NFL Snap Count Breakdown: Week 6
Andrew Cooper pores over the data and breaks down the NFL snap counts from Week 6 and highlights players that need to be on your radar.
|Richie James Jr.||WR||7||9.6%|
|Richie James Jr.||WR||7||9.6%|
In this article we break down the snap counts of all the fantasy relevant players for each week. Each team has a snap count chart with the percentage of total snaps played and below that you will find notes for each position group on anything that author Andrew Cooper found interesting (which running backs played more pass downs, whether tight ends ran routes or blocked on pass plays, which wide receivers lined up in the slot, who might have been injured, etc.). For more analytics driven fantasy takes, follow Andrew Cooper on Twitter @CoopAFiasco.
San Francisco 49ers
RB: Well, the Raheem Mostert return was short lived. He suffered an ankle injury in the second quarter and reports are that he’s likely to miss time and potentially could hit the IR. In the last week before he returned, Jerick McKinnon played 91.1% of the snaps and Jeff Wilson Jr. played 8.2%. Jamycal Hasty did see a little action this time around but McKinnon is clearly the guy to own.WR: Now that everyone is healthy, this team has settled into a routine. Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel are the two outside guys, rotating at split end and flanker for most of the game. Kendrick Bourne lines up in the slot when it’s not occupied by George Kittle .
TE: We talked about how George Kittle blocked on 11 pass snaps last week with a banged-up Jimmy G - this week he only blocked on six pass snaps with a better fantasy outcome. You start him every week anyway regardless of the tight end landscape so not sure why I even need to discuss this type of thing but there you go.
|Allen Robinson II||WR||58||87.9%|
|Ted Ginn Jr.||WR||3||4.5%|
WR: Allen Robinson is an every down player and he primarily lines up on the outside (typically on the left as he’s played 146 snaps on the left side vs. 97 on the right). Darnell Mooney is the other outside receiver with Anthony Miller in the slot (Miller is averaging 35 offensive snaps per game, 32 in the slot, and has never played more than four snaps outside in any game). This week the Bears used two tight end sets a bit more than usual which decreased the snaps for Miller and Mooney.
RB: David Montgomery has this role to himself. If you own him, you love to see it. You don’t love to see Foles vulturing his rushing TDs, but you love the rest of it.
TE: The Bears went tight end heavy this week which saw Jimmy Graham playing 22 in-line tight end snaps - the most he’s seen since Week 1. He still played 20 snaps in the slot and three outside, but not as much WR as we’ve seen him play. Rookie Cole Kmet managed to score but Graham ran 30 routes, Kmet ran eight, and Demetrius Harris ran nine so Kmet is only a dynasty stash for now.
WR: John Ross reportedly asked for a trade this week after playing one snap. And it’s hard to blame him considering the spots are pretty much locked up with AJ Green and rookie Tee Higgins on the outside and Tyler Boyd in the slot.
RB: Joe Mixon injured his foot but came back in the second half. Even then, Giovani Bernard did see an increased workload even when Mixon returned. We’ve seen Gio play pass snaps even when Mixon is healthy so there’s some concern there that they could give Gio the extra work out of precaution.
TE: Drew Sample still just isn’t a thing. Too many good wide receivers and he blocks too often. Top tight ends lead their team in routes run or at least near the top. Sample ran 10 less routes than the three receivers.
WR: Rookie Gabriel Davis filled in for a lot of John Brown ’s snaps while he was out, but John Brown got his full workload back, playing nearly the entire game alongside Stefon Diggs . What’s interesting is that Gabriel ended up eating into Cole Beasley ’s snaps with each of them playing 35. The problem is that Davis spent 17 of his 35 snaps blocking so he only ran 18 routes while Beasley ran 28. Being a good blocker is a good thing but not when someone else is playing the pass snaps.
RB: After his solid change of pace duty Week 5, T.J. Yeldon was inactive this week with Zack Moss back. Zack Moss didn’t exactly explode back onto the scene with Devin Singletary dominating the snaps. It’s Singletary’s job and Moss is only a handcuff for now. Moss may be able to ramp up to an even split but hard to see him just taking over.
TE: With Dawson Knox out with a calf injury, Tyler Kroft was the starter but he didn’t play a big snap share. This team doesn’t throw to the tight end much even when the more athletic Knox is playing.
|Odell Beckham Jr.||WR||48||84.0%|
RB: Kareem Hunt led the team again, but the tough Steelers defense wasn’t giving up much. D’Ernest Johnson is merely an afterthought.
TE: Austin Hooper played the lions share of the tight end snaps - he blocked on 20.6% of his PASS plays though which isn’t good usage for fantasy. Njoku ran eight routes and Harrison Bryant ran nine which isn’t doing it either.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|Ronald Jones II||RB||36||56.3%|
|Cyril Grayson Jr.||WR||12||18.8%|
WR: Mike Evans played split end and Chris Godwin manned the slot, per usual. Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson, and tight end Cameron Brate split the rest of the snaps making it difficult to start any of them.
WR: Tim Patrick plays split end, Jerry Jeudy is slot, and DaeSean Hamilton plays outside opposite Patrick at flanker. However, in two tight end sets, it’s Hamilton that comes out and Jeudy moves to flanker. Jeudy is the most interesting but clearly, they like Patrick out there given the snap share so he’s more interesting than Hamilton in deep leagues. K.J. Hamler could be back this week which would likely bump Hamilton out but it’s interesting to see what happens.
RB: One of the main reasons they brought in Melvin Gordon was that Phillip Lindsay graded out at 19.5 by PFF in pass blocking last year. That’s rank 141 out of 144 for RBs. This week Lindsay allowed Lock to get hit putting his grade through two games at 27.3. Melvin Gordon may be in the doghouse but that’s one of the big reasons to get him back out there on passing downs.
TE: A lot of people know that Noah Fant is an uber athlete with one of the best tight end combines since Vernon Davis . He ran a 4.50 forty which only Evan Engram and Darren Waller are faster for notable tight ends. What people might not know is that rookie tight end Albert Okwuegbunam ran a 4.49 so he’s pretty athletic himself. Fant should be back soon but, if he’s not Okwuegbunam could be an interesting DFS play this week or even a spot start.
WR: We laid out some detailed info last week and this week followed the same trend. On most snaps, you had Christian Kirk and DeAndre Hopkins as the outside tight ends with Larry Fitzgerald in the slot. When they run four wide, which is usually a staple of the “Air Raid” offense, Andy Isabella comes in but this week they ran more tight end than usual.
TE: Still not interesting. Darrell Daniels played more snaps than he ever has but he’s a blocking tight end - on 44 snaps he spent 34 blocking.
TE: Dalton Schultz played a ton of snaps as usual and was low on the target totem pole, as usual. With those targets coming from Dalton, he’s a tough start.
Kansas City Chiefs
WR: There was some hope that speedster Mecole Hardman would get a bigger share with Sammy Watkins out. That wasn’t the case. Demarcus Robinson absorbed Sammy’s full split end share and played nearly the whole game. Tyreek Hill played his snaps and Hardman split with Byron Pringle who can’t be trusted. Robinson might be an interesting DFS play if he’s cheap.
RB: Clyde Edwards-Helaire had this backfield locked up but now Le'Veon Bell is in town. We did some digging and here is what we think will happen. CEH has had some issues at the goal line. He’s now had seven carries inside the five-yard line totaling -3 yards and no touchdowns. Yikes. He’s also grading out as one of the worst pass blockers. Remember we said Lindsay finished outside the top 140 RBs with a grade of 19.5 last year? CEH’s grade is 21.2 so far this year, which is RB109 out of 114. Given that CEH is 5’7” 209 and Le’Veon is 6’1” 225, we can surmise he was brought in to help with the goal line and pass down work. Think back to Melvin Gordon ’s rookie year when he was getting heavy work between the 20s but he wasn’t trusted yet, so he scored zero touchdowns while Danny Woodhead caught like 80 passes and vultured the goal line work? Well picture that but instead of Danny Woodhead it’s Le’Veon Bell.
TE: After all those words for running back above there’s really only one word here. Kelce.
WR: Same set up as last week, T.Y. Hilton played flanker and Zach Pascal played slot for pretty much the whole game. As those two are smaller and typically line up off the line of scrimmage, the Colts used a combination of Marcus Johnson at split end and two tight ends to fill the “7 guys on the line” requirement.
RB: This is a common split we are seeing in the modern NFL. They have one primary back (Jonathan Taylor) who the gets most of the carries and half of the pass work while another back (Nyheim Hines ) that comes in for half of the passing down work. You see it with Joe Mixon /Gio Bernard and Aaron Jones /Jamaal Williams as well. Obviously playing the entire game like healthy CMC or Saquon is ideal but this is the next best thing.
TE: Despite the box score, Jack Doyle started and ran just as many routes as Trey Burton . Doyle however played 39 plays and spent 12 blocking whereas Burton played 35 and spend six blocking. Burton is the guy to own right now.
WR: DeVante Parker and Preston Williams started as the outside guys, but Parker injured his groin in the 4th quarter. Primary return man Jakeem Grant seemed to pick up those snaps on the outside. Isaiah Ford is the receiver playing slot snaps but he’s splitting too many of them with Mike Gesicki to be dependable.
TE: Despite actually getting the best of Isaiah Ford in terms of snap count for the first week in a while Mike Gesicki was more of Mike Goose-Eggy this week not catching a single ball. With Adam Shaheen and Durham Smythe both scoring there seems to be a misconception about what is going on here. Mike Gesicki doesn’t play tight end. He’s played 202 snaps at WR (155 slot and 47 out wide) and only 26 at in-line TE. He played two this week. Mike Gesicki is a battling for the position that Eric Decker played in Chan Gailey’s Jets offense while Adam Shaheen and Durham Smythe are battling for the position that Jeff Cumberland played. If you look at Tony Gonzalez in 2007 under Mike Solari, he played 671 snaps in-line and 302 at WR (260 in slot). If you look at Tony Gonzalez in 2008 under Chan Gailey, he played 282 snaps in-line and 655 at WR (626 in slot). The “big slot” position within Chan Gailey’s offense is a valuable one. We are holding Mike Gesicki for at least one more game to see what he looks like with Tua and if he can lock down that role.
WR: For the time being, Travis Fulgham seems like a permanent fixture in this offense. He and Greg Ward (slot) led the team in WR snaps followed by John Hightower. It will be interesting to see how DeSean Jackson and, eventually, Alshon Jeffery factor into the mix but for now Fulgham likely need to be owned and possibly started.
RB: Miles Sanders was getting the full workload, but he suffered a knee injury in this one. Thankfully, he seems to have avoided major damage, but he’ll miss this Thursday game at the very least. Boston Scott should get the running down work with Corey Clement mixing in on passing downs.
TE: The Eagles are a two tight end system - Zach Ertz plays the slot-based role (60% of his snaps come at WR) while Dallas Goedert plays more of an in-line role. Goedert’s role spends more time blocking but is still part of the attack. With Goedert out, Richard Rodgers has played the blocking role while Ertz was in his own role. With Ertz now also out, some speculate that Richard Rodgers will be a good start in fantasy, but we don’t think so. Rodgers runs a 4.9 forty so it’s unlikely they move him over and start running him from the slot for half his snaps. It’s more likely he stays put in-line and they replace those snaps with an actual WR or possibly Jason Croom or Hakeem Butler. For now, if Goedert plays he’s a start and that’s it for their tight ends. Maybe take a wild flyer on Hakeem Butler in DFS if you are feeling froggy.
|Todd Gurley II||RB||46||56.4%|
TE: Hayden Hurst has fantastic usage. He played 68 snaps, more than any WR, and even ran 41 routes which is more than any WR. He only blocked on two pass plays. But his spot on the target totem pole is crushing his upside. His day was saved by a near garbage time TD when he was literally left uncovered. He needs injuries to multiple WRs to be relevant.
New York Giants
WR: Once again, Darius Slay ton manned the outside while Golden Tate switched from slot to flanker depending on what they were doing with Evan Engram . C.J. Board and Damion Ratley mixed it but did not play enough meaningful snaps.
RB: Until further notice, Devonta Freeman is the guy here. And it was a rare positive game script, so he got a decent amount of carries. He was robbed of the garbage time “run the clock out” snaps though as Washington fumbled the ball and it was taken back to the house which gave the ball right back to Washington. Then he was robbed again of overtime when Riverboat Ron decided to go for two instead of kicking and going to overtime. It could have been a bigger day for Freeman
TE: Evan Engram still had ideal usage as only Slayton ran more routes (20 to 18) and had more targets (four to three). Even though it’s only three targets it was three of 18 which is still 15%. Really tough to trust him at this point but we’re giving him one more week to prove himself against the Eagles on Thursday given his usage is still technically good. His 206 routes run is only ~20 or so behind the leaders in Zach Ertz and Travis Kelce . He just needs good passes which is asking a lot from Daniel Jones. It’s now or never.
|D.J. Chark Jr.||WR||31||91.2%|
|Laviska Shenault Jr.||WR||28||82.4%|
TE: There simply isn’t anything here worth more than a DFS dart throw. Tyler Eifert ran routes on 16 of 29 pass plays and even if that was 29 of 29 I’m not sure what you get.
New York Jets
|Chris Herndon IV||TE||45||63.4%|
WR: We speculated last week on what might happen with players returning but Chris Hogan being out made things easy. It was Jeff Smith and Breshad Perriman on the outside with Jamison Crowder in the slot. Crowder is the only reliable players for fantasy and reliable he has been.
RB: With Le’Veon Bell out La’Mical Perine got a surprisingly large chunk of the work, especially on passing downs. Frank Gore still paced the rushing though. This team is pretty bad though so the game script should make for a lot of passing if you want to stash Perine in deep leagues.
TE: Adam Gase said that he doesn’t seem to know why Christopher Herndon hasn’t been able to get going. We know why Adam. It’s because you have him block on 23.3% of pass plays. As you have with tight ends your whole career. This week Herndon played 45 offensive snaps and 32 of them were pass plays. He was asked to block on 15 of those pass plays. How is he supposed to “get going” when he’s doing that? It’s like pointing at a guy on the bench and asking, “hey why didn’t you catch that pass?”
|Marvin Jones Jr.||WR||40||88.9%|
RB: This split this week is essentially the inverse of the one we talked about with the Colts. With them, Jonathan Taylor gets all the run work, but he and Hines split the pass snaps. Here, D’Andre Swift got most of the pass snaps, but he split the run snaps with Adrian Peterson . Peterson is a play in standard leagues or desperation in half point PPR, but Swift has the better usage.
TE: T.J. Hockenson played 46 snaps, 23 run plays and 23 pass plays. We wish Danny Amendola would go away so he could play slot. Hock is a backend TE1 which isn’t bad in the current landscape but 23 out of 37 pass plays isn’t great when a guy like Kelce is playing 29 of 34.
Green Bay Packers
|Equanimeous St. Brown||WR||11||17.4%|
WR: They mixed and matched a bit this week with Marquez Valdes-Scantling playing half his snaps in the slot, half outside. Davante Adams played primarily outside (11 slot snaps). No other WR played enough to be relevant so we’re probably waiting for Allen Lazard .
RB: We talked about this split with the Colts, Aaron Jones played 36 snaps (23 pass, 13 run) and Jamaal Williams played 32 (28 pass, four run). Aaron Jones is the guy but Jamaal Williams in super deep leagues sometimes gets looks.
TE: We talked about it last week but playing the Falcons with no Davante Adams or Allen Lazard is a dream scenario for Robert Tonyan . He came back to life here but still ran 27 of 42 routes and didn’t block on any pass plays. He’s an okay start with backend TE1 upside but he’s a decaying asset the closer we get to the return of Lazard.
RB: It was all Mike Davis . As a fantasy gamer, you have to love their willingness to give the full role to the handcuff. Hopefully they give the full role back to CMC when he returns rather than a messy split backfield.
New England Patriots
RB: After a good showing the week before, the game script was positive enough to get Damien Harris going. He only played four pass plays and he blocked on two. James White played his pass catching role as usual and Rex Burkhead mixed it up. James White in full PPR is the one spot you can have some confidence.
Los Angeles Rams
WR: On the surface it was the same faces, but the Rams tried something a little different this week with a little mixing and matching. Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods both played 17 snaps from the slot and Josh Reynolds even played 11. Kupp got four slot targets to only one each for the other two. Clearly, he’s the most comfortable there.
RB: The time share from last week continued in the same manner – Darrell Henderson got the running down work (17 run plays to 3) but Malcolm Brown played more passing downs (25 to 15). I doubt anyone predicted that would be the case.
TE: Tyler Higbee once again played 25 pass plays but was asked to block on of them. Gerald Everett matched Higbee’s 18 routes run and has more targets the past few games. Higbee can be dropped. Everett is the better pass catcher and even his isn’t getting good enough usage. An injury to Higbee could unlock a beast though so pay attention.
|Mark Ingram II||RB||9||11.7%|
|Willie Snead IV||WR||49||63.8%|
WR: Marquise Brown is still the only one you can trust. Willie Snead himself even seemed surprised to catch a decent pass considering he fumbled it out of bounds moments later. The most interesting guy after Brown talent-wise is Devin Duvernay but he’s not getting the snaps.
RB: We thought Mark Ingram was going to mercifully go away with an ankle injury, but he came back into the game only to get one carry in the second half. If Ingram was out of the mix, this backfield would be easier to stomach even if Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins did split things almost evenly: Edwards (32 snaps, 14 pass, 18 rush) Dobbins (30 snaps, 17 pass, 13 rush). With all three of them it’s just annoying.
TE: Nick Boyle played a monster snap share, and he stole a TD on a broken play, but Mark Andrews still ran more routes (25 to 23). We saw this last year, but Andrews is still the guy and you can’t afford to bench him.
|Benny Snell Jr.||RB||14||21.5%|
|Anthony McFarland Jr.||RB||9||13.8%|
WR: The snap crunch is coming when Diontae Johnson returns. Chase Claypool and James Washington were on the outside with JuJu Smith-Schuster in the slot. The concern is they still spread the snaps out with the tight ends Eric Ebron getting 46 and Vance McDonald getting 40. When Diontae Johnson comes back, the snaps are either going to be heavily diluted or someone is going to be riding pine.
RB: James Conner at least dominated snaps. That is set for now.
TE: The tight ends came into the game on a lot of run plays this week in a blowout. Despite playing 46 snaps, Ebron spent 28 of them blocking and only ran 18 routes. Vance was even worse - 31 blocking and only nine routes. Bad game script, but Ebron is the one to own. He’ll be subject to the same snap count crunch the other pass catchers face, however.
|Duke Johnson Jr.||RB||19||26.5%|
|Will Fuller V||WR||66||92.0%|
RB: David Johnson took an even more commanding snap share this game. Tough loss for them but they played the Titans hard. Removing Bill O’Brien has seemingly sparked some life into this team.
TE: Darren Fells is a good start when Jordan Akins is out but Akins has had better usage all year when both are healthy. I don’t trust Akins first game back from a double injury (ankle/concussion) either, so the only start is really Fells with no Akins.
RB: Derrick Henry is a force.
TE: Jonnu Smith left the game with an ankle injury which masks us from his half game of poor usage. He only played 13 pass plays while playing 16 run plays and only catching one ball. With him out a lot of people are pointing at Anthony Firkser after his big game. I’m probably one of Firkser’s biggest supporters on Twitter but here is the rub, Firsker doesn’t take snaps from Jonnu Smith . Jonnu plays every snap and blocks on over 60% of them. He doesn’t come out when Firkser goes in. Firk comes in as a second pass catcher (MyCole Pruitt comes in as the second blocker). Firks snaps come at the expense of WRs. So, here’s the problem. This week the Titans will have all three WRs for the first time this year in Davis, Brown, and Humphries. That leaves one TE on the field most plays. They just lost tackle Taylor Lewan so will likely need blocking help. Who would you put in that spot? The better blockers in Geoff Swaim or MyCole Pruitt or Anthony Firkser ? Swaim played 49 snaps to only 41 for Firkser so what could happen is Firsker is crowded out by the WRs and there is no fantasy relevant tight end this week. If you have no one else, then he clearly played well this week so should get a couple looks but just warning of what could happen.
|Irv Smith Jr.||TE||44||78.6%|
RB: Alexander Mattison got the running down work, but he actually split pass snaps with Ameer Abdullah (we expected Mike Boone ). Mattison played 17 pass snaps, Ameer played 14. Mattison is still the guy obviously but wanted you to be aware.
TE: Irv Smith Jr’s slot snaps are slowly ramping up, it went from three in Week 4 to seven last week to ten this week. Now is the time to stash him in case they want to go with Jefferson and Thielen outside and the big Alabama product in the slot. That’s where the money is made for fantasy tight ends.
Washington Football Team
WR: Terry McLaurin continues to get the best deployment in the league. Last week he played every snap, this week he played 70 of 73. He just needs better passes. Dontrelle Inman was the other guy on the outside and Isaiah Wright swapped in and out with tight end Logan Thomas in the slot. If McLaurin is having a hard time, you better believe those other dudes aren’t worth starting.
RB: In what was largely a negative game script, J.D. McKissic outsnapped Antonio Gibson. But this time it wasn’t just on passing downs as he only had one less carry. We warned this could happen in negative game scripts and the scripts should be fairly negative for this team. McKissic now becomes interesting in PPR.
TE: Logan Thomas has been deployed like a WR and it’s finally paid off. He played 42 snaps at WR and 19 at in-line tight end. Given that usage he has to be on your radar. It all depends on quarterback play.