10 keys to winning your Week 2 fantasy football game

By | September 16, 2023

Fantasy football analyst Sal Vetri will use this space to deliver the keys to victory each week of the 2023 NFL season.

Result no. 1: The best spot (RB) of the week belongs to Rachaad White

He saw elite usage in Week 1. White was the clear three-down back, playing 79% of the snaps and earning 19 touches. Only two RBs had a higher snap rate in 2022.

White has shown big improvements in pass blocking, which will keep him on the field more. The Bucs are three-point favorites at home against the Bears this week. At similar points, starting RBs with this type of usage are averaging over 14 fantasy points.

Remember, this Bears team allowed Aaron Jones to post 127 yards on just 11 touches in Week 1.

Result no. 2: The iffy commercial of the week is Packers vs. Falcons

This game features two of the bottom three neutral passing rate teams from Week 1. This means that when the game was close, these two teams chose to run much more than they passed. This is worrisome for fantasy because it leads to fewer plays overall as the playing time continues to tick away.

The slower pace of play is reflected in Vegas’ total. It is one of the lowest of the week with just 40.5 points. All four RBs are playable from this game, but I would avoid starting any of the WRs. Luke Musgrave and Kyle Pitts are good to use as we are mostly just looking for a TD at the TE position.

Result no. 3: The Pick Up & Play is Kendrick Bourne

Bourne ran 93% of the Patriots’ routes in Week 1 and was the clear WR1 for Mac Jones. Bourne earned 11 total targets and was targeted on third or fourth down five times.

It showed some serious use of fantasy cheat-codes. Those cheat codes for a WR are red zone targets and low field usage. Bourne ranked seventh in downfield usage in Week 1 and earned two red zone targets.

The Patriots surprisingly shot in the top five when the game was close, and Jones looked much better in this new Bill O’Brien offense. All of this is good news for Bourne, who is a top-24 WR for Week 2.

Result no. 4: James Cook is trending

He operated as the Bills’ primary in Week 1. Cook played 61% of the snaps and earned a whopping 18 opportunities. Backup RBs Damien Harris and Latavius ​​Murray combined for just seven opportunities.

His Week 1 matchup was tough against the Jets who had the third-best defensive rating in Week 1. This week, however, he faces the Raiders as a 10-point favorite. As mentioned in White’s blurb, starting RBs in similar matchups average 14 fantasy points.

Result no. 5: Khalil Herbert is trending down

Herbert only saw 36% of snaps in Week 1, but that’s a bit skewed. He actually saw 55% of the snaps in the first half, but then lost them in the second half while the Bears were down two points.

Newcomer Roschon Johnson took these photos. It appears that Johnson is the past. He played 67 percent of third-down snaps and had a team-high seven targets. D’Onta Foreman also got involved early in the game. He earned 28% of the snaps and eight opportunities.

Then there’s Justin Fields. He continued to be the Bears’ leading rusher with nine carries for 59 yards.

After Week 1, it’s clear that Chicago and Fields haven’t improved much. The Bears will likely follow often this year. Based on Week 1, that would mean fewer snaps from Herbert and more Johnson.

Result no. 6: Austin Ekeler’s injury is one to watch

He’s dealing with an ankle injury that could keep him out in Week 2 (he’s currently labeled “doubtful,” which isn’t a good sign). If that happens, Joshua Kelley would immediately become a top-12 running back for Week 2.

Kelley played 45% of the snaps in Week 1 and split the backfield evenly with Ekeler. Both defenders earned 16 carries and Kelley was efficient on those touches. She gained 5.7 yards per touch, which would have ranked in the top five last season.

The Chargers ran the ball a lot more under new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. Kelley is a FLEX option this week, but if Ekeler misses time, he becomes your RB1.

Result no. 7: A worrying sign in Los Angeles

The Chargers’ high rushing rate is good for their running backs, but it’s terrible news for the passing game. In Week 1, the Chargers shot at the league’s lowest rate in neutral situations. That means when the game was close, they ran at the fastest pace in the NFL. For comparison, in 2022 the Chargers had the fourth-highest mark in the league.

If this continues, it would significantly hurt the upside and prospects of Justin Herbert, Mike Williams and Keenan Allen. For example, the Chargers played a combined 70-point game in Week 1.

Despite the high-scoring environment, Herbert threw for just 228 yards.

Result no. 8: A new star WR

Michael Pittman Jr. scored the eighth-most WR points with the fifteenth-best usage in Week 1. That far exceeds the WR30 range he was drafted into this summer. This production is likely to continue because the Colts ranked seventh in neutral passing rate.

They passed at a top-10 pace during close-game situations, dropping back to pass 68 percent of the time. This is higher than preseason expectations for this offense, but it’s not shocking. Coach Shane Steichen did the exact same thing with Jalen Hurts and the Eagles last season.

In Week 1, Pittman routed 98% of the Colts’ passes, leading to 11 total targets.

Here’s the funny part: 89% of these goals were catchable. Pretty damn good for the sketchy college QB in Anthony Richardson. This shows how good Steichen is as a coach.

Result no. 9: The star at half circumference

David Montgomery may already be the best mid-level pick in fantasy. He is in the top 10 running backs this week after his elite usage in Week 1.

He earned 77% of snaps, leading to 21 touches. This is the role we expected from the bigger, 220+ pound back.

Now, here’s the thing: despite scoring a whopping 13.4 points in Week 1, things should only get better going forward.

He averaged just 3.5 yards per carry in Week 1. It’s unlikely he’ll stay that low given the Lions’ O-line ranked in the top five in run blocking in Week 1. Montgomery also didn’t see targets. In fact, the Lions RBs combined for just TWO total targets. This number is sure to rise as Jared Goff targets RBs closer to him 20%+ of the time; it was only 7% in week 1.

Expect Jahmyr Gibbs to get more work moving forward, but that’s Montgomery’s backfield on first downs and in the red zone.

Finding 10: The QB’s Dream

Trevor Lawrence finds himself in the same spot Tua Tagovailoa was in last week. Lawrence is a three-point underdog with a total of 52 points. This is the best gaming environment of the week.

Historically, the best time to target QBs is when they are slight underdogs in big game totals. Often leads to multiple pass attempts. Higher pass attempts correlate more with fantasy production. Last week, in this exact scenario, Tagovailoa produced 466 passing yards and was the QB1 of the week with 28.1 points.

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