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Immediate fantasy football takeaways from NFL Week 2 Thursday Night Football

The Washington Football Team defeated the New York Giants 30-29 to kick off the second week of the NFL season. All eyes were on Saquon Barkley after his limited playing time in Week 1, as he’s coming off a short week.

PFF’s fantasy football recap focuses on player usage and stats, breaking down all the vital information you need to achieve fantasy success in 2021.


New York GiantsSnapsRoutes RunTargetsCarries
Sterling Shepard6438101
Kenny Golladay583480
Darius Slayton392460
Kadarius Toney191000
C.J. Board6301
Kyle Rudolph492220
Kaden Smith32920
Chris Myarick7000
Saquon Barkley5826313
Devontae Booker10612
Elijhaa Penny3002
Washington Football TeamSnapsRoutes RunTargetsCarries
Terry McLaurin7150140
Dyami Brown624560
Adam Humphries504080
Cam Sims8400
DeAndre Carter6301
Dax Milne4200
Logan Thomas714670
Ricky Seals-Jones7410
John Bates1100
Antonio Gibson4322213
J.D. McKissic312464
Table Notes
  • Snaps include plays called back due to penalties like offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.
  • Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear throw-away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.
  • Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.

Buy low on Antonio Gibson: Fantasy managers were not happy when J.D. McKissic scored a touchdown to end the first half, or when he caught a 56-yard pass in the fourth quarter. Gibson had some promising usage outside of the two-minute drill, playing in more second-and-long and third-and-medium plays than usual. It’s been a slow process, but Gibson is gaining a larger role in the offense. The stat sheet just didn’t show it today due to a high percentage of Washington’s snaps coming in two-minute drills, but he played in over 80% of snaps outside of the two-minute drills

Start Saquon BarkleyBarkley has been more involved in the offense in each of the last two games. He was much closer to his usual dominance in snaps but didn’t see as many touches as usual against Washington. Now that the former All-Pro running back will have a week and a half of rest before his next game, he should be closer to 100%.

Start Sterling ShepardThe Giants’ top wide receiver was undervalued coming into fantasy drafts, which made him one of the biggest waiver-wire additions earlier in the week after a top-10 fantasy finish in Week 1. Shepard didn’t score a touchdown, but he was a clear favorite in targets. Along with his 10 targets, there were three more that didn’t count due to various defensive penalties. He should remain a PPR machine each week.

Monitor Kadarius ToneyThe first-round rookie missed the entire preseason and was limited in practice before Week 1 due to a hamstring injury. The Giants only used him for five snaps in the first game. He saw an extended role tonight, mostly splitting time with Darius Slayton. This makes Slayton droppable despite the touchdown catch. Toney can be a speculative add in deeper leagues.

Slow down the Dyami Brown hype: Brown played in 51 of 55 snaps in Washington’s first matchup. He had a more successful day receiving tonight but also was on the field less often. All six wide receivers for Washington saw at least a few snaps. Adam Humphries also saw a lower percentage of snaps. Chances are those two receivers will be rotating snaps in two weeks if Curtis Samuel is ready to play.

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