Snap Count Observations from Week 5 (Fantasy Football)
This week, football gave us a little bit of everything. We had COVID postponement, we have a Tuesday game, we had a HUGE rookie performance, and we had a DEVASTING injury (Get well soon Dak!) While most of those things will dominate the headlines, there was a lot that happened just below the radar that was plenty worth your attention. I’m of course talking about snap counts…it’s kind of my thing with this article. Week 5 also gave us muddied backfields and confusing WR corps. If we can figure those things out, we might just have the edge on our opponents heading into Week 6.
Every week, I like to highlight any RB/WR/TE that plays every snap for their team. After no one accomplished the feat last week, two players crossed the finish line in Week 5. This is the first time this season that more than one player has played every snap in the same week. Terry McLaurin played every snap as Washington fell to the LA Rams and George Kittle took it to 100% in the 49ers blowout loss to Miami.
Note: This article comes out before Week 5’s crazy Tuesday game between the Bills and Titans. If any of those players play 100%, I’ll add them after the fact.
Week 5 Snap Count Observations
Baltimore RBs (Gus Edwards 25, Mark Ingram 19, JK Dobbins 18)
I warned in Jeff Greenwood’s Fantasy Day Trader article that the window to sell Mark Ingram may be coming to a close. It might have slammed shut in Week 5. While Ingram still led the team with 11 carries, that is not the kind of volume he will need to be fantasy relevant. Edwards saw just four fewer touches while playing more snaps and Dobbins did most of the passing game work. In fact, Ingram saw no targets at all in the passing game. This backfield looks to be a three-way split moving forward and you’ll want little to do with it, outside of bye week fill-ins.
Chicago WRs (Allen Robinson 55, Darnell Mooney 41, Anthony Miller 26)
While it’s clear that Allen Robinson is the top-dog in this group, Anthony Miller truthers may have to be moving on soon. Mooney out-snapped him and was one very errant Nick Foles pass away from scoring a TD in this game. While fantasy managers should likely stay away from any WR on this team not named Robinson, it would appear that Mooney is taking over the #2 job.
Cincinnati WRs (Tee Higgins 54, Tyler Boyd 46, AJ Green 28, Auden Tate 26)
The questions around AJ Green have always been about health and injury…never effort. Until now. After a baffling reaction to an early interception, where Green made no effort to go after the DB and then seemed to actually run away from him, it is not a surprise that he lagged in snaps so badly and only saw one target in this one. Green did suffer a hamstring strain in this game but the writing was already on the wall. The Fantasy Footballers actually “retired” Green for fantasy purposes last week and it’s clear that this is Higgins and Boyd’s team moving forward. Adjust your rosters accordingly.
Cleveland RBs (Kareem Hunt 51, D’Ernest Johnson 22, Dontrell Hilliard 0)
Those wondering how things would shake out after Nick Chubb went down got their answer: A lot of Kareem Hunt. D’Ernest did carry the ball eight times but it did not amount to much against a tough Colts defense. The Browns have another tough test with Pittsburgh in Week 6 before their Week 7 bye. Hunt is a must-start moving forward but Johnson may not be worth the FAAB you spent on him.
Indianapolis TEs (Jack Doyle 34, Trey Burton 25, Mo Alie-Cox 21)
I brought this up last week but it appears that Colts don’t love Mo Alie-Cox as much as the fantasy world does. Doyle led in snaps and Burton led in targets with six balls thrown his way. Burton’s usage is worth monitoring moving forward, as the Colts have a plethora of injuries at WR and Burton seems to be filling that gap.
Jacksonville WRs (Keelan Cole 60, Laviska Shenault 52, DJ Chark 50, Chris Conley 24, Collin Johnson 23)
We often talk about the frustration of split-backfields but a team that uses every WR on their roster can be just as frustrating. Shenault led the team in targets and seems to have a growing role in this offense. Cole saw six targets and Chark saw four, while Conley seems to be fading away. The main takeaway here is that Cole and Shenault should be on more fantasy rosters and we may have been a little too hyped up on DJ Chark.
Kansas City RBs (Clyde Edwards-Helaire 43, Darrel Williams 29)
Fantasy managers that took CEH in their first three rounds, a lot in the 1st Round, have to be in full panic mode at this point. Edwards-Helaire is still playing 65% of the snaps on the season but ceding 29 snaps (and five passing targets) to Williams was not the expectation when the season started. CEH has only scored one TD on 81 carries thus far, so there is hope for positive regression in TDs but will it come too late for fantasy managers?
NY Giants RBs (Devonta Freeman 37, Dion Lewis 20, Wayne Gallman 12)
A few weeks ago I posited that Freeman would eventually rise to the top of this backfield as its most talented member. That is coming to fruition. While he may not be much more than an RB2 for fantasy purposes, Freeman is seeing a decent amount of volume and has some TD potential each week. He out-touched all other Giants’ RBs 19-10 this week and we will likely see that grow as the season moves forward.
NY Jets RBs (Le’Veon Bell 46, Frank Gore 23, La’Mical Perine 0)
Bell came back and immediately took back his lead-back role. It may not mean much in this terrible offense but, if this volume continues, he is another weekly RB2 candidate. He still going to split carries with Frank Gore because it’s Adam Gase, but that could end at any time and you typically want an RB playing over 60% of their team’s snaps.
San Francisco RBs (Raheem Mostert 31, Jerick McKinnon 16, Jeff Wilson 15)
Another RB coming back from injury and immediately reclaiming his role. The 49ers looked awful in this game but you can’t really put that on Mostert. In his first game back, he took 11 carries for 90 yards and saw three targets in the passing game, catching all three. He’ll still cede some passing work to Jerick McKinnon moving forward, but Mostert is good to go for his fantasy managers.