With every NFL week feeling like a shock to the system, we need
to come to grips with the fact that unpredictability is what we
should expect. The huge popularity of the league is due in part
to how difficult it is to predict the outcome of any given game,
and certainly that week-to-week variability extends to fantasy football.
The ineptitude of the Cowboys offense, the Bills offense, and
the Chiefs offense all made huge impacts in the fantasy football
landscape. More than ever, it is important to study the underlying
data (as we do here), but also the opposing defenses and the situation.
Even then, we will be surprised sometimes but it will help mitigate
some of the uncertainty.
With that, let’s dive into some underlying snap and usage
data from Week 9.
Carter saw his snaps dip a bit, from over 70% of snaps,
down to 58%. Ty
Johnsonís snap share was up to 42%. They seem to like using
Johnson in the passing-down role, which is unfortunate for Carter
since heís not only great in the receiving department but also
since the Jets will trail most weeks. For now, both are flex
options, but watch the snap share carefully. Also, if Mike White
is under center again in Week 10, that should help both backs,
since he has a preference for checking down to his running backs.
Taylor (69%) still played on around 70% of snaps, as he
has been doing the past few weeks, and was very effective. Nyheim
Hines saw his snaps jump to 45%, his highest snap share
since Week 3. Hines also received 6 targets and 6 carries, and
went for over 100 yards and a score. I think much of this was
due to the Jets poor defense, but keep an eye on Hinesí snap
share next week to see if this usage increase is sticky.
Freeman played on 58% of snaps and got 13 carries (79 yards).
played on 23% of snaps and got 11 carries (48 yards and a score).
Williams played on 18% of and did not get a touch. Williams
should not be rostered. It looks like itís Freemanís job until
Murray returns, and then we will have to watch to see who
gets most of the work. Itís a situation to avoid if possible
due to the uncertainty.
Another ugly running back committee is in New England, where
led the backs with 47% of snaps, then Damien
Harris with 39%, and then Rhamondre
Stevenson with 27%. Both Harris and Stevenson left with
head injuries, so it is unclear what will happen next week.
But in this game, Bolden got 10 touches, Harris got 16 touches,
and Stevenson got 12 touches. Stevenson was the most effective
(106 total yards), but Harris got the touchdown. It is impossible
to predict this backfield and Bill Belichick doesnít care. Stevenson
is still a good hold, in case he pushes past Harris into the
McCaffrey played on 49% of snaps in his return from the
IR, but totaled 19 touches and was effective (106 yards of offense).
He should work into a larger role as we move along, and should
be a weekly start in all leagues.
played on only 56% of snaps, around his average, but he dominated
the backfield production. He got 16 touches and went for 163
total yards and two scores, while DíErnest
Johnson played on 33% and only finished with 8 carries for
16 yards. When Kareem
Hunt returns, he will slot right back into his complementary
role and will push Johnson to the bench.
played on 63% of snaps and was very productive, even with Cincinnati
trailing the entire game. He finished with 13 carries for 64
yards and two scores, and also caught all 5 targets for 46 yards.
There will be some quiet games, but Mixon is being used on all
three downs and must be started every week because of the potential
for big games like this. Samaje
Perine still played on 33% of snaps and produced 37 yards
of offense, but the Bengals will need to be playing with a lead
for him to have much of an impact.
It looks like, barring injury, Melvin
Gordon and Javonte
Williams will evenly split snaps for the rest of the season.
They remain at almost exactly a 50/50 split, and both have been
effective. In Week 9, Williams rushed for 111 yards on 17 carries,
while Gordon rushed for 80 yards and a score on 21 carries.
Gordon got the work in the passing game (2-15). Neither is an
attractive start with the split duties, but both can be nice
options in a pinch.
Singletary played on 72% of snaps and Sunday, while Zack
Moss was down at 28%. They continue to flip-flop who is
getting most of the work, making it fairly impossible to start
either. Neither did anything on the ground in Week 9, but Singletary
did catch 7 of 8 targets for 43 yards. Avoid both if you can.
We finally saw Myles
Gaskin get a starterís level of snap share, playing on 72%.
That was his highest of the season, and he dominated backfield
touches. He finished with 26 touches, while Salvon
Ahmed finished with 4. Unfortunately Gaskin only totaled
34 yards on 20 carries, so it was a terrible rushing stat line.
He salvaged his fantasy day with a score, and also by catching
all 6 of his targets for 23 yards. Despite the poor output,
Gaskin makes an intriguing start over the next few weeks with
Patterson and Mike
Davis both played on 56% of snaps, and they both got 9 carries.
Neither could get anything going on the ground against the Saints,
but Patterson shined in the passing game again, catching all
6 of his targets for 126 yards. He should be in lineups every
week because of his heavy passing-game involvement. Davis is
a desperation play if you need a running back, but cannot be
trusted in any week.
and Mark Ingram
were both involved and fairly effective. Kamara rushed 13 times
for 50 yards and a score, and had 4 receptions for 54 yards.
Ingram rushed 9 times for 43 yards, and had 5 receptions for
21 yards. While Kamara played on twice as many snaps as Ingram
(52 to 26), Ingram produced nicely and got 14 touches to Kamaraís
17. Make sure Ingram is rostered in your leagues.
Drake split snaps on Sunday, with Jacobs playing on 34 snaps
and Drake on 31. Jacobs got 13 carries (76 yards) and Drake
got 4 (30 yards). Jacobs got 4 targets (4-19) and Drake got
8 (6-70). Drake has finally moved into the role most of us envisioned
for him when he signed with the Raiders, as a pass-game specialist.
If his involvement in the passing game continues, he will provide
nice value the rest of the way, particularly since the Raiders
are down a prominent target (Ruggs).
Booker continued playing the Saquon
Barkley role on Sunday, rushing 21 times and logging 3 receptions.
He totaled 122 yards. However, he should move to a small role
once Barkley returns.
played on 44% of snaps for the Eagles and Jordan
Howard played on 40%, but Howard led the team in rushing
attempts again, with 17. Scott had only 10. Kenneth
Gainwell got 2 carries on 11 snaps. This is another backfield
that is best avoided, particularly since Miles
Sanders will be re-entering the mix in a couple weeks. At
least the Eagles are running the ball more, but we need one
back to emerge.
played his regular snap percentage (63%), but could not do much
with the anemic offense under Jordan Love. He rushed 12 times
for 53 yards an did not catch either of his targets. AJ
Dillon took his 8 rushes for 46 yards and did produce in
the passing game, catching all 4 of his targets for 44 yards.
I am not reading anything into the stats here, since Jones played
his regular snaps and Love really struggled to effectively move
With the injury to Chase
Conner moved into a workhorse role, and played on 77% of
snaps. He logged 21 carries (96 yards and two scores) and 5
receptions (77 yards). Eno
Benjamin did work in, playing on 24% of snaps and logging
9 carries for 39 yards and a score. It sounds like Edmonds will
be out a few weeks, so Benjamin is a nice addition if you are
desperate while Conner should put up some nice weeks as the
Mitchell played on 66% of snaps but got only 8 carries (36
yards) in this pass-heavy game plan. He did catch all 5 of his
targets, providing some value, but those who roster him were
hoping he would be more involved.
Henry did not cost the Titans in Week 9, as they got a big
win against the Rams. But the challenge of replacing Henry was
McNichols got 45% of snaps, Adrian
Peterson 33%, and DíOnta Foreman 21%. McNichols got 10 touches
for 35 yards, Peterson got 11 touches for 26 yards, and Foreman
got 5 touches for 29 yards. None of them can alone or collectively
replace Henry, so from a fantasy perspective we must wait until
one emerges and then hope for the best.
With the Rams trailing most of the game on Sunday night,
Henderson got only 11 carries. He went for 55 yards on the
ground and was effective, but the Rams simply would prefer to
pass. Still, he remains a top-10 running back option most weeks
due to his upside in this good offense. One thing to keep in
mind is that Sony
Michel is working into a bigger role lately. He played on
40% of snaps, after playing on 30% in Week 8. If his snap share
remains that high, it will zap a good portion of Hendersonís
upside. Michel finished with 9 touches for 26 yards, but he
scored the Ramsí only touchdown.
Montgomery returned from the IR and played on 85% of snaps
on Monday night. He got 13 carries and was effective, rushing
for 63 yards, and also caught both of his targets for 17 yards.
With Justin Fields under center, this run game could get going
over the rest of the season, and Montgomery could benefit. Khalil
Herbert is still a nice dynasty stash, but it looks like
he will not be involved when Montgomery is healthy.
finally had a breakout game on Thursday night, on only 60% of
snaps. He was targeted a team-leading 8 times and caught 7 of
them for 84 yards and two scores. He is clearly the best wide
receiver on the Jets, and he needs to be on the field for every
snap. However, that is unlikely to happen, at least for now
with Corey Davis
expected back this week. As soon as Moore moves into a full-time
role, he deserves weekly starting consideration. Youíll also
have to watch carefully the situation at quarterback, since
the offense could not score with Zach Wilson under center.
played on 89% of snaps and got 7 targets, a 25% target share.
But he only caught 2 balls for 6 yards. One did go for a score,
but he has not been the same player overall this season. He
should be benched if you have other comparable options until
this offense starts clicking more.
Jefferson played on 80% of snaps and caught a 50-yard touchdown,
but other than that was quiet. He only caught 3 of his 5 targets
for 69 yards and a score. Better days are likely ahead, but
this whole passing game needs to improve.
Bateman continued to look like a potential difference-maker
for the fantasy stretch. He played on 66% of snaps and received
8 targets, a 20% target share. He caught only 5 for 52 yards,
but some big days are coming if he stays this involved. Watch
to see what happens with his snap share once Sammy
Watkins is active. Either way, he has not negatively impacted
Brown, who saw 12 targets and caught 9 for 116 yards. He
remains a must-start every week.
played on 85% of snaps and got 7 targets, a 21% target share.
He caught only 3 for 32 yards, however. His target share should
be higher, but defenses are scheming to take him away since
he is the only effective receiver on the roster at the moment.
Those who roster Moore will need Sam Darnold to start playing
better in order to see Moore post weekly WR1 numbers.
Peoples-Jones played on 60% of snaps and scored on a 60-yard
touchdown reception, but he only received 3 targets (2-86-1).
Remember that this team wants to be a very low-volume passing
offense, so the receivers are best avoided unless desperate.
It was a tough game for Joe Burrow, but Tee
Higgins (6-78 on 8 targets) and JaíMarr
Chase (6-49 on 13 targets) were still heavily involved.
Continue to start them every week. However, Tyler
Boyd (1-11 on 2 targets) is behind C.J. Uzomah in the pecking
order it appears, and should be avoided unless desperate.
Sutton played on 83% of snaps and got a measly two targets,
catching 1 for 9 yards. Albert Okwuegbunam and Tim
Patrick both got 5 targets, and Jerry
Jeudy got 8 (going 6-69). With so many potential options
in the passing game, and a team who would prefer to run the
ball, Sutton is likely a player to avoid if possible.
played on 71% of snaps and got 9 targets, and Amari
Cooper played on 58% of snaps and got 5 targets. Both caught
2 passes for under 40 yards. Meanwhile, Malik
Turner played on 29% of snaps and got 7 targets, catching
5 for 33 yards and two scores. I have no explanation for this,
and it likely wonít happen again. Continue to start Lamb and
Cooper, and root for this passing game to get going.
Sanders played on 99% of snaps and got 8 targets, catching
4 for 65 yards. Stefon
Diggs played on 88% of snaps and got 8 targets, catching
6 for 85 yards. Cole
Beasley played on 67% of snaps and got 11 targets, catching
8 for 33 yards. It was simply a terrible offensive day for the
Bills, but the underlying data is still very strong on all three.
Continue to start them weekly, particularly Sanders and Diggs.
Waddle continues to be the primary target for the Dolphins.
With backup Jacoby Brissett under center, Waddle continued producing,
catching 8 passes for 83 yards, on 10 targets.
Falcons receiver snap share: Russell
Gage 81%, Tajae
Sharpe 80%, and Olamide
Zaccheaus 49%. Gage led the way with 8 targets (7-64), then
Zaccheaus with 3 targets (3-58-2), and then Sharpe with 1 target
(1-12). In Week 8, Gage did not have a reception, so this is
going to be very difficult to predict. The main Falcons you
want for fantasy remain Cordarrelle
Patterson and Kyle Pitts.
The only receiver you should consider playing for now on
the Raiders is Hunter
Renfrow. Despits Bryan
Edwards and Zay
Jones playing on almost every snap, they combined for 1
reception on 8 targets. The only receiver clicking with Carr
is Renfrow, who finished with 9 targets (7-49-1).
Daniel Jones only threw it 20 times, and only tallied 110
passing yards. Even though Kenny
Toney, and Darius
Slayton all played on 55% of snaps, none did very much.
Golladay went 2-38, Toney 1-9, and Slayton didnít have a reception.
The offense needs to start throwing the ball more, or all of
these players will be irrelevant for the second half.
Smith had a nice game in Week 9, but look closely at the
data. He played on 44 snaps (77%) and got a 35% target share
and that equated to only 6 targets, as Hurts threw only 17 passes.
This team is avoiding the pass at all costs, making Smith a
very risky weekly start. He is a talented player, but I will
avoid him where possible until I see the Eagles show an interest
in the passing game.
Hopkins and A.J.
Green out for Week 9, Christian
Kirk and Rondale
Moore played heavy snaps (96% and 81%, respectively). With
Colt McCoy under center, there were perhaps fewer big plays,
but both were effective. Kirk caught all 6 of his targets (91
yards) and Moore caught all 5 of his targets (25 yards). Moore
will need to be used downfield more often if he is going to
provide value this season.
Aiyuk played on one more snap than Deebo
Samuel in Week 9, and produced more for the first time this
season. He had 6 receptions for 89 yards and a score, on 8 targets,
while Samuel went 5-63 on 9 targets. It is hard to trust Aiyuk
after the first half of this season, and I might recommend waiting
to see if he does it again before putting him in your lineups.
But itís encouraging. Either way, Samuel will stay very involved
as both Shanahan and Garoppolo love him.
got 11 targets on Sunday night (a 41% target share), but only
caught 5 for 42 yards. He was facing Jalen Ramsey for much of
the night and the Rams are a tough defense, but he looked good.
He did, however, have two costly drops. Either way, he needs
to be started everywhere.
returned to 74% of snaps in Week 9. He only got 4 targets (4-35),
but he looked healthy and effective. Unfortunately, in this
low-volume passing offense he is simply not going to get a huge
number of targets. He can be started in a pinch, but otherwise
is best left on your bench.
and Cooper Kupp
played every snap on Sunday night, and finished with 10 targets
and 13 targets, respectively. Woods went 7-98 and Kupp went
11-95, but neither scored. Still, itís a positive to see both
so involved. Third receiver Van
Jefferson played on 96% of snaps himself, and caught 3 of
7 targets for 41 yards. All can be started, but Jefferson will
have very quiet weeks since Woods and Kupp demand a high target
Mooney and Allen
Robinson played on 81% and 77% of snaps, respectively. They
each got 6 targets and were effective, and they could finally
return some value on the draft capital down the stretch if Justin
Fields continues his improvement.
Ben Roethlisberger is increasingly having a hard time throwing
out wide to his receivers. His best reception to Diontae
Johnson on Monday night was up the seam, which seems to
be where he wants to throw it. This has hurt both Johnson and
and although both played over 80% of snaps on Monday night,
neither did much. Johnson finished with 5-56 and 6 targets,
and Claypool finished with 3-30 on 5 targets. Johnson should
be started due to his typical high number of targets, but Claypool
likely needs a stronger armed QB to return much value.
Tyler Conklin tied for the team-lead in targets,
and was a favorite of Cousins on several important downs. He
finished with 5 catches for 45 yards on 7 targets, making him
a viable starting option.
Hunter Henry scored again, but he only got 3 targets
and caught 2 for 19 yards on 56% of snaps. He should be avoided
due to the light passing volume of this New England offense.
Dalton Schultz played on 95% of snaps and caught
4 of 5 targets for 54 yards. With another injury to Blake Jarwin, Schultz looks poised to continue to be a top option
at tight end for the rest of the season. Start him with confidence.
On only 57% of snaps, Dan Arnold led the Jaguars
in targets with 7 (27% target share). He finished with 4 catches
for 60 yards. The Bills are a tough defense, so the poor output
for the offense was not surprising. Arnold should remain a
solid weekly option for the rest of the season, especially
against weaker defenses.
Mike Gesicki played on 79% of snaps and was second
on the team with 8 targets. He caught only 4 for 54 yards
and till needs to be started in every league due to his heavy
involvement in the passing game.
Adam Trautman played on 88% of snaps and tied for
the team-lead in targets (7). He caught 4 for 47 yards. He
has been on the field a ton, and now he is finally seeing
the targets. He should be added in any tight end-premium leagues,
and has some nice upside the rest of the way.
Darren Waller had another game where he led the Raiders
in targets, with 11. He finished with 7 receptions for 92
yards. He only has two touchdowns on the season, limiting
his upside, but heís still one of the best tight ends
to roster. This was also the first time since Week 1 that
he had double-digit targets, perhaps due to Ruggs being off
the team. Waller should be an excellent option the rest of
George Kittle returned with a bang on Sunday, catching
6 of 8 targets for 101 yards and a score. He looked healthy
and played on 73% of snaps. He is a must-start the rest of
the season, pending his health.
Tyler Higbee returned to a greater involvement in
Week 9, garnering 10 targets. He caught only 5 for 51 yards,
but itís still a positive. He also caught a touchdown
pass that was overturned due to his foot stepping on the line,
so he almost had a much bigger game.
Cole Kmetís role continues to increase, as
he shows off a great rapport with Justin Fields. Kmet played
on 77% of snaps and led the team in targets, with 8 (28% target
share). Those are numbers currently held by the top tight
ends, and thatís how he produced on Monday night, with
a 6-87 line. If the Bears would use him in the red zone instead
of Jimmy Graham, Kmet could be one of the most productive
tight ends down the stretch.
Pat Freiermuth also continues to look better and
better each week. This week he played on 71% of snaps and
received 6 targets, leading the team along with Diontae Johnson.
He caught 5 of them for 43 yards and two scores. He is quickly
also becoming a top option at the position. Watch to make
sure he continues to get this same snap share once Eric Ebron
returns from injury.
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.