NFL Week 2 has arrived. The first week of the season gave us a lot of new information to help guide our fantasy football decision-making. This week, we found out what parts of Week 1 were a fluke and what was the start of a trend.
PFF's fantasy football recap focuses on player usage and stats, breaking down all the vital information you need to achieve fantasy success in 2021.
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- Marquise Brown: 6 receptions, 113 yards, 1 TD (4 explosive plays)
- Travis Kelce: 7 receptions, 109 yards, 1 TD (4 avoided tackles)
|Kansas City Chiefs||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Baltimore Ravens||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Add Mecole Hardman: The 23-year-old receiver continues to establish himself as the second wide receiver on the roster. He led the team in targets, catching five of them for 55 yards. He also had a clear lead over Demarcus Robinson in pass routes. He’s not at a point where he should be in fantasy starting lineups yet, but he’s similar to other rookies that are being stashed on rosters with high upside. He’s also younger than some of those rookies.Sell the Ravens' running backs: There was reason to feel optimistic about all three running backs tonight. Ty’Son Williams led the group, saw the majority of snaps and had the most rushing and receiving yards. Veteran Latavius Murray scored the only touchdown of the group. In his first game, Devonta Freeman had the longest run. There is a chance Freeman gets more involved in his second game, and Le’Veon Bell could still join the active roster. Any one of the four could be leading the team in fantasy points a month from now.
Monitor Travis Kelce’s snaps: The future Hall of Fame tight end was rotated out of the game more often than usual. He’s seen 80% of offensive snaps or lower in other games last season, but those were largely in blowout victories. There is a chance that Kansas City is starting to limit his snaps more as he nears his 32nd birthday. If that’s the case, he will still be an elite fantasy tight end; there just might be room for someone else to take the top spot this year.
- Derrick Henry: 35 carries, 182 yards, 3 TD, 6 receptions, 55 receiving yards
- Tyler Lockett: 8 receptions, 178 yards, 1 TD (15.0 aDOT)
|Tennessee Titans||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Seattle Seahawks||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Buy low on A.J. Brown: This game created a lot of fantasy points, but Brown wasn’t the beneficiary, as he only caught three passes for 43 yards. However, he still tied for the team lead in targets. He should have better games once teams focus more on Derrick Henry and Julio Jones.
Buy low on D.K. Metcalf: He is a buy-low reason for the exact same reasons as Brown. He saw as much playing time and targets as Lockett but this week, it just didn’t lead to the same production. He should be just fine in future weeks as well.
Sell high on Chris Carson: He only had 31 yards on 13 carries, but his fantasy value was saved with two touchdowns. He didn’t see as much playing time as usual because Travis Homer took over the third-down role. Carson had that role in Week 1 but typically didn’t have it last season. The lack of receiving will limit his upside, so it’s worth seeing what he could be traded for.
Add Gerald Everett: Everett only caught one pass for three yards, but he was running routes on the majority of Seahawks' passing plays. Both in the preseason and Week 1, he and Will Dissly had closer to an even split. It’s understandable that he didn’t see many targets with how successful the offense was throwing to the wide receivers. Russell Wilson has a history of throwing to tight ends, and it looks like Everett will be the guy going forward.
- Tony Pollard: 13 carries, 109 yards, 1 TD, 3 receptions, 31 receiving yards
- Mike Williams: 7 receptions, 91 yards, 1 TD
|Dallas Cowboys||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Los Angeles Chargers||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Larry Rountree III||10||6||1||1|
Start Mike Williams every week: Williams is in a contract year and has made his case for a new contract through two weeks. He led the team in targets and had the best statistical day among the Chargers receivers. He has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Chargers improved offensive line, as Justin Herbert’s had more time to pass and find his wide receivers. He should be in fantasy starting lineups going forward.
Add Tony Pollard: He was the Cowboys' highest scoring fantasy running back for the second straight week. He achieved this last week more so because Ezekiel Elliott didn't play well. This week, he was a significant part of the offense with 16 touches and over 100 yards rushing. If anything, their snaps will get closer to 50/50 based on how well he is currently playing. He is a borderline flex play if he continues to see anything close to this usage, and at the very least, he needs to be on rosters — even in smaller leagues.
Buy Low on Austin Ekeler: Ekeler had a solid game with over 100 yards but didn’t score a touchdown. He has the potential to be one of the top few running backs this season based on how the Chargers have used him. He received all of the goal-line carries in the first week and ran in a two-point conversion Sunday. Los Angeles didn’t have any other goal-line opportunities. It was concerning when he didn’t have a target last week, but he did have nine in this game. He played 78% of snaps in the first half but didn’t play as much in the second half in part due to a helmet-to-helmet hit. He is one of the few backs this season who has a high snap share, high target share and goal-line carries.
- Dalvin Cook: 22 yards, 131 yards, (7 avoided tackles), 2 receptions, 17 receiving yards
- Rondale Moore: 7 receptions, 114 yards, 1 TD (3.9 aDOT)
|Minnesota Vikings||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Arizona Cardinals||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Add Rondale Moore: The rookie receiver had a highlight 77-yard touchdown pass where he was as open as you’ll find a wide receiver. He also led the team in targets, receptions and receiving yards while taking some snaps away from Christian Kirk. It’s too early to trust him in starting lineups until he's more consistently in the Cardinals' starting lineup, but Arizona clearly likes getting him the ball. He should only see more playing time as the season goes on.
Don’t spend too much on Maxx Williams: He might seem like a great tight end waiver-wire target after his seven-catch, 94-yard performance. However, it will be difficult for him to repeat this because he only ran a route on just over half of the Cardinals' pass plays. Arizona likes running four-receiver sets more than any other team in the NFC, which will only rise now that they trust Moore more.
Monitor Dalvin Cook’s injuries: Cook put together a solid game, posting 121 rushing yards on 20 carries, but suffered two injuries in the game. If he misses time, Alexander Mattison will be the lead back. He should be picked up regardless of if Cook is healthy, as he’s one of the best handcuff options in the league.
Add K.J. Osborn: The second-year receiver was a big part of the Vikings offense for a second straight game, leading the team in receiving yards and scoring a touchdown. Most of that came in the first minute of the game with a 64-yard catch, but he has a tight hold on the third receiving spot. He could see significant fantasy value if there is an injury at the position.
- Mike Evans: 5 receptions, 75 yards, 2 TD (All 5 catches 1D or TD)
- Calvin Ridley: 7 receptions, 63 yards, 1 TD (12.1 aDOT)
|Atlanta Falcons||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Sell high on Rob Gronkowski: The future Hall of Famer had two touchdown receptions for the third straight game and has been one of the best late-round fantasy draft picks of the season to date. There is concern he won’t be able to keep this up after some of the backup tight ends started taking some of the pass routes, as it will make it harder for him to have to stay this consistent. His value won’t be higher, so it could be a good time to try trading for Darren Waller or George Kittle after both had relatively quiet days.
Add Cordarrelle Patterson: Speaking of all-time greats, the best kick returner of all time also had two touchdowns in this game. Patterson has carved out a role as the backup running back who can also be involved in the passing game. He wasn’t very effective rushing the ball but saw nearly as many carries as Mike Davis. He shouldn’t be put in starting lineups at this point, but it’s possible he sees more playing time going forward.
Drop Giovani Bernard: Bernard was restricted to third-down snaps but didn’t even get every third-down snap. Both Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones saw playing time on third downs at varying distances. Bernard could get phased out of the offense similar to LeSean McCoy last season.
Drop Hayden Hurst: Hurst's fantasy value plummeted after the Falcons drafted Kyle Pitts. The Falcons have used both tight ends on some plays, but not enough for Hurst to keep any fantasy value. He caught his only pass for six yards and ran a route on less than half of the Falcons pass plays.
- Najee Harris: 10 carries, 38 yards, 5 catches, 43 receiving yards, 1 TD
- Henry Ruggs III: 5 receptions, 113 yards, 1 TD
|Las Vegas Raiders||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Henry Ruggs III||44||30||6||1|
|Willie Snead IV||4||3||1||0|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Ray-Ray McCloud III||1||0||0||0|
|Benny Snell Jr.||3||1||0||2|
Sell high on Henry Ruggs III: He caught a 61-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to help secure a Raiders victory. That helped his numbers for the game look good, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he will have fantasy value going forward. He was still off the field for a significant number of pass plays like last week. The Raiders also spread the ball around. Ruggs will have a few more huge catches this season, but it will be random when they happen. He is unlikely to be someone you want in starting lineups, so now is the time to trade him.
Pick up Peyton Barber if Josh Jacobs remains out: Barber was the primary runner with Jacobs out, rushing 13 times for 32 yards. A big reason for his lack of success was the Steelers' great run defense. He had -15 yards before contact and 47 yards after. If Jacobs misses another game, Barber should find more success next week against the Dolphins run defense.
Monitor Diontae Johnson’s injury: Johnson put together a great game with 105 receiving yards on nine catches. He hurt his knee on the final play of the game and needed to be helped off the field. Chase Claypool would be one player to benefit if Johnson misses any time, as he would likely see close to 100% of potential pass routes. James Washington would also be a waiver-wire target, as he would see significant work in three receiver sets.
Add Pat Freiermuth: The second-round pick saw more snaps than fellow tight end Eric Ebron in Week 1, and that lead grew today after he caught all four passes thrown his way for 36 yards while Ebron didn’t catch a pass. He shouldn’t be in starting lineups yet but has top-10 fantasy upside if he becomes a full time starter. Ebron can be dropped in any league where he’s still on a roster.
- Stefon Diggs – 4 receptions, 60 yards, 1 TD (14.1 aDOT)
- Zack Moss: 8 attempts, 26 yards, 2 TD, (8 avoided tackles), 2 receptions, 8 yards
|Buffalo Bills||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Miami Dolphins||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Pick up Emmanuel Sanders: The new Bills receiver should have been a waiver-wire target before the game, and he continued to show promise. He led the Bills in receiving yards while finishing with the second-most targets. The Bills had a two-score lead eight minutes into the game, which allowed them to not pass as much as usual. In future games, Sanders should still be second in targets, which should lead to more yards.
Sell high on Devin Singletary: The Bills running back started strong with a 46-yard touchdown run in the first three minutes. He gained 36 yards on his other 12 carries. Zack Moss was inactive last week and worked his way more into the game as time went on, including scoring two fourth-quarter touchdowns. The Bills will likely run less in games they aren’t winning 35-0. When they do run, it could be closer to an even split with Moss.
Stand pat on Myles Gaskin: Gaskin played the majority of snaps because he’s the best receiving back on the team, but that didn’t help a lot in fantasy production. The three backs saw an even distribution of carries. This was the worry when he didn’t start the first preseason game. Any fantasy manager with Gaskin should trade him after the next game he scores a touchdown.
Monitor Tua Tagovailoa’s injury: The Dolphins quarterback was carted to the locker room with a rib injury early in the first quarter. Jacoby Brissett took over as the starter and would be the quarterback going forward if the injury is significant. He could be worth a waiver-wire addition, especially in superflex leagues. His rushing ability gives him a higher floor than most backups in the NFL.
- Courtland Sutton: 9 receptions, 159 yards (21.2 aDOT)
- Marvin Jones Jr.: 6 receptions, 55 yards, 1 TD (33.3% threat rate)
|Denver Broncos||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Melvin Gordon III||41||21||2||13|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Marvin Jones Jr.||49||33||11||0|
|D.J. Chark Jr.||45||29||4||0|
|Laviska Shenault Jr.||45||30||7||1|
Sell high on Noah Fant: Fant had a solid game with four catches for 33 yards and a touchdown. He’s a very talented player, but his problem in fantasy football is that Denver has an equally talented backup. Albert Okwuegbunam was a fourth-round pick who only played four games last season due to injury, but he looked very good in those games. The second-year receiver played in over 50% of offensive snaps for a second straight week. Fant was seeing over 80% of snaps in most games when he was healthy last year but is seeing less playing time this year. Fant might not live up to his fantasy potential because of this, making it OK to trade him for an upgrade at another position.
Add Tim Patrick: He was a waiver-wire target coming into this week and is still available in several leagues. He was the Broncos' clear second receiver in this game, as he caught three passes for 37 yards and a touchdown. He should be even more involved in games where Denver needs to pass more.
Stand pat on James Robinson: Robinson had a very disappointing Week 1 with Carlos Hyde running the ball more often than him. His playing time was much better this week, but it didn’t necessarily lead to a great fantasy result. He gained 47 yards on 11 carries and 17 receiving yards off of three catches. The Jaguars ran a below-average number of plays due to a number of short drives. It wouldn’t be surprising if Hyde sees more playing time compared to today in games where Jacksonville runs more plays. He shouldn’t be a buy-low target because he might not see many, if any, games with 15+ touches.
Monitor James O’Shaughnessy’s injury: The Jaguars tight end had the best receiving game of his career last week, making him a player who should have been added. He only saw three snaps in this game, which included a 24-yard catch before leaving the game with an injury. He finished second on the team in receiving yards for the game. Luke Farrell took over as the receiving tight end, but Trevor Lawrence didn’t seem to have the same confidence in the fifth-round rookie. This is likely a position group to avoid if the injury is serious and, if anything, will lead to more targets to the wide receivers.
- Cooper Kupp: 9 receptions, 163 yards, 2 touchdowns (5.1 YPRR)
- Michael Pittman Jr.: 8 receptions, 123 yards (3 explosive plays)
|Los Angeles Rams||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Indianapolis Colts||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Michael Pittman Jr.||60||42||11||0|
Monitor Darnell Henderson’s injury: Henderson injured his ribs in the third quarter and didn’t return to the game. He kept his usual every snap role and scored a touchdown prior to the injury. Sony Michel took the majority of the snaps after, gaining 46 yards on 10 carries to run out the game. Michel would be a must-start player if Henderson misses any games. There is also a chance Henderson is limited next week, meaning we see more of a committee approach with the two backs.
Buy low on Jonathan Taylor: The Colts started the game using Taylor as usual, as he saw two-thirds of the snaps while Nyheim Hines the other third. That didn’t lead to much production, so Marlon Mack saw his first action of the regular season in the second half. It wouldn’t be surprising for Taylor to return to his usual role next week, as Mack also wasn’t effective. Taylor should have much better games when his offensive line is healthy, has more work together, and isn’t facing Aaron Donald’s defense.
Add Van Jefferson: He saw nearly as many snaps as the starters. That didn’t lead to much production this game, but he should get more involved with the offense when facing defenses that don’t have as much depth.
Only add Jack Doyle at tight end if you’re desperate: Doyle had a slight lead in routes run for the Colts in Week 1, which turned into a large lead in Week 2. This led to five catches for 64 yards, making him one of the more productive tight ends on the day. He should lead the Colts' tight end room in routes and targets going forward, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the Colts' two young tight ends continue to be involved, taking more snaps over time.
- Nick Chubb: 11 carries, 95 yards, (9 avoided tackles), 1 TD, 1 catch, 3 yards
- Brandin Cooks: 9 receptions, 78 yards, 1 TD (46.7% threat rate)
|Houston Texans||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Mark Ingram II||19||5||2||14|
|Cleveland Browns||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Monitor Jarvis Landry’s injury: Landry was expected to have a big week, but only lasted two snaps before suffering a knee injury that put him out for the rest of the game. The Browns were also without Odell Beckham Jr., so they had to rely on a relatively young depth chart. Donovan Peoples-Jones would be the waiver-wire target if Landry misses significant time. He’s been the clear third receiver on the depth chart and would be in on every down player as long as Landry’s out.
Monitor Tyrod Taylor’s Injury: The Texans starting quarterback was limping after a non-contact throwaway pass and was quickly ruled out with a hamstring injury. Davis Mills took over at quarterback for the rest of the game. Mills should only be a waiver-wire pickup in superflex leagues, and even then, he would only be worth starting when bye weeks hit. If Taylor’s injury is serious, that is also a downgrade for the rest of the Texans' offensive players.
Monitor the Texans' wide receiver injuries: The Texans lost two of their top three receivers early in the game in Nico Collins (shoulder) and Danny Amendola (hamstring). This turned Chris Conley into an every-snap starter and put Andre Roberts onto the field in three-receiver sets. All three split snaps in the slot. The injuries likely contributed to Brandon Cooks' monster game. He is a player to sell high on.
Drop David Johnson: Johnson led the Texans in snaps, but that didn’t necessarily lead to fantasy production. He remains their third-down back, which won’t lead to many carries. He caught both passes thrown his way for 14 yards. He can’t be in fantasy starting lineups currently, and even if there is an injury to another back, he’s unlikely to see an increased role.
- Tee Higgins: 6 receptions, 60 yards, 1 TD (6 for 6 on uncontested catches, 0 for 4 on contested catches)
- Darnell Mooney: 6 receptions, 66 yards (11.4 aDOT)
|Cincinnati Bengals||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Chicago Bears||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Allen Robinson II||52||26||4||0|
Pick up and start Justin Fields: Andy Dalton hurt his leg on a non-contact play, leading to the rookie taking over for the rest of the game. Ideally, Fields would have won the job rather than being forced into it, though. He has top-eight fantasy potential now that he is QB1. He ran the ball 10 times and should have more yards with that many carries in future weeks. He is on a roster in only half of ESPN leagues, so he could be a top waiver-wire target if available.
Pick up and start Darnell Mooney: The second-year receiver is another player who is free in half of ESPN leagues. He was a sleeper wide receiver coming into the season and was the favorite target by both Bears quarterbacks in this game. With Fields starting, Mooney has more potential for big plays in future games.
Buy low on Joe Mixon: The Bengals back had a relatively disappointing day with 8.1 PPR points, but that shouldn’t discourage fantasy managers. Any back who sees 20 or more carries and this high a percentage of snaps has a good chance to end the season as a top-10 fantasy back. He is going to be cheaper now than at most other points this season.
Don’t start Cole Kmet: The second-year tight end had a lot of upside to start the 2021 season due to the number of routes he typically runs. He ended last season as a player seeing close to 100% of snaps. His hold on the receiving tight end job doesn’t appear to be as strong now. Jimmy Graham is healthier than he was a week before, and Jesse James has carved out a role for himself.
- Christian McCaffrey: 24 carries, 72 yards, 1 TD, 5 receptions, 65 receiving yards (8 total avoided tackles)
- D.J. Moore: 8 receptions, 79 yards, 1 TD (5 first downs)
|New Orleans Saints||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Tony Jones Jr.||12||5||0||3|
|Carolina Panthers||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Terrace Marshall Jr.||39||24||3||0|
Buy low on Alvin Kamara: The Saints running back had a very quiet game with five rushing yards on eight carries and 25 yards on four catches. New Orleans' offense had a rough day overall, but Kamara still led the team in both carries and targets. His touches will increase significantly when the team is running more plays, and his effectiveness will also improve. There will be no better time to trade for Kamara this season.
Don’t start the Saints tight ends: The presence of both Adam Trautman and Juwan Johnson makes it difficult for either to have enough fantasy value to be viable fantasy starters. A tight end finishing in the top 12 on the season needs to play both on third downs and at least half the time on early snaps. Trautman hasn’t played much on third downs, and Johnson hasn't been involved much in two-tight end sets. They combined for one target for zero catches in this contest. It would be fine to drop either player.
Buy low on Robby Anderson: Anderson has had a quiet start to the 2021 season. He caught three passes on six targets for 38 yards. On the bright side, he hasn’t really lost any playing time to rookie Terrace Marshall Jr., who is primarily playing in three-receiver sets. Brandon Zylstra caught a touchdown that in future weeks will likely go to one of the star receivers instead.
- Jalen Hurts: 12 for 23, 190 yards, 10 carries, 82 yards, 1 TD (3 explosive runs)
- Deebo Samuel: 6 receptions, 93 yards (3 avoided tackles)
|San Francisco 49ers||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Monitor the 49ers' backfield for injuries: The 49ers started the game similar to how they ended Week 2: with Elijah Mitchell as the primary first- and second-down back, and JaMycal Hasty as the primary third-down back. Mitchell suffered a shoulder injury but returned to the game, while Hasty suffered an ankle injury.
Trey Sermon was active for the game unlike last week, but he didn’t see any playing time until Mitchell left the game. He suffered a head injury on his first snap while also fumbling. Mitchell is the most likely to be healthy next week, and this is still his job, so he should be a safe start. It’s possible the 49ers activate Kerryon Johnson to take over the third-down role if Hasty’s injury is serious. That still shouldn’t be a concern for Mitchell fantasy managers.
Stand pat on Brandon Aiyuk: The second-year receiver was a surprise backup last week but returned to the starting lineup for Week 2. He played roughly two-thirds of the snaps, with Trent Sherfield playing the other third. The 49ers used 22 personnel on 17 snaps, which limited the playing time of all of the receivers. Aiyuk is not necessarily a buy-low candidate because Sherfield has earned a chance to play, and he could continue to see some of the playing time going forward.
Don’t start Dallas Goedert: Goedert was started in over half of ESPN leagues, but it’s probably time to stop viewing him as a viable starting fantasy tight end. He ran a route on less than half of the Eagles' pass plays. He wasn’t a reliable starter last season once Jalen Hurts became the quarterback, and it’s unlikely that changes this season unless Zach Ertz were to miss extensive time.
Add Kenneth Gainwell: The Eagles rookie continues to have an extended role in the offense. He played roughly one-third of the snaps and took one-third of the running back carries. He finished third on the team in receiving yards. He can’t be in starting lineups currently, but his role could continue to expand during his rookie season.
- Damien Harris: 16 carries, 62 yards (-5 yards before contact, 67 yards after contact), 1 TD, 1 catch, 2 yards
- James White: 5 carries, 20 yards, 1 TD, 6 catches, 45 yards (2 for 2 on contested targets)
|New England Patriots||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|New York Jets||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Add Elijah Moore: The Jets' second-round pick has secured the outside receiving job. All of New York’s outside receivers were healthy for the game, but that didn’t stop Moore from leading the team in pass routes. He had the second-most targets (eight), catching four for 47 yards. The offense will need to play better for him to have fantasy value, but it’s worth stashing him on the bench until that happens.
Drop Tevin Coleman: The veteran running back appeared to be at the top of the depth chart to start the season but has already fallen to third. Ty Johnson and Michael Carter split the carries and pass routes. Both Johnson and Carter should be on rosters but, ideally, not in starting lineups. It might be a good time to trade for Carter, as he should see his role increase as the season goes on.
Buy low on Jonnu Smith: Smith was limited in practice late in the week with a hip injury, which likely contributed to his limited playing time. That didn’t stop him from catching four of five passes thrown his way for 28 yards. He should have better games going forward, especially when the Patriots don’t have a double-digit lead for most of the game.