Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
The temptation is strong to overreact to Week 1 of the fantasy football season. It's easy to talk yourself into starting Kevin Ogletree when he's the top scoring receiver.
However, Week 1 performances are often a mirage, a product of the smallest sample size imaginable. Still, there are some Week 1 overachievers to get excited about, just as there are some I was already shopping before the Sunday night game even concluded.
Week 1 overachievers to trade
Kevin Smith, RB, Detroit Lions - Smith had 91 total yards and two touchdowns on 17 touches Sunday. However, there are a number of reasons why I don't think he'll even be a worthy flex play in a few weeks. First, his success Sunday came against the St. Louis Rams, a team that ranked 31st in football last season with 152.1 rushing yards allowed per game. You almost have to retire if you don't have a successful day against the Rams. Second, Mikel Leshoure will be back from a suspension after Week 2, and Jahvid Best will try to make a midseason comeback. Third, he's Kevin Smith.
Kevin Ogletree, WR, Dallas Cowboys - Ogletree is a player to stash on your bench in case Miles Austin goes down -- third receiver Laurent Robinson had 11 touchdowns in this offense last season, after all -- but let's not kid ourselves. This is not a player you want to be starting prior to bye weeks. The Giants were missing Prince Amukamara and Terrell Thomas and lost replacement Michael Coe in the second half; Ogletree didn't have to do much to get open. Plus, Jason Witten was a non-factor coming off a lacerated spleen; he'll become a larger part of the offense as the season progresses. And Robinson's big season only occurred because Austin missed six games.
Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins - Oh, Mike Shanahan, why do you torment us? With Morris' Week 1 performance in the books, it's likely Shanahan and his son, offensive coordinator Kyle, have suckered fantasy owners again. Morris rushed for 96 yards and two touchdowns against the New Orleans Saints Sunday, leaving many owners to think they have found a diamond in the rough. Look again, because it's only cubic zirconia. The Redskins gave Tim Hightower 45 carries in the first two games last season, but by Week 4 he had been replaced by Ryan Torain after getting nicked up (Hightower didn't carry the ball again until Week 7, when he rushed for 88 yards before tearing his ACL). Torain eventually ceded carries to Roy Helu. Morris needed 28 carries to reach his total Sunday, a 3.4 ypc. If you think the Shanahans aren't already looking past Morris to one of the other backs on the roster, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.
Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins - I don't mean to pick on the Redskins, but RGIII's value may never be higher than it is right now. That doesn't mean he won't have a good or even excellent rookie season, but after a 320-yard, two-TD performance against the Saints Sunday, there's likely to be several fantasy owners elevating RGIII to the elite level of fantasy QBs. If you can find someone so enamored with Griffin that they'll give you Matthew Stafford (3 interceptions in Week 1) for a package including the rookie, pull the trigger.
Week 1 overachievers to target
Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers - Cobb, a second-year player out of Kentucky, was a major part of the Green Bay Packers' offensive attack in Week 1, catching nine passes for 77 yards and returning a punt 75 yards for a touchdown. He was used on screens and ran some plays out of the backfield, too. The 22-year-old has to contend with Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Jermichael Finley and the team's leading receiver in Week 1, James Jones, for targets, but I don't think this is going to be a team that runs the ball a lot, and I expect Cobb to eclipse Finley and Jones as Rodgers' safety valve. He caught all nine of his targets against a hard-hitting San Francisco 49ers defense and he should be able to use his speed to gain more yards after the catch against lesser defensive units.
Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins - Garcon was Robert Griffin III's favorite receiver in training camp, preseason and Week 1, snagging four passes for 109 yards and an 88-yard touchdown pass. Unfortunately, Garcon hurt his foot on the long touchdown and didn't return to the game. However, X-rays came back negative and it looks like the Redskins receiver will play in Week 2 against the Rams. Use the injury as an opportunity to buy a receiver who is going to have a huge year.
Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts - Wayne found out what it's like to be Larry Fitzgerald last season, wasting away on an Indianapolis Colts offense led by the Curtis Painters and Dan Orlovskys of the NFL. Without Peyton Manning throwing him the ball, the 33-year-old Wayne showed his age, but he still managed to haul in 75 balls for 960 yards and four TDs. Wayne was targeted 18 times in Week 1 and he turned that into 9-135. The Colts are going to have to throw a lot, and Andrew Luck is perfectly capable of getting Wayne the ball. Expect him to return to form with an 85-catch, 1,000-yard season.
Dexter McCluster, RB, Kansas City Chiefs - After Jamaal Charles tore his ACL last season, the Kansas City Chiefs were forced to alter their game plan and ended up giving McCluster 114 carries. McCluster also caught 46 passes, but he only averaged 7.1 yards per catch running mostly out of the backfield. With Charles and Peyton Hillis now in the backfield rotation and a healthy Matt Cassel under center, McCluster will play primarily as the team's slot receiver and should be PPR league gold. McCluster caught six passes for 82 yards on 10 targets in Week 1, while second receiver Jon Baldwin wasn't targeted at all.