Fantasy Football: Four key WR takeaways from Week 2

Does anyone have a spare joint, bone, or ligament? You likely need to give it to one of your starting players after Week 2.

But after all the pain and suffering, let’s focus on a few healthy players who went OFF. Here are a few Week 2 takeaways, focusing on a quartet of wide receivers.

Cooper’s Kupp Overfloweth …

Breaking News: Cooper Kupp is now the owner of the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts. In his first two weeks of the season, Kupp has 16 receptions for 271 yards and 3 touchdowns. In Week 2 alone, he had 9 receptions on 11 targets for 163 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns, which was the second-highest total yardage of his career. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, he is the WR1 on the week and for the season so far.

Basically, Kupp looks unstoppable.

But wait! What about that other guy that’s supposed to be the WR1 on the team?

Bobby “Trees?” More like Bobby “Leaves,” amirite?

All jokes aside, Robert Woods seemingly has relinquished his WR1 role in LA. In Week 2, Woods had 5 receptions on 9 targets for 64 yards. He is currently the WR46 this week. He is averaging 4 receptions on 6.5 targets for 45.5 yards and is ranked WR42 on the season. Historically, Woods has always been an “old reliable” in fantasy, but with Kupp being a ball-hog, Woods’ upside may be limited week to week.

This isn’t to say Woods is a player you need to fade entirely, but temper expectations when putting him in your lineup for future matchups. Kupp and Woods ran almost the same number of routes in Week 2 (32 vs. 31) and played almost the same amount of snaps (59 vs. 58). With a 22.8% average target share and playing an average of 88% of snaps, Woods should bounce back and produce better numbers in future weeks. However, it doesn’t look like he is reclaiming his WR1 spot anytime soon.

But can Cooper Kupp keep this up? It seems likely, if Kupp continues to find separation like this with such ease:

I’ll answer that question with a question: “Why not?”

The Rams are 2-0 and the offense is humming with the Stafford-Kupp connection. They’re ranked 6th overall in total offense, 8th in passing yards, and 6th in touchdowns. Kupp is receiving a 40% target share and is averaging 85.5 air yards. There doesn’t seem to be any signs of a slowdown coming. Kupp is an auto-start and is now looking like a player who is fighting for WR1 overall. Kupp should continue his reign of terror in Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whose defense is ranked 30th in passing yards allowed.

Hollywood goes Hollywood

I know this may come as a shock, but the Ravens do throw the ball occasionally. In Week 2, Marquise Brown had 6 receptions on 10 targets for 113 yards and a touchdown. He accumulated a massive 40% target share, which basically means “Action” Jackson had his eyes set on Hollywood. Brown’s target share ranked third overall amongst receivers this week. He finished as the WR8 in PPR scoring and is the WR8 on the season.

Despite this early success, are we able to trust that “Hollywood” Brown can live up to his nickname all season? His recent touchdown success may help:

Brown has re-earned his nickname “Hollywood” after a slow start in the beginning half of last year. From Weeks 12-17 last year, Brown was the WR13 and averaged over 6 targets and 56 yards and a touchdown in that span. It seems like Brown is picking up right where he left off in 2020. Maybe it is possible for the Ravens to finally have a reliable wide receiver. His last 10 games seem to suggest so:

I know. I know. The Baltimore Ravens are a run-first team, but with their top two running backs on IR, they won’t be able to solely rely on their running game. Also, with the Ravens defense ranked 28th overall and 32 in passing yards allowed, they’ll be in negative game scripts where they are going to be forced to pass. Over the past eight regular-season games, when the Ravens are in passing situations, they are throwing the ball to Brown. He is also averaging the highest target share (29.6%) and the most air yards per target (11.8) on the team. Promising wide receiver Rashod Bateman is also on IR and could eat into the target share eventually, but he isn’t expected to be back for several weeks. Brown gets to face the Detroit Lions in Week 3, the worst defense in the league, making Brown a solid WR2/flex play.

Me and Marvin Jones

Someone forgot to tell Marvin Jones that he is 31-years-old … on a new team … in a new offensive system … with a rookie quarterback. Jones posted 6 receptions on 11 targets for 55 yards and a touchdown against the Broncos. He is averaging 18.1 fantasy points in PPR through two weeks. Could this be one of those “age before beauty” situations for fantasy purposes?

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The darkhorse has seemed to come from behind and win the WR1 race in Jacksonville. Jones has shown the most consistent rapport with Trevor Lawrence. He has almost as many receptions as Laviska Shenault and DJ Chark combined (11 vs. 13). Jones has also seen the largest average target share among the trio on the season (24.4%). Can “Old Man Jones” keep this trend going for weeks to come? Let’s take a look at what Jones has done since last November:

With Shenault injuring his shoulder in Week 2 and Chark’s inconsistencies, Jones should continue to receive the majority of targets and opportunities. Game script will also play in Jones’ favor as the Jaguars will have to throw to compete in games due to their offensive and defensive efficiencies. The Jaguars’ defense is ranked 25th in total defense, which factors into why their offense is currently ranked 6th in passing attempts. Jones is a solid WR2 play against the second-ranked Arizona Cardinals offense in Week 3, which means the Jaguars are going to pass a lot to (try to) keep up.

Courtland “STUNTIN” Sutton

Can we pretend that Week 1 didn’t count for Sutton? His stat line was essentially non-existent as the Broncos were easing Sutton back into the offense. After missing most of 2020 with a torn ACL, Sutton proved in Week 2 that he is healthy and ready for action. Sutton set career highs with 9 receptions on 12 targets for 159 yards. He didn’t even need to score a touchdown to finish as the WR4 on the week. His Week 2 performance was very impressive, but how did he do compared to his teammates?

Let’s just say Sutton’s teammates were watching him do all the work. He saw a 35.3% target share, while the next highest was Noah Fant with a target share of 17.6%. Additionally, compared to Sutton’s 159 receiving yards, the second-highest was Tim Patrick at 37 yards. In other words, it wasn’t even close. It’s safe to assume that Sutton is the WR1 on the Broncos.

With Jerry Jeudy sidelined for multiple weeks, Sutton looks like he is going to be Teddy Bridgewater’s go-to target going forward. Bridgewater is also averaging 8.5 yards per attempt, which is currently a career-high. This will allow Sutton to see deeper passes down the field, which will result in big plays. The Denver Broncos offense is ranked 12th in passing yards and 15th in attempts, which bodes well for Sutton’s future performances given his recent target share. He should be considered a strong start in Week 3 even against the 10th-ranked New York Jets defense.

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