Snap Count Observations from Week 2 (Fantasy Football)
Two weeks into the NFL season and if you don’t have an injured player on your fantasy roster, you are some kind of miracle! Overcoming injuries can be one of the most challenging aspects of fantasy football but we’re here to help. When replacing a player that may miss the rest of the season, sometimes grabbing his direct backup off of waivers isn’t the best move. In Week 2, there were a few players that may still be on your waiver wire that could be admirable fill-ins for the players you lost. Finding them is as simple as seeing how often they were on the field and visualizing the opportunity they may have in later weeks. Last week, we talked about Joshua Kelley and Ceedee Lamb as guys who could have big weeks as their snap counts grew and we saw that happen as early as Week 2. Let’s look at the interesting Week 2 snap counts and see if we can’t find a diamond in the rough for Week 3.
For the 2nd straight week, only one player makes this list and for the 2nd straight week, it’s a WR. This time around, unlike Breshad Perriman in Week 1, his stat line reflects his playing time. In Week 2, DeKaylin (DK) Metcalf played every offensive play for the Seahawks in their thrilling win over New England. Metcalf played 63 snaps and caught four balls for 92 yards and a TD in the victory.
Week 2 Snap Count Observations
Baltimore RBs (Mark Ingram 27, JK Dobbins 20, Gus Edwards 20)
Through two weeks, two things are very clear: Ingram is not the workhorse he was in 2019 and no Baltimore RB is trustworthy yet. Ingram has only had 19 total carries in the first two games and has ceded 23 carries to Dobbins or Edwards. In Week 1, Dobbins took over the show, scoring two TDs. In Week 2, Dobbins missed an early block and was relegated to the dog house for most of the game. He did have an explosive run and managed 48 yards on two carries. Edwards out-carried Ingram but a long TD saved Ingram’s day. There may not be an every-week RB1 here like last year, but there is a potential for an RB2 with RB1 upside on any given week.
Carolina WRs (DJ Moore 65, Robby Anderson 54, Curtis Samuel 51)
The split remained the same but the results were slightly different in Week 2. In Week 1, all three WRs saw basically the same snaps and the same usage. In Week 2, Moore and Anderson dominated the targets and yards. Samuel has disappointed in both weeks, one where he was targeted, one where he was ignored, so he seems impossible to trust for the time being. A glimmer of hope comes from the Christian McCaffrey injury, Samuel may see more carries and provide some rushing TD upside with CMC missing time. He’s already playing a lot, they’ll just have more reasons to use him now. Moore and Anderson feel like safe WR2 options as long as Carolina is throwing a lot, which they should be for the foreseeable future.
Cincinnati RBs (Joe Mixon 46, Giovanni Bernard 42)
We all know 2020 has been a weird year and it appears that Zac Taylor is just trying to remind of us of 2019…where he couldn’t figure out how to use Joe Mixon for eight weeks. After paying Mixon, a 50/50 split with Gio Bernard was not really high on the list of probable outcomes, but here we are. You’re not rostering Gio and you’re not benching Mixon but it’s already time to lower those expectations all the way down to RB2 territory. We’re just ready for the 2nd half of the season breakout this time around.
Indianapolis RBs (Jonathan Taylor 49, Nyheim Hines 9, Jordan Wilkins 17)
A lot of FAAB was spent on Nyheim Hines after Week 1 and there are a lot of angry fantasy managers after Week 2. Jonathan Taylor is the workhorse most thought he might be and took over this entire backfield after Marlon Mack was lost for the season in Week 1. Taylor is a bonafide stud and is going to win people their leagues in 2020, taking 28 of the 38 RB touches for the Colts in Week 2. Wilkins looks like he will be the RB to spell Taylor when he is exhausted and Hines looks very game-script dependent. Don’t drop Hines yet, especially with Parris Campbell getting hurt in Week 2, there are better days ahead.
LA Chargers RBs (Austin Ekeler 47, Joshua Kelley 43)
It appears that Joshua Kelley has arrived. After splitting time with Justin Jackson last week, Kelley took advantage of Jackson missing this game and took over the Melvin Gordon role. Kelley had 23 carries for 64 yards and added two receptions for 49 yards. His 25 touches were actually five more than Ekeler had in the game. Kelley will be a huge fantasy waiver wire target heading into Week 3. Ekeler had a much better fantasy game in Week 2, managing 93 yards on 16 rushes and adding four receptions but with Tyrod Taylor possibly taking back over in Week 3, regression is possible.
LA Rams Team (Malcolm Brown 37, Cam Akers 3, Darrell Henderson 29, Robert Woods 59, Cooper Kupp 59, Tyler Higbee 59)
Let’s start with the obvious…Tyler Higbee bounced back BIG in Week 2. The 11 vs 12 personnel debated rages on but in Week 2, Higbee, Woods, and Kupp all played the exact same amount of snaps. Woods disappointed this week and it seems we will be guessing which of three will blow up and which will stink on a weekly basis. Malcolm Brown‘s time as king of this backfield was short-lived, as Henderson was the lead back in Week 2, despite playing eight fewer snaps. Brown still saw 11 carries but ceded all passing-game work to a now healthy Henderson. With Cam Akers likely to miss some time, both of these backs have RB2 upside for the next couple of weeks, but their floors are RB4. Mike Wright dubbed this backfield “Ramdom” and the name couldn’t be more fitting.
Miami RBs (Myles Gaskin 49, Matt Breida 16, Jordan Howard 8)
The Dolphins paid to get Jordan Howard, traded for Matt Breida, and then give all the playing time to a 2019 7th Round pick. Myles Gaskin has played 88 snaps over the last two games to only 47 by Breida and Howard combined. Gaskin also has 148 total yards on 16 carries and 10 receptions. He hasn’t looked bad at all. There is no way you can trust Breida or Howard moving forward, they appear to be the short-yardage backs on a team that won’t be in short-yardage situations very often. Gaskin is worth a waiver add in deep leagues.
Pittsburgh WRs (Juju Smith-Schuster 59, Diontae Johnson 54, James Washington 31, Chase Claypool 24)
Diontae Johnson is coming into his own on this team. He looked pretty solid last year as a rookie and that was without Ben Roethlisberger. This year has started out even better. He’s only played five fewer snaps than Juju on the year but has nine more targets in the first two games. These two are dominating the targets every week and are both fantasy WR2s with weekly WR1 upside. Claypool is already making a run at James Washington‘s big-play role but both are firmly in the WR3 role for this team and will have more bust weeks than boom.
Tampa Bay RBs and TEs (Ronald Jones 26, Leonard Fournette 21, LeSean McCoy 11, Rob Gronkowski 42, OJ Howard 34)
It’s only been two weeks and it appears that Bruce Arians is ready to make Fournette his RB1. Both Jones and Fournette played about the same snaps in Week 2, but Fournette out-touched Jones 16-9 and managed 116 yards on those touches. Jones did manage a score but also fumbled the ball away, leading to the increased Fournette usage. He will likely be a TD-dependent RB3 moving forward. Shady was still heavily involved with the passing game, seeing seven targets, but Chris Godwin‘s absence could account for that. Godwin’s absence did not help Rob Gronkowski, who has played 96 snaps this season and seen just four targets. He is a blocker now. OJ Howard came crashing down to earth in Week 2, catching just one ball for 11 yards on three targets.
Washington RBs (Antonio Gibson 43, Peyton Barber 1, JD McKissic 29)
Well, that didn’t take long. After minimal usage in Week 1, Antonio Gibson took over in Week 2. Peyton Barber had more TDs in Week 1 (2) than snaps in Week 2 (1), hope you didn’t waste your FAAB. Gibson had 14 touches and 52 yards in a game that Washington trailed from the very start. McKissic still played, however, he saw no targets but turned 8 carries into a respectable 53 yards. McKissic and Barber are unplayable in fantasy football, with their upside coming strictly from the game flow. Gibson is already starting to develop and has serious RB2 potential moving forward.