Shawn Siegele checks in on historic wide receiver performances, discusses the Trey Lance injury, and ranks the tight end position for the rest of the season.
The agony and the ecstasy were on full display in a Week 2 of historic wide receiver performances. Six WRs gained at least 75 yards with two touchdowns, and five of them came in the early wave of games. In what comes as a shock to absolutely no one, Cooper Kupp joined them in the afternoon.
From 2000 to 2021, Week 2 featured 11 games where a WR scored at least 39 points. None of those occurred within the last 10 years.
We’ve already had three such games in 2022 with Justin Jefferson, Stefon Diggs, and A.J. Brown yet to take the field.
Jaylen Waddle (40.1) and Garrett Wilson (30) were both priority draft targets, and they team up on a high percentage of my Main Event rosters. After the fast starts from Mike Williams and Gerald Everett on Thursday night, I finished the first wave of games thinking this might be a weekend for the ages. Alas, it was (mostly) not to be.
The day took a tragic turn when Trey Lance fractured his ankle on the 49ers’ second drive. It’s always a dagger to take a 2.8 from fantasy’s highest-scoring position, especially on a weekend where Lamar Jackson (42.6) and Tua Tagovailoa (38.9) engaged in a shootout for the ages. I have a lot of Lance exposure, as do many of our readers and listeners, but this is first and foremost a human development. Lance will now miss the remainder of the 2022 season, and he’ll embark on the 2023 campaign as the former No. 3 overall pick but a player who has played only a small handful of games across a three-season window.
After the fireworks of the morning, the afternoon wave also featured two more storybook comebacks – a successful rise from the dead by Arizona and an abortive attempt to achieve history by the Atlanta Falcons. At halftime, Kliff Kingsbury was locked in a tight battle with Matt Rhule to develop the hottest seat in football. The Cardinals stormed back behind a gutsy performance from the much-maligned Kyler Murray, potentially saving their season and a whole lot of jobs in the process. Murray may have limitations as a passer and a leader, but his in-game competitiveness always gives Arizona a chance.
Meanwhile, Arthur Smith was left arguing that the fantasy realm rewards yards and touchdowns and the big-play ability of superstars while reality operates as a shadow universe that compensates grit and convoluted backfield formations and the courage to relentlessly run on third-and-medium. You want to leave the opposing defensive coordinator shaking his head and saying, “We lost that game because we didn’t properly account for Kyle Pitts as a blocker.” I say, “you want to,” because the Falcons are 0-2. They haven’t done it yet. (I’m mostly joking, of course. After a loss, fantasy and reality alike, people are frustrated. Smith is hardly the worst offender through two weeks. Formations based on multi-back sets and non-pass-catching TEs will mostly be gone from the NFL landscape when the calendar flips to October.)
Drake London and Pitts are two more members of the priority draft list. One has been a smash hit and the other an almost unfathomable dud through two weeks. I’ll dive more into the Pitts element in the TE rankings section, and explain . . .
- why I’m not concerned about Pitts.
- why we can’t get ahead of ourselves with priority smash Gerald Everett.
- why I am worried about two of our deep TE holdings.
Pitts has flopped through two weeks, but London has lived up to prophesy. He joins Wilson in leading the way for an impressive rookie receiving cohort that also got strong performances from Jahan Dotson and Chris Olave. We get a second game from Treylon Burks tonight and the debut from Jameson Williams later this fall. It’s too early to conclusively say this rookie class will once again shatter expectations, but RotoViz subscribers are loaded up and ready to smash the bye weeks with this undervalued source of points.