Fantasy News & Analysis

NFL Week 2 Fantasy Football Recap: Immediate takeaways from Thursday's game

Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Justin Watson (84) celebrates his touchdown scored against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

  • Los Angeles Chargers WR Mike Williams put on a show in Keenan Allen’s absence, gaining over 100 yards and scoring one of the Chargers' touchdowns.
  • The Kansas City Chiefs brought in several wide receivers with name recognition, but Justin Watson, the team's fourth receiver, made the biggest offensive play of the game — a 41-yard touchdown reception.
  • Fantasy first-round pick RB Austin Ekeler had his second-straight quiet game for the Chargers while sharing more playing time with his backups than last season.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

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Lower your expectations on Austin Ekeler: The Chargers continued to use more of a committee approach at running back, which is almost the opposite of what many would expect.

  • He was typically taken off the field for Joshua Kelley on third downs of three yards or more.
  • He was taken out of the goalline snaps for Sony Michel.
  • This is not how Ekeler was used in Week 1 and probably unlike how he will be used going forward.
  • His touchdown total was already supposed to regress, but the fact that someone will take some of the goalline work going forward will make that regression worse.
  • Regardless of the situations Ekeler is used in, he is being used less compared to last season, when he had a median of 67% of the offensive snaps.
  • Ekeler played under 63% of his team's offensive snaps six times last season and has already reached that point twice this year.
  • It would be best to wait for Ekeler to have a better game and then try to trade him.

Replacing Keenan Allen: Allen suffered a hamstring injury in Week 1, which forced him to miss this game. Multiple wide receivers saw increased action to replace him.

  • Mike Williams‘ production increased the most, as he was the clear winner for fantasy football managers from this game.
  • Josh Palmer went from playing just in three-receiver sets to playing every down. He received eight targets but only finished with four receptions for 30 yards and a touchdown. Some of the incompletions were poor throws, and there was also a defensive pass interference that doesn’t officially count as a target. His stat line could have been much better if those went a little differently.
  • Palmer is clearly ahead of Jalen Guyton on the depth chart after the two split time in 2021.
  • He is a potential buy-low candidate, as he will continue to see playing time in one of the better offenses regardless of the Allen injury.
  • DeAndre Carter took the slot snaps in three-receiver sets.
  • This is exactly how the wide receivers were used last week once Allen was injured, and it is probably how they would be used going forward if Allen missed more time.

Sell high on Gerald Everett: Everett had a fine night with six catches for 71 yards, but his playing time is concerning, and it’s a situation that could get worse over time.

  • Having the lead tight end on a great passing team can typically be a good option for a team that waited to draft a tight end, but Everett's problem is he’s only taking roughly two-thirds of the snaps in 11 personnel. Oftentime, if two tight ends are sharing time, one is more of a run blocker. For this team, Tre’ McKitty is just a frequently used backup.
  • McKitty is a former third-round pick in his sophomore season. If anything, McKitty’s playing time would likely increase as the season progresses.
  • Donald Parham has missed the last two games with injury. Once he’s healthy, this situation will become even more complicated.

Drop Skyy Moore: The speedy second-round rookie didn’t play a single snap on offense, except for the kneel-downs at the end of the game. He might see some playing time as the season progresses but is unlikely to surpass 50% of offensive snaps without an injury.

  • Justin Watson was the No. 4 wide receiver early in the game and played more in the third quarter when Mecole Hardman was dealing with an injury.
  • In Watson’s limited time, he caught two passes, including a 41-yard touchdown.
  • Kansas City had no problem using five players in a rotation last season.
  • It wouldn’t surprising for Moore to get more involved latter in the season, particularly when Kansas City is leading.
  • Even when that happens, it’s unlikely he plays enough to be a fantasy starter without multiple injuries.
  • He should only be dropped in leagues with average-to-light benches, as there are other decent options on the waiver wire. There is still a chance he can break out this season, but those odds have decreased by the week.

Monitor Justin Herbert‘s injury: Herbert suffered what appeared to be a rib injury with five minutes left in the game. He returned to the game but still appeared to be in pain.

  • Chase Daniel took over for the play Herbert missed and would be the starter if Herbert misses anytime.
  • Even if Herbert only misses one game, Daniel could be worth a waiver wire addition. Los Angeles has a favorable matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars with an extended break.

Table Notes

  • Snaps include plays called back due to penalties, including offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.
  • Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown-away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.
  • Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.

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