Week 2 Fantasy Football Forecast

Hayden Winks
Rotoworld

Welcome to the Fantasy Football Forecast! My goal with this weekly column is to get you actionable information as quickly as possible, regardless if you're playing season-long fantasy, DFS, or are grinding player props. If you're just looking for fantasy football rankings and only have 10 minutes to skim through for your sit/start decisions, then head over to the "Forecast" sections below where I project each player's PPR finish based on a 12-team league. But if you want to get your research on, then I have full player breakdowns. As always, hit me up on Twitter @HaydenWinks if you have questions. 

Fantasy Forecast Week 2
Fantasy Forecast Week 2

Slate notes: The Patriots are in a tier of their own this week from a points and plays standpoint. Load up. The Rams, Chiefs, Ravens, and Eagles all have tons of upside. The Cardinals, Dolphins, and Giants aren't likely to play as fast as they did in Week 1. They all played faster given the scoreboard. The Jaguars are in a tier of their own but in a bad way.

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Teams are listed in order of their implied points.

Page 1: NE, KC, BAL, LAR, PHI, HOU, DAL, PIT, ATL, CLE

Page 2: LAC, NO, CIN, TEN, GB, DET, BUF, OAK, SF, CHI

Page 3: SEA, NYG, MIN, IND, TB, WAS, DEN, NYJ, JAX, ARI, MIA

TNF: CAR, TB

 

1. Patriots (33.5 implied points, -18.5 spread) @ MIA

Forecast: Tom Brady QB1, Julian Edelman WR1/2, Antonio Brown WR2/3, Josh Gordon WR2/3, Sony Michel RB1/2, James White RB2

Tom Brady has averaged 2.8 touchdowns and 274 yards over his last five games against the Dolphins. And this Dolphins’ team is much worse than it was over that span. Brady already has a 4,901-yard pace in his 12 games with Josh Gordon and will now add Antonio Brown to round out three-receiver sets. Brady is back in the QB1 mix.

Patriots air yards and targets
Patriots air yards and targets

The Patriots are practicing with Antonio Brown, so I’m assuming he’ll play Week 2. I doubt Brown would get full snaps in his debut, but this matchup is too good to sit him in season-long leagues. … Brown’s presence should put the Patriots into more three-receiver sets, which should increase Julian Edelman’s percentage of snaps in the slot (60% last week). I don’t anticipate Edelman losing too much volume because of AB, and he won’t need a ton of targets to eat this week. In Edelman’s last three games against the Dolphins, he’s averaged 26.8 PPR points, making him a solid WR2 in fantasy. …  Josh Gordon will likely be sent on more deeper routes with Brown in town and could lose snaps whenever the Pats use two-receiver sets, which should make him a bit more volatile week to week. But Week 2 lines up as a potential ceiling week after rookie Marquise Brown got behind this Dolphins’ secondary twice for long touchdowns in Week 1. Gordon is a high-ceiling WR2/3. … “Ryan Izzo” was the only tight end to see a target Week 1.

Sony Michel was given a carry (15 total) on 65% of his Week 1 snaps, all of which were in the backfield. He has a modified LeGarrette Blount role, one that makes him extremely boom-or-bust, especially with Sexy Rexy getting involved. Michel needs a touchdown to pay off each week, but the Patriots should have a few inside-the-ten plays this week. Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards just combined for 12 Red Zone touches against them in Week 1. Michel is a boom-or-bust, high-end RB2 in PPR leagues. … James White lined up in the slot or outside on 39% of his Week 1 offensive snaps, which is a concern if the Patriots’ use three-receiver sets with Brown, Edelman, and Gordon. White may see the largest workload hit with Brown in the mix, but he’s still playing in an octane offense and White is used in high-leverage situations. The floor is lower, but White is an RB2/3 versus the Phins. … Rookie Damien Harris was a healthy scratch with Belichick rolling with Rex Burkhead instead. Burkhead was targeted seven times (!) and had eight carries, ones that were more effective than Michel’s. Burkhead will have to settle for scraps behind Michel and White, but he’s worth a pickup in deeper leagues and could tilt Michel owners off the face of the planet with a goal-line vulture. 

Editor's Note: Drafting is only half the battle. Dominate all season long with our Season Pass! Use our NEW Start/Sit Tool, Trade Analyzer, Consensus Rankings, Projections and more on your way to a championship! Click here for more!

 

2. Chiefs (30, -7.5) @ OAK

Forecast: Patrick Mahomes QB1, Sammy Watkins WR1, Mecole Hardman WR3/4, Demarcus Robinson WR4, Travis Kelce TE1, Damien Williams RB2, LeSean McCoy RB2/3

Patrick Mahomes went into Jacksonville and hung 378 yards and three touchdowns despite missing Tyreek Hill for most of the game. Mahomes is just too good to not have as a top-two quarterback every single week. The Raiders’ defensive roster is near the bottom of the league and could be without first-round safety Johnathan Abram (shoulder) and corner Gareon Conley (neck), so Mahomes will be my overall QB1. 

Chiefs air yards and targets
Chiefs air yards and targets

Tyreek Hill (collarbone) is out “weeks” so it will be the Sammy Watkins show for the foreseeable future. In Week 1, Watkins looked incredible. His foot didn’t look to be holding him back at all, and he was thrust into a more consistent slot role once Hill left the game early (34% slot snaps last year to 52% Week 1). In 2018, Watkins averaged 10.1 YPT and caught 75% of his slot targets. As Mahomes’ No. 1 or No. 2 target every play, Watkins has as much touchdown equity as any receiver on the slate, making him a fantasy WR1. … Mecole Hardman played on 80% of the Chiefs’ pass attempt snaps in Week 1, the second-most among Kansas City receivers. Hardman lined up outside on 57% of his snaps with Watkins spending more time inside. That snap count only translated to one target, however. Hardman was a raw prospect -- he originally was a corner at Georgia and only had 60 career receptions -- but his 4.33 speed will be schemed up by Andy Reid. Hardman is a boom-or-bust WR3/4, who could easily be a part of Milly Maker in DFS tournaments. … Demarcus Robinson played on 73% of the Chiefs’ pass attempts, but he was only targeted twice. Robinson doesn’t nearly have the athleticism of Hardman and likely won’t get the manufactured touches that the rookie will get. Still, Robinson has a chance to score playing with Mahomes, so he’s an upside WR5 against the Raiders. … Travis Kelce has at least 10 PPR points in 16 of his last 17 games, and he’ll now see a higher team share of targets with Hill, who had a 23% target share last year, out. Kelce had a 38.8 PPR point game against the Raiders last year, and he actually averages more PPR points on the road (20.4) than at home (15.5) with Mahomes. He’s the TE1 overall. 

 

Damien Williams

LeSean McCoy

Carries

13

10

Targets

6

1

Snaps on Passes

29

10

Snaps on Runs

16

10

Damien Williams was on the field near the goal-line, and that’s the most important piece of the puzzle here. Williams’ total volume isn’t typical of a top-15 fantasy running back, but he’ll have opportunities for touchdowns (plural) every week. Williams is an upside RB2. … LeSean McCoy should get more run as the season progresses, and he’s already involved enough to be in the mix as a flex, especially as touchdown favorites since it looks like he’ll be primarily used as a runner given his Week 1 usage. 

 

3. Ravens (30, -13) vs. ARI

Forecast: Lamar Jackson QB1, Marquise Brown WR3/4, Willie Snead WR4/5, Miles Boykin WR5, Mark Andrews TE1/2, Mark Ingram RB1/2, Justice Hill RB3/4, Gus Edwards RB3/4

The Ravens had the second-highest run rate (63%) on first downs within the first 28 minutes of the game last week, but that didn’t stop Lamar Jackson from finishing as fantasy’s QB1 overall. Jackson torched the Dolphins with pristine deep passing, and he gets a home matchup with the Patrick Peterson-less Cardinals’ defense that just allowed 385 yards and three touchdowns to Matthew Stafford. Jackson is a sure-fire QB1 with a massive ceiling as we saw Week 1.

Ravens air yards and targets
Ravens air yards and targets

Rookie receiver Marquise Brown only played 14 snaps Week 1, so we can forget about him. Sike! Brown was electric. Just as he was at Oklahoma when he led the FBS with 11 catches of 40-plus yards last season. He just moves at a different pace than everyone else. Brown deserves more snaps, but the Ravens may have some type of pitch count on him since he’s still less than a year removed from a Jones fracture in his foot. Brown is a boom-or-bust WR3/4 in a plum home matchup against the burnable Cardinals. … Miles Boykin only played 18 snaps and had one target, but he made it count with a touchdown. Boykin needs more playing time before being worth a pickup in season-long, but Boykin has some near min-priced DFS tournament appeal this week as an explosive athlete in a great matchup. … Slot receiver Willie Snead was in on 58% of the Ravens’ passing plays, but he was only targeted three times with Jackson only letting it fly 20 times. Snead should be more involved in Week 2 as a WR4/5. … After not playing a full complement of snaps in the preseason, Mark Andrews led the Ravens’ skill position players in snaps on passing downs Week 1, leading to a huge 8-108-1 receiving line on a team-high eight targets. While the targets were a surprise to me, I’m definitely not surprised to see Andrews ball out. Last year, Andrews had the second-best season in terms of yards per target (11.0) among rookie tight ends with at least 50 targets. Andrews is a legit talent, and he belongs as a back-end TE1 in a great home matchup against a defense that allowed 6-131-1 to rookie TE T.J. Hockenson last week.

 

Mark Ingram

Justice Hill

Gus Edwards

Carries

14

7

17

Targets

0

0

0

Snaps on Passes

10

13

8

Snaps on Runs

15

9

21

Mark Ingram looks like he’ll be fed a ton of carries, including goal-line, in most games. In Week 1, Ingram scored two goal-line touchdowns and had 107 rushing yards overall, despite seeing just one touch in the fourth quarter. At home against a vulnerable defense and fast-paced offense, Ingram offers a ton of rushing upside, making him an RB1/2 in all formats. … Gus Edwards and intriguing fourth-round rookie Justice Hill were involved early, but their roles are lower-volume, making them inconsistent RB3/4s week to week. Hill, in particular, would offer a lot of upside if Ingram misses time.

 

4. Rams (27.25, -2.5) vs. NO

Forecast: Jared Goff QB1, Brandin Cooks WR2, Cooper Kupp WR2, Robert Woods WR2, Tyler Higbee TE2, Todd Gurley RB1/2, Malcolm Brown RB3, Darrell Henderson RB4

Jared Goff missed easy throws last week in Carolina, but he’s heading home where he has averaged 313 passing yards and 2.13 touchdowns over his last 15 games. This season will be more of a challenge with his offensive line weaker than before and with Gurley being limited, but he still has elite coaching and great receivers, so I’ll roll with him as a low-end QB1 this week with the Saints traveling across the country after playing Monday Night Football.

Rams air yards and targets
Rams air yards and targets

Brandin Cooks has averaged 8.0 more PPR points at home (19.6) than on the road (11.6) and has actually been more productive with Cooper Kupp, too. His matchup this week against Marshon Lattimore on the outside is the toughest of the three, Cooks has bounce-back potential in Week 2 as a WR2 with Goff playing much better at home. … Robert Woods led the Rams in targets (13), as Sean McVay continued to dial up manufactured touches for Woods on sweeps and short passes. When the Rams played the Saints in the NFC Championship Game, Woods led the team in targets (10), but he was limited to just 33 yards with the Saints selling out to limit big plays. Woods’ volume and high-floor make him a WR2. … Just like Goff and Cooks, Cooper Kupp has been better at home (15.8 PPR points) than on the road (11.6). In Week 1, Kupp looked healthy and was able to catch seven of his 10 targets. Kupp should get better as the season progresses, and this matchup against P.J. Williams is one to exploit. Kupp is an upside WR2. … Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett played a similar amount of snaps, but Higbee, who just signed a top-10 tight end contract extension a couple of weeks ago, came out with a score last week. Neither are stable enough to count on as more than TE2s. 

 

Todd Gurley

Malcolm Brown

Darrell Henderson

Carries

14

11

1

Targets

1

0

0

Snaps on Passes

33

10

1

Snaps on Runs

20

11

1

Todd Gurley was limited, and it wasn’t in the way most expected it. Gurley wasn’t used in high-leverage situations -- he was only targeted once and wasn’t used near the goal-line -- outside of seeing more work in the 4th quarter when the Rams were running out the clock. The usage was concerning, but Gurley looked more or less the same as he did before. The Rams are likely saving Gurley for the playoff push in November and December, so it’s safer to project Gurley for 15-20 touches instead of his typical 20-25. Gurley is a more boom-or-bust RB1/2. … Malcolm Brown was the better runner through three quarters and he took advantage of his goal-line usage with one- and five-yard touchdowns. Brown offers some standalone value as an RB3 who might have more touchdown equity than originally projected. … Darrell Henderson’s two snaps didn’t come until the second half. Henderson’s upside as a receiver and as a big-play runner make him a bench hold while we learn more about Gurley’s health and usage. 

 

5. Eagles (27.25, -2) @ ATL

Forecast: Carson Wentz QB1, Alshon Jeffery WR2/3, DeSean Jackson WR3/4, Nelson Agholor WR5, Zach Ertz TE1, Dallas Goedert TE2, Jordan Howard RB3, Miles Sanders RB3, Darren Sproles RB3/4

Carson Wentz and the Eagles’ offense struggled early, but they figured it out in the second half with the deep ball. This week, they get a friendly dome matchup against the Falcons, who gave up 28 points to the Vikings on just 10 pass attempts last week. Behind a good offensive line and with a ton of skill-position talent, Wentz is a solid QB1 in what should be a high-scoring affair.

Eagles air yards and targets
Eagles air yards and targets

Alshon Jeffery has been targeted six or fewer times in seven of the last 10 games. That usage makes Jeffery very touchdown-dependent, but that’s alright in this high-scoring offense. Jeffery is a WR2/3 with upside. … DeSean Jackson was in on 75% of the Eagles’ pass attempts, and he looked just as fast as he’s always been. The Eagles utilized him both inside and outside, but he scored both of his long touchdowns in the slot, a place where 74% of his explosive plays have come from over the last two years. This week he gets speedy CB Desmond Trufant and a Falcons’ defense that pushes pass attempts underneath, instead of over the top. Jackson is still a boom-or-bust WR3 with touchdown equity. … Primary slot receiver Nelson Agholor played just as many snaps as Jeffery and was in on 75% of the Eagles’ pass attempts. He’s still a near-full-time player, even with intriguing rookie JJ Arcega-Whiteside (1 snap on a passing play in Week 1) breathing down his neck. But Agholor will still be targeted under six times per games most weeks, leaving him as a boom-or-bust WR5 playing on a good offense. … At halftime, Zach Ertz only had two targets, but he finished with the second-most targets (7) by the end of Week 1. Everyone knew it would happen with the added weapons, but the season opener was confirmation that Ertz’s targets will be less consistent than it was last year. Still, the Eagles’ 12 personnel percentage in Week 1 (35%) was almost identical to last year’s 36%, and he should finish top-six in tight end targets while playing in one of the highest-scoring offenses in the NFL. Ertz is obviously a top-four TE heading into Week 2. … Dallas Goedert was on the field for 41-of-74 plays -- yay -- but he blocked (25) more than he ran routes (16). Goedert is still capable of a touchdown here and there, but he’s a zero-floor TE2 whenever Ertz is in the lineup.

 

Miles Sanders

Jordan Howard

Darren Sproles

Carries

11

6

9

Targets

2

3

3

Snaps on Passes

24

10

8

Snaps on Runs

12

7

14

Miles Sanders has the biggest slice of the pie, but he’s sharing a lot of it with Jordan Howard and Darren Sproles. The Falcons’ defense has allowed the most receptions to running backs in each of the last four seasons and just gave up 111 rushing yards and two touchdowns to Dalvin Cook last week, so there's meat on the bone for these dogs. Sanders is a higher-ceiling RB2/3, while Howard and Sproles are RB3s in this great matchup. 

 

6. Texans (26.25, -9.5) vs. JAC 

Forecast: Deshaun Watson QB1, DeAndre Hopkins WR1, Will Fuller WR3, Kenny Stills WR5, Duke Johnson RB2/3, Carlos Hyde RB3/4

Deshaun Watson and the Texans' offense averages 30.6 points in games with DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller playing. That’s QB1 overall production. The Jaguars’ have limited Watson to two passing touchdowns in three career matchups, but Watson has too many weapons to drop him below QB2 overall at home, especially when Patrick Mahomes just had three touchdowns against them on the road. 

Texans air yards and targets
Texans air yards and targets

DeAndre Hopkins will face Jalen Ramsey again, but Hopkins has at least 14.0 PPR points in his last five games against Jacksonville and just hung 12 receptions and 127 yards on them last year. Hopkins deserves WR1 treatment still. … Will Fuller averages 16.6 PPR points in 12 career games with Watson. He’ll have an easier matchup than Nuk -- Fuller has the second-largest speed advantage of the week -- and offers tons of big-play potential as a high-ceiling WR3 at home. …  Kenny Stills ran a route on 51% of the Texans’ passing plays with Keke Coutee missing Week 1. Stills had a clutch 37-yard touchdown late, but his 10% target share is too low to be more than a boom-or-bust WR5, especially if Coutee (ankle) makes his debut this week. … Jordan Akins ran a route on 66% of the pass plays but was targeted just twice. He’s off the fantasy radar. 

 

Duke Johnson

Carlos Hyde

Carries

9

10

Targets

5

1

Snaps on Passes

31

10

Snaps on Runs

10

13

Pour one out for Duke Johnson. Carlos Hyde looks like he’ll prevent Johnson from playing in a three-down role this season. When the Texans trail, Johnson should have useful weeks, but Hyde’s rushing role significantly lowers the weekly floor. At home in Week 2, Johnson is on the RB2/3 borderline, while Hyde offers minimal standalone value as a touchdown-dependent RB3/4. 

 

7. Cowboys (26, -5.5) @ WAS

Forecast: Dak Prescott QB1/2, Amari Cooper WR1/2, Michael Gallup WR3, Randall Cobb WR4/5, Jason Witten TE2/3, Ezekiel Elliott RB1/2, Tony Pollard RB4

I’m pretty sure Kellen Moore is an analytics nerd:

Cowboys Offense

2018

2019

First Down Pass %

41%

62%

Play Action %

25%

48%

Pre-Snap Motion %

45%

73%

11 Personnel %

63%

73%

And that’s great news for Dak Prescott, who has been stuck in a Neanderthal offense his entire career. With Moore dialing up passes over the middle of the field, Prescott lit up the Giants for 405 yards and four touchdowns. It was yet another masterpiece for Prescott, who now averages 72.3 more passing yards and 0.44 more passing touchdowns with Amari Cooper than without. A tougher road matchup with the Redskins makes Prescott a QB1/2, but Week 1 was as positive as it gets for Prescott’s season-long future.

Cowboys air yards and targets
Cowboys air yards and targets

Amari Cooper has averaged 18.5 PPR points in his 10 games with Dak Prescott. He’s ballin’. This week he should go one-v-one with Josh Norman, but that doesn’t faze me with Moore calling the shots. Cooper is a high-ceiling WR1/2 this week. … Michael Gallup played on 83% of the Cowboys’ pass plays and finished with a solid 22% target share (7 targets) in the season opener. Gallup has a ton of big-play potential, as seen by his 62-yard gain last week, and the Redskins’ gave up a few bombs to DeSean Jackson last week. Gallup is an upside WR3. … The Cowboys’ 10% increase in 11-personnel from last year is good news for Randall Cobb, who was in on 78% of the Cowboys’ passing plays. Cobb is third or fourth on the pecking order of targets, but he should have a couple of ceiling games as a WR5 in PPR. … Jason Witten and Blake Jarwin scored touchdowns, but Witten is the slightly better option going forward since he played 20 passing down snaps compared to Jarwin’s 10. Witten is a low-end TE2. 

As reported, Ezekiel Elliott was limited in Week 1, but he did see more than the 20-25 snaps he was projected for (he played 37). Elliott’s rushing volume may slightly come down in Moore’s more pass-heavy offense, but Zeke will be used as a pass-catcher and should see just as many goal-line looks with the Cowboys’ looking more potent offensively. In Week 2, Zeke should ramp up his usage, making him an RB1 in Washington. … Tony Pollard played 22 snaps Week 1 -- that may be close to his season-high if Zeke stays healthy -- and only managed 24 yards on 13 carries. Pollard notably wasn’t targeted either, rendering him useless for fantasy unless Elliott misses time. 

 

8. Steelers (25.25, -4) vs. SEA

Forecast: Ben Roethlisberger QB1/2, JuJu Smith-Schuster WR1, Donte Moncrief WR3/4, James Washington WR4/5, Vance McDonald TE1, James Conner RB1, Jaylen Samuels RB4/5 

The Steelers got embarrassed by Bill Belichick. Again. Ben Roethlisberger did nothing without Antonio Brown, and there was no rushing attack given the scoreboard. The good news here is a home matchup. Roethlisberger has been seven fantasy points per game better at home than on the road, and the Seahawks’ defense just allowed 418 yards to Andy Dalton last week. Roethlisberger’s ceiling has been lowered without AB, but he still belongs on the QB1/2 borderline on volume alone. 

Steelers air yards and targets
Steelers air yards and targets

JuJu Smith-Schuster played in the slot on 60% of his season-opener snaps, which is almost exactly the same as last year (59%). The issue last week was the Patriots’ “make someone else beat us” defense. Smith-Schuster won’t get that treatment (to that degree) every week, and he should have a lot more room to work with at home against the Seahawks, who just gave up eight receptions to Tyler Boyd and 158 yards to John Ross. Smith-Schuster is still a WR1, as long as his toe injury isn’t a big deal. … Donte Moncrief was on the field just as much as JuJu, but Moncrief became the 11th receiver since at least 1992 to have seven or fewer receiving yards on 10 or more targets (per Pro Football Reference). It was as bad it gets, but he at least was a near full-time player and was at least seeing a ton of targets. Efficiency may be a problem throughout the season, but Moncrief offers bounce-back appeal as a contrarian WR3/4 in DFS tournaments next week. … James Washington started, played on 60% of the Steelers’ passing plays, and had six targets. But it was more of the same. Washington only caught two passes -- one went for 45 yards -- and still looked like the inconsistent target he was in 2018. Washington remains a boom-or-bust WR4/5 who could pop for a long touchdown at any time. … Vance McDonald played on 72% of offensive snaps Week 1, up from 50% last year, but he was oddly targeted just four times. There are suddenly a lot more low-end TEs, but McDonald remains a TE1 in a spot where I expect the Steelers to get back on track.  

James Conner usage
James Conner usage

Week 1 can be thrown out the window with the Steelers trailing big early, though James Conner was still deployed as a near full-time player. Jaylen Samuels remains purely a handcuff -- #TeamPreseasonUsage already knew that -- while Conner offers bounce-back RB1 appeal at home.

 

9. Falcons (25.25, +2) vs. PHI

Forecast: Matt Ryan QB1, Julio Jones WR1, Calvin Ridley WR3, Mohamed Sanu WR4, Austin Hooper TE1/2, Devonta Freeman RB2, Ito Smith RB4

Matt Ryan struggled Week 1, but the Falcons’ offense is poised for a rebound against the Eagles’ defense who gave up 380 yards and three touchdowns to Case freaking Keenum. Losing RG Chris Lindstrom (foot) hurts, but Ryan is a QB1 with a high ceiling.

Falcons air yards and falcons
Falcons air yards and falcons

Julio Jones averaged 2.8 YPT last week but escaped with a touchdown. This week’s matchup is more friendly. Jones torched the Eagles for 10 receptions and 169 yards last time they played and that was in Philly when the Falcons only scored 12 points. Jones is in the mix for the WR1 overall and offers cash and tournament consideration in DFS if you’re not solely playing the main slate. … Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu played similar snaps and were both targeted six times. Ridley, of course, has the higher ceiling, making him a quality WR3 this week. Sanu is WR4 in PPR leagues. …  Austin Hooper caught nine passes for the fourth time in his career last week. Hooper has just 10 touchdowns in 47 career games, but he remains on the TE1/2 in PPR leagues.

Devonta Freeman was game-scripted out of the game plan Week 1 with the Vikings’ taking control of the scoreboard early. Freeman notably lost half of his snaps to Ito Smith, but that number should go down in close games. The other concern was Freeman’s burst, which appeared to be drained. Freeman is just a mid-tier RB2, even in a great home matchup. … Smith is worth an add in deeper leagues if he’s available after playing 51% of Week 1 snaps. Week 2 will determine if Smith’s Week 1 usage was due to the scoreboard or due to strategy. 

 

10. Browns (25.25, -6.5) @ NYJ

Forecast: Baker Mayfield QB1/2, Odell Beckham WR1, Jarvis Landry WR3/4, Rashard Higgins WR4/5, David Njoku TE1/2, Nick Chubb RB1, Dontrell Hilliard (concussion) RB3/4

Baker Mayfield and the Browns’ offensive line spoiled one of the most anticipated games of the decade for Cleveland fans. Mayfield tossed three picks and may have come out of the game a bit banged up. A lot will be riding on this Week 2 performance on the road, but he has to improve getting the ball out faster. Mayfield is on the QB1/2 borderline in a “get right” spot.

Browns air yards and targets
Browns air yards and targets

Odell Beckham couldn’t break off a big play in Week 1, but he had 11 targets on a 29% target share. It’s going to be a big season for Odell as long as Baker can adjust. OBJ’s matchup is off the charts good, but Odell is a WR1 in just about every matchup possible. … Jarvis Landry was a full-time player but only had an 18% target share Week 1. This could be an inconsistent season for the slot receiver with OBJ being heavily targeted. Landry is a WR3/4. … Rashard Higgins played on less than half of the Browns’ passing plays -- Damian Ratley actually played more snaps -- and was targeted just three times. Higgins has some juice, so he could fall into an occasional long touchdown, but he’s only a zero-floor WR5. … David Njoku ran a route on 70% of Browns’ pass attempts and had a 16% target share Week 1. Those are strong numbers. The Jets’ star linebacker C.J. Mosley is questionable to play next week, and the Jets’ defense fell apart when he left the game last week. Njoku’s ceiling and floor would be higher if Mosley can’t suit up, but he’s a TE1 regardless. 

Nick Chubb played on 70% of offensive snaps, took 85% of the team carries, and received four targets while running a route on more than half of the Browns’ passing plays. Chubb just couldn’t find the end zone or break off a 20+ yard gain last week. Going forward, that won’t be the case, especially if the Jets are without Mosley and Quinnen Williams on defense this week. Chubb is a low-end RB1 on the road in Week 2. …  Dontrell Hilliard (concussion) is questionable to play, but he needs the Browns to trail for him to see the field. He can be left on the waiver wire in standard-sized leagues for now.

As always, hit me up on Twitter @HaydenWinks if you have questions. 

Fantasy Forecast Week 2
Fantasy Forecast Week 2

Slate notes: The Patriots are in a tier of their own this week from a points and plays standpoint. Load up. The Rams, Chiefs, Ravens, and Eagles all have tons of upside. The Cardinals, Dolphins, and Giants aren't likely to play as fast as they did in Week 1. They all played faster given the scoreboard. The Jaguars are in a tier of their own but in a bad way.

 

Teams are listed in order of their implied points.

Page 1: NE, KC, BAL, LAR, PHI, HOU, DAL, PIT, ATL, CLE

Page 2: LAC, NO, CIN, TEN, GB, DET, BUF, OAK, SF, CHI

Page 3: SEA, NYG, MIN, IND, TB, WAS, DEN, NYJ, JAX, ARI, MIA

TNF: CAR, TB

 

11. Chargers (25, -2.5) @ DET

Forecast: Philip Rivers QB2, Keenan Allen WR1, Mike Williams (questionable) WR3/4, Travis Benjamin WR4 if Williams is out, Austin Ekeler RB1/2, Justin Jackson RB3/4

Philip Rivers and the Chargers’ are in a tough spot heading across the country for an early start against a Lions’ pass rush that should tear the Chargers’ bottom-shelf offensive line apart. Rivers will have his hands full schematically, and the Lions will also be looking to run out the clock with a slow-paced, run-heavy attack. Rivers is a QB2 with everything working against him.

Chargers air yards and targets
Chargers air yards and targets

Keenan Allen popped for 8-123-1 on 10 targets against the Colts’ zone defense last week, but he gets a tougher matchup against Darius Slay in Week 2. Even so, Allen will see at least 8-12 targets with Hunter Henry out and Mike Williams highly questionable. Allen is a volume-based WR1 in PPR leagues. … Mike Williams was quiet in the opener (2 receptions for 29 yards) before exiting with a last-minute knee injury. Williams needs time to get downfield to produce, and Rivers utilized a short-area passing attack Week 1 with his offensive line struggling. Williams will be a boom-or-bust WR3/4 if healthy, which doesn’t seem likely. … Travis Benjamin played on 55% of the Chargers’ passing snaps, but he was only targeted thrice. That will change if Williams sits. Benjamin will get a chance or two for a big play downfield, making him a boom-or-bust WR4 this week. … Hunter Henry (knee) missing more time is just sad.

 

Austin Ekeler

Justin Jackson

Carries

12

6

Targets

7

3

Snaps on Passes

32

10

Snaps on Runs

15

6

Austin Ekeler had 60% of running back carries and finished second on the team with seven targets. He’s the Chargers’ clear No. 1 back with Justin Jackson only rotating in to give Ekeler a breather. Ekeler, as has always been the case, was extremely efficient (4.8 YPC), especially as a pass-catcher (13.7 YPT with two TDs). The Lions’ defense just allowed a deep receiving touchdown to David Johnson last week, but Ekeler’s projected usage as a receiver puts him on the RB1/2 map.  … Jackson was able to break off a 24-yard run, but Ekeler has this backfield by the you know what. Jackson is more of a handcuff than a standalone value, though he should see more than three targets with Williams’ and Henry’s injuries.

 

12. Saints (24.75, +2.5) @ LAR

Forecast: Drew Brees QB2, Michael Thomas WR1/2, Ted Ginn WR4/5, Tre’Quan Smith WR5, Jared Cook TE1/2, Alvin Kamara RB1, Latavius Murray RB3

Coming off a huge win on Monday Night Football, the Saints head to Los Angeles to seek revenge on last year’s NFC Championship Game. Drew Brees had 249 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception in that matchup, and he won’t be in the confines of his home this time around. Over Brees’ last 16 road games, he’s averaged 237 yards and 1.4 touchdowns, comparable to Case Keenum’s averages in Denver last year. Another potential concern was Brees’ unwillingness to throw deep in the season opener (his first 20+ yard pass attempt wasn’t until the final two-minute warning). If that’s a sign that his arm is diminishing, then he’s in trouble on the road. Brees is a high-end QB2 against the Rams.

Saints air yards and targets
Saints air yards and targets

Michael Thomas was limited to a 4-36-0 receiving line on seven targets against the Rams in last year’s NFC Championship, and he’ll once again be matched up against Marcus Peters. Thomas’ ceiling is also much lower on the road -- he has one career 25+ PPR point game on the road if we exclude games in Atlanta (dome) -- but his volume is too high to drop him lower than the low-end WR1 range. … Ted Ginn (36) barely out-snapped Tre’Quan Smith (33) on passing downs in the opener, but Ginn severely out-targeted him (seven to two) on his way to a 7-101-0 performance. Ginn remains ahead of Smith, the primary deep threat, on Brees’ pecking order, but neither are starts on the road. …  Jared Cook was not a full-time player Week 1 (66% of pass snaps), and he was only targeted three times. Cook will have plenty of red-zone opportunities the rest of the season, but that usage is concerning for those hoping for every-week production. Cook’s floor on the road is low, making Cook a TE1/2 in Week 2. 

In the season opener, Alvin Kamara played on 76% of the snaps, had 62% of the carries, and received 20% of the targets. That’s a great sign, as last year’s splits were 63%, 41%, and 20% respectfully. Kamara should be more of a workhorse in 2019 with the Saints viewing Latavius Murray as a replacement for Mark Ingram, not the replacement. Unlike the rest of the Saints, Kamara doesn’t have home/road splits because Brees leans on him more on the road (+1.5 targets). Kamara is a no-brainer RB1. … Murray played on just 27% of the Saints’ Week 1 snaps and was limited to six carries and three targets. That’s not enough usage to be an every-week RB2, but he still has touchdown equity as Ingram had last year (7 total TDs in 12 games). Murray is a touchdown-dependent RB3 next week.

 

13. Bengals (24, -2) vs. SF

Forecast: Andy Dalton QB2, Tyler Boyd WR2, John Ross WR3/4, Damion Willis WR5, Tyler Eifert TE2, C.J. Uzomah TE2/3, Joe Mixon (questionable) RB2, Giovani Bernard RB2 if Mixon is out

Andy Dalton had his fourth-ever 50+ pass attempt game of his career last week in Seattle. It was partially due to Joe Mixon (ankle) leaving early, but it was also new head coach Zac Taylor putting his stamp on the offense. The Bengals’ 24% run rate on first down within the first 28 minutes was the lowest in the NFL Week 1, which is a welcome sign for Dalton and his pass-catchers. Dalton has sneaky upside in DFS tournaments as a QB2 at home in Week 2 against the 49ers. 

Bengals air yards and targets
Bengals air yards and targets

Tyler Boyd entered Week 1 as the heavy favorite to lead the Bengals in targets, but it was John Ross who went nuclear on 23.5% team share of targets. Ross more than tripled his previous career-high in receiving yards (52) with his 7-158-2 performance. On tape, Ross looked like the best athlete on the field -- DK Metcalf also right there on the other side -- but he still had some miscues, including a drop that could’ve gone for another long score. In this pass-heavy offense, Ross needs to be picked up in all season-long leagues, and he deserves high-ceiling (low-floor) WR3/4 treatment in Week 2 as Taylor’s version of Brandin Cooks. Ross also has “holds the week's largest advantage in difference in 40-yard times among all WRs in their projected CB matchup,” per Ian Hartitz. … Boyd led the Bengals in receptions (8) Week 2, operating as Dalton’s “Robert Woods” while Ross handled deep routes. Boyd should see at least 8-12 targets at home next week, making him a WR2 in PPR leagues, especially since he averaged 18 PPR points at home last season. … Damion Willis played on 52 of the Bengals’ 59 passing plays, but he was only targeted on 10% of Dalton’s attempts. That target share leaves Willis as a pure min-priced dart throw in DFS tournaments. … Tyler Eifert’s and C.J. Uzomah’s usage were almost identical Week 1. They were targeted six and five times respectfully and each played on about half of the Bengals’ passing downs. Eifert and Uzomah will cannibalize each other from entering season-long fantasy lineups, though either one can find the end zone in Week 2.

Joe Mixon left the season opener, but he may have escaped with a “minor” ankle sprain, giving him a shot to play at home against the Niners if he isn’t a “DNP” Friday. Before leaving right after halftime, Mixon had six carries and three targets to Giovani Bernard’s zero touches. That’s a great sign for Mixon owners. If Mixon suits up, he belongs on the RB1/2 borderline despite the Bengals’ extreme pass-heavy approach. If Mixon can’t go, Bernard slides into a three-down workload -- he was the only back to touch the ball after Mixon exited -- as a no-brainer RB2 against a team that just gave up 75 rushing yards to Ronald Jones

 

14. Titans (23.75, -3) vs. IND

Forecast: Marcus Mariota QB2, Corey Davis WR4, A.J. Brown WR4, Delanie Walker TE1/2, Derrick Henry RB1/2, Dion Lewis RB3

Marcus Mariota and the Titans’ offense throttled the Browns on the road last week, but it was a quite fluky game. Mariota had extra possessions due to Mayfield’s turnovers, and Derrick Henry’s long touchdown reception inflated his passing yards. Mariota will have to take what’s given to him against the Colts’ zone-heavy defense, and I’m bearish on the Titans’ play volume with their slow-paced offense, rendering Mariota low-end QB2 status despite the home matchup.

Titans air yards and targets
Titans air yards and targets

Corey Davis led the Titans’ receivers in snaps (72% snaps on passing plays), but he was shutout by Denzel Ward on three targets. He’ll be more involved moving forward in better one-on-one matchups, but I think rookie A.J. Brown is more talented and will quickly take over the No. 1 job in Tennessee. For now, Davis is a low-floor WR4, while Brown, who played on 63% of the Titans’ passing plays, enters the WR4 mix himself. … Slot receiver Adam Humphries was only targeted once. He can be thrown into the free-agent pool if you haven’t already after running a route on just 44% of the Titans’ passing plays. … Delanie Walker found the end zone twice on six targets last week. He has touchdown equity and a 4-7 target projection, making him a quality TE1/2 in a home matchup against the Colts’ zone defense.

Derrick Henry usage
Derrick Henry usage

 

Derrick Henry

Dion Lewis

Carries

19

3

Targets

2

4

Snaps on Passes

14

19

Snaps on Runs

22

5

Derrick Henry’s rushing upside with his workload is among the highest in the league, and he even showed off his elite athleticism on his 75-yard receiving touchdown. Henry has a weekly floor still if the Titans’ get behind early, but that’s not projected to happen this weekend at home against the Jacoby Brissett-led Colts. … Dion Lewis is still stealing snaps from Henry on passing downs and the Colts’ zone defense welcomes check-downs to backs. Lewis could sneak into a top-36 running back game this week, but most of his value in season-long comes as a handcuff.

 

15. Packers (23.25, -2.5) vs MIN

Forecast: Aaron Rodgers QB1/2, Davante Adams WR1, Marquez Valdes-Scantling WR3/4, Geronimo Allison WR4/5, Jimmy Graham TE2, Aaron Jones RB2

“After using 11 personnel on 77% of plays in 2018, the Packers new-look offense used 11 personnel on just 49% of plays,” according to Warren Sharp. But it didn’t matter the formation in Week 1 against the Bears. Aaron Rodgers averaged 6.67 yards per attempt and was held to one touchdown. A home matchup against the Vikings is easier, but Rodgers had 16.0 and 11.9 fantasy points in his last two healthy games against them and the Vikings will try to run out the clock. Rodgers is just a QB1/2.

Packers air yards and targets
Packers air yards and targets

Davante Adams had unheard of usage when the Packers were trailing, but it dips whenever the Packers have a lead as we somewhat saw last week when he “only” had eight targets. Adams has averaged 18.2 PPR points in his last three games against the Vikings, though Xavier Rhodes looked “back” against Julio in Week 1. Adams is a WR1, just not an elite one. … Marquez Valdes-Scantling (six targets) is the clear No. 2 receiver over Geronimo Allison (zero targets). MVS is Rodgers’ primary deep threat -- they connected on a 47-yard pitch and catch last week -- and offers a weekly ceiling as a WR3/4. He has a huge size advantage on Trae Waynes. … The Packers’ transition to less 11 personnel is bad news for Allison, who only played on 55% of passing snaps in Week 1. Allison doesn’t offer a ton of big-play potential and isn’t likely to see enough targets with Adams and MVS healthy to be worthy of a starting spot in fantasy. Allison is on the WR4/5 borderline. … Jimmy Graham played on half of the snaps and had six targets Week 1, but the good news was seeing Rodgers toss up a jump ball to Graham for a touchdown. Graham somehow only had two touchdowns in 2018 and he’ll need a lot more of them to enter the TE1 mix. For now, Graham is a high-end TE2. 

Aaron Jones usage
Aaron Jones usage

 

Aaron Jones

Jamaal Williams

Carries

13

5

Targets

1

2

Snaps on Passes

22

18

Snaps on Runs

15

6

Aaron Jones did not have the every-down workload that we (I?) hoped for, but Jones also did head to the sidelines at one point with some discomfort. Hopefully Williams was in because of that injury and not because the Packers view Williams as the better pass-catching back. Jones’ usage in Week 2 will be telling, but I’d rather bet on talent winning out in uncertain circumstances, so I’m viewing Jones as an RB1/2 at home. … Williams may be worth a pickup in standard leagues, but he can’t be started. 

 

16. Lions (22.5, +3) vs. LAC

Forecast: Matthew Stafford QB2, Kenny Golladay WR2/3, Marvin Jones WR3/4, Danny Amendola WR4/5, T.J. Hockenson TE1/2, Kerryon Johnson RB1/2, C.J. Anderson RB4

“The Lions used just 41% 11 personnel on early downs (59% in 2018) and instead opted for large amounts of 12 (20%), 21 (16%) and 22 (13%) personnel,” according to Warren Sharp. It’s a philosophy that will make the Lions’ slow-paced and run-heavy whenever possible. Last week’s big game for Matthew Stafford was more of a product of the Cardinals’ weak secondary and fast-paced offense. This week, Stafford faces an above-average defense and a very slow-paced offense. Stafford, even at home, is a QB2. 

Lions air yards and targets
Lions air yards and targets

Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones were both near full-time players, but Jones only saw four targets on a 9% target share. Since Jones is apart of the Lions’ two-receiver sets, these numbers should increase, but it was not a great opener otherwise. Jones is a touchdown-dependent WR4. … Golladay was targeted nine times (20% target share) Week 1 and walked away with a touchdown. He’ll match up with Casey Hayward at times this weekend, but he should see snaps against Brandon Facyson, making Golladay a WR2/3 option. … Danny Amendola was one of the biggest surprises of Week 1. He was targeted a team-high 13 times (29% target share) and even broke off a 47-yard gain. Since Amendola doesn’t play in two-receiver sets, this looks like a very fluky game, but he’s still worth a flier on the waiver wire. Amendola is a low-floor WR4/5 against Desmond King in the slot. … T.J. Hockenson’s 131 receiving yards were the most ever by a rookie tight end in his first game. He looked like a monster, and he deserves to be moved up into the TE1/2 range, even though that goes against historical averages with rookie tight ends. Hockenson’s 20% target share would be among the highest at the position if it keeps up.

 

Kerryon Johnson

C.J. Anderson

Carries

16

11

Targets

2

0

Snaps on Passes

30

12

Snaps on Runs

18

12

Kerryon Johnson was not a bellcow back Week 1. C.J. Anderson was involved and was just as effective as Johnson. Johnson should still see 13-18 touches per week, but he’ll need more receptions or goal-line work to stay into the low-end RB1 discussion. This week, Johnson faces a Chargers’ defense who has historically struggled against the run and just gave up 174 rushing yards and a touchdown to Marlon Mack. Johnson is an RB1/2 in a good home matchup, while Anderson remains an RB4 with most of his value coming as Johnson’s handcuff. 

 

17. Bills (22.5, -2.5) @ NYG

Forecast: Josh Allen QB2/3, John Brown WR3, Cole Beasley WR4/5, Devin Singletary RB3, Frank Gore RB4

Josh Allen was Josh Allen in Week 1. He had four turnovers, but he made enough explosive plays to walk away with a win against the Jets. The Bills get another friendly road matchup in Week 2 against a Giants’ defense who were shredded by Dak Prescott and company. Allen’s rushing ability gives him a ceiling, but his floor and median projection keep him in the QB2/3 range. 

Bills air yards and targets
Bills air yards and targets

John Brown was talked about all offseason as a perfect fit for Allen, and the duo connected on seven passes for 123 yards and a touchdown in their first game. Brown’s 27% target share and career 15.1 YPR make him an upside WR3 against “in a smash spot”, per Ian Hartitz. … Slot receiver Cole Beasley just as you’d think he would. Beasley had a 24% target share, but he was limited to 40 scoreless yards. Beasley is a volume-based WR4/5. … Zay Jones ran a route on just 37% of the Bills’ passing plays. … Rookie TE Dawson Knox ran a route on 63% of pass plays but was only targeted twice. 

 

Devin Singletary

Frank Gore

Carries

4

11

Targets

6

0

Snaps on Passes

40

6

Snaps on Runs

5

13

The Bills projected three-man backfield was a two-man backfield Week 1 with T.J. Yeldon only seeing two snaps. Frank Gore saw more touches and played more in the first half, but third-round rookie Devin Singletary was awesome in the second half after going touchless in the first 38 minutes. Singletary ended with 70 rushing yards, five receptions, and a key block, enough good action for him to earn more reps Week 2. Singletary’s floor is still very low with the Bills’ tying for the highest passing percentage on first downs in the first 28 minutes, but he profiles as an RB3, while Gore is a zero-floor RB4.

 

18. Raiders (22.5, +7.5) vs. KC

Forecast: Derek Carr QB2, Tyrell Williams WR2, Ryan Grant WR4, Hunter Renfrow WR5, Darren Waller TE1, Josh Jacobs RB2, Jalen Richard RB4

Derek Carr and the Raiders’ had a statement win on Monday Night Football against the visiting Broncos. Per PFF, Carr had his highest-graded game of his career, and he’ll have to really open up in Week 2 with the Chiefs in town. The Chiefs’ defense just gave up the highest completion percentage to a rookie quarterback in his first game (Minshew, 88%), and Carr’s projected passing volume gives him upside as a rock-solid QB2, especially in DFS tournaments. 

Raiders air yards and targets
Raiders air yards and targets

Tyrell Williams had a 27% target share Week 1 on his way to a 6-105-1 receiving line. Williams was targeted three times downfield, where the “Gazelle” has had the most success during his career. Williams should flirt with 8-12 targets with the Raiders likely playing in comeback mode, making him an underrated WR2. … Ryan Grant (81% routes on passing plays) played ahead of Hunter Renfrow (44%). Grant has an ideal home matchup in Week 2 and should see enough volume to have WR4 numbers in PPR leagues. … Darren Waller lived up to the hype Week 1, catching 7-of-8 targets for 70 yards. Waller’s 30% target share puts him squarely in the TE1 conversation, especially in this projected high-scoring affair. 

Josh Jacobs received 23 carries, including all goal-line work (2 short-yardage TDs), in Week 1’s victory. When the Raiders have a lead, Jacobs will be really cooking in fantasy. The question now is if he can be more involved as a receiver. Jacobs ran a route on just 37% of the Raiders’ passing plays, while Jalen Richard came in on obvious passing downs. At Alabama, Jacobs had a few elite receptions, but he doesn’t have that three-down workload quite yet. Perhaps that changes this week, but for now, Jacobs is a high-end RB2, while Richard stays in the RB4 range in PPR leagues.  

 

 

19. 49ers (21.5, +2) @ CIN

Forecast: Jimmy Garoppolo QB2, Marquise Goodwin WR4, Deebo Samuel WR4, Dante Pettis WR5, George Kittle TE1, Matt Breida RB2, Raheem Mostert RB4

Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers travel back across the country for an early start against a defense that surprised in Seattle last week. In the season opener, Garoppolo’s accuracy was erratic, even when he wasn’t under pressure (5.1 YPA per PFF). I’m guessing that Garoppolo isn’t over the mental hurdles of an ACL return, and I wouldn’t expect a quick return to 2017 form. Garoppolo is a QB2 for now. 

49ers air yards and targets
49ers air yards and targets

Dante Pettis played two snaps. Two. Snaps. It’s the next chapter of the Kyle Shanahan vs. Pettis welterweight belt. And it’s a fight we don’t want to join. Pettis, if you have room, should remain on your bench for at least one more week, but there’s no way he can be trusted in a starting lineup right now. … Marquise Goodwin (74% of pass plays) and rookie Deebo Samuel (91%) were the near full-time players in the opener, but both receivers were only targeted three times. Goodwin should operate as the team’s best downfield option while Samuel does most of his damage within 10 yards (all three targets went there last week). Goodwin and Samuel are both zero-floor WR4s with Pettis’ status up in the air. … George Kittle had a ridiculous 37% target share Week 1 on 10 targets, but he was limited to 54 scoreless yards after just missing on bigger plays due to bad luck. That usage puts him into Travis Kelce’s tier as the top-two tight end options every week. 

Tevin Coleman (ankle) is out a few weeks, leaving Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert as the No. 1 and No. 2 options. Breida, as always, exited Week 1 (hydration) himself, but he’ll be an RB2 based on volume against the Bengals, who just allowed six receptions to Chris Carson. … Mostert was more effective than Breida on his nine carries, but he’s projected for a change-of-pace gig only. In deeper leagues, Mostert should be owned given Breida’s injury history.

 

20. Bears (21.5, -2.5) @ DEN

Forecast: Mitchell Trubisky QB2/3, Allen Robinson WR3, Taylor Gabriel WR5, Trey Burton (questionable) TE2, Tarik Cohen RB2/3, David Montgomery RB3, Mike Davis RB4

Mitchell Trubisky has 11 passing touchdowns in 12 career road games, and this isn’t any old road matchup. This is Denver. And we shouldn’t be rushing to play him after looking like one of the worst passers in the NFL in Week 1. Trubisky needs his legs and fluky big plays to reach a ceiling, and I won’t be betting on that at Mile High Stadium. Trubisky is a QB2/3.

Bears air yards and targets
Bears air yards and targets

Allen Robinson was unfortunate to have just 102 yards last week, but that’s what happens when Trubisky is throwing the ball. Robinson’s 29% target share puts Robinson right in the mix as a WR3, even in Denver against Chris Harris, since he’s seen at least seven targets in eight of his last nine games including playoffs. … Taylor Gabriel ran a route on 95% of the Bears’ passing plays, but he’s still not expected to be a huge factor with three running backs capable of catching passes. Gabriel offers big-play potential as a low-volume WR5. … Anthony Miller ran a route on 19% of passing plays and was only targeted once on a night where Trubisky threw the ball 45 times. Miller will be dropped in all standard-sized leagues next week if that happens again. Both Javon Wims and Cordarrelle Patterson played and touched the ball more, and Tarik Cohen was the slot receiver last week. …  Trey Burton (groin) missed Week 1 and his direct replacement, Adam Shaheen, was targeted just twice. Burton will be a low-floor TE2 if he’s healthy and active Week 2.

 

David Montgomery

Tarik Cohen

Mike Davis

Carries

6

0

5

Targets

1

10

7

Snaps on Passes

20

43

33

Snaps on Runs

7

8

7

The Bears rolled out a three-back committee, but it’s not the traditional timeshare because Tarik Cohen played in the slot on 40 of his 51 snaps (78%). The Bears used two backs  61% of the time Week 1, allowing Cohen and either David Montgomery or Mike Davis to see the field together. If Cohen is a near full-time slot receiver, that’s a win for his fantasy owners since Cohen caught 15-of-17 slot targets for 188 yards (11 YPT) last season. Cohen will be a risky RB2/3, however, with Denver on the docket next week. … Montgomery looked like the better runner compared to Davis Week 1, but Montgomery needs to see the field more before he can be fully trusted in a starting lineup. Game script won’t be on his side in Denver, leaving him as a low-floor RB3 Week 2. Montgomery could be a buy in season-long leagues in a couple of weeks. … Davis played over Montgomery and saw a healthy amount of targets, just as he did in Seattle last season, but Davis is still nothing more than an RB3 this week.

As always, hit me up on Twitter @HaydenWinks if you have questions. 

Fantasy Forecast Week 2
Fantasy Forecast Week 2

Slate notes: The Patriots are in a tier of their own this week from a points and plays standpoint. Load up. The Rams, Chiefs, Ravens, and Eagles all have tons of upside. The Cardinals, Dolphins, and Giants aren't likely to play as fast as they did in Week 1. They all played faster given the scoreboard. The Jaguars are in a tier of their own but in a bad way.

 

Teams are listed in order of their implied points.

Page 1: NE, KC, BAL, LAR, PHI, HOU, DAL, PIT, ATL, CLE

Page 2: LAC, NO, CIN, TEN, GB, DET, BUF, OAK, SF, CHI

Page 3: SEA, NYG, MIN, IND, TB, WAS, DEN, NYJ, JAX, ARI, MIA

TNF: CAR, TB

 

21. Seahawks (21.25, +4) @ PIT

Forecast: Russell Wilson QB1/2, Tyler Lockett WR2, DK Metcalf WR4, Chris Carson RB1/2, Rashaad Penny RB4

Russell Wilson hasn’t struggled on the road during his career, and this Steelers’ defense just got torched by the Patriots in Week 1. But Wilson won’t have it as easy as Brady given the Seahawks’ weapons and offensive line. With that said, Wilson still should turn out a QB1/2 week in what should be one of his higher pass attempt games of the season as a road dog. My biggest concern is the across-the-country early game. 

Seahawks air yards and targets
Seahawks air yards and targets

Tyler Lockett’s first game was an odd one. He wasn’t targeted until the fourth quarter -- he, of course, scored a 44-yard touchdown on his first look -- and he had a rare drop on what should’ve been a big gain. Lockett attributed the odd game to being double covered, something that he could face more with Doug Baldwin retired. The good news was his 65% slot rate, a place where he averaged 15.7 yards per target last season and DK Metcalf’s emergence as a deep threat. Lockett’s targets (2) are almost guaranteed to triple in Pittsburgh, who have been lit up against slot receivers recently. Lockett is a WR2. … Metcalf was a near full-time player on passing downs, which led to him seeing a 30% team share of targets (6). That’s very likely to come down, but it’s hard not to get a little excited over his role given his elite straight-line athleticism. In Week 1, Metcalf made an eyeball-emoji worthy contested catch, and Josh Gordon got deep for a big gain against this Steelers’ defense on SNF. Metcalf is a boom-or-bust WR3/4 in a decent matchup. … Jaron Brown was on the field for 20 of Wilson’s 25 dropbacks, but he wasn’t targeted. With the Seahawks expected to pass more against Pittsburgh, Brown should see a few come his way, but he’s still a zero-floor WR5. … Will Dissly is questionable to play Week 2 but is off the radar even when healthy. 

 

Chris Carson

Rashaad Penny

Carries

15

6

Targets

7

0

Snaps on Passes

20

6

Snaps on Runs

19

8

Chris Carson asserted himself as the clear-cut No. 1 back. He not only out-snapped and out-touched Rashaad Penny, but Carson also led the Seahawks in targets (7) and receptions (6) after an offseason of Pete Carroll and Co. talking up their backs as receivers. Carson has a large rushing floor with the Seahawks on #TeamEstablishIt -- they had the second-highest run rate (63%) on first downs in the first 28 minutes of the game last week -- and he now has some ceiling as a pass-catcher. Carson’s usage from Week 1 puts him on the RB1/2 borderline in Pittsburgh, while Rashaad Penny slides into handcuff-only purgatory. 

 

22. Giants (21, +1.5) vs. BUF

Forecast: Eli Manning QB3, Sterling Shepard (questionable) WR3/4, Cody Latimer (questionable) WR4 if Shepard is out and he plays, Evan Engram TE1, Saquon Barkley RB1

Eli Manning had 306 empty-calorie yards and one touchdown last week before Daniel Jones closed out the loss. Manning is at risk of being benched against a really tough Bills’ defense this week. Manning will be near the bottom of my weekly quarterback rankings.

Giants air yards and targets
Giants air yards and targets

Sterling Shepard was placed in the concussion protocol and didn’t practice Thursday. He’d have a rough matchup with this Bills’ secondary even if he’s cleared. Shepard would be a volume-based WR3/4 if active. … Cody Latimer ran a route on 87% of the Giants’ passing plays, but he also did not practice Thursday. … Bennie Fowler is the No. 3 receiver when everyone is healthy if you care. … Evan Engram was targeted 14 (!) times last week and his 11 receptions tied for 39th-most all-time at tight end. If Shepard misses, Engram will be in the Travis Kelce/George Kittle tier, but he’s at worst the TE4 overall even if Shepard plays. There’s just not a lot of options to throw the ball too with Golden Tate still suspended, and Engram is very, very talented. 

Saquon Barkley had the lowest touch total (15) of his career in the season opener, but he still had 17.9 PPR points. Barkley is an obvious top-four option against this Bills’ defense, who just gave up 21.2 PPR points to Le’Veon Bell last week. If Shepard is ruled out, Barkley may be my RB2 overall this week. 

 

23. Vikings (20.75, +2.5) @ GB

Forecast: Kirk Cousins QB2, Adam Thielen WR2, Stefon Diggs WR2/3, Kyle Rudolph TE2, Dalvin Cook RB1/2, Alexander Mattison RB4/5

The Vikings led the NFL with a 70% run rate on first downs in the first 28 minutes of the game, way up from 53% last year. That’s the new offensive identity under new OC Kevin Stefanski, and it’s one that limits the upside of this Kirk Cousins-led passing game, one that just had 10 pass attempts in the season opener. On the road against a much-improved Packers’ defensive roster isn’t the place to start Cousins. He’s a QB2. 

Vikings air yards and targets
Vikings air yards and targets

It’s not fully time to panic on Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, but this coaching staff has me a bit concerned, at least in regards to their upside. Thielen saw only three targets in Week 1 -- obviously that was a fluke -- and his matchup this week against Jaire Alexander is not enticing. Thielen is a WR2 on the road. … Stefon Diggs, once again, played through an injury designation and failed to produce. He’s off the injury report now, but I’m dropping him down to the WR2/3 range with just about everything except talent working against him in Week 2. … Chad Beebe was limited to just 14 snaps with the Vikings opting to use 11 personnel just 23% of the time. He’s off the radar whenever Thielen and Diggs are active. … Kyle Rudolph was a full-time player, but he did stay in to block on 5-of-14 passing plays. Expect Rudolph to block more than he has in 2019 with rookie pass-catching TE Irv Smith mixing in. Rudolph is a zero-floor TE2. 

Dalvin Cook had a 21-111-2 rushing line last week in his three-down plus goal-line role, fully inserting himself into the RB1 mix in an offense that should be near the top in rushing rate. For this week, however, Cook is on the RB1/2 borderline with the Packers’ upgrade front seven as a potential limiter. … Alexander Mattison looked good on his nine carries, but he’s solely a handcuff, although a good one, given Cook’s injury history.

 

24. Colts (20.75, +3) @ TEN

Forecast: Jacoby Brissett QB2/3, T.Y. Hilton WR2, Deon Cain WR5, Parris Campbell WR5, Eric Ebron TE2, Jack Doyle TE2, Marlon Mack RB2, Nyheim Hines RB3/4

Jacoby Brissett was an effective game manager last week and only took two sacks, a major improvement to his 2017 struggles with holding the ball too long. But Brissett just doesn’t have the weekly ceiling to get out of the QB2/3 range in road matchups, especially against a Titans’ defense that just lit up Baker Mayfield

Colts air yards and targets
Colts air yards and targets

T.Y. Hilton is still T.Y. Hilton. He had a 33% target share and is by far the best way for the Colts to move the ball through the air between the 20s. Last week, Hilton was able to break off two touchdowns against a good Chargers’ defense, and he’ll get another tough road matchup this week. Devin Funchess’ collarbone injury (IR) increases the ceiling and floor for Hilton, who can be fired up as a WR2. … The Colts’ have intriguing rookie Parris Campbell to integrate into the offense, but Campbell ran a route on just 30% of the Colts’ passing plays last week. That number should climb as the season progresses. In the meantime, Chester Rogers, Zach Pascal, and Deon Cain will compete for snaps and targets, but Funchess’ projected targets will likely be filtered out to Hilton, the tight ends, and the running backs. If forced to take a chance on any of these receivers, it’s Cain, who is in play as a DFS punt option in tournaments. … Eric Ebron ran a route on  53% of the Colts’ passing plays and only saw three targets. Ebron is more touchdown-dependent than ever and shouldn’t be counted on as a TE1, even with the Titans’ allowing a touchdown to David Njoku last week. … The same goes for Jack Doyle, who saw two targets.

 

Marlon Mack

Nyheim Hines

Carries

25

4

Targets

0

4

Snaps on Passes

20

11

Snaps on Runs

28

6

Marlon Mack was fantastic as a runner in Week 1, ripping off a 63-yard run on his way to 174 yards and a score. Mack should continue to get fed carries whenever the Colts are in the game, but he’s still at risk of busting every week because of his lack of pass-catching work. That role is largely being taken over by Nyheim Hines (4 targets). Perhaps Mack’s 20 snaps on passing players are a sign that he’ll pick up a few targets per week, but he looks like a boom-or-bust RB2 on the surface. A road matchup with the Titans doesn’t set up as a “boom” week. Mack is an RB2, while Hines settles in as a low-floor RB3/4.

 

25. Redskins (20.5, +5.5) vs. DAL

Forecast: Case Keenum QB2/3, Terry McLaurin WR3/4, Trey Quinn WR4/5, Paul Richardson WR5, Chris Thompson RB2/3, Adrian Peterson RB3/4

Case Keenum got really hot out of the gates, throwing for 380 yards and three touchdowns against a porous Eagles’ secondary. The Cowboys’ defense is more of a challenge, but Jay Gruden did an excellent job of balancing short passes and deep shots in Week 1. Keenum is a QB2/3. 

Redskins air yards and targets
Redskins air yards and targets

Rookie speedster Terry McLaurin led the receivers in targets (7), receptions (5), and yards (125) in the opener, and he was inches away from an even bigger day. McLaurin is locked into near full-time snaps and is by far the best playmaker on offense. Expect a few valuable deep shots in Week 2, making McLaurin a boom-or-bust WR3/4. … Slot receiver Trey Quinn had a 14% target share Week 1, and his a DOT is too low to be a ceiling player in this offense, keeping in the WR4/5 mix in PPR leagues. … Paul Richardson ran a route on 78% of the Redskins’ passing plays and was targeted seven times, but Richardson was unable to do anything with the usage. Richardson is a secondary deep target with McLaurin looking more explosive, so he’s a low-floor WR5. 

 

Derrius Guice

Chris Thompson

Carries

10

3

Targets

3

10

Snaps on Passes

12

37

Snaps on Runs

11

4

Derrius Guice (knee) will miss at least a few weeks, so Adrian Peterson will once again be the early-downs runner. Jay Gruden clearly doesn’t want AP on the roster, and this isn’t an offense that we want to be using much in fantasy. Peterson is a touchdown-dependent RB3/4. … Chris Thompson is more interesting after leading the Redskins with 10 targets in Week 1. The Cowboys’ defensive scheme welcomes underneath targets to running backs, so Thompson could easily have five-plus receptions once again. Thompson is an RB2/3 in PPR leagues.

 

 

27. Broncos (19, +2.5) vs. CHI

Forecast: Joe Flacco QB3, Courtland Sutton WR3/4, Emmanuel Sanders WR4, DaeSean Hamilton WR5, Noah Fant TE2, Phillip Lindsay RB3, Royce Freeman RB3/4

We aren’t playing Joe Flacco against the Bears’ defense.

Broncos air yards and targets
Broncos air yards and targets

Courtland Sutton had a 26% target share Week 1, and he turned it into 120 yards. Sutton’s playmaking gives him the most upside among the Broncos’ trio of receivers, but he’ll be tested against Chicago. Sutton is a boom-or-bust WR3/4, but he should be more consistent against non-elite defenses the rest of the season. … Emmanuel Sanders continues to defy the odds. Sanders had a 5-86-1 receiving line in the opener despite returning from a torn Achilles’ as a 32-year-old. Sanders will be a WR4 in Week 2 and could be a WR3 once he moves on from this tough matchup. … DaeSean Hamilton saw most of the slot snaps,  but he was a distant third receiver, making him just a WR5 for now. … Noah Fant ran a route on 77% of the Broncos’ passing plays and was targeted five times (16% target share). That usage and his elite athleticism make Fant an upside TE2. 

 

Phillip Lindsay

Royce Freeman

Carries

11

10

Targets

6

1

Snaps on Passes

20

19

Snaps on Runs

13

10

Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman are in a 60/40 timeshare, one that will favor Lindsay when the Broncos are trailing and Freeman when they’re leading. Lindsay has the slightly better Week 2 game script, but the Bears’ defense, who really slowed Aaron Jones on TNF, limits both runners. Lindsay is an RB3, while Freeman is a touchdown-dependent RB3/4.

 

27. Jets (18.75, +6.5) vs. CLE

Forecast: Trevor Siemian QB2/3, Jamison Crowder WR3/4, Robby Anderson WR4/5, Ryan Griffen TE2/3, Le’Veon Bell RB1

Sam Darnold (mono) is out, so it’s the Trevor Siemian show. Not the greatest. Maybe not the worst though. Siemian is a QB2/3, but it’s hard to see the ceiling with limited reps with the ones. 

Jets air yards and targets
Jets air yards and targets

The Jets used 11 personnel on 82% of their offensive plays Week 1, according to Warren Sharp, locking in Robby Anderson, Jamison Crowder, and Quincy Enunwa (now on IR) into near full-time roles. Anderson is the most explosive receiver and has the most touchdown equity of the group, but he gets another tough matchup with Denzel Ward, who just shutout Corey Davis last week. Anderson is a zero-floor WR4. … Crowder became the first receiver to have fewer than 100 receiving yards on at least 14 receptions in a single game. That’s both terrible and amazing at the same time. Crowder’s connection with Darnold was well-documented this summer, so I’m expecting Crowder’s involvement to fall. The good news is his individual matchup with Ward on Anderson. Crowder is a PPR WR3/4. … Ryan Griffin is a low-ceiling TE2 who is playing on almost all passing plays. 

Le’Veon Bell played on every snap Week 1. He’s back, and the home matchup against a Browns’ defense who was destroyed by Derrick Henry last week is a good one. Fire up Bell as a top-six RB. … Ty Montgomery was limited to five snaps. He’s purely a handcuff. 

 

28. Jaguars (16.75, +9.5) @ HOU

Forecast: Gardner Minshew QB2, Dede Westbrook WR3, D.J. Chark WR4, Chris Conley WR4, Leonard Fournette RB1

Nick Foles (collarbone) will miss quite a few games, leaving sixth-round rookie Gardner Minshew at quarterback. At Washington State, Minshew was an efficient passer who relied on accuracy and decision making, not arm strength, to pick apart defenses. In his NFL debut, it was more of the same. Minshew set a rookie debut record for completion percentage (88%, min. 25 attempts). It was a clinic. The Jaguars’ matchup against a revolving-door Texans’ secondary is one to attack, making Minshew an underrated low-end QB2 option. 

Jaguars air yards and targets
Jaguars air yards and targets

Stylistically, Dede Westbrook works great with Minshew because of his short-yardage ability. Last week, Westbrook caught three passes behind the line of scrimmage, a sign that he’ll be manufactured targets in the future. Westbrook, despite being overshadowed by D.J. Chark and Chris Conley’s stat lines, is the receiver with the most fantasy promise with Minshew under center. … More than half of Chark’s and Conley’s targets traveled further than 10 yards downfield. Both receivers were very effective Week 1, but those types of targets will make them very volatile week to week. This weak Texans’ secondary keeps both Chark and Conley in play as boom-or-bust WR4s. … Marqise Lee should be more involved moving forward, but he’s off the radar for now. … James O’Shaughnessy played on more than half of the passing plays and was targeted five times in the opener, but he doesn’t have enough upside to work out of the TE3 range.

Leonard Fournette played on 86% of Week 1 snaps, had 93% of the running back carries, and received six targets. Fournette has the three-down plus goal-line role, which makes him at least an RB1/2 every week. Fournette is an RB1 this week after the Texans got shredded by both Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray last week. 

 

29. Cardinals (16.5, +13) @ BAL

Forecast: Kyler Murray QB2, Larry Fitzgerald WR4, Christian Kirk WR4, David Johnson RB1/2, Chase Edmonds RB5

The Cardinals were a 10 personnel machine Week 1. They used four-receiver sets on 45 snaps (67%)  when the rest of the NFL used it on 35 snaps (not including Monday Night Football). There will be ups-and-downs and adjustments made on the fly -- Kliff Kingsbury said he got too cute to start the game, which probably means not enough 10 personnel since he went to that on 22 of 25 snaps in comeback mode in the 4th quarter -- but Kyler Murray’s fourth quarter and overtime were promising. Murray’s 443 air yards in non-overtime play put him in the 93rd percentile of games since 2012 (per Brandon Gdula), and he was still able to crank out a QB11 finish Week 1 against a solid Lions’ defense despite only three rush attempts and 13 rushing yards. An early start on the road against the Ravens is not the time to start Murray, but he’s a great quarterback to have on the bench for Week 3 and beyond. 

Cardinals air yards and targets
Cardinals air yards and targets

Larry Fitzgerald led the Cardinals receptions (8)  and yards (113) while playing almost all of his snaps in the slot. He’s the obvious safety blanket for Murray, and he should be heavily targeted with the Cardinals’ pace (see above) at the top of the NFL. Fitzgerald is a high-volume WR3/4, even in the worst receiver matchup possible. … Christian Kirk ran a route on 91% of the Cardinals’ passing plays and had a 22% target rate. His usage was much higher than his production (4-32-0), making him a potential buy-low, especially after this tough road matchup. He’ll be a low-floor WR4 in Week 2, but he has a higher ceiling than that in rest-of-season rankings. … Damiere Byrd and KeeSean Johnson were near full-time players with the Cardinals using a ton of four-receiver sets. Johnson saw 10 targets, but he had his struggles in his rookie debut and he’ll lose snaps to Michael Crabtree. … My boy Andy Isabella didn’t play an offensive snap Week 1. He’s a ways away from having re-draft value. … None of the tight ends are worth playing. 

David Johnson usage in Week 1 was extremely encouraging. Johnson didn’t run against stacked boxes, lined up at receiver a lot more, and had 24 total touches. Johnson’s ceiling and floor in Baltimore are lower, but Johnson will still be an RB1 with Chase Edmonds only seeing one touch last week. 

 

30. Dolphins (15, +18.5) vs. NE

Forecast: Ryan Fitzpatrick QB3, DeVante Parker WR4/5, Jakeem Grant WR5, Preston Williams WR5, Mike Gesicki TE2/3, Kenyan Drake RB3, Kalen Ballage RB4/5

Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t last the entire game, and Josh Rosen completed as many passes to the Ravens (1) as he did to his teammates (1) when he came in as relief. It’s obviously a quarterback situation to avoid outside of the deepest of two-quarterback leagues. 

Dolphins air yards and targets
Dolphins air yards and targets

DeVante Parker led the Dolphins’ receivers in snaps (37), targets (7), receptions (3, lol), and yards (75) last week, and he might be, by default, the receiver Bill Belichick takes away with his defensive coverage. Parker is a zero-floor WR4. … Albert Wilson (questionable) re-injured in his calf in the season opener and would be at risk even if he was able to suit up Sunday. … Jakeem Grant and Preston Williams should see increased snaps if Wilson misses time, but neither should be started in fantasy. … Mike Gesicki ran a route on 74% of the Dolphins’ passing plays and was targeted six times. But it was another day of struggles for the second-year player. Gesicki remains a wait-and-see TE2/3. 

The Dolphins were so bad that Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage were limited to just seven and six touches. Yikes. Game script will be terrible once again, and neither can be started outside of deep leagues. Drake offers more upside given his pass-catching work, but he’s still nothing more than a low-floor RB3. Ballage, who finished with -1 rushing yards on five carries last week, is barely worth rostering in most season-long leagues. Calling the Dolphins a dumpster fire is an insult to a dumpster fire. 

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