Now that our small sample size is growing, we can start to see snap
share and usage come into focus. Still, I will continue to caution
that three data points is not enough to know with certainty, and
things will change as a season goes along.
And of course injuries will happen, as we saw with Christian
McCaffrey and A.J.
Brown. However as things shift week to week, we must pivot
and continue to make the best decisions based on the data we have.
Letís look at each of the three primary skill positions and see
what we can learn from snaps and usage from Week 3.
McCaffrey injuring his hamstring in the first half, we saw
the Panthers use both Chuba
Hubbard and Royce
Freeman in his absence. I am guessing McCaffrey will sit
at least a game or two, so the snaps and usage of these backs
matters. Hubbard played on 55% of snaps and Freeman on 15%,
so clearly it will be primarily Hubbardís backfield while McCaffrey
is out, but Freeman may have value as well. Hubbard finished
with 11 carries (52 yards) and Freeman with 5 (17 yards), but
Hubbard also received 5 targets (3-27). Just like Mike
Davis had value last season, Hubbard will be the top pick-up
of the week if heís available in your league. Youíll have to
spend big to get him, but the Panthers did not put McCaffrey
on IR so he could be back sooner rather than later.
Avoid the Texans backfield completely. Four backs played,
and none saw more than David
Johnsonís 38% of snaps. None are worth rostering with how
they are being used.
Gibson salvaged his fantasy day with a 73-yard touchdown
reception, but other than that, his usage was uninspiring. He
only got 12 carries (31 yards) and 2 targets, catching 1. Donít
overreact to this poor usage, since the whole offense was dismal
and the game was a beatdown by the Bills. The positive those
who roster Gibson is that J.D.
McKissic only received 3 carries and 2 targets. However,
McKissic played on 46% of snaps to Gibsonís 57%, likely because
Washington trailed most of the game. Ryan Fitzpatrick canít
get back soon enough.
We have seen a total shift in the Buffalo run game since
Week 1, when Zack
Moss was a healthy scratch. In Week 3, Moss played on 56%
of snaps, while Devin
Singletary played on only 43%. Moss also received 16 touches
to Singletaryís 12, and outproduced him in every facet. It looks
like Moss is now the Buffalo back you want, which was what we
expected coming into the season. This is a good object lesson
in why not to overreact to one data point.
played on 49% of snaps and Kareem
Hunt played on 41%. Chubb received 22 carries (84 yards)
and Hunt received 10 (81 yards and a score). But the big differentiator
came in the passing game, where Chubb did not receive a target
and Hunt received 7 (6-74). This passing game usage is what
gives Hunt significant stand-alone value. He is not a handcuff
and should be started in most leagues.
It looked like TyíSon
Williams could become a viable option for fantasy teams
after Weeks 1 and 2, but Week 3 suggests that no Baltimore back
should be started until things clear up. Williams played on
50% of snaps, Latavius
Murray on 33%, and Devonta
Freeman on 16%. Williams got only 5 carries, Murray 7, and
Freeman 3. None received a target. I will be avoiding all of
them until Baltimore starts committing to the run again (hopefully
with one primary back).
Swift played on 56% of snaps and Jamaal
Williams on 49%. Swift got 14 carries to Williams 12, and
they both ran well and scored. Swift is starting to separate
himself a bit in the receiving game, as he caught all 7 of his
targets for 60 yards. Williams got 2 targets and caught them
both for 25 yards. Both backs have been effective and can be
started weekly. I prefer Swift as heís more dynamic, but both
are getting plenty of snaps and have played well.
It was an interesting day in the Arizona backfield. Chase
Edmonds played on 66% of snaps, while James
Conner played on 37%. This has been close to their average
this season. But because of how the game played out, they both
had 11 carries. Conner, who has been getting most of the short-distance
and goal line work, punched in two touchdowns. And Edmonds,
who has been getting virtually all of the passing-down and hurry-up
work, got a team-high 8 targets (7-49). Edmonds should still
be the preferred option, but Conner has value, particularly
in games they are likely to lead.
Robinson sighting! He finally was given a featured role
in Week 3 and produced just like he was producing last season.
On only 59% of snaps he rushed 15 times for 88 yards and a touchdown,
and also caught all 6 of his targets for 46 yards. While Carlos
Hyde still played on 34% of snaps, Robinsonís involvement
in the passing game is the most encouraging aspect. He could
move into a nice weekly play if this continues.
Ekeler only received 11 carries on 74% of snaps. But he
again saved his fantasy day with his receiving work, getting
6 targets and going for 52 yards and a score. He is a weekly
must-start due to his involvement in this very good passing
Edwards-Helaire and Darrel
Williams split the snaps for the Chiefs, 62% to 34%. CEH
received 17 carries and Williams received 7. Both were effective
on the ground. Both also got a bit of receiving work, but CEH
scored. This will remain a frustrating split for those who roster
CEH, but the more he gets involved in the passing game, the
more weekly value he will have.
played on 60% of snaps and Cordarrelle
Patterson on 42% of snaps, so a similar breakdown to past
weeks. Davis got 12 carries to Pattersonís 7, but Patterson
got 7 targets to Davisí 4. Davis is more likely to score rushing
touchdowns, but Pattersonís involvement in the passing game
is extremely valuable. He can be started in deep PPR leagues,
even on a terrible Falcons offense.
Barkley is almost back to his pre-injury usage. He played
on 86% of snaps, but 16 carries (for 51 yards and a score),
and (most encouragingly) got 7 targets (6-43)! If that sort
of target share continues, he will provide first-round value
It was a terrible day for the Steelers, losing at home to
the Bengals. But Najee
Harris showed that he can be an elite option anyway. He
rushed only 14 times for 40 yards, but caught 14 of 19 targets
for 102 yards. You read that correctly. Since Ben
Roethlisberger cannot throw deep any more, and since the
offensive line canít block, the short throws are going to be
the focus for this offense.
Another very disappointing day for those who roster Jonathan
Taylor. He played on only 48% of snaps, which was less than
(56%). He only received 13 opportunities (10 carries and 3 targets),
while Hines received 12 (6 carries and 6 targets). That alone
makes Hines the more valuable back on the week, but Hines also
had the only rushing score. This usage makes Jonathan Taylor
a committee back in a bad offense. He can be benched until something
changes, if you have better options.
Carter and Ty
Johnson split snaps on Sunday, with Johnson playing on 57%
and Carter on 43%. However, Carter got 12 opportunities to Johnsonís
8. Neither is worth playing until the offense improves, but
Iíd hold Carter on your bench in case things turn around.
Yet again Melvin
Gordon and Javonte
Williams split the snaps fairly evenly, so this seems to
be the long-term plan for the Broncos. Gordon played 54% of
snaps and Williams 40%, with Gordon receiving 20 opportunities
and Williams 16. Williams produced more with his carries and
has looked good, but both have sky-high potential if the other
is injured or benched.
again led the way in snap share for the Dolphins, playing on
52% of snaps. But it was Malcolm
Brown playing the second-most snaps, at 41%, and Brown also
scored the only rushing touchdown. Salvon
Ahmed played on only 5 snaps. Gaskin continues to get the
most work, but the committee will keep him from accomplishing
much in the scoring column.
Jon Gruden doubled down with his Peyton
Barber love, giving him 57% of snaps compared to Drake getting
43%. Who cares about talent and salary level? Barber also got
a ton of touches, getting 23 carries and gaining 111 yards.
He also scored on the ground. And on top of that, Barber received
5 targets (3-31)! I cannot figure this out, and Iím not sure
I want to. I guess you can pick up Barber, even though heís
not a very good running back. Opportunity is king, and heís
certainly getting his opportunities.
We finally saw the Bucsí running back situation play out
the way I expected with Leonard
Fournette and Ronald
Jones having minimal value but Giovani
Bernard having PPR value. Bernard did not get a carry but
played on 45% of snaps, catching 9 of 10 targets for 51 yards
and a score. It seems like the Bucs will need to be behind or
in a shootout for Bernard to see this kind of action and that
doesnít seem likely to happen often. In this game, Fournette
played on only 36% and Jones on 16%. Neither is a dependable
Henderson out for Week 3, Sony
Michel played on 74% of snaps and received 20 carries and
4 targets. However, he did very little with those opportunities,
totaling 79 yards on his 23 touches. This looks to be Darrell
Mattison did not disappoint when he had an opportunity to
fill in for Dalvin
Cook. On 68% of snaps, he rushed 26 times for 112 yards,
and also caught 6 of 8 targets for 59 yards. It was a huge game,
reminding everyone that he is among the most valuable handcuffs
in the league. Watch carefully to see if Cook is going to suit
up in Week 4; if not, roll with Mattison.
is finally getting his chance to dominate a backfield. He played
on 73% of snap, while AJ
Dillon played on 29%. But Jones is so far ahead of Dillon
that unless Jones is injured, Dillon will not have much impact
most weeks. Jones finished with 21 opportunities and went for
96 yards, while Dillon received 8 opportunities and went for
I was very excited to see what Trey
Sermon could do with a starting workload, but then of course
Shanahan didnít give him one. He received only 10 carries and
played on 59% of snaps, despite being just about the only healthy
running back available. He salvaged his day with a score, but
Shanahanís game plan prevented him from doing much.
played on 60% of snaps and yet, amazingly, had only 6 opportunities.
This is a travesty, and shows the Eagles coaches do not know
what they are doing. In addition, he was very effective on his
touches, averaging 13.5 yards per carry and over 9 yards per
catch. I have no idea if Sanders is startable going forward,
but all I can say confidently is that itís not his fault.
Elliott played on 70% of snaps and Tony
Pollard on 38%, which is about what theyíve been averaging.
Elliott got 20 opportunities, going for 116 total yards and
two scores. Pollard got 12 opportunities, going for 65 yards.
Elliott is likely to remain the superior weekly play due to
getting more chances, and Pollard should remain an interesting
flex option. The difficult part is that you will never know
exactly when to play Pollard.
D.J. Moore looked like the alpha many of us have been hoping
heíd become on Thursday night. He dominated targets, receiving
12 of 34 of Darnoldís passes (35% target share!). He caught
8 for 126 yards. If this heavy usage continues, he will end
up as a top-10 receiver this season.
While Robby Anderson only played on 7 fewer snaps, he received
only 2 targets (1-8). He certainly is droppable if you need
the roster spot, but keep in mind that the Panthers coaching
staff did say after the game that they want to get him more
involved. Terrace Marshall Jr. played on only 2 fewer snaps
than Anderson but saw 5 targets (4-48). Neither is worth starting
until one or the other starts getting more opportunities, but
at least Marshall is playing well early in his career, a good
Brandin Cooks played on 95% of snaps and received a ridiculous
39% target share (11 of 28). He caught 9 of them for 112 yards.
Since there are no other decent options in this passing game,
he can be started every week.
It was a rough game for the Washington offense, but Terry McLaurin still finished with 7 targets on only 24 passes thrown
(29% target share). He only went 4-62, but with how badly Taylor Heinicke and the offense struggled, that wasnít a terrible
result. He also played on 96% of snaps and should be in your
It was a surprising day for the Buffalo receivers. Cole Beasley
received 13 targets, a 30% target share, catching 11 for 98
yards. Emmanuel Sanders received 6 targets, but went for 5-94-2.
And then came Diggs, who did receive 10 targets but only went
6-62. There will be days like this for Diggs, who will certainly
be defended with extra attention. This makes Sanders and Beasley
very intriguing weekly options. All three played on 66% or more
Not much can be learned about the Bears offense in Week 3,
as they were thoroughly crushed by the Browns. They ran only
33 offensive plays, not counting punts. Justin Fields was only
6-20, for 68 yards. The only positive is that Allen Robinson
and Darnell Mooney played basically every snap, and received
a 30% and 20% target share, respectively. But Fields must improve
for them to put up decent numbers.
It was a positive start for Odell Beckham Jr. He played on
64% of snaps and led the team with 9 targets (5-77). He also
received a carry (10 yards). He looked quick and he is in line
for some very nice games this season if he is able to stay healthy.
We had our first A.J. Green line to pay attention to this
season. Likely because DeAndre Hopkins was banged up, Green
got extra work. He played on 79% of snaps and got 6 targets,
catching 5 for 112 yards. I thought he was done, but this makes
me think he might be worth carrying on deeper rosters. Still,
they will spread the ball around in Arizona and I expect Rondale Moore to start getting more snaps as the season goes on.
Same story with Christian Kirk. He played on 57% and got
8 targets (7-104). I think he will also eventually lose snaps
to Moore, but for now he is a potential flex play in good matchups.
The main issue is that you just never know who is going to be
the primary target after Hopkins.
Marvin Jones continues to be the top wide receiver for the
Jaguars. He played on 97% of snaps and received the most targets
(8, 24% target share). He went only 6-62, but the involvement
makes him a strong weekly flex play.
Keenan Allen and Mike Williams continue to dominate targets
for the Chargers. Allen received 12 targets (32% target share)
and Williams received 9 (24%). They both scored, but Williams
finished with the most yardage by far (122) and scored twice.
Williams has moved into being a weekly must-start in this offense,
and will make a huge fantasy impact this season if he stays
Marquez Callaway is heating up. He played on 61% of snaps
in what was a blowout for most of the game (so that the Saints
did not have to pass much). He still got 5 targets and scored
a touchdown (4-41-1). If the Saints would ever get into a game
flow where they have to pass and are not playing a great defense,
he could finally have a huge game.
Jakobi Meyers received a whopping 14 targets, going 9-94.
He is playing the Wes Welker / Julian Edelman role, so he has
lots of value in PPR leagues, especially if Mac Jones improves.
Nelson Agholor received 8 targets, but only caught 2 for 17
yards. He was in on 81% of snaps and was targeted, so donít
get too concerned. But you shouldnít start him until he
starts clicking with the quarterback.
Kadarius Toney didnít do too much in Week 3, but you
should notice that he played on 66% of snaps. He did receive
3 targets (2-16), but the main reason he played so many more
snaps is that both Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton suffered
hamstring injuries. I could see Toney getting more involved
over the next week or two.
On a day when Joe
Burrow only threw 18 passes, JaíMarr
Chase got 5 of them (28% target share) and Tyler
Boyd got 6 of them (33%). Chase finished with 4 catches
for 65 yards and two scores, and Boyd finished with 4 catches
for 36 yards and a score. Both benefited from Tee
Higgins being out, though one could argue that the Bengals
could have opened it up on offense with Higgins in there. Either
way, all three players look like great fantasy options for the
season, especially if the Bengals increase their passing game.
With Diontae Johnson out and JuJu Smith-Schuster injured
during the game, the Steelers depended heavily on Chase Claypool,
who finished with 15 targets (9-96). Amazingly, that was only
a 26% target share, as they threw it 58 times in the loss. Ben Roethlisberger looks done, which hurts this whole offense. But
the short passing game will likely help these players retain
Michael Pittman Jr. is looking like an alpha receiver. I
was concerned after Week 1, but the past two weeks have been
very encouraging. He played on 93% of snaps in Week 3 and received
12 targets (a 32% target share). He caught only 6 for 68 yards,
which isnít great, but the indicators are flashing that
big games are coming.
Julio Jones (3-47) played on only 50% of snaps due to tightening
up, and A.J. Brown played on only 12% after a hamstring tweak
early in the game. The whole passing game was thrown into disarray,
but it was Nick Westbrook-Ikhine who stepped in, playing on
78% of snaps and leading the way with 4 catches for 53 yards
and a score. In case Jones and Brown miss time, he is a name
to consider in deep leagues.
Elijah Moore was on his way to a nice day before he suffered
a concussion. By the end of the game he played on only 48% of
snaps, but in those snaps he received 6 targets (3-22). Corey Davis should see even more targets, and did see 10 on Sunday
(5-41). However, the entire Jets offense is awful right now,
so temper expectations.
Tim Patrick and Courtland Sutton both played on 76% of snaps,
and both caught all 5 of their targets. Patrick had more yards
(98 to Suttonís 37). KJ Hamler is out for the season with
an ACL injury, so that means that even when Jerry Jeudy comes
back, Patrick should stay very involved. We should also see
more action for Noah Fant.
Jaylen Waddle led Dolphins receivers, playing 88% of snaps
and gaining a 27% target share (13 targets). He caught 12, but
only for 58 yards. This shows just how low his average depth
of target was, yet in PPR leagues he should retain excellent
value. Also, once Tua Tagovailoa is back under center, his aDot
should improve. Also, Waddle is a threat to score from anywhere
on the field. So as the Dolphins improve, I expect we will see
good things from Waddle. Hold him or pick him up if you can.
Will Fuller returned and saw 6 targets (3-20) on 61% of snaps.
As he works into the offense, he will see more targets, but
donít expect him to hit his ceiling in this offense until
Tua is back and playing well.
Henry Ruggs III tied for the team lead in targets with 7,
a 16% target share. Carr just loves to spread the ball around,
capping the upside for all of his receivers. Ruggs caught 4
for 78 and is always a threat for a long touchdown with his
speed so you could do worse in your flex spot. Bryan Edwards
actually played on more snaps (76% compared to 58% for Ruggs),
and got 5 targets (3-89). Again, both can be valuable, but youíll
never know when itís going to be their day.
Hunter Renfrow led the Raiders receivers in fantasy points,
catching 5 for 77 yards and a touchdown (on only 52% of snaps).
He has been a very consistent scorer this season, and is worth
rostering in PPR leagues.
Three weeks of games, and three weeks of Cooper Kupp crushing
it. Kupp played on fewer snaps than Robert Woods (88% to 82%),
but received an incredible 12 targets (32% target share). Woods
received only 6 targets and went 3-33. DeSean Jackson even outproduced
Woods on 32% of snaps, going 3-120-1 on 5 targets. Itís
time to be concerned about Woods, and I might shift him to my
bench as I did with Brandon Aiyuk, until I see some better production.
Still, the high snap share is encouraging.
This was a DK Metcalf week, as he received a 28% target share
(9 targets) and caught 6 for 107 yards and a score. The Seahawks
struggled on offense, and Tyler Lockett was contained for only
4 catches for 31 yards. Both should always be in your starting
Davante Adams sometimes seems to be the only receiver Aaron Rodgers can see. He received 18 targets, catching 12 for 132
yards and a score. And that line could easily have been much
bigger. The other receivers on the roster, like Marquez Valdes-Scantling
and Allan Lazard, will not have an opportunity to do anything
big until the targets start getting spread around more. Still,
MVS did catch 3 of 4 targets for 59 yards and a score, and can
be used in a pinch.
After two weeks in Shanahanís doghouse, it looks like
Brandon Aiyuk might be coming out to play. He played on 86%
of snaps and received 6 targets, catching 4 for 37 yards and
a score. He was still well behind Deebo Samuel (10 targets),
but heís catching up.
DeVonta Smith played on all but one snap (98%), but he had
only 6 targets (15% target share). Jalen Hurts is really struggling,
and I do not know if he will be able to turn it around. Do not
drop Smith, but you likely need to bench him until things improve.
The Cowboys did not need to throw it much to beat the Eagles,
and Dak Prescott finished with only 26 pass attempts. Even though
Ceedee Lamb and Amari Cooper both played on 86% of snaps, both
only had 3 receptions. Better days are ahead, and pay attention
to when they have a matchup against good offenses. Those are
the games to circle.
did get 4 targets (12% target share), but he again played on
only 37% of snaps and was then traded from Carolina to Jacksonville
on Monday. He has little fantasy value at the moment.
again played 100% of snaps. Since he never leaves the field,
he should probably never leave your lineups, unless you only
can start one tight end and have one of the most elite ones
on your roster. He caught all 4 of his targets (17% target share)
for 42 yards and a score.
flashed again, played on 78% of snaps and catching 4 of 5 targets
for 49 yards and a score. If youíre hurting at the position,
you could certainly do worse than an athletic tight end playing
the large majority of snaps in a very prolific offense.
saw his snap share jump up again, to 96%! Donít miss the fact
that he has clearly taken over as the Bears primary tight end.
Unfortunately he only had one reception in this awful loss,
but he did receive 4 of Fieldsí 20 throws, a 20% target share.
If this offense improves, he still has a chance to produce.
No Browns tight end should be started until something changes.
led the group in snap share (62%) but did not receive a target.
played on 60% and Harrison
Bryant on 41%. Hooper did score, but he received only 3
played on 79% of snaps and led the team with 7 targets (5-109).
Thatís a 23% target share, very elite for a tight end. Start
him with confidence every week.
Donít be concerned with T.J.
Hockensonís poor stat line (2-10). He played on 84% of snaps
and was clearly just taken away by the Ravens defense. There
will be games like this against good defenses, since there are
so few threats on this Lions offense.
again played on over 75% of snaps for Arizona and was involved
(3-19). While he only received 3 targets, that is still worth
noting when there is so little to be excited about at the position.
Donít get too frustrated with Jared
Cook. He only caught 2 for 27 yards, but he played on 70%
of snaps and is very involved. Again, in this landscape he is
looking like he could finish as a top-10 option.
A very deep league name to know is Jody
Fortson. He is a converted wide receiver who looked good
for the Chiefs on Sunday. He only played on 6 snaps but got
2 receptions, including one for a score. It looks like they
may try to work him into the offense a bit, and he can obviously
catch the ball.
It was a strange day for the Patriots tight ends. Hunter
Henry played on 72% of snaps and received 6 targets, going
Smith played on only 42% of snaps, potentially because he
was injured, and received 6 targets. But he only caught one
of them for 4 yards. Henry should be picked up in any leagues
where he is available, and you might need to bench Smith until
he shows something more.
again played over 80% of snaps, but only received 3 targets
(2-35). He is clearly still figuring out the pro game, so it
will likely be up and down if you keep starting him. But isnít
that true for the vast majority of tight ends?
made his debut on Sunday and played on 56% of snaps. He received
6 targets, a 24% target share, but only caught 2 for 21 yards.
He continues to offer upside if he can stay healthy and start
clicking with Daniel
played on more snaps than Pat
Freiermuth in Week 3, but Freiermuth again outproduced him,
catching 3 of 5 targets for 22 yards and a score. Ebron, like
Ben, looks done. He caught none of his 3 targets.
along with Elijah
Moore, suffered an injury on Sunday. He ended up playing
only 43% of snaps, finishing with 2 targets (2-12). Avoid all
Jets until they start playing better offense.
led the Dolphins tight ends in snap share for the second consecutive
week, playing 66% of snaps. More importantly, he saw 12 targets,
a 24% target share! He cauht 10 of them for 86 yards, making
him extremely valuable among tight ends (especially in tight
end-premium leagues). If he was dropped in your league, make
him a high priority pick-up.
Higbee is going to only perform well in odd-numbered weeks?
He had a nice Week 1, a 0 in Week 2, and now in Week 3 he caught
all 5 of his targets for 40 yards and a score. He also was banged
up for a few snaps in the game, or it could have been better.
He is a solid start every week (even in even-numbered games).
Everett had a bit of a breakout in Week 3, after playing
lots of snaps in the first two weeks but not getting many opportunities.
He received 5 targets in Week 3, a 16% target share. He caught
all 5 for 54 yards. I continue to maintain he is a solid weekly
start among tight ends this season.
went off in Week 3, catching 7 of 8 targets for 70 yards and
a score. He played on 72% of snaps. A 21% target share for a
tight end is something we must pay attention to, even if there
is a solid chance we donít see it again. Pick him up if you
need a tight end, and watch closely for what happens in the
next couple games.
Kittle did not score, but at least he was involved. He led
the team in receiving yards (92) and caught 7 of 9 targets.
It was good to see him looking like the old Kittle. He also
played every snap.
Tonyan played on 73% of snaps but just wasnít involved.
He caught his only target. Itís hard to garner targets when
is getting 18!
It appears Dalton
Schultz remains firmly entrenched as the top tight end option
for Dallas. He again played on more snaps than Jarwin (69% to
56%) and was far more involved in the passing attack. He finished
with the most targets and receptions on the team (6 receptions
on 7 targets for 80 yards and two scores). If he is still sitting
on your wire, Iíd definitely pick him up.
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.