Fantasy News & Analysis

Fantasy Football: 10 biggest reactions to NFL Week 2

2RW85H5 Houston, Texas, USA. 17th Sep, 2023. Houston Texans wide receiver Tank Dell (3) celebrates after a touchdown catch during the fourth quarter between the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX on September 17, 2023. (Credit Image: © Erik Williams/ZUMA Press Wire) EDITORIAL USAGE ONLY! Not for Commercial USAGE!

Cam Akers and D’Onta Foreman were healthy inactives: Their absence greatly increases the fantasy value of Kyren Williams, Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson.

Tank Dell’s value skyrockets: Dell saw more playing time with Noah Brown on injured reserve, and his role could continue expanding.

Two sleeper tight ends see a decrease in snaps: The Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Chargers have found more opportunities for their backup tight ends.

Estimated Reading Time: 8 minutes

PFF's fantasy football recap focuses on player usage and stats, breaking down all the vital information you need to achieve fantasy success in 2023. Here, we touch on only players who are relevant in fantasy football leagues.

These are my 10 biggest reactions to the games from the Sunday slate. To get a more in-depth breakdown, check out my full Sunday recap.

WR:CB Matchup Chart

Kyren Williams completely takes over the Rams' backfield: Cam Akers was a healthy inactive for Los Angeles after Williams out-snapped him last week.

  • FOX's Jay Glazer reported that Akers would be inactive about 10 minutes before the 1 p.m. ET kickoffs, leaving fantasy managers scrambling.
  • Akers is also reportedly on the trade block, so he may have played his last down in Los Angeles.
  • Williams played all but four snaps. His 76 snaps are the most by a running back in a game this year and would have been good for second best last season — behind the 78-snap game from Dalvin Cook in Week 15.
  • Based on his playing time and how well he performed against the San Francisco 49ers defense, Williams should be considered a must-start going forward.
  • There is a chance Los Angeles makes a move at running back after Akers is no longer on the roster, which would greatly hurt Williams’ fantasy value.

And then there were two in the Bears' backfield: D’Onta Foreman went from being the third back on the depth chart to a healthy inactive.

  • Foreman received significant snaps on early downs and in the two-minute drill last week. He also took a goal-line snap.
  • The change mostly helped Khalil Herbert’s playing time, as Herbert took all of the work Foreman would have seen on early downs.
  • Johnson’s only real benefit was taking Foreman’s snaps in the two-minute drill.
  • Chicago ran just 52 offensive plays, and most of them were passes, so neither back received much fantasy production despite both players averaging at least 5.0 yards per carry.
  • While this didn’t help their fantasy production in this game, it should be big for both players going forward if Chicago’s offense can play better.

Justice Hill and Gus Edwards split time in the Ravens' backfield: J.K. Dobbins suffered a season-ending Achilles injury last week, resulting in Hill and Edwards stepping up.

  • Hill had played ahead of Edwards in the preseason and is the better receiving back, so it wasn’t surprising to see him lead the backfield in snaps.
  • It was surprising to see Hill play slightly more on early downs and more in short-yardage situations.
  • Edwards ran 10 times for 62 yards and a touchdown, while Hill ran 11 times for 41 yards.
  • Edwards scored more fantasy points this week, but based on the usage, it wouldn’t be surprising for Hill to be the leader of the team in fantasy points in most weeks going forward.
  • It was good for both backs that Melvin Gordon III wasn’t involved, leaving this as a two-man backfield instead of a three-man rotation.

Zack Moss completely takes over the Colts' backfield: Moss made his season debut after breaking his arm. He played all but one offensive snap.

  • Deon Jackson was the starter last week while Moss was still recovering.
  • Jackson averaged 1.1 yards per carry, and backup Evan Hull landed on injured reserve after the game.
  • Moss played all but one snap, which is mostly unheard of in today’s NFL. The only play he missed was when Indianapolis had four wide receivers on the field with Isaiah McKenzie lined up in the backfield.
  • Moss is a must-start until we see a significant decrease in usage.
  • Jonathan Taylor is eligible to return to the team in two weeks, but there is no guarantee he will stay with the team.

Monitor David Montgomery’s health: Montgomery was carted to the locker room in the third quarter due to a thigh injury after twisting his leg while getting tackled. He didn’t return to the game.

  • There was talk earlier in the week that Jahmyr Gibbs would see an increased role, which did happen before the injury.
  • Montgomery was the clear passing-down back last week, playing 80% of third-down snaps and 100% of snaps during the two-minute drill. Gibbs received the majority of the snaps in those situations this week.
  • Gibbs caught seven of his nine targets with a 40.9% target rate on his passing opportunities.
  • Once Montgomery left the game, Gibbs didn’t see a significant increase in his role. Gibbs played 13 snaps in the fourth quarter, partially thanks to a two-minute drill, while third-string running back Craig Reynolds played 10 snaps. Reynolds also ran the ball three times in the quarter compared to one carry for Gibbs.
  • Reynolds should be among the top waiver wire pickups this week if Montgomery is expected to miss any time. We could see Reynolds almost completely take Montgomery’s role while Gibbs remains the passing-down back and the primary backup on early downs.

Tank Dell takes advantage of his opportunities: Dell became an every-down player with Noah Brown landing on injured reserve.

  • Dell caught seven passes for 72 yards and a touchdown.
  • It was expected that Dell would play more snaps in 11 personnel, but he also played significantly in other formations. He played 12 out of a possible 21 snaps in all other personnel groupings. Robert Woods also saw 12 snaps, with Nico Collins playing only four.
  • Brown had been the primary slot receiver, but Woods moved to the slot this week. He hadn’t really been utilized there in his time with the Texan but had a history of playing in the slot when he was with the Los Angeles Rams.
  • Dell ran more routes in 11 personnel than Collins. Xavier Hutchinson also mixed in.
  • Based on his playing time, there is a chance Dell overtakes Collins as the Texans' top wide receiver going forward.

The Chiefs' wide receiver rotation evolves: Kansas City’s wide receiver rotation continues to frustrate fantasy managers.

  • Skyy Moore led the team in receiving yards thanks to a 54-yard pass. He also scored a touchdown but saw his playing time decrease from last week to this one. This included going from playing 63.6% of the team's offensive snaps in 12 personnel to 40%.
  • Justin Watson tied for the fifth-most offensive snaps among the Kansas City wide receivers last week (16) and doubled that this week (33). His 107 receiving yards over the past two weeks is better than any two-game stretch for him last season.
  • Kadarius Toney continues to see a low snap rate but a high target rate. He was given the ball 31.5% of the time he was on the field. He could be a fantasy starter if that rate ever increases, but there is no sign of that at this point.
  • Both Rashee Rice and Richie James ran half as many routes or less compared to last week.
  • It’s probably best to avoid starting any of them in redraft leagues unless some wide receiver can receive more than five targets in a game — something that hasn’t happened yet this season.

Michael Wilson loses his starting job: Once one of Arizona's starting outside wide receivers, Wilson is now in a rotation.

  • The third-round rookie appeared to have won the outside job opposite Marquise Brown by the middle of the preseason. He played 90% of offensive snaps in Week 1.
  • However, he split snaps with veteran Zach Pascal for most of Week 2.
  • The two split snaps by drive over the team’s first six drives, with Wilson taking the first drive, Pascal the second and so on.
  • Over those first six drives, both players caught one pass.
  • Wilson hauled in a nice 16-yard pass on the seventh drive, enough for him to also play the following three drives to close out the game.
  • Wilson remains a deep sleeper this season, but this was a road bump on his journey to becoming fantasy-relevant this season.

Gerald Everett’s role declines: Los Angeles began using a three-man rotation at tight end, reducing Everett’s playing time.

  • Everett played only 16 of a possible 43 snaps out of 11 personnel. Stone Smartt played 14 snaps and Donald Parham Jr. played 13 snaps in 11 personnel.
  • Everett also began seeing less time in 12 personnel, playing 11 of a possible 21 snaps. Smartt replaced him nearly half of the time in that grouping.
  • Smartt is a 2022 undrafted rookie who also overtook 2021 third-round pick Tre’ McKitty on the depth chart to join the rotation.
  • Everett was excellent in his limited playing time, posting 3.13 yards per route run and avoiding multiple tackles.
  • Any tight end playing less than 50% of their team's offensive snaps can be dropped in the vast majority of leagues.

Cole Kmet sees a decline in offensive snaps: Both of Kmet’s backups played a bit more this week compared to last.

  • Kmet played only 25 of a possible 38 snaps out of 11 personnel, while Robert Tonyan took the other 13 snaps.
  • Marcedes Lewis took over as the primary 21 personnel tight end. Kmet played just one of five snaps from that personnel grouping.
  • Kmet has been a borderline fantasy starter in the past thanks to his volume of routes run.
  • If Kmet won’t be running as many routes going forward, then he’s going to be even less reliable for fantasy football purposes.



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