If Matt Ryan wants to distance himself from a dismal 2015, he certainly got off on the right foot in Week 1, despite the loss. Ryan’s performance was good enough for sixth among all quarterbacks in fantasy points, yet only connected with star receiver Julio Jones four times. While he isn’t Drew Brees, who just lit up the Raiders’ defense for 423 yards and four touchdowns, Ryan is capable of approaching that ceiling against a shell of an NFL defense. He’ll be a QB1 while Jones remains a top-5 wide receiver.
Devonta Freeman’s owners can’t be happy seeing a near even snap count with Tevin Coleman, a back who was bred to be their backfield’s leader in 2015 before suffering an injury in Week 2. Usage is certainly trending toward Coleman’s favor, but Freeman is still involved enough to be in RB2/flex consideration for Week 2. It’s the following weeks against the Panthers, Broncos and Seahawks that should concern his fantasy owners greatly instead of Sunday.
Mohamed Sanu also presents flex value after a big Week 1, but it’s fair to wonder what his capacity will be after suffering an ankle injury. Jacob Tamme had as many targets as Sanu and Jones did in Week 1, and deserves TE1 consideration in 12 and 14-team leagues.
While Coleman justifies flex consideration for teams thin at running back, he is better suited for benches on Sunday.
Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and Latavius Murray should all be in for a shootout once again, leaving fantasy owners with the luxury of penning them into lineups without much of an afterthought. Murray has the lowest floor of the bunch after being vultured by Jamize Olawale at the goal-line and seeing Jalen Richard explode for a 75-yard touchdown run. It’s a committee approach in Oakland, but Murray still has RB2 value as the leader of the pack.
Clive Walford, DeAndre Washington and Richard all have usage concerns, despite being part of a high-scoring game that could pay dividends. Fantasy owners likely have less risky options to put in their lineups at this phase of the season.