April 20, 2024

Fantasy Football Week 2 Start Sit Decisions: Play Zay Jones

All of my start/sits will be geared toward 12-team, .5 PPR leagues. For a more comprehensive list of how I’m viewing every fantasy-relevant player this week, check out my rankings along with the rankings of Matthew Berry, Patrick Daughtery, and Lawrence Jackson. Feel free to ask me Start/Sits on Twitter (X?) and drop me a follow as well.

Quarterback

Start: Anthony Richardson

Richardson went from a speculative QB1 play heading into Week 1 to a locked-in top-eight player at the position as we approach the second week of the season. In his debut, Richardson led all quarterbacks in red zone carries and carries inside the five-yard line. No quarterback had more carries designed for them by their offensive coordinator in Week 1 either. His passing line of 223 yards and a touchdown was also serviceable, which is all Richardson needs for his legs to carry him to elite fantasy numbers.

Start: Jared Goff

Goff did what was asked of him in Week 1, tossing one touchdown with 251 yards in the Lions’ upset win over the Chiefs. He ranked ninth in EPA per dropback and Pro Football Focus passing grade. This week, Goff gets a Seattle defense that was just shredded by Matthew Stafford and his cast of unknown receivers. With the fourth-highest team total on the week, Vegas expects an even better showing from the Detroit offense in Week 2.

Sit: Deshaun Watson

The elements in Cleveland were stacked against both Watson and Joe Burrow, but that can’t entirely excuse what Watson showed in his first Week 1 with the Browns.

Watson ranked 27th in completion percent over expected and 20th in EPA per play last week. PFF graded him as their No. 17 passer on the week. The Browns were also extremely run-heavy and had a below-average pace in neutral situations. I’ll wait another week before I get Watson into my lineups.

Sit: Jordan Love

Love showed out in Week 1 with three scores, no picks, and a single sack. He ravaged the Bears’ defense for 9.1 yards per attempt. However, this was against a Chicago secondary that was near the bottom of the league in nearly every category of pass defense last year and doesn’t appear to have changed much. Now he gets an Atlanta defense that may have turned the corner after spending big on defense in free agency. They ranked eighth in EPA per dropback allowed in Week 1. Vegas agrees with this and has the Packers with a 19.5 implied team total.

Running Back

Start: Brian Robinson

Former Rotoworld employee Ian Hartitz dug into the numbers, ran thousands of regressions, created models within models, and the verdict is in: Brian Robinson sees the ball a lot.

Robinson saw 76 percent of the Commanders’ rush attempts and three of the team’s four running back carries in the red zone in Week 1. When faced with the reality of starting Sam Howell, Ron Rivera also decided to lean on Robinson.

Start: Kyren Williams

Williams didn’t see every touch in Week 1, but he saw most of the ones that matter. Williams ran a route on 79 percent of Matthew Stafford’s dropbacks and split the goal line carries with Cam Akers evenly. Williams also looked solid on his attempts. He had a positive rush yards over expected and a success rate north of 50 percent.

Sit: Cam Akers

Akers, on the other hand, struggled in Week 1. He ranked second to last in rush yards over expected per carry and was dead last in success rate. Akers’ role was also underwhelming despite him seeing 22 carries. Half of his attempts came on the Rams’ final two drives as they attempted to kill the clock. None of them were within 25 yards of the end zone.

Sit: Roschon Johnson

Much like Akers, the majority of Johnson’s Week 1 touches occurred in garbage time. Of Johnson’s 17.5 PPR points, nearly 16 of them came while the Bears were down by at least 18 points.

He looks like the Bears’ primary back for passing downs, but the value of that role was overstated by a blowout. Johnson did not see a touch in the first half.

Wide Receiver

Start: Puka Nacua

Nacua saw 15 targets, earned a 35 percent target share, and was targeted on 40 percent of his routes. All three numbers, as well as nearly any other stat related to Nacua’s Week 1, were elite. Stafford also looked to be in 2021 form. He led all quarterbacks in EPA per play and averaged 8.8 yards per attempt. Nacua easily sits in the WR2 ranks heading into Week 2.

Start: Zay Jones

Jones logged a 94 percent route rate in Week 1 and picked up seven targets on a 23 percent target share. He remained on the field for two-receiver sets and Christian Kirk, who logged a disastrous 66 percent route share, was sent to the pines when Jacksonville moved out of 11-personnel. This isn’t a fluke. The Jags stuck to this exact rotation throughout the preseason. In a high-scoring affair against the Chiefs, Jones’s role makes him worth chasing.

Sit: D.J. Moore

The Bears strangely had no interest in using Moore in Week 1. His two targets were good for a measly six percent target share. Despite Justin Fields having the lowest aDOT of any quarterback, Moore didn’t see a single designed target either.

For Moore to be a WR2, he has to be the focal point of Chicago’s subpar passing attack. After one week, that doesn’t appear to be remotely close to the case.

Sit: Drake London

As expected, the Falcons were a passing nightmare in Week 1. They had a pass rate over expected of -13 percent.

Desmond Ridder attempted 18 passes and averaged 6.4 yards per throw. His average target depth was 3.5 yards downfield. The Falcons are only underdogs of a point at home this week, so expect another run-heavy performance with little downfield passing to fuel the stat lines of London or Kyle Pitts.

Tight End

Start: Sam LaPorta

In his debut, LaPorta was on the field for 83 percent of the Lions’ offensive snaps and ran a route on 77 percent of Goff’s dropbacks. His 17 percent target shared ranked 10th among all tight ends in Week 1. Vegas also sees more points for the Detroit offense in Week 2. Their 26.25 implied team total sits at fourth in the league.

Start: Luke Musgrave

Musgrave’s 80 percent route share in Week 1 was impressive and his 15 percent target share was more valuable than it seems on the surface. He juiced his looks by backing them with an absurd, 18-average target depth. His aDOT will come back to Earth, but it will also remain among the highest in the league based on Musgrave’s incredible athleticism. Big-play ability is rare at the tight end position and worth chasing with Musgrave.

Sit: Gerald Everett

Everett ran 23 routes in Week 1, only six more than Donald Parham. He was targeted three times with an aDOT of three. Parham saw the only end zone target for an LA tight end. Everett appears to be a role player and his role could be less valuable than that of his backup.

Sit: Hayden Hurst

Hurst’s 5/41/1 receiving line in his Carolina debut made him the TE2 on the week. That would normally lead to some optimism for him in his following outing, but he will need to maintain incredible per-route efficiency to sustain his solid (but far from elite) production. He took the field for just 54 percent of the Panthers’ plays on offense and recorded a route rate of 64 percent. Given his lackluster history as a pass-catcher, I will be leaning on his meager role as a better predictor of his fantasy outlook than his high efficiency.

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