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Wide Receiver Snap Counts and Target Trends - Week 2 Analysis


Your wide receivers remain essential components toward your primary goal of securing league championships. As the season unfolds, an expanding collection of tools are available that can provide you with an extensive level of knowledge regarding this critical position. Those results are contained in this weekly statistical breakdown of multiple categories, which is designed to help you fulfill your championship aspirations.

This will be the second installment that will examine game-specific data, including updated totals for targets, first downs, red-zone targets, snap counts, and a compilation of advanced statistics. The information that is contained in this weekly report will analyze how various receivers are being utilized, and how effectively they are capitalizing on their opportunities. This updated data supplies the foundation from which the numbers that are generated in various categories can be evaluated.

As the season progresses noteworthy changes in usage and production will be blended into the equation. That will bolster your efforts to determine which wide receivers should be in your lineups, and which are worthy of remaining on your rosters. Pro Football Reference, PFF, NextGenStats, Rotowire, Rotoviz, and Football Outsiders were all used as resources in compiling this data.

Editor's Note: Love the strategy of season-long fantasy sports? Live for the short term gratification of DFS? Try Weekly Fantasy Sports on OwnersBox - a new weekly DFS platform. Sign up today for a FREE $50 Deposit Match. Sign Up Now!

Week 2 Target Leaders

Wide Receivers  Targets  Targ/Game  YPT
DeAndre Hopkins 25 12.5 8.8
Amari Cooper 23 11.5 7.9
Diontae Johnson 23 11.5 6.5
D.J. Moore 22 11 7.9
Calvin Ridley 22 11 10.9
A.J. Green 22 11 3.6
Stefon Diggs 22 11 10.9
Russell Gage 21 10.5 7.6
Davante Adams 20 10 9.6
Robby Anderson 18 9 12.4
Julian Edelman 18 9 13.1
Allen Robinson 18 9 5.9
Keenan Allen 18 9 7.4
N'Keal Harry 18 9 6.2
Terry McLaurin 17 8.5 10.9
Tyreek Hill 17 8.5 8.5
John Brown 16 8 9.5
Tyler Lockett 16 8 9.9
Adam Thielen 16 8 8.8
Odell Beckham 16 8 6
DeSean Jackson 16 8 6.9
Julio Jones 16 8 11.3
Darius Slayton 15 7.5 9
CeeDee Lamb 15 7.5 11
Jerry Jeudy 15 7.5 7.9
D.K. Metcalf 14 7 13.4
JuJu Smith-Schuster 14 7 8.4
T.Y. Hilton 14 7 5.8
Marvin Jones 14 7 5.6
Danny Amendola 14 7 7.3
Mike Evans 14 7 7.6
Isaiah Ford 14 7 6.4
Corey Davis 13 6.5 10.5
Jamison Crowder 13 13 8.8
Adam Humphries 13 6.5 7.3
Tyler Boyd 13 6.5 8.1
Robert Woods 13 6.5 9.2
Brandin Cooks 13 6.5 8.8
Cole Beasley 13 6.5 9.8
Mike Williams 13 6.5 6.4
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 13 6.5 12.3
Quintez Cephus 13 6.5 7.5

A barrage of injuries have already created torment for many fantasy GMs. This includes anyone who was been forced to reconstruct their rosters due to the absence of highly productive wide receivers during their Week 2 matchups. The challenges that ensued for some of you will be discussed in the 5 Things I Noticed section. However, there have also been impressive performances as other receivers have accumulated favorable results during the first two weeks of regular-season game action.

That list includes DeAndre Hopkins, who now leads all wide receivers with 25 targets. His league-best total has been built primarily through the 16 targets that he collected during Arizona's season opener. Amari Cooper and Diontae Johnson are next with 23, followed by D.J. Moore, Calvin Ridley, Stefon Diggs, and A.J. Green with 22. Moore's usage and production will be discussed further when Carolina’s passing attack is examined in the Five Things I Noticed Section.

Atlanta's Russell Gage (21) and Davante Adams (20) are also included in the top 10, followed by five receivers that have captured 18 targets - Julian Edelman, Allen Robinson, Keenan Allen, N’Keal Harry, and Robby Anderson. Terry McLaurin and Tyreek Hill have both collected 17 targets, while six receivers are tied with 16 targets through two matchups (John Brown/Tyler Lockett/ Adam Thielen/Odell Beckham Jr./DeSean Jackson/Julio Jones).

Darius Slayton joined CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy in collecting 15 targets, as Lamb and Jeudy also lead their rookie class in this category. They are followed by seven different receivers that have been targeted 14 times – D.K. Metcalf, JuJu Smith-Schuster, T.Y. Hilton, Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola, Mike Evans, and Miami’s Isaiah Ford.

27 additional receivers have reached 10+ targets during their first two games. This list includes seven players that are tied with 12 - Marquise Brown, Preston Williams, DeVante Parker, Sammy Watkins, 37-year-old Larry Fitzgerald, Chris Hogan, and Keelan Cole.

Johnson and Ridley are the only two receivers that have attained a double-digit target total in both of their contests. Quintez Cephus (13) is the only other rookie beyond Lamb and Jeudy that has exceeded 10 targets after two weeks of the regular season.

 

Largest Weekly Changes

Wide Receivers Week 1  Week 2  Total Targets Weekly Changes
Damiere Byrd 0 9 9 9
Braxton Berrios 0 8 8 8
K.J. Hamler INJ 7 7 7
N'Keal Harry 6 12 18 6
Mike Evans 4 10 14 6
Tre'Quan Smith 1 7 8 6
Chris Conley 1 7 8 6
Tee Higgins 0 6 6 6
Josh Malone 0 6 6 6
Tyreek Hill 6 11 17 5
D.J. Moore 9 13 22 4
A.J. Green 9 13 22 4
Stefon Diggs 9 13 22 4
Julian Edelman 7 11 18 4
Isaiah Ford 5 9 14 4
Chris Hogan 4 8 12 4
DeVante Parker 4 8 12 4
Michael Pittman 2 6 8 4
Deonte Harris 1 5 6 4
Diontae Johnson 10 13 23 3
Terry McLaurin 7 10 17 3
CeeDee Lamb 6 9 15 3
Tyler Boyd 5 8 13 3
Brandin Cooks 5 8 13 3
Randall Cobb 3 6 9 3
Russell Gage 12 9 21 -3
Darius Slayton 9 6 15 -3
Corey Davis 8 5 13 -3
Robert Woods 8 5 13 -3
Jarvis Landry 6 3 9 -3
Anthony Miller 6 3 9 -3
Scotty Miller 6 3 9 -3
Breshad Perriman 5 2 7 -3
John Ross 5 2 7 -3
John Brown 10 6 16 -4
Odell Beckham 10 6 16 -4
T.Y. Hilton 9 5 14 -4
Amari Cooper 14 9 23 -5
Mike Williams 9 4 13 -5
Sammy Watkins 9 3 12 -6
Curtis Samuel 8 2 10 -6
Greg Ward 7 1 8 -6
DeAndre Hopkins 16 9 25 -7
Quintez Cephus 10 3 13 -7
Julio Jones 12 4 16 -8
Will Fuller 10 0 10 -10
Davante Adams 17 3 20 -14

Moore, Johnson, Diggs, and Green all collected 13 targets in Week 2, which was the highest total among all wide receivers. Harry established a career-high with 12 targets, while Harry's teammate Edelman and Hill both captured 11. Anderson, McLaurin, Allen, Ridley, and Mike Evans were all targeted 10 times in Week 2.

Various factors emerged that created enormous fluctuations in weekly target totals for several players when contrasting their numbers from matchups in Weeks 1 and 2. Some receivers experienced significant increases in Week 2, after being unavailable in Week 1. Others were simply deployed with greater frequency after minimal involvement during their season openers. This created a dramatic rise for multiple receivers whose names do not normally appear in this column.

That applies to Damiere Byrd (+9) who collected nine targets in Seattle. That placed him third on the Patriots behind Harry (12) and Edelman (11) while propelling him to the largest increase of the week. Braxton Berrios (+8) established a new career-high with eight targets, which tied him with Hogan for the team lead on the increasingly beleaguered Jets. K.J. Hamler (+7) was inactive in Week 1 due to a hamstring issue. But he tied Jeudy for the team lead with seven targets during Denver’s Week 2 matchup with Pittsburgh. Hogan’s eight targets in Week 2 represented his highest weekly total since Week 17 of 2018. Ironically, Cole’s seven targets in Week 2 were also the most that he has collected since that same week in 2018.

 

 

Tee Higgins (+6) was limited to 15 snaps during Cincinnati’s Week 1 matchup with the Chargers and failed to receive a target. But his involvement expanded in Week 2, and his weekly total rose by +6. Harry’s career-best 12 targets were mentioned previously, and they also propelled him to a rise of +6. Higgins and Harry were joined by Evans, Chris Conley, and Josh Malone, while Hill’s 11 targets represented an increase of +5.  The weekly totals for Moore, Green, Stefon Diggs, Edelman, DeVante Parker, Hogan, and Ford all increased by +4.

Davante Adams (-14) led all receivers in targets during Week 1 (17), but only registered three when the Packers faced Detroit in Week 2. However, a hamstring issue and a favorable game script contributed to his decline.

Will Fuller’s target total also dropped significantly (-10). This was just the latest statistical fluctuation for Fuller, whose erratic totals have been a frequent occurrence throughout his career. After finishing in a tie for eighth overall with 10 targets during Houston’s initial matchup last season, Fuller was not targeted during the Texans’ encounter with Baltimore. He appeared to be impacted by an injury. However, nothing has been confirmed by the team.

This is a familiar pattern for anyone who experienced the volatile numbers that were delivered by Fuller last season. He was  14th in targets from Week 1-6 (48/6 per game) but injured his hamstring on Houston’s first possession in Week 7. He accumulated 11 targets upon his return in Week 12 but only collected 11 more targets during the Texans’ final five contests.

Julio Jones (-8) was impacted by a hamstring issue during his Week 2 matchup with Dallas and only received four targets. The significant decrease in usage has allowed Ridley to surpass Jones for the team lead entering Week 3 (22/16).

 

Week 2 Yards-Per-Target

D.J. Chark’s usage and production have failed to reach expectations of the fantasy community and anyone who drafted him. However, he does lead all wide receivers with a 15.6 yards per target average. Willie Snead is second overall (15.5), followed by D.K. Metcalf (13.4), Steven Sims (12.9), David Moore (12.7), Robby Anderson (12.4), Darnell Mooney (12.3), Allen Lazard (12.0), and Jalen Reagor (12.0). Marquise Brown was next (11.9), followed by Jarvis Landry (11.9), Bisi Johnson, (11.4), Julio Jones (11.3), Tre’ Quan Smith (11.3), Will Fuller (11.2), CeeDee Lamb (11.0),  and Cooper Kupp (11.0). Six other receivers are averaging over 10 yards per target including Diggs, Ridley, and McLaurin.

Odell Beckham averaged 12.3 yards per target against Cincinnati, which was just the fifth time that his average has eclipsed 10+ during his 18 games as a Brown. Green averaged just 2.23 yards per target against Cleveland which was his lowest average since Week 17 of 2017.

 

Week 2 Air Yards

Wide Receivers  Air Yards Comp AY Team % AY aDOT
A.J. Green 330 63 44.4 15
Calvin Ridley 309 204 34.4 15.5
DeSean Jackson 286 99 37.2 17.9
Julio Jones 277 144 30.9 16.3
Adam Thielen 269 139 48 16.8
D.J. Moore 260 155 47.2 11.8
Stefon Diggs 248 191 38.4 11.3
Allen Robinson 239 88 40.1 13.3
Amari Cooper 234 131 37.4 10.2
Mike Williams 229 71 38.9 17.6
Julian Edelman 224 180 51.1 12.4
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 224 116 33.5 17.2
John Brown 220 121 34.1 13.8
DK Metcalf 207 140 50.9 14.8
Jerry Jeudy 198 71 25 13.2
Odell Beckham 190 66 37.9 12.7
T.Y. Hilton 188 62 38.5 13.4
Keenan Allen 185 65 31.5 10.3
Davante Adams 184 137 27.5 9.2
Robby Anderson 183 129 33.2 10.2
Diontae Johnson 176 82 38 7.3
Tyreek Hill 176 98 38.4 10.4
Terry McLaurin 171 69 32.9 10.1
Brandin Cooks 166 83 32.3 12.8
Darius Slayton 165 122 35.6 11
Christian Kirk 163 49 31.6 20.4
Marquise Brown 161 113 38.9 13.4
Tim Patrick 161 37 20.3 16.1
Jalen Reagor 158 65 20.6 19.8
Henry Ruggs 153 35 38 19.1
Anthony Miller 152 73 25.5 16.9
Danny Amendola 149 73 24 10.6
Corey Davis 148 105 34.7 11.4
Preston Williams 148 59 27.6 12.3
Michael Gallup 147 85 23.5 16.3
Russell Gage 144 98 16.1 6.9
Tyler Lockett 139 109 34.2 8.7
Hunter Henry 138 86 23.5 8.6
Quintez Cephus 137 53 22.1 11.4
DeAndre Hopkins 135 111 26.2 5.4
Kendrick Bourne 131 59 36.6 13.1
Will Fuller 128 84 24.9 12.8
CeeDee Lamb 125 80 20 7.8

However, Green also leads all receivers in air yards following his prolonged absence (330), while Calvin Ridley is the only other receiver who has eclipsed 300 yards after two games (309). Week 1 air-yard leader DeSean Jackson is third (286), followed by Julio Jones (277), Adam Thielen (269), D.J. Moore (260) Stefon Diggs (253), Allen Robinson (239), Amari  Cooper (234), and Mike Williams (229). Marquez Valdes-Scantling (224), Julian Edelman (224), John Brown (220), and D.K. Metcalf (207) complete the list of 14 receivers that have surpassed 200 air yards after two contests.

 

 

Edelman leads all wide receivers in percentage share of air yards (51.1). Metcalf is second (50.9), followed by Thielen (48.0), Moore (47.2) Green (44.4), and Robinson (40.1). No other receivers are averaging shares above 40%. Mike Williams is next (38.9), along with Marquise Brown (38.9), T.Y. Hilton (38.5), Tyreek Hill (38.4), Diontae Johnson (38.0), Odell Beckham (37.9), Amari Cooper (37.4), and DeSean Jackson (37.2).

Christian Kirk has averaged a league-best 20.8 in targeted air yards, followed by Gallup (18.8), Jalen Reagor (18.5), Ruggs (17.7), Thielen (17.5), Valdes-Scantling (17.3), Jackson (17.3), Courtland Sutton (17.0), Julio Jones (16.7), Mike Williams (16.4), Anthony Miller (16.4), and Green (15.9).

 

Week 2 First Downs

Wide Receiver First Downs
Calvin Ridley 16
DeAndre Hopkins 13
Russell Gage 12
Stefon Diggs 11
Julian Edelman 11
Davante Adams 10
D. J. Moore 10
Corey Davis 10
Diontae Johnson 9
Tyler Boyd 9
Darius Slayton 9
Amari Cooper 8
Robby Anderson 8
Terry McLaurin 8
Tyler Lockett 8
Keenan Allen 8
Cooper Kupp 8
JuJu Smith-Schuster 7
Julio Jones 7
CeeDee Lamb 7
John Brown 7
Tyreek Hill 7
Adam Thielen 7
D.J. Chark 7
D.K. Metcalf 7
Sammy Watkins 7
Keelan Cole 7
Isaiah Ford 7

Ridley leads all wide receivers in first downs for a second consecutive week (16). Hopkins is second overall (13), followed by Russell Gage (12), Diggs (11), Edelman (11), and three receivers all tied with 10  - Adams, Moore, and Corey Davis.

Diontae Johnson, Tyler Boyd, and Darius Slayton have all generated nine first downs through receptions, while Robby Anderson, Amari Cooper, Terry McLaurin, Tyler Lockett, Keelan Cole, and Cooper Kupp have all registered eight catches for first downs. 11 different receivers have attained seven first downs including Smith Schuster, Julio Jones, Lamb, and Metcalf.

 

Week 2 Red Zone Targets

Wide Receivers Inside 20 Inside 10 Inside 5 Team % 
Calvin Ridley 4 2 1 30.77
Emmanuel Sanders 4 2 2 40
Russell Gage 4 2 0 30.77
Darius Slayton 4 3 2 26.67
DeAndre Hopkins 3 1 1 60
Stefon Diggs 3 0 0 16.67
Julian Edelman 3 1 0 37.5
Robby Anderson 3 0 0 50
Davante Adams 3 2 2 20
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 3 0 0 20
John Brown 3 2 1 16.67
Cole Beasley 3 3 1 16.67
JuJu Smith-Schuster 3 2 0 33.33
N'Keal Harry 3 2 0 37.5
Allen Robinson 3 1 0 23.08
Sammy Watkins 3 3 1 33.33
Marvin Jones 3 1 1 33.33
David Moore 3 1 0 37.5
Zach Pascal 3 2 1 25
Trent Taylor 3 1 0 25

Sanders led all wide receivers in red-zone targets after Week 1. However, he was not targeted inside the 20 during his Week 2 matchup. This has dropped him into a tie with three other receivers atop the league lead (Slayton, Ridley, and Gage). 15 different receivers have collected three targets including Hopkins, Andersen, Edelman, Harry, Smith-Schuster, and all three of Buffalo’s top receiving options (Diggs/Brown/Beasley). 18 additional receivers have received two targets inside the 20.

Slayton, Watkins, and Beasley lead their position with three targets inside the 10, while Slayton, Sanders, and Adams have all attained a league-best two targets inside the five.

Hopkins has captured the highest red zone percentage among all wide receivers (60). Anderson is second (50%) followed by a trio of receivers that are tied with 37.5% -  David Moore, N'Keal Harry, and Edelman). A group of five receivers are all tied at 33.3% - Smith-Schuster, Thielen, Watkins, Marvin Jones, and Justin Jefferson.

 

Week 2 Snap Counts

Wide Receiver Week 2 Snaps Total Snaps Total Snap % 
DeAndre Hopkins 75/97% 152 95.6
Keenan Allen 81/98% 151 96.18
Michael Gallup 75/91% 144 93.51
Amari Cooper 75/91% 143 92.86
John Brown 56/92% 137 92.57
Tyler Boyd 78/85% 133 83.13
Mike Williams 74/89% 132 84.08
Calvin Ridley 63/84% 131 85.06
Stefon Diggs 48/79% 130 87.84
Allen Lazard 61/84% 129 85.43
Tyreek Hill 69/90% 128 87.67
Terry McLaurin 62/94% 127 93.38
CeeDee Lamb 68/83% 127 82.47
Larry Fitzgerald 61/79% 126 79.25
D.K. Metcalf 63/100% 124 99.2
Marvin Jones 53/90% 124 90.51
Julio Jones 59/79% 124 80.52
D.J. Moore 65/89% 123 87.86
Cooper Kupp 59/86% 121 85.21
Robert Woods 59/86% 120 84.51
Tyler Lockett 60/95% 118 94.4
Mike Evans 53/87% 118 90.08
Damiere Byrd 62/86% 118 86.76
Steven Sims 60/91% 118 86.76
Preston Williams 61/81% 117 85.4
Russell Gage 62/83% 117 75.97
Darius Slayton 58/89% 116 87.22
Corey Davis 50/81% 116 81.12
JuJu Smith-Schuster 59/91% 114 88.37
N'Keal Harry 61/85% 112 82.35
Chris Hogan 59/91% 110 90.91
Christian Kirk 47/61% 110 69.18
Diontae Johnson 54/84% 109 84.5
Robby Anderson 54/74% 109 77.86
Davante Adams 38/52% 108 71.52
Allen Robinson 53/82% 106 81.54
Michael Pittman 67/92% 106 72.11
Zach Pascal 59/81% 105 71.43
Kendrick Bourne 45/74% 102 82.93
A.J. Green 57/62% 102 63.75
D.J. Chark  59/79% 101 80.8

DeAndre Hopkins leads his position in offensive snaps (152), followed closely by Keenan Allen (151), Michael Gallup (144), Amari Cooper (143), John Brown (137), Tyler Boyd (133), Mike Williams (132), and Calvin Ridley (131). Stefon Diggs is next with 130, followed by Allen Lazard (129). Tyreek Hill (128), Terry McLaurin (127), CeeDee Lamb (127), Larry Fitzgerald (126), and Julio Jones (124). Marvin Jones (124), D.K. Metcalf (124), D.J. Moore (124), Cooper Kupp (121), and Robert Woods (120) completed the top 20 in offensive snaps after two matchups.

Metcalf has attained the highest snap count percentage (99.2), followed by Allen (96.2), Hopkins (95.6), Lockett (94.4), Gallup (93.5), McLaurin (93.4), Cooper (92.9), John Brown (92.6), and Thielen (92.5), completing the top 10 in this category. Chris Hogan (91.0), Marvin Jones (90.5), and Mike Evans (90.1) are the only other wide receivers that performed in at least 90% of the teams’ offensive snaps.

Metcalf also played on 100% of Seattle’s offense of snaps during Week 2. Allen was involved in 97.6% of the Chargers’ snaps, while Hopkins attained the third-highest percentage in Week 2 (97.4). Lockett (95.2), McLaurin (94.0), John Brown (91.8), Michael Pittman (91.8), Cooper (91.5), Gallup (91.5), and Steven Sims (91.0), completed the top 10. Hogan (90.8), and JuJu Smith-Schuster (90.8), were the only other wide receivers that were involved in 90+ percent of their teams’ offensive snaps.

Allen played on 81 snaps in Week 2, which was the most of any wide receiver. Boyd (78), Hopkins (75), Cooper (75), Gallup (75), Mike Williams (74), Hill (69), Lamb (68), Pittman (67), and DeVante Parker (66), completed the top 10 in offensive snaps during Week 2.

 

Five Things I Noticed 

 

 

1. If Michael Thomas, Chris Godwin, Kenny Golladay, A.J. Brown, or Jamison Crowder, are contained on your rosters, then you were affected by their absence in Week 2. The avalanche of injuries has been impactful for many managers while altering the usage and production of other receivers on their teams. Matthew Stafford distributed 19 passes to Detroit’s wide receivers, with Danny Amendola collecting a team-high seven. But Amendola’s failure to capitalize (2 receptions/21 yards) underscores the need for fantasy GMs to avoid him throughout the season. Marvin Jones did not deliver a productive outing (6 targets/4 receptions/23 yards). But he should regain his effectiveness after Golladay resurfaces. Quintez Cephus easily led the team in receiving yards (54) and yards per target (18) and should retain a spot on Dynasty rosters.

Mike Evans captured 10 of the 17 passes that Tom Brady launched to the wide receivers that remained in his arsenal. Evans easily paced the Buccaneers in receptions (7), and receiving yards (104), while generating a touchdown. Justin Watson (2 receptions/48 yards/16 yards per target) outproduced Scott Miller - who managed just two receptions for an anemic 11 yards, If you prioritized seizing Miller from your waiver wire last week, you can discard him immediately. Godwin has cleared concussion protocol and should line up against Denver on Sunday.

Adam Humphries led the Titans in targets (6) and paced Tennessee’s wide receivers in receptions (5), and receiving yards (48) during Brown’s absence. He supplies fantasy GMs with a viable WR3 option if Brown remains sidelined. However, the career resurrection of Corey Davis has increased his relevance considerably. He collected three of his five targets for 36 yards and a touchdown against Jacksonville. He also leads the Titans in receiving yards (137), air yards (148), and percentage share of air yards (34.7).

Crowder was sidelined with his hamstring issue, while the talented but frequently disappointing Breshad Perriman managed just 12 yards on two receptions before contending with an ankle issue. This propelled two receivers from that outer region of irrelevance into the team lead in targets (8), as Chris Hogan and Braxton Berrios also combined for 105 snaps, 12 receptions, and 134 yards. Berrios’ output elevated him to 14th in point per game scoring, and he will operate in the slot until Crowder resurfaces.

Drew Brees did not have the luxury of locating Michael Thomas (ankle) but did launch 15 passes to his wide receivers in Las Vegas. Only one was collected by Emmanuel Sanders, as anyone who started the 33-year old was subjected to a nightmarish outing (3 targets/1 reception/18 yards). However, Tre’ Quan Smith’s emergence was a promising development, as he led New Orleans wide receivers in targets (7), receptions (5), and receiving yards (86). The third-year receiver also averaged 12.3 yards per target, and now presents the most enticing option on your waiver wire among receivers that have been discussed in this section.

 

2. Carolina’s massive offensive transformation during the offseason included the arrival of Matt Rhule and Joe Brady as the Panthers’ new decision-makers, with Teddy Bridgewater responsible for on-field navigation of the refurbished attack. During the initial installment of Carolina's transformed offense in Week 1, former Jet Robby Anderson led the Panthers in receptions (6) and receiving yards (115), while also averaging 19.2 yards per reception and 14.4 yards per target. D. J. Moore paced the Panthers with nine targets. However, he only caught four of those passes, while accruing 54 yards.

Overreaction to Week 1 game action is perpetually rampant, and some fantasy GMs expressed concern regarding Moore’s numbers in the season opener. However, the results from Week 2 should have quelled any escalating uneasiness as Moore tied for the league lead with the aforementioned 13 targets. He also tied for second in receptions (8) and was fourth among all receivers with 120 yards. Moore is now tied for fourth in targets after two games (22) and is 11th in receiving yardage (174). He also leads the Panthers in target share (29.7) and percentage share of the air yards (47.2).

Anderson is second in those categories (24.3/32.2), while he is also tied for 10th overall in targets (18) and has also vaulted to fourth in receiving yards (223). His current 111.5 yards per game average easily surpasses his career-best (58.8), while Anderson is also sixth with a 12.4 yards per target average - which exceeds the season-best 8.3 that he registered during 2017.

Curtis Samuel’s current numbers have yet to approach the results that have been attained by Moore and Anderson. He is third on the Panthers in targets (10) and has only manufactured 51 yards. His current average of 7.6 yards per reception is the lowest of his career, while his yard per target average (4.8) is his lowest since Samuel’s 2017 rookie season.

Christian McCaffrey’s absence will only enhance the importance of Moore and Anderson within the reshaped attack. Deficiencies also permeate the Panthers’ defense, which will also compel Rhule and Brady to depend on Bridgewater and the aerial attack even further, This should keep Moore entrenched among the high-end WR2s throughout the season, while Anderson is emerging as a viable WR3.

 

3. After two weeks with Cam Newton spearheading New England’s offense, he is eighth in passing yardage (522). Newton is also completing a career-best 71.4% of his throws, while his 8.8 yards per attempt average is also the highest of his career. His numbers have been built primarily through connections with N’Keal Harry and Julian Edelman, who are tied for the team lead in targets (18) and receptions (13).

Despite offseason uncertainty surrounding Edelman’s ability to flourish without Tom Brady under center, the 34-year old is averaging 9 targets per game. Edelman easily leads the Patriots in receiving yards (236) which has vaulted him to third overall in that category. He has never exceeded a 7.9 yards per target average during his first 10 seasons but is now averaging 13.1 after two games. His average of 18.2 yards per reception is also 5.9 yards more than his previous season-high. Edelman is also first overall in percentage share of air yards (51.1)

Harry’s underwhelming 2019 season has been well documented. The Patriots invested a first-round selection on Harry during the NFL Draft, after he had accumulated 213 receptions, and generated 2,899 yards at Arizona State. There were conflicting opinions regarding his chances for success at the NFL level, as concerns about his ability to gain separation were blended with optimism regarding his propensity to secure contested throws.

A lingering ankle issue sidelined him from Weeks 1-10, and he ended the season with just 24 targets, 12 receptions, and 105 yards. But he has already surpassed last season’s reception and yardage totals with his career-best results against Seattle in Week 2.

Damiere Byrd is a distant third in the major receiving categories, as New England will be reliant on Edelman and Harry to operate as Newton's primary weapons. This should reward anyone who waited until Round 7 to select Edelman. It could also provide a massive reward for anyone who refused to dismiss Harry following his forgettable rookie year.

 

4. There is a very good chance that you became aware of the "Let Russ Cook” campaign that escalated as we approached Week 1. However, there is a combination of factors that have propelled Wilson into an exceptional start to his ninth professional season. Seattle’s offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has migrated from the field into the booth for his playcalling while making various adjustments to the attack. Wilson has also been maximizing his opportunities when spearheading Seattle’s aerial assault.

Wilson is averaging 31.5 attempts per game - which is actually below his average from last season (32.5) but also higher than his average from 2018 (26.7 per game). He has performed exceptionally during his matchups against Atlanta and New England and is now 24th in attempts (63), but ninth in completions (52). Wilson also leads the NFL in completion percentage (81.5), and touchdown percentage (14.3) and is also third with a quarterback rating of 88.9.

His 9.7 yards per attempt average is the highest of his career, while his league-high nine touchdowns has enabled him to construct a stellar 9:1 touchdown to interception ratio. Wilson’s proficiency has been also extremely beneficial for anyone who secured D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett for their rosters. Metcalf is seventh in receiving yards and 14th in air yards. He is also second in both yards per receptions (23.4) and percentage share of air yards (50.9), while the second-year receiver is also sixth in yards per target (13.4) and completed air yards (140).

 

 

Metcalf’s unique blend of size, speed, and athleticism also remains a problematic matchup for opposing defenders. This was displayed to a national audience during the Seahawks’ Sunday night encounter against New England when Stephon Gilmore was forced to endure a rare nightmarish experience. Lockett has attained a team-best 26.7 target share, is tied for seventh in receptions (15), and is pacing the Seahawks with 16 targets. He is also tied for 15th with eight receptions for first downs and joins Metcalf among the top four in snap count percentage (Metcalf 99.2%/Lockett 94.4%). Fantasy GMs that have Metcalf or Lockett on their rosters should experience more favorable results as the Seahawks progress through their schedule.

 

 

5. After Dallas selected CeeDee Lamb 17th overall during last April‘s NFL draft, there were conflicting opinions regarding the timeline for Lamb to become a regular contributor to the Cowboys’ aerial attack. But the immensely talented rookie is already blending favorably into a passing offense that ranked second in 2019. Lamb is tied for 23rd in targets (15), and just delivered his first 100-yard performance against Atlanta (106).

Amari Cooper has been undeterred by Lamb’s presence, while rewarded his managers with a sizzling start. Cooper is currently tied for second in targets (23), tied for third in receptions (18), and ninth in air yards (234). Cooper also leads the Cowboys in targets, receptions, receiving yards (181), while Lamb is second in each category (15/ targets/11 receptions/165 yards).

There were questions regarding Lamb’s potential impact on Michael Gallup, who seemed primed to achieve breakout status before Lamb was drafted. Gallup has delivered a late-season statistical surge in 2019, by finishing in a tie for eighth among all receivers in targets (67) and fifth in receiving yards (653) from Weeks 10-17. But Gallup is now third behind both teammates (10 targets/5 receptions/108 yards) after two matchups.

Cooper has also attained the highest target share (27.4) and leads in percentage share of air yards (37.4). Lamb is second in team target share (19.0), followed by Gallup (10.7). However, Gallup is second in percentage share of air yards (23.5) and leads the trio in snap count percentage (93.5).

Both Cooper and Lamb have captured two red-zone targets. But Lamb is the only member of the receiving unit that has collected opportunities inside both the 10-yard line and the 5-yard line. When these numbers have been fully absorbed it indicates that Cooper is entrenched as a low-end WR1 for fantasy GMs, while Lamb is rapidly approaching WR3 status. Anyone who drafted Gallup will not receive the level of scoring that would have been delivered if he was still operating as the Cowboys’ clear RB2.



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