“You know what fantasy football needs? More RBBC!”
-No Fantasy Owner Ever
As we inch closer to playoff time, quite a few backfields in the NFL are about as clear as mud. We saw RB1s fumbling away their throne and yet more backups stealing the spotlight from other backups. Just the way we all saw the season playing out. Now we have to make sense out of the playing time we saw in Week 12 and try to right our ship in time for next week’s fantasy playoffs!
Every week, I like to highlight any RB/WR/TE that plays every offensive snap for this team. In Week 12, Christian McCaffrey makes the list for the 5th time in 2019. At WR, we had four guys play every down. DeAndre Hopkins, DeVante Parker, Courtland Sutton, and Tyler Boyd all accomplished the feat, though with wildly varied fantasy results. No TE made this list in Week 12.
Week 12 Snap Count Observations
Detroit Lions RBs (Bo Scarbrough 38, Ty Johnson 27, JD McKissic 11)
Initially, when seeing that Scarbrough only played 38 snaps, you might think that there is a committee here. The reality is that Bo received 18 carries, and one target, in his limited time and might be a volume play heading into the fantasy playoffs. Scarbrough took 50% of the snaps and Johnson+McKissic split the other 50%. Neither did much of anything with their limited time, combining for 41 total yards.
Indianapolis Colts RBs (Jonathan Williams 45, Nyheim Hines 22, Jordan Wilkins 1)
After his Week 11 blowup, Williams should have been an easy play. However, 2019 has given fantasy owners a nervous tick when it comes to backup RBs stepping during injury (Ty Johnson) so skepticism was abound. Hours before the game it was announced that Williams would be “treated as the starter” which actually meant “We are going to give him all of Marlon Mack‘s volume.” Williams played 2/3 of the offensive snaps and had the best fantasy game of his roller-coaster career with 26 carries for 104 yards and a TD. He even received the same amount of targets (3) as Hines in this game. As long as Mack is out, Williams is a must-start in fantasy football.
Philadelphia Eagles RBs (Miles Sanders 64, Jay Ajayi 9, Boston Scott 3)
Jordan Howard misses the game, Miles Sanders received all the snaps. That should be the end of what I need to write here…but, while Sanders may have been on the field like a bell-cow RB, he was not utilized like a bell-cow RB. Despite playing 84% of the snaps, Sanders only carried the ball 12 times. Ajayi carried the rock on six of his nine total plays. The Eagles have a juicy matchup with Miami coming up but it is impossible to trust Sanders with your playoff hopes on the line.
Pittsburgh Steelers RBs (Benny Snell 36, Jaylen Samuels 22, Trey Edmonds 12, Kerrith Whyte 7)
As if we needed further proof that NFL coaches do not care about our fantasy football teams. Benny Snell touched the ball on 22 of his 36 snaps this week despite missing the last three games. Jaylen Samuels went from PPR RB2 to five touches for 32 yards. Some dude named Kerrith Whyte touched the ball more than Samuels. It’s up in the air whether or not James Conner is back this week to try to restore order here but the situation is worth monitoring as the Steelers RB1, whoever that may be, has serious fantasy value.
Seattle Seahawks RBs (Chris Carson 35, Rashaad Penny 30)
Chris Carson…WHAT IS YOU DOIN’? Carson fumbled the ball again this week, twice if you ask Rashaad Penny truthers, making it four fumbles in his last three games and seven on the season…yikes. In the least surprising announcement in history, Pete Carroll said after the game that Penny has earned more playing time. I’m pretty sure what he meant was that Carson has earned less playing time but politics and all. They basically split snaps and touches this week, Penny edged Carson 14-12, but Penny far outperformed Carson with 129 yards and a TD. Just what we needed heading into the most important weeks of the fantasy season, another RBBC.
Tennessee Titans WRs (Corey Davis 39, AJ Brown 37, Adam Humphries 12)
AJ Brown has played about 75% of the Titans’ snaps in their last 3 games and is finally looking like a full-time starter. This week, he rewarded loyal owners with a 4/135/1 stat line. Corey Davis was on the field more but he was basically just a distraction. The other team spends half the game trying to figure out why the Titans blew a 1st Round pick on him and Brown runs wild in the interim. It’s quite a clever game-plan by the Titans.
New York Giants WRs (Sterling Shepard 57, Darius Slayton 51, Golden Tate 50)
If you’re like me, you wondered what the return of Shepard would mean for the red-hot Slayton. Apparently, it meant a lot of 3-WR sets. Slayton only lost 16 snaps compared to his prior two games and was targeted seven times, catching four for 67 yards. It wasn’t a highlight reel game but it far from obscurity. Shepard returned to a team-high nine targets but only reeled in five balls for 15 yards. Tate tied Slayton with seven targets and scored the only WR TD.
Indianapolis Colts WRs (Zach Pascal 59, Marcus Johnson 42, Chester Rogers 41, TY Hilton 25)
When I saw that Zach Pascal put exactly zero stats out for fantasy purposes, I assumed he retired just before the game. Turns out, he led all Colts’ WRs in snaps played. Hand meet forehead. Pascal had his best game of the season against the Texans back in Week 7. This week he did nothing on one target. It was an ugly game for Jacoby Brissett and the entire passing game, the WRs combined for 30 yards, but as Hilton gets back to 100%, Pascal is safely droppable for fantasy purposes.
Miami Dolphins TEs (Mike Gesicki 57, Durham Smythe 39)
Gesicki has played 85% and 90% in the last two weeks. With TE being the current black hole of fantasy football, he may provide desperate owners with a respite. This week, he brought in three of seven targets for 28 yards a TD. He is 2nd on the team with 25 targets since Week 9.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers TEs (OJ Howard 51, Cameron Brate 21)
Last week, after a bad drop that turned into an INT, Howard was benched early and Brate led the team in targets. There was hope. Hope that was dashed this week when the Buccaneers went back to Howard, who caught one ball for 10 yards. Brate did nothing with his one target. Hope is no more.
Snap Count Info from FantasyData.com