Snap Count Observations from Week 6 (Fantasy Football)
Just when we think we know what we are talking about, 2020 laughs in our faces. A 31-year-old WR with what was supposed to be a major hamstring issue? He’ll lead his team in snaps and play his best game of the year. That breakout TE we’ve all been waiting for? He’ll score nothing while both of his lesser-known (and much less-rostered) backups each score a TD in far less playing time. Like most weeks, there was good and bad, and the snap counts tell that story pretty well.
Every week, I like to highlight any RB/WR/TE that plays all of their team’s snaps. After Week 5 gave us two players hitting 100% of snaps for the first time this season, I had hope that we might see it more often. I was wrong. No RB/WR/TE recorded 100% playing time in Week 6.
Week 6 Snap Count Observations
Atlanta WRs (Julio Jones 64, Calvin Ridley 59, Russell Gage 51)
Perhaps we were writing off Julio Jones, and the Atlanta Falcons, just a bit too soon. The Falcons balled out in their first game post-Dan Quinn and Julio looked like hamstrings were never an issue, reeling in eight balls for 137 yards and two TDs, not to mention leading the WRs in snaps played. Calvin Ridley had a solid game and scored his 5th TD of the year, but took a backseat to the elder statesman in this one. Russell Gage finally popped back up after three down weeks but not quite to the point where you can comfortably throw in him your Flex spot again quite yet.
Cincinnati WRs & TEs (Tee Higgins 59, AJ Green 58, Tyler Boyd 57, Drew Sample 55)
It would appear there is still a hint of life in AJ Green as well. All three WRs played well on Sunday, to the detriment of Drew Sample, who was only targeted once despite matching the wideouts in snaps played. Higgins is proving to be a force to reckoned with, and Boyd still has great PPR value, but it’s hard to know what to make of AJ Green. This was his first “good” game of the year and it comes off the back of one of his worst. He is probably still worth a stash at the bottom of your roster if they are going to use him this much…I just wouldn’t go starting him yet.
Detroit RBs (D’Andre Swift 29, Adrian Peterson 27, Kerryon Johnson 17)
We may be seeing a changing of the guard, so to speak, in Detroit. While technically, Swift has been in town longer than AP, Peterson is the incumbent. They split snaps this week, they split touches this week, but Swift did far more with his opportunities. Swift out-gained AP 123-58 and scored twice, while AP scored just once. Every week won’t be against Jacksonville but Swift is starting to show why the Lions drafted him. And Kerryon Johnson is still an afterthought.
Green Bay RBs (Aaron Jones 36, Jamaal Williams 32, AJ Dillon 10)
This has to be the most maddening backfield in the NFL. Aaron Jones is far and away better than his counterparts but they just keep running them out there. This game was a blowout, so maybe they were resting him…except he is only playing 56% of the snaps on the season. He’s the overall RB2 while ceding touches to Jamaal Williams and AJ Dillon. Aaron Jones would be terrifying if anybody thought to make him a bell-cow RB.
Indianapolis WRs (TY Hilton 59, Zach Pascal 58, Marcus Johnson 40)
Marcus Johnson reeled in five balls for 108 yards. Zach Pascal scored a TD. Some dude named DeMichael Harris caught all three passes thrown his way while playing just 12 snaps. TY Hilton scored 1.4 fantasy points. Other than being on the field, there is no hope left for TY on fantasy rosters. He might fall on a fumble in the endzone as we saw JJ Arcega-Whiteside do in Week 6, but he can do it on waivers. The Colts have a bye in Week 7 and you can safely give up on their WRs.
LA Rams RBs (Darrell Henderson 32, Malcolm Brown 27, Cam Akers 1)
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO BELIEVE NFL COACHES! And sometimes it isn’t, all at the same time. Sean McVay said this would be a split backfield at the beginning of the season and has been true to his word. He also said they would get Akers more involved and…oops! Henderson has looked great running the ball but his usage, or lack thereof, in the passing game is concerning. Brown has operated as the only pass-catcher but hasn’t done much with those touches. And Akers is unstartable until further notice.
Miami TEs (Mike Gesicki 37, Durham Smythe 19, Adam Shaheen 16)
Any manager that played Mike Gesicki on Sunday was probably looking for an injury designation next to his name. Nope, he played, he just did nothing for your team. Gesicki turned two targets into a goose egg and watched the TE2 and TE3 find paydirt. Not a sign of encouragement for a TE that fantasy managers hoped would break out and give the position some depth in 2020.
New England RBs (James White 31, Rex Burkhead 18, Damien Harris 12)
So much for Damien Harris taking over this backfield. Harris played just 12 snaps and only saw six carries in the game. The game-script did him no favors, with New England playing catch-up, they used their pass-catching RBs far more often. There will be better days for Harris but it will be a time-share, much like every Bill Belichick backfield ever.
NY Jets RBs (Lamical Perine 41, Frank Gore 25)
While Gore out-touched Perine 15-9, the rookie RB led the RB group in snaps played. There is likely not much fantasy value as the lead-back for the New York Jets, but Perine is going to get a crack at the job before long. He flashed in some moments during training camp and should see his touches increase week by week. Will he do anything with them? Probably not, but it’s worth watching.
Pittsburgh WRs (Chase Claypool 51, James Washington 43, Juju Smith-Schuster 42)
It would appear that Chase Claypool has arrived. The Steelers rookie played 78% of the snaps this week and scored another rushing TD while adding 74 receiving yards on four catches. The Steelers ran a lot of 3-WR sets against the depleted Browns secondary and, with Diontae Johnson out again, Claypool, Wahington, and Juju saw the field plenty. But what happens when Johnson comes back? The WR4 only played 13 snaps in this game and it’s hard to imagine Johnson unseating Claypool at this point, so Washington is likely the forgotten man.