Journeyman kicker makes history in professional debut

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For the record, his name is tuh-VECK-ee-oh.

The NFL season kicked off, and the stars came out to shine. Aaron Rodgers produced 311 yards through the air, leading the Packers to another season-opening win. Marshawn Lynch jumped into action for his first contest in almost two years with 92 total yards, while receivers Marvin Jones and Keenan Allen found the end zone for their respective clubs. Business as usual — but more on that later.

The main stage belongs to the “star” who wasn’t even on an NFL roster at this time last week.

Giorgio Tavecchio, K, Oakland Raiders

Who?!

It’s no secret that Raiders fans were delighted to witness the return of Lynch — not just to his home team, but to football in general. But it was the journeyman Italian who signed with the team’s practice squad Friday, was promoted to start after popular veteran Sebastian Janikowski was placed on IR and set the franchise record for most points in a debut (14) who stole the show.

Tavecchio connected on four field goals, including two 52-yarders, to help pick up the Lynch- and Derek Carr-led offense, which found the end zone just twice Sunday. Looking like a seasoned veteran in his first career game, Tavecchio deserves a look on just about everyone’s fantasy roster. It’s an extraordinary story for an even more extraordinary left foot, that one week in, is the No. 1 kicker in fantasy.

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

Week One stats: 28/42, 311 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 3 car, 21 yards.

Despite struggling to find the end zone for much of the Packers’ defensive onslaught with Seattle, the former MVP relied on his fellow stars in Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson to get the job done late. The Seahawks defense is a daunting task right out of the gate for any quarterback, and Rodgers’ somewhat underwhelming line should not be something to fret about. Take his own advice and R-E-L-A-X, as a Week Two primetime matchup Sunday night with the Falcons should be more of a high-scoring affair.

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Oakland Raiders

Week One stats: 18 car, 76 yards, 1 rec, 16 yards.

Beast Mode played for nearly half of Oakland’s snaps and became an integral part of the Raiders’ 26-16 win on the road. He’s no longer the top-10 running back that he once was, but he’s the top goal-line option for Oakland when it doesn’t settle for three off the leg of Tavecchio. Consider him a strong RB2 or flex option against the Jets in week two, in a matchup that heavily favors the hometown Raiders.

Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams

Week One stats: 21/29, 306 yards, 1 TD, 1 car, 2 yards.

In a somewhat pleasant surprise for Rams fans, the offense exploded for the most points scored by any team last week (46). Last year’s No. 1 overall pick achieved his first career win, connecting with eight different receivers, and produced a 117.9 QB rating in his first home opener. Goff’s fantasy ceiling should still be capped to a certain degree as he continues to develop against NFL defenses, but it’ll be sunny skies soon enough if this is a sign of things to come. Expect a similar but slightly more challenging performance against Washington next week.

Other notables: Marvin Jones (WR, Detroit Lions), Keenan Allen (WR, Los Angeles Chargers), CJ Anderson (RB, Denver Broncos)

Week one stats:

 

  • Jones: 2 rec, 37 yards, 1 TD.
  • Allen: 5 rec, 35 yards, 1 TD.
  • Anderson: 20 car, 81 yards, 1 rec, 7 yards.

All three players produced well fantasy-wise during week one, and week two is no different. With Anderson as a lock to start, Allen as a near-lock at WR and Jones as a potential flex, expect more scoring opportunities from this trio of ex-Bears. Allen and Jones will continue to receive a handful of targets, while Anderson’s job as the starting tailback in Denver looks to be secure.

Contact Josh Yuen at [email protected].