What We Saw: Week 2

Did your QB survive the week?

Texans @ Browns

Final Score: Browns 31, Texans 21

Writer: Ryan Radel (@RadelFF on Twitter)


In a game that lacked much defense until the second half, both teams were filling the stat sheet. Although the Browns were heavily favored, the Texans fought hard till the very end. The two starting QBs had a combined completion percentage of over 90%, but the yardage totals were lacking as both teams were trying to control the clock. Texans’ head coach David Culley had a very questionable decision where he declined a holding penalty on third-and-long, deciding to instead punt the ball away over attempting the third down again. I’ll write that one up to rookie head coach jitters. While the Texans kept it close for most of the game, the Browns had this game under control for most of the matchup. The game itself seemed to take forever as both teams had injuries pile up throughout the day, including some important pieces on both offenses.


Houston Texans



Tyrod Taylor: 10/11, 125 yards, TD | 1 carry, 15 yards, TD

Davis Mills: 8/18, 102 yards, TD, INT, Sack


Tyrod Taylor was looking literally unstoppable to begin this game. He looked comfortable getting the ball away quickly, negating the Myles Garrett-led Cleveland pass rush. When the pass rush did make it through his pass protection, he flashed his notorious mobility to avoid and would-be tacklers, even taking one scramble all the way to the house.



Unfortunately for Tyrod, he tweaked his hamstring on a scramble during a dead play just before the half. Grimacing in pain and unstrapping his helmet in frustration, Tyrod knew he was out for the game and handed the reins of the offense over to rookie QB Davis Mills. You read that correctly – not Deshaun Watson. While he wasn’t perfect, Mills looked poised for a rookie and knew to look for top wide receiver Brandin Cooks when it mattered:



Keep an eye on Tyrod’s injury designation. Hamstring injuries usually aren’t a good thing, especially for a player who relies on their mobility as much as Tyrod does. If Davis Mills stays under center, it may create some limited value for the Texans backfield as Tyrod isn’t there to poach rushing yards and touchdowns.


Running Back


Mark Ingram II: 14 carries, 41 yards | 2 targets, 1 reception, -1 yard

Phillip Lindsay: 5 carries, 2 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 22 yards, TD

David Johnson: 6 carries, 25 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 22 yards


The Texans running back room is fantasy football nightmare fuel. All three running backs were involved in both the ground and passing game. Mark Ingram looked the best on the ground, running hard and proving difficult to tackle. His efficiency wasn’t what you’d like to see out of a running back in a committee, unfortunately. Phillip Lindsay did his damage in the passing game, taking a screen pass to the house to tie the game up in the first quarter.



While his stats aren’t fantasy-relevant, David Johnson was the most efficient running back for the Texans on the day, averaging nearly six yards per touch. If you could combine all three of these guys into a single fantasy running back, they’d be a star. Unfortunately, the committee approach dramatically limits the fantasy ceiling for all three instead. This backfield gives me strong New England Patriots vibes with less touchdown upside, and I recommend avoiding the headache if you can.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Brandin Cooks: 14 targets, 9 receptions, 78 yards, TD

Andre Roberts: 1 target, 1 reception, 35 yards

Nico Collins: 1 target, 1 reception, 32 yards

Jordan Akins: 2 targets, 1 reception, 17 yards

Chris Conley: 2 targets, 1 reception, 13 yards

Danny Amendola: 1 target, 1 reception, 9 yards


I cannot overstate how heavily Brandin Cooks was targeted. He got 14, with the next highest target count being TWO. No, you did not misread that- fourteen targets. Through two weeks, that’s a total of 21 targets, which is a pace for 179 targets. Let that sink in. That trend is likely to continue regardless of who is under center as the Texans are not very talented in the pass-catching department. It’s hard to blame the Texans coaching staff either, as Cooks has now put up 14 receptions for 210 yards and a touchdown so far, which puts him firmly in WR1 territory. I, for one, am very surprised by the statistics I just typed. A handful of other Texans were targeted, but none of their receptions were very noteworthy. The Texans look to be a run-first team, and when they aren’t running, they are throwing to Brandin Cooks. Danny Amendola left the game early with an injury as well, which may create more opportunity for rookie Nico Collins. At this point, the Texans need someone to step up.


Cleveland Browns




Baker Mayfield: 19/21, 213 yards, TD, INT | 8 carries, 10 yards, TD


It wasn’t the prettiest game for Baker Mayfield, but he got it done. After throwing an interception to Justin Reid, Baker hurt his shoulder attempting to tackle the defender on the return, which is probably a coach’s worst nightmare. He didn’t let it affect him long-term though, as he returned the following drive and capped it off with a TD run of his own:



There have been instances in the past where Baker was hesitant to run in the red zone. Thankfully he looks to have outgrown that habit, which is great news for his fantasy ceiling. The eight rushing attempts were certainly not by design, as Baker had to extend the play on a few dropbacks and barely got to the line of scrimmage before getting out of bounds on a few of his scrambles. Jarvis Landry went down with an injury in the first quarter and Odell Beckham Jr. was declared out before the game started, so Baker was missing his two biggest playmaking pass catchers in the blink of an eye. With a completion percentage of over 90%, Baker made it work with what he had, but he needs to do more than 200 yards and a touchdown in order to be fantasy relevant. The score on the ground is a great start. As a Browns fan, it gave me a heart attack knowing he hurt his shoulder earlier in the game and looked like he wanted to truck-stick a defender at the goal line.


Running Back


Nick Chubb: 11 carries, 95 yards, TD | 1 target, 1 reception, 3 yards

Kareem Hunt: 13 carries, 51 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 2 yards

Andy Janovich: 2 carries, TD

Demetric Felton: 2 receptions, 51 yards, TD


With the Browns missing both Jarvis and OBJ, the Browns running backs were in the spotlight to carry the offense. Even the fullback got in on the action! While the usual targets weren’t there for Chubb or Kareem, the group still combined for a total of over 200 yards and three touchdowns while also controlling the clock. Nick Chubb continues to do Nick Chubb things, like serving stiff-arms to arm-tackling corners:



Kareem Hunt got more carries than anticipated, but I believe that was an attempt to keep both running backs fresh throughout the game. Both he and Chubb will be involved each week, but their matchup will like dictate their usage rates.

Rookie Demetric Felton didn’t get a rushing attempt, but displayed unreal balance on a screen play he took 33 yards to the house:



During his time at UCLA, Felton played as both a running back and a receiver, so he brings a unique skillset to the position group for the Browns that will likely be on display more now that Jarvis is likely going to miss time.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Harrison Bryant: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 49 yards

Austin Hooper: 5 targets, 5 receptions, 40 yards

Rashard Higgins: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 27 yards

David Njoku: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 18 yards

Donovan Peoples-Jones: 1 target, 1 reception, 14 yards

Jarvis Landry: 1 target, 1 reception, 9 yards


As mentioned already, Jarvis Landry left this game early with what ended up being a knee injury that may cause him to miss time. With both Jarvis and OBJ out, Baker relied heavily on his tight ends, targeting the group a total of 12 times. This is another situation where if this was a single player, they would have fantasy relevance, but the production is spread across three players instead. Harrison Bryant has certainly carved his role out in the offense, albeit a small one, but could get more opportunities in the coming weeks. You’ll notice Anthony Schwartz is absent from the box score, which leads me to believe he was a fill-in for Odell Beckham Jr who was a late scratch in Week 1. Keep an eye on this group if Jarvis Landry is confirmed to miss time and OBJ still isn’t back – someone is going to get an expanded role. My guess would be second-year receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones.


— Ryan Radel (@RadelFF on Twitter)

One response to “What We Saw: Week 2”

  1. Voucher Sort says:

    thank you this is great. I just thought I’d let you know there’s a typo in yyour title though?

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