Fluke or Truth: Week 2 Overperformers
Author: Matt Gifford
Welcome back to Fluke or Truth! Another week over in the NFL and another week of analyzing some of the largest fantasy performances to understand the repeatability and likelihood of similar performances in future games. With many injuries early in the season, trades and waiver wire pickups are necessary to keep almost any fantasy team on track. Let’s take a look at some Week 2 overperformers to determine whether they are worth a target.
Jimmy Garoppolo (SF): 17/25, 297 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, 4 car, 8 yards - 23.68 points
San Francisco is already on a roll with a 2-0 start to the season after large wins against the Buccaneers and the Bengals. After a mediocre performance for Garoppolo in Week 1, there has been controversy around whether or not Nick Mullens should be taking over as the 49ers’ quarterback. Although there is no substance behind these thoughts, Sunday's performance should keep the few remaining naysayers silent. Aside from an errant throw turned interception, Garoppolo looked accurate and in tune with the offense. Rookie Deebo Samuel stepped out on to the scene with an exciting performance and should continue to be yet another outlet for Jimmy Garoppolo. As the season continues on, Garoppolo is in good shape with a good cast around him including Samuel, Goodwin, Pettis and 2018 breakout, George Kittle. The 49ers schedule also looks promising with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins and Carolina Panthers as some of the opponents in the next five weeks. All three teams have showed a lacking secondary up to this point revealing more opportunities for Garoppolo to shine.
Aaron Jones (GB): 23 car, 116 yards, 4 rec, 34 yards, 1 TD - 23.0 points
One of the biggest improvements from Week 1 to Week 2 comes through Green Bay's ball carrier, Aaron Jones. Packers fans and fantasy owners alike were disappointed with the limited usage of Jones in Week 1 and his lack of opportunities. Aaron Jones ran for a total of 39 yards on 13 carries while receiving one catch for no yardage in the NFL season opener versus the Bears. The Packers led by head coach, Matt LaFleur, answered the cry and doubled Jones' usage against the Vikings this past week. Aaron Jones appeared to be the one consistent factor in the inconsistent play of the Green Bay Packers. After starting with a 21-0 lead, the Packers let the door open with 16 unanswered points. Although, Dalvin Cook appeared to steal the show with another monster performance, Jones ended as the more efficient back with a 69.6% rating. Aaron Jones should continue to see production closer to this level with his current volume and opportunities. Next week looks just as good for the 24 year old running back as the Denver Broncos have allowed a collective 251 rushing yards in two games.
Raheem Mostert (SF): 13 car, 83 yards, 3 rec, 68 yards, 1 TD - 22.6 points
After two weeks of play, an interesting situation has developed in the San Francisco backfield. With a big win this week versus the Cinncinati Bengals, the 49ers have three running backs (Breida, Mostert and Wilson) listed in the top 15 weekly fantasy performers for that position. Although this looks like a great opportunity for a waiver wire pickup or future plays at FLEX, proceed with caution. The 49ers were facing a struggling Bengals defense and recorded over 500 yards of offense for the first time since 2012. With this level of production unlikely to continue there isn't enough volume to go around. Additionally, let’s not forget that on top of the three active backs rostered, Tevin Coleman, who suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 1, is still in the mix. Reporters have been informed by the coaching staff that Coleman will most likely play on the other side of San Francisco’s bye in Week 4. With this news, Mostert is looking to lose the majority of his pass-catching opportunities to Coleman who was brought in for that role. Although Mostert should see some action Sunday against the Steelers expect his role in the offense to be fazed out in the coming weeks.
Demarcus Robinson (KC): 6 rec, 172 yards, 2 TDs - 32.2 points
If one performance from Week 2 screams outlier, it would definitely be this one. After sixty minutes of play, Demarcus Robinson racked up a stat sheet that would have surprised anyone. To put this in perspective, let's look at Robinson's past performances. Throughout Robinson's career including this week, he has played in a total of 49 games, logging 500 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Therefore, 34% of his career yards and 50% of his career touchdowns came from Sunday's showing. During the Chiefs' 28-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders, Robinson proved his route-running ability and took advantage of the scheming by Andy Reid to get him more involved. But there are no signs to validate this performance as anything more than a one-game wonder. Moving forward, there are a lot of mouths to feed on this offense including Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman and Travis Kelce, without mentioning Tyreek Hill who will return in an estimated five weeks. I expect the Chiefs to continue the trend which has existed so far with Watkins in Week 1 and Robinson in Week 2. Find the player who is elevating the team's play in a specific matchup and keep giving them the ball.
Julio Jones (ATL): 5 rec, 106 yards, 2 TDs - 25.1 points
Calvin Ridley (ATL): 8 rec, 105 yards, 1 TD - 20.5 points
Sunday Night Football didn’t disappoint with many defensive plays and an eventful end to the fourth quarter. Both Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley reaped the benefits of the win against the Philadelphia Eagles with a collective 13 receptions on 14 catchable passes. With the Falcons currently lacking a strong rushing game, the receiving duo will continue to see the same amount of targets as they did this week (20 targets). Although its expected that two superstar wide receivers on the same offense might hurt one another’s production, the opposite has proven true time and time again in the NFL and is no different with this pairing. Julio Jones is a massive threat to any defense and therefore garners a lot of attention, often freeing Ridley into single coverage. While Ridley’s early success in the league has made defenses struggle to split talent and effort between both, generally leaving one of the two with an opportunity on most plays. This is simply not a debatable question with the talent both athletes possess.
Mark Andrews (BAL): 8 rec, 112 yards, 1 TD - 20.2 points
One of the biggest breakouts of the 2019 season so far is none other than #89 of the Baltimore Ravens. Mark Andrews turned some heads in Week 1 after posting 8 receptions for 108 yards and a score. Now in Week 2, Andrews finds his way to almost an identical elite performance for the second week in a row. The 6’5”, 256 lb tight end was much anticipated in this offense and has definitely shown his worth. Andrews exudes physicality, recording 64 yards after catch in the first two weeks of the season. This accounts for 30% of his total yardage showing his drive to make the most out of ever play. Additionally, Andrews has solidified himself for the moment as the top option in the Raven's offense with a target share of 27.9%, a current league-high for tight ends this season. To make his situation better, the Raven's will be meeting with the Chiefs, Steelers and Bengals in the near future, all teams with struggling secondarys. Expect more big things out of the 2nd-year tight end and a possible run at George Kittle's 2018 performance.