Since it’s 2020, perhaps it is only fitting that fantasy managers
face the most daunting challenge ever. We have seen a ridiculous
amount of injuries to high-profile players. We have seen games postponed
on short notice causing one bye to pop up out of the blue, due to
Covid-19. We have seen shocking results, such as the Falcons and
Texans starting 0-4 and the Cowboys starting 1-3.
All of the upheaval, and the challenges coming in from various
angles has left many fantasy managers grasping at straws to try
to save their season. Here is an important fact to keep in mind:
the way you get out of a hole is not by winning a bunch of games,
but rather by winning one game at a time. And the way to win one
game at a time is to make smart moves, add quality players, and
start the right guys. In this article I cannot help with all of
that, but I hope to give you some data to help you choose the
right players. Below I’ll look at the usage (snaps and level
of involvement) of some running backs, wide receivers, and tight
ends to help you see who might be primed for future production.
is one of the biggest disappointments of the fantasy season
so far. In a great matchup he produced only 35 yards on 13 carries
(with no receptions), on 65% of snaps. Chase
Edmonds played on 37% of snaps and produced 16 yards on
only 4 carries, and had 5 receptions for 24 yards and a score.
If Drake continues to look slow, this coaching staff will start
giving more touches to Edmonds. Edmonds is likely not available
anywhere, but if he is, grab him now.
Bonnafon split snaps on Sunday (71% for Davis, 27% for Bonnafon),
and both produced. Davis went for over 100 all-purpose yards
and scored, and Bonnafon went for over 70 all-purpose yards
and also scored. Bonnafon should be rostered, at least until
finally had a big game. He played on 83% of snaps, and produced
a huge stat line (25-151-2, 6-30-1). This was likely a result
of a terrible Jaguars defense, and many weeks he will struggle
to produce behind an inferior line. But, this is why he is a
Chubb headed to IR, D’Ernest Johnson will receive some of
the highest bids of the week. He stepped in for Chubb and went
for 13-95 on the ground, on only 17 snaps. This is a very good
offensive line, and whoever is getting snaps is worth playing
at RB. Kareem
Hunt is now a must-start top option until Chubb returns,
but don’t overlook Johnson.
Kamara played on 67% of the snaps, while Latavius
Murray played on 41%. Kamara received 22 touches to Murray’s
15, but Murray scored twice to Kamara’s one score. Murray is
very involved and makes for a nice flex play in any good matchup.
Peterson got 11 carries, while D’Andre
Swift got 4 and Kerryon
Johnson got 3. Peterson continues to lead the backfield
by a wide margin when it comes to carries. However, Swift played
on 23 snaps while Peterson played on 27, and Swift had 4 carries
and 4 receptions (and scored a TD through the air). So it does
appear that Patricia is slowly giving Swift more action. Try
your best to hold on until he inevitably grabs hold of this
starting job. It might be a long wait, but hopefully it will
played on 55% of snaps, and produced when he touched the ball
(5-24, 3-21 on 4 targets). David
Johnson got 18 touches and remains the workhorse, but if
you need RB help, Duke should be on your radar.
again led Miami backs with 65% of the snaps. He had 13 touches,
while Matt Breida
had 6 and Howard had 3. But Gaskin only produced 62 yards of
offense. He can be started if you are desperate for a back,
but he has a very low ceiling.
Ekeler getting hurt after only 3 snaps, Joshua
Kelley and Justin
Jackson split snaps for the rest of the game (57% and 40%,
respectively). However, neither could get anything going on
the ground against a very good Bucs run defense. Both could
be flex options for as long as Ekeler remains out, but don’t
expect much since this Chargers’ offensive line appears to be
With Fournette out, Ronald
Jones played on 64% of snaps and produced (20-111, 6-17).
While you’d like to see more production through the air, and
a touchdown scored, he still played well overall. Jones is impossible
to trust with Arians running the show, but if Fournette is out
he has some nice upside potential.
led Baltimore backs with 39% of the snaps, and he led in carries
as well (9). This is truly a three-way timeshare at the moment,
and all three backs should be avoided until someone breaks away
from the pack.
Gibson had another excellent performance, even though he
was out-snapped by J.D.
McKissic (39 to 31 snaps). Gibson had 13-46-1 on the ground,
while McKissic only had 2-6, but McKissic was very involved
in the hurry-up offense and caught 7 balls for 40 yards. Still,
Gibson himself caught 4 for 82 yards. Gibson is showing himself
worthy of being a three-down back, and if Washington’s coaches
give him that kind of work he could be a top-10 RB option.
Freeman played on 37 snaps, Dion
Lewis on 21, and Wayne
Gallman on 10. Gallman was by far the most effective back
carrying the ball, though. He finished with 6 carries for 45
yards, while Freeman had 11-33. Freeman did produce 4-35 through
the air, which adds to his value. All Giants’ players should
be avoided if possible.
All Rams running backs are very risky plays on a weekly basis,
because you simply never know who is going to play the most
snaps. Coming off a huge Week 3, Darrell
Henderson only played 39% of the snaps, while Malcolm
Brown played on 61%. Brown produced 9-37 and 5 catches for
19 yards, while Henderson produced 8-22 and 1 catch for 16 yards.
Neither was worth starting in the end, and that was without
Taylor played on only 46% of the snaps, while Nyheim
Hines played on 35% and Jordan
Wilkins played on 17%. If the Colts are trying to ruin fantasy
football, they are performing admirably. Taylor also did not
do much with his opportunities, rushing 17 times for only 68
yards and no scores. He must be more decisive and efficient
if he wants to keep getting that many opportunities.
Against a stout Colts defense, the Bears could not get anything
going on the ground. David
Montgomery finished with only 10-27 on the ground, though
he did add 3 catches for 30 yards on 6 targets. Most encouragingly,
he played on 85% of the snaps. He is a great play against softer
did not produce much against a tough Bills front (15-48, 3-25),
but he played on 68% of the snaps. Richard (19%) and Riddick
(9%) split the scraps. Jacobs is a one of the best RBs in the
league and is a weekly must-start.
played on 77% of the snaps and produced 13-46 and 2-30 receiving,
on 4 targets. Wentz missed him on a beautiful angle route, where
he likely would have had a huge gain. Wentz’s poor play has
severely limited all Eagles’ offensive skill players, and Sanders
might be the most affected. Teams do not respect the Eagles’
passing game, so Sanders is facing lots of stacked boxes. Then
when he is targeted, Wentz is missing him. Hold onto Sanders
and hope Wentz improves or is benched.
McKinnon played on 92% of the snaps for the 49ers, while
Jeffery Wilson played on only 8%. This is McKinnon’s backfield
until Mostert returns. He produced 14-54-1 and had 7 receptions
for 43 yards, on 8 targets. He is a great weekly play, and should
remain involved even after Mostert comes back.
(53% of the snaps), Rex
Burkhead (35%) and Damien
Harris (31%) split snaps for the Patriots, in true Belichickian
fashion. But Harris appeared to have a breakout game in his
first real NFL action, taking 17 carries for 100 yards. Like
Michel, he was not involved in the passing game. This surely
earned Harris more work going forward, but you never know with
Belichick. White returned to his pass-catching role, catching
7 of 8 balls for 38 yards. If Harris is available on your wire,
he should be a priority add.
had a nice game since he scored two touchdowns, but he shared
snaps with both Brian
Hill and Ito
Smith (23% of snaps each). Gurley looked like the slowest
of the three. It would not be surprising to see Gurley’s workload
scaled back, especially since the Falcons have started so poorly
and may go into tank mode within the next few weeks.
played on 52% of the snaps and Jamaal
Williams played on 57%. Jones received 20 touches and Williams
received 16, and Williams was very effective through the air
(8-95). Jones will still get his opportunities, even though
the Packers limit his touches, but Williams should be owned
Avoid all Jets, but an unowned player to keep in very far
corner of the back of your mind is Jeff Smith. He played on
95% of the snaps and went 7-81 on 9 targets. It looks like he
will get the most action at receiver other than Crowder, at
least until Breshad Perriman returns. But I repeat: avoid all
Christian Kirk (3-19-1) played on 65% of the snaps and Andy Isabella played on only 42%, while Larry Fitzgerald played on
93%. Getting Isabella (2 catches for 3 yards) on the field more
is a must for the Cardinals coaching staff, even if that comes
at the expense of a Hall of Famer (Fitzgerald had 2 catches
for 4 yards).
D.J. Moore led all skill players in snaps (77%), but did
virtually nothing with them (4-49 on 6 targets). He has been
one of the most disappointing players in the NFL through 4 weeks,
and you should consider benching him until he shows something.
Meanwhile, Robby Anderson continues to ball out, catching
8 balls for 99 yards on 11 targets. He is a must-play and is
currently the No.1 WR on the Panthers. He did this Sunday on
only 57% of the snaps.
D.J. Chark returned and played 85% of snaps, and produced
like a stud (8-95-2 on 9 targets). He will likely struggle against
good defenses, since Minshew is limited, but in good matchups
he is a must-play.
Laviska Shenault played on only 54% of snaps but was the
second option in the passing game, getting 6 targets (5-86).
He is shaping up to be a nice flex play in good matchups.
A.J. Green’s days as a relevant fantasy player appear
to be done. He played 77% of the snaps and received 5 targets,
but only caught 1 for 3 yards. Meanwhile, Tee Higgins produced
4-77 on 7 targets on 57% of snaps, and Tyler Boyd produced 7-90
on 8 targets. I would not be surprised if Green is phased out
of the offense.
Odell Beckham Jr. played on 77% of the snaps and finally
produced like a top WR (5-81-2 on 8 targets). He also had 2
rushes for 73 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown run. This
will likely be his best game of the season, considering that
even on such a huge day Mayfield only passed for 165 yards.
He will have a few big games, but his standard game on this
offense will likely be underwhelming.
Again Michael Gallup played the most snaps among Dallas WRs
(82%) but produced very little (2-29 on 5 targets). He should
be benched until he can show up in a bigger way. Meanwhile Amari Cooper finished with a whopping 16 targets and went 12-134-1,
and Ceedee Lamb received 7 targets and went 5-79-2. Both have
become weekly auto-starts in this crazy passing offense.
With Michael Thomas sitting again, Emmanuel Sanders received
more than twice as many targets as the most-targeted player
on the Saints (9). He went 6-93. It looks like the Saints offense
will be much tougher to stop once Sanders and Thomas are both
Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay played on 89% and 82% of
the snaps, respectively. Golladay received 8 targets (4-62-1)
while Jones only received 2 targets (1-9). Hopefully this was
just a strange game and he’ll go back to being more heavily
targeted in future weeks.
Brandin Cooks played on 93% of the snaps and received 3 targets,
but finished the day with 0 receptions. He should not be started
until he shows he can click with Deshaun Watson and be productive
in this offense.
Will Fuller had a nice game in Week 4, producing 6-108-1
on 7 targets, on only 77% of the snaps. He is always going to
be a boom-bust option, but should be started against every poor
or average defensive secondary.
Parker played on 80% of the snaps and received 12 targets!
He continues to be heavily relied on by Fitzpatrick, and it
will be interesting to see how the target distribution changes
Tagovailoa comes in. For now, Parker is a great weekly play
due to volume.
Isaiah Ford did had 10 targets, but only produced 4-48. He
is a decent player but is not special as a talent, and at some
point you would expect Preston Williams to start getting more
Jalen Guyton played on 85% of the snaps for the Chargers,
but was targeted only once. Fortunately for him, it was a 72-yard
touchdown reception. I have no idea why he wasn’t targeted
more often, but Herbert seems to only have eyes for Keenan Allen.
Speaking of Allen, he received 12 targets on 25 passing attempts,
an insane target share. He turned those 12 targets into only
8-62, but since he’s the focus of the passing game and
Herbert has been decent so far, his stock remains sky-high.
With Godwin out, Justin Watson played on 74% of the snaps.
However, he only received 6 targets (4-40). Mike Evans played
on 71% and received 8 targets (7-122-1). Scotty Miller played
on 53% and received 7 targets (5-83-1). Likely Miller and Evans
will continue in their roles but receive fewer targets when
Godwin is in the lineup.
Marquise Brown played on 75% of the snaps and received 8
targets, but only went 4-86. The Ravens just did not have to
throw the ball much to beat Washington, but his usage was encouraging
Terry McLaurin had a ridiculous 14 targets, catching 10-118.
Even dealing with an injury and against a great defense, he
was fantastic. Haskins was not great but was not terrible, so
he is likely going to remain in the lineup for now, and that
is both a positive and negative for McLaurin. He could really
explode with a better QB under center, but Haskins targets him
a ton. Either way, McLaurin needs to be started every week.
Zach Pascal and T.Y. Hilton both played 75% of the snaps.
Pascal received 8 targets to Hilton’s 5, and both caught
3 balls (3-58 for Pascal, 3-29 for Hilton). The truth is that
you want to avoid all pass-catchers in this slow-paced, antiquated
offense, but Hilton has not been a good play once in the first
four weeks. He should sit on your bench, and is a cut in shallow
leagues. Meanwhile, Pascal makes for an interesting flex play
if his usage continues.
Bills WR snaps: Diggs 92%, John Brown 85%, Gabriel Davis
59%, and Cole Beasley 30%. McKenzie and Roberts also played
34% and 10% of snaps. It is clear that the coaches want Diggs
and Brown on the field for basically every snap, and the rest
are fighting for roles. Davis was only targeted once, but scored
on a 26-yard touchdown. Beasley, meanwhile, got 4 targets on
half as many snaps, and went 3-32-1. Diggs and Brown are the
only receivers on the Bills I am comfortable starting, unless
Deebo Samuel returned but only played on 34% of snaps. He
seemed to share snaps with Kendrick Bourne. Brandon Aiyuk led
the WRs in snaps, at 88%. Likely they were just easing Samuel
back in, and he and Aiyuk should play virtually every snap together
moving forward. Both are dynamic and make for nice weekly options,
especially once Garoppolo returns.
Damiere Byrd played on 97% of snaps and received 10 targets
(5-80) for the Patriots. This has been the case all season,
as he has locked down his role as their top outside receiver.
He is not very dynamic, but he should be rostered simply because
of his involvement. Harry and Edelman received 6 targets, but
each only caught 3 of them. They played 76% and 61% of snaps,
Olamide Zaccheaus played the most snaps among Falcons’
receivers (76%). Calvin Ridley played 64% and Julio Jones left
early and played only 21%. While Ridley caught zero of his five
targets, Zaccheaus caught 8 of his 9 targets, for 86 yards.
Since it appears the Falcons will be trailing weekly, and Jones
might be out for a while, Zaccheaus is a nice pick up if you
need a receiver.
Jake Butt played on 50% of the snaps and might be the main
pass-catching TE while Noah Fant is out with an ankle injury.
He only received 1 target in this game though, so he is a very
risky play. Nick Vannett also played half the snaps and got
2 targets. Both are very low-upside options.
Dan Arnold played on 54% of the snaps and was second on the
Cardinals in receiving (4-39 on 4 targets). That was about the
only encouraging thing for the offense in this game.
Drew Sample returned to relevance in Week 4, playing on 85%
of the snaps and producing 3-47 on 5 targets. A tight end playing
that many snaps on a pass-heavy offense is a good option, even
if he isn’t uber talented.
Austin Hooper finally had a decent day, garnering the second
most targets on the team (7) and producing 5-34-1. He also played
on 84% of the snaps, which is a good sign. But don’t miss
what rookie TE Harrison Bryant did. I have been saying for a
few weeks to keep an eye on him as his usage has been trending
up, and now might be a good time to buy him if you’re
in need of TE help. He played on 69% of the snaps and produced
4-37. They clearly want to involve him on a weekly basis.
Dalton Schultz had another nice day, producing 4-72-1 on
8 targets, on 77% of the snaps. He must be in your lineups,
since Dallas’ defense is looking historically bad and
they will likely be in shootouts every week.
Greg Olsen played on 56% of the snaps and Will Dissly played
on 43%. Olsen received 7 targets (5-35) and Dissly received
2 targets (2-15). Olsen remains a nice add if you need TE help.
Mike Gesicki again disappointed with only 1 reception (3
targets). In a game where the Dolphins threw it 45 times, this
is severely disconcerting. Perhaps Tua would help Gesicki get
more targets, but for now he must be benched.
Hunter Henry played on 85% of the snaps but only received
3 targets (2-39). This is Herbert being most comfortable throwing
to his first read, and he needs to grow in the mental side of
the game before he is finding his various receivers more evenly.
Henry is another one of those tight ends drafted in the middle
rounds that is very difficult to trust (along with Gesicki,
Hurst, Higbee, Engram, etc.). If you have him, you likely have
to play him.
Mark Andrews received only 3 targets but caught all of them
for 57 yards and two scores. The touchdowns bailed his fantasy
owners out, but there will be games with more passing attempts
as well. Jackson only threw it 21 times on the day.
Logan Thomas was again a no-show (1-8 on 4 targets), though
he played on 93% of snaps. It is hard to know whether defenses
are scheming to take him away since there are no other threats
on the field, or if he just isn’t very good. Though this
was the first time he was not heavily targeted, he should be
benched until he starts producing.
Evan Engram played on 84% of the snaps and received 10 targets.
However, with Daniel Jones only dinking and dunking, he produced
only 6-35. This offense looks awful, and Engram and the rest
of the pass catchers should be benched or cut, until the coaches
start allowing Jones to throw it down the field more often.
Despite Tyler Higbee playing 84% of the snaps, he only received
4 targets and went 3-21. Higbee is very talented and is playing
almost every snap, so he is a good weekly play. He is just a
much better play in games where the Rams will be forced to pass.
The Colts are doing their best to make all of their receivers
and tight ends irrelevant for fantasy football. Although Mo Alie-Cox has performed extremely well, they gave him only 46%
of the snaps, while giving Jack Doyle 62% and Trey Burton 50%.
All must be benched until one of them becomes prioritized. There
are simply too few targets to go around in Indy to start any
Zach Ertz played on 95% of the snaps but only produced 4-9
on 5 targets. The 49ers defense is very good and schemed to
take him away, but it also appears Ertz has lost a step. He
is only a good option against poor defenses.
Robert Tonyan is the talk of the town right now. On Monday
Night Football he caught all 6 of his targets for 98 yards and
3 touchdowns! He did all of that on only 67% of the snaps. Clearly
Rodgers is clicking with Tonyan, making him a solid weekly play,
but keep in mind he was without his top two receivers for this
game (Davante Adams and Allen Lazard).
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