DraftKings Week 2 USFL Breakdown: Stats and Trends

Apr 22, 2022
DraftKings Week 2 USFL Breakdown: Stats and Trends

The goal of this article is to give you an idea of what the usage looks like for each player within their offense, allowing you to spot any positive or negative trends regarding how a player is being used and, most importantly, allowing the numbers and context to tell the story. Teams are listed in order of kick-off for Week 2.

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Michigan Panthers

Player Targets Target Share Carries Inside 10
Lance Lenoir 9 30% 1 1
Joe Walker 6 20% - -
Devin Ross 5 16.6% - -
Marcus Baugh 3 10% - -
Jeff Badet 2 6.6% - -
Joey Magnifico 2 6.6% - -
La'Michael Pettway 1 3.3% - -
Stevie Scott III 1 3.3% 18 3
Cameron Scarlett 1 3.3% 15 1

All targets and touches data is compiled from the USFL homepage. All opportunities (targets and carries) inside the 10-yard line were manually charted.

Injury Report:

Jeff Fisher's Panthers finished with the league's fourth-highest pass play rate (55.4%) in Week 1 but trailed 17-0 at the half and, during the first 30 minutes, decidedly schemed a run on 57.6% of its plays. Although QBs Shea Patterson and Paxton Lynch combined for four fumbles, one interception, and zero confidence, Joe Walker's and Jeff Badet's absences suddenly vacate 26.6% of the team's targets from the season opener, cementing Lance Lenoir as an elite option in four-game slates given his team-highs in routes run (83%) and air yards (94) even with the aforementioned two active.

Available for the first time all year, both WR Ray Bolden and RB Reggie Corbin are expected to mix in and throw a wrench into any perceived rotations behind Lenoir and in this backfield despite Stevie Scott's 54.2% touch share against Birmingham. Devin Ross, who registered the team's second-most routes run last week, is the most logical beneficiary in place of Walker, though Bolden is admittedly my favorite pick for Showdown slates since he'll be forgotten.

New Jersey Generals

Player Targets Target Share Carries Inside 10
Randy Satterfield 5 19.2% - 1
KaVontae Turpin 5 19.2% 2 -
Alonzo Moore 3 11.5% - -
Braedon Bowman 3 11.5% - -
Woody Brandom 2 7.6% - -
J'Mon Moore 1 3.8% - -
Darrius Shepherd 1 3.8% - -
Trey Williams 5 19.2% 13 2
Darius Victor 0 - 15 3

Injury Report:

Luis Perez's first-half injury allowed De'Andre Johnson to come off the bench for 7.4 yards per attempt (on three completions) and 12/98/1 rushing as the league's fantasy QB1 on only 11 dropbacks (compared to Perez's 21). Assuming Johnson has earned more time under center, chasing Trey Williams' target share becomes less of a priority since it was Perez who targeted the team's backfield with 27.7% of his throws. Johnson is still a confident Showdown option despite his inevitable timeshare but can be ignored in four-game slates since we are expecting Perez to play. I'm open to the idea of playing both quarterbacks exclusively on Friday night.

J'Mon Moore's absence might seem impactful but it was Randy Satterfield (94%), Alonzo Moore (84%), and KaVontae Turpin (81%) who had a stranglehold on New Jersey's routes run in Week 1; Satterfield and Moore also finished second and third among all players in air yards. For those reasons, I'm not getting cute around any Johnson/Perez stacks, prioritizing 3-of-4 skill players (Williams included) if going overweight on this offense.

Philadelphia Stars

Player Target Target Share Carries Inside 10
Chris Rowland 9 25% - -
Devin Gray 4 11.1% - -
Bug Howard 4 11.1% - 2
Diondre Overton 3 8.3% - -
Jordan Suell 3 8.3% - -
Pro Wells 1 2.7% - -
Maurice Alexander 0 - - -
Matt Colburn 7 19.4% 9 3
Darnell Holland 4 11.1% 9 -

Injury Report:

The Stars and coach Bart Andrus quietly schemed 10 and 11 personnel (3/4WR sets) on 98% of Byron Scott's dropbacks, leading the league with a salivating 36 pass attempts in a one-score game throughout play. Chris Rowland and Devin Gray led the team's wide receivers in targets but actually ran fewer routes than both Jordan Suell (98%) and Diondre Overton (91%) in Week 1, leaving little to the imagination as to which wide receivers should fill in seamlessly.

Most DFS players will chase Bug Howard, who ran the sixth-fewest routes on the team, for the additional opportunity. While that is a viable strategy, playing multiple RBs from this offense should also be considered given their guaranteed points in seeing catchable targets at the line of scrimmage in a pass-happy attack against an underwhelming opponent (see below). Paul Terry's availability as a chess-piece on offense wrecks any overconfidence in Matt Colburn but does leave a sneaky stacking option with Scott if attempting to onslaught Philadelphia's offense.

Pittsburgh Maulers

Player Target Target Share Carries Inside 10
Jeff Thomas 8 30.7% - 1
Bailey Gaither 7 26.9% - 1
Delvon Hardaway 4 15.3% - -
Matt Seybert 3 11.5% - -
Hunter Thedford 1 3.8% - -
Garrett Groshek 0 - 16 -
Madre London 0 - 14 2

Injury Report:

If you have not seen the Maulers' offense play a down just yet, I urge you to drop whatever you're doing at 12p ET Saturday and tune in. Not only did coach Kirby Wilson scheme seven consecutive runs out the gates including two from 'Muscle', a package that entails eight (lol) offensive linemen, he then returned from the locker room trailing 17-0 and called two more runs from Muscle, one taking place on 2nd and 22. I am not kidding when I say it's the worst offense conceived since Drew Lock was under center for Denver. Even Garrett Groshek's and Madre London's touch shares are useless since FB Mikey Daniel ran more routes than both, accruing 100% of the team's backfield targets.

If this game is competitive in the slightest, Pittsburgh's poor 44.4% pass play rate from last week's first half will undoubtedly plummet even lower. Most DFS players will plug in Bailey Gaither or Delvon Hardaway in hopes of soaking up Jeff Thomas' vacated targets, and while the latter is an intriguing option after leading the Maulers in both routes run (97%) and air yards (95) last week, note that the team did have only three active wide receivers at that time. Branden Mack's and Tre Walker's availabilities add some ambiguity to this rotation.

Birmingham Stallions

Player Targets Target Share Carries Inside 10
Victor Bolden Jr. 8 25.8% 1 -
Osirus Mitchell 7 22.5% - -
Cary Angeline 6 19.3% - -
Marlon Williams 5 16.1% - -
Tony Brooks-James 3 9.6% 8 -
C.J. Marable 2 6.4% 7 2

Injury Report:

Even in keeping within one score throughout regulation, the Stallions led the league in pass play rate (71.1%) with two quarterbacks seeing time. Marlon Williams notably recorded a 40% target share from Alex McGough but, once McGough left injured, took a backseat to Victor Bolden’s and Osirus Mitchell’s co-lead in target share (29%) from J’Mar Smith. With McGough already ruled out, Bolden and Mitchell are an all-too-obvious stacking tangent with Smith since both ran a route on 100% of the team’s dropbacks in Week 1. I also rank Smith over Byron Scott as the week’s top signal-caller (for leverage in large-field tourneys) given Philadelphia’s concerning game script mentioned above. Although Tony Brooks-James and C.J. Marable split touches, it was the latter who out-snapped Brooks-James 65% to 35%. Birmingham also did not call a single dropback inside the 10-yard line.

Houston Gamblers

Player Targets Target Share Carries Inside 10
JoJo Ward 9 50% - -
Brandon Barnes 3 16.6% - 1
Anthony Ratliff-Williams 3 16.6% - 1
Isaiah Zuber 2 11.1% - -
Tyler Palka 1 5.5% - -
Julian Allen 0 - - -
Mark Thompson 0 - 13 1
Dalyn Dawkins 0 - 10 -

Injury Report:

This four-game slate revolves around JoJo Ward’s absence after he registered a league-high 50% target share (!) from Clayton Thorson, who proceeded to one-up Shea Patterson with a disgusting 52.9% completion rate and 4.3 yards per attempt. Most DFS players will pivot to Isaiah Zuber, who led Houston in routes run last week, in Ward’s stead but there is an easier argument to make for one, if not two of the Gamblers’ RBs since Birmingham most recently ceded 222 rushing yards and 5.0 yards per carry to New Jersey. Note that Houston finished with the league’s highest run play rate (52.3%) in Week 1.

New Orleans Breakers

Player Targets Target Share Carries Inside 10
Sal Cannella 7 25.9% - -
Johnnie Dixon 6 22.2% - -
Jonathan Adams 4 14.8% - -
Chad Williams 4 14.8% - 1
E.J. Bibbs 2 7.4% - -
T.J. Logan 4 14.8% 15 -
Jordan Ellis 0 - 18 2

Injury Report:

The most obvious leverage to exploit in this slate is to simply wait out the late-swap opportunities for the Breakers pending Jordan Ellis’ and Chad Williams’ statuses. Williams ‘only’ accrued four targets last week but started in three-wide sets with Johnnie Dixon and Sal Cannella, eventually pushing Jonathan Adams into the lineup if the former were scratched. T.J. Logan can be leaned on either naked (solo) or as a stacking option from Kyle Sloter no matter Ellis’ status since he earned all four of New Orleans’ backfield targets in Week 1, finishing with a team-high 19 touches. The Breakers’ offense quietly ran 64 plays despite failing to touch the ball in the first quarter against Philly.

Tampa Bay Bandits

Player Targets Target Share Carries Inside 10
Cheyenne O'Grady 11 34.3% - -
Jordan Lasley 5 15.6% - 1
Rashard Davis 4 12.5% - -
Vinny Papale 3 9.3% - 1
Derrick Dillon 2 6.2% - -
John Franklin III 2 6.2% - -
Derrick Willies 1 3.1% - -
B.J. Emmons 3 9.3% 19 2
Juwan Washington 1 3.1% 10 3

Injury Report:

The jury is still out on Jordan Ta’Amu in the USFL since last week’s matchup against Pittsburgh allowed the Bandits to sip Mai Tais in the second half with a 54% run play rate and three-score lead. On that same note, don’t let Juwan Washington’s involvement full you: B.J. Emmons out-touched Washington 22-7 until Tampa Bay’s last two drives, ultimately finishing with the league’s highest backfield touch share (66.6%) as a clear-cut bell-cow. Rashard Davis’ potential absence would only increase Jordan Lasley’s ceiling in the receiving game after he led all wideouts in route percentage (66%) behind TE Cheyenne O’Grady (91%).

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