Sports and poker. Poker and sports. While the “Is poker a sport?” debate is an endless endeavor with no true answer in sight, Poker Central is blending the two together. At the start of each week, the “Monday Merge” fuses sports and poker, drawing loose comparisons, and even looser transitions, between the only two things we really care about.

I stand corrected, we actually care about three things, sports, poker and fantasy sports. Through the first week of the NFL season, some high draft picks, high volume wide receivers and valuable PPR pieces went down with injuries but none are likely to shake up your 2017 fantasy football season than David Johnson’s. The Cardinals running back, who was the top pick in most drafts, could miss a substantial amount of time with a wrist injury but Johnson owners the only ones that are cursing Week 1 injuries. Allen Robinson and Danny Woodhead went down yesterday, while Odell Beckham Jr. didn’t even suit up for the New York Giants.

The Houston Texans’ opening game of the 2017 season was one to forget, they have Tom Savage to thank for that, but before their home opener, the energy in NRG Stadium was palpable. JJ Watt, arguably the Texans’ best player and the face of the franchise, may now also be considered the face of Houston. The relief fund Watt started to help victims of Hurricane Harvey has now raised over $31 million, meaning that Houston is winning, even if the Texans aren’t.

While the first week of the season was relatively boring, there weren’t many close games or high scoring affairs, there were some headlining making plays from around the league. Marshawn Lynch came out of retirement and returned as the Oakland Raiders’ starting running back in their game against the Tennessee Titans. Even though the game featured two of the league’s best quarterbacks, many were interested to see how Lynch would look in his return. “Beast Mode” proved that he hasn’t missed a beat and Lynch looks like he will be an integral part of a team with Super Bowl aspirations.

Lynch bulldozing an opposing linebacker may be new for Raiders fans but it is nothing new for fans that have followed his career from Buffalo to Seattle. Atlanta Falcons had something new to cheer for also, since most of their big plays come from their stacked wide receiver corp. This week though, it wasn’t Matt Ryan to Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Taylor Gabriel or Justin Hardy. Instead, Ryan aired it out to tight end Austin Hooper, who went 88 yards for the score, thanks to some spotty Chicago defending and a Madden-esque stiff arm.

As a New York Giants fan, their Sunday night game against the Dallas Cowboys was painfully difficult to watch. As a football fan, watching the Dallas Cowboys seemingly control the game from start to finish was impressive but maybe even more impressive was Cole Beasley’s behind the back catch. Early in the 4th quarter, the Cowboys faced a critical 3rd down deep in their own territory. The pass from Dak Prescott to Beasley looked like it could be intercepted and then, after it wasn’t, looked like it would fall incomplete. It didn’t, because Beasley somehow pinned the ball on his nameplate and got the first down. The catch could be forgotten by season’s end but that is the best play we saw through Week 1 of the NFL season.