Snap Count Observations: Five Transactions for Week 9 (Fantasy Football)
A week filled with some interesting football was completely overshadowed by one massive season-altering injury to the top player in all of fantasy football. Derrick Henry was on pace to obliterate the NFL single season rushing record, but now he’s likely done for the remainder of the fantasy season. I’ll cover that in the first section here, but overall that particular situation is pretty murky. There were some interesting snap-count movements from this week, primarily in the pass catching department. It’s not too late to find viable WR3’s on the waiver wire, even if they may not produce every-week-starter type numbers. It’s very unlikely that we find another Michael Pittman like we did in week three, but that doesn’t mean the waiver wire is useless. Keep grinding, keep making moves, and stay the course. Future fantasy championships will be heavily influenced by moves that haven’t even happened yet. I promise.
The Tennessee Titans Running Backs
Jeremy McNichols*: 23.3% Snap Share, 0% Rushing Share, 9.4% Target Share
Derrick Henry: 74% Snap Share, 90% Rushing Share, 0% Target Share
Dontrell Hilliard: 0.0% Everything
The Titans immediately scooped up another surefire hall of fame running back after they lost Derrick Henry, but Adrian Peterson is far from his prime. Peterson is a full nine years older than Derrick Henry, and most running backs struggle to produce at age 29, much less age 36. He’s a grandpa by fantasy football standards, and Father Time is undefeated. Peterson may have a decent game or two out of the gate, but he won’t last very long in a primary role and I don’t think he will have one anyway. It’s not realistic to assume that the Titans have a plan that includes a 36 year old veteran off the street functioning as Derrick Henry‘s replacement. Peterson is a depth piece, at best. The likelihood of a committee is very strong here, and I like Jeremy McNichols to lead it. He played a quarter of the snaps this week with Henry in the lineup, and his pass catching skills alone should warrant flex consideration. If McNichols is given the lion share of carries, he’s going to be an excellent waiver wire add. I would be aggressive with your FAAB, and let someone else jump on the Peterson Grenade. Henry is irreplaceable, but McNichols should be able to produce RB2 numbers while he fills in. Adrian Peterson is 36 and feels like a painfully obvious trap, so I’m prioritizing McNichols and ignoring AD unless I can snag him for a couple dollars of FAAB.
Conclusion: Add Jeremy McNichols
The Washington Football Team Running Backs
J.D McKissic: 45% Snap Share, 12.5% Rushing Share, 21.6% Target Share
Antonio Gibson: 32.9% Snap Share, 33% Rushing Share, 8.1% Target Share
Jaret Patterson: 22.9% Snap Share, 45% Rush Share, 2.7% Target Share
It seems like the Football Team is in this article every week, but it’s hard to ignore the large fluctuations in usage. Antonio Gibson was “healthy” this week, but he played third fiddle to the two seemingly less talented guys that he shares a backfield with. Jaret Patterson came out of nowhere and commanded nearly half the Team’s carries, while J.D McKissic captured a 21% target share. It’s only one week, but Antonio Gibson‘s usage would suggest he’s being phased out. I’m going to make the assumption that Gibson may not be as healthy as we’ve been told, because there is no way the Football Team just decided to stop utilizing him. His shin injury was supposedly a pain tolerance issue, so it’s possible that Gibson is dealing with a serious dose of pain every week but technically listed as healthy. Since the Team is out of playoff contention, it would make sense for them to be extremely cautious with Gibson during the game. Patterson’s a young player who may have a role in this offense down the road, but Gibson’s the guy in Washington and hasn’t done anything substantial to change that. I would be adding Patterson based on the potential for Gibson to be held out at some point, but I absolutely would hold onto Antonio Gibson as well. Do not drop Gibson, but do not ignore Patterson. I recommended McKissic as an add last week, and he should still be rostered if he’s available in your league. All of these backs should be owned until we are given some more clarity. I’m willing to bet that there is a bit more to this situation than we currently know, so I’m holding onto these guys for a few more weeks.
Conclusion: Add Jaret Patterson
The Buffalo Bills Receivers
Stefon Diggs: 75% Snap Share, 17% Target Share
Emmanuel Sanders: 76% Snap Share, 9.8% Target Share
Cole Beasley 71% Snap Share, 31.7% Target Share
Cole Beasley is quietly rising back up the fantasy rankings, but he’s still available in over 40% of leagues. His season started off very quietly, but as of late he’s back to his old self. Over the past two weeks he’s accumulated 17 receptions on 22 targets for 198 yards, and this week he pushed Emmanuel Sanders to the edge of irrelevance. Beasley has been a favorite target for Josh Allen since he came into the league, so this is probably going to be sustainable to some degree. Beasley’s ceiling will be capped on a week to week basis given his role as a chain mover, but thirteen targets on 71% of snaps in one of the best offenses in football is nothing to scoff at. If you play in a league with multiple flex spots or full PPR scoring, then Beasley could be an extremely helpful piece of the championship puzzle down the stretch. Hyper-competitive leagues probably scooped Beasley up long before now, but his ownership percentages indicate he’s available on more waiver wires than you may think. He’s worth a waiver add.
Conclusion: Add Cole Beasley
The Miami Dolphins Receivers
Jaylen Waddle: 94% Snap Share, 32% Target Share
Devante Parker: 91% Snap Share, 29% Target Share
Recommending the addition of any Dolphins player comes with an asterisk since the Dolphins stink, but Devante Parker is a proven commodity even during times of ugly play. Jaylen Waddle is being targeted very heavily week in and week out, but Parker returned to the lineup and immediately demanded a massive share himself. He’s constantly a red zone threat and has shown he can produce down the field and at the point of attack, so his floor should remain high. His ceiling will be somewhat touchdown dependent, but given the trajectory of the Dolphins season, they will be playing catch up more often than not. Parker and Waddle would be a solid 1-2 combination for a lot of teams, but the Dolphins don’t have an identity right now so it’s going to be rough waters (pun intended). Parker is available in roughly 60% of leagues still, despite his production as a WR2 last year and as a WR1 in 2019. It’s a somewhat boring addition, but it could pay dividends.
Conclusion: Add Devante Parker
The New York Giants Pass Catchers
Kadarius Toney: 56% Snap Share, 15% Target Share
Darius Slayton: 86% Snap Share, 6% Target Share
John Ross: 26% Snap Share, 9.1% Target Share
Sterling Shepard: 38% Snap Share, 21% Target Share
Kadarius Toney ruined my mood and my wallet on Monday night when he wasn’t able to hit his very modest receiving prop, but his talent for getting open is undeniable. His knack for staying healthy is much less straight-forward. Toney has had a different injury every week, and he’s exited to the locker-room in two straight games now and was ruled out of one of them completely. The reason you want to hold onto him is because his playmaking ability is clear enough to demand a 15% target share while only playing half the snaps. Toney was questionable up until game time and his snap counts indicated the Giants were being very cautious with him and wanted to be intentionally with his usage. When push came to shove, Daniel Jones found Toney on three straight plays and targeted him on another. If Toney’s hand is good to go and he’s ready to play this week, I expect a big game from the rookie pass catcher. I don’t think I’d start him right away, but lots of managers are considering letting him go, and I strongly believe that would be a mistake. Give it some more time, because a ceiling like Toney’s are not easy to find.
Conclusion: HOLD Kadarius Toney