Below we will cover some important usage data from Week 8, helping
you sift through what happened in this interesting (weather-filled)
week of football. As we go through notes on running back, wide receiver,
and tight end, my goal is to give you some solid, actionable insights
based on what played out this week. Picking up the right players
as we head for the stretch run is as crucial as it’s ever
been, so let’s dive in.
Todd Gurley played on 51% of the snaps Thursday but still
got 18 touches and scored, but received no targets. Brian Hill
played on 36% and got 11 carries and 3 targets, and was more
effective on the ground. If Hill is available, he remains a
J.K. Dobbins finally got his chance to lead the Ravens backfield,
playing on 66% of the snaps (Gus Edwards played on 32%). They
split the carries, with Dobbins getting 15, Edwards getting
16, and Lamar Jackson also taking 16. Dobbins was the most effective
(15-113) and has earned a chance to be the starter, even when
Ingram is healthy. We will see if he gets it.
The puzzle that is the Patriots backfield continued on Sunday.
Rex Burkhead played on 32 snaps, James White on 31, and Damien Harris
on 20. Yet Burkhead got 7 opportunities, White got 6, and Damien
Harris got 16 (all carries). This offense continues to want
to use one back as the early-down runner. That severely limits
Harris’ upside, yet he turned his 16 carries into 102
yards and a score. So while he is showing he deserves more snaps,
don’t count on the Patriots to change a thing.
Zack Moss played on 53% of the snaps and Devin Singletary
played on 48%. They split the carries evenly and both were effective.
We are seeing a true 50/50 split right now. However, Moss got
the carries in the red zone and scored twice, making him the
more valuable player. If you have him, he is a decent option
down the stretch. If he is somehow available in your league,
get him now.
We saw D’Onta Foreman return to action for the Titans,
after an extended period out of the league. He was effective
and they wanted to get him some touches (6 snaps, 5 carries,
5-37). Keep an eye on this, as he could become the No. 2 behind
Henry if he remains effective. He is a big, bruising back, more
similar in style to Henry than the other backs on the roster.
Jordan Wilkins appears to be the running back to own in Indy,
at least in the short term. He turned 20 carries into 89 yards,
while Jonathan Taylor turned 11 carries into only 22 yards.
He also played more snaps, 39 to 26. Some are saying Taylor
was injured on Sunday, but he has been ineffective all season,
leaving the door wide open for Wilkins. Make him your top-priority
Clyde Edwards-Helaire played on 50% of the snaps and Le’Veon
Bell played on 26%, but they both received exactly 9 touches.
CEH was more effective on the ground while Bell was more effective
through the air. I have no idea how this will play out, but
I am benching them both if possible. If you need CEH, you can
play him and hope he scores, but I would not be too optimistic
week to week.
Darrell Henderson was injured during Week 8 (thigh), so keep
an eye on the practice reports coming out of their bye in Week
9. After he left, Cam Akers was able to get involved (21% of
snaps), although Malcolm Brown played far more snaps (60%).
Likely Henderson will be back by Week 10, but if not, Akers
may finally get a shot.
Myles Gaskin’s grip on the starting gig in Miami appears
to be completely cemented. He played on 88% of the snaps, received
all but 5 of the carries, and also led the team in targets (6).
He is a good option for the rest of the season, even behind
a sub-par offensive line.
Justin Jackson is definitely the Chargers back to own while
Austin Ekeler remains out, but second on that list looks to
now be Troymaine Pope. He played on 4 more snaps than Joshua Kelley and was far more productive (10-67 on the ground, 5-28
through the air). He is likely not worth a pick up unless we
hear that Ekeler is going to be out a lot longer.
Phillip Lindsay played on 29 snaps and Melvin Gordon played
on 36. Gordon received more opportunities (8 carries, 7 targets)
than Lindsay (6 carries, 3 targets), but Lindsay was again the
far more dynamic back. He broke a long 55-yard touchdown run
and has been outplaying Gordon all season. We will have to wait
and see whether the coaching staff decides to give him more
opportunities, but if he is available, I’d go get him.
Wayne Gallman was the best running back for the Giants again,
and continues to deserve more snaps. They limited his snaps
(43%), this time in favor of Alfred Morris straight off the
practice squad. For some reason they don’t want to give
Gallman a shot at a workhorse role, even with Devonta Freeman
Ronald Jones started but was given the Bruce Arians
treatment after he fumbled (though it wasn’t really his
fault and was due to a poor pass thrown by Brady). He finished
with only 24% of the snaps, while Fournette played on 73%. While
they finished with similar stat lines, Jones has looked far
more impressive than Fournette overall this season. The coaching
staff simply will not commit to one player, so each should always
be started with serious reservations.
Ridley left with a foot injury mid-game, it was Christian
Blake who mainly filled in. Blake ended up playing on 54%
of the snaps and received 2 targets (2-14). He is not an exciting
player, but he may get a chance in a pass-happy offense for
those who are desperate at the position.
The Steelers wide receiver situation is a tough one to figure
Smith-Schuster, and Chase
Claypool all played on exactly 41 snaps (77%), but their
usage was very surprising. JuJu received 8 targets (7-67), Claypool
received 9 targets (5-42-1), and Johnson received 3 targets
(1-6). A week after having a great game, Johnson really let
his owners down in Week 8. It is difficult to trust any of them
down the stretch, since it appears their weekly usage will fluctuate.
Brown played on 94% of the snaps yet he received 2 targets
and caught 1 for 3 yards. Lamar
Jackson is struggling, but easier matchups should yield
better results for both of them.
Meyers played all but one snap on Sunday, and received a
whopping 10 targets! He seemed to take over for Julian
Edelman, who is likely out for a few weeks with a knee injury.
Meyers turned those 10 targets into 6-58 on a windy day in Buffalo,
but bigger days are ahead if he continues to play every snap.
again received a huge target share (10 targets, 33% target share)
in Week 8. Teams are scheming to take away A.J.
Brown, leaving Davis against lesser coverage. He is worth
an add if you are in need of a receiver, even on a run-first
returned to action on Sunday and instantly jumped into the action,
playing on 45% of the snaps. While he played behind Higgins,
Green, and Boyd, he still received 7 targets, catching them
all (7-65). There is a possibility he begins to take over some
of A.J. Green’s
snaps, as he looked fresh and dynamic. He may be worth a speculative
add in deep leagues.
It was a blustery, nasty day in Cleveland, making it very
difficult for both the Raiders and the Browns to throw. But
notable is that Jarvis
Landry received 11 of Baker
Mayfield’s 25 targets with Beckham out, a 44% target share.
If this offense can improve, Landry should have some big games
down the stretch.
(groin) went down with another injury, and it appears his time
is up. Rookie Michael Pittman was back and should take over
Hilton’s role moving forward, at least eventually. Zach
Pascal and Marcus
Johnson have not done much with their opportunities, so
I would pick up Pittman if he is available on your wire.
Golladay going down with an injury (length of time he’ll
be out is still up in the air), Marvin
Jones becomes a solid add in any leagues where he is available.
He received 7 targets Sunday and went 3-39-2. He has yet to
produce in a big way this season, but this team has to throw
it a lot since their defense is not good, so he could be in
line for some big games coming up. Marvin
Hall took over for Golladay when he exited and can also
be added if you need receiver help.
Mims is not ready or Sam
Darnold is just that bad. Either way, I’d avoid using Mims
if at all possible this season. He played on 96% of snaps but
only received 3 targets (2-42). The Chiefs have been pretty
good at limiting opposing receivers, but in a blowout this should
have been a better game. He needs to be benched in the deep
leagues where he is owned until he shows something.
Watkins still out with a hamstring injury, both Mecole
Hardman and Demarcus
Robinson have been playing well. Keep an eye on how the
snaps are split when Sammy returns (which should be soon). None
are worth a start if the snaps are split three ways, except
in easy matchups like they faced this week.
In comeback mode, Cooper
Kupp received a silly 21 targets (11-110). In any game where
the Rams figure to be behind, Kupp is an excellent start.
has turned into a great option with Justin
Herbert under center. He played on 87% of the snaps, and
turned 8 targets into 5-99-1. If you have him, I recommend starting
him weekly moving forward.
Hamilton played on 94% of the snaps with Tim
Patrick out on Sunday, and got 5 targets (4-82-1). If Patrick
remains out, he is a one-week option in Week 9 against the Falcons.
Miller finally had the kind of game many of us assumed we’d
see this year. He played on 76% of the snaps (he’s been averaging
around 50%) and received 11 targets, a team high. He went 8-73.
He is worth a pick up just in case this trend of more playing
time continues. He has always been capable of good production
if he gets the opportunities.
Mooney again produced nicely, going 5-69-1 on 6 targets.
He and Allen
Robinson are playing virtually every snap. If Foles and
this offense can keep improving, all three of these receivers
could be viable.
Aiyuk is the No.1 WR in San Francisco with Deebo
Samuel out, but it was Kendrick
Bourne whose snaps increased. He played on 86% and received
10 targets, going 8-81. He is a streaming option while Samuel
Gallup has been playing around 90% of the snaps all season,
but it was his usage that saw a huge spike with Ben
DiNucci under center. He saw 12 targets while Lamb and Cooper
each only saw 5.
returned from IR and was instantly involved, getting 6 targets
and scoring a touchdown in the red zone. This was an ugly game
for both sides, but it is encouraging if you held or scooped
Mickens seemed to pick up most of the slack for Chris
Godwin, playing on 63% of snaps and receiving 8 targets.
He finished with only 5-36, but he is a player you can start
if desperate in Week 9 against the Saints.
Shepard looked good in Week 8, receiving 10 targets and
going 8-74. He is not getting targeted on any deep balls as
that seems to be Slayton’s role, but in PPR leagues he is a
has been a big disappointment this season. He played on 62%
of the snaps and received 6 targets, and those are healthy numbers.
But he went for only 3-32, which has become a standard week.
Touchdown regression was inevitable, and general statistical
regression was also inevitable for Jackson, so this shouldn’t
be surprising. If you have Andrews, though, you have to keep
The tight end situation in Indy is really difficult to decipher.
returned on Sunday and played on 42% of the snaps, while Doyle
played on 58% and Burton played on 51%. Alie-Cox and Burton
received 4 targets, while Doyle received 3 (but scored a receiving
touchdown). I would avoid the whole situation if you can, but
if not I still like Burton the most of the three, since he has
been most heavily involved in the game plans.
continues to blossom. He played on 74% of the snaps on Sunday
and received 10 targets (7-65). If you can acquire him without
overpaying, now is a good time.
Tonyan and Jace
Sternberger split snaps on Sunday 61% to 37%. Tonyan received
7 targets and Sternberger 4, and both were effective (5-79 for
Tonyan, 3-46 for Sternberger). That both of them are involved
means neither is worth as much for fantasy, but both are usable
if you are desperate. Tonyan is still the much-preferred option
as of now.
Higbee returned to action in Week 8, and played 5 more snaps
than Everett, and was again a non-factor (2-14 on 4 targets).
It appears he was a wasted pick in the middle rounds this year,
but virtually all of the mid-round tight ends are in the same
is another disappointment at the position. He played on only
57% of the snaps, behind Durham
Smythe (65%), and received only 2 targets (1-8). He will
be dropped in many leagues this week. With how shaky Tagovailoa
looked on Sunday, his value the rest of the season looks to
be very low.
– yet another disappointing mid-round tight end. Although Henry
played on 97% of the snaps, he received only 4 targets on Sunday
(4-33). He remains a decent option at the position, mainly because
of the total lack of good options aside from Kelce in 2020.
looks to be past his ankle injury. He received 9 targets on
Sunday and went 7-47. If he can get more action near the goal
line, he could turn into a top-five option the rest of the season.
has become the main receiver in the Saints’ offense (other than
Kamara) with Michael
Thomas and Emmanuel
Sanders out. On only 54% of the snaps he got 7 targets and
went 5-51-1. I look for his targets to be slashed in a big way
with Thomas and Sanders playing, but he should retain a role.
and perhaps Jordan
Reed, are worth a priority add if you need a tight end.
Dwelley replaced Kittle very admirably last season and it looks
like he’ll need to do it again. This offense likes to utilize
the positon, so he could become a valuable option, particularly
in tight end-premium leagues.
received 4 targets but didn’t have any receptions. He played
on only 54% of the snaps, so it seems they might be phasing
him out. Will
Dissly played on 63% and only got 1 target, but caught it.
Watch this closely, as Dissly is worth a pick up if they make
him the starter.
Goedert wasn’t incorporated into the game plan in his first
week back (only 1 target), but he looked healthy and played
on 84% of the snaps. He should become more of a factor in the
next few weeks.
The Giants are working to get Evan
Engram involved. He received 10 targets and also had a carry
on an end around, and came close to a touchdown. While he has
not lived up to his ADP, there is at least hope for some big
games down the stretch.
Kevin Scott is a fantasy pro who is the co-host for The Lowdown
Fantasy Football Podcast. He plays in over 40 leagues annually and
has made over $100,000 playing fantasy football. You can follow