Fantasy Football Week 2 WR value watch: Drake London among risers, plus fallers to know based on key usage metrics

Get updated on everything you need to know about wide receiver usage in Week 2 from one of the nation's top Fantasy experts
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Each week, we learn new information as the ever-changing Fantasy landscape at the wide receiver position reshapes itself. There are many specific usage stats that affect a wide receiver's Fantasy projection, and outside of a few players, we see those underlying usage metrics fluctuate throughout the course of a season. And the first two weeks of the season present us with a flood of new data to make sense of.

Each week, SportsLine's Fantasy expert Jacob Gibbs will examine all of this new information and provide a data-driven deep dive into Sunday's games to offer a better understanding of what we learned and how it will impact the Fantasy outlook of specific teams and players.

Here, we'll look at the leaderboards in several key metrics around wide receiver usage, then share our look as whose stock is rising in falling after this weekend's action. That includes Falcons rookie Drake London. "All that we have seen Drake London do over the past year is dominate receiving volume in a way that no one else in his league is doing," according to Gibbs.  

If you have questions about any stats, players, or situations covered or not covered in this article, feel free to reach out to Gibbs on Twitter.

Week 2 Leaders

Dropback rates -- which teams seem to want to pass the ball at the highest/lowest rates?

In the tweets above, I examined team tendencies on first downs and in the first half -- the thought process behind using this subset was that it gives a true representation of what the teams would like to do. What was their plan? For teams like the Panthers and the Commanders, it was clear that the plan was to pass as often as possible. For the 49ers and Bears, the opposite was true.

Another way to get an idea of a team's intention is to look at their dropback rate when the game was still close.

So, we have an idea of which teams really want to pass the ball at a high rate. Which teams were intentional about pushing the ball down the field? And which teams were the least aggressive?

I believe it is important to examine both of these average depth of target stats. Let's take Tom Brady as a use case -- he had just the fourth-highest aDOT in Week 1, but he consistently attacked downfield -- only Justin Fields (who attempted just 11 passes) threw downfield at a higher rate. One or two long heaves (which often have a very low probability of resulting in a reception) can throw off aDOT data in a significant way, especially when we are examining a one-game sample. Jameis Winston's aDOT was significantly higher than Brady's, but Brady actually attacked downfield at a higher rate.

This brings us to our next stat: air yardage leaders. Tracking air yards, average route depths, and average depth of target is vital to understanding how each NFL offense operates and will interact with opposing defensive schemes on a week-to-week basis.

The following teams stand out as having provided the most or fewest air yards through two weeks.

A key precursor to accumulating air yardage -- actually running down the field. Displayed below are the players whose average route depth (the distance at which the initial cut on their route took place on average) stood out the most in Week 2.

It's difficult to draw targets at a high rate while occupying one of the NFL's deepest route trees. This context may help understand the disappointing target totals for George Pickens through his first two games.

On the other side of the coin, we find Deebo Samuel -- who actually finished with negative air yards in Week 2.

In addition to knowing which players drew massive air yardage totals, it is important to be familiar with air yardage shares. The rate version of this stat can help identify players who might break out if their offensive environment improves and produces more air yards in the future.

Speaking of rate stats, it's about time that we got to the oh-so-important target share leaderboard.

And those who produce well in both metrics get to be part of the highly exclusive 30-30 club.

They let three rookies in! How exciting!

Let's dig into the full data on Week 2 WR usage rates.

Which WR saw super promising usage rates despite disappointing Fantasy production? And which wideout is going to have a difficult time replicating their big Week 2? ... Join SportsLine here to see Jacob Gibbs' Wide Receiver Usage Report, all from one of the nation's most accurate experts as graded by FantasyPros!


Jacob GibbsDFS Guru