The week 2 slate is my favorite of every season. It offers the best chance for sharp minds to jump on bounce backs players and teams. The public often overvalues a single game sample. Using data to attack these angles involves looking back at 2018, evaluating changes to personnel/coaches, and combining those facts with the week 1 data we have available.

There were of course some misses in the week 1 evaluation, but there were big time hits in the articles as well including:

This isn’t to pat myself on the back. It is my challenge that as we eliminate down the amount of data discussed from every game to only the premier finds that I can become even more successful on a weekly basis. This week there are only five data points, but each one can provide a unique perspective to take advantage of this week.

  1. Ravens vs. Cardinals Pace-of-Play (Source: Football Outsiders)

In 2018 the Baltimore Ravens were 4th in total seconds per play in the NFL. They were faster when Lamar Jackson started. Last week, the Cardinals ran a play every 21.36 seconds, which was #1 in the league. I may be the lowest of all the experts at your favorite fantasy football website on Kyler Murray, but this may be the best chance of the season to play Murray in a perceived bad spot. The Ravens lost a multitude of talent on defense in the off-season, and Jimmy Smith to injury in week 1. This could be the game with the most plays run in regulation for the entire 2019 season. Kyler Murray can finish the week as QB1. If he doesn’t my personal odds on favorite to repeat is Lamar Jackson. We touched on the Arizona secondary last week, and they haven’t gotten any better. This game has a chance to go way over the total and be an absolute shoot out.

  1. Aaron Colvin Release – Houston Texans Slot Corner (Source: SportsInfoSolutions)

Much has been made of the Texans soft coverage that allowed Ted Ginn Jr. to get the Saints into field goal range and win in the MNF opening game during Week 1. The culprit of this play, on the field, was Aaron Colvin. Colvin was subsequently released after the game after signing a large deal during the 2018 off-season. Colvin was a primary slot corner. Colvin not only allowed that impactful reception but was targeted 9 times in week one with an 11% success rate in pass coverage. This was the worst rate in the NFL for any corner targeted over 5 times. It is hard to believe that the Texans have anyone on the roster better equipped to play the slot corner than Colvin. The Jaguars are large underdogs who are starting a 6th round pick whose first name is something you do in your backyard, but Dede Westbrook (39th ECR WR on FantasyPros) is a must play in week 2. Lock him in your lineup with confidence.

  1. Browns Week 1 Pressure Rate… Used Two Ways (Source: SportsInfoSolutions and FootballOutsiders)

The Cleveland Browns were throttled at home last week. However, as badly as their brains were bashed in, they had a 50% pressure rate on defense (#1 in NFL). They have a monster pass rush and will line up against a terrible quarterback in Trevor Siemian, because Sam Darnold was playing training camp beer pong without water cups. There isn’t a playable option within the Jets WR corps, and I will be benching Robby Anderson everywhere. Expect a bounce back from the Browns.

It is important to note that the Titans were the team to allow this pressure rate a week ago. You can fire up the google machine and find a multitude of articles regarding how good Marcus Mariota is against pressure. This makes sense as he is quick to identify problems at the line and has an accurate arm. Mariota’s problem has always been a lack of arm strength and the inability to make throws downfield. That said, it is impossible to be successful as a passing offense allowing this amount of pressure, which is likely to continue sans all-pro Taylor Lewan for another 3 games. The Colts rushed just four defenders 76% of the time in 2018, while getting pressure 28.1% of the time. Though, in week 1, against another team with poor pass protection they pressured at a 37.5% clip. I am downgrading the entire Titans passing game and view the Colts as a superior team. The Titans shouldn’t be favored by 3, even at home.

  1. Raiders Offense Overall (Source: SportsInfoSolutions and FootballOutsiders)

In week 1 the Chiefs allowed, Gardner Minshew, to go for nearly 300 passing yards in less than a full game. They pressured at a rate of 14.3%. As noted in the week 1 article, Derek Carr is deadly when there is a lack of pressure. Carr is a priority stream this week in a game that will shoot out, as the Raiders are missing 50% of their starting secondary. The Chiefs were the worst team in adjusted line yards in the NFL in 2018 and were the 6th worst team in week 1. Josh Jacobs is in line for a huge day. While the Raiders are on a short week, playing both games in Oakland should offset some of the negatives that stem from less recovery and practice time.

  1. David Montgomery (Source: SportsInfoSolutions and FootballOutsiders)

I am sticking my neck out on this call for the week, but it could have the largest payoff of anything in this article. There is a heap of concern about David Montgomery within the fantasy community after a lack of snaps in week 1 (38.4%). There are going to be recommendations to sit him. People will overlook him in DFS. However, the Broncos allowed broken tackles on 17% of plays in week 1. They were in the bottom 10 in adjusted line yards in 2018. Matt Nagy is known to get cute, but in order to win on the road as a favorite he simply cannot rely on Mitch Trubisky. He needs to hammer the ball were the Broncos are susceptible. That is on the ground with his best running back. The Bears will be motivated and have a 4 day rest advantage on Denver, which should alleviate playing in elevation at Mile High.

  1. Tdub says:
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    My new favorite article of the week.

    Vernon Davis over Higbee correct?

    • Pat

      Pat says:
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      I appreciate the praise! You know how it goes with streaming tight ends but Big Vern played far more snaps and ran far more routes last week. I think he is your play now that Reed is confirmed out. Dallas wasn’t great against tight end in 2018 and Engram obviously had a day week 1. Just don’t expect him to jump over anybody this week.

  2. David says:
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    Keep up the good work, Pat!

    Right now I’m a little panicked relying on Devonta Freeman as my RB2..Should I be worried? Try to sling a trade to the ATL fan in the league for Josh Jacobs? Also, this week PPR RB2- Devonta Freeman or Miles Sanders breakout?

    PS. As a Niners fan, I love the profile pic…but why Tomsula?? (maybe thats the joke)

    • Pat

      Pat says:
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      Hey David. I’ll do my best!

      I’ll start with Tomsula. My dad is a stocky, mustached, 5’8” white guy. In his interim HC game in 2010 when Tomsula popped on the screen one of my college roommates laughed and said Pat’s dad wandered onto the sideline and someone gave him a clipboard. Since then I’ve always been a fan of the guy and he was referred to as “my father. ” Obviously, Dad was not meant to be a head coach, but you hear the stories about sleeping in a car with no money to keep the dream alive, going to NFL Europe, farting near hot mics at pressers… Hard not to love him.

      Anyways, I wouldn’t go full panic on Freeman. I didn’t love him coming into the year, but tough matchup week 1 and the Falcons loss overall was deceptive. They moved the rock for 350+ yards. They just turned it over twice in the red zone, basically. They have a great o line. That said this is another tough tough matchup. In deciding between Freeman and Sanders the advantage you have is it is the SNF game. See where you stand after the day slate. If you need the higher floor it’s probably Freeman I think you can bank on some catches and 50 total yards and hope for a fall in. If you are down significantly and need the potential boom Sanders definitely has a higher ceiling (I cannot imagine the Falcons gutting Philly on the ground so it would take a few TDs or a long play) even though Doug P is frustrating and the reason I own Sanders nowhere.

      In terms of Freeman V Jacobs I think it is pretty clear that Gruden is going to ride Jacobs as long as he can handle it and the line is at the very least improved. I preferred Jacobs slightly in the preseason and definitely prefer him now.

      • David says:
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        Love the response! Haha, as a Niners fan, I guess I would have fonder memories of cuddly Tomsula if he resembled my father too. Hilarious either way.

        I wasn’t so high on 2019 Freeman to be honest either..just happened to be one of those guys that fell too low. Now he’s a little too low and I might as well ride him out since even the ATL fan rejected me right away (don’t blame him).

        Thanks again, appreciate the attention to detail, and keep up the great work!

  3. web says:
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    Flex, full ppr….need 1

    Duke
    Miles Sanders
    Terry Mclaurin

    • Pat

      Pat says:
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      Close between Duke and Miles but I’ll take the elevated floor from Duke.

      • David says:
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        Duke over Devonta? Full PPR and entirely applicable as a possibility to my previous question. Thanks!

        • Pat

          Pat says:
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          That is razor thin… I’m assuming you mean this week. I would say that if Coutee wasn’t playing I would say Duke no doubt in my mind. I probably still lean Duke here, but you do lose the ability to see where you stand going into SNF that we talked about above.

      • web says:
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        I’m just worried about game script with Duke and Houston being highly favored…game script seem to favor the other 2

  4. steve stevenson says:
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    Good stuff. I’d been panicking a little about Westbrook w/ Foles going down as I drank the Rudy kool-aid and added him everywhere this year as my WR2/3, but you’ve convinced me to run him out there at least for another week. On a somewhat related note, Bill O’Brien is such a mook. It’s really tough as a Texans fan, cuz there are some genuinely exciting, cool players on that team, and this idiot’s at the controls pulling a Plaxico in his sweatpants.

    • Pat

      Pat says:
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      Yea. He consistently does barely enough to keep his job… At least you have Deshaun, if BoB’s personnel moves don’t get him killed.

  5. Jeff Graup says:
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    Conley
    Benjamin
    Scandling
    Amendola
    For Wr3

    Pick 1

    RB fLex
    Brown LAR
    Mostert

    Start one of them over RB above ppr

    • Pat

      Pat says:
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      Going to go MVS even in bad matchup. I don’t anticipate many plays in the Detroit and chargers game and I think Conley targets are going to be a roller coaster all year.

      As for flex I think between those two you have to go Brown and have vultures one or it shoots out and there are a ton of plays and he finds 10 carries again. A lot could go wrong on mostert they could try and find brieda or involve Wilson as well after he got elevated from practice squad.

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