NFL Snap Count Breakdown: Week 14
Andrew Cooper pores over the data to bring you the team by team and player by player snap counts following Week 13 of the NFL season.
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
|Jeff Wilson Jr.||RB||39||48.1%|
|Richie James Jr.||WR||26||32.1%|
WR: Well, that was fun while it lasted. We know by now that the Niners want to use Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel on the outside with Kendrick Bourne in the slot. Deebo got hurt after one play. This moved Bourne outside for two-WR sets - they essentially used a bunch of multi-TE sets to make up for the loss of Deebo but Richie James is the next man up.
RB: Raheem Mostert got the start and was favored for running work, but Jeff Wilson did split snaps fairly evenly and ran 23 routes to 19 for Mostert. This was a blowout so Mostert is the guy you want assuming he is healthy.
|Allen Robinson II||WR||45||75.0%|
RB: David Montgomery played the bulk of the snaps as Nagy is a one back guy but Cordarelle Patterson did mix in from some gadget type plays. Montgomery did out-snap him in every phase and he’s been a fairly reliable fantasy option lately with 143, 111, and 155 yards from scrimmage in his last three games with 4 touchdowns over that span.
TE: Cole Kmet continued his bid to take over that full role - he once again played both more snaps and more WR snaps (15 to 10) than Jimmy Graham (though Graham did manage to vulture the touchdown). If you lost Mike Gesicki , this is a place to look.
|Stanley Morgan Jr.||WR||3||4.2%|
RB: Coach Zac Taylor said Joe Mixon will not be activated week 15 even though eligible so there is a good chance he doesn’t return. Giovani Bernard seemed to get benched after fumbling (which he hadn’t done since 2013 according to analyst Kevin Thompkins) but Samaje Perine also lost a fumble, leading to Trayveon Williams getting some work. With first round pick left tackle Jonah Williams now on IR and the Steelers coming up this week it’s probably best to look elsewhere but Gio is still the favorite for pass work.
TE: Drew Sample’s usage and routes run would normally be intriguing but the other options in the passing game and his lack of speed/burst make him a low ceiling, TD dependent play. Given the Steelers matchup there are better options if you need a one week start.
WR: This situation is actually pretty easy to read. When John Brown is healthy, it’s Stefon Diggs and John Brown at flanker and split end and Cole Beasley and Taylor Gabriel split snaps in the slot. When John Brown is out, Taylor Gabriel moves into the John Brown role and plays the whole game outside. With John Brown returning to practice this week, he’ll likely take his role back which hurts everyone but Diggs.
RB: Devin Singletary is still a bit of a thorn here, but Zack Moss clearly has the better usage. Singletary technically still has more targets in the second half of the season, but Moss is playing more snaps (including more pass snaps this week) and has gotten more carries inside the five and inside the red zone the last couple weeks. For now, at least Moss > Singletary.
TE: Dawson Knox has the best usage of the TEs, but he blocked on six of his 42 pass plays so only ran 36 routes on 50 pass plays. The return of John Brown pushes him farther down the target totem pole.
WR: It’s rare we get something all that exciting without an injury, but the snap share of Donovan Peoples-Jones is at least interesting. He received a big snap share once again and, if Khadarel Hodge is out again, expect him to be out there opposite Rashard Higgins with Jarvis Landry in the slot.
TE: The Browns and Kevin Stefanski love their multi-tight end sets and that didn’t change with no Austin Hooper . Harrison Bryant ran 33 routes and David Njoku ran 30. Hooper is supposed to return this week, but neck injuries can be tricky so hard to trust him in your playoff matchup.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|Ronald Jones II||RB||34||66.7%|
WR: This game only saw 51 snaps from the Buccaneers offense as they struggled to get going early. The game plan seems to be to have Mike Evans at split end and Chris Godwin out there as the other guy in two WR sets. When Antonio Brown comes in, Godwin slides over to the slot. That makes Mike Evans and Chris Godwin the most trustworthy.
RB: What a weird backfield this has been. Ronald Jones was getting most of the run work with Leonard Fournette as the passing down back. Bruce Arians decided this week to have Fournette inactive with McCoy as the passing down back. Anyone that knows Bruce Arians knows that his doghouse is a dangerous place to be.
TE: With limited pass attempts this week Gronk only ran 16 routes but 16 out of 25 isn’t the end of the world. Cameron Brate did not play enough to be relevant per usual.
|Melvin Gordon III||RB||28||45.9%|
RB: It is a bit misleading that Phillip Lindsay played more snaps than Melvin Gordon because Melvin actually ran more routes (12 vs. 9) and got more carries (13 vs. 11). That’s because Lindsay was asked to block on nine plays vs. three for Gordon.
TE: Noah Fant felt sick in the early game and was taken out for fear of COVID but he’s yet to have a positive test so they believe it might have actually been food poisoning. Nick Vannett and Troy Fumagalli played a lot of snaps in two tight end sets and both ran 18 routes but, assuming Fant plays, they won’t be relevant. They weren’t particularly relevant anyway.
WR: With the return of Larry Fitzgerald , things went back to normal. DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk at split end and flanker, Larry in the slot. In fact, Andy Isabella , who was taking over for Larry Fitz, was actually inactive this week to keep KeeSean Johnson on the roster.
TE: Dan Arnold ’s production in recent weeks is eye catching but his usage has been pretty bad. The week before last he scored two touchdowns on nine snaps. This week he only played 24 but scored again. He’s a deep league or DFS stab but you can’t trust a guy playing ~30% of the snaps. The floor is crazy low given that and the ceiling is a touchdown.
|Cedrick Wilson Jr.||WR||7||13.7%|
RB: Up until now the usage has been good for Ezekiel Elliott but the team has been hurting. This week even the carries were split with Tony Pollard. Just an ugly year for the Cowboys losing Dak and pretty much their entire offensive line.
Los Angeles Chargers
|Donald Parham Jr.||TE||14||19.2%|
WR: With Mike Wiliams banged up it was Tyron Johnson that got the third WR slot. Williams is limited in practice so far so it’s yet to be seen if he’ll be good to go for Thursday. Only Keenan Allen is particularly trustworthy but Tyron could be a Thursday slate DFS dart throw with no Williams.
RB: No match in runs this week between Kalen Ballage and Austin Ekeler - Ekeler led the team in the run and pass game. He’s listed on the injury report, but he said himself while streaming on Twitch that he’s not hurt and he’s playing Thursday. So there ya go.
TE: Hunter Henry has consistently played a huge snap share, but one issue has reared its ugly head from time to time - they do ask him to block on some pass plays. For instance, Henry was out there for 42 of 46 pass plays which was more than any WR due to some nicks to Keenan Allen . But he was asked to block on seven of those pass plays, so he only ran 35 routes. They get the Raiders this week - last time he played them he ran 45 routes but blocked on six pass plays so not necessarily scot free here.
Kansas City Chiefs
WR: Same as usual. Tyreek Hill plays just about every snap and Sammy Watkins is out there for most pass plays. They mix things up with Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman but, considering Kelce leads the league in yards for anyone including WRs, there isn’t a whole lot of room to trust the ancillary guys.
RB: Clyde Edwards-Helaire is back and the role is his. Le’Veon Bell is really just operating as a change of pace guy.
|Michael Pittman Jr.||WR||55||90.1%|
WR: Michael Pittman is playing split end lining up opposite the TE with his foot tethered to the line on most plays so he’s playing the most snaps. Despite playing 14 fewer snaps however, T.Y. Hilton only ran two less routes than Pitmman (26 to 28). So, I wouldn’t discount his usage. Zach Pascal lined up in the slot and ran 20 routes.
RB: Jonathan Taylor is looking like the guy we thought he’d be. This snap share looks similar to the Packers where Taylor gets most of the run work and splits the pass work evenly with Nyheim Hines (Taylor = Aaron Jones and Hines = Jamaal Williams ).
TE: Mo Alie-Cox had been starting in the full time TE role, but he banged up his knee a bit, so Jack Doyle stepped in. Essentially this team likes to have one full time tight end that both blocks and runs routes. MAC has been that. Doyle comes in for running situations and Trey Burton for passing ones. It’s similar to the Titans where MAC = Jonnu Smith , Doyle = Geoff Swaim /MyCole Pruitt , and Burton = Anthony Firkser . Hard to trust any of them really.
|Lynn Bowden Jr.||RB||59||71.1%|
WR: Lot of injuries this week for the Dolphins. Essentially DeVante Parker was playing split end with Mike Gesicki in the slot and Mack Hollins on the outside. Both Parker and Gesicki got hurt - Gesicki looks highly unlikely and Parker has a hamstring he’s yet to practice with. Hollins played a full snap share and Lynn Bowden filled in in the slot for Gesicki. If Parker is out, those are the two I trust most and then they’ll likely fill out the rest of the snaps with a mix of Jakeem Grant , Malcolm Perry, and two tight end sets.
TE: So, in reality, Mike Gesicki was playing WR, not tight end. In Chan Gailey’s offense he was more Eric Decker than Jeff Cumberland - Adam Shaheen and Durham Smythe played the Jeff Cumberland role. If Eric Decker got hurt, I wouldn’t expect Jeff Cumberland to start playing slot and I don’t see that happening for Shaheen or Smythe either. They might see some extra targets, but I expect them to continue to be in-line tight ends and not someone you want to rely on in the semi-finals.
RB: Boom - big day for Miles Sanders. What’s good for the good is good for the gander and a better offense worked in Sanders favor. Now, mobile QBs are known to throw less to the RB because they take off rather than checking down but, after how stale the offense was with Wentz, that’s splitting hairs.
TE: The return of Zach Ertz pushed Dallas Goedert back inside a bit as expected. In Week 12 Goedert played 35 snaps at WR and ran 98.3% of the routes. This week he only played 16 and only ran 66.7%. Zach Ertz played 26 snaps at WR (18 slot, eight split wide) and, despite playing fewer snaps, only ran two less routes. Ertz is the guy you want.
WR: The setup here is Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley on the outside with Russell Gage in the slot. Typically, it’s been either Olamide Zaccheaus or Christian Blake stepping in but this week they went a different route - they actually moved Russell Gage to the outside and had Brandon Powell play slot. That’s certainly interesting for Gage if Julio is out again.
TE: The Falcons used a lot of two tight end sets this week, but the usage was not even - Stocker only ran 10 routes while Hurst ran 25. If Julio is out again that gives a glimmer of hope to Hurst but he simply has not filled Hooper’s shoes.
New York Giants
|Darius Slay ton||WR||47||96.1%|
TE: Good usage for Engram again as he played 22 snaps at WR compared to 19 in-line and only Slayton played more snaps and ran more routes than him. In a thin tight end landscape, he at least has the usage that can provide big weeks.
|D.J. Chark Jr.||WR||64||90.3%|
|Laviska Shenault Jr.||WR||53||74.7%|
WR: The good news this week was for Laviska Shenault and the bad news was for Collin Johnson. Johnson looked good in the couple games leading up but Keelan Cole returned to reclaim his slot role. This moved Shenault outside opposite of D.J. Chark . Chark and Shenault are the most trustworthy for fantasy though Shenault has proven injury prone - and issue that plagued him in college.
RB: James Robinson is the guy. Unfortunately, a 23-yard touchdown of his was nullified by DJ Chark lining up in the wrong spot but he still had another solid game.
TE: Tyler Eifert once again saw a surprising snap share and a pretty large route number, running 37 on the day. In fact, over the second half of the season starting Week 9, his 161 routes run is top ten for tight ends. He’s more of a DFS dart throw but at least he’s out there.
New York Jets
RB: The backfield here was a bit of a three headed monster with the carries and pass snaps split fairly evenly. Frank Gore started but Ty Johnson got slightly more snaps. He’s the better asset in the passing game.
TE: A typical performance from Christopher Herndon in Gase’s offense. Play 25 pass plays but block on eight of them. Not useful for fantasy football.
WR: Marvin Jones is playing his typical role. So is Danny Amendola splitting slot snaps with T.J. Hockenson . They have filled Kenny Golladay ’s role with a mix of Mohamad Sanu and Quintez Cephus as of late, but no one is getting the full role making them tough to trust.
TE: Another good game for Hock from a usage standpoint - 56 snaps, 43 pass plays, 39 routes. Solid.
Green Bay Packers
|Equanimeous St. Brown||WR||17||25.4%|
WR: Davante Adams plays nearly every snap, as he should. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is preferred on the outside opposite him and Allen Lazard plays the slot. They mix in two tight end sets so the wideouts don’t get a full workload.
RB: Typically, what they do here is have Aaron Jones get extra carries and then split the pass down work but as of late Jamaal Williams usage has dramatically declined. Williams only played nine pass snaps compared to 29 for Jones. Williams was particularly relevant anyway so this for the best.
TE: Robert Tonyan is an interesting case. He continues to only play about 60% of the snaps. And because of that he’s not running and elite number of routes. But he catches nearly every target and has now scored in four straight weeks. Because of this, he doesn’t have a super high upside, but he seems to be pretty good for a couple catches a week. The nightmare of course is a week where he gets his four to five targets, and he doesn’t catch all of them - which could realistically happen fairly easily.
WR: With no D.J. Moore they decided to mix in a lot of two tight end sets but Pharaoh Cooper and Brandon Zylstra did pick up some snaps. Since it’s still split between the two you can’t trust anyone outside of Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel .
TE: We’ve talked about this many times but, if there were an award given to the player most like that kid in gym class that runs around but never gets the ball, Ian Thomas would be a lock. 33 routes run again - he’s a top 10 TE in routes run but he’s tight end 99 in yards per route run. Whoof.
New England Patriots
RB: In a negative game script, it was the James White show. The Pats are a run first team and they still tried to run a bunch with Damien Harris and Sony Michel but at a certain point in a game like this that needs to be abandoned.
TE: Ryan Izzo was one of the more boring tight ends out there so him going to IR at least opens things up for an unknown. Dalton Keane played 31 snaps and ran 18 routes so he’s the more interesting one but Devin Asiasi was activated and ran nine routes.
Las Vegas Raiders
|Henry Ruggs III||WR||41||60.3%|
WR: Henry Ruggs hits the COVID list, so he’ll be out for Thursday. Expect to see a full snap share on the outside from Nelson Agholor and a lot of Hunter Renfrow in the slot. Rookie Bryan Edwards will see a boost in snaps as well as more two tight end sets.
RB: Josh Jacobs was a game time decision, but he still managed to play most of the important snaps. He’s the guy when active.
TE: As usual, Darren Waller played more snaps than any other pass catcher on the team. With no Ruggs he’s in for a full workload.
Los Angeles Rams
WR: The Rams went heavy sets and brought it to the Patriots with the run game - we’ll talk about it below but none of the WRs played as much as the two tight ends. Don’t expect that every week - it’s typically Robert Woods and Josh Reynolds on the outside with Cooper Kupp in the slot. Van Jefferson is the next man up at all three positions. That’s why McVay and Snead drafted a coach’s son who is coachable.
TE: Heavy two tight end sets with Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee clearly playing a monster snap share but the weird thing is that Higbee only ran routes on 15 of the team’s pass plays and Everett on 14. It’s like the Rams told them when they were going to run and then just went out and did it. The Pats are a tough defense for tight ends, so the Rams get a much more intriguing one this week with the Jets. We like Everett of the two.
RB: J.K. Dobbins played a ton of snaps, but Gus Edwards also went out there on 1st and 10 in the red zone and ran the ball in from the 19 and 11 on the first play. It’s hard to say whether Edwards would have gotten multiple carries on those drives had he not scored so quickly so it’s hard to knock him for that. Dobbins is the best bet for fantasy, but he hasn’t run away with the full role yet.
TE: Mark Andrews ran 28 routes - he has only pass blocked twice this entire season. Usage doesn’t get much better
New Orleans Saints
TE: After some weird, run heavy tight end usage, Jared Cook played 36 snaps and ran 29 routes, managing to score. Hard to trust but that usage is at least better than what it’s been.
Taysom Hill : He was way more fun in this article before. 63 snaps at QB. Boring.
WR: D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett play the whole game. David Moore and Freddie Swain split the other WR snaps but not enough to trust. Maybe if one guy was getting the whole role but even with that targets are thin.
TE: Reports are that Greg Olsen is trying to come back. Even if he does, none of these tight ends are fantasy relevant.
|Benny Snell Jr.||RB||5||8.8%|
WR: Diontae Johnson has seven drops and a fumble of his last three games. That was enough for him to ride the pine. It’s yet to be seen what this week will look like, but JuJu Smith-Schuster is the most trustworthy and James Washington could lose snaps to Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool only ran routes on 23 of 40 pass plays (Juju ran routes on all 40).
TE: Eric Ebron played fewer snaps than usual, but he ran a ton of routes. He’s a backend TE1 given his usage and spot on the target totem pole here.
WR: The starting WRs to start the year were Brandin Cooks , Will Fuller , and Randall Cobb . None of them were available this week though Cooks is expected back. Based on what we’ve seen, it should be Chad Hansen and Brandin Cooks on the outside with Keke Coutee in the slot.
RB: With no David Johnson we expected the Duke Johnson show but Buddy Howell got some looks. Howell got more carries, but Duke got more pass plays so Duke probably still the better bet given the value of targets vs. carries.
TE: Jordan Akins has seen an increased usage running 26 routes, but he dropped another TD this week. If Watson can’t trust him, we can’t trust him.
RB: Derrick. Henry. This dude is a beast.
|Irv Smith Jr.||TE||28||35.4%|
RB: Dalvin Cook is the guy. Makes things easy.
Washington Football Team
WR: We’ve talked about this, but this team really runs a lot of four wide receiver sets except the fourth wide receiver is Logan Thomas standing in the slot right next to where the TE would be. Terry McLaurin and Cam Sims play the whole game on the outside. Steven Sims and Isaiah Wright don’t play enough to be relevant.
TE: Logan Thomas is playing a ton of snaps and running a ton of routes. He has some pretty bad matchups though and QB play keeps him in the back end TE1 range.