Snap Count Observations for Week 3 (Fantasy Football)
Every week, I dig into the snap counts of the previous week’s games and try to find a fantasy football connection to a few players’ usages. Week 3 gave us plenty to dig in to but I can’t mention every position group in the NFL. Two players that deserve a mention from Monday night are Terry McLaurin and Chris Thompson. Both led their position group in snaps and had solid fantasy nights. It was the 3rd straight week for both. If either, or both, is available in your fantasy league, it is time to go get them. Let’s see who else might be on that list after Week 3.
I like to give recognition to the non-QB offensive fantasy players that record 100% of their team’s snaps for the week. In Week 3, seven players did not miss a down. At TE, George Kittle and Zach Ertz were in for every play and, considering both of their team’s struggles at the WR position, this is not all that surprising. At WR, three players managed the task, with JuJu Smith-Schuster, Robby Anderson, and John Ross playing every down in each of their team’s Week 3 losses. At RB, Leonard Fournette and Le’Veon Bell both had so-so fantasy outings while playing every offensive down.
Week 3 Snap Count Observations
Seattle Seahawks RBs (CJ Prosise 46, Chris Carson 37)
With Rashaad Penny out, the thought was that Carson would see a full workload against the Saints. Instead, he fumbled for the 3rd consecutive week and we got a steady dose of CJ Prosise. Carson managed just 51 total yards and lost his most valuable asset, his passing game work, to Prosise. Pete Carroll said that they still have faith in Carson, so it appears he hasn’t fumbled away his job yet, but based on his recent performances and the return of Penny, it may be a matter of when, not if, he loses his role as primary back for the Seahawks.
Seattle Seahawks WRs (Tyler Lockett 82, DK Metcalf 71, Jaron Brown 62)
Lockett led all NFL WRs in snaps this week and has led the Seahawks for two straight weeks after a rocky Week 1. Coming into 2018, Lockett had never played more than 70 snaps in a game in his career and now he’s done it the last two weeks. In fact, last season there was only one instance of a Seahawks WR playing 70+ snaps, Doug Baldwin in Week 9. This year both Lockett and DK Metcalf have done it twice already. With the fumbles by Chris Carson, maybe Pete Carroll is starting to lean more heavily on his passing game.
San Francisco 49ers RBs (Matt Brieda 32, Raheem Mostert 24, Jeff Wilson Jr 21)
Speaking of fumbles. Raheem Mostert put it on the ground twice in Week 3 and squandered what may have been his last opportunity to have a solid role in this backfield. Shanahan stayed true to his word and fed Jeff Wilson in the red zone and he was by far the most productive of the backfield. Wilson turned eight carries into just 16 yards but scored two TDs for the 2nd time in two weeks. Brieda and Mostert basically split 30 carries down the middle and ended with nice yardage but no great fantasy output. With it starting to appear that Tevin Coleman will return after the 49ers Week 4 bye, this is one of the toughest RBBC situations in fantasy this year. A productive backfield with no true leader.
Dallas Cowboys WRs (Amari Cooper 66, Devin Smith 61, Randall Cobb 53)
With Michael Gallup going down in Week 2 and the Cowboys offense looking great to that point, hopes were high that Cobb or Smith, or both, would have a great week against the Dolphins. Instead, they combined for four catches and 62 yards. The game ended up a blowout, so that likely hurt the potential for the #2 and 3 WRs to have a great day, but they saw the field enough to give hope to the future. It should be another month before we see Gallup back so don’t give up on Cobb or Smith just yet.
Green Bay Packers RBs (Jamaal Williams 35, Aaron Jones 22)
This is not the backfield we were promised. Things took a turn for the worse this week, as Williams out-snapped, out-touched, and out-gained Jones by quite a bit. Jones thankfully added two TDs but his day was a disaster otherwise. I don’t recommend selling Jones yet but Williams seems to be a must-add in all scoring formats. To make matters worse, both RBs carry an injury designation going into the Thursday night game against the Eagles.
Philadelphia Eagles RBs (Darren Sproles 27, Miles Sanders 26, Jordan Howard 25)
The Eagles may have the messiest RBBC in the NFL right now. They split their carries into almost perfect thirds and nobody seems to want to take the primary role. Sproles led the backfield in downs played but had just four yards and 0.4 fantasy points. Howard had the fewest snaps but vultured the only RB TD and ended up the leading scorer. Sanders had the most yards but also lost a fumble. It still appears that Sanders is the back to own in Philadelphia but confidence in the rookie is growing thin.
New England Patriots RBs (Rex Burkhead 57, Sony Michel 17, Damien Harris 5)
James White missed this game due to the birth of his child and Rex Burkhead took full advantage. The concern here is that Sony Michel was non-existent in a blowout win. He did score a TD to salvage his fantasy day but only managed 11 yards on the day. Burkhead will likely split his time with White when he comes back but this backfield is looking like a 3-way split for the foreseeable future, with Michel being TD dependent for his fantasy relevance. I also think this game should end any talks of Damien Harris having relevance any time soon.
Detroit Lions TEs (TJ Hockenson 42, Jesse James 35, Logan Thomas 19)
After his Week 1 breakout, Hockenson was one of the hottest waiver wire pickups. After his last two weeks, he may be back on the wire. While he has led the TE group in snaps, nobody in this group is doing much in the passing game. The Lions have a nice matchup with the Chiefs this week, but they have a bye after that in Week 5, so it may be time to look elsewhere for your fantasy TE.