After a long wait, the 2014 NFL Season began in full-force Sunday, and now that we’ve finally seen some of these players in action, it’s time to look at whose Fantasy Stock rose the most, and who gets a downgrade, with Week One now in the books:


– Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee Titans- 22/33, 266 passing yards, two touchdowns vs. Kansas City- Locker’s always been good when he’s healthy, and under first-year head coach Ken Whisenhunt, Locker was effective, and the Titans as a whole dominated the Chiefs in their building. If he’s available he’s worth a flier as he has solid weapons around him, he just has to avoid the injuries. Against the Cowboys next week, he could be a must start.

ryanjones cooks– Matt Ryan, QB- 31/43, 448 passing yards, three touchdowns/Roddy White, WR- Five receptions, 72 receiving yards, one touchdown/Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons- 7/116 vs. New Orleans- The Falcons offense was all but left for dead after the disaster that was last season, but Atlanta’s Big Three put the doubters to rest with their victory against the Saints, in a game many expected them to lose. The loan blemish was a lost fumble by Jones, but other than that, the Falcons passing game looks to be back on the right track. If this is any indication, expect Ryan to put up top five QB numbers, White to teeter on the edge of the top 20 receivers, and Jones to possibly be back in the top five.

– Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints- one rush, 16 yards, 7/77/1 vs. Atlanta- With Kenny Stills and Nick Toon both inactive, the rookie took advantage and put his claim on the title of “best rookie receiver.” He tied Marques Coleston for second most catches, behind Jimmy Graham, and that should continue. While being the third passing option isn’t ideal, with Drew Brees throwing the passing, Cooks could be a top 30 option the rest of the way. Expect a BIG game out of him next week against the Browns.

– Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers- 21 rushes, 109 yards, one touchdown, seven receptions, 88 receiving yards vs. Cleveland- What DUI? If this guy stays healthy and stays out of trouble, he’s going to be a stud; He averaged 5.2 yards a carry, capped by his 38 yard run for a score, and he tied Markus Wheaton for most targets by Ben Roethlisburger. LeGarrette Blount will be involved, and he did get an early score, but this is Bell’s backfield, and he’s a definite top 10 back.

20140907_kkt_su8_183– Knowshon Moreno, Miami Dolphins- 24 rushes, 134 yards, one touchdown vs. New England- He benefitted from a Lamar Miller fumble, but it appears reports of Moreno’s decline have been greatly exaggerated. Miller wasn’t entirely benched, and he did have an early score himself, but in the second half Moreno took over and rushed for 91 of his total yards, including a crucial late score against the Patriots, whom Moreno has devoured over the last two seasons. The Dolphins play the Bills next week, and expect Moreno to enter the game as Miami’s lead back, and a possible top 25 running back play the rest of the way.

– Jeremy Maclin, WR, Philadelphia Eagles- 4/97/1/Zach Ertz, TE- 3/77/1 vs. Jacksonville- The Eagles fell behind early after the Allen Hurns- Chad Henne show, but in the second half the Eagles offense came alive, and we found out who the number one receiver is. Maclin had a great game in his return from knee surgery, far outproducing Riley Cooper and Jordan Matthews, while Ertz showed that he is ready to become a top 10 tight end this season. These two are the Eagles pass-catchers worth owning, expect big games next week at Indianapolis.

images2K9GBHVMcro– Terrance West, RB, Cleveland Browns- 16 rushes, 100 yards/Isaiah Crowell, RB- 5/32/1 vs. Pittsburgh- Ben Tate looked good early, but left the game before halftime with a knee injury, but the Browns showed faith in all three of their backs, but splitting the carries between West and Crowell; West as the every down back, and Crowell the goal-line back. One thing was made clear Sunday- the backfield is probably the most talented part of the Browns offense, and so if Tate misses time, expect both these backs to be heavily involved, and even if Tate comes back, he continues to show how fragile he is, but we’ll talk more about that later. Grab these guys if they are available.

– Justin Forsett, RB, Baltimore Ravens- 11/70/1, five receptions, 14 yards vs. Cincinnati= For the second year in a row, Bernard Pierce couldn’t take hold of the starting job for the Ravens. Enter Forsett, a decent runner for the Seahawks pre-Beast Mode who played under offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak in 2012. After Pierce fumbled, Forsett took the ball and ran with it, and could be poised to start next week against the Steelers. Even with Ray Rice’s return looming in Week Three, Forsett might be playing for at least a time-share of the job, unless Rice looks a lot better than last year.

Other notables- Percy Harvin, Sea; Cordelle Patterson, Min; Allen Hurns, Jax; Brian Quick, Stl; Mark Ingram, NO; Kelvin Benjamin, Car; Markus Wheaton, Pit


– Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City- seven rushes, 19 yards, four receptions, 15 yards vs. Tennessee- The Chiefs offense, as a whole looked terrible today, none more disappointing the Charles’ line. Alex Smith through three interceptions today, and the Titans defense did a great job neutralizing Charles, and forcing Smith to try to beat them elsewhere, which he couldn’t do. He’ll probably rebound against Denver next week, but if the Chiefs’ offense can’t get going it might be a long season for JC owners, the majority of which probably start their season 0-1.

– Ben Tate, RB, Cleveland- six rushes, 41 yards- As stated earlier, Tate looked good before he got hurt. But he’s never been a durable back, and seeing as how the Browns have shown plenty of confidence in West and Crowell, if Tate misses any time with his knee injury, he might very well not be able to reclaim the starting role, and could be in a season long time-share as a result.

= Torrey Smith, WR, Baltimore- three receptions, 50 yards vs. Cincinnati- Another player whose offense looked terrible for the majority of the game, but in Smith’s case it’s particularly troubling, as Joe Flacco still managed over 300 passing yards, and 200 went to Steve Smith and Dennis Pitta, with the newcomer Smith hauling in the Ravens’ lone passing score. Smith is technically the Ravens number one receiver, but he tied for the third most targets among pass-catchers with seven, while Smith and Pitta each had 15, and he only managed to catch three of them. He might get more targets next week, but anyone thinking of Smith as a breakout candidate might want to temper their expectations moving forward.

– Bernard Pierce, RB, Baltimore- six rushes, 14 yards, one lost fumble vs. Cincinnati- See Forsett, Justin. Pierce was much hyped in the offseason, but he couldn’t hold onto the ball, and now he might have lost his chance to prove he deserves a larger share of carries moving forward. Another bad outing and he might be drop-worthy.

20140907_sng_sh2_013– Tony Romo, QB, Dallas- 23/37, 281 yards, One Touchdowns, THREE Interceptions, vs. San Francisco- This is why no one wants to defend Tony Romo, because whenever you do he lays an egg. Sunday was unquestionably his worst game in over two years, and he fell back into his old routine of throwing terrible interceptions that looked like they were gifted to the other team. He was never able to rebound after falling behind 21-3 halfway through the first quarter, and everything he did that wasn’t a handoff to DeMarco Murray seemingly made things worse. This is the worst possible start to the season if you’re a Cowboy fan (it’s a tough thing to be), as the defense played moderately well after all. It might be a loooong season in Big D.

Other notables- Robert Griffin III, Was; Zac Stacy, Stl; Pierre Thomas, NO; Doug Martin, TB, Mike Evans, TB; Stl Defense

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