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Rob Mongole (@TheRotoRob) talks you through the risers, fallers and deep stashes after week 1 of the NFL.

By Rob Mongole

We’re through one week of the NFL season.  And while it may be early going, week one waiver pickups and buy lows often turn out to be league winners. Here is a list of players trending up or down. Ownership percentages given for each player in MFL dynasty formats and Yahoo redraft formats.  In future weeks, expect this column to run on Tuesdays.  Shout out to my first child being born on Sunday.  Football was the least of my worries this past week.  The ownership percentages reflect ownership as of Monday.

Trending Up:

Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski, WR and TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rostered in 93% and 87% of MFL leagues; 91% and 82% of Yahoo redraft leagues

Target these veterans now if you are in redraft or competing for the Ship in dynasty formats.  Antonio Brown only played 65% of the snaps, but was targeted 7 times which Brown turned into 5 receptions for 121 yards and a touchdown. While Brown played 42 snaps (65%) compared to Mike Evans (61 snaps, 84%) and Chris Godwin (64 snaps, 98%), he out targeted Evans and appeared to be the Buc’s deep threat. Meanwhile Gronk was the only TE to see significant snaps and looked like vintage Gronk hauling in all 8 of his targets for 90 yards and two scores.  He won’t have a stat line like this every week, but the Gronk-Brady red zone connection is real.  I believe Gronk finishes the year as a mid to back end TE1.

Dalton Schultz – TE, Dallas Cowboys

Rostered in 33% of MFL Leagues; 1% of Yahoo redraft leagues 

Schultz led the Cowboys in both snaps (57 snaps) and targets (6) from the TE position.  I am high on Jarwin and hope he is being eased back into the offense.  Jarwin played 9 fewer snaps (48) than Shultz but only received 4 targets. Meanwhile Schultz hauled in all 6 of his targets for 45 yards.  With Michael Gallup set to miss multiple weeks with injury, I am buying into the health and targets of Schultz.  I don’t believe you’ll find a better option in deeper leagues or dynasty leagues if you need to pick up a TE off the waiver wire for the next few weeks.

Elijah Mitchell – RB, San Francisco 49ers

Rostered in 16% of MFL Leagues; 8% of Yahoo redraft leagues 

If you’ve read any of my previous columns then you’ve already stashed Elijah Mitchell on your rosters in dynasty formats.  I have been beating the drum for Mitchell’s potential workload next year when Raheem Mostert is a free agent and as a useless flex piece in the event Mostert was injured in 2021. Mitchell is slightly undersized at 5’10 and 201 lbs but ran an electric 4.35 at his pro day. He used that speed to finish as the number 12 RB in week 1 on 19 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown. 19 carries on 35 snaps is impressive.  He beat out JaMycal Hasty’s 16 snaps and Kyle Juszczyk’s 20 snaps.  Trey Sermon was an early draft pick this year and could play after being a mystery scratch week 1. Mitchell, just like Mostert, does not need many carries to produce for your fantasy team.  He is a safe start as long as he continues to see 15+ touches in the league’s best rushing attack. ** In deeper leagues also take a look at Kerryon Johnson who just signed with the 49ers Tuesday.

Trending Down:

Parris Campbell, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Rostered in 51% of MFL leagues; 12% of Yahoo redraft leagues

Indy was down early and HAD to throw the ball to make a comeback.  Meanwhile, Parris Campbell received only 3 targets which he converted into 1 reception for 24 yards.  With no T.Y. Hilton, we were all expecting increased roles for Campbell and Michael Pittman, Jr. Instead Zach Pascal led the team with 5 targets while Pittman had 4 targets and Indy continued to pound the rock despite being down big.  Campbell was a distant third in snaps with 46 (61%), trailing Pittman with 74 (97%) and Pascal with 69 (91%). Michael Strachan was fourth with 18 (24%) with Ashton Dulin receiving 6 snaps (8%).

Depth Charts to Monitor:

Backup RB for the Philadelphia Eagles

Boston Scott: Rostered in 50% of MFL leagues; 11% of Yahoo redraft leagues

Kenneth Gainwell: Rostered in 44% of MFL leagues; 8% of Yahoo redraft leagues

Just one month ago this looked like a crowded backfield.  Kerryon Johnson is gone and Jordan Howard is on the practice squad.  Behind Miles Sanders is just Boston Scott and 5th round rookie Kenneth Gainwell. The RB2 in the backfield has some fantasy relevance as Philly has continually relied on multiple RBs.  Most people expected Boston Scott to continue as the change of pace back leaving Gainwell as the RB3.  However Gainwell appeared to be the clear RB2 on the offense rushing 9 times for 37 yards and a touchdown and adding 2 catches on 3 targets and had a touchdown reception called back. Miles Sanders received 47 snaps to Gainwells’s 25.  It is Sanders’ backfield to lose.  But Boston Scott had 0 snaps!  Gainwell is a sneaky add wherever you can.

TE for the New Orlean Saints

Adam Trautman: Rostered in 53% of MFL leagues; 11% of Yahoo redraft leagues

Juwan Johnson: Rostered in 16% of MFL leagues; 10% of Yahoo redraft leagues

Jameis Winston did his best Aaron Rodgers impression Sunday throwing for 5 TDs.  Adam Trautman spent all off season being hyped only to sustain a late preseason injury which he amazingly recovered in time from to play Week 1.  Trautman caught 3 of his 6 targets for 18 yards.  Trautman’s 6 targets were good for the league’s second highest target share at the TE position behind only Darren Waller. Juwan Johnson is a converted WR who had been getting a lot of sleeper love after Trautman’s injury.  On Sunday Trautman led the way with 51 snaps (82%), while Garret Griffin was the second most utilized TE with 17 snaps (27%).  Juwan Johnson was third with 12 snaps (19%).  However, Johnson caught all 3 of his targets for 21 yards and two touchdowns.  Maybe Johnson will continue to dominate in the red zone with no Michael Thomas.  On Sunday, only Alvin Kamara had more red zone targets from Winston with 3.  Juwan Johnson saw 2 of his three targets in the red zone. Meanwhile Ty Montgomery and Trautman each added 1 red zone target.  Juwan Johnson is an add or a hold in dynasty leagues.  As a converted WR, Johnson demands targets more frequently (and is asked to block less) than Trautman or Griffin do at the TE position.  If the snaps go up, he could quickly become fantasy relevant.  Meanwhile, target Trautman from panicked dynasty owners and stay away from the Saint’s TE room in redraft formats.

RB for the Baltimore Ravens

Ty’Son Williams: Rostered in 71% of MFL leagues; 78% of Yahoo redraft leagues

Latavius Murray: Rostered in 74% of MFL leagues; 62% of Yahoo redraft leagues

Le’Veon Bell:: Rostered in 63% of MFL leagues; 46% of Yahoo redraft leagues

Devonta Freeman: Rostered in 27% of MFL leagues; 10% of Yahoo redraft leagues

Ty’Son Williams went from unowned in even the deepest dynasty formats to the RB9 on the week seemingly overnight.  His 35 snaps (51%) were considerably more than Latavius Murray’s  21 (31%) and Trenton Cannon’s 9 (13%).  Cannon was subsequently released.  Add Williams wherever you can, but temper your long term expectations.  Le’Veon Bell and Devonta Freeman were added to the practice squad. Watching Bell and Freeman play last year doesn’t inspire confidence that anything is left in their tanks.  However, I imagine that Murray – and to an extent Bell and Freeman slowly increase their snap count as the year goes on.  Cutting Cannon after Monday night is a clear indication that Baltimore thinks at least one of Bell or Freeman are able to contribute to this offense immediately.  Baltimore is never afraid to split carries and this should continue as the 2021 season continues.

You can find me on Twitter @TheRotoRob and on Reddit u/TheRotoRob.  Feel free to reach out with any questions.

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