Fantasy Football: Things we learned, might've learned, and didn't learn in Week 1

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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Puka Nacua
Aug 19, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Puka Nacua (17) warms up / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Things We Might’ve Learned 

Puka and/or Tutu can be fantasy relevant, even when Kupp comes back

The football world was ready to see a healthy Cooper Kupp back on the field in 2023. Unfortunately, a setback in his recovery from a lingering hamstring injury has forced him to land on the short-term IR. That means it will be Week 4, at the earliest, that he can see the field. If the performances from Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell Sunday against the Seahawks were any indication, they might be much better off without him than initially thought. While most everyone thought it would be Van Jefferson and Tyler Higbee who took on the bigger workload without Kupp, it was actually the rookie and second-year receivers who stole the show.

Atwell caught eight of his 10 targets, converting them into 119 yards. Nacua saw a league-high 15 targets and turned them into 10 catches for 119 yards. That puts the combined stats for the two at 23 targets, 16 catches, and 238 yards. In contrast, Jefferson and Higbee saw just eight combined targets and turned them into seven catches for 73 yards. While I don’t expect them to be weekly top-15 options while Kupp is out, they may be viable lineup options, especially if you have Kupp on your roster and need a replacement. They could also be one-hit wonders and take a backseat to Jefferson and Higbee moving forward.

Jimmy G prefers Meyers over Adams

A big reason that Davante Adams joined the Raiders last season was to play with his former college quarterback, Derek Carr. Carr is now in New Orleans, with Jimmy Garoppolo taking over the reins in Vegas. While it was unknown how the rest of the pecking order would play, it was assumed that Adams would still be the clear-cut top target in the offense. However, if Week 1 is any indication, that spot could be much more up for grabs than initially thought.

It was Jakobi Meyers who saw the most targets in the Raiders' first game, turning his 10 targets into nine catches for 81 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Adams was right behind him in the target department, seeing nine passing and logging six catches for 66 yards. The two accounted for 73-percent of Garoppolo’s targets, 74-percent of his yards, and both of his touchdowns. While I do expect Adams to be the lead guy more often than not, the fact that Meyers outproduced him may be a sign that this offense could have more than one reliable pass catcher for fantasy purposes. Maybe Jimmy G was avoiding Patrick Surtain’s matchup as much as possible, which happened to be Adams more than Meyers.