Fantasy Football: Week 2 Target Report
Ahh, another week of fantasy football wrapped up. In Week 2, we got more surprises but also saw which players are off to a “consistent” start as far as targets go. Let’s take a look into which players are worth a mention from their Week 2 target counts.
Juju Smith-Schuster: 19 targets, 13 rec
Last week I noted how Julio Jones’ 19 targets would likely be the top target number for Week 1. It was. Here we are Week 2 and already another player has hit 19 targets in a single game. Of course, this was game script driven as Ben Roethlisberger had to keep up with Patrick Mahomes‘ 6 TD performance. Big Ben led the league in Week 2 with 60 passing attempts. Antonio Brown had a big target day as well with 17. There were plenty of targets to go around for the Steelers, not to take anything away from Smith-Schuster. It’s a positive sign for him that he can top Brown in targets in any week, let alone the second week of the season.
Allen Robinson: 14 targets, 10 rec
Robinson doubled his targets from Week 1. He now has 21 targets through 2 weeks and is the clear #1 option in the Bears offense. As exciting as that may sound, it appears this offense is capped with the ceiling of Mitchell Trubisky. Robinson should provide a safe floor with this type of target volume but his chances of having many WR1 weeks do not look promising. Still, a must-own in all leagues, but temper your weekly expectations from a fantasy perspective.
Kenny Golladay: 9 targets, 6 rec
Marvin Jones also had 9 targets but hauled in only 4 receptions. The biggest takeaway from Golladay’s Week 2 target count is that he will continue to take away from Marvin Jones and not Golden Tate. Due to the passing volume Stafford typically generates, Golladay has become a safe flex option with amazing upside as we witnessed in Week 2. Golden Tate is still Matthew Stafford‘s go-to target as he caught 7 of his team-leading 13 targets in Week 2.
Nelson Agholor: 12 targets, 8 rec
Already a trustworthy option in this offense, Nelson Agholor continues to benefit from the absence of Alshon Jeffery. 8 receptions on 12 targets in Week 2 should excite owners for what could be in store for Week 3. Carson Wentz has been cleared and will play this weekend. With Mike Wallace out, the Eagles have brought back WR Jordan Matthews. Matthews should have little impact on Agholor’s targets but if he can connect with Wentz on a decent level, Agholor could see a significant decrease in targets once Jeffery finds his way back. Until then, soak up all the Agholor you can get.
Saquon Barkley: 16 targets, 14 rec
Barkley was the target leader for RBs in Week 2. He is now only second to Christian McCaffrey through the first 2 weeks. Don’t expect this trend to change for Barkley any time soon. The Giants are struggling mightily early on in the season. Sometimes, when that happens, the only thing that works for an offense is to dump it off to their running back. That is exactly what happened in Dallas this past week. The good news for Barkley owners is that his pass catching abilities make him matchup proof all season.
Christian McCaffrey: 15 targets, 14 rec
Much to my chagrin, CMC was heavily utilized in the passing game in Week 2. I predicted that McCaffrey would see a lighter workload this season, mainly due to the return of Greg Olsen. Well, good news for CMC owners. Olsen is out. McCaffrey will continue to gobble up targets while Cam Newton‘s favorite target is sidelined. If this continues to be effective for Newton and the Panthers’ offense, there is no reason McCaffrey shouldn’t continue to get a heavy dose in the passing game even when Greg Olsen returns.
Ezekiel Elliott: 6 targets, 4 rec
Zeke only has 10 total targets and 26 receiving yards in the first 2 weeks of the season but there is a positive here. He is on pace to double the number of targets he earned in his 2016 rookie season. That year he finished as the #2 running back. His production with his increased target volume has not impressed thus far but opportunity is everything in fantasy football. Elliott is likely to have a career year in touches.
Jimmy Graham: 8 targets, 6 rec
This is the type of performance Jimmy Graham owners wanted to see. The truth is, Graham’s upside in this offense was always going to be his touchdown potential with Aaron Rodgers at QB. The fact that Graham put together 6 receptions for 95 yards on 8 targets this early in the season bodes well for Graham’s floor. He should be an every week start at the TE position until he has a consecutive stretch of disappointment.
Jesse James: 5 targets, 5 rec
Jesse James has 5 targets in each of his first 2 games this season. It may not seem like a ton but it’s very good volume out of the tight end position. It’s more about what James has done with his opportunities. He has already managed to accumulate 198 receiving yards (only second to Jared Cook) and a TD this season. In Week 2 alone, Jesse James put up a monster 138 yards and a TD. He is in the right offense to consistently see this workload. As he gains Ben Roethlisberger’s trust with his big play ability, there is no reason Jesse James shouldn’t be 100% owned in a world where productive tight ends are hard to find.