Snap Count Observations: Five Transactions for Week 12 (Fantasy Football)
The madness continued in Week 11. At this point the NFL is just wild, and I love it. If you were on the other end of a Jonathan Taylor or Austin Ekeler led team, then this week was probably one you would prefer to forget. The running back landscape is an interesting one right now, as it’s being dominated heavily by both touchdown dependency (more so than usual), and seemingly a different player every week – up until very recently. Jonathan Taylor has pulled ahead in the “I don’t want to face him in a fantasy matchup” race, so anyone who drafted him should be ecstatic about doing so. Things can change in the blink of an eye of course, so we need to stay diligent, regardless of how many JT’s we have or don’t have on our teams. The waiver wire this week is abysmal when it comes to running backs, so I only had one recommendation that should only be used in the most desperate of situations. For the most part, I focused on who you should play and who you shouldn’t, especially on Turkey Day. I hope everyone has a wonderful thanksgiving, and as usual – I’m thankful for football, and the #FootClan.
The Buffalo Bill Running Backs
Devin Singletary: 37.5% Snap Share, 38% Rushing Share, 10.3% Target Share
Matt Breida: 32% Snap Share, 44% Rushing Share, 5.1% Target Share
Zack Moss: 28% Snap Share, 44% Rushing Share, 2.6% Target Share
The Buffalo Bills running back room isn’t bad, but it’s certainly boring. Earlier in the year it seemed like Devin Singletary was the best of the bunch, but that narrative quickly shifted in favor of Zack Moss. At one point things looked pretty clear and I was confident in recommending Moss as an every week RB2 with a stable floor. After this past weekend, I’m confident in one thing regarding Buffalo backs, and thing is a supreme lack of confidence in any Buffalo backs. Matt Breida inexplicably lead the backfield in rush share on Sunday and I truly can’t put my finger on why this was the case. Moss isn’t elite, but he’s a solid enough player to be the 1A in this backfield. Breida is essentially a Devin Singletary clone, so I don’t understand the need for so much Breida in our life. This three-headed monster appears to be more of an adorable, albeit terrifying, three headed puppy. I’m still holding Moss for a potential playoff run, but Breida and Singletary have no place on rosters right now. This entire backfield should be avoided until further notice.
Conclusion: Bench any and all Bills running backs until further notice
The New York Jet Running Backs
Michael Carter finally ascended to the top of this backfield, and of course – he’s injured now. That’s just the way the 2021 season has gone. Carter should return before the season ends, but the Jets also have no real incentive to rush him back onto the field. In the mean time both Ty Johnson and Tevin Coleman will split snaps, with Johnson being the favorite to see more passing game work. The Jets are going to trail often, and Ty Johnson has shown a lot more burst than the aging Coleman. I’d personally prioritize Johnson on the waiver wire this week if you need a running back, with Coleman as the backup option since he may fall into the end zone once or twice. Neither of these guys deserve a significant chunk of your FAAB, but depending on the format and status of your team, they may be the only options. The usage was split right down the middle once Michael Carter left the game, so you should be able to get Johnson at face value and not have to bid up too significantly if someone else is eyeing Coleman.
The Carolina Panther Wide Receivers
Cam Newton may not be the guy to lead the Panthers to glory, but he appears to be the guy that can save the Panther pass catchers. Robby Anderson has proven to be a statistical anomaly, but his production has been a little bit more impressive since Newton returned. DJ Moore was a fantasy stud who fell victim to Sam Darnold, but the rapport with his former MVP quarterback appears to be alive and well once again. Moore continues to see an elite target share, and Cam has historically honed in on one or two guys in the passing game for better or for worse. Moore is an every week WR2 with WR1 upside if he finds the end zone, but some managers may still have a sour taste in their mouth because of how well he kicked things off. If you can steal him for a WR3 price tag before your playoff run, it’s worth the risk. Anderson should be left on the waiver wire for now, regardless of the slight uptick in performance.
Conclusion: Trade FOR DJ Moore
The Dallas Cowboy Pass Catchers
I truly hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, because the football is going to be ugly. The Lions and Bears matchup speaks for itself, and the Cowboys-Raiders game is taking some lumps now too. Both CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper are projected to miss the Turkey day festivities, which means the Dak-lead Cowboys are returning to action without their best options in the passing game. I expect a heavy dose of Zeke, and a lot of dump offs to Dalton Schultz. The Raiders allow the third most fantasy points to the tight end position and Schultz was a clear top target for Dak this past weekend. He’s a near every-down player on an offense that should bounce back, and he’s proven to be productive within this system. Michael Gallup may have a tougher day than some people think, as the Raiders allow the third fewest yards per attempt in the league. Gallup is an excellent downfield threat, but I don’t expect him to gobble up too many throws underneath. If you put him in your starting lineup this week, you’re relying on a big play or two to validate the decision. Schultz is a safe TE1 this week, and Gallup is a risky flex option at best.
The Chicago Bear Wide Receivers
Seriously, why is Darnell Mooney still on nearly half the waiver wires in ESPN leagues? Mooney is very quietly having another solid season, but he’s also flashing some upside as of late. Both Justin Fields and Andy Dalton appear to target him heavily and he’s on the verge of passing Allen Robinson on the Chicago totem poll. Robinson is trending towards being out once again this week, so Mooney is a near must-start against the helpless Lions. He saw a whopping 16 targets against the Ravens for a mind-melting 48% target share, and he has now accumulated 226 yards and two touchdowns over the past three weeks. Mooney should be fired up as a reliable WR2 this week and he should be on 100% of teams, and in nearly 100% of lineups. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he exploded for 20+ fantasy points on Thanksgiving. The Lions are terrible, Mooney is the alpha without Allen Robinson, and Andy Dalton is someone who can get the ball to his playmakers. AJ Green was AJ Green partly because of Dalton’s obsession with looking his way. 16 targets for Mooney last week should scream the same thing. He’s no AJ Green, and Dalton is a much older version of himself, but the matchup is good enough to demand a starting spot on your fantasy team. Mooney has two 100+ yard games on the season. Last week he had 121. The other game? October 3rd, of this year – Against the Lions.
Conclusion: ADD, Trade FOR, and START Darnell Mooney (52% rostered on ESPN)