NFL Week 2 Takeaways | Fantasy Football 2023

by Tyler Knaeble · Analytics & Advanced Metrics

We were blessed with another week of fantastic NFL games, so in turn, you are about to be blessed with another round of weekly takeaways by yours truly! This is NFL Week 2 Takeaways!

So let’s dive right into it!

Quick Hitters:

  • Bijan is still awesome.
  • D’onta Foreman is the odd RB out in Chicago.
  • If Russ is cooking, it’s closer to Golden Corral than it is Gourmet. 

Takeaway No. 1: SELL Mike Evans

One of the biggest surprises, that I don’t think anyone saw coming, was the Heisman-like play the Bucs have received from Baker Mayfield over the first two weeks. Mayfield is currently No. 7 in both passing yards and passer rating and has thrown three TDs in two games. Two of those touchdown passes have gone to Mike Evans. While Evans and Mayfield are off to a great start, I’m here to say you have to cash out while you’re ahead and sell high on Mike Evans.

For starters, the Vikings and Bears defenses are two of the worst in the league. In 2022, both the Vikings and Bears were bottom-four in yards allowed and bottom-three in points allowed. In 2023, the Bears have allowed the No. 2-most points through two games and the Vikings have allowed the No. 7-most. Forgive me if I’m a little skeptical projecting Mike Evans as a top-12 WR for the rest of the season given who the Bucs have played thus far.

Baker Mayfield

Another cause for concern is we know what Baker Mayfield is and what he isn’t. Mayfield isn’t a guy that any of his past teams could rely on for consistent production throughout an entire season. He isn’t a guy that’s going to “wow you” with his down the field passing, and he definitely isn’t a guy that’s going to lead your Buccaneer pass catchers to success. This hot start feels very Ryan Fitzpatrick-esque, and we all know how that story ends.

Bucs Next Five Games:

vs PHI, @NO, vs DET, vs ATL, @BUF

So yeah, the angry runs, the sound bytes, and the few touchdown passes Mayfield has thrown over the first two weeks are great. However, if Mike Evans couldn’t thrive with Tom Brady under center in 2022, I don’t see how he’s going to do that with Baker Mayfield. Sell high on him now while you still can (before he starts to play real defenses that can get after the QB). 

Takeaway No. 2: Nico Collins is the CLEAR WR1 in Houston 

There aren’t many players on the Texans I’d recommend as an every week starter for fantasy football. However, Nico Collins deserves a closer look. Through two weeks, Collins is averaging 10 targets, 6.5 catches, 133 yards, and just caught his first touchdown of the season. It seems to all be coming together for the third year wide-out out of Michigan.

One of the big reasons for his success is the fact that the Texans are still a struggling team who have been forced to throw the ball to try and get back into games. C.J. Stroud has the second-most passing attempts in the league through two weeks. I don’t see how that situation changes anytime soon. As long as Collins stays healthy, and the Texans continue to Texan the hell out of these games, Collins has a good chance to finish as a top 30 wide receiver in 2023. 

I would be targeting him in dynasty and/or deep leagues, especially considering it’s not going to cost you a whole lot to acquire him. 

Takeaway No. 3: Is Jahmyr Gibbs just D’Andre Swift 2.0?

Every Jahmyr Gibbs manager is thinking it right now. No one wants to say it, so I will. What if Jahmyr Gibbs is just 2022 D’Andre Swift? Yes, I know, it’s a very scary thought. However, the similarities are shockingly similar, and we know how it all ended for Swift.

The whispers coming out of Lions HQ pre-Week 2 were that Jahmyr Gibbs was going to have a “bigger role.” If a bigger role is seven carries and seven catches for 56 total yards, then Gibbs owners are going to have a tough season. Now, Gibbs being out touched by David Montgomery was something that Gibbs managers were mentally prepared for. Even if Montgomery only played three full quarters, it was understandable. What’s not understandable is, after Montgomery went down, the first running back to touch the ball was Craig Reynolds! Reynolds went on to see three touches to Gibbs’s four touches the rest of the game. This is basically a 50/50 split.

D’Andre Swift?

Ask a 2022 D’Andre Swift owner if any of this sounds familiar.

The bottom line is we all know Gibbs is immensely talented and his upside is massive. Plus, it’s still just Week 2. We have a lot of football left to be played. Furthermore, David Montgomery is expected to miss the next couple weeks. Therefore, if we don’t see Gibbs completely take over this backfield while Montgomery is sidelined, at least we will have clarity that the Lions truly hate fantasy football. 

Takeaway No. 4: This Vikings Team is the Perfect Storm for Their Pass Catchers

I don’t know if you could dream of a better team situation for Justin Jefferson, T.J. Hockenson, and Jordan Addison from a purely fantasy football perspective. 

First off, this defense is atrocious. I dove into the stats during the Baker Mayfield portion of this article, but this defense is going to ensure that the Vikings are in a lot of high scoring affairs or they are playing from behind. Both scenarios are great for the pass catchers.

Secondly, all of the other “weapons” on this team are pretty bad. Dalvin Cook is gone, Alexander Mattison is dust, and K.J. Osborn has looked terrible to start the season. After those guys, there is literally nobody else worth mentioning.

Final Thoughts

Lastly, the preferred offensive strategy of this team is centered around passing the ball, a lot. Kirk Cousins was No. 4 in the league in passing attempts in 2022. Through two weeks, he is currently No. 3 in the same category. In Week 2, Cousins finished with a stat line of 364 yards, four touchdowns and 0 INTs against the Eagles, and they still lost the game. This is not great if you are a Vikings fan, but if you are a Jefferson, Hockenson, or Addison manager, you are over the moon. 

Jefferson finished with 11 catches for 159 yards, Addison finished with three catches for 72 yards and a touchdown, and T.J. Hockenson finished with seven catches, 66 yards, and two touchdowns. 

Now, I wouldn’t expect this type of situation where we see all three of these guys be productive each and every week. Over the course of the season, however, these guys are going to be monsters.

Assuming the situation remains relatively the same, I think Jefferson can repeat as the WR1, Addison can finish as a top 18 wide receiver in his own right, and Hockenson can finish as a top three scoring tight end. Yes, I know those are lofty predictions, but like I said before, this is the perfect storm. The only difference is in this version, the main characters will benefit from the elements.