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 15:
Todd Gurley played on a season-high 96% of the snaps.
It seems the Rams really were saving him for the stretch run.
However, the Rams were thoroughly whipped by the Cowboys, who
shut down Gurley aside from his two scores. The Rams’
playoff hopes are shot unless they win out and the Vikings lose
out, but because there is a shot, Gurley should continue to
see heavy snaps in Week 16.
Devonta Freeman played on 79% of the snaps but only
received 14 touches, gaining 55 yards. However, they were
playing the 49ers’ stout defense and get the Jaguars
in Week 16. He is a worthy flex option in that matchup.
Kenyan Drake received 23 touches and was extremely
effective, scoring 4 times on the ground. David Johnson received
only 3 touches. Drake is a worthy championship play against
Ezekiel Elliott played on only 71% of the snaps,
since the Cowboys got up big against the Rams. He still received
24 carries and 4 targets, and was very effective. Tony Pollard
also ran effectively in garbage time, gaining 131 yards on
only 12 carries.
With Guice out, Adrian Peterson played his highest
percentage of snaps since Week 9, 60%. He produced 16-66-1
and 3-25, and is a very solid play in championship week against
In his return, James Conner played on 58% of the
snaps and scored the team’s only touchdown on a reception.
In all he received 12 touches, which seems low, but it led
the team in a terrible offensive effort. He did produce 5.3
ypc, making him an interesting Week 16 play against the Jets.
Josh Jacobs returned and played his usual allotment
of snaps (57%) but his 24-89 was a disappointment against
a soft Jaguars defense. He gets a challenging rush defense
in Week 16, the Chargers, but there’s concern the Raiders
may choose to sit him out with his shoulder injury.
Nick Chubb’s snaps fell to their lowest level
of the season in Week 15 (50%). This was likely due to the
Browns being in come-back mode for most of the game, and they
prefer Kareem Hunt on passing downs. Chubb was very effective
on his carries, gaining 127 yards and a score on only 17 carries.
He also caught 3 passes for 21 yards. Hunt, meanwhile, received
12 touches and recorded 76 yards – but played on 61%
of the snaps.
Myles Gaskin of the Dolphins saw his snap share increase
to 48%. His previous high had been 25%. He outproduced Patrick
Laird, who also played on 48% of snaps. Gaskin produced 72
yards of offense while Laird only produced 54 yards, and Gaskin
received 3 fewer touches. It would be unwise to trust either
of them in your championship match.
With the injury to Dalvin Cook, Mike Boone played
on 32% of snaps and was effective (13-56-2). Watch the news
carefully this week to see if Boone or Alexander Mattison
will get the start against the Packers in Week 16. If Cook
is out, either of them is a worthy start, assuming it is clear
who will be the lead back.
Boston Scott played on 45% of the snaps for the Eagles
and produced 6-26, 7-39. In a PPR format he is a worthwhile
start if you are needy at the RB position.
Phillip Lindsay played on only 39% of the snaps against
the Chiefs, in what many thought would be a plus matchup.
He produced 7-32 and did not catch either of his two targets.
He is very difficult to trust in Week 16, although the Broncos
do get the Lions at home, which is certainly an excellent
Darwin Thompson (35%) and Spencer Ware (40%) were
the two primary backs for the Chiefs, with Thompson receiving
a team-high 8 carries to Ware’s 7. LeSean McCoy (25%)
received 6 carries. This is a timeshare similar to the one
in Tampa Bay, meaning all of these backs must be avoided.
James White’s snaps fell to 38%, though he
did salvage his day with a receiving score. White is only
worth a play in games where the Patriots are fighting to stay
competitive, or trailing, so keep that in mind for Week 16.
If you think the Bills will challenge them, it might be worth
starting White. Otherwise, steer clear.
Robby Anderson played on 100% of the snaps and finished
with 4-66, but was playing against a very solid Ravens secondary.
He is a potential flex play in Week 16 against the Steelers.
Emmanuel Sanders played on 95% of the snaps but only
received 4 targets (2-9). The Falcons had a great plan but
against the Rams in Week 16, Sanders should find a bit more
Anthony Miller’s climb continues, as he played
on a season-high 94% of the snaps and produced 9-118-1. He
has become an excellent complement to Allen Robinson and his
usage should remain high for the rest of the season. Against
the Chiefs’ stingy pass defense in Week 16, Miller is
a tough start. But he is an option due to his upward trajectory.
Devante Parker returned from his concussion and was
not eased in. He played on 94% of the snaps and scored twice.
He is officially in must-start territory, and is a great play
in championship week against the Bengals.
Will Fuller returned (again) and played on 94% of
the snaps. He received 7 targets and produced 5-61. He gets
to face the hapless Bucs secondary in Week 16, making him
an intriguing boom-bust play.
With D.J. Chark out, Dede Westbrook played on a season-high
93% of the snaps, but struggled to produce against the Raiders
(2-14 on 4 targets). The whole offense struggled, but Westbrook’s
poor showing with Minshew at the helm makes him a very poor
play in Week 16.
Cooper Kupp, after playing on only 29% of snaps in
Week 14, played on 92% in Week 15. He caught all 6 of his
targets for 41 yards and a score. Since the Rams must win
out to make the playoffs, Kupp is a worthwhile play in Week
With Mike Evans out, it was Breshad Perriman who
picked up the slack for the Bucs, playing on 89% of the snaps
and producing 5-113-3. Since Godwin also was knocked out of
the game, both Perriman and Justin Watson are interesting
plays against the Texans in Week 16.
With Calvin Ridley out, Julio Jones played on a season-high
88% of the snaps and received a whopping 20 targets! He caught
13 for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is a must-start option
against the Jags in Week 16.
With Marvin Jones out, Danny Amendola played on a
season-high 86% of the snaps and received a team-high 13 targets.
He produced 8-102. He has a tough matchup in Week 16 against
the Broncos on the road, but he can be started if you need
a wide receiver.
Mohamed Sanu’s snaps jumped up to 86% in Week
15, but he caught only 2 of his 8 targets. He and Brady do
not appear to be on the same page, which will have to change
fast if the Pats are going to make another postseason run.
Albert Wilson looks healthy and played on 80% of
the snaps for the Dolphins. He received a team-high 8 targets
and produced 5-59. He is worthy of consideration for a Week
16 matchup with the Bengals, if you’re desperate.
Marquise Brown continues to trend upward in usage,
playing on 75% of the snaps in Week 15. He caught all 4 of
his targets for 45 yards and a touchdown. He could easily
catch a long touchdown in Week 16 against the Browns, but
the Ravens prefer to be run-heavy making him a risky play.
Cole Beasley saw his snap share fall from 97% in
Week 14 to 69% in Week 15, and he barely figured in the box
score despite 6 targets (1-6). The Steelers’ defense
stopped the Bills from getting going in this game, although
John Brown did record 7 catches for 99 yards. Beasley will
have a hard time bouncing back in Week 16 against the Patriots,
meaning he is only a desperation play.
Julian Edelman’s snaps were scaled back in
Week 15, possibly due to his ongoing injuries. He played on
only 62% of snaps and only recorded two receptions. It will
be tough sledding again in Week 16 against the Bills, but
in a must-win game I anticipate he will get more action.
Adam Thielen played on 51% of snaps in his return.
The Vikings controlled the game throughout, so the passing
game wasn’t a priority. He did catch all three of his
targets, so I anticipate he will get much more action in Week
16 against the Packers.
Kaden Smith of the Giants played on 100% of the snaps.
He caught all three of his targets for 38 yards, and has been
a decent replacement for Evan Engram.
George Kittle played on 95% of the snaps and received
an outlandish 17 targets (13-134). He is always a smart start,
and Week 16 against the Rams is no different.
Travis Kelce (91%) similarly received an amazing
13 targets (11-142). He is the most consistent tight end in
the league, and Andy Reid has shown he will not pull his starters
until very late in the regular season, so he can be trusted
in Week 16.
Darren Waller (88%) has become a top-five fantasy
tight end due to his weekly involvement in the game plan.
In Week 15 he caught 8-122 on 10 targets, and in Week 16 he
gets the Chargers.
Gerald Everett was out again for the Rams, and Tyler
Higbee continues to ball out in his absence. After his third
straight huge game (12-111 on 14 targets), it will be difficult
to take Higbee out of the game plan. He looks like a Travis
Kelce type, with game-breaking after-the-catch ability. Watch
for Everett’s status, but either way Higbee is a worthy
With the Eagles still short on wide receivers, Dallas
Goedert played on 84% of the snaps and produced 5-55. He is
a solid TE option for Week 16 against the Cowboys.
Austin Hooper seems to be back to full health and
played on 82% of the snaps. However, he only had 3 receptions
for 20 yards. Still, in this tight end landscape he is a good
play for championship week.
Jonnu Smith (81% of snaps) finally was a part of
the game plan in Week 15, and caught all 5 of his targets
for 60 yards. He also had a rushing attempt that went for
57 yards. It is very tough to trust him with the way the Titans
depend on the run, but they may need to pass to stay close
in Week 16 against the Saints.