After a pair of the craziest months of my life — 70-hour weeks on top of 70-hour weeks — I finally had a chance on Monday evening to take a deep breath: hanging out with my wife (we watched E.T., which I had somehow never seen before…), resting my mind for a bit, and recharging for the 16 weeks ahead. I am honored to be able to do the work I do, and I’m so excited for these next few months.
Speaking of Twitter:
We have just launched the @oneweekseason Twitter page! If you are on Twitter, I encourage you to give it a follow. The page is being run by @Armando_Marsal (who is also worth a follow!), and our goal is to turn the OWS Twitter page into a reliable source of quality, curated NFL information — with statistical insights, beat writer thoughts, snippets from the NFL Edge, and more. Although I am not able to be on Twitter much myself during the season, the @oneweekseason page will have you covered with quality insights each week.
As such, I want to encourage you to help the site grow by spreading the word on Twitter or telling some friends about One Week Season. I know there can be a temptation to “hoard all the good information,” but the awesome thing is this:
The more subscribers we are able to bring on board, the more we will be able to grow and improve the site each year. This is how we were able to add Ownership Projections and the Audio Version of the NFL Edge for this season, and I want to continue to make additions and improvements every new year. (Of course, as we grow and improve the site — and as the subscription cost for new subscribers continues to climb — you will always be able to renew at the price you originally paid.)
Let’s make The One Week Season even more of a steal than it already is for you! — let’s get some more people in the doors this week before the first price-spike hits.
10 THINGS WE LEARNED OVER THE WEEKEND
1. Joe Mixon looks good. Last week in the NFL Edge, I shared my hesitation on the hype surrounding both Joe Mixon and Christian McCaffrey — saying I was willing to change my mind, but I still needed to see more before doing so. Well, Joe Mixon looks ready for prime time. He ran smooth and clean, with good vision and tackle-breaking ability, and his preseason pass game involvement carried over to the regular season. Most importantly, he dominated running back snaps and touches. He draws a very tough assignment against a stout Ravens front on Thursday Night Football, so this may not be the week he keeps it going; but I’m finding space for myself on the Mixon bandwagon.
2. The Browns coaches are absolute dunces. The offensive play-calling for the Browns was puzzling all game long, and between the way they telegraphed running plays and lacked creativity in the pass game, I started wondering what Hue Jackson is putting in Todd Haley’s water. In spite of all the weapons this team boasts, it is still somehow the Browns. One of the key components of this week’s NFL Edge will be diagnosing what went wrong in Week 1 with both the Browns’ offense and the Saints’ defense, as these teams match up with one another this week.
3. The Patriots defense is…for real? It would be dangerous to make any judgements about the defense everyone is thinking about right now (the Saints) without digging in more deeply, so I’ll wait for the NFL Edge before passing judgements there. But…wow. The Patriots’ new-look, more-aggressive defense under “linebackers coach” Brian Flores looked very impressive. Last year, the Patriots had the pieces to be a much better defense than they were. And, um…the Lions have the pieces to be a much better defense than they looked on Monday night. #JustSaying
4. Phillip Dorsett is…for real? Sticking with the Patriots: Dorsett played 79% of the Patriots’ offensive snaps in Week 1 and took advantage with a 7-66-1 line. With the Patriots traveling to take on the Jaguars this week, we are unlikely to be able to take advantage of this playing time and usage just yet, but if the usage holds in Week 2, Dorsett could prove to be a sneaky play in Week 3 against the Lions.
5. A timeshare in Denver. Royce Freeman truthers were left scratching their heads on Sunday after Freeman played only 40% of the Broncos’ snaps and was matched in both snaps and production by fellow rookie Phillip Lindsay. While there is some speculation that this was a “hot hand” situation, Lindsay is obviously here to stay — and Devontae Booker mixed in for 26% of the snaps as well. This will be a difficult backfield to trust this week in a prime matchup against the hapless Raiders.
6. Adrian Peterson stomped around & stuff. Adrian Peterson played over half the snaps for Washington this week, and he stomped around to the tune of 26-96-1 on the ground (while going full Outlier Game by snagging a 2-70-1 through the air). While the efficiency doesn’t pop off the page in his work on the ground, it was a difficult run matchup. The biggest takeaway was that Peterson looked healthy and appears to be someone who can be targeted when the Redskins are expected to play with a lead.
7. Alex Smith loves Chris Thompson. And of course, when Washington can be projected to fall behind, Chris Thompson will have a shot at posting a monster game. In an 18-point win this week, Thompson was still targeted on 23% of Alex Smith’s passes, and he chipped in five carries as well. With how safety-prone Alex Smith is, we can expect this type of usage to continue.
8. Andrew Luck doesn’t need a healthy shoulder. Frank Reich has instituted a creative, quick-out passing attack that is focusing on short routes and a heavy reliance on tight ends and running backs (52.8% of Luck’s passes went to a tight end or running back — and while part of this was driven by the opponent, a much larger part was driven by offensive scheme). While this approach will effectively boost the fantasy production of a couple key players, T.Y. Hilton’s average depth of target of 9.8 is going to need to rise in order for him to truly reach the upside this season that he is capable of reaching.
9. Jordan Howard can catch the ball. The big storyline from the Sunday night game was Aaron Rodgers’ one-legged comeback (or…if you want to take the view from the other side: the Bears’ epic collapse), and it’s easy to focus on the bad things that happened for the Bears (like Mitchell Trubisky looking incompetent down the stretch). But the biggest takeaway for me was Jordan Howard’s involvement in the pass game. After regularly being featured on “Worst Hands in the League” lists the last couple years, Howard worked on his pass-catching ability this offseason in order to become a more complete back for Matt Nagy’s offense. His five catches on five targets (including a couple catches that were not especially easy) have me high on him moving forward.
10. Saquon Barkley is the Truth. It felt especially strange last week to put Barkley in my “Tier 2” plays for my Player Grid, as this is the tier reserved for guys who are “safe, but with a tougher chance of reaching upside.” Safe, of course, is not a word one typically associates with players taking on the Jaguars’ defense, but Barkley’s talent and locked-in involvement create a high floor for him in any matchup. After watching him on the field against an elite NFL defense, his upside in easier matchups is going to be awesome.
That’s it for this week, fam!
Remember: the @oneweekseason Twitter account is now open!
And I want to encourage you to help the site grow this week by spreading the word on Twitter or telling some friends about One Week Season before the $39 price tag disappears. The more subscribers we add, the more we will be able to add to the site in the future — making that $39 price tag even more ridiculous than it already is today.
I’m about to go into hiding for a couple days to produce the NFL Edge! I’ll see you on the site on Thursday, and I’ll see you at the top of the leaderboards this weekend.