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Kevin Scott | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Usage Notes - Week 12

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 12:

Leonard Fournette

Running Back

  • The Jags coaching staff was serious when they said they wanted to get back to riding Leonard Fournette after he played on only 71% of the snaps in Week 11. Although the Jaguars trailed throughout the game, they stayed committed to the run, and Fournette played on 95% of the snaps. He received 24 carries (97 yards and 2 TDs) and also received a team-high 12 targets (9-62). He should be relied on by all fantasy owners down the stretch.

  • Miles Sanders played almost all of the snaps (84%) and again did very little on the scoreboard (12-63, 3-23). However, he did average 5.3 ypc, so he is certainly capable of if he could get a larger workload. Keep an eye on whether Jordan Howard returns in Week 13, as the Eagles get the Dolphins.

  • Jonathan Williams started for the Colts and played on 67% of the snaps. Even though Jordan Wilkins was active, we found out afterward that he was only going to be used in case of emergency. Williams had another stellar performance (26-104-1, 3-17), so it is reasonable to expect him to garner another start in Week 13 against the Titans.

  • David Montgomery received 62% of the snaps but again failed to produce behind a poor Bears offensive line (13-22, 2-9). He is unusable the rest of this season.

  • Brian Hill played on 59% of the snaps, and yet again produced a poor line (9-14, 3-13). He was playing against a good rush defense, but he was out-produced by rookie Qadree Ollison (8-20-1), so it appears his chances are running out.

  • Nick Chubb saw his snap share decrease to 57% (the same as Kareem Hunt), but he dominated in rushing touches (21 rushes to Huntís 8). He also received 4 targets to Huntís 3, showing he is still the clear-cut starter on this team. Both, however, should be very usable down the stretch.

  • It is unclear what the Denver coaching staff is trying to do with their running backs. In Week 12 Royce Freeman out-snapped Lindsay (56% to 54%), a switch from Week 11, but Lindsay still received 14 touches to Freemanís 4. This strange snap count situation was likely due to the Broncos falling behind and going into their hurry-up offense, as they prefer Freeman in passing-down situations for some reason. Lindsay produced 13-57, but did not get enough opportunities.

  • Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams split the snaps 51% to 49%. While Jones had two more carries, he received only 1 target while Williams received 8! This is utterly flabbergasting since Jones has shown himself to be an excellent pass-catcher, but it seems this is the role they like for Williams. Williams also received 11 carries which is particularly frustrating for Jonesí fantasy owners, as this situation makes both tough to trust. Owners will have to hope for better results against opponents who are easier to move the ball against.

  • Bo Scarbrough played on 51% of the snaps and produced 18-98. Although it seems futile to trust any Detroit running back, this commitment by the coaching staff was nice to see.

  • Sony Michel played his most snaps since Week 6, and dominated the running back carries. He produced 20-85, a 4.3 ypc, but when he doesnít get in the end zone he is not worth starting since heís a zero in the pass game. He should be avoided in fantasy unless you are in a pinch.

  • The crazy Tampa Bay backfield situation continues. In the past five weeks Ronald Jonesí snap share has been: 27%, 53%, 47%, 31%, 50%. It is nearly impossible to know when he will receive adequate work, so he is only a desperation play. In Week 12 he scored a touchdown, but he only received 15 touches to Barberís 11.

  • Chris Carson saw his touches diminish in Week 12 as Rashaad Penny got hot. Carson played on 54% and Penny on 46% (Pennyís highest of the season), and Penny got more and more touches as the game went on. Carson finished with 8-26 (3.3 ypc) and 4 receptions for 31 yards, while Penny finished with 14-129 (9.2 ypc). Penny also scored. This is a very important situation to keep an eye on, as Penny may move into the starting role making him a must-grab if heís on the wire.

  • Those hoping to see Derrius Guice get a true shot at a starter workload were disappointed. He played on only 43% of the snaps, and while that is up from last week, it was still not enough for him to make a significant fantasy impact. Both Guice and Peterson received 10 carries, and both caught one pass.

  • Josh Jacobs saw his snap share fall to the lowest of the season (39%). He also had a terrible day production-wise (10-34, 1-2). He was pulled when the game got out of hand, and those who have been counting on Jacobs to have a big finish to the year have to be disappointed with this effort against the Jets. He should be able to rebound in Week 13 against the Chiefsí poor rushing defense.

  • Jaylen Samuels has apparently fallen out of favor with the Steelers coaches. Even with Conner inactive, Samuels played on only 30% of snaps, and received only 5 touches. Benny Snell was the clear lead-back without Conner, and he played on 49% of the snaps (21-98). If Conner is again out in Week 13, Snell is the play.

Wide Receiver

  • DeVante Parker seems to have turned a corner in Miami. He played on 100% of snaps for the first time this season and again led the team in receiving (6-91).

  • Tyler Boyd finally returned to relevance in Week 12 (5-101-1). He played on every offensive snap.

  • Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry played on 99% and 93% of snaps respectively, and both produced against the Dolphins (as expected). Owners were relieved to see Beckham score for only the second time this season, but it was Landry who again was the teamís leading receiver (10-148-2). He is on the same page as Mayfield and can be trusted down the stretch.

  • Amari Cooper played on 81% of snaps but was held without a catch by Stephon Gilmore and the Patriots. Meanwhile, Michael Gallup played on 98% of snaps and produced 4-55, and Randall Cobb played on only 45% of the snaps and produced 4-86. Cooperís up-and-down career continues to frustrate fantasy owners.

  • With Alshon Jeffery out, Jordan Matthews played on 96% of snaps but only produced 3-27. He is not able to separate well enough and was released by the Eagles today.

  • Sterling Shepard returned after his concussion issues and played on 95% of snaps. However, he produced only 5-15, while Darius Slayton (4-67) and Golden Tate (3-33-1) were much more productive. It may take him a bit to get on the same page with Daniel Jones.

  • Allen Hurnsí upward trajectory continues, as he played on 90% of snaps on Sunday and produced 4-42-1. He is a worthy add for teams in need of WR help down the stretch.

  • Will Fuller returned from his hamstring injury and had another huge game (7-140). With his injury history he is difficult to trust, but he is also so able to have a huge game any time he is on the field.

  • D.K. Metcalf played on 88% of the snaps and led the team with 6 targets (3-35). Similarly, Lockett played on 86% and had only 1 catch. Seattle struggled passing the ball against an improving Eagles defense.

  • No Colts receiver is a good play the rest of the way, unless T.Y. Hilton can prove he is fully recovered. In Week 12, Hilton played on only 37% of the snaps (3-18), and Zach Pascal (88%), Marcus Johnson (63%), and Chester Rogers (61%) produced 12 yards total! Until the Colts show they can pass the ball consistently, you cannot start any of them.

  • Cole Beasley had a nice day, playing on 81% of the snaps and producing 6-76-1. He had 9 targets while John Brown had only 4. Against above-average defenses, Beasley seems to benefit as he is excellent at getting open despite the coverage. The Bills play good defenses the rest of the way (Cowboys, Ravens, Steelers, Patriots, and Jets), so look for Beasley to have a nice finish to the season.

  • NíKeal Harryís usage jumped to 81% in Week 12 with several Patriots starters out with injuries. In terrible weather he had a couple of drops, but he still caught his first touchdown. However, with Sanu and Dorsett likely returning soon, Harry is difficult to trust going forward.

  • James Washington played on 78% of snaps and led the Steelers in receiving again (3-98-1 on 7 targets). He seems to finally be improving, but with sub-par quarterback play the norm in Pittsburgh this season, he should be avoided.

  • Corey Davis returned from injury and played on 74% of the snaps. A.J. Brown played on 70%. Davis received 3 targets (2-29) and Brown received 5 targets (4-135-1). While Brown certainly produced more, the Titans as a team passed only 18 times, while they ran the ball 33 times.

  • Julio Jones (shoulder) played on only 56% of the snaps and produced 5-68 on 9 targets. Meanwhile, Russell Gage played on 74% and produced 8-76 on 10 targets, and Calvin Ridley played on 85% and produced 6-85-1 on 14 targets. Gage and Ridley are nice starts against poor passing defenses.

  • Emmanuel Sanders played on 67% of snaps but was not needed in a blowout of the Packers. He only received 1 target (1-15) and Deebo Samuel received 2 targets (2-50-1).

  • No Jets receiver received more than 5 targets. Robby Anderson did the most with his opportunities, producing 4-86-1 on 5. He also led the team with 83% of the snaps. Demaryius Thomas produced 2-22 on 3 targets, and Jamison Crowder produced only 2-18 on 4 targets. The Jets just didnít need to pass the ball much against Raiders but better days are ahead for Crowder.

Tight ends

  • Jonnu Smith played on 94% of the snaps for the Titans but did not have a reception. Again, the Titans passed only 18 times, so Smith (or Walker) will have better games when facing defenses that force them to pass.

  • Mike Gesicki continues to trend upward. He played his highest percentage of snaps on the season (90%) and produced 3-28-1 on 7 targets.

  • Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz both played on 87% of the snaps, and led the Eagles in receiving. Goedert produced 7-32 on 8 targets and Ertz produced 12-91-1 on 14 targets. As long as the receivers are ailing, both are excellent plays.

  • Ryan Griffin scored again for the Jets and played on 87% of the snaps. After the Jets signed him to an extension, he should be rostered in all dynasty leagues and is a fine play down the stretch in a desolate TE landscape.

  • Vance McDonald played on 85% of the snaps but had only 1 reception. The Steelers are simply not able to pass the ball effectively.

  • George Kittle returned from injury and played on 79% of the snaps. He dominated again, producing 6-129-1. If he is active, you always start him.

  • Noah Fant played on 74% of the snaps against a very good Bills defense. He was only able to produce 3-14 on 5 targets. Brandon Allen is not good enough to start an NFL game, and that explains most of the Broncosí struggles. He went 10-25 for 82 yards.

  • Ben Braunecker played on 71% of the snaps and received 4 targets, but only produced 2-9 and dropped an easy touchdown pass. He is only a desperation play.

  • Jared Cook played on only 58% of snaps but had a very productive week (6-99-1). He seems to have clicked with Drew Brees and is a solid play going forward.

  • T.J. Hockenson played his lowest snap share of the season (44%) and did not record a reception due to a shoulder injury.