We are now two weeks into the 2022 fantasy football season. Decisions will only get more difficult from here on out. Let’s take a look at our WR start/sit Week 3 plays.
DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks (vs. ATL)
Through two weeks, Metcalf is averaging 8.1 PPR fantasy points per game. It’s been a rough start to the season. Of course, the problem isn’t Metcalf. It’s his usage.
In Metcalf’s stellar 2020 season, his average depth of target was 13.8 yards. He saw 1.9 deep ball targets per game. In 2022, his aDOT is 5.5 yards, and he has yet to see a single deep ball. So, why would I be bullish on him in Week 3? Two reasons.
First, there’s the matchup. The Falcons are allowing 29 points per game. They’ve allowed five passing touchdowns already and 253 passing yards per game.
Second, there’s Pete Carroll. Yes, that Pete Carroll. The same guy who never tells the truth is someone I’m actually listening to. Earlier this week, Carroll said they need to “make sure the ball is going to D.K. down the field.” For all my criticisms of Carroll, he evidently realizes Metcalf has yet to see a single deep target.
Well, what better spot to throw it up to Metcalf than against a Falcons defense that has allowed the most deep ball completions this season? Falcons’ opponents have completed deep passes at an absurd 69% clip. I believe the Seahawks will open up the offense and I like Metcalf to catch a deep touchdown this week. Start him.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kansas City Chiefs (at IND)
The Chiefs gutted out a tough comeback win against the Chargers last week. But no thanks to JuJu Smith-Schuster.
The Chiefs’ WR1 saw just three targets, which he caught for 10 total yards. It was a disastrous game from a fantasy perspective. I like JuJu to bounce back against the Colts.
The Colts have really struggled defensively over their first two games. They allowed 20 points to the Texans and 24 points to the Jaguars. And the way teams are moving the ball against the Colts is like death by 1,000 cuts. Just 7.7% of pass attempts against the Colts have been downfield. Teams just pepper their pass-catchers underneath. That’s where Smith-Schuster shines.
He caught six of eight targets for 79 yards in Week 1. I think we’re going to get something more similar to that this week. Start Smith-Schuster, who comes in at No. 24 in our weekly WR fantasy rankings, in what could be a sneaky shootout if the Colts get Michael Pittman back.
DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers (vs. NO)
“This is the year for DJ Moore.” – Fantasy managers…every year. Narrator in December: “It was not the year for DJ Moore.” Here we go again with Moore being underutilized in a low-functioning offense.
Some may be thinking the Moore turnaround is coming after he found the end zone last week. Moore is not known for his end zone prowess. He’s already got one, yet he’s still averaging just 10.7 ppg.
Moore’s 23% target share is his lowest since his rookie year. It’s behind Robbie Anderson’s 25% target share.
This week, Moore gets a Saints defense allowing just 201.5 passing yards per game. They’ve allowed just one passing touchdown. Marshon Lattimore did not get suspended for his altercation with Mike Evans.
As if all that isn’t enough to fade Moore, the Saints’ one weakness in their secondary is the deep ball. Opponents have thrown deep against the Saints 23% of the time — the highest rate in the league. The Panthers just don’t use Moore downfield, as evidenced by his 11.2 average depth of target.
If Moore isn’t scoring, he needs volume. So far, the volume hasn’t been there — not like it was last season. By way of example using my own fantasy teams, I’m sitting Moore for Drake London. If you have a viable alternative, you should sit Moore as well.
Allen Robinson, Los Angeles Rams (at ARI)
After a disastrous Week 1, Allen Robinson bounced back in Week 2 to score 15.3 fantasy points. That’s fantastic, and we’d take that every week. Unfortunately, nothing about Robinson’s Week 2 has me encouraged. He scored a touchdown, which will happen from time to time given that he’s on a high-powered offense. It’s also the only way he’s really going to be able to produce.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way — the matchup is great. The Cardinals have allowed 604 passing yards and seven passing touchdowns through two games. Granted, one of those was against Patrick Mahomes, but that’s still very poor.
The problem for Robinson is he’s just not a key part of the Rams’ passing attack. He’s on the field and running routes at a 97% clip. The targets just aren’t there.
Even in an improved Week 2, Robinson still saw just a 14% target share. He’s only been targeted downfield once through two games. His targets per route run rate is just 9.5%. By way of comparison, D.J. Moore, this week’s other WR sit who is also struggling with volume, has a 21% targets per route run rate. And even that is low.
There just doesn’t seem to be any deliberate effort to get the ball to Robinson. This passing attack is Cooper Kupp. And when it’s not Kupp, it’s Tyler Higbee, who has a 26.3% target share, ahead of Robinson. Fantasy managers should not chase last week’s points. Instead, sit ARob if you can.