Fantasy Stats from Week 2
Another week of NFL action in the books, another week of interesting stats that can be used to help your fantasy squad moving forward. This week centers around a few veterans potentially seeing their role reduced as younger players are nipping at their heels (if they haven’t already passed the veteran). It also involves a QB who might be elite, a corner who could crush your fantasy team, and an RB1 who might be flying a bit under the radar due to his team. Let’s get started with some major shifts in big-time fantasy relevant backfields.
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1. Seattle RB workload distribution isn’t what we expected
— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) September 17, 2017
Not only did Carson lead the Seattle backfield in carries, he dwarfed Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise is snaps. The Seahawks offense needs any spark they can get on offense. They’ve only managed to put up 21 points through two games and found the end zone once. Free agent Eddie Lacy was a healthy scratch and it appears his career could be closer to the end than the start. Rawls and Prosise have both had their issues staying on the field to this point in their careers. Carson not only led Seattle on Sunday, he could very easily keep the starting job the rest of the season. If he’s still available in your league, you have to get him on your roster. I wouldn’t even be opposed to trying to swing a small trade for him.
2. Buck Allen is Fantasy relevant
Allen was a popular waiver addition last week, and he falls into the same category as Carson. I would definitely try to get Allen on my roster as long as the cost wasn’t crazy high. It was reported that Terrance West is dealing with some sort of injury, so that could help explain why the gap was this significant
Even in a game BAL led the whole way, Buck Allen out-snapped Terrance West 43-15. Out-touched him 19-10.
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) September 18, 2017
You’ll have to excuse my skepticism that injured RB Danny Woodhead will be back at some point this season, let alone quick enough for Allen not to take his role. West is the goal line/hammer back, Allen is the pass-catching back. That’s a big role to have in Baltimore since they pass the ball a ton and QB Joe Flacco loves to target his backs. They rank second in the NFL in running back targets the past two seasons.
3. Derrick Henry closes the gap on DeMarco Murray
I quickly mentioned this in the Power Ranks, but it appears there is a chance Henry is now the back to own in Tennessee. Murray was ineffective for the second straight week and the snap count reflected the Titans realized Henry deserved work in Week 2. Murray out-snapped Henry, but Henry massively out-produced him, 92 yards to 25. Henry also added this touchdown run, which can be summed up with a hearty “Get out of my way!”.
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) September 17, 2017
Henry is just an absolute monster in a perfect offense. He has a QB that teams have to respect with rushing ability. He’s also running behind one of the better offensive lines in football. I truly believe Murray is officially on notice. Just in case you think Jacksonville didn’t stack the box and try to stop Henry, there’s also this-
Derrick Henry saw 8+ defenders in the box 71% of the time today (most of any RB). He still averaged 6.6 yards per rush attempt (2nd best).
— Ryan Hodge ☕️ (@RyanHodge) September 18, 2017
4. Derek Carr throws 3 TDs as the Raiders house the Jets
Ok, so that particular stat line probably isn’t very interesting. I’m 32 years old and can’t throw a football, but I might be able to run an offense against the Jets. Here’s what did catch my eye about Carr.
https://twitter.com/MiketheSaint/status/909660641589329920[the_ad id=”72106″]That’s a ridiculous TD/INT ratio from Carr over the span of a touch over a full season. Carr is currently the QB6 in standard leagues and QB5 in six point passing TD leagues. I still think Carr could have a couple weeks where he struggles, but I also may have underestimated him during the off-season. His offense is totally loaded and Carr is taking full advantage of it. This isn’t totally fantasy relevant, but it’s always a fun exercise to look at a draft a few years later. As a quick little aside, the 2014 Draft looks crazy considering Carr went in the second round! Here’s a list of teams that passed on Carr and are in need of a QB:
- Houston (twice, though at least with one pick they did take Jadeveon Clowney)
- Jacksonville (but hey, Blake Bortles!)
- Buffalo (Sammy Watkins isn’t even on the team anymore)
- Oakland (they passed in the first, but hard to argue taking Khalil Mack. What a first two picks for the Raiders)
- Cleveland ( THREE times, including CB Justin Gilbert and QB Johnny Manziel)
- Minnesota (they snagged QB Teddy Bridgewater who did show plenty of promise, but imagine that team with Carr)
- Chicago ( they took DB Kyle Fuller)
- New York Jets (safety Calvin Pryor is on his third team)
- Denver (Bradley Roby plays a role in a great defense, but the Broncos could’ve taken Carr to learn behind Peyton Manning. In fairness, he’d just come off throwing 55 TDs but imagine this Denver team with Carr on it)
5. WR Larry Fitzgerald has nine catches through two games
This one makes me pretty sad. Fitzgerald is one of my all-time favorite players from all the way back in college. To this day, I still curse out Oklahoma QB Jason White if he’s brought up. He owes Fitzgerald a Heisman Trophy! Back to fantasy land, Fitgerald has gotten off to a rotten start.
34-year-old Larry Fitzgerald has played on 136 of ARZ's 141 snaps this season. He's faced DET and IND. He's totaled 9-95-0.
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) September 18, 2017
Yes, the Arizona offense has plenty of issues. All-Pro RB David Johnson is hurt and on the shelf for a while. The offensive line is struggling to keep QB Carson Palmer on his feet, not to mention Palmer hasn’t exactly been on the money to this point in the year. Still, these things would lead one to think Fitzgerald would be leaned on even further. Maybe most surprising is Fitzgerald still has 19 targets and is under 50% catch rate. Selfishly, I hope this isn’t the end for Fitzgerald. I was hoping he would retire still at the top of his game, but this is a worrying trend in the early part of the season. This stat also doesn’t help calm any fears.
Over the past 5 games dating back to last season, J.J. Nelson leads ARI in targets (43), receiving yards (408) and reTD (4) with 22 catches.
— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) September 18, 2017
6. Minnesota CB Xavier Rhodes may need to be avoided in fantasy
So far, the Vikings have played New Orleans and Pittsburgh. That means that Rhodes has had to mostly match up against WRs Michael Thomas and Antonio Brown. This is the stat line that those two receivers have produced when being guarded by Rhodes –
That means Michael Thomas & Antonio Brown had a combined 5 catches for 50 yards and 0 TDs when being guarded by Xavier Rhodes.
— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) September 18, 2017
It’s one thing to shut down Thomas when the Saints are on the road. That’s impressive enough. To totally contain Brown at Heinz Field is almost unheard of. Next up is Tampa Bay and star receiver Mike Evans. It may be smart to know that Evans could be in for a long day this week versus Rhodes.
7. WR Keenan Allen is a mutant who heals very fast
In his first game post ACL injury that wasn’t in Denver, Allen went over 100 yards.
So impressed with #Chargers WR Keenan Allen back from ACL. 9/100 on Sunday, 10 targets. One of the toughest covers in NFL when healthy.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) September 18, 2017
For those who don’t remember, Allen tore his ACL during the first game of 2016. While he’s still young, it’s surprising to see Allen back on the field and looking like he was never hurt in the first place. My hesitation on Allen during draft season wasn’t about his talent. It was about his recovery from injury. He relies almost totally on being a precise route runner. If he couldn’t get in and out of his breaks like normal, he would have a harder time getting open. Allen and QB Philip Rivers look like they have the same mind meld they always have had. Those who had faith in their drafts look like they will be rewarded handsomely if Allen can stay healthy.
8. RB Carlos Hyde is the man in San Francisco
Through two games, Carlos Hyde has played 80% of snaps, handled 71% of #49ers carries, and has six targets in each contest. Fantasy RB1.
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) September 18, 2017
Even in a bad offense, you can’t ask for much more than this. Hyde hasn’t been coming off the field very much, is getting the vast majority of carries and is getting targeted in the passing game. I avoided Hyde like the plague in drafts and I’ll fully own up to being wrong. So apologies to anyone who listened to me on that one. The good news is I don’t feel like Hyde is getting the respect he deserves at this point. The casual player knows the 49ers are a bad team and Hyde has a history of injuries. It’s worthwhile to see what the price tag is on Hyde in your leagues.
9. Jokes about the Giants offensive line may not be accurate
Sure, they’re funny and they’re also easy to make. To be clear, left tackle Ereck Flowers deserves the criticism he gets. However, QB Eli Manning actually wasn’t pressured very often this past week.
Eli Manning was under pressure 27% of the time; 6th lowest this week. The problem was he was sacked 50% of the time under pressure; the most
— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) September 19, 2017
The Giants offense surely has issues but they’re not all up front. WR Odell Beckham has been sorely missed, as expected. He’s one of the most talented receivers in football and clearly isn’t healthy. The free agent signing of Brandon Marshall has been a train wreck to this point. The running game is laughable. Paul Perkins has 26 rushing yards through two games. TWENTY. SIX! QB Eli Manning got crushed by his head coach in the media. The Giants have much deeper issues than just the offensive line. Beckham might be the only fantasy player of note in the entire offense.
10. Patience is a virtue with your studs
Star RBs today:
Howard: 7 rushing yards
Zeke: 8 rushing yards
McCoy: 9 rushing yards
Gordon: 13 rushing yards
Murray: 25 rushing yards
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 18, 2017
OK, so Murray and Howard have legitimate fears surrounding their jobs and health. However, Zeke, McCoy, and Gordon will all have better days ahead. McCoy doesn’t have much around him to help take the pressure off of him but it will be ok. He’s just too talented to not have good games even in a bad offense. Zeke is still Zeke. Gordon doesn’t always look like he’s a top flight back, but you can’t argue with his volume. The main point here is most of the stids in the first round have been a bummer in fantasy so far. Hold tight. Don’t settle for some terrible offer for a major piece in fantasy over two bad weeks.
I’m a sports fanatic who wears it on my sleeve (seriously, I have a Pittsburgh sports tattoo). I’m just a big scruffy looking nerf-herder who somehow managed to marry an incredible and supportive woman, have a wonderful family and a sweetheart dog. When I’m not at work, odds are I’m watching sports or the latest comic book movie. Life is good, it’s just much better with fantasy football in it. The sarcastic and above it all fantasy analysis is overdone, I’m here to bring it back to what you need to know with a terrible sense of humor. Let’s win some fantasy titles!