Snap Count Observations for Week 4 (Fantasy Football)
When researching for this article every week, I try to look for situations that may be overlooked that have fantasy implications. A player that had a great fantasy week that didn’t play a lot could be a mirage. A starter that lost snaps the previous week and gets them all back a week later. I usually stay away from the obvious but one of those situations needs mentioning.
In their 55-40 loss to Tampa Bay, the Los Angeles Rams played their superstars A LOT. Their three WRs, Robert Woods (96), Cooper Kupp (92), and Brandin Cooks (88) all played 88+ snaps this week and finished ranked 1, 2, 3 in total downs played. Their snap counts were also the most by any WRs on the entire season. Todd Gurley played the most of any RB in the league at 74 snaps. Even their TE, Gerald Everett, finished in the top-10 for his position. And they all scored 10+ fantasy points. The Rams skill position players feel like guys you can trust for the rest of the season. Every week won’t be a shoot-out, but they will be on the field no matter the situation.
This week saw possible returns to glory and falls from grace. There are guys you should buy and guys you should sell. Let’s talk about whose who based on their snaps played in Week 4.
The size of this club fluctuates greatly each week. Last week, seven non-QB fantasy players made the list for having played every offensive snap for their teams. This week, one guy accomplished the task…and to no one’s surprise. For the third time in four weeks, Christian McCaffrey played every snap for the Carolina Panthers and has played 98.2% of their snaps this entire season. He has only missed five offensive snaps in 2019.
Week 4 Snap Count Observations
Seattle Seahawks RBs (Chris Carson 48, CJ Prosise 14)
It’s amazing what can happen when you hang on to the football. Last week, Prosise out-snapped Carson and owners were worried. This week, Carson not only played 76% of the snaps, but he also received 89% of the total RB opportunities (carries + targets) for the Seahawks. Carson parlayed 26 touches into 16 fantasy points and an RB1 finish. Rashaad Penny seems poised to return in Week 5, so the situation is still fluid, but Carson owners can feel a lot safer than they did last Monday.
Denver Broncos RBs (Royce Freeman 34, Phillip Lindsay 25)
Both of Denver’s RBs may be buy-low candidates right now. They both had terrible days against a very capable Jags defense and their current owners have to hate this timeshare. Freeman has played more snaps than Lindsay this season but hasn’t had a big fantasy game yet. Lindsay had a great Week 3 but was an afterthought in Week 4. They are both being utilized in the passing game which is going to increase their floor and if one of them gets hurt, you will wish you had the other on your fantasy team. They are best utilized as your RB3 until further notice but can likely be had for cheap.
New England Patriots RBs (James White 34, Sony Michel 29, Rex Burkhead 12)
Sony Michel owners are in full panic mode after Week 4. For the second straight week, he has failed to lead this team in downs played and failed to register double-digit fantasy points. It seems that the Patriots are favoring their pass-catching RBs regardless of game-script and Michel is suffering for it. With Burkhead banged up, White returned after missing Week 3 and led the RBs in snaps played and led the team in targets. We are yet to see any consistent use out of this backfield yet in 2019 and it remains tough to navigate for the foreseeable future.
Miami Dolphins RBs (Kenyan Drake 28, Mark Walton 13, Kalen Ballage 8)
Apparently ducking under balls that are thrown your way is bad for your career. The preseason Kalen Ballage hype is 100% dead as the RB only played 15% of the Dolphins total snaps on Sunday. Not that you are clamoring for any piece of this team but Drake may be working his way to a “bell-cow” role and was also targeted 5 times in this game. He has 20 targets in 4 games and could start making some fantasy noise if Miami can show even marginal improvement as a team.
Pittsburgh Steelers WRs (James Washington 46, JuJu Smith-Schuster 43, Diontae Johnson 37, Donte Moncrief 3)
Speaking of panic mode, have you checked on your league’s JuJu owner lately? Smith-Schuster recorded three catches for 15 yards on Monday night and was out-snapped by James Washington. Washington did nothing with his extended playing time (so much for that old college rapport) and both were out-shined by rookie Diontae Johnson. Johnson is looking like a must-add after his 6/77/1 Monday night and his second straight double-digit fantasy week with Rudolph at QB. It also appears that Donte Moncrief’s fantasy existence died with Ben Roethlisberger‘s elbow.
Tennessee Titans WRs (Corey Davis 56, Tajae Sharpe 38, AJ Brown 28, Adam Humphries 26)
I’d like to report a Corey Davis sighting! Davis has logged almost 80% of the team’s total snaps this season but it has done nothing for his fantasy value until Week 4 when he went off for 5/91/1. He hasn’t had a great schedule for WRs and it really doesn’t get any easier. If there was ever a time to sell Davis, it’s right now. AJ Brown looks like the hot commodity, with his second big game of the season, but his snap % tells a different story. He has only played about half of the Titans total snaps this year and feels like fool’s gold on a team that doesn’t pass all that often or all that well.
Baltimore Ravens WRs (Marquise Brown 56, Willie Snead 52, Miles Boykin 21)
A WR in the same boat as Brown is fellow rookie Miles Boykin. He was out-snapped by just about every other Ravens WR, including Seth Roberts, but managed to score 10 fantasy points on a 3/32/1 stat line. It was his second TD on the year but he is not somebody you should be looking to roster outside of dynasty leagues. Hollywood Brown disappointed for the second straight week but is still leading this team in targets and snaps.
Philadelphia Eagles WRs (Nelson Agholor 56, Alshon Jeffrey 50, Mack Hollins 40, JJ Arcega-Whiteside 6)
It appears Nelson Aghlor is here to stay, at least in downs played capacity. With DeSean Jackson sidelined, Agholor led the team in snaps played for the second consecutive week, though he was FAR less productive in Week 4. After dropping (pun intended) an 8/50/2 stat line in Week 3, he put up a big goose egg in Week 4. The Eagles ran a lot of 2-TE sets, with both Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert seeing the field for almost 70% of the teams snaps each. With Jackson’s return looming, it also appears that JJ Arcega-Whiteside has become a very droppable commodity in fantasy football.
Indianapolis Colts TEs (Jack Doyle 57, Eric Ebron 27, Mo Allie-Cox 10)
Who saw this coming? Four weeks into the season and Jack Doyle has made Eric Ebron an afterthought. Ebron saved fantasy owners with a 48-yard TD on his lone grab but was on the field less than half as much as Doyle. In fact, on the season, Ebron has only played 43% of the Colts total plays to Doyle’s 70%. If you can sell Ebron, do it quickly.
Cleveland Browns TEs (Demetrius Harris 46, Ricky Seals-Jones 21)
While Harris led the Browns TEs in snaps, he came away with absolutely nothing to show for it (0/0/0 stat line on, you guessed it, 0 targets). Seals-Jones was out-snapped by some guy named Pharoah Brown, but RSJ finished Week 4 with 82 yards and a TD on three receptions. Even with David Njoku on IR, I cannot advocate owning, let alone playing, any Browns TE for fantasy purposes.