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8 Stats To Know Before Setting Your Fantasy Football Lineup: Week 2 (2023)

8 Stats To Know Before Setting Your Fantasy Football Lineup: Week 2 (2023)

Week 2 is here; some teams are coming in undefeated, while others are scrambling to find their first win. In Week 2, you don’t have the months of research you could perform like you did in Week 1. That is where you let us step in and help you. Below are eight stats to help you navigate week two and leave with a victory!

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8 Stats To Know Before Setting Your Fantasy Football Lineup

Stop and Smell The Flowers In The Woods

We couldn’t praise just one wide receiver here but two wide receivers who faced off in Week 1, Robert Woods and Zay Flowers. The first half of this stat is that Robert Woods had the second-highest percentage of team targets in week one with 47.6% (tied with Zay Flowers). Their teams ensured they were in the game plan, and better yet, both quarterbacks trusted their wide receivers. That trust is essential in two different ways. For Woods, he becomes a safety blanket for the rookie C.J. Stroud. Flowers has instilled confidence in the Ravens’ superstar quarterback Lamar Jackson to look his way on most passing plays.

Let’s add one more quick stat to show that Zay Flowers is the WR1 of his respective team moving forward. In Week 1, Flowers had the red zone targets, tied with Tyreek Hill. The Ravens used Zay Flowers exactly how you would like to see him used in a game plan. Zay Flowers’ game reminds me of Kadarius Toney if Toney has a healthy body and football skills. On a potent offense like the Baltimore Ravens, who will have to lean even more into the passing attack after J.K. Dobbins‘ injury, Zay Flowers should continue to be moved around the scheme and schemed into this offense as the WR1.

It’s A Bird! It’s A Plane! No, It’s Rashid Shaheed’s Air Yards

Rashid Shaheed finished Week 1 third overall in air yards with 84 yards. For Shaheed, this is a positive for him throughout the season. Even with Michael Thomas healthy and a new quarterback in Derek Carr, Shaheed still has his role of popping the top on the defense and making big plays down the field. If your roster is dealing with injuries or bad matchups, Shaheed could help you secure a victory, especially in week two, facing a Panthers defense sans Jaycee Horn.

A Needle In A Haystack

In this example, the haystack is a woeful performance from the Pittsburgh Steelers, especially their running backs. Najee Harris is their rushing leader after Week 1; the problem is that Najee Harris only accumulated 31 rushing yards on six carries. So why am I writing about Najee Harris? I hope to find that needle within the haystack, and that needle is the fact that Najee Harris had the fourth-highest amount of rushing yards before contact in Week 1.

With this stat, we learn one thing: the offense line is progressing and hopefully not a concern for these Pittsburgh Steelers. In Week 1, they faced the San Francisco 49ers (who will return in this article later); any team will struggle against them regardless of who is in the backfield or on the offensive line. With Diontae Johnson sideline for multiple weeks, Harris should be looked towards to shoulder the load and help second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett navigate the upcoming weeks.

Passing The Torch In Los Angeles?

Most analysts were heading into the season, leaning into Cam Akers being the workhorse back for the Los Angeles Rams. Well, Week 1 shows up and gives the Rams a surprise win and a complete shakeup in the backfield. Kyren Williams scores two touchdowns and looks better on the field than Cam Akers. This change in the backfield is something to keep your eye on because we have seen Cam Akers disappear before within this Sean McVay offense.

Cam Akers did not help his case either by getting tackles five times for negative yards. Kyren Williams is a pass-catching back who gets positive yards when he carries the football. That’s precisely what McVay wants, and he should be featured again in this tough matchup in San Francisco. If you have other options outside of Cam Akers, this may be the week to sit him and let it play out without ruining your team.

Running Backs With Redzone Targets = More Valuable Opportunities

Here are the running backs that led the NFL in Week 1 with targets in the red zone: Bijan Robinson, Roschon Johnson, Alexander Mattison and Anthony McFarland Jr. Let’s break this down. Let’s forget Anthony McFarland Jr. Trust me, it’s not worth wasting time there. Mattison was the volume back and saw targets in the red zone for the Vikings, which generally would be positive for our fantasy team. His offensive line is dealing with injuries, specifically in the interior, which is a doomsday scenario when facing the Philadelphia Eagles.

Now, Bijan Robinson is Bijan. He will be amazing when running or targeted in this offense; the name we should look at is Roschon Johnson. If the Chicago Bears continue to target him while he will lead the way as the best pass blocker in the backfield, Johnson should see a higher snap percentage as the weeks go on.

A Terrible Debut Or A Sign To Come?

Did you know that Bryce Young had 2.8 seconds between the snap and throwing the ball in pressure? Young tied for fourth within this stat. With his pass-catching options being the definition of lackluster, Bryce Young may not be anything to write home about, at least to start the season. Young faces a stout defense in the New Orleans Saints in Week 2. Don’t expect a miracle bounce back.

In The Ayer

Okay, maybe Flo Rida wasn’t talking about our air yard leaders, but did any of us see the top five after Week 1 being: Tua Tagovailoa (7.1), Derek Carr (6.5), Matthew Stafford (6.1), Brock Purdy (5.9) and Jimmy Garoppolo (5.7). Follow the matchup and your research when deciding who to start, but if you need some big chunks of offense, look at these air-yard leaders in their matchups. My personal favorites are Derek Carr and Brock Purdy in week two.

“Fergalicious, Definition Make Them Boys Go Loco”

Jake Ferguson could have had a better game in week one for the Dallas Cowboys. Ferguson, a late-round dart throw for many fantasy football fans, received four red zone targets in Week 1. He also recorded 18% of the team’s targets; the issue was he had two drops. The Cowboys offense, particularly Dak, will use the tight end. Ferguson is still a lucrative endeavor to chase, but the window may close if he doesn’t perform soon.

These stats will help you win in week 2. Remember always to read the fantastic work here at FantasyPros, and if you need any more help, contact me on X at @jpep20. Good luck in Week 2!

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