Week 1 of the NFL season is over and we now have Week 2 games in which these scorers could find the end zone. These are my best bets to score in Week 2.
DAVID MONTGOMERY, LIONS
The Lions can talk up rookie RB Jahmyr Gibbs all they want, but numbers don’t lie. Montgomery is the 1A to Gibbs’ 1B or maybe even the lead back in Detroit according to their usages in Week 1. Montgomery was on the field for 79% of snaps, whereas Gibbs was in on only 27% of snaps, and Montgomery touched the ball 21 times to Gibbs’ nine touches. Most importantly, for our purposes, Montgomery found the end zone, and he’s likely to do it again in Week 2. The Lions face Seattle this week, the second-best matchup for opposing running backs right now. Gibbs will probably work his way into more plays, but for now the 44.98% TD-dependent Montgomery is the workhorse in Detroit.
CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY, 49ERS
The running back with the highest snap count rate in the league in Week 1 (85%), McCaffrey is the siphon through which the 49ers offense runs. Set to face the eight-best RB matchup in the Rams defensive front, McCaffrey could have little trouble reaching the end zone.
RACHAAD WHITE, BUCCANEERS
White was held out of the end zone in Week 1 by a reinvigorated Brian Flores-led Vikings defense, but the going should get less tough against the Bears this week, as Chicago is our absolute best matchup for opposing running backs going into Week 2. White had the fourth- highest snap count for any running back in Week 1 (79%) so there will be no shortage of opportunities for the second-year back in a Tampa offense that looks better than we thought.
STEFON DIGGS, BILLS
Coming off the heels of a tough Monday night defeat in overtime, Diggs and the Bills will be out to rebound this week against a lackluster Raiders defense. Las Vegas makes for the fourth-best matchup for opposing wide receivers and QBs this week, so the outlook is promising for Diggs and his QB Josh Allen. The veteran WR was on the field for 84% of the offensive snaps in Week 1, a game in which he surpassed 100 yards and scored on a team-high 13 targets. Entering his Week 2 matchup with a 37.04 TD dependency and strong odds to score, Diggs is one of the best bets this week.
DEVONTA SMITH, EAGLES
No wide receiver played more snaps in Week 1 than Smith, who played 98% of the Eagles offensive snaps against the Patriots. His opponent this week, the Vikings, are the second-best matchup for opposing wide receivers in Week 2, after struggling against Mike Evans and Co. in Week 1. Although he’s perhaps the No. 2 wide receiver on his team — more like a 1B — we can’t forget that Smith is the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner. Smith tied for the fourth-most wide receiver TDs in 2022, and he’s primed to be in the top tier of scorers this season after already catching a TD in Week 1. Look for Smith to continue his run against Minnesota.
Allen didn’t score in a shootout against the Dolphins in Week 1, but the Chargers’ game plan was to go run heavy, as evidenced by the 32 carries between Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley. They could have a more balanced, or perhaps even more pass-heavy scheme this week against a Titans team that is the fifth-best matchup for wide receivers, but the sixth-worst matchup for opposing running backs. The leading wide receiver for the Chargers in Week 1, and on the field a team-high 91% of snaps, Allen is poised to score in Week 2.
This column was provided to The Associated Press by RosterWatch, www.rosterwatch.com.