Snap Count Observations from Week 15 (Fantasy Football)
Just one week left of this game we love! Yes, there is plenty of football left but fantasy football ends in Week 16. What’s that you say? What about your Week 17 championship? Change that rule or quit that league, Week 17 is chaos! For the snap count observations this week, I will continue to look at the teams with best and worst remaining playoff schedules…and by that I mean Week 16. Each team mentioned below will be playing either the best two matchups for RBs, WR, and TEs, or the worst two, according to the Fantasy Footballers’ Strength of Schedule tool. Good luck in your push for a #FootClanTitle.
Every week, I highlight any RBs, WRs, or TEs that play every offensive snap for their teams. In Week 14, we had three players pull off the feat and they were all WRs. This week, there were three again but it was two TEs and a WR that make the list. Logan Thomas played every down for the Washington Football Team and rookie Cole Kmet didn’t miss a play for the Chicago Bears. Another rookie, Cincinnati’s WR Tee Higgins also played every snap on Monday night. With just one week to go, no RB has yet played 100% of their team’s snaps in this fantasy season.
Week 15 Snap Count Observations
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RBs (Leonard Fournette 45, LeSean McCoy 12, Ke’Shawn Vaughn 10)
With Ronald Jones missing this game with both a broken finger and a possible case of COVID, Fournette took over and performed well. He ended with 65 total yards and two rushing TDs against an ATL defense that had been pretty stingy to fantasy RBs. This week the Bucs get the most generous team for RBs, the Detroit Lions. Tampa Bay clearly favors a lead-back, with Jones taking most of the snaps before injury and Fournette taking almost all of them while he’s out. If Jones misses a 2nd straight game, Fournette could be a nice play this week.
Cincinnati Bengals RBs (Giovani Bernard 38, Samaje Perine 12, Trayveon Williams 7)
This Bengals team is a mess and still managed to beat the Steelers, so a matchup with Houston almost feels like a gift right now. Gio Bernard had a big game for fantasy managers, with 26 total touches, 96 total yards, and two TDs, and now faces the DEF that surrenders the 2nd most points to fantasy RBs. There are still questions surrounding a possible Joe Mixon return and just a week ago Bernard saw his snap count drop to 23% after an early fumble, so there is some risk, but Bernard is looking like a great RB2 play in your championship.
Minnesota Vikings RBs (Dalvin Cook 52, Alexander Mattison 6, Ameer Abdullah 1)
Since I’ve started formatting this article in this manner, Minnesota has had one of the worst schedules for RBs…doesn’t matter. Dalvin Cook has been on the list the last two weeks and he has delivered in each. Cook has hit over 100 yards in each of his last three games and scored a TD in his last two. The Saints are a great run defense but there is no chance you are benching Cook and no chance you are considering his backups.
Indianapolis Colts RBs (Jonathan Taylor 38, Nyheim Hines 16)
So this seems like a situation similar to Cook. Taylor has been too good to consider benching lately, even against the #1 defenses against RBs. Pittsburgh proved themselves beatable on Monday night and if Gio Bernard can score two TDs, Jonathan Taylor might go off! Taylor has relegated Hines to a situational role and Jordan Wilkins didn’t even see the field this week. If that snap-split continues, Taylor will be a safe play in a scary matchup and his backups are safely droppable.
Kansas City Chiefs WRs (Tyreek Hill 84, Sammy Watkins 80, Mecole Hardman 50, Demarcus Robinson 32)
This is a dream for those in the fantasy championship: one of the best passing attacks in the NFL is facing the Atlanta Falcons and the defense that allows the most points to WRs. There are probably a lot of managers with Tyreek Hill in the championship, and you were never considering benching him, but there are plenty of leagues where Watkins and Hardman are available. Both scored 8+ fantasy points this week against a better defense and both will have WR3 value in the championship.
Los Angeles Rams WRs (Robert Woods 53, Cooper Kupp 48, Josh Reynolds 45, Van Jefferson 14)
Woods and Kupp have taken turns disappointing fantasy managers as of late, but end the season against a Seattle Seahawks defense that allows the 2nd most points to WRs this season, so the hope is high for a bounceback. When these two teams played back in Week 10, both WRs were held in check. That, plus recent history, has to have fantasy managers worried, even in a “plus” matchup. They are both playing a ton, and Woods just had a great game against the New York Jets, so you’re not benching either, but it might be wise to temper your expectations.
Carolina Panthers WRs (Robby Anderson 62, Curtis Samuel 58, DJ Moore 56)
Another case of a great group playing against a great defense. The Panthers face off against the Washington Football Team and their former head coach, Ron Rivera. WFT has allowed the 2nd fewest points to fantasy WRs on the season. It will be hard for anyone to bench Robby Anderson or DJ Moore, especially after Moore just went off for 131 yards in Week 15. Just temper those expectations when playing them. Samuel, on the other hand, hasn’t cracked 100 yards since Week 9 and hadn’t scored a TD since Week 12. His playing time has been great but he would be impossible to trust in this tough matchup.
Seattle Seahawks WRs (Tyler Lockett 52, DK Metcalf 51, David Moore 21)
Yet again, another great group of players facing a very tough defense. The LA Rams have allowed the fewest points to fantasy WRs over the season and actually did a great job against these guys in Week 10. in that game, Lockett managed just 66 yards, Metcalf just 28, and neither scored a TD. Much like the Panthers, and even the Rams on the other side of the field, you’re not going to bench either Lockett or Metcalf, but don’t expect WR1 numbers, especially after both also struggled against Washington in Week 15.
Cleveland Browns TEs (Austin Hooper 45, David Njoku 31, Harrison Bryant 30)
Facing the Jets in Week 16 is a dream come true for managers that held on to Browns players all season. New York gives up the most fantasy points to TEs, so this is a smash-start for Austin Hooper. He looked great in Week 15, securing five balls for 41 yards and a TD, but Bryant and Njoku both caught balls as well. You have to play Hooper but the risk of a TD being stolen by the TE2 is very real.
Jacksonville Jaguars TEs (Tyler Eifert 37, James O’Shaughnessy 25)
Eifert popped up on the “easy schedule” radar two weeks ago and has done nothing in that time. He did catch three balls for 51 yards in Week 15 but hasn’t scored a TD since Week 12. The Bears do allow the 2nd most points to fantasy TEs, so he is worth a look for those that stream the position, but there are probably better options out there.
Arizona Cardinals TEs (Dan Arnold 26, Maxx Williams 23, Darrell Daniels 23)
Arnold had a great Week 13, scored another TD in Week 14, and even managed 54 yards in Week 15. He doesn’t play a lot of snaps but when he is on the field, he’s out there to catch the ball. However, the 49ers give up the 2nd fewest fantasy points to TEs and it would be very hard to gamble on Arnold with your championship on the line, especially with the TE work being split into thirds.
Indianapolis Colts TEs (Jack Doyle 41, Mo Alie-Cox 25, Trey Burton 19)
While the name recognition is there, no Colts TE has been fantasy relevant since Week 12, and even that was Trey Burton, who is now playing the 3rd most snaps. As the running game has improved, the TEs are being used more as blockers than anything else. A date with the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 16, the team that allows the fewest points to fantasy TEs, is not the time to gamble on a resurgence of any of these guys.