NFL Week 2 in Review: Patience / Pause / Panic
Two weeks is way too early to panic... Or is it? Jayson Braddock tries to make sense of some early fantasy football disappointments.
I look back at the Week 2 performances and decide which ones you should show patience with, others that should give you pause, and the ones that I’m hitting the panic button on.
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Time to Hit the Panic Button?
- Zach Wilson - I still encourage you to exercise patience. Bill Belichick can do a number on rookie quarterbacks. The four interceptions are sports talk-worthy, but not relevant to the progression of the prospect as a fantasy option. Wilson has a stacked deck joining the second-worst team in the NFL, already sacked an NFL-high 10 times with Braxton Berrios, rookie Elijah Moore and tight ends Tyler Kroft and Ryan Griffin as his top targets when the defense takes away Corey Davis.
- Corey Davis - It’s easy to get frustrated with a receiver after he only has two catches for eight yards on five targets. There are no weapons to pull attention away from Davis and the offensive line doesn’t give Wilson the time to consistently take advantage of Davis later in routes. He’ll have off weeks due to how the defense focuses on him but the big weeks will be there as well.
- Mike Davis - He rushed nine times for 38 yards with seven receptions on seven targets for 25 yards. Cordarrelle Patterson saw seven carries for 11 yards but had a rushing touchdown to go with his receiving touchdown on six targets with five receptions for 58 yards. Patterson is a part of this backfield but can’t be relied on in pass protection. He may vulture the touchdowns some week, but Davis has 20+ point weeks in store for this season in PPR leagues.
- Mark Andrews - He’s only had eight receptions on 10 targets for 77 yards through two games in which they averaged 32.5 points scored. Andrews has scored 17 touchdowns over the last two seasons. In each of those seasons, he’s gone four-game stretches without a touchdown. He’ll have a two-touchdown game soon.
- Allen Robinson - He hasn’t had a game with 40 receiving yards through the first two weeks. Don’t panic, help is on the way. Please do not trade Robinson. Justin Fields will make some rookie mistakes but he’ll elevate the ceiling of the Chicago Bears’ offense.
- David Montgomery - A mobile quarterback will do wonders for a running back, especially one with the talent that Montgomery displays. Fields will open up the entire offense which means higher ypc for Montgomery and more red zone attempts.
- Matt Ryan - 232 passing ypg with two TDs and three INTs? We are two weeks into Arthur Smith’s offense and it’s still ironing out the wrinkles. I mentioned before the season that some teams will be in preseason form through the first four games of the regular season as there’s not much work done in the preseason anymore. There is warranted concern here but we’ll give it another week or two, allowing for chemistry.
- Russell Gage - After being held to 0 catches on two targets in Week 1, he hauled in five receptions for a whopping 28 yards on seven targets. I guess that’s growth, technically. He’s still under the Ryan umbrella as the offense is lacking but he only has one more week before he’s bumped to panic with the limitations on production.
- Josh Allen - His completion percentage of 56 is the lowest it’s been since his rookie season. He’s averaging only 225 passing yards and 40 rushing yards a game with three total touchdowns, none via the ground. He’s coming off of his breakout season and it’s worth monitoring to see if this is regression or a slow start.
- Joe Burrow - He’s been sacked nine times, tied with Ryan Tannehill for the second-most in the league. He’s thrown four touchdowns with three interceptions. He’ll face a Pittsburgh Steelers team this week that is 29th in passing yards given up per game and are 25th in interception rate and 18th in sack rate. He needs to show something in this game.
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire - He’s rushed the ball at least 13 times in each game but has yet to crack 50 rushing yards or record a touchdown. His value really took a hit last game as he wasn’t targeted in the passing game. He’ll be on the panic list next week if he doesn’t maximize his opportunity against the Los Angeles Chargers’ rush defense that is giving up the second-most yards per carry this season at 5.59. The only team giving up more ypc is the Kansas City Chiefs at 6.03.
- Justin Herbert - He’s thrown for 337 yards and 338 yards while completing over 70% of his passes but only has two touchdowns to go with his three interceptions. He has an advantageous matchup this week with the Kansas City Chiefs defense that is giving up 9.9 yards per pass play. Only the Detroit Lions are giving up more per play.
- Robert Woods - Cooper Kupp is taking all of the work. Kupp will continue to be the top receiver this season but I’d expect Woods to perform at a higher level, going forward than the four receptions for 40 yards per game he’s averaging through two weeks.
- Ryan Tannehill - Only Zach Wilson has been sacked more than the nine times Tannehill has this season. He’s thrown 75 passes in two games and has one passing touchdown to show for it. He’ll face an Indianapolis Colts team this week that has given up the third-most passing yards per play.
- D.J. Chark - He only has four receptions on 16 targets for 105 yards and a touchdown. A 25% catch rate would typically lead to an automatic panic category after two games. Trevor Lawrence is struggling with his accuracy and reading the defense. He was only 2/7 when throwing to Laviska Shenault. The lack of chemistry due to Chark missing the preseason with surgery to his finger is showing more with Chark and Lawrence but it’s showing throughout the roster as Lawrence only completed 14 of 33 passes (42%) in his last game. As Lawrence improves, Chark will flourish.
- Jonathan Taylor - He hasn’t cracked 60 rushing yards in a game despite 15 carries each week. Carson Wentz is banged up and the Colts didn’t use the initial injury as a warning to get a better backup quarterback. The offensive line is dealing with injuries weekly and Jacob Eason isn’t going to keep defenders from keying on Taylor. Unless the Colts finally trade for a quarterback, Taylor will continue to struggle.
- James Robinson - He’s the lead guy but the problem is the offense isn’t going anywhere. Trevor Lawrence has the offense stalled until he can consistently move the chains. Robinson isn’t getting many red zone carries in this offense to salvage his value.
- Trevor Lawrence - At 42/84 for 50% with four touchdowns and five interceptions, Lawrence has a ways to go as a starter. It’s going to be a long process as Urban Meyer is already looking to pull his Bobby Petrino exit.
- New England WR/TEs - Through two games they don’t have any players to reach 100 receiving yards total. The group has one touchdown (Nelson Agholor).
- Alvin Kamara - 28 carries for 88 yards this season (3.1 ypc). He also has seven receptions for 33 yards and a touchdown. It’s a lot harder when Drew Brees isn’t the quarterback.
- Marquez Callaway - Three receptions on six targets for 22 yards. His hype was built on a small sample size, so two games is long enough for this experiment.
- Saquon Barkley - He’s had 23 carries for 83 yards (3.6 ypc) with three receptions on six targets for 13 yards. He had 41 yards on one carry and 42 yards on his other 22 carries.
Recap last week’s Panic List:
- Najee Harris and Ben Roethlisberger - Both failed to alleviate concerns
- Indy’s WRs other than Zach Pascal - Pascal caught another TD. Pittman came alive.
- A.J. Green - Kyler Murray was 5/12 (7 inc) to Green -- 45/51 (6 inc) to top 5 RB/WR/TE combined.
- Jets’ RBs - Michael Carter showing a little bit of life.
- Terry McLaurin - The one guy from last week I’d say I put on the panic list too early.
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