Snap Count Observations: Five Transactions for Week 10 (Fantasy Football)
I posted on Twitter that my advice this week would be to “move on”, and that would be it. I’m happily backing off of that advice, but I do think most of the games from this weekend can be safely ignored in terms of panic meters and overreactions. It’s times like this that usage is much more important than fantasy box scores, because a lot of the matchups were simply disgusting on paper. There are some big names projected to miss Week 10 and beyond, so the waiver wire should have some solid options for any team fighting for their playoff lives:
The Arizona Cardinals Running Backs
James Conner resurrected the same Herculean efforts that we saw in Pittsburgh a few seasons back, and it appears like the significant uptick in usage is going to stick around for a few weeks. Chase Edmonds exited the Week 9 game very early-on, and Conner was given the full reigns of the backfield. He dominated the next three quarters for his fantasy managers, and he should be locked in as a borderline RB1 until Edmonds returns. Conner is already an established fantasy asset, but his backup running back is a sneaky add this week. Eno Benjamin was a seventh round pick from the 2020 draft who is more talented than his draft stock indicates, and he had his own highlight reel play this weekend when he trucked a 49ers linebacker on his way to the end zone. Despite Conner’s workhorse usage this past Sunday, there’s a very strong change that Eno Benjamin fills in for the Chase Edmonds role, with a slightly lower rush share. Benjamin’s snap counts after the Edmonds injury weren’t too exciting, but the whole situation wasn’t something the Cardinals had a way to plan for ahead of time. With Conner being the established starter, it makes sense that they’d rely on him for the full game and re-evaluate their strategy for the next week afterwards. Kliff Kingsbury has always deployed two running backs in this system, and the next man up has typically mirrored the last man down. Benjamin is a stash on your bench for now, but if Edmonds is out for a significant time period then he could find his way into flex territory before Chase returns.
The Cleveland Browns Running Backs
Nick Chubb and Demetric Felton both tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday, which means that there is a legitimate chance they’ll both be inactive this weekend. If that’s the case, then D’Ernest Johnson instantly becomes an RB2 with top-5 upside until Chubb and Felton return. On top of the obvious potential this week, Johnson still deserves a spot on your bench. When he had his chance in Week 7, he showcased serious fantasy potential within the Browns scheme and his recent usage in the Kareem Hunt role has been steady. He belongs in the conversation with players like Alexander Mattison and Tony Pollard until Hunt comes back, which makes him worth an add outside of the Covid situation in the backfield this week. He checks both boxes for a high-upside bench stash, and we’re approaching the months where players like this can win you fantasy titles.
Conclusion: ADD D’Ernest Johnson
The Chicago Bears Receivers
Mooney was a suggestion earlier this year, but things in Chicago have been ugly. The Justin Fields lead Bears have lacked identity, and haven’t seemed too interested in truly letting Fields run wild. The past two weeks have been another story, and it’s a great opportunity to snag the receiver playing the most snaps in the Windy City. Surprisingly enough, it’s not Allen Robinson. Robinson was right alongside Mooney in terms of usage, but Mooney was the top dog in terms of snap counts and routes run. He also found the end zone twice, and appears to be building some chemistry with the rookie quarterback. If the Bears decide to continue letting Fields throw as much as he needed to on Monday night, then Mooney could be an every week WR3 option down the stretch here. That’s certainly a big “if”, because we know how Matt Nagy has burned everyone in the past. Mooney is both a talented player and a heavily utilized one, so the potential for growth in the back half of the season makes him a worthwhile waiver add.
Conclusion: ADD Darnell Mooney
The Denver Broncos Receivers
All of the Sutton, we may have a new top fantasy asset in Denver. Please forgive the pun, I know it wasn’t Jerry funny. Okay, seriously, I’m done. Jerry Jeudy is still being eased back into a full time role, but he’s already commanding a ridiculous target share in Denver. Sutton lead the receiving group in snaps, but was barely targeted. This was likely a result of shadow coverage from Trevon Diggs, but it’s still important to keep track of how the Broncos are utilizing these guys as Jeudy returns to action. His production was solid in game two, but his usage is eye-popping. Jeudy is right back in the thick of things and the breakout year appears to be back on. He’s going to benefit a lot from Teddy Bridgewater‘s skillset and hesitancy to throw the deep ball, but he’s also a smooth enough route runner to command red zone targets more often than he did in 2020. If you can acquire Jeudy for a WR3 price tag, there’s a strong chance he will deliver WR2 production down the stretch.
Conclusion: Trade FOR Jerry Jeudy
The Philadelphia Tight Ends
Dallas Goedert is an every week TE1 without Zach Ertz, but he’s also seeing ridiculous usage. He’s a near full time player, who saw an elite 37.5% target share in a close game this past weekend. Goedert and Devonta Smith seem to be the only real options in the Philly passing game, and this is the perfect formula for a set it and forget it tight end. Goedert still hasn’t found the end zone since Ertz left for Arizona, which means things are very likely to get even prettier in his stat column. The Eagles are a run-heavy team, but they rely on Goedert in big situations and Jalen Hurts has shown favoritism to him when things break down. If the two of them start to connect near the red zone, look out for Goedert as a potential difference maker in your tight end spot as you fight for the playoffs. This type of usage is very rare at this position, and we should be targeting it aggressively before the trade window slams shut.
Conclusion: Trade FOR Dallas Goedert