So no one can claim I am not fully transparent, let me say this
has been the worst fantasy football season I’ve ever had.
And I am actually okay with that. This season has been so silly,
so utterly unpredictable, that if I were crushing it in all my leagues
I’d wonder how I messed things up so badly.
There is no way to plan for the constant injuries, Covid-19 lists,
strange coaching decisions, and upside-down results we have seen.
The only way to plan for it is to build in variance in your projections
so that you have exposure to a wide group of players – and
are not overexposed to any one player. I might have failed at
this, but for the most part I was as diversified in my rosters
as I’ve ever been. Still, it’s been awful. So I’ll
find a way to own my poor results this season without losing confidence.
You should too. This season is as bizarre as any I’ve seen
in 25 years of playing this game. So shake it off if you’ve
struggled, and hope next year is less wacky and more predictable.
If you find yourself in the playoffs at this point, that doesn’t
mean you got lucky, either. It means that perhaps you made some
key pickups that have really altered your season – maybe
even due to this article. I hope you’ll keep going and take
down the championship(s)! Make us all proud. I’ll keep grinding
this data and giving you ideas for players to grab moving forward.
David Montgomery was again given a workhorse role
by the Bears, playing on 84% of snaps – while Khalil Herbert
played on only 14%. Montgomery also got 20 touches, which he
took for 74 yards. His efficiency was not there, which was disappointing
since he played the Lions. But he is getting the work.
Swift was knocked out of the game in the first half, Jamaal
Williams became the workhorse for the Lions, playing on
almost every snap. He finished with 63% of snaps for the game
and went 15-65, with 5 receptions for 18 yards. If Swift misses
time, Williams could provide some very nice games for your stretch
Josh Jacobs is getting more work of late, making
him a solid starting option for the stretch. He got 22 carries
(87 yards and a score), and also received 4 targets (2-25).
He also dropped a pass that would have been a very big gain.
The Raiders look like they want to commit to him for now,
so start him with confidence.
Devin Singletary got a legitimate shot at a starting
role on Thanksgiving. Zack Moss was inactive, and Singletary
got 68% of snaps and got 16 touches. Unfortunately, he only
went for 48 total yards. Matt Breida worked in as the change-of-pace
back (32% of snaps) and got 11 touches for 55 total yards
and a score. Will we see the Bills give Breida a shot to lead
this backfield? Breida should be rostered in case that does
In a shocker, it was not Ty Johnson who led the backfield
for the Jets with Michael Carter out, but rather Tevin Coleman.
Coleman played on 45% of snaps to Johnson’s 34%, and
received 12 more opportunities. Johnson has been more effective
all season, so I’m not sure what the Jets coaches are
doing. But I’d avoid this whole backfield moving forward.
Leonard Fournette is on his way to finishing this
season as a top-five running back for fantasy. He played on
82% of snaps and went 17-100-3 on the ground. His weekly involvement
in the passing game is what is keeping him as a top option.
He got 8 targets and finished 7-31-1 through the air. He is
a must-start every week.
Cordarrelle Patterson continued his incredible efficiency
in Week 12. On only 48% of snaps, he took 16 carries for 108
yards and two scores. He also caught 2 of 3 targets. Patterson
has become one of the most productive and dependable fantasy
football running backs in the league. Even though he’s
not playing every snap, he needs to be started everywhere
due to his incredible ability to rack up yards on a bad offense.
In the strange Panthers-Dolphins game, it was Ameer Abdullah who replaced Christian McCaffrey after he left with
another injury. By the end of the game, Abdullah had played
on 49% of snaps, while Chuba Hubbard had played on only 20%.
Abdullah also got lots of work in the passing game, garnering
6 targets (2-20). This might make Abdullah worth an add in
your leagues, assuming this offense does anything positive
over the rest of the season.
Foreman and Dontrell
Hilliard split snaps on Sunday, pretty much down the middle
(51% for Hilliard and 49% for Foreman). They were both effective
on the ground, with Foreman going 19-109 and Hillard going 12-131-1.
Both had one reception. Both are nice players to grab off the
wire if they are available, as they should stay involved the
rest of the way.
It was an even three-way split in snap share for the
Patriots backs, with none of the three playing more than 37%
of snaps. None can be trusted for fantasy as a result, and
all are desperation plays in the hopes that they score that
I’ll take “Coaches who don’t know
what they’re doing” for $500, please. Answer:
Nick Sirianni! Boston Scott got 12 more snaps than Miles Sanders
(ankle) on Sunday (51% to 33%), and took 6 extra carries for
the same number of yards (64). It’s not that Scott is
bad, but the Eagles coaches simply refuse to utilize Sanders
as a cornerstone of the offense. When he touches the ball
he is effective, but they just don’t seem to trust him.
You must avoid the situation for now, but I don’t say
that with any confidence that I know what is going to happen
Saquon Barkley played on 87% of snaps for the Giants,
but finished with only 13 carries (40 yards) and 4 receptions
(13 yards). He is involved, which is a good sign. It’s
just that the Giants are not able to move the ball consistently,
and I don’t see that changing any time soon. Barkley
also seems to lack some of his normal explosiveness. You likely
can’t consider sitting him with how few good options
there are at running back, so you’ll just have to hope
he hits on some explosive plays down the stretch.
We are perhaps seeing the tiniest shift toward Javonte
Williams in the Broncos backfield. He played on 58% of snaps,
his highest mark of the season, after playing on 57% in the
Broncos last game, his previous high. Melvin
Gordon played on 42% in Week 12, after playing on 43% in
their last game. Still, Gordon got 17 carries in this game and
was effective again (83 yards). Williams only got 14 carries
(54 yards and a score), but he did lead the team with 4 targets
(3-57). It still looks to me like they want to equally use both
backs the rest of the way, making it impossible to know which
one to use in fantasy.
With the Packers likely protecting Aaron Jones after
his knee injury, AJ Dillon got twice as many carries on Sunday.
He finished 20-69 on the ground, while Jones went 10-23. Surprisingly,
it was Dillon who got the receiving work, catching all 5 targets
for 21 yards and a score. I could be wrong, but I think after
the bye Jones will go back to getting more snaps and touches
With Dalvin Cook likely out for a while with a shoulder
injury, Alexander Mattison could see significant volume for
the Vikings. He took over Cook’s role and finished with
7 carries and 3 targets. He is a must-start if he is on your
roster, until Cook returns.
If there was any doubt about Elijah Mitchell’s
status as a favorite of Kyle Shanahan, on Sunday Mitchell
played on 49 snaps (70%). Jeff Wilson played on 10. Mitchell
got 27 carries (133 yards and a score) and also tied for the
team lead in targets, with 6 (5-35). Mitchell looks like a
locked and loaded top back the rest of this season, and possibly
It was a huge week for Antonio Gibson, who saw his
highest snap share of the season on Monday night (68%). This
says he is probably feeling healthy and ready to pull his
weight in Washington’s push for the playoffs. His usage
gives that impression too, as he received a career-high 29
carries (111 yards) and also got 7 targets (7-35). J.D. McKissic
only saw 39% of snaps and received 12 touches. However, he
scored twice. McKissic was injured late, so check the practice
reports this week. If he is out, Gibson could have another
very big day, and Jaret Patterson might also be worth an add.
Darnell Mooney again dominated among the Bears wide
receivers, playing on 87% of snaps and garnering 8 targets (5-123).
Mooney has become the No. 1 option in this offense, so I’d
recommend starting him the rest of the way – unless you
have comparable options on better offenses.
With Allen Robinson out, Damiere Byrd played the
second-most snaps among the Bears wide receivers (76%). He
also got 5 targets and went 4-42. If Robinson is out again
and you are desperate in a very deep league, you could consider
Byrd. Otherwise, avoid him as his usage will be very difficult
Josh Reynolds has taken over as the primary outside
receiver for the Lions. He played on 88% of snaps and led
the team with 5 targets (3-70-1). He still won’t produce
much because Jared Goff and the whole Lions offense is not
good, but if you are desperate for a receiver in a deep league,
consider adding Reynolds.
With the injury to Darren Waller, it looks like Hunter Renfrow will get even more of the short to intermediate targets
to himself. He finished Week 12 with 9 targets, catching 8
for 134 yards. He also played on 74% of snaps, his second-highest
mark of the season. Renfrow is not exciting to watch, but
he is getting the opportunities. Start him for now, until
Zay Jones may also be an option for those really
hurting at wide receiver. He played on 69% of snaps and got
7 targets (5-59). Just keep in mind that it will be hard to
predict which receiver to play besides Hunter Renfrow as Jones,
DeSean Jackson, and Bryan Edwards are all getting snaps.
Michael Gallup played on 96% of snaps and caught
5 of his 8 targets, for 106 yards. His role will likely diminish
with both Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb expected back for Week
13(?), but Gallup should continue playing a good number of
snaps. He can remain a flex option, but be cautious since
he will have games where he is not involved.
Emmanuel Sanders played on 77% of snaps and Cole Beasley played on 70% of snaps. Beasley only went 5-46 and
Sanders only went 3-28. Josh Allen was efficient, but defenses
are trying to take away the pass, especially the long pass,
from this offense. It’s very similar to what they are
doing to the Chiefs. So for your playoff push, I’d avoid
these secondary Bills options until something changes.
Both Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool played almost
every snap. Johnson got 14 targets (9-95) and Claypool got
8 targets (3-82). Neither player was efficient mostly because
Ben Roethlisberger looks totally done. You probably have to
keep starting Johnson due to his huge target volume, but I
am very hesitant to trust any Steelers players for now.
saw by far the most targets in the Bengals passing game, despite
playing on fewer snaps (63%) than both Tyler
Boyd and Ja’Marr
Chase (both 76%). Higgins saw 8 targets, a 33% target share,
and went 6-114-1. Meanwhile, Ja'Marr Chase caught all 3 of his
targets and Boyd caught both his targets. The highest target
share per week is likely going to rotate among these three players,
with both Higgins and Chase having some very big games. But,
it will remain hard to predict when one will happen, especially
if the Bengals continue to be able to run the ball so effectively.
Elijah Moore played on 88% of snaps, his highest
of the season. He garnered a 33% target share (8 targets),
though he only caught 4-46. For him to provide value for the
rest of the season, Zach Wilson must improve as a passer.
But, the heavy snaps are still encouraging.
Interestingly, with Corey Davis out it was Keelan Cole who seemed to take over his role. He led the Jets receivers
with 96% of snaps. However, he only got 2 targets (2-24).
This is a bad offense and should be avoided if at all possible.
It was a terrible day for Bucs receivers, with Mike Evans going 3-16 and Chris Godwin going 4-24. They both played
almost every snap, so it must have just been that the Colts
defense found ways to take them away. Continue to start them
with confidence. When Antonio Brown returns, each will certainly
lose some opportunities.
Michael Pittman Jr. played on 94% of snaps and got
10 targets. Unfortunately, he only caught 4 for 53 yards.
On a day when Carson Wentz threw it 44 times, this was a very
disappointing result. Hopefully they will get on the same
page for the playoff weeks, because you likely have to keep
Laquon Treadwell replaced Jamal Agnew in the starting
lineup for the Jaguars, and played on 86% of snaps. He received
8 targets and caught 4 for 53 yards (the most yardage on the
team). Laviska Shenault moved back to the slot and finished
with 9 targets, leading the team. He went 5-33. No Jaguars
receiver should be trusted in these crucial next few weeks
unless you are truly desperate.
Jaylen Waddle had a bit of a breakout in Week 12,
finishing with 9 receptions on 10 targets, for 137 yards and
a score. He was the best player on the field for Miami the
whole game, and makes an excellent flex play for the rest
of the season.
DeVonta Smith played on 91% of snaps and got only
4 targets (2-22). You simply must avoid Eagles players for
the foreseeable future.
Kenny Golladay was the No. 1 receiver for the Giants
in Week 12, and finished with 3-50 on 7 targets. I think this
offense will run much better when Golladay, Kadarius Toney,
and Sterling Shepard are all active and have their roles figured
out. Until then, it seems like it’s anyone’s guess
what we will see week to week. For now, Golladay is a fine
flex play, but has fairly low upside.
Justin Herbert continues to have a very narrow target
distribution, throwing 26 of his 44 passes to Keenan Allen
(10), Austin Ekeler (8), or Mike Williams (8). Allen and Williams
both played on 86% of snaps. However, even with getting so
many opportunities on Sunday, Allen only went 7-85 and Mike Williams only went 4-39. The Broncos defense played well,
but this Chargers offense has to find another threat when
teams are able to minimize their primary options.
Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson, and Odell Beckham Jr.
all played on basically every snap. Kupp got 10 targets (7-96),
Jefferson got 9 (3-93-1), and Beckham got 10 (5-81-1). This
sort of usage makes all three potential plays for the fantasy
playoffs. Kupp is definitely the strongest play, with Beckham
likely second due to his speed. But all three can be started
if you need a receiver, especially in games where the Rams
Marquez Valdes-Scantling continues to work toward
becoming the No.2 option in the passing game. He played on
70% of snaps and got 9 targets, the same as Davante Adams.
He went 4-50 but could have had a much bigger day if he and
Aaron Rodgers had been able to connect on a deep ball. MVS
could see significant usage down the stretch, especially if
Randall Cobb has to miss time.
Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel (groin) continued
their new roles on Sunday, with Aiyuk playing the most snaps
(90%) and getting the most targets (6), while Samuel worked
into the rushing rotation (6-66-2 on the ground). This makes
both players usable over the rest of the season, assuming
this new reality sticks.
Despite playing 100% and 94% of snaps, respectively,
Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf did not get much going on Monday
night on the poor Seahawks offense. Lockett did take one pass
for 55 yards, but otherwise both did almost nothing. I would
avoid all Seahawks players for your playoff push if possible,
since this offense looks awful.
Cole Kmet is becoming a target hog for the Bears.
On Thursday he played on 86% of snaps and received a team-leading
11 targets (28% target share). Kmet is also playing well and
producing on his targets (8-65 this week), so he is likely to
continue to get work. It is still frustrating that the Bears
insist on using Jimmy Graham in the red zone, but Kmet is still
a nice play due to the high volume he’s getting (and is
a very nice hold in dynasty leagues).
Dalton Schultz continues to play a major role in
the Cowboys’ offense, playing on 96% of snaps and getting
7 targets (3-46-1). He should be in starting lineups in most
With Eric Ebron out, Pat Freiermuth (concussion)
played on 76% of snaps and caught all 4 of his targets, for
40 yards and a score. He is a TE1 for as long as Ebron is
out, and should be in lineups. He seems to have excellent
rapport with Roethlisberger and is perfect for what Ben is
able to do at this point of his career.
Rob Gronkowski looks like he will again be an elite
option at tight end for the stretch run. He played on 82%
of snaps and received a team-high 10 targets (a 29% target
share). He caught 7 for 123 yards. Play him with confidence.
It could have only been because the Dolphins got
out to a huge lead, but it was very concerning for those who
roster Mike Gesicki that fellow tight end Durham Smythe played
on more snaps (89% to 80%) and got more targets (5 to 3).
Smythe’s presence and involvement is really hampering
the upside for Gesicki, and might mean you need to think twice
before starting him in these crucial next few weeks.
Dallas Goedert played on 96% of snaps but only got
3 targets, catching 1 for zero yards. Jalen Hurts is simply
playing terribly, on top of the Eagles coaches not having
a clue how to use their players. This team is a giant, neon
Despite playing on 85% of snaps, most among skill
players, Noah Fant only went 3-12 on 4 targets. Then again,
the Broncos only threw the ball 25 times for 155 yards, so
it’s not too surprising. This is a run-first team that
wants to win with defense, so I’d advise managers to
avoid playing any Broncos receiving weapons the rest of the
Even though George Kittle played on 93% of snaps,
he only got 2 targets (1-13). I cannot figure out this 49ers
offense, or tell why Kittle is not involved. If you have him
on your roster and you’re still in the playoff picture,
congratulations. I will continue to play him unless I have
another top tight end on the roster, simply because he can
put up a big week any time they decide to include him in the
Logan Thomas returned from his IR stint and played
on 79% of snaps. He looked like his old self, and almost caught
a game-clinching touchdown. He got 6 targets, catching 3 for
31 yards. He is a nice start the rest of the way, if he can
Kevin Scott is a fantasy pro who has made over $100,000 playing
fantasy football. Catch his podcast "Grinding the Data"
and you can follow him on Twitter @kevinscottff.