NFL Soup|Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Week 1 NFL Sunday Surprises in Fantasy Football 


The NFL season is back, and fantasy owners are racing to their computers, mobile phones, or iPad-esque devices to check their fantasy football scores almost by the minute.

But some fantasy owners were extremely disappointed when they kept updating the scores as there were a lot of studs that were poor in Week One.

Let’s take a look at some of the players that did not disappoint, and in fact surprised us:

10. Chicago Bears Defense

I don’t doubt that the Bears defense is tough, but what I did doubt was it’s ability to shut down such a dominant offense as the Atlanta Falcons.

The Bears really gave Matt Ryan a hard time, intercepting him once and not letting him score a touchdown. They held the Falcons to zero offensive touchdowns, which was incredible.

If you started the Bears defense you received somewhere around a solid 19 points.

9. Baltimore Ravens Defense

Much like Chicago, what was most surprising about the Ravens is that they shut down an offense that has huge scoring potential.

They intercepted Big Ben three times, and recovered four other fumbles against the talented Pittsburgh Steelers offense.

Those starting the Ravens proved me wrong big time by scoring over 20 points.

8. Scott Chandler, TE, Buffalo Bills

Scott Chandler scored more touchdowns on Sunday than catches that he had in his career before the game.

He scored more touchdowns on Sunday than total starts he has made entering his fourth season.

Chandler is on almost no fantasy rosters, literally. But I bet that changes after he put up 18 points, which was the highest mark for all tight ends in week one.

7. Mike Tolbert, RB, San Diego Chargers 

This really shouldn’t be surprising. Tolbert scores. But most of us didn’t see it coming. It was assumed that Ryan Mathews would get most of the touches and make most of the plays.

We were wrong (Except for Taylor Smith. True story).

Tolbert scored three touchdowns (1 rush, 2 rec), and while he didn’t obtain a ton of yardage on the ground, he made his mark in the end zone, which goes to show that 2010 likely wasn’t a fluke.

6. Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Buffalo Bills

Fitzpatrick had a very solid year in 2010, and was a respectable fantasy option.

Going into the Kansas City game, it just did not seem plausible for him to continue that success.

Fitzpatrick threw for just 209 yards, but his four touchdowns really made a big dent in the fantasy scoring system as Fitzpatrick tallied up roughly 24 points.

5. Early Doucet, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Larry Fitzgerald who? Doucet caught just three passes, but his 105 yards and one touchdown made fantasy owners want to cry.

Doucet caught a 70 yard pass from Kevin Kolb late in the game to tie it up for the Cardinals who fought off another two players on this list for the win.

4. Cadillac Williams, RB, St. Louis Rams

Despite Williams’ struggles during his career, he looks like he could turn into a decent fantasy option in 2011.

Williams ran with a chip on his shoulder on Sunday as he filled in for the injured Steven Jackson.

Williams carried the ball 19 times for 91 yards rushing, and added 59 yards receiving on five receptions to give unsuspecting fantasy owners around 13 points.

3. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Baldwin, an undrafted free agent pickup from the 2011 NFL Draft made a shocking play on Sunday that made Seattle’s wide receiver situation even more confusing.

Baldwin caught a nice 55 yard pass from Tarvaris Jackson to keep the Seahawks in the game. He finished with four receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown, with fourteen fantasy points.

2. Steve Smith, WR, Carolina Panthers

Steve Smith appeared to be done. Injury struggles recently to go along with poor quarterback play just made Steve Smith look like a man ready for retirement.

Instead, Cam Newton targeted him 11 times and landed eight receptions for the veteran. Those eight receptions turned into 178 yards and two touchdowns for fantasy owners which totals nearly 30 points.

1. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers

Well this is a no-brainer. I put Newton down low on the totem pole for week one, and he shut me up quickly.

Newton threw for 422 yards two touchdowns and one interception. He also had 18 yards and a touchdown on the ground as the Panthers gave the Arizona Cardinals everything they could handle only to be disappointed by the fifth overall draft pick Patrick Peterson in the fourth quarter.

Newton really played a heck of a game, and whether or not he continues this level of play will be dependent on how defenses line up against him.

He will take his lumps over the course of the year, but he showed on Sunday that he can play with the big boys.

About the author: Keet Bailey

Keet Bailey heads the NFL Draft division of NFL Soup. Bailey’s 2012 NFL Mock Draft scored 12th overall among 112 participants according to The Huddle Report’s Annual Mock Draft scoring contest. An avid Cleveland Browns fan, Keet hails from and resides in Ohio. Follow Keet on Twitter @NFLSoupKeet

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