The name of the game in fantasy football is volume. That's why it's so important to take note of which wide receivers are seeing a significant target market share and how the each team splits up its backfield opportunities. Each week, Matt Harmon and Matt Franciscovich will break down the week's wide receiver targets and backfield touches leaders with takeaways you can use for your fantasy football teams going forward. We won't bore you with any more introductory comments here, let's dig into the good stuff from Week 2.
*NOTE: This article will be updated with data from the Sunday Night and Monday Night games the following day, so check back for more information as games wrap.
Touches: 11 | Carries: 11 | Receptions: 0
Fantasy managers should have been skeptical about starting anyone in the Cardinals backfield, even in a good matchup. All that Kerwynn Williams hype and Chris Johnson led the team with 44 rush yards. He looked decent doing it too. Personally, my favorite to lead the team in rushing this year is Johnson, after that performance, but don't expect a ton of weekly fantasy value from anyone in this muddled committee.
Honorable mention(s):Andre Ellington led the Arizona backfield in snaps with a 46 percent share. But he had just five touches in the game, two carries for 11 yards and three catches on five targets for 12 yards. Arizona has a tough running back matchup against Dallas next Monday night, so it'd be wise to avoid this entire situation if you can.
Target share: 30.6% |Targets: 11 | Receptions: 4 | Yards: 73
With John Brown out, Jaron Brown and J.J. Nelson stepped into voluminous roles. Brown led the team with 11 targets and 40.2 percent share of the team's intended air yards. Nelson went out for one more play than Brown and saw more downfield targets. The diminutive deep threat averaged over 20 air yards per target. While John Brown's health is in question, both of these ancillary Cardinals receivers need to be on fantasy rosters.
Honorable mention(s):Larry Fitzgerald, despite two golden matchups to start the year, has just nine catches for 95 yards through the first two weeks of the season. The volume is there with 19 targets having gone his way. However, the usage just leaves little margin for error, which seems to be permeating through the Arizona offense right now. Fitzgerald averaged just 6.2 air yards per target today as the team took shots to players like Brown and Nelson.
Touches: 21 | Carries: 19 | Receptions: 2
The Falcons backfield returned to its 2016 ways on Sunday night against the Packers. Devonta Freeman scored twice in the first half to relieve fantasy owners who had him going in the late game, and both were goal-line situations which is a good sign going forward for his situational usage. With a big lead in the second half, Freeman was able to rack up big chunks of yardage on the ground, finishing with 84 on the night. He added 16 receiving yards. He's a locked-in RB1 and there should be zero concerns about Tevin Coleman siphoning touches. The duo will likely split work all year, but it seemed to work out well for both of them a season ago. I don't see that changing.
Honorable mention(s): Speaking of Coleman, he received eight touches against the Packers. One was a 35-yard scamper up the right side of the field in the second quarter. He also scored on a three-yard catch just before halftime, in a way, vulturing a chance from Freeman. But we can't be greedy here. In terms of snap count Freeman was the primary back on the field for 39 snaps compared to Coleman's 22. We'll take it. Atlanta heads to Detroit in Week 3.
Target share: 34.6% |Targets: 9 | Receptions: 5 | Yards: 108
Adam Levitan noted last week that Julio Jonestypically bounces back right away from slower performances. That held up once again this week, as Jones took his place at the top of the target totem pole right back. New offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian made it clear he wanted to involve Jones more in scoring position this season. Jones did draw a target inside the 10-yard line during the second quarter on Sunday night.
Honorable mention(s): Through two weeks, Mohamed Sanu has 11 catches for 132 yards. He narrowly trails Julio Jones (29.1 percent) on the year with a 24.8 percent share of Matt Ryan's intended air yards. Sanu appears to have a locked-in role as the team's possession receiver and is worth owning in leagues that start more than two wide receivers.
Touches: 19 | Carries: 14 | Receptions: 5
This simply cannot be ignored. If Javorius Allen is still available in your league he's officially a must-own running back. He led the Ravens with 66 rush yards on his 14 attempts and out-snapped Terrance West by a count of 43 to 15. Allen added 35 receiving yards to total 101 from scrimmage on the day and added a receiving score for good measure. As of Sunday evening, Allen was only owned in 10.5 percent of NFL.com fantasy leagues.
Honorable mention(s): At least West scored a touchdown early, for the folks who did start him against the Browns. He had 10 total touches for 45 yards from scrimmage but was sadly out-rushed by Alex Collins. West should retain some value but the pendulum may be swinging Allen's way in this backfield. The Ravens get the Jaguars in London next week.
Target share: 24.2% |Targets: 8 | Receptions: 8 | Yards: 9a
After being a part-time player in Week 1, Benjamin Watson was the clear top tight end for the Ravens against the Browns. Watson played on 86 percent of the team's plays and caught all eight of his team-high targets. With the overall lack of depth in the Baltimore pass-catching group, Watson has staying power in the target pecking order. If you're in need of a tight end streamer, the veteran will be worth a look.
Honorable mention(s):Jeremy Maclin left portions of this game with an injury but still managed to secure a touchdown. Mike Wallace was on the field for 83 percent of the team's plays but has just four targets in the first two weeks. Doesn't have much meat to pick off the bone after Maclin and the pass-catching backs with the Ravens emphasizing the run more this year.
Touches: 18 | Carries: 12 | Receptions: 6
LeSean McCoy did not have a good outing against a tough Panthers defensive front in Week 2. He totaled just nine rushing yards on 12 attempts on the ground. Shady did lead the Bills in receiving with six catches on seven targets for 34 yards, but it simply wasn't enough. For what it's worth, he remained on the field for 76 percent of the Bills offensive snaps.
Target share: 28% |Targets: 7 | Receptions: 6 | Yards: 34
No Bills wide receiver showed any sort of role for predictable fantasy value for the second straight week. As such, LeSean McCoy was the leading receiver on the day. Jordan Matthews was out there for 94 percent of the team's plays and Zay Jones for 92 percent. The rookie Jones collected 52.6 percent of the team's air yards and was second on the team in targets with six, so he appears to have the top wideout job. However, there's just nothing here in the passing game right now to make Matthews or Jones priority holds.
Touches: 15 | Carries: 15 | Receptions: 0
While Jonathan Stewart led Carolina in backfield touches, he managed just 40 rushing yards and didn't find the end zone. But when he's on the field, he gets touches. He'll continue to be a weekly flex play going forward, given his usage. That includes next week against a Swiss-cheese Saints defense.
Honorable mention(s): Rookie Christian McCaffrey had just 10 rush yards on his eight attempts and a week after leading Carolina in receiving, totaled 34 yards through the air. Coach Ron Rivera did say the team might pump the breaks on McCaffrey's usage this week, and that came to fruition here. He still out-snapped Stewart by a count of 42 to 25.
Target share: 25% |Targets: 8 | Receptions: 6 | Yards: 77
Kelvin Benjamin left the game multiple times after taking a hard hit in the end zone that jarred loose a potential touchdown but still managed to lead the team in receiving. The volume Benjamin saw in Week 1 turned into production in Week 2. Cam Newton looked dialed in at times this game but the passing game wasn't firing on all cylinders throughout the afternoon, especially in the red zone. If and when that does happen, Benjamin will be in a great spot for production with his bankable volume.
Honorable mention(s): Sadly, Greg Olsen broke his foot in this contest, ending a long games-played streak. Olsen is a massively important piece of this passing game and his absence will open a void that needs filling. One candidate to do so is wideout Devin Funchess. The third-year receiver made several nice receptions in this contest and the volume was there. Funchess led the team with a 36.5 percent share of Newton's intended air yards and drew seven targets. He's well worth an add this week.
Touches: 15 | Carries: 7 | Receptions: 8
For the second straight week, Tarik Cohen led the Bears backfield in fantasy production. He wasn't nearly as efficient as he was in Week 1 though, totaling just 13 rushing yards on his seven carries. For those who started him in PPR formats, he hauled in a team-high eight receptions for 55 yards, keeping his floor viable. Cohen also out-snapped Jordan Howard by a count of 40 to 29.
Honorable mention(s):Jordan Howard didn't get a single touch in the second half after he gained just seven yards on nine carries in the first half. The Bears were in a deep deficit. He also came into the game with an apparent shoulder injury and was reportedly seen leaving the stadium with his arm in a sling. It's not a welcome development for a fantasy running back whose arrow was already pointing down. This will be a situation to keep an eye during the week. The Bears take on the Steelers in Week 3.
Target share: 22.2% |Targets: 10 | Receptions: 7 | Yards: 69
Kendall Wright is plenty capable of having these kinds of games with the current state of the Bears offense. The presumptive top two wideouts for Chicago, Cameron Meredith and Kevin White, are on Injured Reserve and their replacements aren't truly options in the receiving game. Wright is left to gobble up the bulk of the high-percentage looks from the slot, where he averaged just 6.6 air yards per target. Especially in ultra-negative game scripts like this, Wright will see plenty of volume. Five of his 10 targets came in the fourth quarter. He doesn't offer much of any ceiling appeal, but in PPR formats there is at least some sort of floor to chase.
Touches: 10 | Carries: 9 | Receptions: 1
This game was not a fun one for fantasy owners of Bengals' running backs. It was so bad, in fact, that Cincinnati fired its offensive coordinator the next morning. Joe Mixon had just 41 yards from scrimmage as the three-headed committee couldn't get anything going against a stout Texans defense. With the OC change, hopefully things will get better for the Bengals on offense. The team has yet to score a touchdown through two games.
Target share: 25.8% |Targets: 8 | Receptions: 5 | Yards: 67
A.J. Green led the team in targets despite the absolute injustice of only seeing one target in the second half. Even Green seemed frustrated after the game bemoaning his lack of chances to make plays with the game on the line. The lack of looks for Green in crunch time was likely just one reason for the Bengals firing of Ken Zampese and the promotion of Bill Lazor. The Bengals offense is loaded with intriguing playmakers, their issues mostly lay at the feet of their quarterback. It remains to be seen if a coaching switch will make any progress toward solving Andy Dalton's early-season struggles.
Honorable mention(s):Tyler Boyd was a healthy scratch for this game and appears to be on the precipice of losing his job altogether. Alex Erickson, a 2016 UDFA, appears to be the new slot receiver and he drew six targets. Top-10 pick John Ross went out for five plays before getting benched for a fumble on a rushing play. With the Bengals offense slow to get rolling out of the gate, we aren't too interested in their ancillary players.
Touches: 10 | Carries: 10 | Receptions: 0
Honorable mention(s): The big story in Cleveland is Duke Johnson's usage and production on Sunday. In Week 1, he didn't take a single snap out of the backfield, lining up mostly as a slot receiver. Against the Ravens though, 88 percent of his snaps came from backfield lineups. Coach Hue Jackson hinted at this earlier in the week and for once, he wasn't simply blowing smoke. Johnson totaled 80 yards on his seven touches and made some impressive plays. His arrow is pointing up for next week's matchup against the Colts.
Target share: 26.2% |Targets: 11 | Receptions: 7 | Yards: 95
In a stunning development, Rashard Higgins was the top receiver for Cleveland in Week 2 just one day after being elevated from the practice squad. The Day 3 pick in 2016, Higgins initially made the 53-man roster out of camp this year but was later released and dropped back to the practice squad. He made the most of his newfound chance, leading the team with a 27.6 percent share of the team's intended air yards and was on the field for more plays than any other wide receiver (85 percent). Higgins might just have more chances on the horizon, as the Cleveland wideout room has questions. Corey Coleman suffered a hand injury in this game and Kenny Britt continues to fall out of favor with the coaching staff, playing on just 66 percent of the team's plays. He's still a longshot but he's worth monitoring on a team that should be emphasizing youth.
Touches: 13 | Carries: 9 | Receptions: 4
It was a shockingly low-production game for Zeke against Denver in a game where the Broncos dominated the scoreboard. Six of Zeke's touches were for zero or negative yardage including a five-yard loss in the third quarter. He notched a single touch in the second quarter for no gain, and had just two touches, both receptions, in the fourth. The young running back was also seen giving up on a Dak Prescott interception, which is not a good look on film. This shouldn't be the case going forward, as Elliott was on the field for 91 percent of Dallas' plays. He'll look to bounce back against the Cardinals next Monday night.
Target share: 32.7% |Targets: 16 | Receptions: 7 | Yards: 59, TD
The Cowboys won't often find themselves in negative game script, but such a situation made for a strong fantasy day for Dez Bryant. All the volume on his plate makes it nearly impossible to not pay off in the stat column. Today, he found his way into the end zone, which his history dictates he's likely to do more as the season goes along. Bryant saw more high-percentage targets today than he did in Week 1, averaging under 10 air yards per target. The Cowboys star receiver will be volatile all year but bringing his targets closer to the line of scrimmage will help alleviate some of that.
Honorable mention(s):Jason Witten has 90-plus yards and a touchdown in back-to-back games to start off the season. It's tough to lock that in as a likely scenario in any given week, given that the trailing script assisted in Week 2. Yet, don't ignore Witten as a startable tight end option right now.
Touches: 28 | Carries: 25 | Receptions: 3
C.J. Anderson played a major role in the Broncos dominating win over Dallas in Week 2. Anderson totaled 154 yards from scrimmage with 118 coming on the ground and added two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving. He finished Sunday as fantasy's highest scoring running back of Week 2. Anderson played 75 percent of Denver's snaps and had a massive workload in every quarter with at least six touches in each. He'll be a must-start against the Bills in Week 3.
Honorable mention(s): For the second straight week, Jamaal Charles had 10 touches as a change of pace behind Anderson. Charles had 52 yards from scrimmage and is a hold in fantasy leagues for now. He's definitely not a starter as long as Anderson keeps playing strong but could have some flex value down the line if his role eventually increases.
Target share: 26.7% |Targets: 8 | Receptions: 6 | Yards: 71
Target share: 26.7% |Targets: 8 | Receptions: 6 | Yards: 62, 2 TDs
We know that the Denver offense is one of the most highly-concentrated units in the league. As such, we should often expect a distribution that centers around Thomas and Sanders. Their overall volume was similar but Thomas got more downfield chances. He averaged over 10 air yards per target to 7.2 for Sanders. The latter just saw his looks in scoring position. It's tough to find an offense like the Broncos where two options have such bankable floors, but that's exactly what we have with Thomas and Sanders.
Honorable mention(s): Predictably, Week 1 two-touchdown hero Bennie Fowler fell back to the pack. He played on just 32 percent of the plays and caught one of his mere three targets.
Touches: 17 | Carries: 17 | Receptions: 0
With Ameer Abdullah healthy, the Lions offense is more balanced than it's been in recent years and it's showing up in the team's 2-0 record to start the year. Unfortunately, Abdullah's 17 carries for 86 yards didn't net a ton of points for his fantasy owners, and he has yet to find the end zone in 2017. He's still Detroit's primary back, and to his credit, the Giants are a tough defense to run against. Abduallah did have a couple of promising long runs of 24 and 34 yards which obviously helped his total. He should be able to put up serviceable flex numbers in Week 3 against Atlanta.
Honorable mention(s):Theo Riddick, who scored a touchdown in the Lions' season opener, had 12 touches for just 37 total yards in Week 2. With a lead for much of the game, Detroit didn't need to use him much in the passing game. Four of his carries came on the Lions last drive when they were burning the clock late, but he netted zero yards on those four attempts because the Giants stacked the box. Riddick's value is in the passing game, and when he's not getting work there his floor is scary low. He should see more action against Atlanta in Week 3. Dwayne Washington left the game early with a quad injury. He had three attempts for nine yards.
Target share: 23.8% |Targets: 5 | Receptions: 5 | Yards: 42, TD
Target share: 34.6% |Targets: 5 | Receptions: 1 | Yards: 27, TD
Eric Ebron soothed the post-Week 1 worries of those who pegged him as a breakout candidate headed into this season. The Giants bent the knee to both Jason Witten and Ebron the last two weeks, so this was certainly a matchup advantage for the Lions' tight end. However, we should continue our optimism for him going forward. He's a 65 percent snap or more player in a strong offense. His usage is also a dream for a fantasy tight end. Ebron's Monday night score came from inside the Giants' 10-yard line and he lined up in the slot on 38 percent of his plays and another 22 percent out-wide. Marvin Jones reminded us that he, not yet Kenny Golladay, is the top outside receiver in this offense. He was on the field for 89 percent of the plays to just 50 percent for the talented rookie. Of course, that doesn't make Jones any less volatile, as he snagged just one catch on five targets. According to Next Gen Stats, Jones averaged 27.8 air yards per target and just one yard of separation on his targets. Seeing such low-percentage looks makes it tough for Jones to consistently produce, but he'll hit big when he does for fantasy.
Honorable mention(s): Don't sweat Golden Tate too much because of this game. The Lions doled out 29 carries to their running backs to just 21 pass attempts for Matthew Stafford with the game under control the entire night. That's not a script we should typically expect for the usually pass-heavy Lions. Tate still maintained his slot receiver role, lining up inside on 76 percent of his plays. He gets the Falcons next week, who struggle to cover the middle of the field.
Green Bay Packers
Touches: 16 | Carries: 10 | Receptions: 6
Even in a game where Green Bay was trailing nearly the entire time, Ty Montgomery saw a whopping 89 percent snap share out of the Packers backfield. He only had 10 carries for 35 yards, one of which was a touchdown run. But he added to his fantasy totals as a receiver notching six receptions on seven targets for 75 yards, which were second most on the team. Also, he scored a second touchdown on a shovel pass late in the fourth quarter. When the curtain closed on Sunday night, Montgomery's 23 standard fantasy points stood as the third-most among running backs for the week. He's a legitimate RB1 going forward considering the fact that he's been on the field for nearly 90 percent of the Packers plays through two weeks and his involvement in the passing game. Green Bay heads home to face the Bengals next week.
Honorable mention(s):Jamaal Williams had two carries for six yards but as long as Montgomery is dominating snaps, the rookie's fantasy value is little to none.
Target share: 22.4% |Targets: 11 | Receptions: 5 | Yards: 47
Jordy Nelson left the game with a quad injury after just seven plays, and we know his absence typically creates issues for this offense. Part of the solution for Green Bay was to use Martellus Bennett split out from the formation. Bennett took just 38 percent of his snaps from a traditional tight end lineup, another 47 percent from the slot and 15 percent out wide. The free agent addition has not yet jelled with this offense, and didn't play well Sunday night despite all the volume. So far, we don't have much evidence to suggest Bennett is an every-week starter at tight end.
Honorable mention(s): With Nelson out early and Randall Cobb leaving in the fourth quarter, an opportunity presented itself for Geronimo Allison. The second-year player went out for 80 percent of the team's plays. Allison only collected five targets and finished fourth on the team with a 14.1 percent share of Aaron Rodgers' intended air yards. However, this is a player Rodgers willingly trusted as a rookie in 2016 and if injuries persist, he's worth considering in a home game against the Bengals in Week 3.
Touches: 21 | Carries: 18 | Receptions: 3
In PPR formats, Lamar Miller was at least serviceable despite the fact that he didn't find the end zone. He totaled 87 yards from scrimmage, which considering the shape of the Texans offensive line, was decent. Still, it will be tough to trust him in this offense going forward as anything more than a low-end flex.
Honorable mention(s): Rookie D'Onta Foreman surprised folks with eight carries and looked good running the ball, breaking tackles and gaining five or more yards on his first four attempts. He was seemingly spelled by Miller later on but his solid play can't be ignored. Foreman is an under-the-radar waiver add ahead of the Texans Week 3 game against the Patriots.
Target share: 54.2% |Targets: 13 | Receptions: 7 | Yards: 73
After leading the NFL with a 56 percent share of the Texans intended air yards in Week 1, DeAndre Hopkins inhaled a massive 63.3 percent share in Week 2. With the entire Texans tight end room wiped out due to injury and Bruce Ellington and Will Fuller also unavailable, it was inevitable that Hopkins would shoulder the bulk of the passing volume. DeShaun Watson had a pristine connection and would lock in on Nuk on the sideline routes. He continued to look for Hopkins on those passes throughout the night, especially on the game-deciding drive. With the current construction of the Texans offense, we should expect nothing else going forward.
Honorable mention(s): There really isn't much else to see here. Braxton Miller was the No. 2 receiver, going out on 95 percent of the plays. It doesn't really matter at this point. The offense has layers of injuries and is limited with Watson at the helm, as is.
Touches: 14 | Carries: 14 | Receptions: 0
Veteran Frank Gore came out of the gate hot, scoring a touchdown in the first quarter. In a close game that the Colts were leading much of the way, Gore got work in all four frames as opposed to last week when he was sidelined in a blowout. He didn't haul in a catch on two targets and averaged just 2.8 yards per carry for 46 on the ground against Arizona's defense.
Honorable mention(s): Backups Robert Turbin and Marlon Mack didn't get much work, combining for just nine carries for eight rush yards between them. Gore led with a 46 percent share of snaps, while Turbin saw a 39 percent share and Mack had 16 percent. If you're starting anyone here, it's Gore. The Colts face the Browns at home next week, so it's another good spot for Gore as a flex play.
Target share: 25% |Targets: 9 | Receptions: 3 | Yards: 31
Veteran free-agent addition Kamar Aiken led the team in targets today. Aiken was on the field for more plays (62) than Donte Moncrief (52) and only one fewer than T.Y. Hilton (63). With the Colts deploying three wide receivers on 70 percent of their plays, Aiken has an opportunity on his hands. Unfortunately, that's not worth much in this offense until Andrew Luck returns.
Honorable mention(s): He mishandled his share of passes but Donte Moncrief saw great opportunity in this game with Jacoby Brissett under center. Moncrief garnered eight targets and led the team with a massive 40.9 percent share of the intended air yards. Again, all this usage and volume is worth tracking but it just doesn't amount to much in Indianapolis right now.
Touches: 16 | Carries: 14 | Receptions: 2
Leonard Fournette received about half the workload he had in Week 1, but still came through with 61 total yards and a goal-line score. It's a good sign that he got his even in a blowout. He's locked in as a weekly RB1 despite the downtick in volume. He'll face another tough matchup in Week 3 when the Jaguars face the Ravens in London, but he remains a must-start in most formats.
Honorable mention(s):Chris Ivory got some work against the Titans but it was really just to give Fournette a breather when he needed it. Nine touches for 48 total yards was Ivory's final line, and he was active as a pass-catcher with three receptions on four targets with T.J. Yeldon inactive. He's nothing more than Fournette's handcuff for now.
Target share: 35.3% |Targets: 12 | Receptions: 7 | Yards: 76
Marqise Lee checked off every box possible in terms of usage today. He was on the field for 87 percent of the plays, led the team in targets and percentage of the team's air yards with over 38 percent. Lee isn't a perfect player but he has opportunity ripe for the taking with Allen Robinson out for the season. We saw today that despite Jacksonville's defensive upgrades, this team will still find themselves in negative and pass-leaning game scripts this year.
Honorable mention(s): While Lee had the volume edge Allen Hurns outproduced him on the day. His seven targets were second on the team. Hurns was also more of a downfield threat, averaging 13 air yards per target to just 9.5 for Lee.
Kansas City Chiefs
Touches: 16 | Carries: 13 | Receptions: 3
After registering just eight rushing yards in the first half, rookie Kareem Hunt exploded with a 53-yard touchdown in the second half and finished with 109 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. He's now collected five total touchdowns in his first two games in the NFL and is quite clearly the highest-scoring running back in fantasy football through two weeks. Expect nothing but RB1 performances from this must-start rookie back all season.
Honorable mention(s): No other Kansas City running back other than Hunt received a single touch in Week 2.
Target share: 37% |Targets: 10 | Receptions: 8 | Yards: 103, TD
Honorable mention(s):Tyreek Hill led all Chiefs receivers in playing time, going out for 88 percent of the team's plays. However, we saw some of the volatility in his usage today. His four catches for 43 yards presents a tolerable floor, but he averaged just 9.3 air yards per target. Without a deep shot mixed in, Hill will struggle to crack the 100-yard mark just on volume alone.
Los Angeles Chargers
Touches: 16 | Carries: 9 | Receptions: 7
With just nine carries for thirteen yards on the ground against the Dolphins, Melvin Gordon, fortunately, did some work as a pass-catcher with seven receptions for 65 yards. He also scored a rushing touchdown to keep his fantasy owners satisfied. The work as a receiver is encouraging for his weekly floor going forward, and even in a tough matchup against Kansas City next week, Gordon will be a low-end RB1 in all formats.
Honorable mention(s):Branden Oliver is Gordon's handcuff, and actually out-rushed his teammate with 31 yards on three carries. Unless you're in an extremely deep league, there is no reason to own Oliver right now.
Target share: 25.6% |Targets: 10 | Receptions: 9 | Yards: 100
With 20 targets over the course of 2017's first two weeks, Keenan Allen simply hasn't missed a beat in his return from a 2016 season-ending injury. Allen was simply dominant today on the short routes. Per the Next Gen Stats tracking, Allen averaged 2.9 yards of separation on his targets, and averaged just five air yards. Allen will maintain an excellent floor with that type of usage and if Rivers feeds him near 10-plus targets, he'll also have access to a tangible ceiling.
Honorable mention(s): After a massively disappointing Week 1, Hunter Henry calmed some nerves in Week 2. He played more than Antonio Gates, 25 plays to 23, and caught all seven of his targets for 80 yards. As long as Allen is a target hog in this offense, all the other players will be tough to predict week-to-week, including Henry. However, he's right at the top of the streaming crop.
Los Angeles Rams
Touches: 19 | Carries: 16 | Receptions: 3
Gurley was much more efficient this week than he was in the season opener, taking his 16 rush attempts for 88 yards, or 5.5 yards per carry, against the Redskins. He also lost two fumbles which don't help his fantasy totals for the day, but you can't complain too much about a guy who put up 136 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. Gurley added 48 receiving yards including a 28-yard catch and an 18-yard catch and run in which he hurdled a defender and crossed the goal-line for his second score in as many games. Just beware, Gurley has some tough matchups ahead but gets the 49ers on Thursday night in Week 3.
Target share: 23.1% |Targets: 6 | Receptions: 3 | Yards: 33
Rookie Cooper Kupp maintained his hold on the team-lead in targets for the second-straight game. It's evidently clear that Kupp is the favorite in Jared Goff's eye. Unfortunately, bankable volume in an offense like the Rams, which even though it is improved still wants to trend conservative, is only worth so much.
Honorable mention(s):Sammy Watkins was quiet today with just two catches for 30 yards on two targets. He took 55 percent of his plays at left wide receiver, which put him away from Josh Norman at left corner. Gerald Everett made an exciting play in the open field but was only on the field for 15 plays to 39 for Tyler Higbee.
Touches: 30 | Carries: 28 | Receptions: 2
In his first game of the 2017 season, Jay Ajayi saw a full workload. He toted the rock 28 times for 122 yards and was the league's second-highest rusher leading up to the Sunday night game. He added two receptions for four yards but didn't find the end zone. It was still an encouraging outing for a back taken as a fringe-first rounder in redraft leagues. Ajayi should be a high-volume workhorse all season and should have a big game against the Jets in Week 3.
Target share: 44.1% |Targets: 15 | Receptions: 13 | Yards: 78
Jarvis Landry was up to his usual tricks, hogging the bulk of the targets and turning in a wide receiver stat line that looks befit of a pass-catching running back. Landry averaged a mere 3.9 air yards per target today. Only one player who saw five or more targets checked in with a lower figure than Landry. Much of the preseason talk centered around new quarterback Jay Cutler's affinity for anything but the short passing game and that the Dolphins would look to phase out their 2014 second-round pick. Neither appeared to be true today, as Cutler looked to Landry early and often for sustaining passes to move the offense.
Honorable mention(s):DeVante Parker also saw significant volume with nine targets on the day. He was on the complete opposite end of the depth spectrum from Landry, averaging 21.1 air yards per target. If the two continue to garner those types of targets, Landry will have virtually no ceiling and Parker will be an extremely volatile asset. Both of their fantasy values would be best served if their targets depths trended toward the middle range.
Touches: 14 | Carries: 12 | Receptions: 2
The Vikings offense was not the same with quarterback Sam Bradford (knee) sidelined. All of the team's skill position players suffered in terms of production due to his absence. That included Dalvin Cook who didn't do much save for the third quarter in which he had runs of eight, 10 and 25 yards. He had an unfortunate touchdown overturned, as the officials said he was down at the one-yard line and fullback C.J. Ham came away with the vulture score. Still, Cook managed 64 total yards but that touchdown would have really erased the overall frustration from the Minnesota offense on the day. Fantasy managers should be worried about Cook's production going forward for as long as Bradford is out.
Target share: 16.7% |Targets: 6 | Receptions: 4 | Yards: 45
Target share: 16.7% |Targets: 6 | Receptions: 5 | Yards: 44
Target share: 16.7% |Targets: 6 | Receptions: 3 | Yards: 33
Target share: 16.7% |Targets: 6 | Receptions: 2 | Yards: 27
Four players split the leading spot on the target totem pole for the Vikings with Case Keenum starting in place of an injured Sam Bradford. Stefon Diggs was the leader in terms of air-yards share, owning a 29.5 percent mark. This offense is pretty highly concentrated among its top weapons and all of Diggs, Kyle Rudolph and Adam Thielen should be in good spots to produce once Bradford is back.
Honorable mention(s):Laquon Treadwell is the interesting name tied with the three Vikings we would expect to lead the team in targets. Playing on 76 percent of the team's snaps, it's clear Treadwell is entrenched as the third receiver. While that's disappointing for a first-round pick, it's a good deal of progress for a player who made no impact in his rookie season. Treadwell finished behind Diggs with a 21.9 percent share of Keenum's air yards.
New England Patriots
Touches: 18 | Carries: 18 | Receptions: 0
We determined last week that Mike Gillislee is the Patriots goal-line back. That trend continued in Week 2 after he punched in a 2-yard touchdown run in the second quarter against the Saints. His heavy usage was encouraging, but we can't forget that the Patriots were up a ton of points pretty much the whole game. In these kinds of positive game scripts, Gilislee should eat. In closer games, he could lose snaps to guys like James White, Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead. New England has a tough running back matchup next week against Houston.
Honorable mention(s):James White led the Patriots backfield in snaps for the second straight week and did most of his damage on his eight receptions for 85 yards. Behind Gillislee, Lewis had the second most rush attempts, four, for 14 yards, followed by White with two for 11 and Burkhead with two carries for three yards. Gillislee should be the leading rusher at season's end if he can stay healthy. Check out more on this backfield's production in the targets section.
Target share: 23.1% |Targets: 9 | Receptions: 6 | Yards: 116, TD
Rob Gronkowski was the clear lead receiver, despite leaving the game with a groin injury. With middle of the field slot receivers like Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola out of the mix, Gronkowski essentially owns that area. Chris Hogan also looked banged up at times in this game but still hit big out of the slot, where he saw five of his targets and recorded four catches for 72 yards and his lone touchdown. After averaging over 20 air yards per target, Hogan turned in an 8.2 figure today. The dip in deep usage should help stabilize volatility in his weekly production.
Honorable mention(s): Don't look now, but Phillip Dorsett performed like a real NFL wide receiver today. He caught all three of his targets for 68 yards. He played on just 40 percent of the snaps but was among only three wide receivers to take snaps for the Patriots in Week 2. If Hogan and/or Gronkowski are hobbled for the Patriots home game next week, Dorsett will be worth an add.
New Orleans Saints
Touches: 12 | Carries: 8 | Receptions: 4
For the second straight week, the New Orleans backfield provided fantasy managers with nothing but frustration. Mark Ingram tied Adrian Peterson with eight rush attempts in a game that fell out of favor quickly for the Saints. Ingram did rush for 52 yards compared to Peterson's 26, for what it's worth. Ingram also hauled in four receptions for 24 yards. He remains the Saints back to start in fantasy but clearly, his upside is severely limited. The Saints backfield has a tough game next week against Carolina.
Target share: 22.7% |Targets: 10 | Receptions: 5 | Yards: 89
We have yet to see much of Michael Thomas' ceiling through two weeks but this was an encouraging day for his usage. Not only did we see him as the clear target leader in New Orleans, but he also averaged 15.2 air yards per target. The Saints are getting him involved at all levels of the field. Thomas also missed a few plays with injuries today. Despite a slow statistical start, we don't have too much reason to worry about Thomas for the long term.
Honorable mention(s):Coby Fleener has two touchdowns in two games. Before you give chase on his hot start, remember that he'll cede middle of the field work to Willie Snead when he returns from a suspension in Week 4. Another player who may cede usage is Brandon Coleman, who took 59 percent of his snaps from the slot today. That should be Snead's home when he gets back. However, it's notable that Coleman was on the field far more than Ted Ginn in Week 2, with 56 plays to 41.
New York Giants
Touches: 9 | Carries: 6 | Receptions: 3
Sadly, Shane Vereen led the Giants backfield with a mere 55 yards from scrimmage against the Lions on Monday night. Even in a game where the Giants were trying to move the offense late, Vereen had just three receptions, and one was a failed first-down that he was unable to break a tackle on to move the chains. Through two weeks, the Giants are dead last in overall rushing offense with just 97 yards on the ground ... combined. This is a situation to avoid at all costs.
Target share: 21.9% |Targets: 7 | Receptions: 4 | Yards: 49, TD
The rookie tight end was on the field for 76 percent of the team's plays on Monday night, after going out for 83 percent in the Giants' season-opener. It's more than apparent that New York is not affording any sort of learning curve for Engram and expect him to remain a big part of the offense for the entirety of the season. As such, he will stick on the streaming radar for fantasy. Engram drew four of his seven targets when lined up in the slot and caught his touchdown on a route run from the backfield.
Honorable mention(s):Odell Beckham only went out for 60 percent of the Giants' plays on Monday night, trailing Sterling Shepard and Brandon Marshall and all but confirming he's still not 100 percent. He also registered just under seven air yards per target, running only short routes. Eventually, we will see the true explosive and elite Beckham, but we're not there yet. Brandon Marshall was on the field for 85 percent of the Giants' plays and averaged 19 air yards per target. The chance to make plays were there but he didn't convert for the second straight week. It's become clear he's a big part of New York's deeply rooted issues on offense.
New York Jets
Touches: 13 | Carries: 9 | Receptions: 4
The Jets were destroyed by the Raiders in Week 2 by a score of 45-20. But Matt Forte still saw 13 touches in the game somehow, totaling 91 yards from scrimmage. This comes as a surprise because we thought that in negative game scripts, which the Jets are expected to be in frequently this season, that Bilal Powell would be the back with more value as a pass-catcher. But Forte out-snapped Powell by a count of 25 to 18. None of it really makes sense, but Forte is worth hanging onto in deeper leagues, apparently.
Honorable mention(s):Bilal Powell saw six rush attempts for 13 yards but didn't haul in a single reception on two targets. There may be better days ahead for Powell, but there's no telling when or where those days will come. He's a stash in PPR leagues but probably isn't worth owning in standard formats unless his snap share turns around, or if Forte gets injured.
Target share: 20% |Targets: 5 | Receptions: 4 | Yards: 64, TD
It will be tempting to chase Jermaine Kearse's two touchdown game, and the volume (45.9 percent of the team's intended air yards) dictates it's wise. We know that the Jets offense will be one of the worst in the league all year. So relying on any sort of bankable production from these players is a dangerous proposition. Kearse is worth a roster spot, as he has secure role on a team that will often find itself in negative game scripts. Just understand what you're getting into bed with.
Touches: 13 | Carries: 12 | Receptions: 1
Beast Mode got a ton of work in the first half. He was ravaging the Jets defense and collected 45 rushing yards and a score, but with the Raiders out to a big lead from the start, he rode the pine for much of the second half. Lynch was on the field for 42 percent of the Raiders offensive snaps. This could be how Oakland manages Lynch's reps this season; if they have a big lead, they'll let him rest and ride out DeAndre Washinton and Jalen Richard.
Honorable mention(s): Behind Lynch, Washington and Richard also saw opportunities in the second half. Rishard finished with eight touches and had two huge gains: A 39-yard reception in the second quarter and a 52-yard touchdown run in the fourth. Washington received nine touches for 35 total yards. The surprise here was Cordarrelle Patterson's three rush attempts for 57 yards and a touchdown. The versatility of Oakland's backfield is impressive and they have the ability to keep defenses guessing. Lynch's ceiling will remain limited though if the team rests him when they're winning. They face the Redskins in Week 3.
Target share: 21.4% |Targets: 6 | Receptions: 6 | Yards: 80, 3 TDs
Target share: 22.2% |Targets: 6 | Receptions: 4 | Yards: 25
Talk about the model of efficiency; Michael Crabtree caught all of his six targets and turned half of them into touchdowns. He was the clear lead receiver today, owning a team-high 38 percent of the team's intended air yards. Crabtree made multiple catches in tight coverage today, an area where Derek Carr still clearly trusts his veteran wide receiver without hesitation. The overall target volume was there for Jared Cook to make hay in this matchup, but they didn't come nearly far enough down the field. Cook averaged just 2.9 air yards per target.
Honorable mention(s): After looking like the clear No. 1 wide receiver in Week 1, Amari Cooper once again took the backseat to Michael Crabtree on Sunday. He trailed his elder counterpart with a 19.9 percent share of the team's intended air yards. The worries of volatility in his weekly production look valid after just two games.
Touches: 12 | Carries: 10 | Receptions: 2
Honorable mention(s): Reports Sunday morning suggested LeGarrette Blount's role might be reduced against the Chiefs. But we didn't expect zero rush attempts. He did have one reception but it was for no yards. Blount is a borderline drop in standard leagues at this point after being on the field for a mere five snaps, while Sproles was out there for 48, a 70 percent share.
Target share: 28.9% |Targets: 13 | Receptions:7 | Yards: 92, TD
The free agent addition got cooking for the Eagles in Week 2 after a slow start in his first game with the club. Alshon Jeffery ripped through the Chiefs and collected 41.2 percent of Carson Wentz's intended air yards. It's safe to approach him as the team's clear top wide receiver but the first two weeks of results warn of us the volatility in his production. The Eagles draw a difficult matchup with the stingy Giants secondary in Week 3.
Touches: 31 | Carries: 27 | Receptions: 4
Are you surprised? Le'Veon Bell was loaded up with carries in a win against the Vikings. We knew it was only a matter of time. Sure, he didn't produce a ton of fantasy points, but his playing time, 91 percent of the Steelers snaps, is a plus going forward. This is why you drafted him in the first round. No fear going forward. He'll face the Bears next week, who allowed 67 rushing yards and a score to Jacquizz Rodgers in Week 2.
Honorable mention(s): Rookie James Conner had one carry for nine yards. But this is Bell's backfield and there's no getting around that.
Target share: 22.7% |Targets: 11 | Receptions: 5 | Yards: 62
San Francisco 49ers
Touches: 18 | Carries: 15 | Receptions: 3
Heading into the Sunday night game, Carlos Hyde was Week 2's leading rusher with 124 yards on the ground against the Seattle Seahawks. He added 19 receiving yards on three catches but didn't manage to score. This could be the case often for Hyde: Heavy usage, good yardage totals either on the ground or through the air, but a lack of touchdown chances. Hyde should be in line for another high-volume workload when the 49ers play the Rams in Week 3.
Honorable mention(s):Matt Breida had five touches totaling 38 yards from scrimmage but is nothing more than a Hyde handcuff for the time being.
Target share: 23.1% |Targets: 6 | Receptions: 3 | Yards: 19
Target share: 23.1% |Targets: 6 | Receptions: 3 | Yards: 23
It was a brutal first two games for the 49ers new offense playing against two of the NFL's best defenses in the Seahawks and Panthers. Today was especially fruitless. Marquise Goodwin owned a 32.3 percent share of the team's intended air yards but has yet to haul in a long play. It will come, though. Best of luck predicting it.
Touches: 21 | Carries: 20 | Receptions: 1
The return of Thomas Rawls didn't mean much in Week 2 as rookie Chris Carson was Seattle's lead back. Carson totaled 100 yards from scrimmage including 93 rushing against the 49ers. It seems like coach Pete Carroll is allowing Carson to take over the primary role just two games into the season. It makes sense; Carson shined in the preseason, Rawls has nagging injuries, Eddie Lacy (a healthy scratch) might be done, and C.J. Prosise is a third-down back. If you didn't get Carson on the waiver wire last week, you'll be fighting the masses this time around. Granted, it was a favorable matchup for Carson against San Francisco. He'll face a tougher test against the Titans next week, and to be honest, the overall lack of production from Seattle's offense is somewhat concerning, so don't get too excited.
Honorable mention(s): As mentioned, Rawls didn't do much Sunday. He finished the game with just five carries, all of which came in the first quarter. Lacy was a healthy inactive, and Prosise was targeted six times catching just three passes for 22 yards. This is Carson's backfield until further notice.
Target share: 23.1% |Targets: 9 | Receptions: 6 | Yards: 44
Target share: 23.1% |Targets: 9 | Receptions: 6 | Yards: 64
It was the Baldwin and Lockett show in the passing game. Paul Richardson suffered a gruesome finger injury, which kept him out for a stretch before coming back in, and that paved the way for these two to get funneled targets. Lockett was on the field for 75 percent of the team's play and made well-rounded receptions. Lockett averaged just 7.8 air yards per target, showing he's more than just a deep threat. Richardson, despite playing on just 47 percent of the plays with his injury, owned a 24.9 percent share of the team's intended air yards, which led all the Seahawks pass-catchers.
Honorable mention(s): As if it were 2015 all over again, Jimmy Graham's usage is concerning. Graham saw just two targets on the day and registered a single yard. The situation could change soon, but in the first two games Graham looks like a secondary piece and the three wide receivers the featured group.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Touches: 19 | Carries: 19 | Receptions: 0
With 19 carries in a blowout against the Bears, it's clear that Jacquizz Rodgers is the primary back for the Buccaneers until Doug Martin's suspension ends. Rodgers wasn't exactly efficient but the volume was what he needed to produce for fantasy owners. He also punched in a short-yardage touchdown signaling that the team will use him in goal-line situations for now. He gets the Vikings in Week 3.
Target share: 29% |Targets: 9 | Receptions: 7 | Yards: 93, TD
All the new options didn't hurt Mike Evans' volume on this afternoon. If anything, the addition of deep threat DeSean Jackson, among others, actually stabilized Evans' usage to where he saw more high-percentage targets. After averaging 15.2 air yards per target in 2016, Evans checked in at just 10.6 today. With that sort of usage, Evans might not lose much momentum off his wild 2016 season even if the Bucs are a better overall team. It's important to remember that since this game was a blowout, Evans and the other pass-catchers did not play a full complement of snaps.
Honorable mention(s):DeSean Jackson is going to be extremely hit or miss this year, which isn't much of a divergence from his usual ways, but when he hits it will be big. This game confirmed that. Jackson averaged 19.3 air yards per target against the Bears, despite only hauling in three catches. The blowout final of the contest may be to blame, but O.J. Howard played more (66 percent) than Cameron Brate (52 percent).
Touches: 14 | Carries: 14 | Receptions: 0
We may have witnessed the initial step in a changing of the guard in the Tennessee backfield on Sunday. Derrick Henry led the team with 92 rushing yards on his 14 attempts and scored a short-yardage touchdown. He was basically the team's feature back in the second half after seeing just two touches in the first half. The game script helped, as the Titans were up big, but Henry's performance was unbelievable. He averaged 6.5 yards per carry and didn't have a single carry for a loss. His NextGenStats carry chart is about as impressive as you'll see:
Honorable mention(s):DeMarco Murray was on the sidelines for much of the second half while Henry ate against the Jaguars. Murray did out-snap Henry and had 10 total touches for 28 yards from scrimmage, but we have to start wondering if Murray's hamstring injury from the preseason is continuing to nag him and affect his performance. The Titans get the Seahawks in Week 3.
Target share: 21.7% |Targets: 5 | Receptions: 3 | Yards: 32
Target share: 21.7% |Targets: 5 | Receptions: 3 | Yards: 43
The Titans controlled this game on the ground with 36 rush attempts to 27 passes. As such, there wasn't much passing volume to absorb for the receivers. Through two games we don't have much in the way of predictable trends in this group to go on for bankable fantasy production.
Honorable mention(s):Corey Davis was only on the field for 22 plays, as he suffered a hamstring injury. It's troubling considering that's the same injury that held him out during the preseason, but he did get back in to finish the game. The Titans get the Seahawks defense in Tennessee in Week 3 which could keep any potential breakout for Davis on the backburner for yet another week.
Touches: 22 | Carries: 21 | Receptions: 1
Rob Kelley left the game with a rib injury, so rookie back Samajae Perine received a high-volume opportunity against a stout Rams defensive front. He only averaged 3.1 yards but most importantly he held onto the ball. Ball security is something that has thus far limited his chances, per coach Jay Gruden. But the rookie protected the ball during a road win against the Rams and could see more opportunities going forward if Kelley has to miss time. He's worth scooping on waivers ahead of the Redskins Week 3 matchup against the Raiders.
Honorable mention(s): For fantasy purposes, Chris Thompsonis the big story out of Washington's backfield for the second straight week. Thompson only had six touches in the game, but two of them were touchdowns, including a 61-yard scoring run in the second quarter. Thompson totaled 77 yards on his three rush attempts and added 29 yards on his three receptions for a total of 106 yards from scrimmage. It's the second straight week that Thompson has sniffed out the end zone and with 22.6 fantasy points, he was a top-five running back for Week 2 at the onset of the Sunday night game. He should get additional work if Kelley misses time.
Target share: 25.9% |Targets: 7 | Receptions: 3 | Yards: 29
The fact that satellite back Chris Thompson led the team in targets reinforces the idea that Washington is still the same offense it was over the last two seasons under Kirk Cousins. The team spreads the ball around. Through two games there does not appear to be a funnel receiver on this team, which is a killer blow for those who drafted Terrelle Pryor in the third-round. The silver lining is that this offense isn't firing on all cylinders yet, in terms of overall efficiency. When and if it does, the tide will rise for all the assets in this offense even if the volume remains low for each individual player.
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