Fantasy football overreactions to Week 1 is as consistent as Sammy Watkins blowing up the same week. Most of the information offered is not worth reading into and most people stick to stat lines. Which is why looking into snap counts is the best insight I can give into what a team truly wants to do.
Cowboys vs. Buccaneers
With Michael Gallup falling to injury half way through the game Cedrick Wilson saw a big bump in snaps reaching 40-percent (34) offensively. Gallup is vacating 60-percent (50) from his first game. Granted the passing volume was over emphasized but Wilson should be in line for a sizeable fantasy role as the Cowboys wide receiver three. Dalton Schultz and Blake Jarwin both saw sizeable snaps in this game with Schultz beating out Jarwin 68-percent (57) to 57-percent (48). This effectively kills both of their fantasy potential currently.
Tampa Bay Buccanners
Antonio Brown was third in snaps with 65-percent (42) but led the team in receiving yards. Chris Godwin led the receiving room in snaps and with 98-percent (64 snaps) and targets per snap with 4.57. The running back snaps are not worth looking into right now since Ronald Jones got the Bruce Arians fumble treatment. Rob Gronkowski dominated the tight end snaps reaching 88-percent (57), may very well end up being the steal of the draft.
Eagles vs. Falcons
The biggest surprise of the this game was that Boston Scott did not register a single snap. Instead Miles Sanders got 66-percent (47) and Kenneth Gainwell saw 35-percent (25) and they both saw red zone opportunities. Gainwell is a must add in any point per reception league. Dallas Goedert registered 73-percent (52) which was eleven snaps more than Zach Ertz 58-percent (41). If Ertz gets moved or is injured Goedert could very well meet his billing. Devonta Smith and Jalen Reagor were clear and away the top wide receivers on the teams registering 87-percent (62) and 70-percent (50) of the snaps, with Quez Watkins 48-percent (34) as the clear wide receiver three.
Kyle Pitts and Russell Gage both received a 68-percent (49) snap total with the next nearest receiver only receiving 26-percent (19). In seasonal leagues it seems that Olamide Zaccheaus is a drop until further opportunity develops. Hayden Hurst is showing some life with a 60-percent (43 snaps) snap share and catching all four of his targets. Mike Davis logged a 75-percent snap share (54) with his backup Cordarelle Patterson reaching 33-percent (24). What is surprising is that Davis saw a touch every 2.57 snaps and Patterson saw a touch every 2.66 snaps. From an efficiency perspective Davis averaged four yards per touch where as Patterson averaged 7.44 yards per touch. Something to keep in mind moving forward if this trend persists.
Steelers vs. Bills
As mentioned in the instant reaction article Najee was the only running back to receive 100-percent (58) of the snaps. Juju Smith-Schuster logged 91-percent (53) and managed to turn that into the second most targets on the team. Dionate Johnson logged 76-percent (44) with Chase Claypool reaching 67-percent (39). Johnson saw the most targets per snaps with Smith-Schuster coming in second and Claypool the third. Seems like the trend from last year is holding steady this year. The last of note of the Steelers snap share is that Pat Freiermuth had the highest snap share at tight end. Although Freiermuth and Eric Ebron share most of the tight end snaps 50-percent to 47-percent.
The top three wide receivers by snap share are Emmanuel Sanders 93-percent (79) Stefon Diggs 93-percent (79) and Cole Beasley 91-percent (77). The targets play out the same way too, Gabriel Davis logging 51-percent of the snaps (43) is a surprise. If this trend continues Sanders may end up being a valuable flex option down the line. What is even more pressing was the snap share Devin Singletary 75-percent (64) got after Zack Moss was a healthy scratch. On top of that Singletary got five targets reaching 15 touches this game. Not every game will flow like this for Buffalo but how involved Singletary was is something to keep an eye on moving forward. Dawson Knox got 56-percent (48) of the snaps and also managed to convert all four of his targets into 41 yards. The only other tight end to register any snaps was Tom Sweeny with 2-percent (2).
New York Jets vs. Carolina Panthers
New York Jets
The top three wide receivers based on snap count for the Jets are Corey Davis 89-percent (58), Elijah Moore 86-percent (56) and Braxton Berrios 57-percent (37). With previous second round draft pick Denzel Mims getting the last of the snaps with 5-percent (3). Elijah Moore will be dropped onto you waviers, if you have the space don’t let him sit there, his production will come. In a spectacular fashion the Jets backfield featured Ty Johnson 54-percent (35) of the snaps as the lead back followed by Tevin Coleman 26-percent (17) and Michael Carter 25-percent (16). The downside is that not one of those back could capitalize on any of the opportunity. Moving forward it is tough to project any fantasy relevance of this backfield in its current state of affairs. The upside here is that Tyler Kroft led the tight end group with 66-percent (43) of the snaps and was the third most targeted player with 5.
The snap breakdown for this team offers little surprise surface level. Both DJ Moore and Robby Anderson saw the high for receiver snaps with 81-percent (52) with rookie Terrace Marshall taking third with 53-percent (34). Ian Thomas and Dan Arnold shared a similar snap count with 55-percent (35) and 52-percent (33). Which leads me to believe that Carolina may be running more 12 personnel grouping than expected, which will result in a reduced opportunities for Marshall if this trend continues. What does go in Marshalls favor is that he was second in targets per snap with 5.66. Also of note, Anderson was the odd man out of the target tree only netting a total of three targets for the game. He seems like a very appealing sell high candidate early in the season.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Cincinnati Bengals
This game went into overtime so all of the snap counts will be overinflated from a four quarter game.
The biggest standout of this game was the high snap counts of the wide receivers, Adam Thielen 94-percent (78), Justin Jefferson 92-percent (76) and KJ Osborn 81-percent (67). Last year the Vikings used a based 12-personnel for their offense, this year it is 11-personnel. The Vikings had trouble protecting Kirk Cousins so that may change but if it doesn’t Osborn will need to be rostered across all leagues. With Irv Smith Jr. out for the season, Tyler Conklin stepped into his role with 71-percent (59) of the snaps, coincidentally the same snap amount for Dalvin Cook. Alexander Mattison and Ameer Abdullah shared the same snap count 11-percent (9), something to take notice of if this continues, Mattison may not be the handcuff I had previously thought of him as.
Ja’Marr Chase led the team in targets (7), yards (100) and snaps 90-percent (62) for offensive skill position players. Tee Higgins, C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Boyd all had 74-percent of the snaps (51) which is misleading as Higgins missed time to get an IV. Tyler Boyd could be the odd man out of that passing attack if this continues. Drew Sample saw 51-percent (35) of the snaps, which relegates him to his previous role prior to the Uzomah injury. The other big take away here is that Joe Mixon saw a touch ever 1.63 snaps. The Bengals were leading half of the game so in a more negative game script may sway some of his touches. Either way a fantastic start for Joe Mixon.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Detroit Lions
San Francisco 49ers
Just like in the Instant Reactions article Brandon Aiyuk headlines the series only managing to get the third highest snap total of 47-percent (26) for wide receivers. Deebo Samuel was leading the way with 84-percent (46) of the snaps and Trent Sherfield with 49-percent (27) of the snaps. George Kittle of course had the highest of any receiver with 95-percent (52). A promised Elijah Mitchell saw 64-percent (35) of the snaps with JaMycal Hasty reaching 29-percent (16) of the snaps. What is the biggest surprise is that the 49ers only ran 54 offensive plays mostly due to them seeing only 43-percent of time of possession on offense. Deebo also lead the team with a target every 3.83 snaps, as long as Aiyuk is banged up or in the dog house Deebo will be the sole benefactor.
Fifteen minutes before the game the NFL Network came out and said that Jamaal Williams would be named the starter. The snap count for the running backs told a different story with D’Andre Swift seeing 68-percent (68) of the snaps and Jamaal Williams 35-percent (32). Another surprise was the leading wide receiver snap count goes to Khalif Raymond with 75-percent (69) and fourth round rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown was second with 64-percent (59) of the snaps. It is worth noting that Tyrell Williams left the game with a concussion early into the third quarter. An interesting note the top three players for touch per snaps were Williams with 1.88, Swift with 3.26 and Hockenson with 7.8. With out the amount of offensive plays this trend will be something to keep an eye on.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans
Marvin Jones Jr. led the wide receiver room in snaps with 91-percent (67) the following two D.J. Chark with 84-percent (62) and Laviska Shenault with 70-percent (52). James O’Shaughnessy was the third in snaps for receivers with 80-percent (59) and James Robinson led the running backs with 64-percent (47). Carlos Hyde while only getting a 34-percent (25) snap share out rushed Robinson 9 to 5. The leading receiver and rusher for touch per snaps were Shenault with 7.75 and Hyde with 2.72. The concern here is this offense is so spread out it may create a conundrum for fantasy to find a steady producer. If somehow Urban Meyers makes it through this year it could be a long fantasy year.
What is more surprising was the Texans winning a game or the Texans winning their first game. Third round rookie wide receiver Nico Collins got the second most snaps for wide receivers with 55-percent (43) and Brandin Cooks leading the way with 78-percent (61). What is more surprising is the two tight ends who both had higher snap shares than Collins, Pharaoh Brown 76-percent (59) and Jordan Adkins with 60-percent (47). The Texans also had a third tackle register a high snap count making me believe they spent a decent portion in a jumbo package. Which bodes well for the running backs who Mark Ingram III led the way with 46-percent (36) with David Johnson and Phillip Lindsay coupled together with 28 and 26-percent a piece (22/20). I am not going to believe this reality just yet until I see more from this team but this is something I will be paying close attention to Week 2.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Indianapolis Colts
D.K. Metcalf led the wide receivers with 93-percent (50) with Tyler Lockett coming in with 85-percent (46). Chris Carson led the running backs with a 78-percent (42) snap share the next highest running back was Rashaad Penny with 13-percent (7). Penny just landed with a calf strain and this has become yet again a beautiful fantasy landscape. Metcalf, Lockett, Carson are standing atop the target tree and will be amassing majority of the teams fantasy points. The dark horse of this team is which tight end is going get the fantasy upside. Gerald Everett and Will Dissly were one snap away from each other, Everett with 72-percent (39) and 70-percent (38) of snaps. Everett scored the touchdown but Dissly had more targets and yards. The tight end has always been a fruitful position in Seattle will be a competition to keep an eye on.
From the snap counts the Colts ran a fair amount of 12 personnel. Michael Pittman and Zach Pascal led the wide receivers with 97-percent (74) and 91-percent (69). Parris Campbell did log 61-percent (46) of the snaps just slightly ahead of the tight ends Jack Doyle who got 59-percent (45) and Mo Allie-Cox with 51-percent (39). The Campbell breakout is being put on ice until he can beat out Pascal. Jonathan Taylor only saw 55-percent (42) of the snaps compared to Nyheim Hines who got 45-percent (34). This is not the snap share you want to see for a running back who got top-12 running back billings in the pre-season. The Colts were constantly behind which makes Taylors upside potentially dependent on the game script the Colts are in each week. The upside for Taylor and Hines remains intact as they were the Colts leading target leaders and receivers. If that can remain consistent both Hines and Taylor are looking at a very likely Top-24 appearance at the end of the year.
Tennessee Titans vs. Arizona Cardinals
The snap counts for the Titans is rather predictable with A.J. Brown and Julio leading the receivers and Derrick Henry leading the rushers. Anthony Firkser who got 48-percent (31) of the snaps and Geoff Swaim got 39-percent (25). The margin isn’t big enough yet for Firkser to replicate the Jonnu Smith I had hoped for in the off season. The secondary options for the Titans Chester Rodgers saw 61-percent (39) and Jeremy McNichols saw 36-percent (23) as the leading ancillary options. McNichols may be a name to stash around the half way point if available and this snap trend continues.
The Cardinals had three receivers over 50-percent DeAndre Hopkins, AJ Green and Christian Kirk. Hopkins received 88-percent (61), Green 80-percent (50) and Kirk 57-percent (39) and Rondale Moore reached 29-percent (20). What is most impressive is the production Moore was able to produce on such a limited snap count. Moore had one touchdown called back due to penalty, helping him slide under the radar. Chase Edmonds saw 58-percent (40) of the snaps, seeing a touch every 2.5 snap and saw 0.91 fantasy points per touch. Conversely, James Conner saw 49-percent (34) of the snaps, seeing a touch ever 2.68 snaps and saw 0.33 fantasy points per touch. Maxx Williams snap count of 80-percent (55) would be exciting but he only managed one target from all that field opportunity.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Washington Football Team
Los Angeles Chargers
Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Jaylen Guyton all logged the most snaps of any offensive skill position. Allen logged 83-percent (67), Williams 75-percent (61) and Guyton 65-percent (53) of snaps. Which had the biggest drop of from snap differentials at the position. The closest position group for snap counts Jared Cook saw 58-percent (47) and Donald Parham saw 51-percent (41). Looking at the targets it seems that Cook was the primary receiver in the tight end room accumulating eight targets. Austin Ekeler 58-percent (47) where as Larry Roundtree III 27-percent (22) and Justin Jackson 14-percent (11). With a competitive game script the biggest take away for me is that this looks to be a similar to how the weapons were deployed last year. Rountree III has value this year as he got the second most opportunities from the running back room.
Washington Football Team
The two leading offensive weapons for snap share were Logan Thomas and Terry McLaurin both accruing 100-percent (55) of the snaps. With Curtis Samuel out rookie Dyami Brown saw 93-percent (51) of the snaps. Samuel currently as an IR member means opportunity has become available for Thomas, Brown, Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic. Both Gibson and McKissic saw solid snap totals with Gibson reaching 65-percent (36) and McKissic reaching 36-percent (20). The issue is now that the quarterback is now Taylor Heinicke, though he did have a passer rating of 119.3. The likely outcome for this team is that they will want to slow the game down, rely on their defense to keep the game close and their playmakers to deliver when it comes time. The last notable snap count was Adam Humphries who logged 60-percent (33) which would have been exciting if Fitzpatrick was still the quarterback.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cleveland Browns
Kansas City Chiefs
Blink if you have heard this before but Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce logged the highest snaps with 88-percent (57) and 85-percent (55). Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman saw the second highest snaps share out of the receivers for with 74-percent (48) and 69-percent (45). Clyde Edwards-Helaire logged 72-percent (47) of the snaps for running back with Darrel Williams only reaching 22-percent (14). The incentivizing part of this offense remains incentivizing with the majority of the snaps and opportunities being disrupted to the top playmakers on the team. The biggest issue for fantasy is the Edwards-Helaire remains a weekly conundrum.
Sine Odell Beckham Jr. is out, opportunity had opened for Donovan Peoples-Jones reaching the second highest snap share of wide receivers at 80-percent (47). Austin Hooper and David Njoku logged the third and fourth highest snap shares of skill positions with 64-percent (38) and 59-percent (35). Anthony Schwartz saw a surprising snap share of 53-percent (31) and was able to capitalize on that opportunity getting the third most targets that week. Both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt were shockingly close in snap share logging 53-percent (31) and 47-percemt (28). Last years trend showed an increase in Hunt usage when the Browns were down, however most of the game the Browns were leading. This may be a change which could impact Chubbs fantasy value when he doesn’t find the end zone. Njoku was tied with the most targets on the team and was able to capitalize on them. He is not a stash yet but that could change with another week or two of similar usage.
Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots
In the preseason there was Myles Gaskins drama after the first week game and Malcom Brown seeing the most touches. Brian Flores quickly put that to rest this week as Gaskins logged 54-percent (29) of the snaps with Malcom Brown logging 30-percent (16) and Salvon Ahmed hitting 20-percent (11). With that opportunity Gaskin led the team in rushes and was third in targets and receptions, clearly establishing his role as the lead back. Devante Parker and sixth overall pick Jaylen Waddle led the team in receiving snaps with 83-percent (45) and 80-percent (43). Now that Will Fuller as served his suspension the snap share next week will offer a better insight into the wide receivers potential opportunity on the field. This week Albert Wilson was third in snaps for the wide receivers with 41-percent (22). Durham Smythe led the tight end room with 70-percent and Mike Geiscki barely outsnapped Hunter long 39-percent (21) to 31-percent (18). While this is not the time to start panicking, if this trend continues Geiscki could very well end up a fantasy bust this season.
New England Patriots
There was no team that telegraphed their formation intentions more than the Patriots this offseason. The offensive skill players snap leaders were Jakobi Meyers 99-percent (74). Nelson Agholor 85-percent (64), Jonnu Smith 73-percent (55) and Hunter Henry 72-percent (54). Bill Belicheck is known for his contrarian game plans each week, while this may not be constant this will certainly be the Patriots base formation this year. Smith caught all five of his targets and Henry all three of his, while both are healthy neither have high fantasy upside. Kendrick Bourne was the third wide receiver in snaps with 44-percent (33), rendering his fantasy upside obsolete. Damian Harris led the back field with 53-percent (40) of the snaps with James White 37-percent (28) and Rhamondre Stevenson 7-percent (5) as the secondary options. While both Harris and Stevenson fumbled it appears that Harris retains his primary back role. Next week will be more telling of the teams running back usage intentions if both Harris and Stevenson can hold onto the ball. This is exciting news for the Harris fantasy managers, especially with him managing 3 targets this week.
Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints
As we all know most of these numbers are going to be skewed due to how quickly out of hand this game got.
Green Bay Packers
Davante Adams, Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling led the packers in offensive snap counts with 70-percent (40), 68-percent (39) and 63-percent (36). There is really is not a lot to read into with these snaps, but it seems that once again the Packers will be running 11 personnel this season. Which with Valdes-Scantling reaching No. 6 in air yards (per playerprofiler.com) makes his snap count rather enticing as a fantasy flier.
New Orleans Saints
Marquez Callaway saw nearly doubled the snaps of his nearest counterpart Deonte Harris. The top three offensive weapons this week were Callaway 84-percent (52), Adam Trautman 82-percent (51), Alvin Kamara 73-percent (45). The Saints also had a third tackle receive 92-percent of the snaps. Which would make sense given how quickly the game got out of hand. However, if this trend continues Callaway and Trautman may be in for a bounce back in the coming weeks. Tony Jones Jr. saw 35-percent (22) of the snaps and saw a touch every 2 snaps. Where Alvin Kamara saw a touch every 1.95 snaps and an opportunity every 1.73 snaps.
Denver Broncos vs. New York Giants
With the departure of Jerry Jeudy sustaining a high ankle sprain during the game, the wide receiving room found a lot more opportunity. Prior to Jeudy’s departure he has accrued 7 targets and 6 receptions off of 31 snaps. The highest snap count for the wide receiver room went to Courtland Sutton reaching 80-percent (53) and second was Tim Patrick with 70-percent (46). Tiim Patrick figures to be a water downed replacement of the production Jerry Jeudy would have had. Noah Fant was another benefactor of Teddy Bridgewater amassing 6 receptions from 8 targets while getting 77-percent (51) of the offensive snaps. Fant saw an opportunity ever 6.37 snaps and a touch ever 8.5 snaps. Importantly, even with Jeudy’s departure K.J. Hamlers snap count did not raise a significant amount. Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams shared the same snap count of 50-percent (33) snaps, though this is a little skewed as the team let Williams have the last two drives of the game. This time share is going to get more ugly before it gets better, and Gordon was the target leader in the backfield with 3 and neither back got a red zone carry.
New York Giants
Sterling Shepard and Kenny Golladay had the highest snap count of 95-percent (58) and 85-percent (52). With Evan Engram a scratch Kyle Rudolph and Kaden Smith had rises in their snaps with 77-percent (47) and 48-percent (29). Barkley saw a potential career low in snap counts with 48-percent (29) with Devonta Booker getting 39-percent (24). Darius Slayton logged 70-percent of the snaps and had the second highest targets on the team. This offense is just a cluster, but as long as Engram is gone Shepard will reign supreme atop the target tree with a 24.32-percent target share.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Chicago Bears
Los Angeles Rams
Cooper Kupp led the wide receiver grouping with 94-percent (4) of the snaps with Robert Woods and Van Jefferson hitting 77-percent (40) and 69-percent (36). Kupp seems on a straight path to a Top-12 PPR fantasy finish; while Woods and Jefferson need to be monitored regarding their usage and target share of the offense. Tyler Higbee logged 100-percent (52) of the snaps and saw a 23.07-percent target share of the offense this week. Higbee could very well make good on the promising year he was touted to have last year. Darrell Henderson reached 94-percent (49) of the snaps and most likely will be the highest he see’s this year. His usage as a running back was promising though his lack of a role as a receiver is disappointing week 1. Robert Woods may be a sell high if he see’s another week of getting a 15.38-percent target share.
This biggest surprise is that Mooney out snapped Allen Robinson 100-percent (69) to 91-percent (63). Even though Robinson saw less snaps he lead the team with 12 targets, which means it’s fantasy business as usual for him. Cole Kmet has officially retained the lead tight end role logging 74-percent (51) of the snaps compared to Jimmy Graham only reaching 20-percent (14). Kmet also saw seven targets which bodes well for him if he can find the end zone as well. What does draw some concern for me is that while David Montgomery saw 59-percent (41) of the snaps and dominated the carries he only saw one target. Which dramatically reduces his ceiling with Damian Williams dominating the pass catcher role while also logging 43-percent (30). The touch balance will be telling when or if we see the Bears with a lead throughout a game for the running backs.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Las Vegas Raiders
The information everyone wants to know is what to do with the Ravens backfield. Ty’Son Williams out snapped Latavius Murray 51-percent (35) to 31-percent (21). However Ty’Son was in pass protection when Lamar Jackson’s fumbled and afterword’s Murray was the guy in the back field. Ty’Son out touched Murray 14 to 10, and looked much better as a runner. The saga goes on as well with Devonta Freeman being called from the practice squad. The addition of Sammy Watkins reaching 82-percent (56) helped Marquise Brown elevate into the spot many had hoped for him earlier in his career. Brown saw 69-percent (47) while his clone Devin Duvernay reached 57-percent (39). Duvernay is someone to keep an eye on, while he wasn’t able to take advantage of his snap share; he still has three to four more weeks to try and do that. Mark Andrews saw the second highest snap count 81-percent (55) but failed to log much production. With that snap share his production will follow.
Las Vegas Raiders
Darren Waller. That is the entire analysis, Waller saw 19 targets, 10 receptions and over 100 yards off a 94-percent snap share. Josh Jacob’s and Kenyan Drake shared a close snap count with Jacob’s reaching 52-percent (45) and Drake got 48-percent (41). As expected Drake hardly pushed into Jacobs rushing production but performed well as a receiver converting all five targets into 59 yards. The Bryan Edwards breakout is on the right track after logging the highest snap total of all the wide receivers with 66-percent (57) just a touch over Henry Ruggs III 65-percent (56). Edwards also led the receivers in yards but not targets, albeit most of his production came late into the game. Ruggs III is what most expected, a good NFL player but a bleak fantasy football player. The accountant Hunter Renfrow logged 55-percent (47) of the snaps while being the highest targeted player not named Waller. A player on most waivers in season long leagues certainly warrants a pick up for those with PPR settings. The big concern for the Raiders is protection, as that improves it is likely that Edwards and Ruggs III become more involved at the expense of Drake and Renfrow.