The injury bug had a healthy appetite in week two, taking down multiple starting quarterbacks and several other select players. For more detailed injury news and notes, always be sure to check out the Monday Injury Rounds from our own Jene Bramel. But aside from the bumps and bruises, week two gives us an opportunity to compare usage notes to search for stability.
Putting together these notes is the most important part of my weekly process. Especially for pass catchers, we know that snaps lead to routes. Routes lead to targets. Targets lead to receptions and fantasy production. Picking up the scent before our opponents is a very important winning edge. It puts us ahead of the field on the waiver wire and leads us to find value among overlooked DFS options. So, let's dive in - shall we?
Routes run and dropback data in this article is from Pro Football Focus. I prefer to focus on the percentage of routes run which is simply a player's routes divided by the team's total dropbacks. Terms: RMS = Rushing Market Share, TMS = Target Market Share, RR% = Routes Run percentage (of dropbacks)
- In a much more competitive game than their week one blowout over Tennessee, Kyler Murray accounted for 24% of the team's rushes - up from 15% in week one.
- Rondale Moore's role is growing in this offense and the team has made it a focus to get the ball to him when he is on the field. His 59% routes run was up 20% from week one. Until he can unseat Christian Kirk and/or A.J. Green, his blowup games will be spotty and unpredictable.
- Cordarrelle Patterson broke out with two touchdowns in this game but still trailed Mike Davis 64% to 33% in snaps and 45% to 35% in rush attempts. His role could grow.
- Russell Gage battled injuries throughout this game which opened the door for Olamide Zaccheaus. Zaccheaus is a prototypical DFS punt play if Gage misses week three.
- Kyle Pitts ran twice as many routes as Hayden Hurst (80% to 40%) as the featured pass-catching tight end.
- Lamar Jackson has boasted an other-worldly 35% and 39% rush attempt market share through two games. And he seems to be dialing in his accuracy through the air.
- Ty'Son Williams (49% snaps, 32% RMS) is not as far ahead of Latavius Murray (36% snaps, 22% RMS) as initial "workhorse" reports indicated.
- Marquise Brown saw an astonishing 40% TMS in week two against Kansas City.
- Sammy Watkins ran 100% of routes.
- In his first active game of the season, Zack Moss scored twice. However, Devin Singletary (66% snaps) was the clear number one option.
- The Bills took their foot off the gas in this game, but Dawson Knox saw a significant improvement in his playing time and routes run.
- Christian McCaffrey missed portions of this game dealing with calf cramps which revealed that Chuba Hubbard is the locked-and-loaded handcuff in this offense.
- The tight end position is simply not a part of this offense as no tight end topped 40% of routes run in week two.
- An injury to Andy Dalton created an opportunity for Justin Fields, who failed to amaze in his first bit of extended action. He did, however, account for 29% of the team's rush attempts while playing two-thirds of the game.
- David Montgomery's snaps predictably grew from his injury-limited week one performance.
- Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney are locked-in starters with Damiere Byrd and Marquise Goodwin trading off as the number three option.
- Cole Kmet (72% snaps, 61% RR) has completely lapped Jimmy Graham (34% snaps, 27% RR) as the starting tight end.
- Joe Mixon had every single rush attempt in this offense.
- The target distribution will vary by matchup but Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd are all averaging 86% RR or better.
- Don't sleep on C.J. Uzomah who has logged north of 70% snaps and routes in each game this season.
- Kareem Hunt (13) had more rush attempts than Nick Chubb (11). This doesn't seem super likely to repeat, but it is a fair warning that Nick Chubb does not have locked-in volume.
- The first-quarter injury to Jarvis Landry led to plenty of two-tight-end sets for the Browns. However, the big riser was Rashard Higgins who jumped right in for 70% of the team's snaps.
- Browns tight ends combined for 57% of the team's targets.
- While Tony Pollard has been outplaying Ezekiel Elliott for three years by most efficiency metrics, Elliott still clung to a 71% to 34% snap differential.
- Dak Prescott did not take off for a rush at all in week two. How involved will he be in the running game moving forward? We will dive into this.
- Melvin Gordon III (59% snaps) continues to play ahead of Javonte Williams (41% snaps) and be more involved in the passing game (61% RR vs 26% RR).
- Courtland Sutton gobbled up all the targets (35% TMS) in Jerry Jeudy's absence.
- The three-wide set was predictably Courtland Sutton (82% RR), Tim Patrick (82% RR), and K.J. Hamler (74% RR).
- Noah Fant has shown consistently strong target presence (21% and 18% TMS in two games).
- T.J. Hockenson continues to look like the primary pass catcher in this bare minimum depth chart, catching 8 of 9 targets (26% TMS).
- Finding reasonable success through the air, the Lions ditched the ground game but D'Andre Swift (13 opportunities) continues to operate as the 1a while Jamaal Williams (10 opportunities) serves as the 1b.
- Quintez Cephus was the leading WR in production and opportunity despite sparing usage in week one.
Green Bay Packers
- After the week one blowout, it looked like A.J. Dillon might be poised to make his mark on the Packers backfield. Aaron Jones could not be taken off the field, however, as compiled four touchdowns on over 100 all-purpose yards.
- Davante Adams controlled 33% of the Packers' targets which did not leave much for anyone else. This should be a theme throughout 2021.
- Tyrod Taylor was injured in this game and Stanford rookie Davis Mills rose to the occasion.
- Brandin Cooks saw an astounding 50% TMS in a game where Nico Collins appears to have suffered a multi-week injury.
- With a come-from-behind script, David Johnson led the backfield in snaps (43%) while Mark Ingram II continued to operate as the primary rusher.
- Chris Conley (90% snaps) was the next man up when Nico Collins went down.
- Carson Wentz somehow managed to sprain both his ankles in week two which led Jacob Eason to conduct the final drive of the game.
- Nyheim Hines continues to pour cold water on Jonathan Taylor's ceiling but Marlon Mack (19% snaps) also made his season debut.
- Mike Strachan (no not the Hall-of-Fame defensive end) was the number three wide receiver (52% RR) with Parris Campbell out.
- Jack Doyle (75% RR) also took advantage of the opportunity resulting from no Parris Campbell.
- James Robinson stole the RB1 job back from Carlos Hyde (69% RMS vs 13% for Hyde). Robinson is clearly preferred in the passing game (61% RR vs 25%).
- Laviska Shenault Jr was banged up but continued to operate in the locked-and-loaded three-wide set with Marvin Jones Jr and D.J. Chark Jr.
- James O'Shaughnessy went down with an ankle injury early in this game and rookie Luke Farrell took over with 64% of the snaps.
Kansas City Chiefs
- Tyreek Hill was bottled up in this game which opened up throwing lanes to Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, and Byron Pringle.
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire saw zero targets despite running a route on half of Patrick Mahomes II' dropbacks.
Las Vegas Raiders
- In the absence of Josh Jacobs, Peyton Barber handled 52% of the team's rush attempts compared to Kenyan Drake's 28%. Barber saw zero targets.
- Derek Carr looks questionable for week three.
- Darren Waller's monster target share from week one was diluted down quite a bit as Henry Ruggs III was worked into the game plan more prominently (17% TMS).
Los Angeles Chargers
- After going targetless in week one, Austin Ekeler rebounded for a 23% TMS in week two.
- Justin Jackson flip-flopped roles with Larry Rountree III as the RB2 in this offense.
- Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Jalen Guyton are working as the clear three-wide set while Jared Cook plays the pass-catching role ahead of Donald Parham.
Los Angels Rams
- Sony Michel was touchless in week one until a Darrell Henderson injury. After that point, Michel was the only running back to touch the football.
- After being left for dead in week one, Robert Woods handled 98% of snaps in week two. He, Cooper Kupp, and Van Jefferson all played north of 90% snaps.
- Tyler Higbee again logged 100% of the snaps in this game. Better days are ahead if you believe in this offense.
- Tua Tagovailoa went down in the first quarter allowing Jacoby Brissett to lead the Dolphins offense. It did not go very well as they were blanked by the Bills.
- Mike Gesicki saw a big boost in playing time with the return of Adam Shaheen. His snaps increased from 39% to 64%.
- The running back position is not very attractive as all three backs (Myles Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed, and Malcolm Brown) each saw 25-30% RMS.
- This game against Arizona was a shootout. Dalvin Cook handled 81% of the team's rush attempts despite a minor ankle injury.
- K.J. Osborn's participation dipped a bit (89% routes in week one to 69% in week two) but he still cashed in a bomb touchdown in the first quarter.
- Tyler Conklin is the clear TE1 ahead of Chris Herndon (60% RR vs 11%).
New England Patriots
- With Rhamondre Stevenson inactive, Damien Harris and James White did the heavy lifting. White out-snapped Harris 50% to 41% while Harris played the primary rushing role as expected.
- Jakobi Meyers and Nelson Agholor are locked into full-time roles with Kendrick Bourne (73% RR) operating as the WR3.
- Hunter Henry (73% RR) was playing well ahead of Jonnu Smith (39% RR) even though Smith out-targeted him five to four.
New Orleans Saints
- A tale of two game scripts - the Saints played from behind in all of week two after trouncing the Packers in week one. This led for some interesting discoveries.
- Alvin Kamara (84% snaps) looked like more of a full-time option as the team leaned on the passing game. He saw 32% TMS.
- Marquez Callaway continues to struggle despite tremendous opportunities. Lil'Jordan Humphrey is operating as the WR3 behind Callaway and Deonte Harris.
- Juwan Johnson leap-frogged Adam Trautman in the routes-run department - 57% to 39%.
New York Giants
- Saquon Barkley logged 84% of the team's snaps, a marked improvement from the 48% the week before. He also did this on a very short week which does a lot to dismiss injury concerns about his rehab. He gets plenty of rest before taking on the Falcons in week three.
- Sterling Shepard ran 100% of the routes in this game. He looks to have much better chemistry with Daniel Jones (31% target market share) than former alpha Kenny Golladay who appeared frustrated with Jones in the fourth quarter.
- Kadarius Toney is going to be a long-term project in this offense (just 28% of snaps for the first-round pick) until an injury opens up a place in the three-wide rotation.
New York Jets
- Zach Wilson struggled mightily against New England.
- Tevin Coleman was nearly completely phased out (only 10% snaps), opening the door for Ty Johnson (45%) and Michael Carter (45%).
- Keelan Cole (no targets) returned but Jamison Crowder did not. Braxton Berrios (29% TMS) continued to work as the slot man along with Elijah Moore and Corey Davis.
- Jalen Hurts handled 34% of Eagles rush attempts in a competitive game with San Francisco.
- Miles Sanders continues a roughly two-to-one lead ahead of Kenneth Gainwell.
- DeVonta Smith saw 30% TMS while Jalen Reagor continued to play the number two role.
- Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz cannibalize each other with so few opportunities to go around.
- Najee Harris finally missed a snap. He is averaging an almost 98% snap rate through two games as he commands the backfield. Benny Snell did log a couple carries.
- Pat Freiermuth's role grows as the starting tight end ahead of Eric Ebron.
- Diontae Johnson has seen 32% TMS in back-to-back games.
- JuJu Smith-Schuster has not missed a route.
San Francisco 49ers
- Bodies are dropping in this backfield as injuries have now claimed JaMycal Hasty, Trey Sermon, and perhaps also Elijah Mitchell. Look for the team to add depth this week.
- Perhaps not temporary? Brandon Aiyuk ran only 58% of the team's routes a week after logging 54%.
- George Kittle was back out there running routes but that yielded only 13% TMS.
- With Rashaad Penny down for the count, Travis Homer played the RB2 role (14 snaps) ahead of DeeJay Dallas (0 snaps) and Alex Collins (6 snaps).
- Freddie Swain (81% RR) operated as the clear WR3.
- Gerald Everett (76% RR) dominated time over Will Dissly (24%)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Despite being declared the starter earlier in the week, Ronald Jones II (41% snaps, 29% RMS) was second fiddle to Leonard Fournette (49% snaps, 52% RMS) again in week two.
- Rob Gronkowski remains an enigma as he outproduces his opportunities (15% TMS and 63% RR). He will likely continue to live in the boom-or-bust category but the booms could be more prevalent as Tom Brady maintains elite efficiency.
- Derrick Henry, of course, went bananas this game, handling 88% of the team's rush attempts.
- Chester Rogers continued to operate as the WR3 (60% RR) despite the return of Josh Reynolds (11% RR).
- In Anthony Firkser's absence, Geoff Swaim and MyCole Pruitt divided the tight end work down the middle.
Washington Football Team
- J.D. McKissic roars back to life with a two-minute drill game script yielding 18% target market share. While Antonio Gibson does not need to come off the field on first and second downs, the team insists on using McKissic for third downs and hurry-ups.
- Terry McLaurin had a monster game and has yet to miss a snap in 2021. Neither has Logan Thomas - hang in there.
- As long as Curtis Samuel is out, there is a crystal clear three-wide set in Washington: Terry McLaurin (100% routes), Adam Humphries (90% routes), and Dyami Brown (80% routes).