The Good, the Bad and the Ugly:
Fantasy Football Week 1

By James Collier

Just like that, a crazy first week of the 2023 NFL season has come and gone. We’ve seen some elite offenses with some of the best quarterbacks in the game struggle, some surprising names burst onto the scene and some all too familiar narratives creeping in around the league. 

Each week, I will be bringing you The Good, the Bad and the Ugly fantasy football storylines as we over (and under) react to what we have seen in the previous seven days.

The Good

Tua Tagovailoa & Tyreek Hill

Before the season started Tyreek Hill said he wanted to break 2,000 receiving yards and after one game of evidence, maybe he should aim higher. Between them, Tua and Tyreek scored over 70 fantasy points as they carved up a questionable Chargers defense. There are tougher matchups on the horizon with a trip to New England next week and a visit from the Broncos in Week 3. But let’s not forget that the Dolphins struggled mightily against this Chargers team in Week 14 last season and had not been the same ever since. So this feels like it could be a significant hurdle to have jumped. 

49ers Offense

The 49ers offense continues to be the gift that keeps on giving for fantasy football managers. They were never really pushed by the Steelers but Christian McCaffrey still ends the week as the RB3 and Brandon Aiyuk as the WR2. McCaffrey saw 85% of the snaps and 22 of the 29 non quarterback carries despite it being cakewalk, dispelling any fear of a timeshare with Elijah Mitchell. And Aiyuk’s team high target rate of 28.6% could be a sign of him taking over as the team’s number one receiving weapon. 

Honourable Mentions

Calvin Ridley (WR6) was back to looking like a stud in the Jaguars win over the Colts. And it was a great start to the season for rookie wide receivers Puka Nacua (WR9) and Zay Flowers (WR16).

The Bad

Chiefs Wide Receivers

Patrick Mahomes completed just 53.8% of his passes in the season opener without Travis Kelce. This was a big opportunity for one of the wide receivers to step up in the absence of the star tight end but on the whole, they failed miserably. Most notably Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore combined for just one catch on eight targets for a grand total of 1.4 fantasy points between them. 

Joe Burrow, Daniel Jones, Geno Smith

They were all top seven fantasy scorers at the position last year but managed under 300 total passing yards between them in Week 1. We might have anticipated a slow start from Burrow having missed all of preseason or for Jones up because of his matchup with the elite Cowboys defense, but not on this scale. And for Geno and the Seahawks it was a second half capitulation against a Rams team that was supposed to be in contention for the number one draft pick in 2024.

Embed from Getty Images

The Ugly

Arthur Smith/Falcons Offense

The numbers for the Falcons pass catchers are about as ugly as it gets with Drake London and Kyle Pitts having just four targets between (the same as Mack Hollins). Obviously the Falcons got a fairly comfortable win in the end and the run game looked great. But that just meant that Smith was able to get a dig in at the “fantasy guys” when asked why London (the eighth overall pick in 2022) was targeted just once all game. 

Maybe he’s right and maybe London doesn’t care as long as the team wins. But do we really believe things will be any different in closer games? We’ve been here before with this Falcons offense and talked ourselves into this year being different. The concern is real for those who spent a fifth or sixth round pick on London or Pitts.


It feels like we get at least one week a year where the bad news just keeps on coming and that was the case this week. In addition to several hamstring issues we saw both JK Dobbins and Aaron Rodgers tear their achilles. The news is obviously brutal for the players as well as their teams but also has widespread fantasy implications. Garrett Wilson was a popular pick to breakout and finish the year as a top five receiver, but it’s hard to see him getting anywhere close with Zach Wilson at quarterback.

Feature image credit: Jason Vinlove – USA Today Sports


Lead Fantasy Football Analyst

A Washington fan since the early 2010’s, James had no choice but to turn to fantasy football in search of happiness – and it wasn’t long until it became an obsession. You can follow him on Twitter @jamesc294.