Phillip Lindsay became the first undrafted player in league history to eclipse 100 scrimmage yards in his first two games, Matt Breida outperformed Alfred Morris in San Francisco’s backfield battle and Ryan Fitzpatrick ended week 2 with back-to-back four-touchdown 400-yard plus games.
Like last week, an article highlighting snap counts and touches will be published shortly after this.
Unlike the what to watch series, we’ll be talking about players who were key contributors to their offense for these weekly articles. Let’s get to the takeaways.
1:00 pm games
Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons Takeaways:
Calvin Ridley’s snaps decreased week 2, but his production increased. Ridley had four catches on five targets for 64 yards and a touchdown on 3rd and 8 by the end of the third quarter. The Falcons made an effort to incorporate Ridley in the offense early, building an early lead.
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) September 16, 2018
Ridley’s a speculative add facing the Saints week 3, who have given up over 550 yards to receivers the first two weeks.
With Greg Olsen month-to-month, Ian Thomas played in 94 percent of snaps (three targets), Torrey Smith played in 87 percent of snaps (seven targets) and Jarius Wright played in 66 percent of snaps (seven targets). While D.J. Moore scored a touchdown, he played in 25 percent of snaps and had two catches on three targets. Fool’s gold.
Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers Takeaways:
Matt Breida made a case to Kyle Shanahan to give him more snaps week 2 rushing for a career-high 138 rushing yards. Late in the third quarter, Breida ran for a 20-yard gain, then finished the drive with a 66-yard touchdown run. Target Breida in trades this week before he Shanahan ramps up his workload.
Matt Breida: 10 carries, 138 yards
Alfred Morris: 10 carries, 38 yards
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) September 16, 2018
— Rob Lowder (@Rob_Lowder) September 18, 2018
Matthew Stafford missed perpetually missed his receivers deep, including Marvin Jones three times including a potential 66-yard touchdown. Kenny Golladay played in 92 percent of snaps, behind Jones and ahead of Tate. He reeled in six of nine targets for 89 yards and a spinning touchdown. Golladay’s legit, proving last week’s assessment wrong.
Arizona Cardinals and Rams Takeaways:
Jared Goff missed Woods on a 27-yard touchdown, but he still had six catches for 81 yards on nine targets. Cooper Kupp was the out man this week with six catches for 63 yards, but all three receivers played in 97 percent or more snaps.
David Johnson’s value will continue to take a hit if he’s not featured in the passing game. Johnson had just one catch, a bit far off from his preseason prediction that he’d go for a thousand yards rushing and receiving this season. Start to look for trade partners, as if this continues then Johnson will be the first bust of 2018.
Cardinals have 100 yards of offense, 10:22 left in the game.
— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) September 16, 2018
New England Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars Takeaways:
With Leonard Fournette, Blake Bortles looked impressive. He converted two third downs and hit receiver Donte Moncrief for a touchdown on the first drive. Bortles orchestrated back-to-back touchdown drives against the Patriots to start the game and was up 21-0 at the half. Coming off a 375-plus yard performance and four touchdowns, you can do worse than stream Bortles against the Titans week 3. They’ve allowed two passing touchdowns in each game.
?? BLAKE BORTLES SPIN MOVE ALERT ??
— NFL (@NFL) September 16, 2018
Keelan Cole led the Jags in targets with eight, but Dede Westbrook wasn’t far behind with five. Both receivers scored, while Cole paced Westbrook in snap percentage 83-72. Westbrook paced Cole in targets week 1 6-4. Go the cheaper route and pick up Westbrook off waivers, opposed to trading for Cole. This receiver battle isn’t settled yet.
KEELAN COLE JUST DID THIS
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 16, 2018
Tom Brady missed Phillip Dorsett (seven targets) and Cordarrelle Patterson on back-to-back plays, but the biggest takeaway is Brady now has Josh Gordon to throw to. Temper expectations, and don’t expect much from Gordon, but the move only helps the upside of Brady. Chris Hogan (five targets) and/or Dorsett might see their roles decreased with Julian Edelman looming and Gordon in the fold.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 17, 2018
Cleveland Browns and New Orleans Saints Takeaways:
The Browns defense is underrated. The unit held the Saints to 21 on the road. Still, Brees had misfires, including an underthrown ball to Ted Ginn for a 52-yard touchdown. On a short week against Sam Darnold, who has three picks in two games, streaming the Browns defense is not a bad idea. The unit has three interceptions and five fumble recoveries in two games against high-powered offenses, the Steelers and Saints.
With Josh Gordon out of the picture, Antonio Callaway paced Rashard Higgins in snap percentage 81-74. However, Callaway had four targets, while catching three for 81 yards and a game-tying touchdown. But, Higgins is the safer flex play for now, as he commanded seven targets, though he only had 47 yards. Try to move Carlos Hyde before he plays a game in which he doesn’t score. Without his touchdowns, his production is 38 carries for 103 yards. Fade.
Tyrod Taylor finds Antonio Callaway for SIX! ? pic.twitter.com/BCWPGQ7PWL
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 16, 2018
Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings Takeaways:
Aaron Rodgers missed Jimmy Graham for a 36-yard catch but guided him to a six-catch 95-yard day. As predicted last week, one of the four was left out of great fantasy production for the week. In week 2 it was Randall Cobb, who had four catches for 30 yards. It happens. Next week it could be Graham again, who had two catches for eight yards week 1.
Kirk Cousins has sustained his top three pass catchers through two weeks. It’s a long season, but Cousins has shut me up so far.
According to the NFL's official play-by-play data, the Packers had a 98.1% chance of winning yesterday before Kirk Cousins threw this touchdown pass to Adam Thielen, into one of the tiniest windows you'll ever see, while getting drilled by Mike Daniels: pic.twitter.com/jPkYsZDxqM
— Nick Olson (@NicholasJOlson) September 17, 2018
New York Jets and Miami Dolphins Takeaways:
Quincy Enunwa’s legit, commanding double-digit targets back-t0-back weeks. The role we thought Robby Anderson would have is what Eunwa is in. Despite playing in a higher percentage of snaps, Anderson had three catches on five targets for 27 yards and a lost fumble.
Quincy Enunwa is the new Nelson Agholor is the new Jarvis Landry is the new Wes Welker
— Josh ADHD (@FantasyADHD) September 11, 2018
Isaiah Crowell had the touchdowns week 1, but if you followed sustainability you knew his production wouldn’t last. Bilal Powell paced Crowell in snap percentage 52-48, and had less carries more targets with six. Powell caught five for 74 yards and a touchdown.
Don’t panic on Kenny Stills, as no Miami receiver eclipsed 40 yards. Kenyan Drake paced Frank Gore in snap percentage 60-40. On their last drive of the game where they were trying to solidify the win, it was about an even split, slightly favoring Drake 5-4, in snaps. Gore needs to be owned.
With Jarvis Landry gone, we are beginning to see the evolution of Kenny Stills from deep threat to Miami's No. 1 complete WR: https://t.co/wq1OtaK7eS
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) September 12, 2018
Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans Takeaways:
Deshaun Watson fumbled another exchange on first and 15, after a penalty. Watson displayed mobility with a 16-yard run, and three first-down runs on the game. Seems like Watson’s slowly knocking off the rust, and week 3 against the Giants could be a get-right game for him and the offense.
Adoree' interception of Deshaun. Watson continues to struggle, as does the Texans' line. pic.twitter.com/HmjquzTF67
— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) September 16, 2018
With Marcus Mariota banged up, the Titans got creative running the wildcat offense with Derrick Henry at quarterback. And with Delanie Walker on IR, no pass catcher outside of Corey Davis stepped up. Taywan Taylor scored, but he had two catches on four targets for 32 yards. Fade. Chase sustainability.
#Titans backfield split through Weeks 1-2:
Snaps: Lewis (64%), Henry (36%)
Third-down snaps: Lewis (27), Henry (3)
RZ snaps: Lewis (11), Henry (4)
Rush attempts + targets: Lewis (37), Henry (29)
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) September 17, 2018
Washington Redskins and Indianapolis Colts Takeaways:
Adrian Peterson was involved in the passing game with three catches for 30 yards and Jamison Crowder had a 30-yard carry, but the passing corps is lacking a true no.1 receiver. Even when the Redskins won last week, the receivers didn’t do much.
Marlon Mack made his debut but was limited to 30 percent of snaps week 2. And, Eric Ebron played in 26 percent of snaps, but he had three catches for 26 yards and a touchdown. Doyle played in 97 percent of snaps, but only had two catches for 20 yards. Sell high on Ebron.
Marlon Mack cutting back on a gap play. Not recommended. pic.twitter.com/GsNxAUyuVB
— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) September 17, 2018
Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers Takeaways:
Told you not to worry about Travis Kelce, who played in every snap week 1, and he rewarded you week 2. For another week, Kelce paced Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins in snap percentage. This game was a shootout, and Hill didn’t make an impact until the third quarter, but with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, the Chiefs have a chance to drive the length of the field every drive. You’ll get offers if you’re the Kelce owner, but sit tight and enjoy the ride.
Ben Roethlisberger missed James Washington on a 79-yard touchdown catch, but the biggest takeaway is that Antonio Brown didn’t show up for work Monday. A situation to monitor if the Steelers don’t start winning Mike Tomlin might be the scapegoat for everything that’s happened so far.
Antonio Brown and his agent Drew Rosenhaus left the stadium Sunday rather quickly. Watched them walk together down the hall and AB was doing lots of hand gesturing while talking to his agent. Don’t want to make assumptions but he didn’t look happy. #steelers
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) September 18, 2018
Los Angeles Chargers and Buffalo Bills Takeaways:
Antonio Gates was targeted in the end zone, but Phillip Rivers missed him. Still, you can drop Gates, if you were bizarrely playing him. Melvin Gordon left the game in the fourth quarter but should be good to go week 3.
By video, 2nd defender him forcibly hyperflexed #MelvinGordon neck. "Upper body injury" is likely strain of neck/upper back muscles. Anticipate the godd @Chargers training staff will have him ready next Sunday. https://t.co/yPyxlHda8o
— David J. Chao, MD (@ProFootballDoc) September 18, 2018
Still staying away from the Bills offense until they show they can be consistent. LeSean McCoy looks like he’s headed toward missing time, so the one “must-start” isn’t even an option at the moment.
— David J. Chao, MD (@ProFootballDoc) September 17, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles Takeaways:
Carson Wentz will return week 3, but he likely will be without Darren Sproles and Jay Ajayi. In addition, Wentz is already without Alshon Jeffery and Mike Wallace, his top two receivers. Watch to see if Wentz can make another pass catcher outside of Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor fantasy relevant, but no one should be on your radar right now.
This could be Carson Wentz’s supporting cast against the Colts
WR: Nelson Agholor, Kamar Aiken, Shelton Gibson, DeAndre Carter
RB: Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams
TE: Zach Ertz, Josh Perkins inexplicably playing over Dallas Goedert #Eagles
— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) September 18, 2018
Ryan Fitzpatrick gave the Eagles a dose of Fitz magic, after doing so to the Saints week 1. If you’re streaming quarterbacks, ride the hot hand and pick up Fitzpatrick against the Steelers week 3 on MNF. Fitzpatrick has over 800 passing yards and eight touchdowns through two weeks of work.
Never change, Ryan Fitzpatrick. ? pic.twitter.com/lMJ6HoXgMM
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 16, 2018
Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos Takeaways:
Royce Freeman is a bust, based on where he was drafted. That said, hopefully, you picked up Phillip Lindsay after week 1. The rookie became the first undrafted player to eclipse 100 scrimmage yards in their first two games. Lindsay paced Freeman in snap percentage 42-24 and carries 14-8.
Broncos’ rookie RB Phillip Lindsay, who had had 111 total yards today during Denver’s 20-19 win against Oakland, became the first undrafted player in NFL history to record at least 100 scrimmage yards in each of his first two career games. pic.twitter.com/96rEQlk8r8
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 17, 2018
Jalen Richard turned out to be fool’s gold, playing in 12 percent of snaps week 2. Derek Carr and Amari Cooper re-established their connection with 10 catches for over 100 yards, but the Raiders fell short after Case Keenum led the Broncos to a game-winning field goal drive.
New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys Takeaways:
The Giants offensive line isn’t improved from last season, or the past three. Odell Beckham’s season-long outlook may be affected, as he had just four catches for 51 yards on nine (questionable) targets. That said, Saquon Barkley, who hasn’t been effective on the ground, reeled in 14 catches as a dump-off option for Manning facing pass rushers every throw. Barkley’s value spikes if this continues.
If you take out Saquon Barkley's 68-yard touchdown from Week 1, he's carried 28 time for 66 yards (2.4 yards/carry).
The TD was spectacular, the lack of efficiency is just bad for an offense
— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) September 17, 2018
Before you chase Tavon Austin off waivers, know he played in 34 percent of snaps which was fifth among the other receivers. He had two targets, while one did go for a 64-yard touchdown catch. Think about why he wasn’t featured more, moving forward, after scoring on the third play of the game.
Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears Takeaways:
Tyler Lockett led Seattle pass catchers with seven targets, while Brandon Marshall had six. The difference in production is a touchdown, as Lockett had five catches for 60 yards, opposed to Marshall’s four catches for 44 yards. However, Will Dissly followed up his week 1 with another three-catch performance, this time for 42 yards and a touchdown.
Will Dissly caught 25 passes for 336 yards with three TDs through his entire college career. Already has 6-147- 2 TDs through two NFL games.
— Matt Harmon (@MattHarmon_BYB) September 18, 2018
#Seahawks backfield breakdown through Weeks 1-2:
Snaps: Penny (37%), Carson (37%)
Routes run: Penny (24), Carson (25)
Third-down snaps: Penny (9), Carson (8)
RZ snaps: Penny (5), Carson (12)
Attempts + targets: Penny (24), Carson (19)
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) September 18, 2018
Allen Robinson caught 10-of-14 targets for 83 yards. Trey Burton had four catches for 20 yards, but bailed fantasy owners out with a touchdown, while Jordan Howard had 14 carries for 35 yards (ew). Seems like the Bears offense was prematurely crowned the next best thing. Maybe facing the Cardinals week 3 is the game they need to spark things.
Potential Waiver Wire Pick Ups (As Discussed):