Each week we’ll 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 doesn’t 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 14:
With the injury to Rashaad Penny early in the game,
Chris Carson played on 82% of the snaps and received 18 touches.
His usage numbers should be the same moving forward, since Penny
has been declared out for the rest of the year with an ACL injury.
With the Panthers and Cardinals on tap, Carson is one of the
best options available for the fantasy finals.
Patrick Laird’s upward trend continues. He
played on 82% of the snaps in Week 14. His past 5 games: 12%,
23%, 37%, 60%, and 82%. He received 15 carries and 5 targets,
and produced 86 yards of offense against a tough Jets front.
He is worth a start in Weeks 15 & 16 if you are RB-needy.
Todd Gurley played on 80% of the snaps in Week 14,
and produced (23-79-1, 4-34). He’s gaining more opportunities
as the season moves along as the importance of the games increase.
Filling in for
Le’Veon Bell, Bilal
Powell played on 79% of the snaps in Week 14 (19-74, 2-14).
This should be a one-week opportunity, as Bell has reportedly
Nick Chubb went back to playing the most snaps at
RB for the Browns (70%). Hunt played on 62%. Chubb received
more carries (15 to 9) and out-produced Hunt on the ground
(106 to 28). But Hunt received 3 targets to Chubb’s
1, and Hunt was the RB who scored. This timeshare is frustrating
for fantasy owners, but both players are useful flex options
for the fantasy finals.
With Josh Jacobs out, surprisingly it was Deandre
Washington who played the most snaps at RB for the Raiders
(63%), and not Jalen Richard (38%). Washington also received
double the carries (14 to 7) and triple the receptions (6
to 2). If Jacobs is lost for the season, it appears that Washington
is the better dart throw.
James White played the majority of snaps for the
Patriots for the second week in a row (61% this week). The
Chiefs did a nice job against him (6-33, 5-27), but he is
a worthy play over the next two weeks (vs. the Bengals &
Even with Breida and Coleman healthy, Raheem Mostert
played on 60% of the snaps for the 49ers, showing that Shanahan
truly wants to ride the hot hand out of the backfield. Mostert
rewarded him, going for 109 total yards and two touchdowns.
Ride him if you have him, for as long as he stays hot.
Joe Mixon had his best game of the season in Week
14, and he did it on only 59% of the snaps. Bernard spelled
him frequently and on passing downs, but Mixon still went
for 186 total yards and a score. The Patriots will be a tough
matchup in Week 15, but the Dolphins in Week 16 presents a
very nice finals opportunity for Mixon owners.
Aaron Jones’ exciting but somewhat confounding
season continued on Sunday, as he again played about half
of the snaps (58%). Unlike last week, this week he produced,
leading the team in both rushing and receiving and putting
up 192 total yards of offense. With that upside you must play
him every week, but it would be nice if the Packers would
stay committed to using him on a weekly basis.
As many expected, Dalvin Cook played but took a back
seat once the Vikings were in control of the game. He ended
up playing 47% of the snaps (Mattison played 37%), and received
18 carries to Mattison’s 14. Cook should be a solid
start for the fantasy finals.
Interestingly Austin Ekeler played on 49% of the
snaps and Gordon played on 46% in Week 14. Ekeler received
12 touches to Gordon’s 17, but Ekeler did a lot more
with his opportunities, producing 213 yards of total offense
to Gordon’s 88. It is unclear if the coaching staff
will begin leaning on Ekeler more moving forward, since Gordon
is a free agent after this season. Both are solid flex plays
for the final weeks.
Marlon Mack was good to go for Week 14 but played
on only 41% of snaps, while Nyheim Hines played on 56%. Neither
was very good for fantasy, and Mack remains a frustrating
fantasy asset since he is not utilized in the passing game.
Until that changes, he is better left on your bench.
Shockingly Benny Snell only played 40% of the snaps,
even with Conner out. Against a poor Cardinals defense he
only managed 16 carries for 41 yards (2.6 ypc). He was not
targeted in the passing game.
“Starter” Ronald Jones played on 35%
of snaps in Week 14. Both he and Peyton Barber received 11
carries and neither did much with them. No Tampa Bay back
should be started.
Andy Reid seems to like what Bruce Arians is doing
with his backfield. He played newcomer Spencer Ware on 40%
of the snaps, and then played LeSean McCoy on 31% and Darwin Thompson on 27%. It seemed that aside from one dropped pass,
Thompson was the most effective and dynamic, but Reid seems
to prefer those he has coached in past years.
played his highest snap share of the season, at 97%. He remains
on his sharp upward trajectory since playing on only 45% of
the snaps in Week 9. He is worth a weekly start in PPR leagues.
Fuller out, Kenny
Stills saw his snap share increase to 96%, but saw only
2 targets. Meanwhile Keke
Coutee saw 71% of the snaps and had 5 receptions for 68
yards (on 8 targets). Coutee is a dart throw for the next two
weeks, but only if you are desperate for WR help.
saw his snap share increase from 61% in Week 13 to 91% in Week
14. He did receive 8 targets, as many as Tyreek
Hill, but did not make much of an impact (4-50). Against
softer defenses, there is always a chance for big games for
Watkins in this offense, but he is extremely difficult to trust.
Johnson saw 89% of the Colts snaps in Week 14, and received
7 targets, producing 3-105-1. If you are in urgent need of a
WR, you could do worse, as Johnson will likely continue to see
starter’s snaps with Hilton out.
returned from injury and played on 81% of the snaps. He produced
5-66 on 8 targets. Meanwhile Calvin
Ridley produced 5-76-1 on only 5 targets, but played a season-low
53% of targets after suffering an abdominal injury. He is out
for the season, so Jones will have to carry the passing game
the rest of the way. This is a big blow to Ridley owners who
made it to the finals, and those owners should likely look beyond
the Falcons for receiving help. If there is nothing else, you
could consider Russell
Gage or Christian
saw his snap share jump up to 80%, and he produced nicely with
receiving a team-high 7 targets (5-45). He is a decent dart
throw in PPR leagues if you are desperate.
Parker is unable to go after his concussion, consider Allen
Hurns, who played in 79% of the snaps and produced 5-68
on 8 targets. Isaiah
Ford also produced on 9 targets (6-92) and played on 76%
of the snaps, but Hurns will be on the field either way, and
could be the top option in the passing game against the Giants.
Robinson saw his highest snap share since Week 7 (79%),
but the snap counts fluctuate too much for the Chiefs wide receivers
outside of Hill and Watkins. Robinson should be avoided.
Hamilton has been playing as the second receiver behind
Sutton the past few weeks. He played on 75% of the snaps
in Week 14, and although he did not see many targets, his days
are coming as Drew
Lock learns to use the various areas of the field more.
He is certainly worth a stash in dynasty.
The Rams went away from their bread and butter in Week 14
(11 personnel), instead choosing to go run heavy against the
Seahawks, with only two receivers on the field in run sets.
Surprisingly, those two receivers were Robert
Woods and Josh
Reynolds, who played 99% and 66% of snaps, respectively.
That left Brandin
Cooks to play 39% and Cooper
Kupp to play only 29%. This is very concerning for Kupp
owners and something to watch in the weeks to come, to ensure
it was game-plan specific.
Evans left the game early with a hamstring injury, it was
Perriman and Justin
Watson who took over behind Chris
Godwin. Of those, Watson is by far the more intriguing option
for the final two weeks of the regular season. He is an athletic
freak who blew people away at the Senior Bowl and at the Penn
Pro Day before entering the draft. He saw 8 targets in Week
14 and produced 5-59-1 on only 55% of the snaps. He is certainly
worth a high-priority add if you are fighting for the championship.
Anderson is on a hot streak, and got 93% of the snaps in
Week 14. He produced again, going 7-116-1 on 11 targets. Meanwhile
Thomas saw his snaps go down to 52%, although he did score
(2-28-1). Anderson should be started until he cools off, although
you may have better options in Week 15 since he plays the Ravens.
returned for the Bengals and played 51% of the snaps, kicking
down to 39%. Neither is worth a start in these most important
Hardman played on only 18% of the snaps but still made an
impact, catching a key 48-yard touchdown. You’d have to think
he will start to get more snaps over Demarcus Robinson soon.
With Gerald Everett out, Tyler Higbee has become
a top tight end. He played on 97% of the snaps and produced
huge numbers for the second straight week (7-116). Until Everett
is back, Higbee is worth a weekly start.
After Ryan Griffin went down with an ankle injury,
Daniel Brown replaced him and played on 87% of the snaps.
Unfortunately, he was only able to produce 2 catches for 14
yards. He should be avoided.
In Greg Olsen’s absence, Ian Thomas stepped
in and produced (5-57-1 on 10 targets). Those are huge numbers
for a tight end, and he should certainly be started if Olsen
is remains out.
After back-to-back scoring weeks, many depended on
Mike Gesicki to continue producing in Week 14. With Parker
exiting early, it looked like a great opportunity. Instead,
he caught 1 pass for 6 yards (on 5 targets). No one from the
Miami passing game can be trusted.
Austin Hooper returned from injury and played on
65% of the snaps. He produced only 2-32 on 6 targets, but
he could have a huge finish to the season with Calvin Ridley
out. Start him with confidence.
Both tight ends for the Bears produced Week 14. J.P. Holtz had 3-56 and Jesper Horsted had 4-36. It appears both
could have a sizable role against the Packers and Chiefs,
while they struggle to keep up in the scoring column.
Noah Fant had a huge start to the day before leaving
with injury (4-113-1 including a 48-yard grab). He ended up
playing on only 49% of the snaps. If he is able to make it
back for the final two weeks, he has become a must-play at
Hayden Hurst seemed to take over the Mark Andrews
role when Andrews left with an injury, and scored on a long
touchdown. Keep an eye on practice reports this week. If Andrews
can’t play, Hurst is a solid fill-in option.