Each week weíll review some interesting data points related
to player usage; information I consider to be among the most predictive
and actionable in fantasy football. The truth doesnít always
lie in the stats but usage tells the story of how a coaching staff
intends to utilize a player.
Here are some of the most important usage statistics for Week 10:
Chris Carson played on 96% of Seattleís snaps
in Week 10. Rashaad Penny came in for two carries and fumbled
one of them, and never saw the field again. The coaches trust
Carson and he has been the better player all year. Ride him
Kalen Ballage is a prime example of why usage isnít
everything. He played on 82% of snaps, received 24 touches
and gained 45 yards. Despite his heavy usage, he is still
not worth a start in fantasy because he is simply not good
enough to produce.
Interestingly Nick Chubb played more snaps than in
recent weeks, despite the return of Kareem Hunt. Chubb played
on 81% of snaps and received 22 touches to Huntís 11.
However, Hunt received 9 targets and caught 7 passes for 44
yards, making him extremely relevant in PPR leagues. Perhaps
they will continue to utilize Chubb in the early-down role
and Hunt in the third-down role, in which case both should
continue to be useful for fantasy, particularly in PPR leagues.
With Alvin Kamara returning, Latavius Murray played
only 25% of the snaps. For Murray owners hoping he would retain
a large role in the offense, it seems the only way he will
be relevant is if the Saints are ahead since Kamara is the
better receiving back (8 receptions for 50 yards in Week 10).
Joe Mixon played his highest snap percentage of the
season in Week 10 (76%). He also received the most touches
of the season with 32. Perhaps after shifting to Ryan Finley
at quarterback, the Bengals have decided to be more committed
to the run to protect him. If so, Mixon could return to relevance,
since the Bengals face the Raiders, Browns, Jets, and Dolphins
down the stretch.
Todd Gurley played on 74% of the snaps, his highest
percentage since Week 5. However, he received only 12 carries
and did not catch any of his 4 targets. Further, he was not
used in the 4th quarter. The Ramsí usage of Gurley continues
to confound owners. For dynasty owners, Gurley has gone from
a bust to the best RB in the league to being difficult to
trust. Until the Rams start giving Gurley 15+ carries, he
is likely to be frustrating for owners.
When Ty Johnson went down with a concussion in Week
10, it was J.D. McKissic who played almost all of the snaps
(70% overall). While Paul Perkins got 18% and 7 carries, McKissic
received 16 touches. He is the back to own if you are desperate
enough to start a Lions running back.
Devin Singletary played on 67% of the snaps, essentially
the same as the past two weeks. He was again effective, but
the coaching staff again did not hand him the ball enough.
He only received 8 carries but produced 5.3 yards per carry.
He also received 7 targets but was only able to catch 3 of
them for 8 yards. If the Bills would lean on the run game
more, Singletary could break out.
Even with David Johnsonís return, Kenyan Drake
played on 64% of snaps. He also out-touched Johnson 16 to
6. It seems Drake has taken over the lead in this backfield,
which is either a big shift in how the coaches view David
Johnson or is due to his continued injury issues. Either way,
Johnson should be avoided until he is utilized as the lead
back. Drake can be played if the matchup is right, but he
is also risky in this situation.
With Ito Smith on IR, it was Brian Hill who came
in to replace Devonta Freeman when he left with a toe injury
(Hill played on 50% of snaps). Hill did not do much on the
ground (20-61), but he did have one reception for a touchdown.
He is a nice addition during another week with several teams
on bye, but it sounds like Freeman should only be out for
a couple weeks.
Ronald Jones, despite being named the starter for
the first time by Bruce Arians, still received the same number
of carries as Peyton Barber. However, he did see an uptick
in his snap count, to 47%. Barber and Ogunbowale each received
26%. In addition, Jones saw big work in the passing game,
and caught all 8 balls thrown his way Ė for 77 yards.
If he continues to see passing game work, he offers big upside
for the stretch run.
received 20 touches but only played on 46% of the Coltsí snaps.
If he could see an increase to 60-70% of the snaps, and see
more of the passing game work, he could be a top-10 back. For
now, he will remain an RB2 who will mainly be useable when the
Colts are in the lead and can lean on the run.
The Rams, as they typically do, played almost exclusively
11 personnel (3 wide receivers). Woods played 100% of snaps,
Josh Reynolds played 95%, and Kupp played 92%. However, the
Steelers decided to take away Cooper Kupp and it worked. He
finished with 0 receptions, while Woods finished with 7-95 on
11 targets and Reynolds with 3-49.
Zach Pascal played on 99% on the snaps but could
not produce with Brian Hoyer under center. He did receive
7 targets but only had 2-26.
D.K. Metcalf played on 97% of the snaps, and the
upward trend does not seem to be nearing an end. He received
10 targets and produced 6-70, and he could have had a much
bigger day. He is a must-start going forward, particularly
when the Seahawks face quality opponents.
A.J. Brown played on a season high 94% of the snaps.
Before Week 10, he had never played on more than 69% of snaps.
Donít be fooled by his 1-17 on 4 targets. The Titans
decided to try to beat the Chiefs on the ground, but Brown
will benefit from his increased snaps moving forward.
Allen Hurns played on 89% of the snaps for Miami
and was third on the team with 4 targets (2-32). He is an
interesting speculative add for the playoff push, particularly
in very deep leagues.
Calvin Ridley played on 89% of the snaps, his highest
of the season. But in a strange offensive game, he received
only 5 targets (3-28). The uptick in usage is encouraging,
but the Falcons decided to play a conservative game against
the Saints, and it worked.
Russell Gage played on a season-high 62% of the snaps
for the Falcons, and received 5 targets (4-23). He is on the
field whenever the Falcons are in a 3-wide set. He could be
extremely useful in games that have a more offensive-minded
Taylor Gabriel again played the second-highest percentage
of snaps among receivers for the Bears, playing on 86% of
the snaps. Anthony Miller played on only 58%. Gabriel received
6 targets and produced 4-39-1. He is a decent dart throw against
poor defenses, but any Bears receiver is a risky start with
Trubisky under center.
Deebo Samuel had a breakout game in Week 10. Some
of that may have had to do with Emmanuel Sanders going out
with a rib injury, but Samuel was impressive from beginning
to end, and finished with 8-112 and 11 targets (on 83% of
the snaps). He is an excellent add and a solid dynasty target.
Alex Ericksonís upward trend seems to have
reversed course. From his 94% of the snaps in Week 7, he fell
all the way to 51% in Week 10. He also doesnít seem
to be a priority for new starter Ryan Finley, receiving only
Bennie Fowlerís usage is trending upward, as
he played on 76% of the snaps on Sunday. The Giants are also
playing a lot of 11 personnel, and Fowler was on the field
with Tate and Slayton for most of the game. Until Sterling
Shepard returns, Fowler is a desperation dart throw in deep
Albert Wilson played on a season-high 53% of the
snaps. He didnít produce, but itís worth keeping
him in mind for those desperate for receiver help. If he can
get on the same page with Fitzpatrick, he could have value
down the stretch.
Although James Washington played on only 50% of the
snaps, he had his best game as a pro, producing 6-90-1 on
7 targets. This may result in more playing time, and with
the Steelers pushing for playoff contention and with an easy
schedule on the horizon, Washington may be an excellent add
for the fantasy home stretch.
Behind Davante Adams (79% of the snaps), the Packers
gave Allison 62%, Lazard 44%, Kumerow 34%, and Valdes-Scantling
16%. It seems they are unsure of their own receiver depth
chart. All receivers should be avoided except for Adams until
they figure out a tighter rotation.
Andy Isabella played on 37% of the snaps, up from
23% in Week 9. He again had a long reception (55 yards), and
should continue to see increased playing time alongside Fitzgerald
and Kirk. He is a worthy add in all formats.
Josh Gordon played on 38% of snaps in his first action
with the Seahawks, and made several key catches. If Lockett
(lower leg injury) misses significant time, Gordon could be
a huge value for the next few weeks.
O.J. Howard played on 99% of the snaps, highest of
the season. He received 7 targets and put up 4-47-1. It could
be a one-week thing, since the Cardinals are the worst team
in the league against the tight end, but watch his usage next
week. If this continues, he is an excellent play for the rest
of the season, in a league with very few difference-makers at
Jacob Hollister continues to play TE1 snaps for the
Seahawks (78%), and he continues to produce for fantasy as
well (8-62-1 on 10 targets). He is a worthy start in all formats
until something changes with his usage.
Gerald Everett played on 70% of snaps and was very
involved (8-68 on 12 targets, a team-high). He seems to have
become a permanent fixture of the Ramsí offense, making
him worthy of starting on a weekly basis.
Eric Ebron played on a season-high 61% of the snaps,
perhaps because the Colts are hurting offensively without
Hilton on the field. Doyle played on 60% of snaps, and thatís
the first time Ebron has out-snapped him. Ebron also received
12 targets, a team-high, and put up 5-56. Keep an eye on his
usage in Week 11 to see if this continues. If so, Ebron returns
Jared Cook returned from injury and played on 71%
of the snaps, producing 6-74 on 10 targets. Those are very
encouraging numbers for Cookís potential impact for
the final six weeks of the fantasy season.
With Adam Thielen out with a hamstring injury, both
Irv Smith and Kyle Rudolph have received additional action
in the passing game. When Thielen returns, they should both
return to risky weekly plays.