Snap Count Observations: Transactions to Make for Week 12

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Sometimes life is a lot bigger than fantasy football. Sometimes, your firstborn daughter decides to show up on a Sunday and occupy all your time during the next week of your life. Sometimes that means you can’t write your weekly fantasy article for The Fantasy Footballers.

If you haven’t caught on already, the above exactly describes the last eight days of my life. My world has been turned upside down, and now I can say that I am a father for the first time in my life. It’s been, as you’d expect, exhausting, confusing, fun, shocking, gross, rewarding, unifying, and wonderful all at the same time.

Tracking something as silly as how many snaps each player in the NFL played is probably super insignificant in comparison to the birth of your first child, but fantasy football didn’t stop being important to me just because I now have another family member. No way. I still love this inane hobby, and I love writing about it. With that, let’s get into it!

Tennessee Titans

Treylon Burks Pops in Limited Playing Time

Treylon Burks 50%

Treylon Burks has never been a full-time wide receiver in the NFL. His season high is 69% snaps, and he’s played 56% and 50% since returning from injury in Week 10. He continues to play behind Robert Woods and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, but snap counts don’t really matter for Burks because he runs almost the same number of routes as the other two guys (29 each for Woods and Westbrook-Ikhine; 23 for Burks). So, snap counts aren’t really the correct measurement for Burks, especially on a team like Tennessee that hands the ball off to Derrick Henry 28 times in a game.

I talked about Burks pre-injury, and I said something similar. Basically, I argued that you shouldn’t care that Burks only sees the field half the time, because when he is on the field, he demands targets. Consider this: Westbrook-Ikhine hasn’t missed a game all season, and yet, he has only 25 targets on the year. Meanwhile, Burks has played in four fewer games and has 30 targets. More proof that targets are a talent statistic, if you needed further evidence. Anyway, He received a season-high eight targets in this one, and converted those eight targets into 111 yards.

Burks may never have the massive upside of some other NFL receivers, but his target share is eye-popping. Also, eight targets in 23 routes is a delicious 35% TPRR.

The point is, Burks is good. Some may be turned off by his limited playing time, but who cares if he doesn’t block a lot for Derrick Henry? So long as he runs a significant number of routes and demands targets on those routes, he’s good to get in your lineup.

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Conclusion: Start Treylon Burks; grab him if he’s on any waiver wires (he’s only 40% rostered on Sleeper).

Denver Broncos

Latavius Murray is the Last Man Standing

Melvin Gordon 45%; Latavius Murray 50%; Chase Edmonds 5%

Murray’s Week 11 snap count numbers are not particularly exciting, or even a major difference from his season average since joining Denver, but Denver’s backfield has seen a major shake-up. Melvin Gordon fumbled again and has been politely asked to never carry a football for Denver ever again. The further windfall for Murray was the injury to Chase Edmonds, which is likely to take him out for a few weeks. That leaves only Murray.

Even before Gordon was cut, Murray handled a yeoman’s number of the workload in Week 11 – seeing 17 carries and four targets. Part of that extended usage may have been influenced by Edmond’s early injury, but so what? That’s just data we can extrapolate to Week 12.

So, the Denver backfield in 2022 looks like this: Javonte Williams tore up his knee and is out for the year, Mike Boone is on IR, Melvin Gordon was cut, and Chase Edmonds is set to miss some time.  That leaves just Latavius Murray (and Marlon Mack, but, I mean, c’mon…). Murray is a primary add this week, even if the Denver offense remains unexciting and low efficiency.

Conclusion: Add Latavius Murray.

Cincinnati Bengals

Samaje Perine Assumes Full RB1 Role

Joe Mixon 21%; Samaje Perine 70%

Joe Mixon exited early with a concussion, which allowed Samaje Perine to dominate the Bengals’ backfield. We assumed that Perine was a true handcuff for Mixon, and Week 11 proved that to be so. 11 carries and four targets leading to three touchdowns is some kind of stat line for a backup running back.

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In truth, there’s probably not a huge step down from Mixon to Perine from a fantasy production standpoint. Perine wasn’t particularly efficient, even if he did score three receiving touchdowns on only four targets. Regardless, Perine must be rostered after watching this usage.

Now, it’s possible that Mixon makes it all the way through concussion protocol in a week, but getting through the protocol is more and more difficult these days after the new concussion rules implemented after the Tua debacle. Perine is a great pickup and should be added ahead of Murray or Burks. Even if it doesn’t work out, he’s worth the shot on this strong offense.

Conclusion: Perine is the priority add of the week.

Kansas City Chiefs

Isiah Pacheco Leads Rushing Workload

Pacheco 40%; Jerrick McKinnon 52%

Despite never doing anything stats-wise, Jerick McKinnon continues to play the most snaps of any Chief running back. He runs a fair number of routes too (17 compared to Pacheco’s 10), but mostly he pass blocks. And he’s pretty good at it (85.3 pass blocking rating on PFF). Pacheco is not a good pass blocker at all, and his snaps will take a hit resultantly.

But, Pacheco is a darn good runner. He used his 42% of snaps to run 15 times for 107 yards. We’ve heard rumblings of increased usage for Pacheco, although it hasn’t really come to fruition until now. The Clyde Edwards-Helaire injury may have cleared that path, but you need to give Pacheco credit for taking the job and running with it. This may be a “took job and never looked back” situation. I’ve had my criticisms of Clyde, and the Chiefs don’t need CEH as a pass catcher or a pass blocker with McKinnon playing so many snaps. On this offense, with only one other back stealing playing time, that might make Pacheco a weekly start.

Conclusion: Pacheco should be considered in your starting lineups weekly.

Baltimore Ravens

Demarcus Robinson Shines

Devin Duvernay 84%; Demarcus Robinson 78%

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This was a season-high in playing time for Demarcus Robinson, and he splashed, catching all nine of his targets for 128 yards. This game was a bit surprising in that the Ravens couldn’t do much on offense against Carolina, and the game was close. That meant an unusual game script for Baltimore – passing quite a bit more than usual. Typically, we’d expect Mark Andrews to dominate if the Ravens throw the ball 33 times, but Robinson actually out-targeted Andrews. Andrews may not be 100% after the shoulder injury, but this is still notable for the wide receiver corps. Robinson might be usable in a pinch, and might be a good stash.

Conclusion: Grab Demarcus Robinson if you have room; Duvernay should be dropped if you haven’t already.

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