Stat-pack is back and better than ever. I’m going team by team to give you the goods on fantasy scoring, player usage, schemes, and more as we head into Week 2. This article is a review piece first, but a lot of the stats and trends in here will spill over into your lineup decisions this coming week.
Let’s get to it:
Kyler Murray has been stellar to start the season…
On throws of 10+ yards, Murray ranks sixth-best in on-target throws (74%) per SIS.
On throws from a clean pocket, Murray is third-best in on-target rate (90%).
Murray has been incredibly efficient as a runner, too, and ranks third-best in EPA per carry (0.35) among QBs behind Josh Allen (0.75) and Jalen Hurts (0.45).
James Conner has more carries than Chase Edmonds (24 to 19) – but Edmonds has played more snaps (79 to 58) and ran significantly more routes (51 to 18) than Conner.
So, while Edmonds has the more valuable role as a pass catcher… his scoring opportunities have been limited. Conner has out-snapped Edmonds 4 to 1 near the goal-line.
Rondale Moore is going to have to play more snaps if he is going to keep this hot start going – he’s only been on the field for 38 of the Cardinals 79 pass plays (48%) – but more snaps have to be coming. Among all players, Moore is second only to Deebo Samuel (5.42) in receiving yards gained per route run (4.82).
Only Ja’Marr Chase has forced more missed tackles on his receptions (0.571) than Moore (0.455) among WRs.
The Cardinals have used 10-personnel (1 RB, 0 TE, 4 WRs) on a league-leading 25% of their pass plays, just ahead of the Bills (24%).
Calvin Ridley is averaging 10.7 targets and 19.1 FPG in 10 career starts without Julio Jones and has never dipped below double-digit FP once.
Kyle Pitts is sixth in target share among TEs through two games (17%).
Pitts was routinely taken over TJ Hockenson in most drafts. Hockenson has 44.3 FP. Pitts has 19.4.
Mike Davis (62% snap share) and Cordarrelle Patterson (33%) are pretty close to forming some sort of 1A / 1B timeshare. Patterson has taken away a lot of the receiving juice from Davis and has a 10% target share while Davis is at 15%.
The Falcons have used 12-personnel (1 RB, 2 TEs, 2 WRs) on a league-leading 46% of their pass plays. The Broncos and Patriots are tied for second at 30%.
Through two games, only Derrick Henry (240) and Joe Mixon (196) have more rushing yards than Lamar Jackson (193).
Over his last 10 games (including playoffs), Hollywood Brown is averaging 7.3 targets and 17.1 fantasy points per game while never dipping below 12.5 FP in a single game.
For reference, DK Metcalf was the WR9 last year and averaged 17.1 FPG.
Ravens RB snaps in Week 2 – Ty’Son Williams (37), Latavius Murray (27), Devonta Freeman (10).
Josh Allen’s target distribution through two games – Diggs (21), Beasley (17), Sanders (14), Singletary (8), Knox (7), Davis (5).
Gabe Davis has been usurped by Emmanuel Sanders and is now operating as the team’s No. 4 option. The Bills routes run through two games – Diggs (94), Sanders (90), Beasley (89), and Davis… 49.
Allen has been just a little bit less sharp than he was last year out of the gates. On his throws of 10 or more yards downfield, Allen has only been on-target 43% of the time (third-worst).
Last year, Allen was 15th-of-27 in on-target throws 10+ yards downfield (65%).
DJ Moore has unquestionably been Sam Darnold’s guy – he has 19 targets while Robby Anderson and Terrace Marshall both have 9 – and is getting way more layup looks in this offense.
Last season, Moore was the Panthers primary deep threat and his average depth of target downfield was 13.6 yards.
This year? So far, Moore’s aDOT is 9.5 yards and him racking up those easier catches will continue to be great for his fantasy outlook.
On the flipside, Robby Anderson is now the deep-threat. His aDOT is 21.9 yards (third-highest among WRs).
I think one of the best ways to evaluate QBs is how they perform when they have a clean pocket. What do you do when the offensive line gives you time to throw? Well, the early returns on Sam Darnold have been exciting… Per SIS, Darnold is 12th-best in on-target throws (80%) and seventh-best in passer rating (117.5) from a clean pocket out of 31 qualifying QBs.
Allen Robinson getting just FOUR targets against the Bengals in Week 2 is coaching malpractice.
That was only the fourth time in A-Rob’s 49 game career with the Bears where he saw four or fewer targets.
David Montgomery played on 80% of the snaps this past week with Damien Williams at 22%.
Including the preseason, Justin Fields has played on 139 snaps so far which is a little over two full games worth and has accumulated 22/126/2 as a runner.
Joe Burrow’s target distribution so far: Higgins (15), Boyd (13), Chase (11), Mixon (6).
Tee Higgins has now played in 10 career games with Burrow and is averaging 16.1 FPG.
Higgins has gone over 60 yards or scored a TD in 9-of-10 games with Burrow.
Joe Mixon has been on the field for 84% of the Bengals pass plays so far.
Last year, Mixon was on the field for just 55% of pass plays (when healthy).
Dating back to last year, Nick Chubb has out-scored Kareem Hunt in 11 of their last 15 games.
HC Kevin Stefanski has made it apparent that he wants to get Chubb more involved in the passing game. Chubb has actually run more routes (28) than Hunt (25) through two games.
The good news? Zeke looked much better this week compared to last and turned his 18 touches into a strong 98 scrimmage yards and a score.
The bad news? Tony Pollard looks awesome and is earning himself a much bigger role.
What’s interesting is that Pollard isn’t really getting a lot of snaps, but he is getting the ball a ton when he’s on the field. Pollard was on the field for just 21 snaps this week while Elliott got 44. So… Pollard got the ball a whopping 16 times on just 21 snaps vs. LA.
Broncos RB snaps through two games: Melvin Gordon (74) / Javonte Williams (61).
Touches: Gordon (29) / Williams (29).
Inside-the-five (goal-line) snaps: Williams (3) / Gordon (1).
In their first game without Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton saw 12 targets for a 35% share of Teddy Bridgewater’s looks. That 35% target share ranked fourth-highest on the Week 2 slate.
T.J. Hockenson has recorded two of his 3 highest single-game scores in the first two games of this season (23.7 FP / 20.6 FP).
Hockenson did not have a single game above 20 FP in 2020.
One huge difference that the new Lions staff has made with Hockenson is they are using him as a big receiver, and not just strictly an in-line, old school TE like last year’s staff.
Hockenson has lined up in the slot on 66% of his routes this year, which is a huge uptick from the 2020 season (40%).
For reference, Washington has figured out how to perfectly use Logan Thomas and he has lined up as a slot receiver on 68% of his routes so far this season.
Green Bay Packers
The entire list of RBs with more games of 25+ fantasy points since the start of 2019 than Aaron Jones (8) is: Christian McCaffrey (14), Dalvin Cook (12), and Derrick Henry (11).
Aaron Rodgers has finished as a top-12 QB in weekly scoring in now 15 of his last 18 games dating back to the start of last year.
Texans RB snaps so far: Mark Ingram (55), David Johnson (48), Phillip Lindsay (34), and Rex Burkhead (21). Disgusting.
Davis Mills attempted 18 passes in relief of Tyrod Taylor in Week 2 and targeted Brandin Cooks 9 times.
Don’t ask me why… but HC Frank Reich went with a full-blown three-man committee at RB in Week 2 with Jonathan Taylor seeing 45% of the snaps, Nyheim Hines at 37%, and Marlon Mack at 19%.
After Taylor turned his 7 targets into 6/60 receiving and three first-downs in Week 1, Reich had enough of that! Taylor got ONE target in Week 2.
There are no two ways about it: Reich’s Colts have really struggled to compete against tougher competition. Since 2018, Indianapolis has been an underdog in 21-of-53 games (including postseason). In those 21 games, the Colts are 5-17 straight-up.
James Robinson has only scored 17.4 FP through two games, but the good news is that his usage was much better this week compared to last. After getting just five carries while Carlos Hyde had 9 in Week 1, Robinson, at the very least, out-touched Hyde 14 to 2 in Week 2.
Hyde’s role was reduced as he played on just 25% of the snaps and Robinson’s snap share was 73% against Denver.
The bad news? The Jaguars are arguably the worst offense in football right now. They are fifth-worst in yards gained per drive, fifth-worst in third down conversions, third-worst in percentage of drives ending in a score, and have gotten into the red-zone exactly once through two games (last).
Trevor Lawrence’s target distribution so far – Marvin Jones (20), DJ Chark (16), and Laviska Shenault (16).
Lawrence’s completion rate is 50% – worst in the league. Why? Well, HC Urban Meyer has Lawrence targeting his receivers deeper than any QB in the league (9.9 aDOT). Talk about throwing your rookie into the fire.
Per NGS, Lawrence’s expected completion percentage based on the depth / difficulty of his throws is at 62.5% – third-lowest in the league ahead of only Daniel Jones (61%) and Josh Allen (62%).
Just 38% of DJ Chark’s targets have been catchable – which is dead last by a mile among WRs with 10 or more targets.
Kansas City Chiefs
I think it’s time to throw in the towel on Clyde Edwards-Helaire potentially being a RB1. He’s a low-end RB2 and an inconsistent one at that. His role just simply isn’t very valuable.
CEH has seen 15% or more of Patrick Mahomes' targets in a single game just five times in 17 career games.
Through two games this season, CEH has been targeted on just 7% of his routes – which ranks 37th out of 38 qualifying RBs.
What’s worse is that CEH is barely involved in the red-zone. Kansas City has run 18 plays inside of the red-zone so far this season, and CEH has only been on the field for 10 of them. And, on those red-zone plays, CEH has exactly 2 touches. Two.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders have been damn good out of the gates offensively as Gruden’s bunch is seventh-best in yards gained per play, fifth-best in percentage of drives ending in a score, third-best in drives that reach the red-zone, and has the third-most 1st downs gained.
Derek Carr has gone over 300 yards in six-straight games dating back to last year for an average of 370.1 yards per game.
Carr is averaging 24.1 FPG in this span and it’s not exactly been against pushover defenses either (IND / LAC / MIA / DEN / BAL / PIT).
Raiders RB snaps in Week 2 with Josh Jacobs sidelined: Kenyan Drake (71%) / Peyton Barber (29%).
Drake was on the field for 11-of-12 red-zone plays and was on the field for 37-of-42 pass plays.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers are among the NFL’s most efficient offenses so far. They are first in yards gained per drive (52), first in third-conversions (61%), and are tied for fifth in drives ending in a score (50%).
Austin Ekeler has finished as the RB28 or better in 10-straight games dating back to last year.
Ekeler has finished as the RB15 or better 7 times during this stretch.
Through two games, Mike Williams’ average depth of target is 9.9 yards downfield – which is significantly behind his 2020 figure (15.8 aDOT). Getting some easier grabs and setting Williams up for yards after the catch has gone a long way in making Williams a much more valuable receiver in fantasy so far.
In fact, Williams and Keenan Allen have the same number of targets of 15 or more air yards (6).
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams are No. 1 in EPA gained per pass play at 0.50, ahead of the Chiefs (0.45).
Matthew Stafford leads all QBs in YPA (11.0) from a clean pocket.
Stafford has been simply surgical on early downs (1st and 2nd) – he leads all QBs in YPA (12.3) and is third in passer rating (129.2) in those situations.
Cooper Kupp leads all players in target share at 38%.
While Kupp’s target share in Week 1 was 38% and 37% in Week 2 – Robert Woods’ TS in Week 1 was 15% but bumped to 30% in Week 2.
Tyler Higbee’s usage was still great in Week 2 (he played on 100% of the snaps) – he just didn’t see any targets for some reason.
- I really don’t have much here. The Dolphins are kind of a wasteland for fantasy right now with committees at both running back and wide receiver. And it won’t be fun to watch if Tua Tagovailoa misses time.
Dating back to last year, Adam Thielen has now scored at least one TD in 12 of his last 17 games.
Next up, Thielen gets the Seahawks… a team he roasted for 9/80/2 last season.
Even though he got hurt twice in the game, Dalvin Cook played on 77% of the snaps in Week 2.
I wonder if we’ll see a bit more load management here in the coming weeks with Cook already battling through minor injuries and coming off 26 touches on Opening Day and 24 more in Week 2.
New England Patriots
Dating back to last year, Jakobi Meyers has seen at least 20% of the Patriots targets in 12-of-13 games.
Patriots RB snaps in Week 2 with Rhamondre Stevenson a healthy scratch: White (50%), Harris (41%), Taylor (9%).
New Orleans Saints
What polar opposite games the Saints just had in Week 1 vs. Week 2. We still really don’t know much about this team just yet, especially with all of their injuries on the defensive side of the ball.
New Orleans has run just 103 plays on offense so far – fewest in the NFL.
New York Giants
I’m always an optimist and I can’t help but be happy with where Saquon Barkley is at right now. He played on 84% of the team’s snaps on a short-week on TNF and now gets two easier matchups in his next three games with the Falcons / Saints / Cowboys on the docket.
Sterling Shepard has seen 20% or more of the Giants’ targets in 12-straight games dating back to last year.
In fact, Shepard’s 27.5% target share through Weeks 1-2 ranks 10th-highest among WRs.
Daniel Jones just put up two of his 6 best scoring weeks in his career in back-to-back weeks (21.4 FP / 29.5 FP).
The top-3 quarterbacks in rushing fantasy points scored: Lamar Jackson (31.3), Daniel Jones (24.2 !!!), and Jalen Hurts (20.4).
Credit where it’s due: Jason Garrett has finally figured out that Daniel Jones is a great runner and he’s used way more designed runs this season. Seven of Jones’ 13 carries have been on designed plays and have resulted in 12.4 YPC and 2 TDs.
New York Jets
Zach Wilson’s target distribution so far (on 70 throws) – Braxton Berrios (18), their TEs (15), Corey Davis (12), Elijah Moore (12). Pretty, pretty, pretty gross.
Michael Carter got a big boost in playing time from Week 1 (25%) to Week 2 (45%), but HC Robert Saleh said that was all about just riding the hot hand.
Jalen Hurts leads all QBs in scrambles (8) and rushing yards from those scrambles (93).
Lamar Jackson is second in scramble yards (83).
The Eagles are using 11-personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs) far more often this year than last season. Philadelphia has 3 WRs on the field on 75% of their pass plays so far, which is way ahead of their 2020 11-personnel usage (61%).
Eagles TE routes run so far this season: Dallas Goedert (44) and Zach Ertz (42).
While Miles Sanders is running well and looks great, Kenny Gainwell is playing a ton of valuable snaps. Gainwell has actually out-snapped Sanders in the red-zone (10 to 8) and Sanders has only run a route on 53% of the Eagles passing plays.
Najee Harris leads all RBs in snap rate by a mile at 97%. The next closest RB? Joe Mixon at 81%.
Ben Roethlisberger has been brutal on early-downs (1st and 2nd) from a clean pocket to start this season. He’s completed just 66% of his throws (32nd) for 7.0 YPA (23rd) and a 94.3 passer rating (24th) in these situations so far.
Diontae Johnson has seen double-digit targets in 12 of his last 16 games where he played more than 25% of the snaps.
San Francisco 49ers
Brandon Aiyuk, once again, was a distant second to Deebo Samuel in routes run among 49ers receivers in Week 2 with Samuel on the field for 28-of-34 pass plays and Aiyuk getting 20 snaps.
Elijah Mitchell was on the field for 31 of 46 snaps (67%) in the first three quarters of Week 2 before he hurt his shoulder in the fourth quarter.
I’m by no means freaking out about George Kittle yet, but the fact that he’s ninth among all TEs in target share (16.1%) is bizarre.
When Russell Wilson throws the ball, we know exactly where it’s going… Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf have accounted for a whopping 60% of Wilson’s targets and 86% (!!) of his air yards.
Chris Carson ranks fifth in share of team carries (88%) behind only Derrick Henry (93%), Najee Harris (93%), Joe Mixon (91%), and Dalvin Cook (89%).
Dating back to last year, Carson has finished as a RB2 or better (top-24) in weekly scoring in nine of his last 13 games.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In the 12 games Tom Brady has had his four guys together – Evans, Godwin, AB, and Gronk – he’s thrown 35 TDs and averaged 22.3 FPG. Is that good?
Bucs’ RB snaps in Week 2 – Fournette (31) / Jones (26).
Tampa has run 29 plays in the red-zone so far (third-most). 22 of those plays have been passes.
Derrick Henry’s fantasy point totals in the Titans last six wins: 20.2 > 38.5 > 36.2 > 25.2 > 37 > 47.7 (average of 34.1 FPG).
Henry’s FPs in the Titans last six losses: 17.2 > 11.9 > 9.7 > 10.6 > 7.1 > 10.7 (average of 11.2 FPG).
Antonio Gibson has run a route on just 46% of Washington’s passing plays, which ranks 26th among RBs.
Last year, Gibson was involved on 35% of Washington’s passing plays – so this is improvement – but not where Gibson really needs to be to break out.
Once again, JD McKissic is also out-snapping Gibson on third downs (19 to 6).
McKissic out-snapped Gibson on third downs by a massive 197 to 22 margin last season.