There were less overall surprises in week two than there was in week one. I suppose that’s bound to happen- we generally know what to expect from a team’s general game plan after the first game. But really, there was less explosive offense this week by and large. I view that as a good thing; we can learn more from that in projecting out an entire season. Two weeks in and trends are starting to emerge now, so we can really see which players are set to outperform or underperform projections set for them. A few notes on what some of these trends and players might be:
It looks like Buck Allen will have the passing down role in Baltimore again, which should give him fringe value in PPR leagues. Kenneth Dixon is out and Allen took a number of passing down snaps from Alex Collins, resulting in him recording five catches for 36 yards on seven targets on Thursday. This was aided by the Ravens playing from behind and Joe Flacco throwing 55 passes of course, but the important thing is this: Alex Collins won’t have workhorse volume if he’s not as involved in the passing game as Allen. His night was saved by recording three catches for 55 yards, but he was off the field in favor of Buck too often for his owners comfort.
We were in on Tyler Boyd in week one’s column, but I couldn’t say I saw this one coming. Six catches for 91 yards and a score on nine targets was really promising. It appears he may have surpassed Tyler Eifert as Andy Dalton’s number two target and that could be particularly valuable during the time Joe Mixon is out. He is worth an add in most leagues.
Christian McCaffrey is going to be a PPR league monster if the Panthers keep game planning like this. He’s receiving the ball more often than he’s carrying it so far, with 20 catches through two games. That includes 14 against the Falcons, as they took advantage of Deion Jones and Keanu Neal’s absence. McCaffrey should top 100 catches this year if he remains healthy.
Matt Ryan played better as a whole on Sunday, helping to down play an ugly week one. The Falcons attack wasn’t as Julio Jones centric and Calvin Ridley and Austin Hooper played major roles. Both of them received five targets, but made the most of them. Hooper went 5-59 and Ridley 4-64 and scored his first touchdown.
Devin Funchess and Jarius Wright should reap benefits of Greg Olsen’s absence. Wright is worth a cheap DFS look and potential add in deep PPR leagues.
Geronimo Allison will be relevant this season and deserves spot starts even. He turned in another solid performance this week and plays a starters amount of snaps. His 6-64 line came on only six targets and that number won’t ever be world breaking, but five to eight targets from Aaron Rodgers are worth seven to ten from an average QB.
Corey Davis turned in another strong performance with Blaine Gabbert playing QB and only throwing 20 times. He got targeted seven times on this throw and had five catches for 55 yards. That’s not exciting, but knowing that he has a high floor makes it more comfortable to start him week in and out.
Will Fuller is making me look dumb for doubting him. He continues to play well when paired with Deshaun Watson, but i’ll still be skeptical on him as a weekly starter until I see him produce every week.
Carlos Hyde received another 17 touches. Even if Duke Johnson gets more involved, as the Browns coaches have pledged to do, Hyde should still receive a good volume of touches. He hasn’t had any big performances yet and that may make him a solid buy low candidate.
Bilal Powell’s involvement in the passing game should make him a better PPR option than Isiah Crowell this season. Target numbers for Quincy Enunwa and Terrelle Pryor were also encouraging and will be worth monitoring as Jermaine Kearse works his way back into the regular rotation. Enunwa is worth owning in all leagues but Pryor isn’t yet worth an add yet.
Ryan Fitzpatrick and Pat Mahomes are on top of the world right now. Their targets have benefitted accordingly. We’ll see where the mean is over the course of these next few weeks and if Fitzmagic keeps getting his chance to shine. Mahomes should already be owned everywhere and Fitzpatrick could be added speculatively if you believe he gets to keep his job in week four.
Jordan Wilkins and Marlon Mack received an even number of carries, but Wilkins got nearly twice as many rushing yards. This probably remains a by committee approach throughout the season but Wilkins should take on more of the job if he continues to be more effective on the ground.
Chris Thompson’s role in the passing game is substantial enough to warrant starting him in PPR leagues at this point. Adrian Peterson is clearly the top dog on the ground, but Thompson has quickly became a favorite target of Alex Smith and has shown his health.
Two more guys who are proving me wrong: Brandin Cooks and Allen Robinson. Cooks is receiving higher volume than he got with the Patriots or Sammy Watkins did in his role with the Rams, with eight and nine targets in week one and two. And Robinson got 14 targets against the Seahawks and is clearly Mitch Trubisky’s main read on passing downs frequently. The Bears are keeping things simple for their young QB, and targeting Robinson frequently is the result.
Waiver Wire Rankings
*Must be under 50% owned in ESPN leagues to qualify
- Andy Dalton
- Ryan Fitzpatrick
- Jameis Winston
- Derek Carr
- Sam Darnold
- Latavius Murray
- Austin Ekeler
- Jordan Wilkins
- Theo Riddick
- Gio Bernard
- Keelan Cole
- Devante Parker
- Geronimo Allison
- Dede Westbrook
- John Brown
- OJ Howard
- Eric Ebron
- Austin Hooper
- Will Dissly
- Jonnu Smith