Snap Count Observations from Week 12 (Fantasy Football)

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We have almost made it. Week 12 should hopefully be put in the books when the Steelers and Ravens finally kickoff on Wednesday night and then we are just one week away from the fantasy playoffs. We can only hope that Week 13 goes a lot smoother than Week 12.  Between COVID and injuries, Week 12 was a nightmare for most fantasy managers…unless you happened to have Tyreek Hill, then it was kind of awesome. Hill was the star of the show but plenty of other guys had supporting parts. Let’s look at the snap counts from Week 12 and see whose value might get a bump heading into the most important games of the season for fantasy football.

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Every week, I highlight any RB/WR/TE that plays every offensive snap for their team. It has been a while since we’ve had two players make this list in the same week but hey, Week 12 was weird. Robert Woods did not leave the field for the Rams in a losing effort and Dallas Goedert played all 71 snaps for the Eagles in their loss to Seattle.

Week 12 Snap Count Observations

Buffalo WRs (Stefon Diggs 60, Gabriel Davis 60, Cole Beasley 53)
With John Brown hitting the IR, it was interesting to see how they would fill the other outside role opposite Diggs. Davis jumped right in and played basically every snap with Diggs, while Beasley held down the slot role. Davis also had the most productive day of the three, with three receptions for 79 yards and a TD. Brown will miss at least the next two games and Davis makes for an intriguing Flex play during that time.

Carolina WRs (DJ Moore 59, Robby Anderson 53, Curtis Samuel 42, Brandon Zylstra 14)
This situation became interesting because of a late-game injury suffered by Moore. He appeared to hurt his ankle on a non-contact fall late in the game and it looked bad. X-rays came back negative and he should be good to go after their Week 13 bye. If he’s not, clearly Anderson and Samuel get a bump in value, but will the team just stop running so many three-WR sets? They will also be getting Christian McCaffrey back in Week 13, so maybe they use him as a third WR and Mike Davis sees more playing time? There are more questions than answers right now but we should no more by the next time the Panthers take the field.

Green Bay WRs (Davante Adams 63, Marquez Valdez-Scantling 56, Equanimeous St. Brown 38, Allen Lazard 33)
While Lazard is not yet seeing the playing time that he saw before his injury, he was still the 2nd most productive WR for Aaron Rodgers in this game. Lazard caught four balls for 23 yards and a TD in his 2nd game back and his six targets were 2nd most on the team, despite playing the 4th most snaps among WRs. As his playing time grows, Lazard has real fantasy value as a WR3 moving forward.

Houston WRs (Brandin Cooks 49, Will Fuller 47, Keke Coutee 28)
The Texans just released Kenny Stills, placed Randall Cobb on IR, and now Will Fuller is suspended for the rest of the season. It’s a mess. With nobody left to play, it looks like Coutee will take on an expanded role and we can probably expect to see a lot more two-TE sets. With David Johnson eligible to return in Week 13, you can also expect he and Duke Johnson to play a larger role in the passing game, so don’t send Duke back to waivers just yet when David is cleared to play.

LA Chargers RBs (Austin Ekeler 60, Joshua Kelley 19, Troymaine Pope 6)
So much for easing Ekeler back into action. He played 72% of the snaps and was targeted 16 times in his first game in over a month. Ekeler is already back on the RB1 radar for the rest of the season in PPR leagues. Kelley managed to score a TD but don’t get too excited. When Justin Jackson and Kalen Ballage return from injury, Kelley will likely fall right back into non-existence.

LA Rams RBs (Malcolm Brown 25, Darrell Henderson 20, Cam Akers 17)
Brown played the most snaps and saw the fewest touches. Henderson saw the most touches (11) but totaled a whopping 19 yards. Akers, on the other hand, took his 10 carries for 84 yards and a TD. It’s his 2nd TD in as many weeks and he could be a true RB2 heading into the fantasy playoffs if Sean McVay would just commit to him. That may be asking far too much from McVay but Akers needs to rostered everywhere heading into Week 13.

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New Orleans TEs (Josh Hill 39, Adam Trautman 39, Jared Cook 19)
It would appear that the TE position will be used exclusively for blocking while Taysom Hill is at QB. That absolutely kills Jared Cook in fantasy football. Cook is playing far behind his better -blocking counterparts and put up a goose egg in fantasy this week. The TE position as a whole only saw three targets, with Trautman catching just one ball for eight yards as the only stat line. Even ahead of the Atlanta rematch, you want no part of this position group in fantasy.

San Francisco RBs (Raheem Mostert 29, Jeff Wilson 25, Jerick McKinnon 18)
Mostert wasted no time planting his flag in the lead-back role, scoring a TD on the first drive of the game. He basically split time and carries with Jeff Wilson, who was also returning from the IR in Week 12. Both RBs totaled 43 rushing yards but Mostert scored the TD. McKinnon was peppered into the passing game but has basically lost all fantasy value moving forward.

Tampa Bay RBs (Leonard Fournette 33, Ronald Jones 21, LeSean McCoy 1)
The Buccaneers spent most of this game playing catch-up to the Chiefs. It appears that in games with a heavy passing script, they will still lean on Fournette over Jones. Jones, however, made the most of his limiting playing time, with 103 total yards and a receiving TD. Bruce Arians spoke after the game about Jones needing more touches, but there will be games where that just isn’t possible. Games when the opposing team has a WR that can score at will and puts up the best fantasy day we’ve seen from a WR in at least the last 2o years.

Washington RBs (Antonio Gibson 45, JD McKissic 27, Peyton Barber 18)
I can’t imagine that many of you missed Thanksgiving football but if you did, Antonio Gibson put on a show. He rushed for 115 yards, added five receptions, and scored three TDs. From a snap counts perspective, it was encouraging to see him finally used well ahead of JD McKissic. Gibson has already shown his high RB1 ceiling, but if he were to routinely see more snaps than McKissic and Barber, he will have a low RB1 floor as well. Basically making him the perfect RB heading into the fantasy playoffs.

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