Week One is now officially in the books and I do have to say that this opening to the regular season had more surprises than usual. While some owners were disappointed and some have smiles on their faces this Tuesday, I want to stress that we are only through one week of the regular season. I have already gotten many emails asking if owners should pick up duds who looked good and dropping studs who got off to a slow start. To those owners who want to dismantle their teams, don't jump the gun. If you dump a guy who you drafted high after only one week, I can guarantee you that it will come back to haunt you. And to those eyeballing scrubs after one game, look away because there is a good chance that player will never come close to doing what he did again for the rest of the season.
On that note, here are some players whose value has risen and fallen after Week One action. I am going with players who aren't your GRADE-A studs. Anyone can list Tom Brady as a riser.
Cam Newton - QB - CAR vs. Arizona:
24-of-37 passing, 422 yards, two touchdowns, one interception
You didn't think I could possibly start this without mentioning THE biggest surprise of Week One did you? Newton looked good in the pocket, didn't lock into one target and had full command of the offense right from the get go. And his stats did not come in garbage time as the Panthers were in the hunt for most of the game against the Cardinals. Carolina is grinning from ear to ear after proving all the naysayers wrong when they took him No. 1 overall. While I am still skeptical Newton can be an every-week fantasy starter, he could be a solid option in the right matchups and as a bye-week filler.
Beanie Wells - RB - ARI vs. Carolina:
90 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, four catches, twelve receiving yards
Like the title says, Beanie Wells is for real. His 90 yards were great, but what was even better was the fact that he was used on third downs. His four receptions were a nice bonus for a player who was never known for being much of a pass catcher. Now that the offense has their passing game back on track, look for Wells to reap the benefits and become a strong bounce-back candidate.
Steve Smith - WR - CAR vs. Arizona:
Eight catches, 178 yards, two touchdowns
I'm probably taking the easy route by picking another Panther, but I simply can't get past the fact that Smith continues to keep chugging away in the fantasy world. At 5'9'/185, receivers his size just don't last as long as some of the bigger guys. And the fact that he put up eight catches, 178 yards and two touchdowns at age 32 is remarkable. As long as Cam Newton can continue to grow, Smith has a great chance at getting another 1000-yard receiving season.
Fred Davis - TE - WAS vs. NYG:
Five catches, 105 yards
Davis was always one of the more athletic tight ends in the league, he just never had much of a chance to show it because of Chris Cooley. That's all going to change this year. After catching five passes (Six targets) for 105 yards, Mike Shanahan has already announced that the Redskins will use more two-tight end sets heavily going forward. I don't consider Davis a bonafide starting fantasy tight end yet, but his arrow is definitely pointing up.
Donovan McNabb - QB - MIN vs. SD:
7-of-15 passing, 39 yards, one touchdown, one interception
I'm not sure if McNabb is just that bad or if the Chargers Defense is that good, but McNabb's stats were beyond bad. It didn't help that left tackle Charlie Johnson was hideous. I never had McNabb pegged as a QB1. But after last weekend, I don't even think he's roster worthy. While I could chalk this up to Week-One bad luck, I can't help but think that McNabb isn't going to make it all sixteen games as the starter. Christian Ponder is knocking at the door.
Frank Gore - RB - SF vs. SEA:
59 rushing yards, three catches, nineteen receiving yards
The 49ers gave Gore 25 touches, but he was inept at the goal line. He also looked fast and showed no slowness from the hip injury he suffered last year. Still, Gore's Week-One performance should have owners who took him high, like myself, worried. He might not be an RB1 anymore.
Austin Collie - WR - IND vs. HOU:
Zilch, Nada, Not even a catch
Owners who expect Collie to bounce back in Week Two are going to be in for a rude awakening. The Colts rarely used three-receiver sets during Kerry Collins' first regular season game as a Colt. And because of this and the team's new-found need for a running game, don't expect to see much of Collie this year. I wouldn't outright drop him after one week, but I also wouldn't start him this week against the Browns.
Jared Cook - TE - TEN vs. JAX:
One catch, seven yards
So much for the idea of Cook being a bigger part of the offense. Even after Matt Hasselbeck threw 34 passes, Cook was mainly used as a blocker. He also lost snaps to Craig Stevens. As of now, Cook should either stay on your bench or stay on the waiver wire.