Jake’s Takes: 4 Factors That Could Affect Huddle’s Trading for NFL Week 2

September 15, 2023

Jake’s Takes: 4 Factors That Could Affect Huddle’s Trading for NFL Week 2

We’re officially one week into the 2023 NFL Season, and Week 2 is right around the corner. Naturally, the biggest news of the week is injury-related - as the New York Jets’ prize offseason acquisition Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles tendon only four snaps into his tenure as the Jets starting quarterback. 

Injuries are on our list of factors, as are a few other elements guaranteed to create some chaos for any trading team in the sports betting business. We’ll be breaking them down below.

Check out Huddle’s Week 1 NFL Performance

Were Week 1’s bad offensive showings a reflection of genuinely poor offenses or offseason rust?

Week 1 was not kind to offensive fireworks. More than a few teams underperformed offensively, and several of those squads were among the higher scoring teams from last season. You can find those teams listed below:

  • Kansas City scored 20 points (averaged 29.2ppg in 2022)
  • Cincinnati scored 3 points (averaged 26.1ppg in 2022)
  • Buffalo scored 16 points (averaged 28.4ppg in 2022)
  • Seahawks scored 13 points (averaged 23.9ppg in 2022)

More so, a bunch of recently highly-paid quarterbacks underperformed, causing angst to fans and DFS players alike.

  • Joe Burrow signed a 5-year, $275M contract. He went 14/31 with 82 passing yards.
  • Lamar Jackson signed a 5-year, $260M contract. He went 17/22 with 169 passing yards and an interception.
  • Jalen Hurts signed a 5-year, $255M contract. He went 22/33 for 170 passing yards and 1 touchdown.
  • Daniel Jones signed a 4-year, $160M contract. He went 15/28 for 104 passing yards and two interceptions.

This begs the question - was this more teams and players shaking off the offseason rust? Many of these teams didn’t play their starters at all in the preseason, and several of these quarterbacks had very limited reps prior to Week 1. Huddle’s trading team will have to monitor these offenses closely though – was Week 1 a sign of things to come, or merely some talented players shaking off the rust?

From the trading team at Huddle, both elements are likely in play. We fully expect bounce-back performances from the Chiefs (if Travis Kelce returns to play), Cincinnati, and Buffalo. Meanwhile, the Eagles still scored 25 points despite a quieter day from Jalen Hurts, and the Ravens offense should gradually come into its own when Lamar forms better connections with Odell Beckam Jr. and Mark Andrews returns from injury.

That said, there are several offenses that we expected to be bad (the Arizona Cardinals, the Houston Texans, the Washington Commanders) that are likely just going to be bad. The Commanders in particular will go only as far as second-year QB Sam Howell will take them – and frankly, we just don’t expect him to be that good. 

Check out our SGP Picks Challenge: Beat The Huddle Trader

Injuries already having a huge impact

Every NFL season sees a number of injuries, but so far, we’ve seen quite a few big names come off the board. Future HOF quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the biggest name, but Ravens RB J.K. Dobbins, Rams WR Cooper Kupp, and Chiefs TE Travis Kelce complete quite the offensive quartet of players who are currently injured. 

Their respective teams will have adjusted odds as a result of those injuries. The Jets, for example, saw their expected wins this season plummet by almost four in the aftermath of the Rodgers injury. It’s fair to assume that ascending second-year WR Garrett Wilson will see his projected numbers take a massive hit as well. 

While Travis Kelce, who missed the Chiefs Week 1 loss to the Detroit Lions, is expected to suit up in Week 2, J.K. Dobbins suffered a season ending injury against the Houston Texans. Dobbins has only played in 24 of a possible 66 games since joining the Ravens as a second round pick, but averaged 5.8 yards per attempt and scored 12 touchdowns in those games. The Ravens are equipped to handle his loss better than most behind Gus Edwards (a more-than-capable RB1) and Justice Hill, but his loss stings.

Meanwhile, Cooper Kupp is out until Week 5 at the earliest, but the Rams stunned the Seattle Seahawks behind two 100-yard receivers in Chatarius “Tutu” Atwell and Day 3 pick Puka Nacua. Those two unheralded receivers stepped up in Kupp’s absence, recording a combined 16 catches for 238 yards. I wonder if Kupp’s absence will eventually cause a greater impact, but for now, Huddle’s trading team might be inclined to lean towards the Rams aerial attack behind two unlikely contributors. 

Early Season Travel Causing Disarray

Week 2 of the NFL is the first week Huddle takes into account the travel situations for NFL teams. The team hurt most by it this week is the Miami Dolphins, who flew from their game in Los Angeles to Miami on Sunday, and now travel to New England for their game this week. Teams in travel spots like this underperform relative to their team quality. A well known travel trend is west coast teams playing road games that start at 10 am local time. Three teams fit the bill this week, with the Seahawks, Raiders, and Chargers flying across the country to play in the early time slot. Historically this has been a good spot to back the home team, but the market has caught up to this trend, as showcased by teams going 2-0 (Cardinals and 49ers) in this spot in week 1.

Young Quarterbacks

There’s quite a few youngsters starting at the quarterback position this NFL season. You have a trio of rookie quarterbacks (Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud and Anthony Richardson) who might make trading for their respective teams a little bit more challenging without proper data for them. You also have relatively green second-year players like Sam Howell in the mix, not to mention longtime Packers backup Jordan Love in the picture as well. 

Love in particular is the quarterback that is likely to give Huddle’s trading team the most pause. Before Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season, Love had thrown a total of 84 passing attempts across his first two NFL seasons, in which he threw 3 touchdowns against 3 interceptions. It’s hard to gauge where he’s going to fall on the spectrum of NFL quarterbacks. 

Could he continue his upward trajectory after a 3-touchdown performance in Week 1? Maybe – and it would certainly be a cause for celebration amongst Packers fans who would be dreaming of the Favre-to-Rodgers-to-Love passing of the torch. But he could also flameout against opponents better than the Chicago Bears. Only time will tell.