NFL Snap Count Breakdown: Week 9
Andrew Cooper pores over the data and breaks down the NFL snap counts from Week 9 and highlights players that need to be on your radar.
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.
WR: You may be asking yourself “who in the heck is River Cracraft ?” Or at least I did. Apparently he’s a 26 year old journeyman out of Washington State who spent time with the Broncos and Eagles before being called up off the 40ers practice squad to play 51 snaps this week. He caught 2 of 5 targets for 13 yards. Richie James was the other outside WR and Trent Taylor manned the slot. Doesn’t matter all that much considering Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk should be back next week but just wanted you to stay informed.
RB: There was some speculation that Jamycal Hasty would play a decent chunk of snaps but Jerick McKinnon was clearly featured. For now, you can only rely on McKinnon unless we get news that another RB is coming back. After this week, I wouldn’t trust any news that Hasty gets a bigger share until we see it.
TE: Ross Dwelley got the lion’s share of the snaps while Jordan Reed works his way back from injury. Despite Dwelley catching a couple balls, we still like Reed as a bench stash. Dwelley runs a 4.95 forty yard dash which is bottom 10 percentile even for tight ends. We are talking slower than Jack Doyle and just barely faster than Nick Boyle here. Offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs ran a 4.85 and he’s 320 pounds. YAC is probably out of the question for Dwelley.
WR: This example here is why we write this article. Darnell Mooney came out of no where really but he started getting a 60% snap share as early as week two so we started paying attention. That has slowly ramped up to 80 and now 90 percent. This week he saw 11 targets. Snaps lead to touches which lead to points. Allen Robinson is out there every play as usual, Anthony Miller pretty much only plays slot and comes out a times for two tight end sets.
RB: David Montgomery has been the guy here but he left the game with a concussion and is in concussion protocol for the time being. Cordarelle Patterson is the favorite for work in his absence with Ryan Nall potentially mixing in.
TE: After slight down usage last week, Graham was back up to full throttle. 30 snaps at wide receiver (24 in the slot and 6 split out) and 20 at in-line tight end. He’s not flashy by any means but he’s been a fairly comfortable back end TE1.
WR: Stefon Diggs and John Brown play most of the snaps outside, as they have all year. Beasley and Gabriel split snaps in the slot, as they have when Brown is healthy. Unless there is an injury, Beasley and Davis are risky starts.
RB: We’ve talked about the nightmare split at RB here but Zack Moss may have made a bit foa breakthrough. Moss got 9 carries to only 2 for Singletary. However, Singletary did play 29 pass plays (25 routes) to 24 for Moss (only 15 routes) so there is clearly still a split issue.
TE: Dawson Knox returned but not to a full snap share. 13 routes for Kroft and 9 for Knox makes neither appealing in fantasy.
WR: This was the big one for everyone this week - Antonio Brown . The production was meh but the snaps were promising. Chris Godwin owners can rejoice in knowing Antonio Brown played the vast majority of his snaps outside (33 out wide, 5 slot, 1 backfield). That means it will likely be Evans and Brown on the outside with Godwin in the slot.
RB: In a severely negative game script they leaned on Leonard Fournette who seems to have earned the passing down role. Despite one carry, he played 31 pass snaps. Ronald Jones led the team with 4 carries and only played 16 snaps.
TE: Gronk felt like a feature but he actually only played 27 snaps. They instead opted to go four-wide often with Scotty Miller or Tyler Johnson. In most games, expect Gronk to play a larger share of the snaps though he obviously faces a target crunch.
WR: Before the bye week, Jerry Jeudy played 146 slot snaps and 34 snaps out wide. That’s 85%. Following the bye however, he played 50% of his snaps in the slot and 50% out wide. Over the last two games, he’s played 104 snaps at WR and only 15 in the slot. KJ Hamler is in the slot now. Hamler has one of the worst drop rates in the league at 22.7% of his catchable passes. Perhaps the move inside is an attempt to help him there.
RB: Melvin Gordon got most of the pass work with 37 pass snaps to 20 for Lindsay. This has been the trend and makes him the better start.
TE: Noah Fant left the game re-aggravating his injury but then came back as Albert Okwuegbunam proceeded to suffer a season ending ACL injury. If Fant can’t go for some reason, Jake Butt becomes the next best pass catcher.
WR: Hopkins played the whole game, as he does. Larry Fitz was in the slot and Christian Kirk lined up outside opposite Hopkins. Isabella mixed in but not at a reliable rate.
TE: Maxx Williams graded out as the number 1 run blocking tight end in 2019. He’s tied for 7th this year. That’s what he does. Not interesting for fantasy. Dan Arnold is the closest they have to a fantasy relevant tight end and he’s not close.
WR: You would expect Amari Cooper to be an every down type guy but he really has not been. He’s only been close to 90% in weeks 1 and 6. This week was an improvement but he’s still at 80%. For the most part it is Gallup and Amari outside with Lamb in the slot - their success is largely dependent on the QB play.
RB: Despite being banged up, Zeke led the team in passing and running snaps. This is his backfield which can’t be said for a lot of guys so it’s hard to sit him despite the team’s struggles.
TE: Dalton Schultz is still playing a massive snap share but the team isn’t throwing like they were with Dak and he’s too far down the target totem pole.
RB: Kalen Ballage came out of no where to play a pretty decent snap share and was quickly sent back to the practice squad. Thanks for stopping by Kalen. Austin Ekeler should soon return to be the main viable back on this team.
TE: Last week Hunter Henry played 84 of 87 snaps. This week he played 78 of 79 and ran 45 routes. The targets have been there for the most part - he just needs to capitalize. Tight end is thin position so, given his usage, he’s still a fairly reliable back end TE1.
WR: Tyreek Hill , every snap as usual. Demarcus Robinson played split end for most of the game with his foot tethered to the line opposite Kelce. This week Mecole Hardman took a big step forward compared to Byron Pringle which is what the people want. Hardman still not trustworthy yet but it starts with snaps.
RB: Watching the game it felt like a lot more Clyde Edwards-Helaire than it honestly was. The snaps were fairly close. 16 routes for CEH and 5 carries while Bell had 14 routes and 4 carries. Nightmare split, on the way.
TE: Travis Kelce is the best tight end in the league.
WR: Without TY Hilton this was fairly consolidated. Marcus Johnson and Michael Pittman on the edge with Zach Pascal in the slot. Reece Fountain and De’Michael Harris chimed in but in small doses. Hilton will be back this week - we have to go back to week 3 to find a time when everyone was healthy but Marcus Johnson was not on the team at that point. Our suspicions are that Marcus Johnson takes the hit. If everyone were healthy, my instincts tell me the ideal configuration would me Michael Pittman at split end, TY Hilton at flanker, and Parris Campbell at slot.
RB: Perhaps Jonathan Taylor was still “nicked up” as Phillip Rivers said last week because he was outnsapped by both Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins , if only just barely. At least a two way time share with a pass catcher and a runner is predictable. Three way is annoying.
TE: Jack Doyle started but ended up playing the least snaps. Trey Burton led with 24 routes followed by 19 for Mo Alie-Cox and 11 for Doyle. Routes are what we care about for fantasy football so we like Burton. No wildcat this week unfortunately.
WR: DeVante Parker played his normal snaps outside. It seems they were stilll doing tryouts in the slot as Malcolm Perry (18 slot snaps) and Jakeem Grant (10 slot snaps) both got some time there along with tight end Mike Gesicki . The big news however, is that the Dolphins have placed Preston Williams on IR which opens up a spot on the outside.
RB: The savior of many fantasy teams, Mile Gaskin, hit the IR. Jordan Howard started and led in rushes but he has been a notoriously poor pass catcher so it was Salvon Ahmed who played most of the passing snaps with Patrick Laird mixing in. Not sure appealing but Ahmed is kind of interesting if you are desparate.
TE: We had expected Mike Gesicki to takes step forward in slot snaps with the exit of Isaiah Ford . Instead he played 17 snaps at in-line tight end which almost doubled his highest total this season. Go figure. His 31 routes were the second highest behind DeVante Parker and the injury to Preston Williams keeps him on the radar but he has not been as advertised to say the least. Given the lack of options, he’s a back end TE1 this week if you have no one else.
WR: Given what we had seen so far this year, especially last week, we had predicted it would be Christian Blake filling in for Calvin Ridley . Turned out that wasn’t the case as Olamide Zaccheaus played nearly the whole game opposite Julio Jones on the outside. Sometimes the data can be misleading. Russell Gage played the slot and split some snaps with Blake and Brandon Powell .
TE: Hayden Hurst once again played a good snap share and ran 32 routes. His spot on the target totem pole leaves him as a back end TE1 but, in a landscape without many reliable options, he’s at least likely to catch a couple each week. Except this week when he’s on bye.
WR: Weird times with the Giants and Golden Tate as he was told to stay home over some attitude issues. Would have been nice had he done that before the trade deadline. In his absence, Sterling Shepard surprising played 40 slot snaps followed by Evan Engram with 15. No one else played relevant snaps at the slot. Darius Slay ton plated his normal outside role and Austin Mack pitched in a surprising 38 snaps. Golden Tate getting himself cut would actually be great news for Slayton, Shepard, and Engram.
TE: Evan Engram continues to get ideal usage and targets for a tight end. His 31 routes was right up there with Slayton and Shepard. If there were a game where he actually catches most of his targets, he would fly up the rankings.
WR: Recently it’s been DJ Chark and Laviska Shenault as the flanker and split end with Keelan Cole in the slot. Laviska Shenault left with a hamstring injury but the MRI indicated that he could play this week vs. the Packers. The rookie’s snap counts had crept up to the ~75% range the past couple weeks before the bye, he’s caught 77% of his passes on the season, and has had at least three catches in every week leading up to this one where he got hurt so he’s making a quiet push for startability in fantasy. In his absence it would be the veteran Chris Conoley absorbing those snaps.
RB: James Robinson dominated the snaps once again - he’s certainly been the most pleasant surprise in fantasy this year. I know quarterbacks are always favorited for rookie of the year but I took a look at some other OROY RBs and James Robinson at his current odds isn’t a crazy thought.
TE: He’s not much more than a daily fantasy play but Tyler Eifert has shown a little fantasy life as of late. He ran 22 routes this week which is at least serviceable. He got hurt in the Lions game and only played 5 snaps but in his last three healthy games he’s had 5, 7, and 6 targets. That’s 18 targets in his last three games compared to guys like Jonnu Smith (8) and Tyler Higbee (10).
WR: The Jets finally have everyone healthy at WR and it’s clear what they want to do. Jeff Smith and Braxton Berrios to the bench. Breshard Perriman and Denzel Mims are the guys on the outside. Jamison Crowder is in the slot. Crowder came out for two tight end sets but he did just return from injury.
RB: This was a rare positive game script for the Jets as they were winning for three quarters before blowing the lead. As expected, Frank Gore started and got a lot of work while they were winning. La’Mical Perine played on pass plays primarily. It’s still Perine that you want as the Jets will be playing from behind more often than not and he benefits from negative game scripts.
TE: Chris Herndon played 30 snaps - he ran 10 routes, blocked on 11 pass plays, and blocked on 9 run plays. Useless for fantasy football. The rest of the TE usage was just as bad.
WR: With Kenny Golladay out, Marvin Jones played just about every snap. Marvin Hall got the second most work in his absence but Quintez Cephus also took a good chunk of the snaps which is annoying for fantasy - would rather it just be one of them. Danny Amendola played his usual slot role splitting with Hockinson in the slot.
RB: To start the game, Adrian Peterson got the first carries and snaps of the first 4 drives. It wasn’t until the Lions were down by two scores that D’Andre Swift was sent out to start drives (and Adrian Peterson also started and played the red zone drive in the third quarter that ended with a Stafford interception in the end zone). Despite Swift’s better performance on paper, it’s still clear that they view Peterson as the starting power back, Swift as the passing situation back, and Kerryon as a rotational player. For the sake of fantasy football, we hope they turn to Swift for a bigger workload but Patricia has clearly proven stubborn.
TE: Hock lined up 15 snaps in the slot, 9 at WR, and 33 in-line. He ran 33 routes, only pass blocked on 3 plays. With Golladay out and injuries to other TEs, he’s a locked in top 5 TE. If Golladay returns, he’s still likely in must-start territory.
|Equanimeous St. Brown||WR||4||6.1%|
WR: As we all know, this is the Davante Adams show. That’s a lock. The only question is what happens when Allen Lazard returns. When everyone was healthy, they were mixing it up a bit but Lazard was playing the most slot snaps - he led through two weeks with 41 snaps to 20 for MVS and 18 for Adams and 63.1% of Lazard’s snaps came in the slot. So we’d expect Adams and MVS to play full snap shares on the outside, Lazard to be eased back in via the slot.
RB: Aaron Jones returned and they went right back to the split we were accustomed to. Jones got the bulk of the carries and the pass snaps were split evenly between he and Williams (22 for Jones, 23 for Williams). Jones goes back to being an RB1.
TE: Tonyan is out there for a good chunk of the snaps with 48 but half of them were run plays (23 run plays, 25 pass plays). Tonyan had his 15 minutes of fame with Adams, Lazard, and Aaron Jones out but he’s not a focal point of the offense. He didn’t even lead the team in targets with those guys out - MVS and Jamaal Williams did. He may have earned himself an extra look or two but we have to remember that, when everyone was healthy when the season started, he played 48 snaps week 1 and got zero targets. Time to look elsewhere at TE.
WR: I wrote an in depth piece this week on what’s going on with DJ Moore so that article has more info than I could possible sum up here. But the basics are that we all expected Robby Anderson to be the speedy field stretcher coming into the season and that’s not the case - DJ Moore has played that role. Teddy Bridgewater , despite having a passer rating of 100.7 on deep throws, is 25th among QBs in deep throw percentage. Robby Anderson is running shorter routes and feasting on them. The wild part is, the format you play in has a drastic effect on who you want. Moore is WR17 in standard leagues while Anderson is WR20 and Samuel is 25. In full PPR, Anderson is WR10, Moore is WR21, and Samuel is WR27. It would be wise to check that article and consider your format when deciding what to do.
TE: Ian Thomas gets the award for the “best tight end usage with the least production”. He ran 49 routes this week and caught 1 pass for 8 yards. He’s run 265 routes, the 8th most in the league, and has 11 catches. To put that in perspective, Darren Waller in 9th with 245 routes. He averaged 1.6 yards per route run, Thomas averages 0.32. I’d be surprised if Thomas is even expecting the ball on the rare occasions they do throw it to him.
WR: Big Jakobi Meyers coming out party this week and the snaps back it up - he played all but 1 which I assume was goal line. Damiere Byrd also played nearly every snap. Gunner Olszewski manned the slot but they used a ton of fullback snaps (45) which took him off the field.
RB: The Pats spent three quarters in a negative gamescript so naturally James White and Rex Burkhead got more work. Damien Harris started but only ran 7 routes and was, once again, not targeted. When Sony Michel returns, the situation could become even worse for Harris.
TE: Ryan Izzo played 76(!) snaps. You might not realize it because he wasn’t targeted one time. He blocked on 39 run plays and 7 pass plays so ran 30 meaningless routes.
WR: Same as previous weeks - Ruggs and Agholor played the majority of the snaps while Hunter Renfrow mixed in but two tight end sets limited him usage. Bryan Edwards is apparently healthy but he played one snap and it was a run play.
RB: Jacobs is the man but Devontae Booker was able to break one off for a TD on only 13 snaps. His usage is reminiscent of Latavius Murray . He doesn’t play many snaps but, when he is in the game, he usually gets the ball. As of now, we don’t trust 13 snaps - especially only running 4 routes. If Jalen Richard or Josh Jacobs were to get hurt and he could consolidate the roles, now you are talking.
TE: Darren Waller once again played more snaps than any WR and he tied for the lead in routes run with Agholor with 23. If you own him you start him every week.
WR: Once again Marquise Brown was the only WR to play reliable snaps. In his debut Dez Bryant played 2 snaps. Bryant or Duvernary could be deep stashes but it’s hard to envision a world where they get up to the ~75% snap share they need to be reliable. Hollywood is hardly even reliable in this offense.
RB: Split carries once again between J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards . Dobbins gets the pass work while Edwards gets the goal line work. After fumbling and taking multiple tries to punch it in, some on social media were complaining about Dobbins not getting those looks. Edwards is 6’1” 238 and they like him there while Dobbins is 5’10” 212 so those complaints will likely fall on def ears. Between Lamar Jackson and Edwards, Dobbins’s best bet is to score on longer plays.
TE: This split looked a lot more like last year. Nick Boyle started and played more plays but spend more plays blocking (31 vs. 21). Andrews ran 17 routes to 18 for Boyle. Surprisingly, Mark Andrews has graded out as the 3rd best run blocker in the league this season (Boyle is 12th). Given how this offense is operating, Andrews is now longer a top tier tight end but more of a low floor but high ceiling play.
WR: Michael Thomas returned and, surprisingly, he played 30 snaps outside and 10 in the slot. In week 1 he also played 44 outside and only 11 in the slot. Tre’Quan Smith has played the most slot snaps followed by tight end Jared Cook . Bit of a role change for Thomas but he should continue to be a fantasy stud once he’s up to speed.
TE: Kind of a strange week at tight end but it was also a strange week in general given the blowout. Josh Hill led all TEs in snaps but only ran 10 routes. Adam Trautman was next with 29 snaps but only 11 routes. Jared Cook ran 20 routes on his 26 snaps. Cook is still the tight end you want, if you must, but Michael Thomas is a target black hole and so is Alvin Kamara so he’s a boom or bust TD guy.
Taysom Hill : Taysom Hill once again performed his magic trick of seemingly like he’s all over the place despite only playing 19 offensive snaps. This week he played 9 QB, 5 in the backfield, 2 in-line, 2 in slot, 1 out wide, 1 kick return, 1 punt coverage, 4 punt return. That’s fun.
WR: Lockett and Metcalf played pretty much the whole game as usual. David Moore was kind of there but only played half the snaps, also as usual. Not worth adding.
RB: DeeJay Dallas dominated last week but this week, despite starting, Travis Homer was the hot hand. Surprisingly, Alex Collins mixed in some work too. Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde are now back up and running so this party is probably over.
TE: The Seahawks are mixing up the tight ends too much to be used for fantasy. Hollister played the most snaps but Greg Olsen ran the most routes. It’s a guessing game between those two and the winner doesn’t always matter either. Will Dissly is a blocker.
RB: We don’t see this all that often but the Steelers went heavy empty backfield this week. Per Sharp Football, 33% of the snaps saw an empty backfield. Based on watching the game, they were playing from behind and Big Ben hurt his knee which forced him into a lot of shotgun so they just spread it wide and started firing. James Conner is still the guy you want.
TE: Ebron is playing a ton of snaps and running a ton of routes (47 this week) but they also have a lot of options. He’s safely a backend TE1.
*We don’t usually cover QBs but it’s worth noting that Big Ben not only hurt both his knees but was placed on the close contact list as Vance McDonald tested positive. That combination of issues could mean trouble for him for this week.
TE: The tight end snaps were highly split as you can see. Akins ran the most routes with 16 followed by Fells with 13. Brown is a primary blocker. Tough to start either but we prefer Akins in any sort of PPR, Fells as a TD boom/bust in standard.
WR: This one went as predicted last week. AJ Brown and Corey Davis on the outside. With no Adam Humphries , Anthony Firkser , Kalif Raymond , and Cameron Batson filled the slot. Humphries is still not practicing and the Titans are on Thursday night football so we may see the same mix.
RB: Usually we just write “Derrick Henry ” here and leave it at that but this week there’s a little something to say. Henry got his usual monster workload in the run game but he did actually come off the field for some pass plays here (not that he is usually targeted anyway). He played 8 pass snaps and only ran 5 routes. Jeremy McNichols came in for 12 pass snaps and ran 10 routes (though he wasn’t targeted). The lack of work in the passing game is the only thing keeping Henry from being the very top tier of fantasy RB.
TE: This Twitter thread I posted on the Eagles TE situation actually uses the Titans as an example and is a lengthier explanation. The short and sweet is that, with Taylor Lewan and MyCole Pruitt out, Jonnu Smith ’s blocking abilities are too valuable, even if he is a better pass catcher than Firkser. If Adam Humphries is out, Firkser might actually be the better play in fantasy than Smith once again. In the four games since AJ Brown came back, Firkser has 15 catches on 20 targets. Jonnu has 6 catches on 10 targets. Jonnu is nothing more than a TD dependent play at this point.
WR: Don’t let the snap shares fool you. Justin Jefferson may have come out for some run plays but he played on 20 of 22 pass plays (Thielen played on 22 of 22). No other WR played more than 11 pass snaps (Chad Beebe ) so we don’t really need to think about them.
TE: We had touted Irv Smith Jr. in the offseason as a potential upside pick so we’d love to take the opportunity to gloat after his 2 TD game but we just can’t. The reason we liked Irv was the potential that he could be the full time slot player with Kyle Rudolph at TE and Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson on the outside. That didn’t actually happen. In fact, 24 total snaps (37%) and only 5 snaps at WR is actually the fewest he’s played all year. And he only ran 9 routes. That certainly isn’t cutting it. The TDs are nice but he needs better usage to be sustainable.
Washington Football Team
WR: Terry McLaurin played the whole game, as is tradition. Cam Sims played 40 snaps this week but Steve Sims Jr. was just activated from IR and he was playing 90% of the snaps prior to injury. No one else is particularly fantasy relevant at this point given the usage of Logan Thomas which we will discuss below.
RB: We’ve talked about this split in the past so this should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following along. As a refresher, they like Antonio Gibson in running situations but prefer J.D. McKissic in passing situations. The Football Team was down 20-3 at half time so iit was obviously a passing game script. Per PFF, Gibson has allowed pressure on 3 of his 13 pass blocking snaps, inlcuding a hurry and a sack the last two weeks. That's good for RB125 out of 132 RBs who have pass blocked at all this season. There are only 32 teams so I don't need to explain how bad that is. Oh yeah, and the sack? That's the play that Kyle Allen broke his ankle on. Don't expect Gibson to take over that pass down work any time soon.
TE: Logan Thomas played 41 snaps at WR. 31 in the slot and 10 split out wide. He only played 13 snaps at in-line tight end. He ran 39 routes. In fact, his 276 routes in 8 games is the 6th most routes run for a tight end and his 34.8 routes per game is second only to Travis Kelce . That’s exactly what you want to see in terms of usage. It’s up to Alex Smith now to do the right thing.