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 6:
Chubb continued his trend over the past few weeks of playing virtually
every snap (86%). He was the only running back to receive a carry
for the Browns. Whether that will change in a few weeks when Kareem
Hunt is available is up in the air. For now, ride Chubb no
matter the matchup.
Not only was Bell’s snap percentage the lowest on the season (82%),
but he also only received 1 target in the passing game (to go
with 14 carries). Sam Darnold, far more talented than the quarterbacks
the Jets have been playing with in his absence, is likely to look
downfield more often – which should limit Bell’s receiving upside.
Freeman: Freeman saw an uptick in snap percentage, seeing
72% of the team’s snaps. He seems to be the preferred option in
the passing game, as the Falcons are almost always in comeback
mode and they want him on the field in those situations. He did
average 4.6 yards per carry, far better than his average the last
few weeks, but he saved his fantasy day in the passing game with
two receiving touchdowns.
After Jay Gruden was fired new head coach Bill Callahan decided
to ride Peterson in Week 6. He played 63% of the snaps and received
23 carries for 118 yards (5.1 average). Those excellent numbers
may be a one-week experience, since the Redskins were playing
the lowly Dolphins, but it seems likely Callahan will keep trying
to run the ball.
Even though Cook has been one of the top fantasy running backs
in the league, he has been below an 80% snap count in every game
this season. In Week 6 he was at 63%. The Vikings are a run-first
offense so it hasn’t hurt his overall numbers but keep Alexander
Mattison in mind, whose snap count hit 30% for the second
time this season.
Howard’s snap count by week: 23% - 22% - 33% - 53% - 43% - 63%.
The coaches have decided to give Howard the lion’s share of the
work in recent weeks as he has been more effective than Miles
Sanders on the ground. Howard should be a reliable RB2 for
the foreseeable future.
Hyde received over 60% of the snaps for the second consecutive
week, and has shown to be a legitimate fantasy starter. The Texans
trust him, and he is producing (26-116-1 in Week 6). As long as
the Texans treat him as their starter, he is a worthy RB2 play.
Freeman played 61% of the snaps, while Lindsay only played 47%
of the snaps. Those snap count percentages very closely mirror
what we saw in Weeks 4 and 5. Freeman received more work in the
passing game (5 targets to 3), while Lindsay received 15 carries
to Freeman’s 11. The clearest thing about this backfield is that
it is a committee. Lindsay has been more productive, but both
seem to be set for significant weekly usage.
Gordon snap percentage rose from 46% in Week 5 to 60% in Week
6. Austin Ekeler’s
snap count percentage has gone from 72% in Week 4 to 66% in Week
5 to 45% in Week 6. As Gordon gets fully up to speed I envision
around a 65%-35% split in snaps and touches, seriously limiting
Kamara played a season-low 59% of snaps, due to both an ankle
injury and a knee tweak he suffered during this week’s game. He
received 18 touches to Latavius
Murray’s 11 touches. Look for Murray to get more work as long
as Kamara is banged up.
In his second game after a return from an ankle injury, Coleman
received 55% of the team’s snaps – after 34% last week. Breida’s
snaps fell to 36%, so seemingly Shanahan is serious about making
Coleman the lead back in this committee. Adjust accordingly.
Conner saw his snaps decrease from 80% in Week 5 to 50% in Week
6. Benny Snell
saw 48% of the snaps because the Steelers built an early lead
and Conner left late in third quarter with a quad injury.
Mixon’s snaps fell to 48%, and he could do very little with the
snaps he did play (8 carries for 10 yards, 2 receptions for 29
yards). Mixon is a player to avoid whenever possible, with how
poorly the Bengals offensive line is playing. Keep an eye on whether
the return of A.J. Green helps the overall offense, which will
help Mixon as well. If not, this is probably a lost season for
the talented back.
Williams saw his snap share fall to 38%, while LeSean
McCoy’s went up to 50%. The Chiefs poor rushing attack and
the defenses inability to stop the opposition on the ground are
making both RBs Flex dart throws.
Edwards played on 41% of the snaps, while Mark
Ingram played on only 38%. While Ingram received more touches
(15 to 6), Edwards was again very effective (6-34). He is the
clear handcuff to Ingram, and may begin to receive more work if
he continues to run for 5 yards per carry (5.6 in this game, 4.5
ypc on the season).
Chris Thompson: While Bill Callahan gave Peterson more touches,
Thompson seems to be the forgotten man, playing on only 22% of
the snaps (5 touches). He must be benched until it becomes clear
his usage will go back up in more typical Reskins game scripts
Tyreek Hill: Hill played on only 50% of the snaps and was still
the best receiver option for the Chiefs. Look for his snap count
to move up toward 100% next week. The other Chiefs receivers came
in at Robinson (86%), Pringle (59%), and Hardman (55%). When both
Hill and Watkins are healthy, it will likely be a rotation among
those three players at the third receiver spot – making them
Robert Woods: He played 100% of snaps, but caught 0 passes on
4 targets. The Rams were thoroughly dominated by the 49ers, so
better days are ahead.
Brandin Cooks: He also played almost every snap (98%), but only
caught 3 for 18. He looked healthy, which is a positive sign moving
forward. Darius Slayton: Slayton played on 98% of the snaps for the Giants
with Golden Tate on the field as well (also 98%). Slayton’s
usage will go back down near 50% once Sterling Shepard (concussion)
returns, so don’t overreact to his heavy usage.
Terry McLaurin: He played almost every snap (97%) and is officially
the only Redskins receiver worth owning. He received 7 targets,
3 more than any other Redskins receiver, and caught 4 for 100
yards and two touchdowns. Richardson, Quinn, and Harmon have been
unable to become fantasy relevant in this poor offense.
Paul Richardson: Richardson’s snap count fell to 59% in
his first game without Jay Gruden. His days as a nominal flex
option may be over. Trey Quinn fell to 53% of snaps, his lowest
of the season as well. It looks like new head coach Bill Callahan
prefers to play less 11 personnel (3 receivers), so Quinn’s
value likely will also fade.
Michael Gallup: Gallup (knee) returned to play virtually every
snap, but Amari Cooper leaving with a thigh injury in the first
quarter did not lead to a big day for Gallup (4-48). He may need
Cooper on the other side of the field to find space to work. Still,
the heavy usage is encouraging and reinforces that he is 100%
Tavon Austin: When Cooper went down it was Austin who came in
and played every snap. He finished with 5 receptions for 64 yards,
leading the team. If Cooper is to remain out for a while, Austin
is worth a speculative add.
Cedrick Wilson: After Amari Cooper was hurt, Wilson entered the
game and played snaps 61% of the snaps. He caught 5 balls for
46 yards, on 6 targets. If Cooper remains out, he could be an
option in deeper leagues.
Robby Anderson: Anderson played 92% of snaps and showed again
what he is capable of with a real NFL QB (5-125-1). He should
be in flex consideration with Darnold under center.
DeMaryius Thomas: Thomas played 81% of snaps and looked healthy,
catching 4 passes for 62 yards. His low ownership makes him a
sneaky pick up this week. He could provide excellent PPR value,
similar to Larry Fitzgerald at this point in his career, as long
as Darnold is healthy.
Alex Erickson: Erickson’s snap count percentage took a
leap to 79%. His previous high had been 22%. He was the second
leading receiver (4-47 and 6 targets). Auden Tate again led the
way, playing 90% of snaps and receiving 12 targets (5-91). Since
the Bengals are going to be trailing a lot, both are worth keeping
an eye on especially until A.J. Green comes back.
Tyler Boyd: Boyd played 98% of snaps but could not get open against
the Ravens defense. He had only 3 catches for 10 yards on 7 targets.
Chris Conley: Although Conley led the Jaguars in snap percentage
(83%), he did not receive a target. His early-season usage has
totally dried up. Westbrook played on 78% of snaps and led the
team with 3 catches for 53 yards. D.J. Chark played on 71% of
snaps and caught 3 for 43. It was a rough day all around for the
Jags against a tough Saints defense. Expect their numbers to improve
in future weeks.
Dante Pettis: Right when I was ready to give up on Pettis he
starts to give us something. Pettis (3-45 on 6 targets) played
on 72% of snaps in Week 6, his highest of the year. We are certainly
seeing an upward trend, as he has gone from 3% in Week 1, up to
the 40s in Weeks 2 and 3, and then to 63% and 72% in the past
two weeks. He is worth picking up if you have space for a speculative
Jakobi Meyers: Meyers got a boost once Josh Gordon injured his
ankle, and he produced (4-54). If Gordon remains out, Meyers is
worth an add.
Antonio Callaway: Callaway played on 68% of the snaps for Cleveland,
up from 43% last week, but did nothing with them (2-22). He is
not worth owning until he starts showing some consistency.
Julio Jones: Jones matched his lowest snap count of the season
in Week 6, 68%. He received 9 targets (8-108), so he was very
useful, but in a dogfight with Arizona, Julio should not rotating
in and out so much. Of course you’re playing him regardless,
but watch to see if they change course and get him in for every
snap. If so, he could explode.
Calvin Ridley: Ridley played a season-low 59% of snaps, also
rotating in like Julio. He still produced (4-48-1 on 6 targets).
It is unclear why the Falcons coaches are making this move, but
if coaches are soon fired, I look for both to play 100% of snaps
Stefon Diggs: Diggs played 63% of the snaps, but produced in
a major way (7-167-3 on 11 targets). The Vikings passing game
is impossible to predict week-to-week, but generally Diggs and
Thielen should be started, as these blow-up weeks are always a
Miles Boykin: Boykin played his highest snap percentage (56%)
of the year for Baltimore, while Seth Roberts saw his share fall
to 41%. This may represent a changing of the guard, so keep an
eye on Boykin moving forward.
Albert Wilson: Wilson finally played, but saw only 38% of the
snaps for Miami. He did receive 6 targets, but only produced 5
catches for 15 yards. If this offense ever improves, he may be
useful for PPR, so keep an eye on the situation.
Ryan Izzo: Izzo played on 98% of the snaps for New England and caught
2 passes for 31 yards on 4 targets. While he did not produce much,
his high snap count is notable. He may be worth a speculative add
in this Patriots offense that will be missing Matt Lacosse (knee)
for a few weeks. Ben Watson has been re-signed.
Jeremy Sprinkle: Sprinkle played on 92% of the snaps and was
the second leading receiver for the Redskins. Unfortunately that
was still only good for 2-24 on 3 targets, but with the other
tight ends ailing and a new head coach, keep Sprinkle on your
Jason Witten: Witten played his highest percentage of snaps this
week (88%). He looks healthy and like the same old Jason Witten.
He caught 5-57 on 7 targets, so he is worthy of being rostered
everywhere in this poor tight end landscape.
Darren Fells: Fells also played his highest percentage of snaps
(87%) for Houston and has been trending upward the past few weeks.
He caught 6 passes on 7 targets for 69 yards, and led the team
in receiving yards. He is hard to bring down, and is serving as
an outlet for Watson, mostly on RPO plays. He is also worthy of
being owned everywhere, due to his involvement in a dynamic offense.
Ricky Seals-Jones: RSJ played on 68% of the snaps, more than
doubling his highest percentage before this week. He received
6 targets, tied for second on the team, and looks to have worked
his way in as the starter. He produced with 3-47-1. He should
be picked up in most leagues this week.
Luke Willson: Willson played on 67% of the snaps this week, with
Will Dissly exiting with what is feared to be a season-ending
Achilles injury. Willson should step into the same role and needs
to be picked up everywhere.
Hunter Henry: Henry played on 66% of the snaps but produced like
he played every one (8-100-2). Owners who held onto him will be
rewarded for their patience. If he is somehow available, pay all
your FAAB for him.
Gerald Everett: Everett’s snaps fell back down to 53% in
Week 6, but he has been fluctuating wildly all season so that
is nothing new. If you overspent on him after his big performance
last week, just know he will still have some big weeks ahead.
It is just difficult to know when they are coming.