If there is one over-arching big trend so far in the 2018 season, it’s some ridiculous reception totals going on.
Last year there were just five players with more than 100 catches. But this year there are 25 players on pace for 100 receptions -- and then some.
▪ Michael Thomas (New Orleans) is on pace for 224 receptions and his 28 in the first two games of the season is an NFL record.
▪ Christian McCaffrey (Carolina) is on pace for 160. This past week, McCaffrey caught his 100th career pass in 18 career games, the fastest ever for a running back to get to 100 receptions.
▪ Chris Thompson (Washington) is on pace for 152, rounding out the top three players based on receptions after Week 2.
Some other notables
▪ Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (Pittsburgh) are both on pace for 144 catches, Mike Evans (Tampa Bay) is off to a career season and on pace for 136, rookie Saquon Barkley (N.Y. Giants) is on pace for 128, Zach Ertz (Philadelphia) for 128, Alvin Kamara (New Orleans) for 120, Theo Riddick (Detroit) for 112, Quincy Enunwa (N.Y. Jets) for 104 and Kenny Golladay (Detroit) is taking a big step forward and also on pace for 104 receptions.
▪ In other big news for the week, Josh Gordon (New England) was suddenly traded to the Patriots. It’s hard not to be excited about the prospects of Gordon catching passes from Tom Brady. Gordon is still only 27 and averaged 18.6 yards per catch last season.
▪ Set to make his 2018 home debut, there is no reason not to have Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City) atop the rankings this week -- Kansas City is scoring a league-high 40 points per game.
▪ On the other end of the Chiefs-49ers game, Jimmy Garoppolo(San Francisco) is a strong start also -- this game has high shoot-out potential and the Chiefs allow the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
▪ The Ryan Fitzpatrick (Tampa Bay) train is in full motion and it doesn’t seem likely to slow down this week against Pittsburgh, which allows the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
▪ Jordan Howard (Chicago) should be in for a big game with Bears coach Matt Nagy saying he needs more carries and with Howard going against an Arizona defense that allows the most fantasy points to opposing running backs.
▪ Kenyan Drake (Miami) has come out a little slow to start the season but this is a good week for a breakout game, at home and against the 31st-ranked rush defense of Oakland.
▪ Corey Clement (Philadelphia) has high sleeper appeal this week at home against the Colts with Carson Wentz set to return and Jay Ajayi (back) likely to miss this the game.
▪ The Patriots are due their first rushing touchdown of the season and Rex Burkhead (New England) is the back most likely to punch it in close, particularly against a Lions defense allowing 39 points per week.
▪ Brandin Cooks (L.A. Rams) looks safe to haul in a few long ones after averaging 129 yards in his first two games as a Ram while the Chargers allow 15.2 yards per completion (second-highest).
▪ The Denver defense poses its challenges, but don’t bench John Brown (Baltimore) who has scored in both games as a Raven and playing in an offense averaging 35 points per game (third-most).
▪ Phillip Rivers (L.A. Chargers) is on fire and he’s a tough sit, though there are many attractive quarterback options this week and the Rams allow the fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
▪ LeSean McCoy (Buffalo) needs to be monitored with a rib injury, although he’s best left on the bench regardless against a stout Vikings’ defense -- McCoy is averaging just 44.5 yards per game.
▪ It’s hard to get too excited about Jordy Nelson (Oakland) who has not picked up the pace as a Raider. Nelson has 35 yards or less receiving in 11 straight games (dating back to last year).
▪ Tavon Austin (Dallas) had a big touchdown last week but still any Cowboys’ receiver is hard to trust. Dallas averages just 149 passing yards per game (3rd-fewest).