Fantasy Football 2018: Nitty-Gritty NFC Numbers

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 16: Michael Thomas #13 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates his touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 16, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 16: Michael Thomas #13 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates his touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 16, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
Fantasy Football
NEW ORLEANS, LA – SEPTEMBER 16: Michael Thomas #13 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates his touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 16, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Fantasy Football /

Fantasy Football 2018: Nitty-Gritty NFC Numbers

Two exhilarating Fantasy Football weeks are in the rear view mirror.  The usual suspects have lived up to, and even exceeded expectations in some cases.  Quarterbacks like Pat Mahomes and Ryan Fitzpatrick have played lights out.  Michael Thomas and Christian McCaffrey are on pace 224 and 160 catches respectively.  Deshaun Jackson looks like he’s 25 again.  Matt Breida and Phillip Lindsay sandwich Joe Mixon as the RB1 and RB3, which I’m sure is exactly what you expected 3 weeks ago. Khalil Mack has provided a spark for the Bears defense that harkens back to the days when the team was built around defense.  Speaking of defense, no one can score on the Rams.  Fantasy-wise it’s been fun.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals, and Buffalo Bills among others who haven’t provided much for a fan-to-see.

Without further ado let’s geek out on some NFC team and player numbers that shed light on this young season.

Follow me on Twitter @DynastyJaco so you don’t miss future articles like AFC’s Nitty-Gritty Numbers & Fantasy Football Debates.

Arizona Cardinals:

  • The Cards have run the lowest amount of total rushing plays — 30 for the season.
  • Through 2 games Arizona’s pass to run ratio is 2:1– 61 passes / 30 runs.
  • This is obviously not what David Johnson owners were expecting when they spent early 1st round capital on him.  Johnson has 22 of the 30 runs and their lone rushing TD — his sub 9 points per game average is well below expectation.
  • Larry Fitzgerald (10), and rookie Christian Kirk (5) account for all 15 Cardinal WR receptions.
  • Sam Bradford is the only remaining starter yet to throw a TD.

Atlanta Falcons: 

  • Tevin Coleman ran for 107 yards week 2 — his 2nd career 100+ yard rushing game.  His 1st was week 9 of 2015.
  • Julio Jones leads the team in targets (28), receptions (15), and yards 233.  His propensity for not scoring continues through 2 weeks of the 2018 season.
  • Like fellow rookie DJ Moore, WR Calvin Ridley caught his 1st TD week 2.
  • Ridley is 3rd on the team in targets (7), just 1 behind Mohamed Sanu (8).
  • In Devonta Freeman‘s absence rookie RB, Ito Smith saw his snap count rise from zero week 1 to 18 week 2.
  • Smith ran 9 times for 46 yards in his 1st game — a very respectable 5.1 yards per carry.

Carolina Panthers:

  • Christian McCaffrey leads all RB’s in targets (24) and receptions (20).
  • Despite leading in both categories CMC has less receiving yards (147) than Alvin Kamara (165) and Chris Thompson (155).
  • Cam Newton leads the team in rushing yards (100).
  • Newton and McCaffrey are tied for the team lead in rushing attempts with 18.
  • Rookie DJ Moore has 1 career catch — Moore made the most of the opportunity, scoring on the play from 51 yards out.
  • Other than offensive linemen and Cam Newton, Devin Funchess has played the highest percentage of offensive snaps (92%).
  • Funchess is 2nd on the team in targets (14) and catches (10).

Chicago Bears:

  • Khalil Mack has supercharged the entire Defense.  The Bears are the only team with double-digit sacks (10).
  • Chicago’s also the only team with more than 1 defensive score (2).
  • Jordan Howard has twice as many catches (8) as Tarik Cohen (4) — maybe Jordan Howard being involved in the passing game wasn’t just coach speak this summer.
  • Mitchell Trubisky has the 2nd lowest yards passing (371) out of all QB’s with at least 60 attempts.
  • Allen Robinson is clearly Trubisky’s go-to WR.  Robinson is a member of the distinguished 10+ target per game club with 21 total targets through week 2.

Dallas Cowboys:

  • Ezekiel Elliot and Geoff Swaim are the only Cowboy, non-QB, skill players averaging >90% of the team’s offensive snaps.
  • Cole Beasley is next closest with 62% of snaps.
  • Beasley saw the most disproportionate snap count drop-off among Cowboy WR’s from week 1 to week 2.
  • All Cowboy WR’s saw their snap count decrease proportionately due to game flow in week 2 except Michael Gallup,  Beasley’s decreased by 10%, Hurns’ by 8%, and Thompson’s by 4%.  Gallup’s snap count increased by 2%.  Gallop saw more snaps than Deonte Thompson who out-snapped Gallup week 1.
  • Ezekiel Elliot has  32 of the 33 (97%), Cowboy RB rushing attempts in 2018.  No other back in the league has a carry share that high.

Detroit Lions:

  • The Lion’s have passed on 76% of their offensive plays — they are the only team in the league running the ball on less than 30% of their offensive plays.
  • 70 — the amount of game’s since Detroit’s last 100 yard rusher.
  • Despite passing a tremendously disproportionate amount of the time the Lions offensive line ranks #2 overall in pass protection according to Football Outsiders.
  • Matthew Stafford is 1 of 2 QB’s that has targeted more than one WR 10+ times per game.  Big Ben is the other.
  • Golden Tate (14) and Kenny Golladay (10.5) are the only teammates being targeted on average 10+ times per game in the NFC.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – AUGUST 18: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings warms up before the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on August 18, 2018 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Fantasy Football 2018: Nitty-Gritty NFC Numbers

Green Bay Packers:

  • RB’s Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams have 6 catches combined.  Only Tampa Bay’s RB’s have less catches (5).
  • After being drafted as the TE4, Jimmy Graham is the TE16.
  • Graham is tied for 6th among TE’s in targets (12) and catches (8) — he has zero TD’s.
  • Davante Adams has 2 TD’s through 2 weeks.  Since 2016 no WR has more TD’s (26) than Adams.
  • WR’s Davante Adams (WR10), Randall Cobb (WR21) & Geronimo Allison (WR27) are the league’s only trio of WR’s ranked in the top 30.
  • The group has combined for 37 receptions, 457 yards & 4 TD’s.
  • Randall Cobb has the same amount of catches as Davante Adams — Cobb has 20 more receiving yards, Adams has 1 more TD.

Los Angeles Rams: 

  • ranks the Rams’ offensive line #3 overall and #1 against the pass.
  • Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks have been on the field for 98.5% of the team’s offensive snaps through 2 weeks.
  • Robert Woods comes in a close 3rd — Woods has been on the field for 97% of offensive snaps.
  • Despite lining up in 3 receiver sets more than any other team, L.A. is 5th in the league in run play percentage with 46.5% of their offensive plays staying on the ground.
  • Todd Gurley led the team in receptions last year with 87.  He’s 4th on the team in 2018 with  8 — Cooks (12), Kupp (11) & Woods (9).
  • The Rams defense has given up the least amount of points per game (6.5).  They rank 3rd in the league in total yards allowed (266).

Minnesota Vikings:

  • WR Adam Thielen is tied for 2nd in the league in receptions (18) with Steelers’ Antonio Brown & JuJu Smith-Schuster.
  • WR Stefon Diggs is tied for 2nd among WR’s with 3 TD’s.  AJ Green leads the league with 4.
  • Diggs is the fantasy’s WR5, Theilen is the WR8.
  • The duo has combined for 30 catches, 404 yards and 4 TD’s.
  • Dalvin Cook is averaging just 3 yards per carry (26 rushes for 78 yards) — his 107 receiving yards off 9 catches has masked his poor rushing performances through 2 weeks.
  • Free agent acquisition Kirk Cousins is the QB5.  He’s thrown for the 5th most yards (669) and is tied for 3rd in TD passes (6).

New Orleans Saints: 

  • New Orleans is the only team in the NFC giving up 30+ points per game (32.7)
  • According to the Saints have the league’s #1 overall offensive line.
  • Despite having the league’s highest-rated o-line, the Saints are dead last in rushing yards (52.5 yards per game).
  • Alvin Kamara (15) and Michael Thomas (28) have 43 combined receptions that account for 66% of all Saints receptions — the highest % in the league by a teammate combination.
  • Michael Thomas‘ 28 receptions are 10 higher than the next closest WR’s (Thielen, Brown, & Smith-Schuster — 18) and 8 higher than McCaffrey (20).

New York Giants:

  • Rookie RB Saquon Barkley is the RB5 — thanks for the most part to his 16 catches off 22 targets.
  • Barkley is averaging 22.5 touches per game (14.5 rushes & 8 receptions)
  • The Giants’ offensive line continues to grade out among the worst in the league.
  • Lone brightspot, C Jon Halipio will miss the rest of the season with a broken ankle.
  • Eli Manning is the QB28 — Manning is 1 of 4 QB’s with 2 starts to not have thrown at least 2 TD passes.
  • Like Manning, Odell Beckham JR. is ranked 28th at his position.  OBJ has caught just 63% of balls thrown his direction (15 receptions/ 24 targets).
  • Evan Engram, like Jimmy Graham, has 8 receptions off 12 targets.  Unlike Graham, Engram has 1 TD — Eli’s lone TD pass.
  • 71% of Manning’s throws have been to Barkley, Beckham JR or Engram.  The trio has caught 70% of those passes.

Philadelphia Eagles:

  • According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Nick Foles has on average 3 seconds to throw per pass attempt — best in the NFC.
  • Despite the extra time, Foles ranks 3rd last in the league in yards per pass thrown according to
  • Nelson Agholor has been targeted nearly four times more (22) than Philly’s next closest    WR — Kamar Aiken has 6 targets.
  • TE Zach Ertz leads the team in targets (23) and is tied with Agholor in catches with 16.
  • Ertz’s 23 targets are the most among TE’s, the next closest, Jared Cook has 16.
  • The Eagles’ RB touches (carries + catches) break down like this:
  1. Jay Ajayi — 23
  2. Corey Clement — 16
  3. Darren Sproles — 9
  4. Wendell Smallwood — 8
SANTA CLARA, CA – SEPTEMBER 16: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers runs on to the field for their game against the Detroit Lions at Levi’s Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA – SEPTEMBER 16: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers runs on to the field for their game against the Detroit Lions at Levi’s Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Fantasy Football 2018: Nitty-Gritty NFC Numbers

San Francisco 49ers:

  • RB Matt Breida leads the league in rushing yards after 2 games with 184 — Kyle Shanahan’s legacy as the RB whisperer remains untarnished.
  • Despite leading the league in rushing yards, Brieda (22) has 4 fewer carries than Alfred    Morris (26).
  • Morris has out-snapped Breida by 4 then 5 snaps week1 & 2.

    Morris out-snapped Breida in the red zone 5-0 week 1.  Week 2, Breida out-snapped Morris in the red zone 5-2.

  • Jimmy Garoppolo (9) is 2nd to Russel Wilson (12) in times being sacked among NFC QB’s.
  • WR Dante Pettis is the team’s WR1 snap count wise, Pierre Garcon comes in a close 2nd with 3 less offensive snaps played.
  • The entire 49er WR corp has 28 targets combined– Michael Thomas has 28 catches to give a little perspective.
  • TE

    George Kittle

    leads the team in targets (13) and catches (7).

    More from FanSided

    Seattle Seahawks: 

    • Russell Wilson (12) has been sacked more than any other NFC QB — Tyrod Taylor led the league through 2 games with 13.
    • Wilson is currently the QB23 — he’s completing less than 60% of his passes — he’s also yet to rush for a TD.
    • Rookie 1st round pick, Rashaad Penny leads Seattle RB’s in carries (17) and catches (4).
    • Despite less carries (13) and catches (3), preseaon darling Chris Carson has more total yards on offense (103) than Penny (73).
    • Will Dissly is the league’s TE1.  Dissly has 147 receiving yards and 2 TD’s.
    • The Seahawk defense is a shell of it’s former self ranking 21st in yards given up per game — giving up 371 per contest.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

    • Deshaun Jackson has a 3:1 catch to touchdown ratio to start 2018. 9 grabs/ 3 scores.
    • D-Jac’s 75 yard touchdown week 2 was his 23rd career receiving TD of 60+ yards, tieing him with Jerry Rice for most all-time.
    • Peyton Barber is one of 6 RB’s In the NFL with 35+ carries.
    • Despite the 6th most carries in the league, Barber (91 yards) is 26th overall in rushing — QB’s Tyrod Taylor (103) & Cam Newton (100) have more through 2 weeks.
    • Tampa’s offensive line has the highest percentage of runs stuffed (no gain) in the NFL — 34% of the Buc’s runs either lose yards or go no where.
    • Ryan Fitzpatrick’s start (82.5 points) is the greatest fantasy football start for a QB in the modern era.

    Washington Redskins:

    • The Redskins’ defense has allowed the fewest yards per game on average in the            league (247)
    • RB Chris Thompson‘s 19 receptions rank 2nd among RB’s and 3rd overall in the league.
    • Jordan Reed is the team’s 2nd leading pass catcher with 10 grabs.
    • Paul Richardson (8), Josh Doctson (5) & Jamison Crowder (5), are the only Washington WR’s with receptions — combined (18) they have fewer catches than Chris Thompson (19).
    • Alex Smith is 2 of 3 for 61 yards on passes that traveled in the air more than 20 yards.
    • Smith is just 4 of 12 for 79 yards on passes that travel in the air more than 10 but less than 20 yards.
    • Adrian Peterson is 5th in the league in carries with 37.  He has 116 rushing yards and a TD.

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    Thanks for reading.  Be on the lookout the Nitty-Gritty AFC Numbers coming soon.