Snap Count Observations: Transactions to Make for Week 15
Week 14 saw the “do RBs matter?” debate crop up again. On one hand, the 49ers traded for Christian McCaffrey, and he consistently looks like the best football player on the field. On the other hand, Zonovan Knight was signed off the street a few weeks ago and also looks great. Even on my favorite team, the Detroit Lions, you have D’Andre Swift playing about a third of the snaps, occasionally popping, but at the same time, the Lions are also playing Justin Jackson about a third of the time, and he also pops.
So why do I bring this up? Because every year, there is some surprise running back that turns into a very important player for fantasy championships. Last year, it was Rashaad Penny. A few years ago, it was Tim Hightower. You need to be on the lookout for 2022’s version.
It might be Zonovan Knight. Personally, I expected Michael Carter to have a larger role than he did this week after returning from injury, but it’s clear that the Jets just like Bam Knight. He’s going to have a role moving forward, so hopefully, you grabbed him while you could. Alternatively, there is always the possibility that a big-name RB gets injured in the next few weeks, so be prepared! Stay on your toes, read this article, and I will let you know if I see someone who I think could be that random horse to carry you to a championship.
Jameson Williams Still Lightly Used
Jameson Williams 19%
Watching Jameson Williams score a touchdown on his first NFL catch was a ton of fun. There’s no doubt he’s a big play waiting to happen. Also, he proved himself to be a tough-nosed, NFL receiver when he laid the wood on a linebacker while blocking.
Jamo made an impact in more ways than one Sunday! @bigsgjamo
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) December 12, 2022
But still, a guy who only sees two targets and plays fewer than 20% of the snaps has no business in your fantasy lineups. It’s a lottery ticket. This week, it worked out because he caught a pass, that pass was a deep shot, and the play resulted in a touchdown. Still, it was a bit of a broken play, particularly because the Vikings’ starting safety, Harrison Smith, was absent from the game. Had Smith been playing, he may not have missed the assignment.
Jamo’s usage looks like a gadget player for 2022, which is fine for the Lions who already have three receivers playing really, really well.
Conclusion: I am not really sure you should hold him for 2022 if you are making a run to the championship. A handcuff or a defense having a great matchup in Week 16 or 17 might be a better use of your bench space.
Elijah Moore out of the Doghouse?
After weeks of trade rumors, questions about his attitude, and snide comments about his quarterback, Elijah Moore finally did something notable. He played his highest snap share since Week 4, and he saw a team-high 10 targets.
While Moore is finally getting the usage his talent deserves, the Jets have another quarterback issue. Mike White is likely out after leaving the stadium in an ambulance. Apparently if White misses time, the Jets won’t go back to Zach Wilson, which means more Joe Flacco, I guess? Flacco didn’t look particularly good in relief against the Bills, but perhaps a week of practice could improve his outlook.
Conclusion: Elijah Moore is back involved in the offense, but QB questions damped excitement a lot.
Saquon Gets a Break
The big question coming into Week 14 was whether Saquon Barkley would play. He did give it a go, but he was not 100%, and the Giants got run out of the building by the Eagles, so exposing him to further usage was generally pointless. Hopefully, your playoff hopes weren’t riding on a big Saquon performance this week, but if you survived his dud, you’re probably glad his neck got a rest so that he can help your team in Week 15.
Conclusion: Saquon will be fine moving forward.
Running Back Situation Remains Murky
Fournette was on the injury list all week but was removed prior to the game. That suggests he was 100% ready to go, so White playing more than Fournette is slightly notable, but White barely played more. This backfield looks like an even split moving forward, which is kind of gross in this offense that is not exciting. The Bucs look like a team that has essentially given up, even though they are in the driver’s seat toward making the playoffs and winning the division. Brady looks frustrated and it’s infecting the entire team.
Conclusion: Neither Bucs running back is exciting while both are healthy.