Week 1 Fantasy Football Breakouts

Week 1 Fantasy Football Breakouts

As football season begins, fantasy leagues are a favorite pastime of sports fans. The competition is a great way to challenge your sports knowledge against your friends, as hours are spent negotiating trades and deciding who to play and draft. Many leagues make it more interesting through wagers, making the competitive spirit even more present. Tensions flare, but at the end of the day, everyone enjoys the game within the game. Here are some breakout performers from Week 1 of the NFL season.

  1. Kareem Hunt – Kansas City Chiefs RB

This young running back showed out on opening night, but things did not go exactly according to plan. His first carry of his professional career ended in a fumble, recovered by the Patriots. To add insult to injury, he did not lose a fumble once in over 800 attempts in his college career. He made up for it and then some, finishing the game with over 240 all purpose yards and three total touchdowns. He single-handedly won games for fantasy teams, posting 39 points in non-PPR leagues. This showing was unexpected to say the least, but many savvy players saw a solid performance on its way, as his fellow running back, Spencer Ware, was ruled out for the season just two weeks before, leaving the rookie to handle most of the load. In a Chiefs offense that has had a top-10 fantasy RB in 9 out of the last 13 years, it looks as though Hunt will run his way to fantasy stardom.

  1. Kenny Golladay – Detroit Lions WR

Although the 4th wide receiver on the depth chart, rookie WR Kenny Golladay made the most of his time on the field, and the strong play of his quarterback, catching two touchdowns and notching over 60 yards receiving. This 18 point performance in non-PPR format was a surprise to all, as he was available on the waiver wire at the start of the week in most leagues. That has likely changed, as his large frame and athleticism may prove to be a favorite of talented quarterback Matthew Stafford. He is certainly a good waiver wire pickup if he is available, and someone to keep an eye on as he gains trust of Matthew Stafford.

  1. Alex Smith – Kansas City Chiefs QB

Although typically seen as a game manager, Smith exploded against the Patriots in the opening game of the season. He started off his 13th season in the NFL well, passing for 368 yards and 4 touchdowns, which equated to 30 fantasy points in a non-PPR format. Facing a strong Patriots’ D known for punishing quarterbacks, Smith produced an uncommon performance from his typically average playing style. He was assisted by the stellar performances of his teammates Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt, the latter scoring 39 non-PPR fantasy points in his first career game. With such a strong showing, Smith placed himself atop the highest points standings for Week 1.

  1. Mike Gillislee – New England Patriots RB

As a recent offseason signing from Buffalo, Gillislee was looking to start off his time in New England with a resounding success. Many doubted him because he had only served as a backup running back in Buffalo, but he made a strong statement in his Week 1 game against the Chiefs, rushing for a meager 45 yards but producing 3 touchdowns, resulting in 22 non-PPR points. Despite the fact that he may not have ran for as many yards as he wanted to, Gillislee carved out a major role for himself in goal line carries and should be a solid play in all fantasy formats. As the number 1 back in New England, it’s Gillislee’s time to shine.

  1. Younghoe Koo – Los Angeles Chargers K

By far the most interesting player on this list, the South Korean kicker from Georgia Southern is looking to prove himself in his first year in the NFL. Recently put into the media spotlight for hitting a field goal while doing a backflip, Younghoe easily converted 3 extra points versus the Denver Broncos but had his potentially game-winning field goal blocked in the final seconds on Monday night. Despite his failure to win the game, the blame can be placed on those who failed to protect Koo, and he should continue to be successful in the kicking game. If not desired for his kicking skills, at least pick up Koo for all of the possible team names.