Stealing Signals: Week 2, NFC

Week 1 was a mess of information, and it’s hard to know what to apply and what is small sample noise. Yesterday we went over the AFC. Here are the actionable notes for the NFC for Week 2.

Arizona Cardinals

Snap Notes: John Brown – 84%; Jaron Brown – 73%; JJ Nelson – 40%; Andre Ellington – 27%; Kerwynn Williams – 12% Key Stat: John Brown – 121 Air Yards (Sixth most) For those owners who lost David Johnson or a player like Allen Robinson,1 check out one of the best RotoViz pieces we’ve ever published.2 The premise is climbing out of a hole with a bad roster after a few weeks. That’s not clear yet for most rosters in 2017, but if you’ve lost a few major pieces already, I think the concepts pertaining to trading and targeting 1-for-2 deals could apply. The Cardinals have an even bigger hole to fill than fantasy teams, as Johnson was such a massive part of their offense. He was injured late in the third with the Cardinals leading 17-9; a quarter later the Lions had scored 26 consecutive points while the Cardinals had converted just two more first downs. Kerwynn Williams is the favored handcuff, but Andre Ellington played more snaps. Ellington profiles as more of a receiver, and there is plenty of receiving production to replace given Johnson’s 120 targets and 80 catches in 2016, both good for second on the team. Through three quarters Sunday, he’d amassed nine targets and six catches. The Cardinals also grabbed receiving-back D.J. Foster off the Patriots practice squad and re-signed Chris Johnson, so the workload here is unclear. My expectation is a committee, with a significant share of Johnson’s passing volume shifting back toward the wide receivers. Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown were fourth and sixth in the NFL in Week 1 Air Yards, and are well-positioned going forward. While the offensive production will take a hit, they likely see their scoring increase without the presence of a 20-TD back. Cards WRs Carson Palmer was a popular late-round quarterback for his early-season schedule, but many want to jump ship after Week 1. I see it the other way; he’s still a great option, as I anticipate Bruce Arians will have him chuck it around until the RB situation stabilizes. That means more WRs could have some deeper-league value as volatile options. Jaron Brown played substantially more snaps than J.J. Nelson, and did see two pass attempts, but both plays were nullified by a penalty. Nelson posted a strong line, but 3-21-1 of it came on a meaningless final drive. Signal: Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown Noise: Everything related to the RBs  

Detroit Lions

Snap Notes: Eric Ebron – 72%; Kenny Golladay – 62%; Ameer Abdullah – 51%; Theo Riddick – 30% Key Stat: Kenny Golladay – 118 Air Yards (Seventh Most)
  1. Or both.  (back)
  2. Incidentally, the last we’ve seen from the vaunted RotoViz Staff byline.  (back)

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By Ben Gretch | @YardsPerGretch | Archive

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  1. Can tell these are a lot of work, keep them going. They have helped me make some conclusions across various players after week 1 and the twitter barrage that followed.

  2. PaulC says:

    These are great. Full of good information. Ben, do you think Fleener's production will dry up after Snead gets back? I believe his splits with and without Snead last year were striking. So Fleener's MS could be noise.

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