Figures, Flukes and Feelings: Week 3

Figures, Flukes and Feelings: Week 3

Statistical Analysis

Figures, Flukes and Feelings: Week 3

(Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports)

In a wild Week 2, in which we witnessed Patrick Mahomes throw for 326 yards and six touchdowns without being the No. 1 fantasy passer of the week, gamers were spoiled with a dozen efforts of 30 or more PPR points.

Nine players caught at least 10 balls in a game, and the two tied atop the heap weren’t even wideouts. Week 2 witnessed several impressive feats by rising youth and well-documented veterans.

Figures

  • 14 receptions: The number of catches by New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley in Week 2 tied an NFL record by a rookie and broke the previous mark for the Giants, according to Elias Sports Bureau. … Even if the front five stinks at opening lanes for the No. 2 overall pick, it is evident the Giants will manufacture plays for Barkley.
  • 72.3 fantasy points: Going back over the last 15 NFL seasons, no player has more fantasy points than Ryan Fitzpatrick‘s 72.3 over the opening two games. That’s how special he has been. … After trouncing both of the NFC championship game teams from 2017, FitzMagic is that much closer to taking over as the full-time starter. Unfortunately, we’ve seen this before on a number of occasions with him. Be careful, but also realize every once in a while this sort of thing happens for the duration of a season (Randall Cunningham and Rich Gannon come to mind).
  • 27 catches: New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas has set an NFL modern-era record for receptions over the first two games of a season, surpassing Andre Rison’s 1994 effort. … Not much takeaway here for a universally owned player, other than he is at an ridiculously unsustainable pace by roughly 50 percent. The offense should become more balanced when Mark Ingram returns in a few weeks.
  • 10 TD passes: Putting the historical achievement by Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes through two games into context, only Peyton Manning (2013) and Drew Brees (2009) have thrown nine touchdown strikes over the first two games of a season since the 1970 merger. … While teams will find ways to slow Mahomes’ pace, he is absolutely on a realistic track to be the QB1 of 2018. Andy Reid is addicted to passing, and the weaponry suits it. KC’s defense stinks, so airing it out will be a necessity. Unfortunately, this comes as a detriment to fantasy owners of Kareem Hunt. He can be good for 80 total yards and a score like last week, but he is not as likely to match last year’s mark of 10 games with at least 100 yards of generated offense. Consider shopping him after his next big game.
  • 100 yards: Denver Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay has topped the century mark in total yards of offense each of his first two NFL games, marking the lone time an undrafted rookie has achieved the feat in league history. … Ride the wave wherever it takes you. He looks far more explosive than Royce Freeman at this point, but Lindsay’s size will not allow him to be a full-time back.

Flukes

  • Tampa Bay’s offense scored a pair of 75-yard touchdowns in the first half of Week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles. The last time this happened was 2015 when the Chicago Bears did it against the then-St. Louis Rams — certainly possible, definitely uncommon.
  • This one is fun: Mahomes threw more touchdown passes (6) than incompletions (5).
  • Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has completed 80.6 percent of his throws and averaged a strong 8.2 yards per attempt. He has just one touchdown pass on 58 completions. That will change soon. The offense is still feeling its way through Jon Gruden’s system, and Carr will improve in the scoring ratio. His other numbers are bound to take a dive.

Feelings

  • Giovani Bernard could be a serviceable RB2 or flex over the next month, which is about the minimum of how long I expect before Joe Mixon (knee) is back to full speed. Cincinnati faces Carolina (22nd), Atlanta (6th), Miami (12th) and Pittsburgh (26th), respectively — all rankings from easiest to worst matchups for PPR backs. He has produced double figures in fantasy points two of his past three meetings with the Steelers.
  • Last week, I said Stefon Diggs is a fantasy tease. He has three scores in the first two weeks, leading to some hate mail. Perhaps I end up being dead wrong, but it isn’t like we have not seen this movie before starring Mr. Diggs. Last season: He scored four times in the first three games and then went ice cold until the final three games of the regular season. In 2016, he did the same thing again … two big games to start the year and then only three four games all year with quality stats. And his rookie season … his NFL debut came in Week 4 (6-87-0). Diggs would go on to have three straight weeks of relevance before failing to score over the next six games and in eight of the nine final outings. Some players are just streaky. His season-end numbers always look promising, but a closer inspection shows he is wildly unpredictable.
  • The Dallas Cowboys are expected to re-sign Brice Butler, giving more of a downfield presence to the passing game. In 2018, Butler left to the Arizona Cardinals but found himself on the outside looking in. He didn’t know the offense well and missed time in camp with an injury. Being a quite familiar with Dallas’ system will give him a fresh shot at contributing. Is he fantasy relevant right away? Probably not, but he could emerge in a few weeks. Get ahead of the waiver curve if you have the space to stash him.
  • Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen is reportedly looking to avoid surgery and has a goal of returning in four to five weeks. I just don’t want any part of it.. As a layman, I have to think the risk for a third reinjury is extraordinarily high. Plus, getting into game shape cardio wise will take time. Then it comes down to his trust in the foot. By then, we’re talking sometime in the beginning of the final quarter of the fantasy season. Too much to go wrong and not enough upside for this guy….

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