Fantasy Football: 10 utilization stats to know from Week 2

Fantasy Football: 10 utilization stats to know from Week 2

Fantasy football statistical analysis

Fantasy Football: 10 utilization stats to know from Week 2

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We now have a two-game sample size of fantasy football data to work with from the 2022 NFL season.

It’s still a relatively small sample size, but trends are starting.

Before you make any roster cuts or waiver claims for Week 3, here are 10 utilization notes to know following Week 2.

10
Los Angeles Chargers: RB Sony Michel gets goal-line snaps

(AP Photo/John McCoy)

It’s a small sample size, and he doesn’t have much production to show for it so far, but Michel might be L.A.’s preferred goal-line back this season. Austin Ekeler is one of the best running backs in fantasy football, but he is not a workhorse or a short-yardage guy. Michel only has 12 touches through two games, and Ekeler is obviously the Chargers running back for fantasy, but L.A.’s backfield trends are worth monitoring going forward. If anything happens to Ekeler, Michel should become a top target.

9
Kansas City Chiefs: WR Justin Watson making targets count

(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)

Watson seems to be KC’s fourth-choice receiver, at best, and he drew only one target in Week 1. That doubled to two targets in Week 2, still a low number, but one of them was a 41-yard touchdown catch. The Chiefs have plenty of weapons, so fantasy managers shouldn’t overreact to one play, but Watson could be a sleeper WR to keep an eye on. If he continues to make the most of his opportunities, Watson might be able to carve out a larger role on offense.

8
Baltimore Ravens: TE Isaiah Likely a sleeper?

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Likely ranked third in snaps (21) among Ravens tight ends on Sunday, but second in targets (five) and receptions (four). Likely won’t jump Mark Andrews on the depth chart, but he has nine targets through two games and quarterback Lamar Jackson clearly likes to feature tight ends in the passing game. It’s too early to say Baltimore has two fantasy-relevant TEs, but Likely is a player to watch in the coming weeks.

7
Washington Commanders: WR Jahan Dotson keeps scoring

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel are above Dotson in terms of target count, but the rookie leads the team with three receiving touchdowns through two games (Samuel has two and McLaurin has one). TDs can be fluky, but all three WRs could have value in fantasy this season. Dotson will be a top target on the waiver wire this week, presuming he wasn’t snatched up following his strong Week 1 showing.

6
Dallas Cowboys: WR Noah Brown stepping up

(The Enquirer, USA TODAY Network)

Even with Dak Prescott sidelined, Brown is emerging as a flex candidate in fantasy. He drew nine targets in the Cowboys’ season opener and then followed that up with a five-catch, 91-yard performance on five targets in Week 2 . Brown also scored a touchdown on Sunday, and he now leads Dallas with 159 receiving yards through two games. Brown’s stock is trending up.

5
Atlanta Falcons: WR Drake London living up to expectations

(Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

London was a fantasy darling this offseason, and he’s lived up to expectations so far. He led the Falcons in targets (12), catches (eight) and receiving yards (86) in Week 2 and he now leads Atlanta in all three categories through two games (19/13/160). It’s no surprise that London is heavily involved in the Falcons’ passing attack, but his utilization is still great to see.

4
Los Angeles Rams: TE Tyler Higbee trending up

(Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

After drawing the second-most targets behind Cooper Kupp in Week 1, Higbee was once again Matthew Stafford’s second-favorite target again in Week 2. Higbee turned nine targets into seven catches for 71 yards on Sunday, and his heavy utilization is now officially a trend.

3
Los Angeles Rams: RB Cam Akers back in the mix

(Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

After a no-show in the NFL’s season opener in Week 1, Akers re-entered the Rams’ running back rotation on Sunday and led the team with 15 carries. Akers totaled 44 yards on the ground and caught two passes for 18 yards. It will be hard to trust Akers on a week-to-week basis in a shared backfield with Darrell Henderson, but it’s a good sign that he at least appears to be out of the dog house.

2
Houston Texans: RB Dameon Pierce assumes workhorse role

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

After Rex Burkhead dominated the Texans’ backfield snaps in Week 1, some fantasy managers questioned if drafting Pierce was a mistake. Houston went to the opposite extreme in Week 2: Pierce rushed 15 times and Burkhead did not get a single carry. Burkhead was still involved in the passing game (three targets on Sunday), and he’ll be a factor when the Texans are trailing, but it appears that Pierce is the first-choice RB in Houston.

1
Jacksonville Jaguars: RB James Robinson continues to lead backfield

(Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports)

It appears that last week was not a fluke — Robinson is the leader in Jacksonville’s backfield, at least based on the numbers. Robinson earned more snaps (45) and carries (23) than Travis Etienne (26/9), and he scored another touchdown on Sunday, his third of the season. Etienne did draw three targets in Week 2, and he might be more involved in the passing game when the Jaguars are trailing, but he remains behind Robinson for fantasy purposes.

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