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 4:
Christian McCaffrey continues to play 100% of snaps.
He received an incredible 37 touches (27 rushes, 10 receptions).
If we re-drafted today, he would be the No. 1 choice in every
Ezekiel Elliott was second among RBs this week with
a 97% snap share. No other running back was above 90%. However,
Elliott faced a strong Saints defense on the road and was
shut down on the ground (18 carries for 35 yards). He did,
however, score a touchdown to go along with six receptions
for 30 yards.
David Johnson played on 86% of snaps, receiving 19
touches. He was more effective through the air (8 receptions
for 99 yards) than on the ground (only 40 rushing yards),
because the Cardinalsí offensive line is atrocious.
Aaron Jones played a season-high 84% of snaps, but
only because Jamaal Williams got hurt early. Jones was ineffective
against the Eagles tough run defense but saved his fantasy
day with a TD and 6 receptions for 37 yards.
Leonard Fournette was the definition of a workhorse
running back, playing on 84% of snaps and receiving 29 rushes
(also had 2 receptions). He ran for 225 yards, including an
81-yarder. Based on his touch volume and snap percentage,
he is going to be a solid weekly fantasy play.
Dalvin Cook had a rough day facing the Bears defense,
but he played on a season-high 79% of snaps and received a
team-high 8 targets (6 rec for 35 yards). He is also a workhorse
on a running team and is one of the premier running backs
in fantasy so far this season.
Chris Carsonís snap count jumped from 44% in
Week 3 to 76% in Week 4. Pete Carroll backed up his public
support for Carson, showing he still believes in him. He responded
with 4.7 yards per rush (22 for 104), and also caught 4 passes
for 41 yards. It is unknown how things will shake out when
Rashaad Penny returns in Week 5, but this was a positive step
Todd Gurley was in on a season-high 76% of snaps,
but only received 5 carries, likely due to game script. A
snap percentage that high is a good sign for his future potential,
and he also scored two touchdowns. Outside of his 13-yard
touchdown run and his 5-yard touchdown run, his other three
carries went for -2 yards. Gurley received an impressive 11
targets, finally getting involved in the passing game (7 receptions
for 54 yards). Overall his involvement was a positive.
Derrick Henry was in on 75% of snaps, by far his
highest of the season, likely due to the positive game script.
David Montgomeryís snap count was at 69% with
Mike Davis being phased out of the offense. Although Montgomery
could not get rolling against the Vikings, his heavy involvement
is a great sign (21 carries, 5 targets). With the Raiders
on tap for Week 5, a breakout could be on deck.
Nick Chubb (20-165-3) only played 64% of snaps, but
got virtually all of the rushing work until the Browns were
blowing out the Ravens. If you bought low on him, it looks
like you will be rewarded.
Royce Freeman out-snapped Phillip Lindsay 34-to-25.
He also received 6 targets to Lindsayís 1. It looks
like this is a fairly even timeshare that has flip-flopped
each week as far as who gets more touches and snaps. It is
difficult to trust either player as a result.
Wayne Gallman played on 60% of snaps but that number
would have been much higher if the Giants had not gotten out
to a big lead on the Redskins. More importantly, he looked
effective with the touches he received (18-63-1, 6-55-1).
Next week against the Vikings will be a difficult matchup,
but he should receive the vast majority of the snaps and can
still be played due to volume.
Josh Jacobs played on 54% of snaps and was fairly
effective, averaging 4.6 yards per carry, but until his snap
percentage is higher, his upside will be capped.
Ronald Jonesí snap count jumped to 49%, his
highest of the season (previous high - 31%). He also was the
best running back on Sunday, rushing for 70 yards and a touchdown.
He is one to keep an eye on; if his touch count rises up to
around 60%, he could be a very useful fantasy asset.
Jordan Howardís usage jumped to 53% in Week
4. He was extremely effective, scoring three times. This may
signify a shift in who will lead the team in running back
touches going forward.
Marlon Mack (ankle) played only 36% of snaps after
playing over 60% of snaps the first three weeks. This was
due in part to the Colts falling behind and using Nyheim Hines
(45% of snaps) in catchup mode. Mack also ceded 5 touches
to Jordan Wilkins.
James White returned and played 52% of snaps at the
expense of Rex Burkhead who went from 74% in Week 3 to 18%
in Week 4. Michel played 45%. This is a backfield to avoid,
outside of James White in PPR leagues.
Sammy Watkins played on 99% of snaps but only received
6 targets (3-54-0). Demarcus Robinson played on 91% and received
9 targets (4-35-0). The Lions defense did a magnificent job
on the Chiefs receivers, and did so even without their top two
corners for most of the day. That is concerning, but once Tyreek
Hill gets on the field, things should open up for the offense.
Will Fuller and DeAndre Hopkins played on 99% and
97% of snaps and had similar stat lines (Fuller: 6 targets,
3 for 23; Hopkins: 8 targets, 5 for 41). The entire Texans
offense struggled against Carolina with Deshaun Watson taking
Adam Thielen played on 95% of snaps but only received
6 targets, which resulted in 2 catches for 6 yards. While
Diggs had his first 100-yard receiving day, neither is easy
to trust in this inept Vikings passing offense.
Arizona schemed to take away Tyler Lockett, and he
was limited to 4 targets (4-51). He still played in 97% of
snaps and is an every-week starter.
Similar story for Odell Beckham Jr., who played 96%
of snaps and received 7 targets, resulting in 2 catches for
20 yards. The Ravens tried to take him away and succeeded.
All three primary pass-catchers for the Rams played
90% or more of snaps (Woods, Kupp, and Cooks). The Rams base
11 personnel (3 wide receivers), makes all three viable weekly
With Taylor Gabriel (concussion) inactive on Sunday,
Javon Wims jumped to 94% of snaps (rather than Anthony Miller).
Wims received 5 targets (4-56). He is one to keep an eye on
if Gabriel remains out.
Curtis Samuel and D.J. Moore both caught 3 passes
for under 45 yards. However, they were on the field for 90%
& 88% of snaps, respectively. Better days are ahead for
both, particularly if Cam Newton can get healthy.
Cole Beasley played on 86% of snaps for the Bills
and received 11 targets. He caught 7 for 75 yards. He is becoming
a must-start PPR receiver.
Marques Valdes-Scantling played on 86% of snaps and
received 7 targets. He is a solid start if Davante Adams (toe)
misses this weekís game.
With Damiere Byrd of the Cardinals out with a hamstring
issue, Trent Sherfield was on the field 84% of the time. He
had only 1 catch for 15 yards.
Although Marquise Brownís snaps continue to
climb (81% in Week 4), he only caught 4 balls for 22 yards
(on 7 targets). Teams seem to be refusing to let him beat
them deep, so Brown will have to work on his intermediate
game if he is going to be relevant in fantasy.
The Packers played a lot more 11 personnel in Week
4, with Geronimo Allison playing on 79% of snaps. If Davante
Adams misses time, Allison will likely move to the outside
and play virtually all the snaps.
With Mike Williams out, Dontrelle Inman played on
75% of snaps for the Chargers. He led the team with 5 receptions
for 76 yards, on 7 targets. Watch to see if the coaches give
him more playing time even when Williams returns, which could
crush Williamsí struggling fantasy value.
Deon Cain played 73% of snaps, most of any Colts
receiver but did not receive a target. It seems that he is
either not getting open or Jacoby Brissett has a personal
vendetta against him.
Dede Westbrook played only 62% of the snaps but led
the team in receiving (5-66). I expect he will see a higher
workload in the coming weeks.
Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon played virtually all
of the snaps for the Patriots (95% & 89%). Phillip Dorsett
played 62% of the snaps, and was the only other receiver who
saw significant action. Dorsett did not produce (2-10) only
seeing 9 targets. He is one to scoop up if an owner drops
him out of frustration.
A.J. Brownís snap count did not go up (44%)
for the Titans. He only received 3 targets so do not overreact
to his two touchdown receptions. It is impossible to know
when to trust Titans receivers, so they should be avoided.
Kenny Stills and Keke Coutee switched roles in Week
4, with Coutee playing 58% of snaps and Stills only 16% due
to a hamstring injury suffered by Stills. Neither has been
producing in this anemic Texans offense, but if they turn
it around it appears Coutee has the current leg up for a role
in the slot.
Will Disslyís snap count jumped to 79% with
Nick Vannett out of town. Dissly is now in TE1 territory, and
should be started on a weekly basis.
O.J. Howard played on 88% of snaps but had only three
receptions on three targets, likely because he stayed in to
block against a good Rams pass rush.
Jimmy Grahamís targets through four weeks:
6-2-1-9. Not surprisingly, he has only produced in the first
and fourth week.
Dallas Goedert is past his calf injury and played
in 69% of snaps. He only received 3 targets but did find the
end zone. He is a decent plug-in option if your tight end
is on bye.
Donít overreact to Gerald Everettís 8
targets and productive game (5-44-1). The Rams threw the ball
68 times so everyoneís stats were pumped up. His snap
% actually decreased in Week 4 to 57%.
Lance Kendricks played 57% of snaps for the Chargers,
and received 3 targets (2-37). It appears he is the replacement
for Hunter Henry for the moment. Monitor his target share
going forward, as Rivers has shown he can make even an unathletic
tight end useful for fantasy.
Jack Doyle played on 73% of snaps to Ebronís
35%. Doyle received 8 targets to Ebronís 5. Both caught
a touchdown in Week 4, but Doyle seems to be the better fantasy
play due to his higher snap percentage and heavier involvement.
Mark Andrews (f0ot) saw his snap count decrease to
42% in Week 4. His upside is capped until he begins playing
60% or more of the snaps. Still, he has been extremely useful
to this point.
Delanie Walker (knee) played on only 31% of snaps,
and only received 2 targets (1 reception). The Titans got
up in this game and decided to let MyCole Pruitt jump in (59%)
and help block for Henry while the Titans sought to run out
the clock. In closer games where the Titans need to score,
Walker will be much more active, so donít overreact.