 143 yards. (US Presswire)|
"I had a lot of opportunities out there. A lot of guys made some big plays in this game," Brees said. "Unfortunately you always think about the ones that got away. There was probably one or two more that we left out there. That's what keeps you coming back."
It's hard to imagine who else could have caught a touchdown for New Orleans. Marques Colston got the first one from 9 yards out, one of three catches he had in the game. Robert Meachem kept his preseason play rolling when he was open in the end zone for a 29-yard haul. Jeremy Shockey then got back-to-back touchdowns within a three-minute span -- two more than he got all of last year. Then for good measure, Brees hit leading Saints receiver Devery Henderson for a 58-yard touchdown before hitting fullback Heath Evans for his last score of the night from 13 yards out.
So who'd he miss? How about Reggie Bush, who was pretty much the only disappointing Saint from Week 1. Bush had 12 touches -- seven rushes and five catches -- but only mustered up 14 rush yards and 55 receiving yards. Even backup running back Mike Bell, playing in his first meaningful game since his rookie year in Denver, overshadowed Bush.
But it was Brees' shadow over the lowly Lions that pushed New Orleans to its first win of the year. Was Brees that good, was the Lions' defense that bad, or was it both?
We might get those questions answered next week: Brees gets tested at Philadelphia while the Lions take on another gunslinger: Brett Favre.
Let's take a look around at the rest of the Week 1 action.
Start of the Week review: Matt Hasselbeck didn't pull off a Drew Brees, but he did scorch the Rams for three touchdowns and 279 yards. It took him a little while to get going, throwing two interceptions in the first quarter, but he eventually solved the St. Louis defense and had a nice outing. Best of all, he has room to improve -- new receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh had six catches for just 48 yards and no reception longer than 9 yards.
Sit of the Week review: Larry Johnson came through for those owners who benched him as he totaled 20 yards on 11 carries with a 6-yard catch against the Ravens. He'll do significantly better next week vs. the Raiders.
Insane stat line of the day: Six touchdowns isn't enough?! Fine, then we'll go with the No. 1 overall Fantasy running back instead of the No. 1 overall Fantasy quarterback: Adrian Peterson turned the Browns red with a 180-rush-yard, three-touchdown performance. He gets to run against the Lions next week -- six touchdowns for him?
Out-of-nowhere stat line of the day: Twelve receptions for 121 yards for Cardinals running back Tim Hightower. Obviously, part of the Cardinals' game plan was to use Hightower's versatility to confuse the 49ers. It worked in the sense that Hightower saw a lot of catches, but it didn't help the Cardinals put some points on the board. Anquan Boldin's Fantasy owners can point to that as one reason why their star receiver had just two catches and 19 yards.
Guy we were way right about: Hope we helped sway some of you to put Julius Jones in your Fantasy lineup. For the second time in as many years, the Seahawks running back topped 100 rush yards and scored at home against the Rams. Enjoy it while you can because he's not expected to keep this up.
Guy we were way wrong about: We thought Eddie Royal would play a much larger role in the Broncos' offense, but instead he was targeted just four times in the game. He made two catches and took a wicked hit from Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers. After seeing Brandon Marshall get targeted nine times in spite of not playing in the preseason, we're a little worried already about Royal's role in Josh McDaniels' offense.
Overachieving defense of the week: While we expected Seattle to humble the Rams, we didn't think the Broncos would be a match for Carson Palmer and the Bengals. Champ Bailey still has it ... sort of. As much as Cedric Benson looked like he charged through the Broncos with nearly every carry, his average stunk. And Palmer didn't get a ton of help from Laveranues Coles and didn't look often enough for Chris Henry. But give the Broncos credit -- they weren't as bad as advertised. They get the Browns at home next week, too, so they might do this two weeks in a row.
Underachieving defense of the week: Not that we expected the Texans' defense to be very good to begin with, but they eventually need to get better. Getting throttled by Jets rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez and 31-year-old running back Thomas Jones isn't a spectacular way to start your season.
Names to add to your scout team ...
Davone Bess, wide receiver, Miami (seven catches, 57 yards)
Kenny Britt, wide receiver, Tennessee (four catches, 85 yards)
Pierre Garcon, wide receiver, Indianapolis (three catches, 24 yards, could replace anthony Anthony Gonzalez for a couple of weeks)
Percy Harvin, wide receiver, Minnesota (two rushes, 22 yards, three catches, 36 yards, one touchdown)
Todd Heap, tight end, Baltimore (five catches, 74 yards, one touchdown)
Mario Manningham, wide receiver, N.Y. Giants (three catches, 58 yards, one touchdown)
Robert Meachem, wide receiver, New Orleans (two catches, 51 yards, one touchdown)
Laurent Robinson, wide receiver, St. Louis (five catches, 87 yards).
Injury alerts ...
Anthony Gonzalez, strained right PCL, considered doubtful for Week 2 at Miami
Donovan McNabb, broken ribs, considered doubtful for Week 2 vs. New Orleans
Hakeem Nicks, sprained left foot, considered doubtful for Week 2 at Dallas
Troy Polamalu, sprained knee, out at least three weeks
The last word: There's still no doubt that the NFL is a passing league. In Week 1, we had just five 100-yard rushers vs. five 300-yard passers and another five quarterbacks throwing for over 250 yards. Not only is it a great time to play Fantasy Football, but it's an exciting time to be a football fan, because passing games are typically more exciting than running games.
What stood out to you this week? How did your Fantasy teams do? Drop us a line and tell us about it at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to put Attn: Week 1 in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state and we'll respond to as many as emails we can.