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 3:
was on the field for 97% of snaps in Week 3. It appears the
coaches realized taking him off the field on third downs was
only limiting their upside on offense. Leonard
Fournette was on the field for 100%. While neither had a
big game, the potential is there for both as true three-down
Kamara, and David
Johnson all saw healthy increases in their snap percentages
on Sunday, when compared to Week 2. They all went from 60-65%
of snaps to 87-90% of snaps. That is excellent news for their
potential touch counts moving forward.
Johnson also jumped from 57% of snaps in Week 1 and 54%
in Week 2 to 75% of snaps in Week 3. It did not lead to a ton
of production (20-36-1; 1-7), but it is a good sign that the
release of C.J.
Anderson could lead to more touches and stats moving forward.
played an amazing 74% of snaps for the Patriots. It is hard
to know whether this is a trend or just because the Patriots
got an early 20-0 lead on the Jets, but it is something to watch
snaps increased to 68% in Week 3 (up from 46% and 54% in weeks
1 and 2). Although he did very little with those snaps (13-43,
4-14), it shows the coaches prefer him to be on the field. If
the Steelers ever get their offense going, Conner is in line
to turn things around.
Elliott fell to 67% of snaps, but it was only because the
Cowboys had a signicant lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Don’t read into Tony
Pollard’s usage, even though he was very effective with
Williams played 61% of the Packers’ snaps in Week 3, to
only 39% for Aaron
Jones. He also out-touched Jones 14 to 11. So, Matt LaFleur
was not blowing smoke when he said he wanted to get Williams
more snaps. Most analysts believe Jones is a superior back,
although Williams did produce more per touch on Sunday. In the
end, the coach is showing you what he thinks, so until his mind
is changed lower your expectations for Jones and move Williams
on to your radar as bench depth.
played on only 60% of snaps, mainly due to game script as the
Vikings blew the Raiders out. Cook has been phenomenal so far
ranking as fantasy’s No.2 PPR back through three weeks.
looked better on Sunday, but his potential was limited since
he played less than 60% of snaps (57%). Until the coaching staff
realizes he needs to be on the field more, his upside is capped.
The Seahawks running back with the most snaps was C.J.
Prosise (55%). Chris
Carson saw only 44%. This was likely due to the fact that
the Seahawks got down 28-7 in the game and went into hurry-up
mode along with Carson fumbling again… the third time three
games. Watch next week carefully, in what should be a very nice
game script for the Seahawks against the Cardinals. If Carson
does not 60% or more of snaps, it might be time to hit the panic
notched 42% of snaps in Week 3, after 46% in Week 2 (74% in
Week 1). Jacobs was under the weather this week but Gruden apparently
does not see him as a three-down back and prefers to use Jalen
Richard in passing situations. Since the Raiders project
to be behind a lot and Jacobs’ role is dependent on game script,
he is a risky weekly play.
Williams of the Chiefs was one of the biggest surprises
of the week, gaining 55% of the snaps! Rookie Darwin
Thompson only had 8%, and McCoy got 38%. The Chiefs limited
McCoy’s snaps in the fourth quarter due to his injury issue,
but Williams was relied upon heavily in this close game, which
is something to watch going forward. Likely it is a moot point
Williams comes back, but it means Darrel Williams is likely
the handcuff to own.
Barber ping-ponged back down to 36% of snaps (Week 2 was
65%). This means Week 2 was an anomaly due to the short week,
as Week 3 matched Week 1. All Bucs backs should be avoided until
they commit to using only two of them.
has had his snaps cut each week, from 48% to 43% to 34%. Until
the coaches trust him more, he must be benched in fantasy.
Murray’s snaps fell to 21%. He is not viable until he gets
played in 100% of the Bengals snaps. Auden
Tate and Tyler
Boyd were on the field for 89-90% of snaps, making up the
three permanent receivers in Week 3. When A.J.
Green comes back, he would presumably kick Tate back to
the bench, but it is likely the Bengals are sticking with 11
personnel (3 wide receivers) as their base package. This means
Ross and Boyd should not be overly affected from a fantasy perspective
when Green returns.
Byrd of the Cardinals continues to rack up the snaps (96%
in Week 3). Still, he had only 4 targets, with 2 receptions
for 11 yards.
of the Chargers saw his snap count jump from 64%/61% in weeks
1 and 2 to 93% in Week 3. Still, he could only manage 3 receptions
for 45 yards on the day. However, he was targeted 7 times, including
several deep shots so better days may be ahead.
Washington played 92% of snaps for the Steelers but was
only targeted 4 times (2 catches for 14 yards). Rookie Diontae
Johnson played in 79% of snaps but was targeted 6 times
(3 catches for 52 yards and a touchdown). Johnson’s snaps will
likely continue to climb. Donte
Moncrief was inactive for the game and appears done in Pittsburgh.
Robinson were the two receivers for the Chiefs on the field
for virtually every snap (95% and 91%). Mecole
Hardman played 61% but made them count. When Tyreek
Hill returns, its likely Robinson and Hardman will split
snaps depending on the play call.
Ratley was the third receiver for the Browns on Sunday night,
playing in 79% of snaps. This just means Ratley is fourth on
the depth chart as Rashard
Higgins was out with an ankle injury.
Samuel and D.J.
Moore saw their snap count fall from an average of 95% to
76% and 73%, respectively. This appears to be due to Chris
Hogan receiving 30% of snaps in Week 3, and is concerning.
What is more concerning for Moore owners is that QB Kyle
Allen only targeted him twice. Watch to see if they establish
some chemistry moving forward, or you must consider benching
and Adam Thielen
both saw their snap count go down in Week 3 (70% and 87%), but
that is likely due to the Vikings again blowing out their opponent.
For Diggs and Thielen to reach their potential, the Vikings
need to get in some shootouts.
For the Texans, Hopkins and Fuller played on 97% of snaps.
(53%) and Keke
Coutee (28%) split reps. Neither can be relied upon.
received 10 targets in Week 3. No other Colts receiver got more
than three. The snap counts of the other receivers who played
were Deon Cain
Campbell (45%), Zach
Pascal (44%), and Chester
Rogers (41%). Until the Colts coaches commit to a player
opposite Hilton, none can be played in fantasy. Even if Hilton
is out for Week 4, the snap count situation might remain the
same, limiting the upside of any of these players.
The same situation is playing out in San Francisco. In Week
3 the snap counts for their receivers wereMarquise
Goodwin (67%), Deebo
Samuel (52%), Dante
Pettis (42%), Richie
James (35%), and Kendrick
Bourne (28%). Kyle Shanahan seems to be preventing any of
his receivers from getting into a rhythm. If he stopped playing
James and Bourne, it would help the top three wideouts considerably.
Until he does, none can be started with confidence.
Mike Gesicki’s snap percentage has fallen each week
(68% - 56% - 42%). Meanwhile Durham Smythe (2018 4th rounder)
has seen his snap percentage increase each week (24% - 40% - 56%).
Neither is viable right now with the Dolphins a mess, but this
is a trend to keep an eye on.
Jimmy Graham’s snap count percentage fell to 42%
in Week 3 (73% in Week 2). He seems to have fallen out of favor
a bit with the coaching staff, or his quad/groin injury is limiting
Vance McDonald fell from 91% to 28% of snaps due to a
shoulder injury. It is fair to wonder if he was going to be featured
in the passing game with how anemic the offense looked without
O’Shaughnessy seems to have taken over the starting tight
end job for the Jaguars. He played in 78% of snaps, while Geoff
Swaim played in only 39%. The tight end is not featured
in this offense, but if you are in a pinch O’Shaughnessy is
almost certainly available on your wire.
Texans’ tight ends caught all three touchdown passes
that Deshaun Watson threw on Sunday. Jordan Akins was in for 45%
of snaps and Darren Fells in for 65% of snaps, as they received
5 and 6 targets respectively. This was likely a game-specific
plan for how to beat the Chargers. But keep an eye on it moving
T.J. Hockenson received 4 targets but could only catch
one for 1 yard. He was in on 66% of snaps and Jesse James was
in for his usual 50-55%. However, it’s concerning that Logan Thomas jumped to 30% of snaps (10% in Week 2), likely taking snaps
from Hockenson. It appears Week 1 was an anomaly for Hockenson.