Week Two Fantasy Football Workshop: Win Your League
Week Two Fantasy Football Workshop
Every week in the fantasy football workshop, I will go through all the important news + notes, take a look at any important statistical oddities that can improve our process in fantasy football (and help our rosters) while also posting my rest-of-season rankings. The idea behind this space is to give readers an insight into how rankings are made and for all of us to keep track of players’ values throughout the course of the season.
Week One Fantasy Football News And Notes
-Phillip Lindsay is dealing with an injured toe. This is basically a death knell for running backs and if you are heavily invested in Lindsay, you would probably rather him take a few weeks off (or longer) and come back healthy while Melvin Gordon grinds himself into dust as opposed to try and play through this injury. Royce Freeman is the teams’ 2nd RB now.
– George Kittle has officially suffered a knee sprain from the 49ers game against the Cardinals. If Kittle was not able to go for the next several weeks while Deebo Samuel remained on the IR, we would have legit interest in Jordan Reed in all PPR formats. Trent Taylor also picks up a little value if Kittle were unable to play.
– Lamar Miller is visiting with the Colts after Marlon Mack was placed on season-ending injured reserve. The veteran would not seriously threaten Jonathan Taylor or Nyheim Hines’ snaps in a meaningful way.
– From Daniel Popper, a Chargers beat reporter: “Anthony Lynn said the new scheme — primarily the increased QB and pocket movement — will limit check downs to RBs, including Austin Ekeler, who only had one target Sunday. But he said it’s still a priority to get Ekeler touches moving forward.” To be honest, with Tyrod Taylor under center, you’re very likely to be disappointed in your Austin Ekeler investments.
– Courtland Sutton is reportedly “improving” on Tuesday but given that the Broncos are playing the Steelers this week, we would probably prefer for Sutton to rest for another week and get as close to full health as possible.
– DeSean Jackson was supposedly on a pitch count in Week One and his reps are likely to increase week over week. At the same time, Zach Ertz is very unhappy about his contract with the Eagles and wants an extension. With Alshon Jeffrey still sidelined, there is a wide-open role for the younger Eagles players (Jalen Reagor, Dallas Goedert and Miles Sanders) to really assert themselves. We are buying on Reagor and Goedert.
– Le’Veon Bell is expected to miss multiple weeks though to be honest, I am having a hard time coming up with actionable fantasy football information from this. Maybe it funnels more targets to Chris Herndon and Jamison Crowder?
– Blake Jarwin is out of the season for the Dallas Cowboys. The starting tight end job should now belong to Dalton Schultz, while Blake Bell will perhaps see increased snaps. This further cements CeeDee Lamb as an every-down player as Dallas has basically no choice now.
– Michael Thomas has a high ankle sprain; while it is always brutal for your first-round pick in fantasy to sustain an injury, I am not really sure there is anything you can do as an MT owner. Perhaps the best case is a few weeks of rest while Tre’Quan Smith plays in his spot though the team expects him to be ready for Week Two.
– Duke Johnson’s ankle injury that happened all the way back LAST Thursday, is not expected to be healed up for this weeks’ game against the Ravens. David Johnson should have a near-bell cow level workload even in a horribly tough matchup.
– David Njoku has been placed on the injured reserve, which was really the only chance that Austin Hooper of retaining fantasy relevance after Njoku played far better than him in Week One.
Week One Team Level Fantasy Football Analysis And Player Usage Notes
-Last year one of my favorite things in fantasy football was using the Air Yards charts (that are normally found from AirYards.com but with the NFL working through some data issue at the moment, are instead from AddMoreFunds.com for right now) to create something I called the “Unrealized Air Yards” chart as well as “Unrealized Fantasy Points” which was basically just to see how many fantasy points wide receivers were leaving on the field. The formula is not tricky, it is just Air Yards subtracted by actual yards as well as yards after the catch.
This is the table after Week One:
-Some of the big takeaways here is that even in limited playing time, DeSean Jackson and Jalen Reagor had much bigger fantasy days that were left out on the field. If you can send a small deal for Jalen Reagor, I would encourage you to do so.
-If Seattle keeps up a neutral pass rate of above 60%, Russell Wilson is going to be a top-three fantasy QB and DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are both excellent buys. Given that Lockett is coming off of the “quieter” game, I would send some fair trade offers for him right now.
-After one week, we are already at disaster levels of no workhorses existing at the RB position in the NFL!
-Only five running backs in all of the game (heading into Monday night with this data set incomplete) played 70% of more of their teams’ snaps in Week One. If you have one of these workhorse running backs, even guys getting over 60% of their team’s backfield work, you hold on to them.
-If you thought the state of the running back position in the NFL was rough, wait until you see the tight end position.
-With Zach Ertz and George Kittle having reduced roles in Week One for their teams, the amount of tight ends who are seeing 20% or more of their teams’ targets is a funny list as Chris Herndon, Jimmy Graham and Logan Thomas are all legit adds after Week One.