The Rundown: Week 2 Stats to Know & Buccaneers vs Panthers
Week one is in the books and everything we predicted came true. Well, maybe not, but isn’t that the most exciting part of fantasy football? The uncertainty of the NFL provides opportunity for astute fantasy players, especially those who have a short leash on their reserves. Quick churn can sometimes backfire, but acting early also is the type of attitude that leads to championships. Players like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Austin Ekeler, and Jared Cook emerged in week one last year to provide strong returns for those looking to fill out their roster.
Each week, I will provide a preview article with some key overall stats to watch for along with the Thursday game preview that includes start/sit ratings. Then, there will be subsequent previews later in the week with all the other games in time for the remaining fantasy decisions before kickoff. For much of this data, I will be using 4for4's Snaps, Touches, and Targets Apps as well as analyzing each team's pace and play-calling tendencies.
Ten Stats to Know for Week 2
- Hot out of the gates: Marquise Brown had the second-highest PPR total for a week one rookie in the last ten years.
- Going to the air early: The fourth time since 2000 with multiple week one 400 yard passers in Dak Prescott and Andy Dalton.
- Piling it on: Christian McCaffrey is the 11th player to exceed 200 total yards in week one since 2000.
- Setting the record straight: T.J. Hockenson had 131 receiving yards, the most ever by a rookie tight end in Week 1.
- Hurry-up offense: The Cardinals 21.36 seconds per play pace would be the fastest for a season since it started being tracked in 1993.
- Throw it away: Jameis Winston is the only quarterback who started in Week 1 with over 75 career touchdown passes and an interception rate over 3.0%.
- End of a drought: Marcus Mariota threw three touchdown passes for the first time since November of 2016, a streak of 35 games.
- The quest for 40: Just the third time since 2000 that at least three different teams put up 40 points or more in week one.
- Saving it for later: The Vikings threw 10 passes and won in week one. The fewest pass attempts in week one with a win since 1978 just the third instance in any week of the last 10 years.
- Making the most of it: Lamar Jackson had his first 300 passing yard day despite his second-fewest attempts (20) of any career start.
Buccaneers @ Panthers
Spread: Panthers -6 | Total: 50.5
Week 1 featured just one touchdown pass and four interceptions between these two teams. That is not encouraging for a pair of teams who came into the season with high fantasy aspirations for their receiving groups. For the Buccaneers, six different receivers had at least four targets but none had over six. The Panthers, meanwhile, did show favorites with three different receivers seeing nine or more targets, to the delight of fantasy players. Week two should provide both teams an opportunity to shake out their passing hierarchy further.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Unfortunately, the team is largely limited by the ups and downs of Jameis Winston. They are built as a pass-heavy team with what seems like little of a Plan B. However, Ronald Jones’ strong week one in limited snaps might be the start of something bigger. There will still be a running back rotation here and Jones’ PPR ceiling is clear, but the best chance at team consistency will be through the establishment of a run game to complement the passing attack.
Team Trends That Matter
- Jameis Winston is tied for the most games of three or more interceptions since 2015.
- Had 121 team rushing yards in week one. The Bucs haven’t had more than three instances since 2015.
- No running back saw more than 39% of the offensive snaps in week one.
Fantasy Rating and a Stat to Know
- QB Jameis Winston (2) - Lowest yards per attempt in a game since November 2017
- RB Ronald Jones (1) - 63% of his career rushing yards occurred in Week 1
- RB Peyton Barber (1) - Was featured on 12 of 22 offensive snaps
- RB Dare Ogunbowale (0) - Three of four receptions on the last drive of the game
- WR Mike Evans (4) - Third highest average targeted air yards at 22.7 in week one (Next Gen Stats)
- WR Chris Godwin (3) - Just 1.2 yards of separation last week, second lowest (Next Gen Stats)
- TE O.J. Howard (3) - His 9.1% target rate per snap in week one was two points below his 2018 number.
This remains the Christian McCaffrey show to no one’s surprise. He had a league-high 29 touches in Week 1 and while that’s not a sustainable pace, only a one-yard touchdown run from Alex Armah was a non-McCaffrey running back touch, the Panthers have no other options in the backfield. The receiving game is a different matter as Cam Newton has his favorites but struggled with consistency last week. The volume should be there and hopefully, he shakes off the rust from the shoulder injury in 2018 soon enough to improve the efficiency.
Team Trends That Matter
- First negative rushing yard game, negative two, of Cam Newton’s career.
- Three wide receivers saw 60% or more of the team’s offensive snaps.
- The Panthers’ 72 defensive plays are the most since 2015.
Fantasy Rating and a Stat to Know
- QB Cam Newton (4) - Shortest time to throw (2.24 seconds) of any week one quarterback (Next Gen Stats)
- RB Christian McCaffrey (5) - One of five non-quarterbacks, and the only running back, to play 100% of the team’s offensive snaps
- WR D.J. Moore (3) - Six of seven receptions went for 10 or more yards
- WR Curtis Samuel (2) - Scored over 15 fantasy points in both 2018 meetings against the Buccaneers
- TE Greg Olsen (3) - Seventh highest percent of intended air yards among tight ends in week one
Fantasy Rating Key
- (5) - Elite option. Must start.
- (4) - Strong option. Likely start.
- (3) - Good option. Low-end starter to high-end backup.
- (2) - Weak option. Possible flex or desperation play.
- (1) - Bad option. Bench in nearly all cases.
- (0) - Not an option. Injured, bench, or waivers.