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Stats Perform’s Week 2 Fantasy Football Projections

By: Stats Perform

Fantasy owners who either held on to or bought low on Antonio Brown had plenty of interest in how the troubled wide receiver might do in his New England Patriots debut, but now his status is in question amid rape and sexual assault allegations.

The NFL Network has reported that the Patriots don’t appear likely to sit Brown if he’s eligible to play, but the league could step in and put him on the Commissioner’s Exempt List before Sunday’s game at Miami. As a result, Brown is currently not included in our Week 2 projections, though he could be added if it’s announced that he will indeed suit up.

Stats Perform’s advanced analytics team develops its projections based on our proprietary data. Remember, we heavily factor in opportunity as well as talent, so our feelings about how many fantasy points a player will score aren’t the same thing as how we feel about them as a player overall.

Stats Perform has pinpointed players at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end in a standard-scoring format that we project are either higher or lower than other experts’ rankings. For the consensus rankings, we’re using FantasyPros, which aggregates major fantasy sites’ picks, to compare our projections with others in the industry.

So here are Stats Perform’s top undervalued or overvalued players for Week 2:

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J.

 

Allen threw for 254 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in the season opener, which, at first, doesn’t inspire much confidence. However, one interception came on a tipped ball at the line of scrimmage and the other had an unlucky bounce off Cole Beasley’s foot. All-in-all, his accuracy looked better than last year, and the second-year QB also finished with 38 yards and a score on 10 rushing attempts, seemed to get better as the game went on and guided the Bills back from a 16-point deficit for a 17-16 road victory over the New York Jets.

But Allen’s high ranking on our end likely has more to do with this week’s opponent as Buffalo travels cross-state to face the New York Giants. And Allen should be able to find some openings in a Giants’ secondary that allowed Dak Prescott to complete 25-of-32 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-17 road loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

While others are certainly jumping on the Lamar Jackson bandwagon after an electric opener, we’re going to pump the brakes on saying he’s arrived – at least for this week. Jackson’s performance was surprising not only because he went 17 for 20 with 324 yards and five touchdowns through the air, but also because the speedy quarterback only had six rushing yards on three carries in a 59-10 rout of the Miami Dolphins.

While Jackson appears to have another good matchup against an Arizona Cardinals defense that allowed Matthew Stafford to throw for 385 yards and three touchdowns without a pick in Week 1, it would be difficult for Jackson to match last week’s output and our projections trend toward the Ravens’ building a lead and moving away from the passing game.

Baltimore Ravens running back Mark Ingram (21) scores a touchdown, during the first half at an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Though our projections may have Jackson overvalued because of the way this matchup figures to swing in Baltimore’s direction, the same rationale can be used to explain why Ingram tops our list of undervalued running backs. Yes, the Ravens continued to throw the ball after going up big in Miami but Jackson only finished with 20 passing attempts – tied for the second-fewest of any QB that didn’t get hurt in the opener – and backup Robert Griffin III had six.

Ingram churned out 107 yards on a whopping 7.6 per carry and two touchdowns in Week 1 – separating himself from Gus Edwards, who had 56 yards on 3.3 per carry and no scores.

Elliott split the carries evenly with backup Tony Pollard in Week 1, finishing with 53 yards and a touchdown on 13 rushes, while Pollard only had 24 yards on his 13 attempts.

The NFL’s two-time rushing leader does have another week under his belt after ending his holdout just days before the opener, but we project Elliott will only get roughly two more carries (15.4) as he continues to work his way back in Week 2 against the Washington Redskins.

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins (14) catches a 3-yard touchdown pass over Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. 

It took Watkins one game to match his 2018 season touchdown total with three in Kansas City’s 40-26 victory at Jacksonville, where star playmaker Tyreek Hill left early with a clavicle injury. Hill is reportedly set to miss 4-6 weeks, leaving Watkins and Travis Kelce – our top tight end – to be Patrick Mahomes’ top targets for the immediate future.

Mahomes, who had 378 passing yards and three scores in the opener, has thrown for 576 yards with six touchdowns and one interception on 62 attempts while the Chiefs have totaled 75 points in his two career starts – both wins – against the Oakland Raiders.

Smith-Schuster finished with a quiet six catches for 78 yards as the Steelers’ offense was stymied in a 33-3 loss to the defending champion Patriots. Smith-Schuster also needed X-rays after injuring his toe late in the fourth quarter, and he could be slowed in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks. He was limited in practice this week and is listed as questionable, though coach Mike Tomlin has said that he’s optimistic about Smith-Schuster’s availability.

The Seahawks allowed Andy Dalton to throw for 418 yards and two touchdowns, but they held the Cincinnati Bengals to three points in the second half of a 21-20 win last weekend. Smith-Schuster is going to be overvalued only if his toe issue keeps him off the field.

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen (88) catches a pass in front of New England Patriots outside linebacker Dont’a Hightower (54) in the first quarter of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. 

Olsen finished with 80 catches for 1,073 yards and three touchdowns in 16 games in 2016, but injuries have limited him to just 17 contests since that Pro Bowl season. Olsen is questionable for Thursday’s night game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a back injury, but ESPN is reporting that he’s expected to play.

Olsen remains one of Cam Newton’s favorite targets when he out there as his team-high nine targets in the opener would indicate. Should he play 94% of the offensive snaps again, Olsen should fare well against a Tampa Bay secondary that allowed tight end George Kittle to catch eight passes in a 31-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

After raising some eyebrows with a strong training camp, Andrews carried that performance over to the opener with eight catches for 108 yards and a touchdown at Miami. But Andrews put up most of his production came with the game out of hand and we’ve already established that our projections have the Ravens thriving more on the ground than through the air against the Cardinals.