Snap Count Observations: Transactions to Make for Week 5 (Fantasy Football)
Happy Monday to everyone who drafted Christian McCaffrey! Let’s talk snap counts!
De’Von Achane Sees Big Snap Increase
Achane 60%; Raheem Mostert 43%
A week after bursting onto the scene, De’Von Achane saw a sizable opportunity increase. McDaniels hinted that Achane may see an increase in snaps saying, “The game’s not too big for him and he’ll continue to have a role for sure in our offense moving forward.” So perhaps this flip in playing time is a result of McDaniels keeping his promise. On the other hand, Mostert did fumble the ball twice, losing one, so Mostert may have been in running back purgatory that results so often after an RB puts the ball on the ground a few times. The game was also a blowout. It’s hard to say, with certainty, that the team likes Achane more than Mostert in the passing game. Mostert did have an impressive leaping catch where he looked more like a wide receiver than a running back. Also, McDaniels is a smart, modern coach who may have just seen that Achane was the more dynamic runner in this game. The stats speak for themselves (Achane: 101 yards on eight carries; Mostert: nine yards on seven carries).
It’s possible that the “Achane is here to stay” crowd is right at the same time as the “Mostert isn’t going away” crowd. I mean, even in a game where Achane played 11 more snaps, Achane only saw one more opportunity.
All this is likely moot because people having Achane are going to ride the hot hand no matter what at this point. He’s just too exciting, and his stats cannot be denied. Still, I don’t think I am panicking on Mostert either. Miami got punched in the mouth by a very motivated Buffalo team. I don’t think Miami’s three-week fantasy point explosion was a mirage, and I would chalk Mostert’s game up to an anomaly.
Conclusion: Keep starting both Achane and Mostert.
Cam Akers Limited in First Action
Cam Akers made his debut in Week 4 for the Vikings after being traded by the Rams. He saw limited action but received a touch on 50% of his snaps (seven touches on 14 snaps). His rushing numbers in particular were pretty good (five carries for 40 yards). 29% of snaps for Akers doesn’t seem like a big deal, but 69% for Mattison was actually his season-low. Mattison’s end-of-game stats look pretty good (17 for 95), but if you are a Mattison manager, you have to be a little worried here. Akers, in one week with the team, already ate into Mattison’s usage. Plus, in a red zone trip against Carolina, Mattison dropped a pass and nearly fumbled. I’d be expecting this to move closer to a 50-50 split, with Akers having the opportunity to take over the 1A role.
Carolina’s rush defense isn’t great – it’s actually bottom five so far this year in yards given up. Still, Akers seems like the more optimistic play.
Conclusion: Cam Akers is an interesting buy-low here. I’m worried about Mattison and might consider moving on.
Jaleel McLaughlin Shines When Given a Chance
McLaughlin 33%; Samaje Perine 46%
Jaleel McLaughlin is a name to learn this week in view of the Javonte Williams injury. McLaughlin was the first guy to jump in after Williams’ injury and he caught an 18-yard pass for a touchdown on the same drive. He’s still second in the pecking order after Perine, but he’s clearly the more exciting player. Perine was really, really bad in this game (six carries for 12 yards, two catches for 23 yards), while McLaughlin looked really efficient (seven carries for 72 yards, three catches for 32 yards, and one receiving touchdown). Sean Payton also spoke highly of McLaughlin during the preseason.
I have no new information about the length of time Williams will be out of action, but it may not matter. McLaughlin looked more dynamic than Williams ever has this season and may not give up the starting role. The Broncos are not an exciting offense, but they are at least better than last year. McLaughlin is a name to remember before waivers run.
Conclusion: Pick up Jaleel McLaughlin (5-10% FAAB).
Nico Collins Has a Huge Day
Nico Collins had his best day as a pro with 168 receiving yards and two touchdowns on nine targets. Collins was always an exciting prospect – he was a big-bodied receiver who excelled in jump balls at the University of Michigan and was essentially relegated to a red zone threat for his first two years. But he’s a really good player. He’s the WR7 on the year, and he’s playing in a shockingly good Texans offense.
The real story is the Texans. C.J. Stroud looks like the best Ohio State quarterback in the NFL…ever? He’s driving this offense, throwing for a ton of yards, and helping the team win. A lot of people, myself included, assumed he’d be a turnover machine, but he’s playing really good football and raising the water for the entire offense. We’ve seen him do it with Nico on multiple weeks and also Tank Dell a few times. This production can’t be ignored. Even Dameon Pierce was able to get a little bit going on the ground with Stroud driving the offense.
I like Tank Dell a lot, and I think Nico and Dell can coexist in this offense (even though Dell did almost nothing in this game). Still, I prefer Collins because he’s more likely to score more touchdowns than Dell. He’s a player to add from waivers if he’s available.
Conclusion: Add Nico Collins (10-15% FAAB).
Alvin Kamara Takes Over the Backfield
Kamara 75%; Kendre Miller 8%
Alvin Kamara returned from suspension and did Alvin Kamara things, primarily by working in the passing game. He caught 13 balls, but did almost nothing with those catches, gaining only 33 yards in a record-breaking lack of efficiency. He also carried the ball 11 times for 51 yards, which is fine. The problem is the Saints’ offense which looks pretty bad. It seems likely that Derek Carr was not fully healthy, throwing 37 times for only 127 yards.
Generally, the Saints got dominated by the Buccaneers, which may have factored into Kamara’s heavy playing time and passing usage. Also, Carr’s shoulder injury probably, at least subconsciously, led to so many dump-off throws to Kamara. Kamara’s usage is exciting, and his PPR numbers are spectacular, but otherwise, this is not an exciting outcome. Still, a running back with 75% playing time is worthy of being in your lineup.
Conclusion: Kamara belongs in your lineup, especially in PPR leagues.
Isiah Pacheco Is the Clear Backfield Leader
Pacheco has officially taken over full control over the Chiefs’ backfield. It took four weeks, but we got here. Perhaps the team was worried about the preseason injury, but the point is, he’s the guy moving forward. McKinnon will still be involved, but Pacheco isn’t just a pure runner. He saw three targets for 43 yards this week against a strong Jets defense, and he has 12 targets on the season, which almost matches his total for all of 2023. That makes him a clear RB2, if not better, due to the offense he plays in. CEH is being phased out, which means more for Pacheco. He looks strong and he’s running with violence again.
Conclusion: Pacheco is an RB2+ for the rest of the season.