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Snap Reactions – 2021 Week 2

Rob Mongole (@TheRotoRob) talks you through the risers, fallers and deep stashes after week 2 of the NFL.

By Rob Mongole

We’re through two weeks of the NFL season.  We are still working on a small sample size, but trends are beginning to emerge. This column aims to find season long trends and aid both dynasty and redraft managers find players to buy, sell, or add off the waiver wire. Ownership percentages given for each player in MFL dynasty formats and Yahoo redraft formats.  The ownership percentages reflect ownership as of Monday night.

Trending Up:

Joe Mixon 

Rostered in 98% of MFL leagues; 100% of Yahoo redraft leagues

After finishing as the RB2 overall (RB1 in standard) in week 1, Joe Mixon didn’t produce for your fantasy team against a stout Bears defense in week 2. However, the offseason narrative that Mixon will “handle the largest workload” of his career continues to ring true.  After playing 78% of snaps week 1, Mixon played 84% of snaps in week 2.  Mixon left the field for 5 wide receiver sets, but otherwise was an offensive mainstay.  In week 2, Samaje Perine had 3 snaps (5%) and Chris Evans had 2 snaps (4%).  Perine played 22% of snaps in week 1, but context is important. Mixon left the game in the second quarter with an injury before returning to the game in the third quarter.  Mixon’s week 2 performance and questions around the Bengal’s offense create an opportunity to buy at a small discount.

Mike Williams and Jared Cook – WR and TE, Los Angeles Charges

Rostered in 85% and 43% of MFL Leagues; 91% and 82% of Yahoo redraft leagues 

Through 2 weeks Mike Williams has 22 targets, one more than Keenan Allen and has at least 7 receptions, 80 yards, and a touchdown in each game. He has outproduced Allen despite averaging 75.5% of the snaps compared to Allen’s higher snap percentage of 87.5%.  Much of this is due to Williams’ two touchdowns compared to Allen’s goose egg. Touchdowns are not a “sticky” statistic but red zone usage is. Through 2 weeks, each of Allen and Williams have 5 red zone targets.  Williams is the bigger bodied receiver.  Even if the targets come down, I expect Williams’ red zone usage to continue to match Allen’s usage.  

If you punted the TE position in drafts, Jared Cook continues to be utilized in this offense with 8 targets week 1 and 5 in week 2. I expect the 5 targets received in week 2 to be the norm.  Austin Ekeler did not receive a target in week 1 and bounced back with 9 in week 2 (out targeting Allen in the process.) Cook should continue to be the fourth option in a prolific passing attack.  His 13 targets are good for 6th most at the TE position and tied with the resurging Rob Gronkowski.

Other Players Trending Up: Deebo Samuel, Sam Darnold, Derek Carr, Cooper Kupp

Trending Down:

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers

Rostered in 50% of MFL leagues; 10% of Yahoo redraft leagues

I thought this was Jimmy G’s year. Not because he is a good QB. Because the 49ers have the easiest schedule in the league this year.  In week 2, Jimmy G’s prolific arm was good for negative 6 air yards to George Kittle and had Deebo Samuel leading the way with a whopping 48 air yards. Garoppolo’s ADOT was 3.97 yards. His welcome is quickly wearing out in the Bay area and fantasy managers are waiting for Trey Lance to open this offense up.

Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Football Team

Rostered in 98% of MFL leagues; 100% of Yahoo redraft leagues

Gibson has passed the eye test as a runner, but is not receiving the receiving work we all hoped for.  J.D. McKissic continues to impress as the receiving back in Washington’s offense. McKissic’s snap count was up from 36% in week 1 to 44% in week 2, while Gibson’s dipped slightly from 65% to 61%.  More concerning is McKissic’s 6 targets to Gibson’s 2 last week. McKissic had 93 all purpose yards on Thursday night and added a touchdown through the ground.   Gibson out touched McKissic 23-1 in week 1, but only held a 15-9 advantage in week 2.  Gibson is still a fantastic player, in both real life and fantasy, but he will not be an RB1 at year end. Expectations should be tempered.

Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Rostered in 98% of MFL leagues; 100% of Yahoo redraft leagues

Zeke was a bust in week 1 against an elite Tampa Defense. In week 2 he had 71% of the snaps to Tony Pollard’s 34%, but was out targeted (3-2) and only received two more touches than Pollard (18-16). Zeke put up a respectable 71 yards and a TD on the ground, but was overshadowed by his teammate.  Pollard added 109 yards and a TD on the ground.  The underlying statistics still significantly favor Zeke. He dominated in routes run and red zone touches compared to Pollard.  However, it is becoming harder and harder to call Zeke a feature back.  Zeke is a great NFL RB, but he is not a league winner anymore.

Other Players Trending Down: Matt Ryan, San Francisco’s Offense, A.J. Brown

Depth Charts to Monitor: 
New York Giants WRs

Sterling Shepard: Rostered in 85% of MFL Leagues; 57% of Yahoo redraft leagues 

Kenny Golladay: Rostered in 94% of MFL Leagues; 85% of Yahoo redraft leagues 

Darius Slayton: Rostered in 48% of MFL Leagues; 4% of Yahoo redraft leagues 

Shepard continues to lead all Giants WRs in both snaps and targets (and fantasy relevance). Shepard has 16 receptions on 19 targets through 2 weeks, compared to Golladay’s 14 targets (7 receptions) and Slayton’s 13 targets (6 receptions). I admit that I have never been high on Golladay. Daniel Jones has been outstanding for fantasy this year, but isn’t the deep ball QB that Matthew Stafford was for Golladay in years past.  Golladay’s frustrations with Jones’ deep ball was evident on Thursday night with the cameras catching an argument between the two in the fourth quarter. The poor catch percentage of Slayton and Golladay reflect their higher ADOT (compared to Shepard’s) and Daniel Jones’ poor deep ball accuracy.  I am buying Shepard and selling Golladay. Slayton remains a cheap upside play in DFS and a flex play in deeper leagues.

New York Jets RBs

Michael Carter: Rostered in 72% of MFL leagues; 50% of Yahoo redraft leagues

Ty Johnson: Rostered in 39% of MFL leagues; 9% of Yahoo redraft leagues

Tevin Coleman: Rostered in 62% of MFL leagues; 19% of Yahoo redraft leagues

The backfield usage could not be more different through 2 weeks in New York.  Perhaps it was just getting Carter some touches in a blowout loss to the Patriots. Carter played 25% of the snaps in week 1.  That number jumped to 45% in week 2.  Meanwhile, Tevin Coleman’s snaps decreased from 26% to 10% and Ty Johnson also played 45% of the snaps in week 2, down from 54% in week 1.

Johnson produced 50 yards on 12 carries and no targets in week 2.  Carter produced 59 yards on 11 carries and also caught 2 of his 3 targets. Coleman received 5 carries and 0 targets.  Carter appears to be the receiving back and looked like the most talented back on the roster Sunday.  He should have weekly flex appeal if he continues to see 10+ carries and 3-5 targets a game.  Tevin Coleman can be safely dropped in most leagues.  Johnson should be rostered in dynasty leagues, but is not currently startable.

Other Depth Charts to Monitor: 

Cleveland Browns WRs: With Odell Beckham, Jr. and Jarvis Landry banged up, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Austin Hooper ran the most routes on the team Sunday with 17. Other players running at least 10 routes: Rashard Higgins – 15, Nick Chubb – 13,  Anthony Schwartz – 13, David Njoku – 11, and Harrison Bryant – 11. Baker was an efficient 19 of 21 in their win over the Texans and continues to rely on his TEs.  Hooper had 5 receptions and Bryant had 4.  No other player had more than 2 receptions.  Any WR not named Beckham or Landry is a desperation flex play at the moment.

You can find me on Twitter @TheRotoRob and on Reddit u/TheRotoRob.  Feel free to reach out with any questions.

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