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Top 10 Fantasy Football Takeaways from Week 2 Usage

By Jared Smola | Updated on Wed, 20 Sep 2023 . 10:24 AM EDT

1. A New Eagles Workhorse

D'Andre Swift Boston Scott Rashaad Penny
Snap Rate 75.3% 13.0% 11.7%
Route Rate 53.1% 9.4% 9.4%
Carries 28 5 3
Targets301

We opened the Week 1 Usage Takeaways article talking about an Eagles workhorse.

We open the Week 2 article talking about an Eagles workhorse again. But a different workhorse.

With RB Kenneth Gainwell missing the Thursday nighter with a rib injury, D'Andre Swift dominated the Philly backfield and the Vikings defense. He turned the massive usage into 181 yards and a TD.

We'll see what this backfield looks like when Gainwell is ready to return, but it's tough to imagine the Eagles putting Swift back in the bottle after this showing.

It's also interesting to note that the Eagles have featured one RB in both of the season's first two games after often deploying committee backfields last year.

  

2. Tony Pollard: League Winner

Through 2 weeks
Snap Rate 64.1%
Route Rate 52.1%
Carries 39
Targets11
Carries inside the 1012

Pollard is getting dream usage.

He's handled 53% of Dallas' rush attempts and drawn a 17% target share through two games. Those numbers are even a bit deflated because he was pulled early in that blowout Week 1 win.

Most importantly, Pollard is dominating work near the goal line. He's handled 80% of the Cowboys' carries inside the 10-yard line. His 12 total carries inside the 10 easily lead the league.

Pollard would be the No. 2 RB and a top 5 overall pick if we were redrafting today.

   

3. Kyren Williams is a Workhorse (For Now)

Kyren Williams Ronnie Rivers
Snap Rate 95.0% 5.0%
Route Rate 80.3% 1.6%
Carries 14 0
Targets101

Those usage numbers above are truly absurd. Marks that not even the elite fantasy RBs reach very often.

The 194-pound Williams is not built for this type of usage. (I'm not sure any RB is.) 

But with RB Cam Akers seemingly on the outs, the Rams have nowhere else to turn at this point.

We'll see if they eventually start leaning a bit more on Rivers or rookie Zach Evans.

But, for now, Williams is a borderline RB1 based on usage alone.

  

4. Ravens Committee Backfield (As Expected)

Justice Hill Gus Edwards
Snap Rate 57.3% 42.7%
Route Rate 61.4% 22.8%
Carries 11 10
Targets30

This is about what we imagined when RB J.K. Dobbins went down with his season-ending injury. Something close to a 50/50 carry split, with Hill handling most of the passing-game work.

Edwards beat Hill in Week 2 fantasy points because he was more efficient on the ground and punched in a one-yard TD. But both Edwards and Hill received one carry inside the Bengals' five-yard line.

Expect to find Hill slightly above Edwards in our weekly RB rankings as long as this usage holds. The good news for both of these guys is that RB Melvin Gordon didn't play a single snap in Week 2.

 

5. Jordan Addison’s Role Growing

Week 1 Week 2
Route Rate 66.7% 75.5%
Target Share 13.6% 11.4%

That jump from a 67% route rate to 76% is meaningful.

It's worth noting that Addison still played almost exclusively in three-WR sets in the Week 2 loss to the Eagles. But he caught a long TD for the second straight week -- while K.J. Osborn had two ugly drops.

It's tough to imagine Addison's role not continuing to grow. That'll help offset the regression coming on his current 12.1 yards per target and 29% TD rate.

   

6. Isiah Pacheco: Sneaky Week 2 Winner

Week 1 Week 2
Snap Rate 47.7% 50.7%
Route Rate 43.8% 41.7%
Rush Attempts Share34.8%54.5%
Target Share10.3%4.9%

Pacheco seemed limited in the opener coming off a pair of offseason surgeries.

But his snap rate and carry share grew in Week 2.

Plus, Pacheco's passing-game usage has expanded, with back-to-back route rates north of 41%. He never topped a 38% route rate last season.

That's particularly important with the Chiefs going as pass-heavy as ever early on this year.

If Pacheco's Week 2 usage sticks, he can produce as a fantasy RB2. He's a nice buy-low target right now.

  

7. Dameon Pierce Stuck in 3-Man Committee

Through 2 weeks
Snap Rate 46.0%
Route Rate 34.5%
Rush Attempts Share 53.1%
Target Share6.6%

Pierce looked like a workhorse this preseason. That hasn't carried over to the real games.

Devin Singletary is stealing enough early-down work to be annoying.

And Pierce is not playing much in passing situations, losing that work to Mike Boone in Week 1 and Dare Ogunbowale in Week 2. That's a big problem with the Texans likely to be playing behind for much of the season.

Throw in Houston's injury-ravaged offensive line, and Pierce looks like just a RB3 going forward.

  

8. Josh Jacobs Will Be OK

2023 2022
Snap Rate 76.8% 74.5%
Route Rate 48.3% 52.8%
Rush Attempts Share63.6%79.4%
Target Share18.0%10.9%

Jacobs has been a fantasy killer so far, scoring 9.1 and 9.9 PPR points in the first two weeks of the season.

But he's playing the same role as he did last year, when he was a league-winner.

Vegas' offensive line is struggling. And maybe Jacobs is still shaking off some rust after his holdout.

But it'll be tough for him to not score as a top-12 RB going forward if this usage holds. Buy low.

  

9. Jahmyr Gibbs’ Evolving Role

Week 1 Week 2
Snap Rate 26.8% 48.5%
Route Rate 24.3% 56.4%
Rush Attempts Share20.6%25.9%
Target Share5.7%25.7%

HC Dan Campbell said Gibbs' role would expand in Week 2. He wasn't lying.

Most of that expansion came in the passing game, where Gibbs recorded some juicy usage metrics.

The Lions seem hesitant to feed the rookie too much rushing volume. We'll see if that changes with RB David Montgomery out.

But if Gibbs continues getting this type of route involvement, he can deliver big fantasy value through passing-game production.

  

10. James Cook: The Good and The Bad

Through 2 weeks
Snap Rate 59.2%
Route Rate 50.5%
Rush Attempt Share 50.9%
Target Share12.8%
Rush Attempt Share Inside the 50%

More good than bad here.

Cook is Buffalo's lead early-down back and controlling the passing-game work. A 13% target share in this pass-heavy offense is awesome for his fantasy value.

The bad: Cook has received 0 of the Bills' five carries inside the five-yard line. Buffalo is using RBs Latavius Murray and Damien Harris at the goal line.

That obviously caps Cook's TD potential and overall fantasy upside.

But the usage outside the five-yard line is enough to make Cook a nice RB2 going forward.

  

Other rankings are stale  before the 2nd round.

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