Week 1 Fantasy Football players to keep an eye on

Week 1 of NFL football is always a mixed bag, as it is often hard to tell whether successes or failures will be isolated incidences or the beginning of a trend. Will Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant combine for only 59 yards in future weeks? Unlikely, but you may see players like C.J. Spiller and Lamar Miller start to trend downwards. Usually this column lists the buys and sells related to the prior weekend’s games, but I never like to sell a player based solely on their Week 1 performance. Here are some players that I am currently buying into and some that I worry about.

Buy:

Jared Cook and Jordan Cameron — Cook and Cameron are stunningly similar players — young, big, fast tight ends on teams with quickly improving offenses. Both players had very successful first weeks and will continue to improve. Both Sam Bradford and Brandon Weeden should continue to look for ways to dump the ball off and avoid turnovers. Cook and Cameron may not repeat their Week 1 successes, but expect them to be strong fantasy starters for the foreseeable future.

Stevan Ridley — This pick isn’t as much of a buy as it is a don’t worry. A fumble on the Patriots’ first drive led to Ridley spending most of his Sunday on the bench. Bill Belichick is a stickler about turnovers, and Ridley should take a lesson from this model even though he doesn’t have a fumble problem historically. Although Shane Vereen racked up 158 yards from scrimmage in Ridley’s stead, he also injured his wrist in the game and required surgery. Ridley will continue to start in New England, post solid numbers and can be bid on at a lower price due to his less-than-stellar Week 1.

Worry:

Lamar Miller — What does an appallingly bad Week 1 performance for a starting running back look like? Ten rushes for three yards and one reception for seven yards.  Welcome to the fantasy dog house, Mr. Miller.  Miller showed very few signs of life in Week 1 and saw a large portion of the Dolphins’ touches go to Daniel Thomas. I’m not initiating a fire sale on Miller, but I am definitely leaving him on my bench until further notice. 

C.J. Spiller — Since entering the NFL three years ago, Spiller has shown fans exactly one half of a great season.  Although he seemed poised to break out this year — and he still might — it may be time to tap the breaks on Spiller’s expectations.  He has all of the potential in the world, but inconsistency could cut short his effectiveness.  This week Spiller had 55 yards from scrimmage and a fumble, while his counterpart, Fred Jackson, had 108 yards from scrimmage and held onto the ball. The Bills will continue to frustrate fantasy owners and use Jackson for entire quarters at a time, which will limit Spiller’s productivity and make him unworthy of the top 10 overall pick that fantasy football fan probably spent on him.