The Duel

Todd Gurley Fantasy Value Falls With Decreased Snap Count in Week 2

Dan Israeli
New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Rams
New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Rams / Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
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After Todd Gurley was vultured for two touchdowns in Week 1 by Malcolm Brown, the silver lining for his fantasy owners was that he played the majority of the team's snaps, finishing with 70.8 percent to Brown's 25.4-percent mark. In Week 2, however, those numbers went in the wrong direction.

Gurley finished with 16 rushes for 63 yards and a touchdown in Week 2's win over the New Orleans Saints, chipping in three receptions (on three targets) for four yards. Brown, meanwhile, turned seven touches into 47 scoreless yards.

No matter what kind of production the Rams get from Brown, or even rookie Darrell Henderson at some point in the season, it's becoming increasingly clear after two weeks that Gurley's days as a 25-touch workhorse could be over, at least for 2019. The team paid him $57.5 million last year, and while that could seem like an incentive for the Rams to play their stud, on the other side of the coin it could also be a reason for them to preserve Gurley's health for the playoffs when he is needed most.

Gurley can still be an effective fantasy option if he is receiving closer to 15-18 touches per game, but there are two key factors as far as his overall upside despite a reduced per-game touch count. The first is his receiving work, which did improve from a volume perspective in Week 2 (four targets, up from one in Week 1), but not from a production standpoint. Gurley has just eight receiving yards through two weeks, after averaging 41.4 receiving yards per game in 2018.

The second, and arguably more important, key to Gurley's fantasy success is touchdowns. While Gurley got the rushing score in Week 2, there was an indication from Sean McVay after the game that neither back will be the preferred option in goal line situations, and that it will be more based on who is fresh or on the field on a given drive. This could cap Gurley's weekly upside after he led the NFL in touchdowns in each of the last two seasons.

With the uncertainty surrounding Gurley's receiving and goal line work, he is arguably a sell-high for worried owners, who may want to use the Week 2 TD as a selling point in trades.


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