Reciever Groups Take Center Stage in Week Two
Week 2 is in the rearview mirror and what a week it was. From the Dolphins going nuclear to the Jets’ comeback win in less than two minutes – there’s a lot to look at heading into Week 3. Matt Harmon and James Koh took the time to look at some of the best and most surprising wide receiver performances on this week’s episode of Reception Perception: The Show.
Tyreek Hill & Jaylen Waddle
It would be malpractice to talk about wide receivers from this week and not talk about the Miami duo who put on an absolute show in Week 2. Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle both amassed 40 PPR points against the Ravens. NFL Network’s Rich Eisen detailed the insane feat the pair pulled off on Sunday.
Are Hill and Waddle the best duo in the NFL? That remains to be seen. Having said that, Matt does think they’re the most dynamic duo right now because of the unique speed the two bring to the table. Jaylen Waddle is extremely fast. He was No. 1 overall vs. man coverage in his draft class. He finished his rookie season with a 70% success rate vs. man coverage.
Matt goes on to say that maybe the way Waddle was used during his rookie season wasn’t fully indicative of his skill set. He wasn’t as involved in the vertical game in 2021. Mike McDaniel seems to have registered that and corrected shit in his first season as a head coach.
Matt and James point out that the Miami passing attack has a clear and concise plan. The plan is to run that offense through the two wideouts. The pair combined for 88% of the team’s air yards and 64% of the total targets.
James plays a little game of “They’re on pace for..” and the numbers are astounding. Hill is on pace for 162 receptions, 2,400 yards, and 17 touchdowns. While Waddle is on pace for 2,040 and 26 touchdowns. Then James drops possibly my favorite quote of the episode: “It’s not a Batman and Robin, it’s a Batman and Batman.”
The first stop in New York is with the 1-1 Jets. Koh’s guy Joe Flacco (he said it, not me) is putting up numbers in New York and he’s bringing his offensive weapons with him. Flacco has dropped back to pass a staggering 109 times in two games.
Garrett Wilson was a direct recipient of Flacco’s passing in Week 2. Wilson’s Reception Perception prospect route success rate chart is basically all green. Matt thinks Wilson could be special. Among prospects that have been charted the last two years in Reception Perception Garrett Wilson ranks No. 1 in multiple broken tackles while in the open field and No. 3 in success vs. zone coverage. You’ll have to listen to the podcast to hear the comp Matt had for Garrett Wilson because it’s eye-popping.
Should we be crediting the Jets coaching staff for the way they’ve deployed Wilson so far this season? James thinks we should. The Jets spent a top 10 pick on Wilson and they’ve made a point of getting their best WRs on the field.
So where does that leave us with sophomore wideout Elijah Moore? Matt and James still like him, but maybe to varying degrees. The most troubling thing for both Wilson and Moore is that the Jet’s offense has been spreading the ball to everyone. Not to mention the question marks at QB when (the Twitter streets would say “if”) Zach Wilson returns.
Matt is refraining from declaring either wideout the WR1 in New York, saying they both bring something to the table. Moore’s rookie reception perception profile tested really well. He had a 75% success rate vs. man and an 80% success rate vs. zone.
And also, what the hell is going on with Denzel Mims?
The 2-0 Giants
The Giants are 2-0 and the wide receiver room doesn’t look like it did last season. Matt and James think the winds of change blew in with new head coach Brian Daboll, who said the traits he expects of his wide receivers are that they’re smart, tough, and dependable. Traits Kenny Golladay evidently doesn’t meet since he played all of two (2) snaps on Sunday. A decision he does not agree with.
Sterling Shepard has emerged as the WR1 for the Giants through two weeks. Matt brought up Shepard’s usage metrics which shine so far this season. He’s responsible for 39.9% of the team’s air yards and 26.4% of the team’s targets. This is coming off a torn achilles last season. Does that sound tough to you? Matt and James lean yes.
James thinks Richie James is a WR that can fall under Daboll’s “dependable” trait requirement. The slot man played 43% of snaps but has been reliable as a target. He went 5 of 6 for 51 yards in Week 1 and 5 of 6 for 59 yards in Week 2.
Kadarius Toney took a bit of a step forward from Week 1 to Week 2 in terms of snap share. As Matt so eloquently put his usage has had fantasy managers pulling their hair out. Listen to the pod for Matt’s thoughts on how close Toney is to becoming the guy we all want him to be in the NFL and for fantasy.
Is Carson Wentz Good or Is That Just the Washington WR Corps
It’s only Week 2 but Matt and James toy with the idea that Carson Wentz is the real winner of the off-season trade that sent him to Washington. The Commander’s offense allows for Wentz to uncork it a little bit and that’s led to upside for more than one pass catcher in Washington.
Matt is excited to see Curtis Samuel being utilized in the passing and rushing game, with 20 targets already through two weeks. They’ve got an established WR1 in Terry McLaurin and Jahon Dotson has hauled in some eye-popping catches at the beginning of his NFL debut.
Is Terry McLaurin still an “alpha” wide receiver? The usage metrics that Matt brings up points to no. At least, not an alpha fantasy football wide receiver. Still, there’s optimism from both Matt and James regarding the future of the pass-catching trio this season.
While you should be listening to Reception Perception: The Show, the Reception Perception website took a step forward in the last two weeks with content. Both the In-Season Charting Tracker and the Charting Review Roundups are a gold mine of information.
Matt spent the back end of the show drooling over Drake London, and I can’t blame him. He’s a DAWG. (PSA: “London can’t separate” haters aren’t gonna like this.) The Rookie posted an insane 83.3% success rate vs. man and an 80% success rate vs. press in his Week 1 performance, against a strong secondary as Matt points out.
This is also going to be a tough listen for “Kyle Pitts bros”, just don’t shoot the messenger. There’s a new best pass-catching option on the Falcons, and his name is Drake London. He’s demanding target share and makes plays in the open field.
James and Matt threw out some comparable players to Drake London, spoiler alert: they’ve both named Mike. The Reception Perception boys are confident in London’s future. But you have to give The Show a listen to hear just how confident.