When choosing my subjects for this article, I go group by group for each team and look for things that catch my eye. Did a guy have a “meh” week but play 75% of snaps? Go buy him. Did a player see fewer than 50% snap count but save his day with a TD? Probably a good sell candidate. Normally, each position group gives a few stories worth telling. This week, I focus on RBs.
We have young backs coming into their own, 2018 superstars emerging from their slumber, and timeshares where owning both backs is not a bad option. Week 10 marks the trade deadline for many fantasy leagues, use this info to get your stable of RBs playoff ready. I cover a few WRs and TEs too, but RBs are going to win your #FootClanTitle, and this may be your last week to acquire some of these assets.
Every week, I like to highlight any RB/WR/TE that played 100% of their teams’ plays. I had a feeling as the season progressed, we would see fewer and fewer RBs on this list and Week 9 gave us exactly zero that played 100%. However, five WRs make the list this week, the most for a single week this season. For the Patriots, both Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu played all 67 offensive snaps. It will be interesting to see how this plays out moving forward with N’Keal Harry active. Superstars Tyreek Hill and DeAndre Hopkins played every down for their respective teams, both won. Finally, Terry McLaurin was in for every play of the Redskins’ loss. At TE, Ben Watson joined teammates Edelman and Sanu for every down.
Week 9 Snap Count Observations
Buffalo Bills RBs (Devin Singletary 41, Frank Gore 21)
He just had his best week of the year, driving his price up, but go buy Devin Singletary. The Bills schedule is great for at least the next three weeks and he is going to lead this backfield. Last week, Singletary doubled up Gore’s snaps but they had equal touches. This week, he doubles him up in downs and touches. Singletary had 21 carries, three catches, 140 total yards, and a TD. It was a great week and may only be the tip of the iceberg.
Detroit Lions RBs (Ty Johnson 44, J.D. McKissic 27)
Fans were crying foul last week when Johnson was out-snapped by Tra Carson. This week, after Carson went on IR, Johnson was given the work that was expected but was outshined by J.D. McKissic. McSmooches handled the passing down work and found the endzone as a receiver. While Johnson played 17 more snaps and out-touched McKissic 12-7, he could only manage 36 scoreless yards on those touches. It seems you may have wasted your FAAB.
Green Bay Packers RBs (Aaron Jones 32, Jamaal Williams 24)
When the Packers finally fired Mike McCarthy and hired Matt LaFleur, the fantasy world rejoiced. The RBBC would be over and Aaron Jones would finally be the bell-cow he deserved to be. (Lee Corso Voice) “NOT SO FAST, MY FRIEND.” We are essentially reliving 2018, Jones has looked like a superstar at times but cannot seem to beat out Williams long-term. Last week, Jones had 12 more downs played but 20 more fantasy points. This week, Jones only played eight more snaps, but the touches were split even and Williams found the endzone. Both backs are must-owns as the weather turns in Green Bay.
Kansas City Chiefs RBs (Damien Willaims 43, Darrell Williams 11, LeSean McCoy 6)
Damien Williams truthers are waking from their hibernation. Much like 2018, Williams is starting the second half of the season with a bang. To be fair, he didn’t emerge until Week 14 last season but was the RB3 over the season’s final four weeks. Williams barely edged McCoy in snaps last week but a Shady fumble in Week 8 changed everything in Week 9. This week, Damien dominated the downs played, out-touched Shady 14-4, and managed over 120 yards and TD on those touches. Another situation where your price has risen drastically, but I would be looking to acquire Damien Williams for your playoff run.
Los Angeles Chargers RBs (Melvin Gordon 45, Austin Ekeler 24)
Your buy-low window, or buy at all window, on Melvin Gordon has officially closed. Owners that held onto 2018’s RB7 had been not-so-patiently waiting for a game like this. Gordon played nearly double the downs of Ekeler, had seven more touches, and finished with 109 total yards and two TDs. Ekeler still looked good but was clearly second-fiddle. At this point, the Gordon owners should be looking to handcuff Ekeler if they haven’t already.
San Francisco 49ers RBs (Tevin Coleman 41, Matt Brieda 29)
After Week 8, Coleman owners were on top of the world. After Week 9, they may be ready to jump. Last week, Coleman had the 6th best fantasy RB performance of the entire season. This week, he was held to 23 yards on 12 carries. Brieda had the hot hand, managing 78 yards on 15 attempts. This situation feels identical to Green Bay, both backs are must-own, both backs are startable every week, but there will be a dud from time to time.
New York Jets WRs (Robby Anderson 67, Jamison Crowder 59, Demaryius Thomas 54)
I spent the week telling anyone who asked about the Jets “I don’t trust any Jet not named Bell or Anderson.” That was apparently the wrong answer. I should have just said “Don’t trust the Jets” All three of these WRs have impressive snap counts every week but only one seems to have fantasy relevance. Figuring out which one is the task. It’s fantasy football “three-card monte” and that is not the game you want to play with your playoff hopes on the line. This week, Jamison Crowder broke 10 fantasy points for the first time since Week 1 and not other WR scored more than 5 fantasy points.
Baltimore Ravens TEs (Nick Boyle 59, Hayden Hurst 29, Mark Andrews 24)
Before I dig into this, I want to note that Andrews has only played more downs than Boyle once this entire year, so this isn’t exactly strange. My concern is that the discrepancy had never been this big and why Hayden Hurst? The Ravens run the ball a lot and Boyle is the better blocker, fair enough. In this game, Boyle was also targeted five times and scored the only TE touchdown. I’m not actively selling Andrews at this point, but if the right offer came in, I’m not holding him either.
Indianapolis Colts TEs (Jack Doyle 55, Eric Ebron 24, Mo Allie-Cox 21)
Even when the Colts have no WRs to throw the ball to, Ebron can’t get involved. Doyle didn’t have a banner day but did finish with three receptions and a TD. False hope has Ebron owned in over 70% of fantasy leagues. He is safely droppable in all.
Philadelphia Eagles TEs (Zach Ertz 70, Dallas Goedert 70)
These two were on the field a ton and Ertz finally came through for fantasy owners. Ertz ended up with nine catches on 11 targets, turning that into 103 yards and a TD. Goedert was targeted five times, reeling in four balls for 39 yards.