In 2012, an undrafted receiver out of the University of Virginia made a huge impression during the NFL season opener for the Dallas Cowboys. When the little-known Kevin Ogletree exploded for 114 yards and two touchdowns against the New York Giants, every fantasy owner was battling to pick him up off the waiver wire. While he was not able to keep up his form for the duration of the season, he was a reminder that too often fantasy owners get over excited and pick up players before they’ve shown any amount of consistency. The fact remains that Mike Ogletree had a breakout game, and there are bound to be a few fantasy stars emerging after Week 1 of the 2015 season as well.
Which breakout performers from 2015’s Week 1 are unlikely to stay hot in the coming weeks ? Let’s take a look.
Marcel Reece (Oakland RB). Reece caught two receiving touchdowns and had 26 receiving yards in Oakland’s Week 1 loss to Cincinnati. Both of his touchdowns came with Oakland down 30+ points, however, so while his statistics were impressive, he was not originally planned to get heavy touches. While Reece is currently owned in .3% of standard ESPN leagues, that number will definitely increase by next week. However, it most likely is not worth picking him up as Latavius Murray will continue to get most of the RB touches in the Raiders’ offense.
Travis Benjamin (Cleveland WR). Travis Benjamin only had three receptions, but made the most of them by registering 89 yards and a TD in the Browns’ Week 1 loss to the New York Jets. The majority of his yardage came from a single throw, the first career Johnny Football touchdown, and he was not targeted many times afterwards. Benjamin is also owned in only .3% of standard leagues, but is unlikely receive too much attention in the future, as the Browns have Brian Hartline, Dwayne Bowe, and Andrew Hawkins listed above him in the Browns’ WR depth chart.
Karlos Williams (Buffalo RB). Williams had 55 yards and a TD on six carries against the Colts in Week 1, in a pretty efficient display. While he did not have as many fantasy points as a few others on this list, Williams could have a lot of value as a pickup if LeSean McCoy is injured going forward– which is a strong possibility. Williams is currently owned in 7.2% of leagues, but this number is also likely to balloon depending on how Buffalo’s training staff handles McCoy’s injury.
Benjamin Cunningham (St. Louis RB). With Todd Gurley missing the first game and Tre Mason suffering a hamstring injury, Cunningham had the opportunity to take on a heavier load of the Rams’ carries in Week 1 against the defending Super Bowl champions. Against the Seahawks, he recorded four receptions for 77 yards. Cunningham is currently owned in 14.7% of leagues and actually started in 8.3% of them last week. So long as both Gurley and Mason are injured, Cunningham is definitely worth picking up.
Tyrod Taylor (Buffalo QB). While as a quarterback, he does not fit the exact qualifications of a second-coming of Kevin Ogletree, he had a solid showing for the Buffalo in Week 1. Taylor has weapons at his disposal, especially when both Sammy Watkins and Lesean McCoy are healthy. Taylor could serve as a solid backup QB during your fantasy starter’s bye week, depending on how the Bills offense comes together within the next few weeks.
In conclusion, all of the guys listed above had a solid first fantasy week. While none quite matched the brilliance of Ogletree in Week 1 of 2012, some of these players may be able to hold value for longer than one or two more games. While most of these guys have fantasy value that is heavily dependent on injuries to the players above them on the team depth chart, Tyrod Taylor has the highest odds of being a consistent threat throughout the season. As far as someone with one good game that likely will not repeat their success, the title this season belongs to Marcel Reece.
Congrats, Marcel, you are the 2015 Kevin Ogletree.