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NFL Week 2 Recap: Colts, Russell Wilson Break Bad

Fresh off the most recent slate of games, Fantrax looks back at all the good, the bad, and the interesting from the first Sunday of NFL games in the Week 2 fantasy football recap.

Hopefully, we can use what we learned in the first two weeks of fantasy football to help make better lineup decisions moving forward. This weekly column will highlight the week’s slate from a fantasy perspective, while also analyzing what trends to pay attention to in the weeks ahead.

Each week will look back at the fantasy day that was with a theme of a different television show. For Week 2, we highlight some of the players who are already Breaking Bad.

Week 2 Fantasy Football Recap

Week 2 Studs

“We’re done when I say we’re done.”

Lamar Jackson

On Sunday afternoon, Lamar Jackson looked like that clear, blue, unblemished, Mr. White product on the field. He completed 21 of 29 passes for 318 yards and three passing touchdowns. He was edging up against a perfect QB rating with a 142.6 score on Sunday. Plus he added 119 yards and a score on the ground. So much for the skeptics that he wouldn’t run this year because he wants to stay healthy. No, Lamar Jackson wants to get PAID and we should expect more games like this.

Tua Tagovailoa

A couple of fixable interceptions were about the only blemishes on Tua’s resume this Sunday, as he threw for 469 yards and six touchdowns. This game was so far above the prior best performance of his career it could be its own decent fantasy start. The 469 yards and six scores were 108 yards and two touchdowns better than any other single-game total of his career. Mike McDonald might just be unlocking the true potential of this Alabama product. Much of this is partly due to game script, but the Dolphins had a 2.8/1 pass/run ratio. If that trend continues this might be the most fantasy-friendly team in the league.

Carson Wentz

If you started Wentz these past two weeks and got seven passing touchdowns, you’re luckier than Walter White when (SPOILER!) Hank showed up and killed Tuco. Wentz threw for another three scores and 337 passing yards and chipped in 23 rushing yards. It’s clear that Washington is going to 1) be forced to be in shootouts because of a lackluster defense, and 2) sling it all over the field to a plethora of receivers. More on that passing game below.

Jared Goff

Sunday was the first time since 2018 that Jared Goff threw for at least four touchdowns, and he did it on an efficient 34 throws with zero interceptions. It certainly helps when you have a kingpin like Amon-Ra St. Brown out there getting 116 yards through the air and 68 more on the ground, while also scoring two receiving touchdowns. This is an underrated offensive unit that is also going to have its fair share of high-scoring affairs this year.

Nick Chubb

In what ended up being a massive day for wide receivers, Nick Chubb ran over, through, and around the New York Jets’ defense for 87 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns, and another 26 receiving yards. The New York Jets allowed 26.3 fantasy points per game to running backs last year (far and away the most) and it doesn’t look like much has changed year over year. Play against them any chance you can.

Tony Pollard

Ezekiel Elliott looks dustier than an Arizona desert these days which has allowed Tony Pollard to pick up a few extra opportunities here and there. Pollard’s 16 opportunities (rush attempts + targets) were just one fewer in this game that had mostly a neutral game script. Pollard turned it into 43 rushing yards, 55 receiving yards (on seven targets), plus a rushing score. As Cooper Rush looks for reliable targets in the weeks to come, I expect them to call Pollard’s number often.

Aaron Jones

For one night at least, it looked like Aaron Jones was the undisputed alpha back again for Green Bay. He finished the night with 132 rushing yards on just 15 carries, 38 receiving yards, and two total scores. Against the Bears on Sunday night football, Aaron Jones was Gus Fring and A.J. Dillon was a little too much Gale Boetticher. These two running backs will switch off big games, but Jones remains the more explosive player and the one to roster in any point-per-reception format.

Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle

When you’ve got a quarterback throwing for 469 yards, you are bound to have some big receiver scores. Waddle (171 yards, two scores) and Hill (190 yards, two scores) might have just posted the two best wide receiver scores of the entire season in the same game and on the same team. How else can we describe what they did? How about this? Their 71 combined PPR points today would have been a top 100 WR score for the entire 2021 season.

Amon-Ra St. Brown

St. Brown made history today after posting nine catches, 116 receiving yards, 68 rushing yards, and two touchdowns. He tied an NFL record with at least eight catches in eight straight games as he is QUICKLY rising up the ranks as one of the top wide receivers in our fantasy game.

Christian Kirk

Speaking of rising up the ranks of elite wide receivers. Christian Kirk is earning every bit of that $72 million contract the Jaguars gave him this offseason. After catching just six of 12 targets last week, he and Trevor Lawrence were much more on the same page. Kirk caught all six of his targets for 78 yards and two touchdowns in the dismantling of the Colts. Right now, he is hotter than Walter White on the run from the feds.

Drake London

Apparently, Marcus Mariota has eyes for Drake London and no one else in this Atlanta Falcons offense. London saw 11 targets in this game, while the rest of the offense saw just 13. He turned his 11 looks into eight catches for 86 yards and a touchdown plus a two-point conversion. As we will see below, it is coming at the expense of a Kyle Pitts breakout, but sometimes when you are cooking perfect baby blue, you have to break a few beakers.

Mark Andrews

There was a whole bushel full of tight ends who got what we needed on Sunday thanks to a touchdown plus some meager yardage total, but only a couple seemed to dominate the game. Mark Andrews was predictably one of them and he hauled in nine balls for 104 yards plus a touchdown. Even with players like Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay on the ascent, Andrews remains this team’s clear top pass-catcher. He led the Ravens in snaps, routes, and targets in this shootout against the Dolphins.

Darren Waller

After a strong debut last week with four catches and 79 yards, Waller followed that up with six catches for 50 yards plus a score. Yes, Davante Adams is going to eat into some of the target share, but that’s 14 targets in two games, so the role looks secure. The Raiders had 39 pass attempts to just 21 rushes, so that kind of split should keep all of the pass-catchers happy in Las Vegas.

Week 2 Duds

“If you don’t know who I am, then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.”

Yes, all of them. You can include Matt Ryan, Jonathan Taylor, Parris Campbell, Mo-Alie Cox, Reggie Wayne, Andrew Luck, Andrew Luck’s neckbeard, Edgerrin James, Reggie Miller, Rik Smits, David Letterman. The whole lot of ’em. They were flat-out embarrassed by the Jaguars even if they were without their top two wide receivers. Ryan, Taylor, and Campbell COMBINED for five total fantasy points.

Russell Wilson

It’s a good thing the Denver Broncos pulled out a win against the underdog Texans because the fans at Mile High Stadium were turning on their team faster than Schuyler turning on Walt when he stole their daughter. Still, the passing performance was abysmal in his home debut. Just 219 yards passing with one score and a pick. At one point, Russ had completed just four of 15 passes against this mediocre defense.

Tom Brady and Mike Evans

Old Man Brady threw for just 190 yards, one score, and lost a fumble on Sunday despite his team beating the depleted Saints 20-10. That’s just 400 total yards and two scored through two games for the GOAT. He did have a nice thing going with Mike Evans (three catches for 61 yards) until Evans decided to fight another player and get himself kicked out. I am extremely curious to see how these next two games go for Brady. He finally gets to play at home, but it’s against Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes. Does vintage Brady come out for those? I’m guessing yes.

Travis Etienne, Jr.

We’ve now entered panic territory with the usage we have seen so far from Travis Etienne. On Sunday, James Robinson had 23 carries to Etienne’s nine. Robinson played 46 snaps to Etienne’s 26. And Robinson had two targets while Etienne only managed three. The only usage scenario where Etienne got more work than Robinson on Sunday was on third downs. He finished the game with just 20 rushing yards and 33 receiving yards.

Ezekiel Elliott

Are we at the point yet where we need to call in the Salamanca cousins to put Elliott’s fantasy value out of its misery? That’s now back-to-back weeks with just 5.40 fantasy points in half-PPR formats. Back-t0-back weeks with no more than 53 rushing yards. Wherever you drafted him this offseason, right now it’s looking like it was too high.

Ja’Marr Chase

“You clearly don’t know who you’re talking to, so let me clue you in. I am not in danger, dear fantasy manager. I am the danger. A guy opens his door and gets shot and you think that of me? No. I am the one who knocks!”

Blip on the radar with five catches for 54 yards and no scores.

DK Metcalf

Geno Smith turned back into the predictable pumpkin against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. As a result, Metcalf finished with just four receptions and 35 yards. He did have a massive, 50-yard bomb called back due to an ineligible man down field penalty. Complete that and it changes the complexion of his fantasy day. But this is one of those down days you signed up for when you drafted a receiver tied to Geno Smith.

Davante Adams

Davante Adams exploded higher than Hector Salamanca’s wheelchair last week when he drew 17 targets and caught 10 balls for 141 yards and a score. This week, that all came crashing down to earth with just two catches for 12 yards plus another score. He was targeted enough times (seven), but truthfully we are now hoping for targets in the 10-12 range every week considering the rapport we see building with Derek Carr.

Kyle Pitts

Thanks to what we saw with Drake London above, Kyle Pitt’s fantasy value is drowning in a bathtub full of hydrofluoric acid these first two games. Just two more catches for 19 yards this week. Then, Arthur Smith speaks to reporters after the game and says stuff like this.

You’re 0-2 Mr. Smith, so how about you start throwing Pitts the ball now, huh?

Taysom Hill

Not too much to say here, but there were large contingencies that were expecting big things from Hill after Alvin Kamara was ruled out and that Jameis Winston is playing with like 19 fractures in his back. Not so fast my friend. He had just three rush attempts for 14 yards in the game. Hill will continue to be a huge roller coaster player to roster.

T.J. Hockenson

Your team is in a shootout, scores 36 points, and you only get three catches for 26 yards? He did draw seven targets on the positive side of the ledger. Better days are ahead unless St. Brown starts attracting 16 targets per game. Which he just might.

Situations to Monitor

“Who are you talking to right now? Who is it you think you see?”

The Washington Passing Tree

The options in the passing game are coming into clearer view after two weeks, but it still largely remains an enigma for fantasy managers. On Sunday, eight players saw between three and eight targets, and six players ran at least 20 routes. Johan Dotson once again had a touchdown, Curtis Samuel once again led the team in targets, and Terry McLaurin was second on the team with 75 receiving yards. Breakdown courtesy of Pro Football Focus:

Throw in a receiving touchdown for Logan Thomas and seven catches for J.D. MsKissic, and this is shaping up to be a headache of a passing tree to figure out. The good news is that Washington has dropped back to pass on more than 60% of their offensive plays this year. If this was 2021, they would rank top-10 in pass rate. While it might be impossible to predict each week’s breakout game, it’s possible this offense produces multiple fantasy-usable assets each week.

Garrett Wilson An Empire Maker

If Walter White is in the empire business, rookie Garrett Wilson might just be looking to take over the Empire State. What? The Jets are in New Jersey? Of course they are. Regardless, Wilson was tied for second among all players with 14 targets on Sunday, and he caught eight of them for 102 yards and two scores, including game-winning touchdown in Cleveland. That’s now 22 targets for Wilson compared to Elijah Moore’s 12 through two games.

What will change, if anything, when Zach Wilson is back under center instead of Joe Flacco? Who can say at this point, but it’s clear Flacco and Wilson have a connection.

Najee Harris Workload and Offensive Struggles

It’s probably premature at this point to press the panic button on the Pittsburgh offense after two games, but I’m certainly locating where the button is. Mitch Trubisky looks a bit too Trubiskyish with just 168 yards on 33 pass attempts. He threw a pick and took three sacks as well. But as bad as the passing game has looked, Najee Harris is not separating himself from the running back pack in the early going. Part of it is he is not playing near the number of snaps as last year.

He also has been ineffective as a rusher so far. The five catches for 40 yards helps pay the fantasy bills, but if you drafted Harris, you thought you were getting 20 rush attempts per game plus a handful of touchdowns. That hasn’t materialized yet as he has not topped 75% of snaps yet after hitting at least that number 14 times in 2021. Better days are still likely ahead, but right now this team’s offensive potential is buried deeper than ASAC Hank Schraeder in the Arizona desert.

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