Analysis

9/17/23

6 min read

2023 Fantasy Football: Takeaways From Every Week 2 Game

Houston Texans safety M.J. Stewart (29) tries to tackle Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson (5) as he rushes in a touchdown Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, during a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium in Houston

These need-to-know takeaways from each NFL Week 2 game provide immediately actionable fantasy football information.

Top 5 Takeaways

Minnesota Vikings 28 vs. Philadelphia Eagles 34

Philadelphia Eagles RB D’Andre Swift dominated Thursday Night Football, one week after Kenneth Gainwell debuted as the team’s Week 1 surprise starter. A rib injury prevented Gainwell from taking the field on Thursday, clearing the runway for Swift’s liftoff. Fantasy managers should expect Swift to remain Philadelphia’s lead back.

Gainwell totaled 54 yards rushing on 14 rushing attempts and caught all four of his targets for 20 yards receiving in Week 1. Swift rushed 28 times for 175 yards and one touchdown, adding three receptions and 6 yards receiving on three targets.

The table below compares Gainwell’s Week 1 efficiency and usage data to Swift’s in Week 2.

Philadelphia Eagles RBs Kenneth Gainwell in Week 1 D’Andre Swift in Week 2
Yards per Rush Att. 3.9 6.3
Yards After Contact per Rush Att. 1.79 3.32
TPRR - YPRR 25.0% - 1.25 17.6% - 0.35
aDot  -0.25 -1.67
Yards After Catch per Rec. 5.25 3.67
3+4 & Long (Team Share) 6 (50.0%) 9 (69.2%)
2-Min. Drill (Team Share) 2  (66.6%) 6 (75.0%)
Green Zone Snaps (Team Share) 2 (50.0%) 10 (100.0%)

TPRR refers to a player’s per-route target rate. YPRR refers to yards per route run. aDot refers to average depth of target. 3+4 & Long refers to third- and fourth-down with 3 or more yards to go. The green zone is the space between the opponent’s 10-yard line and its end zone.

Both played efficiently, but Swift’s 6.3 yards per rushing attempt ranks No. 3 among 17 NFL running backs with at least 10 Week 2 rushing attempts after the early-Sunday slate. 

Coach Nick Sirianni displayed total trust in Swift, frequently deploying him on passing downs and scoring positions. Swift will push for a top-12 points-per-reception (PPR) ranking against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3. 

San Francisco 49ers 30 vs. Los Angeles Rams 23

Los Angeles Rams RB Kyren Williams and WR Puka Nacua made good on their Top Week 2 Waiver Wire Targets listings.

Williams relegated Cam Akers to an inactive, trade-bait castoff before pulverizing San Francisco’s defensive front (100 yards from scrimmage, two total touchdowns and six receptions on 10 targets) en route to an overall RB2 finish (28.00 PPR points) entering Sunday Night Football. 

Nacua set a pair of records this week, becoming the first player to produce consecutive games with 10-plus receptions and 100-plus receiving yards to start a career. His 25 receptions are the most ever through a player’s first two games. Nacua’s 35 targets lead all NFL players by 10. 

New York Giants 31 vs. Arizona Cardinals 28

New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley suffered a fourth-quarter injury bearing the exterior-impact mechanism consistent with high-ankle and MCL sprains. 

Veteran backup Matt Breida will be a priority waiver wire add this week, and rookie pass-catching RB Eric Gray will be a recommended bench stash. The Giants play at San Francisco on Thursday night.

Indianapolis Colts 31 vs. Houston Texans 20

Indianapolis Colts rookie QB Anthony Richardson scored 17.74 fantasy points before leaving the game to be evaluated for a concussion. 

Regardless of the test’s outcome, a trip to the locker room results in the player’s automatic entry into the concussion protocol, barring a return to the field unless concussion symptoms can be attributed to a pre-existing condition.

Richardson totaled 56 yards passing, 35 yards rushing and two touchdowns rushing in just 16 minutes of play. He should be started as an elite fantasy football QB1 upon clearing concussion protocol.

Baltimore Ravens 27 vs. Cincinnati Bengals 24

Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow re-aggravated his preseason calf injury against Baltimore, putting him at an elevated risk for an Achilles rupture, per DPT Jeff Mueller

Fantasy managers should expect all pass catchers to perform less efficiently while Burrow is injured. His ability to transfer weight while throwing has been compromised. No. 2 QB Jake Browning has a chance to start in Week 3.


Remaining Storylines

Green Bay Packers 24 vs. Atlanta Falcons 25

Green Bay Packers QB Jordan Love’s 21.67 fantasy points per game and 25 percent 15-plus-yard aDot rate rank No. 4 among NFL quarterbacks. 

His accomplishments have come with No. 1 WR Christian Watson inactive (hamstring strain), indicating Love hasn’t reached his ceiling yet. 

Las Vegas Raiders 10 vs. Buffalo Bills 38

The Las Vegas Raiders’ defense has allowed opposing wide receivers a league-high 83.9 percent catch rate. The Raiders’ defensive backs should be targeted on a weekly basis in wide receiver Start vs. Sit decisions. 

Seattle Seahawks 37 vs. Detroit Lions 31

Detroit Lions No. 1 RB David Montgomery suffered a late-third-quarter quad injury that caused multiple DPTs to suspect meniscus or MCL involvement. 

Although No. 2 RB Jahmyr Gibbs led the team with four fourth-quarter targets, No. 3 RB Craig Reynolds immediately filled Montgomery’s lead rushing role, out-carrying Gibbs three to one. 

Kansas City Chiefs 17 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars 9

Jacksonville Jaguars No. 1 WR Calvin Ridley suffered a potential patella (kneecap) bruise, which could partly explain his poor Week 2 outing: two receptions for 32 yards receiving on eight targets. 

Chicago Bears 17 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27

Buccaneers QB Baker Mayfield and No. 1 WR Mike Evans have formed a powerful connection. Mayfield has elevated to quarterback-streamer status, and Evans pushes for a top-12 Week 3 ranking. 

Evans’ 237 yards receiving in 2023 trail only Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson (309). Evans’ two touchdowns receiving tie him for the positional lead. 

Los Angeles Chargers 24 vs. Tennessee Titans 27

Tennessee Titans WR Treylon Burks’ three receptions and 76 yards receiving on four targets (23.5 percent TPRR, 4.47 YPRR) have him trending toward a second-year leap. 

Fantasy managers should expect DeAndre Hopkins to be slowed for multiple weeks after his Week 1 high-ankle sprain, allowing Burks to solidify his status as Tennessee’s alpha wide receiver.

New York Jets 10 vs. Dallas Cowboys 30

New York coach Robert Saleh continues to smartly ease in RB Breece Hall following his ACL reconstruction. Meanwhile, temporary starter Dalvin Cook does little to maintain a prominent role once Hall’s ramp-up concludes circa Weeks 4-5.

Among 34 NFL running backs with at least 15 rushing attempts, Cook’s 2.4 yards per rushing attempt ranks No. 32, and his surgically repaired left shoulder directly contributed to Dallas edge rusher Micah Parsons' forced fumble

Washington Commanders 35 vs. Denver Broncos 33

Denver Broncos rookie wide receiver Marvin Mims is making the most of his 14 total routes run in 2023. Mims has 122 receiving yards, tied for No. 23 among 188 NFL wide receivers with at least four targets. His usage should rise exponentially in the coming weeks.


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