WEEK 2 FANTASY FOOTBALL RB, WR & TE YARDAGE STAT ANALYSIS
Welcome to Crunching the Numbers. Every week, we take a look at who’s dominating the Fantasy stat world, examining yards per carry, yards after the catch, catch rate, receptions and yards and targets per game to help you see who’s making the most of their opportunities. We evaluate players weekly based on those categories. As savvy owners know, Total Fantasy points, along with player yardage and touchdowns are easy stats to come by each week. We delve a little deeper into the numbers to give you a more informed perspective.
Disclaimer: As in any scenario, don’t evaluate players based on one statistic alone. Check out RotoExperts’ suite of analysis for even more stats, rankings and players to watch.
Yards per carry (YPC) measures explosiveness and the ability to find holes between the tackles, making it a crucial indicator of running back potential. High YPC is hard to sustain because it tends to go down as carries increase, which is why some “stud” RBs may fall lower on this list. For a running back, YPC above 4.5 is generally very good. Anything above 5.0 is excellent. Anything below 4.0 stinks. Here are the Top 25 RBs with at least 10 carries in Week 2 ranked by YPC. Ties go to the player with more carries. For historical purposes, we'll also track YPC over the season, as well as yards per game (YPG) and receptions per game (RPG) for you PPR nuts out there.
|Running Back||YPC (Week 2)||YPC Season||Carries per Game||RPG||YPG|
|Dexter McCluster (TEN)||9.8||8.8||6.0||2.0||66.0|
|Matt Jones (WAS)||6.5||6.0||12.5||1.5||87.0|
|Giovani Bernard (CIN)||6.2||6.6||14.0||4.5||113.5|
|Jamaal Charles (KC)||6.0||4.9||18.5||4.5||115.0|
|LeSean McCoy (BUF)||5.9||4.1||16.0||3.0||101.5|
|Melvin Gordon (SD)||5.5||4.6||15.0||2.0||82.5|
|James Starks (GB)||4.8||4.4||11.0||2.0||54.0|
|Adrian Peterson (MIN)||4.6||4.2||19.5||2.5||122.0|
|Justin Forsett (BAL)||4.5||3.8||14.5||4.0||68.0|
|Latavius Murray (OAK)||4.3||4.2||13.0||5.0||83.5|
|Matt Forte (CHI)||4.1||5.2||19.5||4.5||135.5|
|Chris Ivory (NYJ)||4.1||4.4||17.0||1.5||80.0|
|Jeremy Hill (CIN)||3.9||3.5||14.5||1.0||52.0|
|DeAngelo Williams (PIT)||3.8||5.0||20.5||2.5||112.0|
|Frank Gore (IND)||3.8||3.8||11.5||1.5||46.0|
|Doug Martin (TB)||3.7||4.1||16.0||1.5||76.0|
|Chris Johnson (ARI)||3.6||3.6||15.0||0.0||54.5|
|Jonathan Stewart (CAR)||3.6||3.4||17.5||2.5||70.0|
|Bishop Sankey (TEN)||3.5||4.8||12.0||1.0||64.0|
|Carlos Hyde (SF)||3.3||5.4||19.5||3.0||121.5|
|Alfred Morris (WAS)||3.3||4.2||21.5||1.0||96.5|
|Bilal Powell (NYJ)||3.2||4.2||12.0||3.0||66.0|
|Darren McFadden (DAL)||3.1||2.9||8.0||1.5||43.5|
|TJ Yeldon (JAX)||2.8||3.3||18.5||3.0||75.0|
|Joseph Randle (DAL)||2.8||3.4||17.0||2.0||86.0|
Yards per Carry: Week 1, the Patriots gave up 6.0 YPC on 20-plus totes to a 32-year-old RB. Week 2, they gave up 4.9 YPC to an RB with a bum hamstring who looked for much of the week like he might not even be active Sunday. Rookie T.J. Yeldon gets that defense Week 3, and while the Jaguars may have trouble keeping the scoring close enough the entire game to keep feeding him the ball, Yeldon could be in line for a breakout came if given the rock as often as he has gotten it the last two weeks. Yeldon is currently averaging 18.5 carries per game, and while he is only averaging 3.3 YPC, the Patriots might be the opposing run defense to bring out the best in him. If he can't get it going again this run D, I'd temper my expectations for him a bit in redraft leagues. Dexter McCluster had a top-ranked 9.8 YPC Week 2 among RBs who had at least 10 carries. He took the lid off a Browns rush defense that Chris Ivory destroyed the week prior for 4.3 YPC on 20-plus carries and two TDs. Latavius Murray gets that Browns defense Week 3 and after a strong performance against the Ravens (4.3 YPC) to go with his 4.2 YPC so far on the year, I think he's a top value in Daily Fantasy Leagues and an RB1 upside start in Week 3, especially in PPR leagues.
Rookie Matt Jones also impressed in this category Week 2 (6.5 YPC) and now has 6.0 YPC on the season. He's averaging 12.5 carries per game, but let's not forget that Alfred Morris is still averaging more – a league-high 21.5 carries per game, in fact. Morris has been doing well with that volume (4.2 YPC) so while I expect Jones to see more action on the field, I wouldn't expect Morris to fade off into the sunset either. DeAngelo Wiliams had a stellar start to the season (5.0 YPC on second-highest 20.5 average carries per game), but it's just not going to continue with the return of Le'Veon Bell. Yes, he'll get some action to spell Bell, but Bell's still the back the Steelers will use in the receiving game and at the goal line. In very deep leagues he may be worth holding on to but I'm more down on his outlook for the rest of the season than others.
Receptions per Game: No RB who averages at least 10 carries per game has more receptions per game than Latavius Murray (5.0). Again, expect this to continue in what I anticipate will be a studly performance against the Browns rush defense Week 3. Giovani Bernard, Jamaal Charles and Matt Forte are all averaging 4.5 receptions per game, and if Jeremy Hill continues to fumble the ball, Bernard may well end up a steal in most PPR drafts this season. Also of note, Jets Bilal Powell is averaging three receptions per game to go with his 12 carries per game and seems to be the RB the team will go to on third-downs. While he's no threat to take anything from Chris Ivory, he does have some potential value in deeper PPR leagues (averaging more than five yards per catch as well).
Average yards after the catch (AYAC) is to wide receivers as YPC is to RBs. The more catches a receiver has, the harder it is to sustain a higher AYAC. Here are the Top 25 receivers (including tight ends) who have averaged at least five receptions per game ranked by AYAC. (total YAC accumulated from Week One to date divided by total receptions.) For trending purposes, we'll track weekly receptions, targets and catch rate, and receptions, targets and yards per game (RPG, TPG and YPG) over the season. The closer RPG is to TPG, the better the QB-WR connection, though opposing defenses also factor into that equation.
|Wide Receiver||AYAC Season||Receptions (Wk2)||Targets (Wk2)||Catch Rate (Season)||RPG||TPG|
|Stevie Johnson (SD)||8.9||5||6||91.7%||5.5||6.0|
|Amari Cooper (OAK)||8.8||7||11||60.0%||6.0||10.0|
|Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG)||8.2||7||12||60.0%||6.0||10.0|
|Travis Kelce (KC)||8.0||4||5||90.9%||5.0||5.5|
|Ladarius Green (SC)||7.9||5||6||83.3%||5.0||6.0|
|Rob Gronkowski (NEP)||6.1||7||13||57.1%||6.0||10.5|
|Jordan Matthews (PHI)||6.1||6||9||72.7%||8.0||11.0|
|Jarvis Landry (MIA)||6.0||8||10||72.7%||8.0||11.0|
|Jared Cook (STL)||5.7||5||7||76.9%||5.0||6.5|
|Antonio Brown (PIT)||5.6||9||11||81.8%||9.0||11.0|
|Julio Jones (ATL)||5.5||13||15||84.6%||11.0||13.0|
|Jordan Reed (WAS)||5.5||6||6||76.5%||6.5||8.5|
|TY Hilton (IND)||5.4||4||7||52.4%||5.5||10.5|
|Cecil Shorts (HOU)||5.3||6||12||50.0%||5.0||10.0|
|Randall Cobb (GB)||5.2||8||11||81.3%||6.5||8.0|
|Steve Smith Sr. (BAL)||5.0||10||16||52.2%||6.0||11.5|
|Keenan Allen (SD)||4.9||2||4||81.0%||8.5||10.5|
|Golden Tate (DET)||4.8||6||10||55.6%||5.0||9.0|
|Brandon Marshall (NYJ)||4.5||7||10||68.4%||6.5||9.5|
|Julian Edelman (NEP)||4.4||11||19||71.0%||11.0||15.5|
|Tyler Eifert (CIN)||4.2||4||5||76.5%||6.5||8.5|
|Donte Montcrief (IND)||4.2||7||9||68.4%||6.5||9.5|
|Calvin Johnson (DET)||3.8||10||17||54.5%||6.0||11.0|
|Rishard Matthews (MIA)||3.7||6||7||76.9%||5.0||6.5|
|Larry Fitzgerald (AZ)||3.6||8||9||82.4%||7.0||8.5|
Yards After the Catch: Stevie Johnson continued his resurgence this season, notching another five catches (and a TD) in Week 2, for a top-ranked 8.9 average yards after the catch among receivers who average at least five receptions per game. Johnson also boasts the highest catch rate in that receiving group (91.7 percent) and appears to have already cemented himself in the trust of Philip Rivers, which bodes well for the rest of his Fantasy season. He faces a tough test Week 3 in the Vikings, which has been the second stingiest defense to opposing Fantasy WRs (behind Broncos) through two weeks. Somehow, though, I feel Rivers will find a way to get Johnson the ball and make Stevie a viable flex again
No. 2 in this stat category is Amari Cooper (8.8 average YAC), followed by Odell Beckham Jr. (8.2 YAC) and a slate of TEs, which we expect – they're bigger bodies naturally lend themselves to more yards after the catch. Fantasy owners needlessly started panicking on Cooper and to a degree Beckham after a dismal Week 1 from both, but fear not. Beckham is back to being Beckham, and clearly, Cooper has a blossoming rapport with David Carr. Cooper has a tougher test against Joe Haden and the Browns Week 3, but he's already shown he can outmaneuver Patrick Peterson so I wouldn't be too worried.
Catch Rate: Next to Stevie Johnson, Travis Kelce is the only other receiver with at least five receptions per game and a catch rate above 90 percent. No. 3 in this category is Julio Jones (84.6 percent), which is all the more impressive given his average of 13 targets per game. Fantasy owners likely were stupefied by Roddy White's complete lack of production Week 2 and unfortunately we can expect to see this whenever Matt Ryan has a fairly easy time of getting the ball to Jones. He'll target him every single time if he's open. Cowboys have been Top 5 against opposing Fantasy WRs, so White may get more action this week. Jones is followed by Ladarius Green (83.3 percent). Again, we expect this with tight ends because they often aren't as targeted as the wide receivers are downfield. Second among WRs in this category through two weeks is Larry Fitzgerald, whose impressive 82.4 percent catch rate is a compliment to his connection with QB Carson Palmer. Fantasy owners benefited from the duo last week and as long as Palmer is healthy, Fitz remains a viable WR2 with upside week in and week out. Antonio Brown and Randall Cobb are also known for superior connections with their QBs and their catch rates – 81.8 percent and 81.3 percent, respectively, through two weeks – continue to support that. Of note, Cecil Shorts (50 percent) and Steve Smith Sr. (52.2 percent) have the lowest catch rates among receivers average at least five receptions per game. I don't expect that to change dramatically with Shorts given his quarterback situation, but it should improve a bit once Ryan Mallet gets settled in the starting job. We already saw the chemistry improve between Smith and Joe Flacco after a Week 1 that saw them face a Broncos defense that is currently giving up the least amount of Fantasy points to opposing WRs.
Receptions per Game: Through two weeks, Julio Jones and Julian Edelman are tied for most receptions per game (11.0). Edelman is on pace to nearly double his average receptions per game last season (6.5) and though it's expected the Patriots will run the ball a bit more at some point, Tom Brady and the passing game don't appear to be slowing down any time soon. The ever-steady Antonio Brown is second in this category (9.0), followed by Keenan Allen (8.5), though Allen's stat is driven entirely by a spectacular Week 1 that he followed up with a dreary Week 2 (two receptions on four targets).
Targets per Game: Edelman is the most targeted wide receiver through two weeks (averaging 15.5 targets per game), which is a bit surprising – we expect that to go to Jones or Brown, but they'll likely resume their reign at some point in the coming weeks. Jones is No. 2, followed by Demaryius Thomas, who earns his first mention in this column here. Thomas is averaging 12.5 targets per game but has only caught 60 percent of his passes – an indication of the struggle we've seen thus far with Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense but one I expect to dissipate as the players get their footing in
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