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The Primer: Week 2 Edition (2023 Fantasy Football)

The Primer: Week 2 Edition (2023 Fantasy Football)

Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions

Pace and playcalling notes

  • The Lions’ neutral pace (11th-best) was encouraging to see in Week 1. They had the 12th-highest neural rushing rate, though. That could be related to matchup, so we’ll have to see how that evolves over the next few weeks.
  • Seattle was yawn-inducing all around in Week 1. They were 16th in neutral pace and 18th in neutral passing rate. Come on, Carroll, let Chef Geno cook.


Geno Smith: Chef Geno is likely staring down another long day in Week 2. Smith played terribly last week, ranking 19th in passing grade with the fourth-lowest yards per attempt and tenth-lowest aDOT. He was pressured at the eighth-highest rate in the NFL last week. That number likely doesn’t get much better against a Lions front that ranked ninth in pressure rate with the seventh-highest blitz rate last year. Smith ranked 28th in passing grade with the third-highest turnover-worthy play rate last season when blitzed. Smith is a QB2.

Jared Goff: Goff started off this season strong. Last week, he ranked ninth in passing grade and tenth in yards per attempt despite it not showing up with his QB18 fantasy finish. This week, his play should cross over to the fantasy box score. Seattle got torched last week, allowing the third-most passing yards and fourth-highest yards per attempt. The Seahawks could only cobble together a 7.7% pressure rate (31st) while playing their corners in zone on 61-75% of their plays. Goff was 13th in yards per attempt and 20th in fantasy points per dropback last season against zone coverage (per Fantasy Points Data). Goff is a QB1 this week.

Running Backs

Kenneth Walker: Last week, Walker proved that all the offseason worries about his demise as Seattle’s workhorse weren’t justified. He played 63% of the snaps with 16 touches and 67 total yards. Walker also had the ninth-highest route per team drop back rate, drawing a 15.4% target share. He displayed the same rushing prowess that shined in his rookie season with 3.67 yards after contact per attempt and a 137.5 elusive rating. Walker is an RB1 facing a Detroit run defense that held Kansas City to 3.0 yards per carry on zone runs in Week 1 (Walker 50% zone in Week 1). It’s only a one-game sample, so take it with a grain of salt, especially for a run defense that allowed the sixth-highest yards per carry and success rate on zone runs last season.

Zach Charbonnet: Charbonnet is only a handcuff at this point. He only played 23% of the snaps with three touches and 11 total yards. His status as the clear handcuff is also in question, as DeeJay Dallas also logged 22% of the snaps with three touches and 18 total yards. Sit Charbonnet.

David Montgomery: Montgomery played 79% of the snaps in Week 1 as people lost their minds about their wasted Gibbs picks in fantasy. People. Please understand this backfield will be in flux weekly depending on the matchup and game script. Ok, now that we have that out of the way. Montgomery handled 21 carries, churning out 74 rushing yards. The Motown spinning top ranked 27th in yards after contact per attempt and 14th in missed tackles forced per attempt last week among 55 qualifying running backs. He handled four of the five red zone running back carries. Last week, Seattle allowed only 2.8 yards per carry on gap runs (Week 1 Montgomery 52% gap). It’s only one game, so we’ll see if that sticks because Seattle allowed the third-highest yards per carry to gap runs last year. Seattle also ranked 16th in stuff rate and 14th in runs of 10-plus yards allowed last season. Montgomery is an RB2.

Jahmyr Gibbs: Gibbs played only 27% of the snaps last week, but he had no issue racking up 60 total yards on nine touches. Gibbs only had a 19% route per team dropback rate and a 5.7% target share. I expect both of those figures to climb in Week 2. Gibbs is an explosive player that the team talked about easing in for Week 1. This could be the week that they unleash him. Last week, on the limited volume, he ranked first in missed tackles forced per attempt and third in yards after contact per attempt (minimum five rushes). Expect Ben Johnson to take advantage of Seattle’s weakness against running backs in the passing game this week. Last year, Seattle allowed the tenth-most receptions, fifth-most receiving yards, and highest yards per reception to running backs. Gibbs is an RB2 with RB1 upside this week.

Wide Receivers

2022 vs. pressure

Player Tg% TPRR Team yd% Team td%
D.K. Metcalf 18.1 15 21.6 25
Tyler Lockett 26.1 20 36.2 50.5

2022 vs. zone coverage

Player Tg% TPRR Team yd% Team td%
D.K. Metcalf 22 23 21.6 8.3
Tyler Lockett 22.2 23 27.5 41.7

Tyler Lockett: Lockett is Geno’s guy against pressure and zone coverage. Each of these factors will factor in heavily in this game. Last week, Detroit deployed zone on 68-72% of their corner’s snaps. Last year, Lockett ranked 15th in receiving grade and 18th in yards per route run against zone coverage. Lockett is a WR2 who will run about 63% of his routes against Cameron Sutton (50.7% catch rate and 69.6 passer rating allowed in 2022) and Jerry Jacobs (55.0% catch rate and 74.9 passer rating allowed in 2022).

D.K. Metcalf: Against zone coverage last season, Metcalf equaled Lockett in target share (22%) and TPRR (23%). The big discrepancy came with efficiency (1.78 YPRR vs. 2.30 for Lockett) and the touchdown production. Metcalf did receive eight end zone targets last year against zone to Lockett’s three. The problem is he only converted one into a touchdown. If Seattle can keep Chef Geno upright and clean, Metcalf’s numbers might not look too different from Lockett’s. Metcalf also has sneaky touchdown upside. He remains a WR2 who will run about 67% of his routes against Sutton and Jacobs.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba: Smith-Njigba is a must-sit until his situation changes. Likely due to his wrist injury, he was only a 62% route per team dropback player in Week 1. Despite a 19.2% target share, he needs more routes and volume per game to be fantasy-viable. He played 81% of his snaps from the slot in Week 1, which could be expected, but his 1.0 aDOT is soul-crushing. With that check-down level depth of target, he needs a ton of volume or gawd-like YAC skills to perform well for fantasy purposes. As he gets healthier, look for his role to evolve, but we sit and wait for now. Smith-Njigba will see Brian Branch (50% catch rate and 56.2 passer rating allowed) in coverage when he’s on the field.

Amon-Ra St. Brown: St. Brown picked up right where he left off to open the 2023 season. In Week 1, he commanded a 25.7% target share with 2.29 yards per route run as the WR11 in fantasy scoring. He played 54% of his snaps from the slot while drawing one of the team’s only two red zone targets. Look for Goff to pepper him with targets against Seattle’s zone looks. Last season, he was tenth in target share, third in TPRR, and 11th in YPRR against zone coverage. St. Brown will face off against Artie Burns (59.8% catch rate and 100.3 passer rating allowed in his career) on about 54% of his routes. St. Brown is a WR1.

Josh Reynolds: Reynolds had a nice Week 1, but this isn’t the matchup to take a dice roll with him. Last year, against zone coverage, he only managed a 9.5% target share, 14% TPRR, and 1.44 YPRR with Detroit. Goff will hone in on Gibbs, St. Brown, and LaPorta in this game. All the other receiving options will likely be left fighting for scraps. Sit Reynolds or leave him on the waiver wire.

Marvin Jones: Jones should not be on an NFL roster or your fantasy roster. In Week 1, he looked like a wide receiver that needs to turn in his retirement papers. He turned his 14.3% target share into eight receiving yards and 0.50 yards per route run.

Tight Ends

SEA TEs: The Seattle tight end roulette wheel has returned for 2023. Seattle deployed three tight ends in Week 1. None eclipsed a 45% route per team dropback rate or an 8% target share. No tight end on this roster should grace your fantasy lineup until this gets whittled down some.

Sam LaPorta: LaPorta’s usage in Week 1 was encouraging. He had a 50% route per team dropback rate (83% of snaps) with a 28% TPRR and 14.3% target share. Laporta ranked 17th in target share and fourth in TPRR among tight ends (minimum ten routes). Despite his routes per team dropback being less than desirable, if that rises this week, he should be a locked-in TE1, which is why I’m ranking him as such. The matchup against Seattle is amazing. Last year, the Seahawks allowed the second-most fantasy points, highest yards per reception, and second-most fantasy points to tight ends.

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Tennessee Titans

Pace and playcalling notes

  • The Chargers were an uptempo team, as expected, ranking tenth in neutral pace in Week 1. The curve ball here is that they had the third-highest neutral rushing rate. That should change this week against a pass funnel Titans’ defense.
  • The Titans were predictably slow, with the sixth-lowest neutral pace in Week 1. They also did surprise, though, as Tennessee had the ninth-highest neutral passing rate. We’ll see if that holds up in Week 2, considering how terrible Ryan Tannehill looked against the Saints.


Justin Herbert: In Week 1, Herbert, in this new-look Kellen Moore offense, only attempted 33 passes in a shootout. I expect the passing volume to climb massively this week against a Titans pass funnel defense. Moore has shown the willingness to adapt his offensive approach depending on the opponent. This week, the name of the game should be to attack through the air early and often for the Bolts. Last week, Tennessee allowed the fifth-most passing yards in the NFL to Derek Carr. This was a continuation of their smelly secondary stinking up the joint since 2022. Last year, the Titans allowed the most passing yards in the NFL, the fourth-highest adjusted completion rate, and the highest CPOE on deep passes. Amani Hooker and Kristian Fulton have been ruled out, depleting an already wretched secondary. Herbert takes to the air as a top-three fantasy option in Week 2.

Ryan Tannehill: If Tannehill logs many more games like Week 1 this season, he won’t be the starting quarterback for the Titans. In Week 1, he finished with the seventh-lowest passing grade, the worst adjusted completion rate, and the highest turnover-worthy play rate. He’s lucky to have escaped that game with only three picks. Yes, the Chargers gave up an astounding 466 passing yards and a 110.0 passer rating to Tua Tagovailoa in Week 1, but this passing offense isn’t close to that one in any shape, form, or fashion. Last season, Los Angeles allowed the ninth-highest yards per attempt, but they also held opposing passers to the lowest adjusted completion rate in the NFL and the 13th-lowest fantasy points per game. Tannehill is a low-end QB2.

Running Backs

Austin Ekeler:  Ekeler has been listed as doubtful (ankle). This is the Chargers’ way of saying he will be out. He hasn’t practiced all week. Ekeler is not suiting up this week.

Joshua Kelley: With Ekeler all but ruled out, Kelley should assume the starting job. Last week, Kelley played 48% of the snaps with 16 rushing attempts for 91 yards and a score. Among 55 qualifying running backs, he finished 22nd in yards after contact per attempt and 32nd in elusive rating. He also had a 25% route run per team dropback rate. Tennessee is a brutal run defense to deal with. Last week, they ranked 12th in stuff rate with the 11th-lowest missed tackles allowed rate. In Week 1, 68% of Kelley’s runs were on gap plays. Last week, the Titans allowed 2.0 yards per carry to gap runs. In 2022, they permitted only 3.97 yards per carry to gap runs (sixth-lowest). Fire up Kelley as an RB2.

Week 1

Player Rushing attempts Targets Routes RZ opportunities
Derrick Henry 15 2 9 3
Tyjae Spears 3 4 20 1

Derrick Henry: It’s not good, Bob. In Week 1, Henry was outed as a game script-dependent back as he lost significant snaps to Tyjae Spears. Henry played only 48% of the snaps, with 17 touches and 119 total yards. Henry didn’t lose the red zone battle to Spears, but the massive route divide is a problem. The Tennessee goliath played well with 2.93 yards after contact per attempt (13th-best) and a 33% MTF per attempt (12th-best) clip. If Tennessee falls behind early, Henry could easily get taken out of the game flow. If the Titans can keep this game close, Henry can roll. Last week, the Chargers ranked 17th in stuff rate while allowing the 12th-highest yards after contact per attempt and tenth-highest missed tackles allowed per attempt. Henry is a shaky RB1.

Tyjae Spears: In Week 1, Spears played 54% of the snaps with a 41% route run per team dropback rate. He saw an 11.8% target share, finishing with four touches and 28 total yards. Spears is lightning in a bottle as he ripped off 6.0 yards after contact per attempt and forced two missed tackles on his three rushing attempts. Spears is an RB3/flex play in Week 2.

Wide Receivers

Keenan Allen: Allen finished Week 1 with a 27.3% target share, a 41.4% air yard share, and 2.30 yards per route run. Allen garnered a 33.3% first-read share while running 54% of his routes from the slot. He will rip Roger McCreary (68.4% catch rate and 111.6 passer rating allowed in his career) in half in Week 2. Allen is WR1 with top-five upside this week.

Mike Williams: Williams was shaken up in Week 1 and evaluated for a concussion before returning. He had a 62% route run per team dropback rate with a 15.2% target share and 20% TPRR (1.80 YPRR). The beat reports in camp were that Williams could see more slot time this season, which happened in Week 1 (44% slot rate). Williams will have his chances against McCreary as well. When he’s outside, look for him to match up with Elijah Molden (69.1% catch rate and 101.2 passer rating allowed in his career) and Sean Murphy-Bunting. Murphy-Bunting gave up a 60% catch rate and a 94.6 passer rating last year. Williams is a WR2. 

Joshua Palmer: Palmer hype and hope needs to disappear. We know who Palmer is at this point in his career. In Week 1, he had a 65% route run per team dropback rate and could only earn one target. Just one. Count it on one hand. One target. He will be displaced eventually by Quentin Jonston. Sit Palmer. I don’t know why you’d have him on your roster, but that’s a discussion for a different day.

Quentin Johnston: Johnston is a sit-and-hold player. He saw a 40% route run per team dropback rate in Week 1, partially due to Williams getting evaluated for a concussion. Be patient. Don’t drop him. The talent and upside are real.

DeAndre Hopkins: Hopkins popped up on the injury report this week with an ankle injury he picked up last Sunday. He hasn’t practiced all week, which makes me consider him more doubtful, but the team has listed him as questionable. In Week 1, he garnered a 38.2% target share and 46.3% air yard share, but he was held in check as Marshon Lattimore followed him on 42% of his routes, holding him to 24 receiving yards in shadow coverage. Hopkins finished the day with seven grabs and 65 receiving yards. If Hopkins can go, he’ll run about 65% of his routes against J.C. Jackson and Michael Davis, who combined to allow a 55.6% catch rate, 189 receiving yards, and three scores last week. Hopkins is a WR2/3 if he plays, but I do lean that he will miss this game.

Treylon Burks: Burks blended into the background in Week 1 with only an 8.8% target share as Tannehill locked his eyes on Hopkins. His 7.7% first-read share is troubling. Burks only saw an 8% air yard share. Unless Hopkins is sidelined, it’s difficult to consider Burks as anything more than a dart throw flex/WR5 in a struggling passing offense. Just to add another layer of disappointment on top of Burks’ Week 1 performance. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine out-targeted him seven to three. Burks will run about 50% of his routes from the slot, where he’ll match up with Asante Samuel (56% catch rate and 81.0 passer rating allowed in 2022) and Derwin James (77.7% catch rate and 74.7 passer rating allowed in slot coverage in 2022).

Tight Ends

Gerald Everett: Everett’s Week 1 usage was disappointing to put it mildly. He only managed a 45% team route per dropback rate and a 9.1% target share. Each of these nauseating usage metrics knock him out of TE1 territory. Add in his 3.0 aDOT and he’s a touchdown or bust TE2. This week’s matchup could lead to different usage and possibly a TE1 week, but it’s difficult to forecast that with the one game sample we have to work with. Tennessee allowed the most receiving yards and the sixth-highest yards per reception to tight ends last year. Hence, the path is there for Everett to have a productive outing in Week 2.

Chigoziem Okonkwo: Toss Oknokwo’s wretched Week 1 into the trash bin. New Orleans has been a tight end squashing behemoth for many seasons, so don’t fret over his two targets in Week 1. The encouraging stat from Week 1 is his 74.4% route per team drop back rate. Okonkwo is a TE1 this week against a Chargers defense that allowed the 12th-most receiving yards and second-highest yards per reception to tight ends last year.

Chicago Bears vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Pace and playcalling notes

  • The Bears’ offensive design looked dreadful in Week 1. The one familiar thing was their pace (seventh-slowest) and passing rate (fourth-lowest).
  • The Buccaneers ran a surprisingly quick offensive attack (eighth-beset in neutral pace) despite being run-centric (13th-highest neutral rushing rate).


Justin Fields: Fields played terribly in Week 1, but it’s not all his fault. Head to social media and watch a few clips of this offense. You will be appalled and shocked at the brain-dead play designs that set up this young quarterback to fail before the ball was snapped. This isn’t to say Fields didn’t hesitate when his receivers ran wide-open last week. He did. Last week, he had the fourth-lowest passing grade, second-lowest aDOT, and 12th-lowest yards per attempt. Considering Fields’ skill set, why were there zero designed runs last week? Yeah, I have no clue either, but there were zero. Luke Getsy had too much time this offseason to ponder ways to break this offense. If Chicago can get Fields moving on designed runs again and dial up some deep shots, he can have a good day in Week 2. Tampa Bay allowed the fifth-highest yards per attempt, seventh-highest CPOE on deep throws, and ninth-highest adjusted completion rate last week. Fields remains a QB1.

Baker Mayfield: Mayfield is a QB2. He ranked fifth in passing grade last week but was also 20th in adjusted completion rate with the seventh-lowest yards per attempt. He could have a solid outing this week, though. Chicago was shredded by Jordan Love last week, allowing the third-highest yards per attempt and highest passer rating in the NFL.

Running Backs

Week 1

Player Rushing attempts Targets Routes RZ opportunities
Khalil Herbert 9 3 13 0
D’Onta Foreman 5 3 15 0
Roschon Johnson 5 7 17 4

Khalil Herbert: This backfield is a mess, but let’s try and make some sense of it. Herbert played 36% of the snaps last week with 12 touches and 64 total yards. He led the trio in rushing attempts but was a distant third in routes and red zone opportunities. Herbert also failed to break any tackles and finished with an ugly 1.56 yards after contact per attempt. Last year, Tampa Bay allowed the ninth-highest explosive run rate and yards after contact per attempt. The Buccaneers also gave up the seventh-highest zone yards per carry. In Week 1, Herbert led the team with a 55% zone run rate. Herbert is a dart throw RB3/flex.

Roschon Johnson: Johnson finished Week 1 with 39% of snaps played with 11 touches, 55 total yards, and a score. He led the backfield in targets, routes, and red zone opportunities. What makes this usage muddy is the blowout nature of the Bears Week 1 game. Can we expect Johnson to lead the team in these categories in Week 2? I’m not sure we can, but I’ll also say this. Johnson has the best complete package of any of these backs. He could continue to earn more playing time, and that could start in Week 2, so I won’t rule it out. There’s a sliver of hope for Herbert on zone runs to have a good outing, but the Buccaneers also improved their run defense last week. They had the fourth-highest stuff rate while giving up the ninth-lowest yards after contact per attempt. Tampa Bay could shut down the backs and force Fields to beat them. Johnson is an RB3/4.

D’Onta Foreman: Foreman is the least desirable of these three backs. He only played 28% of the snaps with seven touches and 24 total yards. Foreman is a volume back. Expecting him to get in the rhythm and produce stand-out numbers on limited snaps is probably not something that happens with a high probability. To Foreman’s credit, he tied Johnson for the lead in this backfield with a 20% missed tackles forced per attempt clip. He also led the group with 2.2 yards after contact per attempt, but that’s not saying much because that number is still quite bad. Even in the deepest of leagues, Foreman is a sit. He’s an RB4/5.

Rachaad White: Well, White was the workhorse in Week 1. He played 79% of the snaps, finishing with 19 touches and 49 total yards. The bad news is he’s still exceptionally poor at breaking tackles. Last year, he ranked ninth-worst in explosive run rate, ninth-worst in stuff rate, and had the lowest (tied) missed tackles forced per attempt. One game into the 2023 season, White has the 11th-lowest missed tackles forced per attempt rate and the 12th-lowest yards after contact per attempt. If he doesn’t change this long-standing trend, then we should start to worry if he can hold onto this role he has been gifted. It’s put up or shut up time for White. Last year, Chicago allowed the highest explosive run rate and permitted the fourth-lowest stuff rate. This season, so far, they have given up the ninth-highest yards after contact per attempt, but they have also managed the seventh-highest stuff rate. White could have a decent day through the air against a defense that was eighth-worst in yards per reception and allowed the 14th-most receiving yards to running backs in 2022. White is an RB2.

Wide Receivers

D.J. Moore: Last week, Moore was shut down, with Jaire Alexander following him on 55% of his routes. Moore had a 5.4% target share and a 10.7% air yard share. Although we’ve read this book before, this week is a new chapter. Last year in Week 17, when Moore squared off against Tampa Bay, Jamel Dean followed him on 70% of his routes as Moore secured two of his three targets for 61 receiving yards. That didn’t stop Moore from getting loose against corners not named Dean, as he finished with ten targets, six receptions, and 117 receiving yards (one score). Moore is a WR2/3 who will run about 81% of his routes against Dean and Carlton Davis, who combined to allow a 66.6% catch rate and 178 receiving yards in Week 1.

Darnell Mooney: In Week 1, Mooney led the way with an 18.9% target share and 52.9% air yard share. He ran from the slot on 77% of his routes. He had the highest aDOT (9.1) of any of the wide receivers. Mooney is a WR4/5 that will match up with Christian Izien (80% catch rate, 81.7 passer rating allowed) for most of the day. Izien has 4.3 speed, so he can turn and run with Mooney if needed.

Mike Evans: Evans saw a 26.5% target share and a 54.6% air yard share in Week 1. He had 1.94 YPRR with a 14.4 aDOT. Evans had all three deep targets for the Buccaneers last week. Last year, Chicago allowed the seventh-highest adjusted completion rate and sixth-most passing yards on deep throws. Evans could come down with a long bomb this week while running about 83% of his routes against Tyrique Stevenson (50% catch rate, 95.8 passer rating allowed) and Jaylon Johnson (58.7% catch rate and 96.8 passer rating allowed in 2022). Evans is a WR2/3.

Chris Godwin: Godwin had a 17.6% target share and 14.7% air yard share in Week 1. His yards per route run stood at only 1.65 as the team nerfed his aDOT (5.8). Godwin didn’t see an end zone target, as those went to Evans and Trey Palmer. Godwin will run about 54% of his routes against Johnson and Stevenson on the perimeter as a WR3.

Tight Ends

Cole Kmet: Armed with a new contract in the offseason, Kmet saw his usage improve in Week 1 compared to his 2022 numbers. His route per team dropback rate was 81% (72% in 2022), and his target share was 18.9% (17.5% in 2022). His yards per route run was disappointing, though (1.13), as his aDOT dropped from 7.1 (last season) to 3.9. Kmet is a low-end TE1/high-end TE2 this week against a Tampa Bay defense that allowed the seventh-most fantasy points, the fifth-highest catch rate, and fifth-most receiving touchdowns to tight ends last season.

Cade Otton: Otton is Tampa Bay’s locked-in starter at the position, but that sadly doesn’t make him fantasy-relevant. Otton’s not a target-earning weapon in the passing game. In Week 1, he logged a 76% route per team dropback rate, but his usage and efficiency metrics were gruesome. He had an 8.8% target share and 0.60 yards per route run, which sadly weren’t far off his 2022 output (8.9%, 0.96). Otton is a run-of-the-mill TE2.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Pace and playcalling notes

  • Regarding play volume, this looked like a Patrick Mahomes-led offense in Week 1. The Chiefs were ninth in neutral pace and eighth-best in neutral passing rate.
  • Jacksonville tossed me for a loop, though. This is not the offensive approach I expected for 2023. The Jaguars had the tenth-lowest neutral pace and the 11th-highest neutral rushing rate.


Patrick Mahomes: It might not have been pretty, but Mahomes was still the QB7 in fantasy last week. He was seventh in passing grade, 18th in yards per attempt, and sixth in big-time throw rate. Jacksonville last season allowed the 11th-most passing touchdowns and ninth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Mahomes should attack this secondary deep. In 2022, Jacksonville surrendered the second-highest passer rating and the fourth-most passing touchdowns on deep balls. Mahomes is a top-five quarterback weekly.

Trevor Lawrence: Lawrence picked up right where he left off in 2022. In Week 1, he ranked fourth in passing grade, tenth in adjusted completion rate, and ninth in yards per attempt as the QB8 in fantasy. Kansas City permitted the third-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, the most passing touchdowns, and the third-highest adjusted completion rate in 2022. Lawrence should follow Mahomes’ lead and wind up and chuck it deep all day. Last year, Kansas City gave up the seventh-most passing touchdowns and sixth-highest passer rating on deep throws. Lawrence is a locked-in top 5-7 fantasy quarterback weekly.

Running Backs

Isiah Pacheco: Pacheco played 48% of the snaps in Week 1, finishing with 12 touches and 54 total yards. He surprisingly led the backs with a 40% route run per team dropback rate. Among 55 qualifying running backs in Week 1, Pacheco ranked 50th in yards after contact per attempt and 17th in elusive rating. Pacheco is an RB3 this week, taking on a Jacksonville run defense that allowed the fourth-lowest explosive run rate and tenth-lowest yards after contact per attempt last year.

Jerick McKinnon: McKinnon is a viable flex in PPR leagues. Last week, he only drew two targets (one reception for 10 yards) while ranking second (behind Pacheco) in route run rate per team dropback. This is a perfect matchup for Kansas City to get him involved. Last year, Jacksonville allowed the second-most receptions, the second-most receiving yards, and the 11th-highest yards per reception to running backs. Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been listed as questionable (illness). This could add a few more touches to McKinnon’s plate in Week 2. 

Travis Etienne: Ok, Erickson. You were right. Etienne is the Jaguars’ workhorse. He played 80% of the snaps in Week 1 with 23 touches and 104 total yards as he was the RB6 in fantasy. He had the third-highest route run rate per team drop back behind only Christian McCaffrey with a 15.6% target share. Etienne ranks 14th in yards after contact per attempt and elusive rating. Etienne is an RB1 squaring off against a rush defense that allowed the tenth-lowest explosive run rate and ninth-lowest yards before contact per attempt last year. Etienne can compensate for any lost efficiency on the ground through the air. Kansas City gave up the most receptions and the fourth-most receiving yards to running backs last season.

Tank Bigsby: Bigsby is only a handcuff at this stage. He played only 21% of the snaps in Week 1 with seven carries and 13 rushing yards. While he scored a short porch touchdown in Week 1, his workload must increase to have viable stand-alone value in fantasy.

Wide Receivers

Skyy Moore: Moore is a must-sit. He dudded out in Week 1. With Kelce out of the lineup, this was a perfect situation for Moore to make his presence known and put his stamp on this offense as a key contributor, and it didn’t happen. He only managed a 64% route run per team dropback rate, 10.3% target share, and 15.4% air yard share. He failed to secure any of his targets. I’m sorry, fam, but he’s looking like a major bust through one game of the 2023 season. Tough scene for my mentions.

Rashee Rice: Rice is an intriguing stash, but he’s not making any starting lineup in fantasy just yet. Rice only had a 24% route run per team dropback rate in Week 1 despite a 45% TPRR and 2.64 YPRR. This could be rookie season Skyy Moore or 2022 Kadarius Toney all over again, or it could be much, much more. We’ll have to wait and see.

Kadarius Toney: It seems like Toney cares more about trolling the Giants on social media than securing passes in crunch time from his future Hall of Fame quarterback. In any instance, Toney is a must-sit and hold on your bench. This is a familiar story. Tell me if you have heard it before. Toney logs a 26% route run per team dropback rate with a 12.8% target share and 42% TPRR, and the fantasy crowd goes wild. I have to see it to believe it with Toney at this juncture. Sit him.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling: Kansas City’s frying panned hand deep threat could be in for a big day. Valdes Scantling led the receivers with a 71% route run rate per team dropback in Week 1. His target share and aDOT were predictable at 5.1% and 22.5. If Mahomes goes deep this week, it’s going to Valdes-Scantling (or Justin Watson). Valdes-Scantling led the team in deep targets last season while ranking fifth in deep receiving grade and seventh in passer rating when targeted deep. Valdes-Scantling is a monster upside WR5.

Calvin Ridley: Ridley looks exactly like the stud we all remember. In Week 1, he crushed souls with a 34.4% target share and 48.6% air yard share. He’s Lawrence’s, Stefon Diggs. This connection will make people a lot of money in fantasy and DFS this season. Ridley had a 94% route per team dropback rate as he churned out 3.0 yards per route run. Ridley is a high-end WR1 weekly. He’ll run about 85% of his routes against Joshua Williams (64.7% catch rate and 117.1 passer rating allowed in 2022) and L’Jarius Sneed (70.5% catch rate and 91.6 passer rating allowed in 2022). Ridley is tied with Zay Jones for the team lead with two red zone targets.

Zay Jones: Jones is the Jags WR2 that won’t leave the field in two wide sets. He had an 80% route run per team dropback rate in Week 1 (Kirk 60%). Jones sawa 21.9% target share, 35.5% air yard share, and secured 22.8% of the team’s receiving yards. Jones run about 67% of his routes against Williams and Sneed. Jones is a WR3 in a possible shootout.

Christian Kirk: Kirk is a must-sit unless you don’t have any better options. The worry about him is real, with him losing significant playing time to Jones and the personnel that Jacksonville is deploying. Can this change at the drop of a hat? Sure. Has it? No. Kirk flopping with a 9.4% target share in a part-time role in Week 1 while running 90% of his routes from the slot is frightening. When Kirk is on the field, he’ll see Trent McDuffie (67.8% catch rate, 94.3 passer rating allowed in 2022) in coverage. Kirk is a dice roll WR4.

Tight Ends

Travis Kelce: Kelce has been limited in practice all week and listed as questionable, but it looks like he’ll play. With that said, I anticipate he’ll be a full go. The hip thrusts above confirm it. I won’t bore you with meaningless Kelce stats supporting his greatness. If he plays, you play him. Jacksonville allowed the fourth-most receiving yards, the third-highest yards per reception, and the eighth-most fantasy points to tight ends last year.

Evan Engram: Engram remains a rock-solid TE1. He logged an 82% route per team dropback rate in Week 1 with a 15.6% target share. After one week of football, he’s sixth in receiving grade and fourth in yards per route run. He ranked fourth on the team in red zone targets last season. In a possible shootout this week, Engram could have a monster day. Kansas City allowed the tenth-highest yards per reception and most fantasy points to slot tight ends last season (Week 1 41.8% slot rate).

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