Counting down the fantasy numbers of note from the second weekend of the NFL season:
944 – League-high yards allowed by the Falcons’ defense so far. It’s one of the many failing figures so far for the Atlanta D, which has also surrendered 58 points (31st among the league’s 32 teams), 635 passing yards (31) and 309 rushing yards (26th). The Falcons also have somehow failed to register a sack – the only NFL squad without one – on 66 opponent drop-backs this year. Keep these numbers in mind when making those tough lineup decisions in the weeks to come as a start against the Dirty Birds – run pass or throw – has a strong chance to wind up a fantasy success.
42.9 – Fourth-ranked PPR-league fantasy points so far for Titans’ TE Delanie Walker, who has caught 13 passes for 179 yards and a pair of touchdowns in two games. A number of other Titans, including QB Jake Locker, rookie RB Bishop Sankey and WRs Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter, have generated more pre- and in-season fantasy buzz, but none has produced like Walker, whose 18 targets are tied for fourth among all NFL TEs.
36.4 – Percent of the Packers’ overall offensive plays (43 of 118) in which they’ve run the ball this season. If that seems low, it’s because it is, ranking as the fifth fewest among the league’s 32 teams. It’s also helped contribute to some alarming fantasy figures for Eddie Lacy, who has totaled only 77 rushing yards (on 25 carries) and 29 receiving yards (on 5 catches) without a TD. Lacy’s opening-game concussion was a bit alarming, but there’s certainly no cause for fantasy panic or any rash roster decisions. Consider that the Packers have faced two of the league’s stoutest run defenses (Seahawks & Jets) and have only led a combined 8 minutes and 57 seconds so far after falling behind early in both of their first two contests. That’s forced Aaron Rodgers and Co. to play catch-up through the air while getting away from the ground game. If anything, Lacy is a buy-low candidate with much better days ahead.
32 – Touches so far for Lions’ RB Joique Bell. That’s seven more than backfield compatriot Reggie Bush, who also trails Bell in offensive snaps (35-30), rushing yards (87-41), receiving yards (66-55) and total fantasy points (26.3-17.6). Not a significant difference, but one that matters to a player (Bell) who was drafted 33 spots (72-39) behind Bush, on average, in drafts this summer.
18 – Average fantasy points scored by Washington QB Kirk Cousins in the five career games in which he’s attempted 20 or more passes. The latest in that span, of course, came Sunday when he took over for the injured Robert Griffin III and completed 22-of-33 passes for 250 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the 41-10 rout of the visiting Jags. Overall, Cousins is 117-of-200 for 1,326 yards, eight TDs and six interceptions in those five games and is a must add in almost all leagues this week.
15.4 – Yards-per-reception average this season for Washington TE Niles Paul, which leads all NFL tight ends who have eight or more catches this season. Paul, a hybrid WR filling in for injured starter Jordan Reed, had a team-leading eight receptions for 99 yards and a score Sunday and now has 12 receptions for 185 yards and a TD this season to rank as the team’s top pass-catcher in all three categories. Paul, a fifth-round pick in 2011, totaled 14 receptions, 228 yards and a score in his first three seasons, but likely has earned playing time even when Reed recovers from his current hamstring issue.
14 – Receptions so far for Rams’ wideout Brian Quick, tying him for second among league wide receivers after Sunday. Quick has had seven receptions in each game, totaling 173 yards, and his 31.3 fantasy points ranks him 15th among WRs in PPR leagues. He only had 18 catches for 302 yards and two scores a year ago, but will eclipse those marks in a few weeks as the team’s No. 1 WR, especially now with Tavon Austin expected to be sidelined with an MCL sprain.
13 – Sacks allowed by the Jaguars this season after giving up 10 in Sunday’s beat-down in Washington. The 13 sacks not only are the most in the league, they’re a full six more than other team has allowed. The Jags’ offensive-line woes don’t end there, either, as they’ve rushed for a league-low 89 yards on 35 carries and are tied with the Chargers for the league’s worst yards-per-carry average at 2.5. But while the Bolts have faced the Cardinals’ and Seahawks’ defenses, Jacksonville has gone up against the Philadelphia and Washington fronts – i.e. not exactly an equal comparison. In short, the Jags have scored only 27 points so far and the fantasy prospects for Toby Gerhart, the young WR corps and whomever plays QB will remain muted until the offensive front can – if possible – pick up its play.
8 – Total touchdowns in the last seven games for Chiefs’ RB Knile Davis, who rolled up 105 total yards and a pair of rushing TDs Sunday after replacing the injured Jamaal Charles in Denver. The current span extends back to Week 13 of last season, and includes K.C.’s wild-card loss in Indy in which Davis also had to finish the game for an injured Charles. In those seven games, Davis has rushed for 296 yards and seven TDs on 89 carries and has tacked on 92 more receiving yards and a score on 19 receptions. In short, he tops the list of must-own RB handcuffs given the Chiefs’ dependence on their lead back.
1 – Target for Ravens’ WR Torrey Smith on Thursday night in a 26-6 win over the visiting Steelers. Overall, Smith has only four receptions for 60 yards and no TDs on 10 targets in two games, which pales next to the totals of newcomer Steve Smith Sr. (25 targets, 13 catches, 189 yards and a TD), who looks as if he’s quickly become Joe Flacco’s go-to wideout. A number of fantasy GMs were expecting big things for Torrey Smith, who was coming off a career-high 1,128 receiving yards last season and a career-best eight scoring receptions the year before, but so far, a full 70 percent (64) of Flacco’s 91 passes have been directed at the ageless Smith Sr., the TE duo of Dennis Pitta and Owen Daniels and RB Justin Forsett. That’s left Torrey Smith as the odd man out for now.