Six points with David Dorey

Six points with David Dorey

Fantasy football player analysis tips and advice

Six points with David Dorey

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Week 2 saw the return of scoring with seven teams topping 30 points and Tua Tagovailoa tossing for 469 yards and six touchdowns in a thrilling comeback win over the Ravens, who choked on a 35-14 lead in the fourth quarter. Week 1 saw so many teams come out rusty and unprepared. Week 2 was marked with exciting comebacks and plenty of fantasy points.

We’ve already lost Trey Lance for the year, and Dak Prescott returns anywhere from this week to November, depending on who you ask. After two weeks, there are fantasy stars from 2021 that haven’t been seen much.

Here’s six things to think about this weekend:

1.) Let’s draft WR,WR,WR,WR, RB – Had a feeling, checked it out, and was correct. The decline in rushing is significant. I compared the stats for fantasy positions between 2021 and 2022 through the first two weeks of each season. There was really no statistically significant change from last year except one position. I’ll include the full table at the bottom. But for running backs:

RB RUN RYD RTD Target Catch CYDS CTD FF Pts
2021 1,472 6,359 55 426 330 2,554 18 1,659
2022 1,294 5,651 27 423 324 2,249 16 1,372
-178 -708 -28 -3 -6 -305 -2 -287
Drop 12% 11% 51% 1% 2% 12% 11% 17%

 

None of the positions varied other than running backs. The decline in the number of runs (12%), rushing yards (11%), and rushing touchdowns (51%) was noticeably skewed. Rushing tends to rise at the end of the season with bad weather games, but can we even rely on that anymore?

2.) Da Bears – They have been unbelievably bad on offense through two games and rant at or near the bottom in almost all fantasy categories other than running back. There is no way that this will continue. Week 1 was in the rain against the 49ers, and they won. It meant nothing. They ran well versus the Packers with 170 yards and both touchdowns. But the passing game was even worse – 7-of-11 for 70 yards and an interception. HC Matt Eberflus’ offense is being  installed and was in tough venues and conditions for two games. This week, the Bears host the Texans. This is likely their weakest matchup of the year.

Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet combined for only two catches and four yards but the first two games can be explained away. Eberflus has spoken to the need to involve Kmet and Mooney and they should be force-fed this week. They are also waiting for rookie speedster Velus Jones (4.3 40-time) to heal his hamstring and stretch the field. The Bears have two road games to follow, so this is the week to take advantage. This is the week they have to show at least a return to last year, if not actual progress.

3.) Kyle Pitts – I speak for all the other Pitts owners who spent a third-round pick. We did not sign up for  consecutive 2-19-0 stat lines. It’s been brought up to the still-calm HC Arthur Smith and he said that Pitts is every bit as much a part of the game plan as fantasy leaguers hope, but coverages have allowed other players to do more – like Drake London’s 13 catches for 160 yards and a score over two games.  He said there have been plenty of plays where Pitts was the first read. The first games were versus the Saints and at the Rams. Both are above-average defenses. Pitts’ final game in 2021 was versus the visiting Saints and he turned in just two catches for eight yards. Smith said, “The ball will find him. He’s going to break out here again, and we’re going to win because of it.”

Stat rankings are hardly reliable this early, but Pitts faced the current No. 2 and No. 5 defenses versus tight ends. The Seahawks this week are No. 24. He’ll be better this week as were the Broncos (7-85) and the 49ers (1-38, TD) who played without George Kittle. If Pitts turns in another 2-19 game, then it is reasonable to start breathing into a bag. But no need to  hyperventilate yet.

4.) Cowboys receivers – It was bad enough losing Dak Prescott for a few weeks or so. But now Dalton Schultz is not a lock to play on Monday night which would bring in a tag team of rookie tight ends of Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot. Last year, Schultz turned in 79 yards in each meeting. But the receiving picture is further compounded with the return of Michael Gallup who has undergone full practices. He may be on a pitch count, but the receivers could use more help.

The question is how the Cowboys handle Gallup. Noah Brown is a fifth-year receiver that just now has been a part of the game plan. He leads the Cowboys with ten catches for 159 yards and the lone receiver touchdown of the year. He should remain in the slot, but the Cowboys need to get CeeDee Lamb into the endzone and not outplayed by a fifth-year depth receiver.

5.) Malik Willis – The Titans were dominated by the Bills last Sunday night and they finally benched Ryan Tannehill after he threw for only 117 yards, two interceptions and a 32.7 QB rating (if you just throw one incompletion and stop, you get a 36.9). He gave way to the third-round pick Malik Willis. It’s no changing of the guard, yet, and Tannehill remains the starting quarterback. But the Titans are 0-2 and if they rack up many more losses, then Wilson could get a start.

Whenever they do rely on him, the offense will change with a quarterback that ran for over 800 yards in each of his last two season in Liberty. And that probably depresses the passing production. Tannehill needs to connect with Robert Woods (5-52) better and throw a score to anyone other than a No. 2 running back. Poor blocking is leaving Derrick Henry less productive, so the Titans need to get back on track these next few weeks. This is a team that is struggling and pulling down the fantasy fortunes of their best players.

6.) Irv Smith – The Vikings tight end opened the year with no catches on two targets. Justin Jefferson took over in the win against the Packers. But in Week 2, Smith accounted for eight targets – second to only Justin Jefferson. And he caught the lone touchdown in the loss to the Eagles. It is notable that while Jefferson was being contained, neither Adam Thielen nor K.J. Osborn saw an uptick in their targets. The Vikings play the Lions this week and Jefferson should be a lock to do well. But Smith’s usage will say a lot about how this new offensive scheme regards Thielen and Osborn.

 

Below are the total from the first two weeks of 2021 vs. 2022.

QB RUN RYD RTD PASS CMP PYDS PTD FF Pts
2021 273 1,194 16 2,235 1,489 16,585 108 1,477
2022 270 1,075 10 2,234 1,435 15,526 105 1,364
(3) (119) (6) (1) (54) (1,059) (3) (113)
RB RUN RYD RTD PASS CMP PYDS PTD FF Pts
2021 1,472 6,359 55 426 330 2,554 18 1,659
2022 1,294 5,651 27 423 324 2,249 16 1,372
(178) (708) (28) (3) (6) (305) (2) (287)
TE RUN RYD RTD PASS CMP PYDS PTD FF Pts
2021 3 14 0 456 311 3,311 33 842
2022 10 93 1 441 283 2,918 18 698
7 79 1 (15) (28) (393) (15) (143)
WR RUN RYD RTD PASS CMP PYDS PTD FF Pts
2021 45 316 1 1,286 852 10,839 58 2,322
2022 66 441 1 1,296 822 10,329 71 2,331
21 125 0 10 (30) (510) 13 10

 

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