Week 1 Risers and Fallers

by Jonathan Lange · Matchups Start/Sit
Week 1 Fantasy Football

One Week Down

Week 1 of the NFL season has come and gone. With all teams in action, there are many moving pieces in fantasy football. There were a handful of games that were incredibly sloppy on the offensive side of the ball, and there were some strong performances as well. This article will provide you with the Risers and Fallers from Sunday’s action. Football is the only sport that has a weekly schedule where there are six days in between games, so it’s easy to overreact, but this also gives us time to gain more insight into a player or team’s performance. Let’s start with the Risers of Week 1!


Anthony Richardson – QB, Indianapolis Colts

Anthony Richardson was going as high as the 1.01 in dynasty rookie drafts, and in his first game in the NFL, he showed why. Richardson finished with 223 yards passing, 1 passing touchdown, plus 40 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. He looked confident, made great reads, and did not duck and run immediately on each of his dropbacks. The Colts didn’t win this week, but they could be building something special with Shane Steichen and company. I’m certain that there will be growing pains, but for now, Richardson is a Riser after his first start.

Brock Purdy – QB, San Fransisco 49ers

What a summer in San Francisco. There was so much uncertainty at the quarterback position between Trey Lance and Brock Purdy. While it appeared that much of the fantasy football community wanted Lance to get his shot, Kyle Shanahan only had eyes for Purdy. Fast forward to Week 1: Lance is gone, and Purdy is locked in as the starter — and he shredded the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was a team effort, but when your quarterback has no turnovers, two passing touchdowns, and a 65-percent completion percentage, your quarterback is playing efficient football. Purdy proved he belonged in the NFL and that last season was not a fluke. If he keeps this going, we could be looking at a top ten fantasy season for Purdy.

Tyreek Hill – WR, Miami Dolphins

Tyreek Hill is arguably the best player of these risers, but we cannot ignore his 11-receptions, 215-yard, two-touchdown performance on Sunday. Hill led the Dolphins in targets with 15, but the second-most targeted player on the team? That would be Durham Smythe with 7 targets! Tua Tagovailoa kept feeding Tyreek the ball, and Tyreek kept producing; the scary part is the Chargers even knew it was coming and still had no answer for his blazing speed and shiftiness. There was concern about the Dolphins passing game without star left tackle Terron Armstead, but it appears as if they will be fine. If the Dolphins can keep Tua upright and protected, then we could see them playing deep into the playoffs.

Zay Flowers – WR, Baltimore Ravens

There were four rookie receivers taken in the first round of this year’s rookie draft, and all four have shown glimmers of promise that their games could translate to the professional level. Well, Zay Flowers absolutely crushed it for his first game as a rookie. Flowers had nine receptions on 10 targets, and the other two wide receivers (Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman) each tied for second in targets with three. Even if one believed in Flowers’ ability on the field, I’m not sure target hog was in the range of outcomes. The Baltimore offense struggled at times in this game, but Lamar Jackson leaned heavily on his rookie wideout. I can see him continuing to target the young superstar, and we could be in store for a special season from Flowers.


Cincinnati Bengals Offense

Goodness gracious, what was THAT!? Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon, Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and what do we get? 142 offensive yards. The Bengals finished the game with six first downs. SIX. Burrow strained a calf muscle that caused him to miss the entire preseason, but I didn’t imagine this amount of rust. Some credit must go to the Cleveland Browns and new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz — he had a plan, and it was executed to perfection. But the Bengals’ offense going completely blank was not something many of us expected for week one. The Bengals should bounce back eventually, but the offensive performance was so putrid, one can’t help but wonder if it will take them a few games to break out of it.

Pittsburgh Steelers Offense

There was real consideration to add all AFC North teams to the Fallers list. The popular stat that popped up this Sunday on Twitter/X was the screenshot where the Pittsburgh Steelers had one yard of offense with 2:00 left in the first half — one yard of offense! After the team addressed the offensive line in the Draft and free agency, there was hope this team would be more complete and produce more offense in 2023. So far, that’s not the case! The Steelers finished the game with only 239 yards of offense and seven total points. Kenny Pickett will be closely monitored this season while his team struggles to find an identity. The lack of preseason reps may have affected the Bengals, but the Steelers cannot use that excuse — starters played in all three games! If offensive coordinator Matt Canada wasn’t on the hot seat before, it should be scorching now.

Justin Fields – QB, Chicago Bears

This offseason, we saw the Chicago Bears trade out of the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft and get their quarterback Justin Fields, an All-Pro receiver in D.J. Moore. They also drafted an offensive tackle in the top ten. So, it was a disappointment for Bears fans and supporters to see Fields struggling again. His box score looks fine, but there were many times where he would miss his intended target or attempt to scramble but be short of the down marker. Those were issues coming into the season. Another point of concern with Fields’ performance was that D.J. Moore was targeted only twice in the entire game. I’m sure the team will draw up more designs to get Moore the ball, but Fields must improve as a pocket passer if he plans to be the Bears’ starting quarterback in 2024.

Geno Smith – QB, Seattle Seahawks

After last year’s dream season, the Seahawks looked more primed than ever to make a run deep in the playoffs — with Geno Smith as their leader. His first task would be to take out the Los Angeles Rams’ defense with Aaron Donald and a handful of rookies and unproven players. The result was only 112 passing yards for Geno and the Seahawks. Smith didn’t contribute any turnovers, but the expectations were higher considering the matchup and Smith’s surrounding talent. The roster in Seattle is too talented to continue to underperform, but Smith knows that nothing is certain in this league when it comes to job security.

Stay Tuned

We’re off and running with the 2024 NFL season. While it is only one week, we have one week’s worth of stats and visuals on all 32 teams. It is becoming apparent which teams and players put things together in the offseason for their real-life and fantasy prospects. Check back for your weekly dose of Risers and Fallers.