Week 2 Usage Rates: Thursday Night Football Edition

by Joshua Kellem · Analytics & Advanced Metrics

The Browns defeated the Bengals 35-30 on Thursday night. Now that the box score is final, let’s go beyond that with PlayerProfiler’s advanced stats and metrics to uncover what the tangible takeaways are for fantasy football. Nick Chubb‘s fantasy football demise was overstated (understatement). Kareem Hunt looked good in Week 2, but beware. Lastly, there’s a sneaky tight end pick-up to start eyeing for Week 3. For now, let’s get to the quick-hitting takes to see why the aforementioned statements should be regarded as facts.

Note: At the time of publishing, no snap counts, air yards, routes run, or route participation data were available. 

Nick Chubb And Kareem Hunt

Nick Chubb‘s fantasy football value should’ve never been questioned after Week 1. He accounted for 23 touches; 22 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns, with one reception for nine yards. He had just one target. Hunt, meanwhile, accounted for 12 touches; 10 carries for 86 yards and a touchdown, with two receptions for 15 yards and a touchdown. He registered two targets. Chubb accounted for 65.7-percent of the backfield touches, as opposed to Hunt’s 34.2-percent. Chubb, though, dominated the goal-to-go touches. He registered five to Hunt’s two. In the first quarter, Chubb bulldozed his way into the endzone from 11 yards out as well. That set up a Deep Ball attempt for Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham on the next drive to the tune of 43 yards and a touchdown. 


Turns out the Browns, in fact, played one of the best teams in football in Week 1 and simply weren’t able to get much going. Against an inferior defense in Week 2, the Browns offense did what fans wanted to see, dominate. A third of Hunt’s touches, though, came on the Browns’ second-to-last drive of the game, including nearly 50-percent of his total yardage. Hunt managed only eight touches prior to this. This is an important note for fantasy gamers with Hunt on their roster.


Depending on Game Script, moving forward, Hunt may not always be in a position to salt away games on the final drives. Whereas Hunt totaled 17 touches in Week 1 chasing points, he only managed eight prior to the second-to-last drive in a competitive game. He totaled two touchdowns on two goal-to-go touches. Regression is coming if Hunt doesn’t manage more goal-to-goal opportunities. There’s nothing wrong with his Week 2 fantasy point total, but don’t expect it every week unless his usage in goal-to-go situations increases.

Odell Beckham

Wait a minute. Don’t call it a comeback. On the heels of a report that he’s on his way out of Cleveland, Odell Beckham captivated fans and teammates with his 43-yard touchdown grab on Thursday night. Beckham paced the Browns’ receiving corps in all major receiving categories as well. He led the way with six targets, four receptions, 74 yards, and a touchdown. No other receiver totaled more than three, indicating Beckham is the alpha in the offense. That’s important considering Kevin Stefanski deploys a run-first attack.

Stefanski’s offense in Minnesota in 2019 averaged 29.8 (No. 4) Team Run Plays per Game and 30.9 (No. 31) Team Pass Plays per Game. Jarvis Landry seems to still be recovering from off-season hip surgery. Considering Baker Mayfield’s output of 23 pass attempts in a competitive game compared to 39 last week while chasing points, Landry projects to be a high-floor play most weeks in fantasy football rest of season. For context, Joe Burrow totaled 61 pass attempts in Week 2 alone. In addition, Mayfield’s 39 pass attempts in Week 1 while chasing points most of the game ranked tied for No. 10. We point this out to illustrate that even when Game Script projects the Browns to throw more, it won’t necessarily mean they’ll throw a lot relative to the top third of the league in pass attempts.

Odell Beckham Week 2 Route Chart

Mayfield posted a 110.6 QB Rating in Week 2 and showed why he was the No. 1 pick of the draft a couple of years back. With time to throw and designed roll-outs, Mayfield’s play is elite and Beckham benefits the most on roll-outs because of his acumen as a Deep Ball threat. That said, his 10 targets are encouraging for fantasy gamers because it means he isn’t just a glorified Deep Ball specialist (not that anyone says he is) and he’ll provide a weekly floor as well with underneath route concepts. In fact, Beckham spent much of his time Week 2 underneath per Next Gen Stats.

Drew Sample

Fantasy gamers lacking stability at tight end should inquire within about the services of Drew Sample. With a potential season-ending injury to incumbent starter C.J. Uzomah, Sample is a sneaky waiver-wire pickup heading into Week 3. The past two weeks combined, Joe Burrow has targeted tight ends on 21 out of a possible 97 pass attempts. That’s a 29.6-percent clip. In fact, after Uzomah’s injury forced him out of competition, Sample went on to rank No. 2 among Bengals pass-catchers in targets and second in receptions and yardage. Keep in mind, Uzomah had a good game as well, posting a 4-42-1 stat line on six targets.

Drew Sample Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

That potential production is on deck for Sample. Burrow targeted at least five receivers five-plus times for the second straight week. This indicates Sample – and every other pass-catcher – is literally one play away from being called upon with Burrow seemingly not playing favoritesoutside of A.J. Green, who totaled 13 targets in Week 2 and nine in Week 1. That said, Sample totaled two red zone targets inside the 10 and two additional red zone targets from within the 15. On back-to-back plays. Lastly, after that, Sample again drew consecutive targets. First on a 10-yard reception from the 19. Then, he and Burrow were unable to connect for a completion on a pass play that started on the 9-yard-line.