Snap Count Observations: Week 4
Snaps lead to opportunity, opportunity leads to production, production leads to fantasy points, and fantasy points lead to #FootClanTitles (not the dark side!). Let’s get into some interesting snap count situations from Week 3.
Seahawks RBs – Mike Davis 71% / Rashaad Penny 24% / C.J. Prosise 5%
Gross. That’s pretty much the only thing that can describe this backfield at the moment. Chris Carson was a surprise inactive just a few hours before the Seahawks’ afternoon game against the Cardinals. Many Penny supporters thrust him into their starting lineups with this news hoping that he would prove himself once and for all. Well, Mike Davis said no to the Penny truthers. Davis ended up with 25 total touches to Penny’s nine.
Pete Carroll said this at his post-game press conference, “[Davis] is going to fit in somewhere. He needs to play. He needs to be a part of it. We’ll work that out.” So, it looks like Carson owners won’t be too happy about Davis getting involved. I think Penny owners should probably be on the verge of dropping him, especially in leagues with shallower benches.
Titans WRs – Corey Davis 85% / Taywan Taylor 63% / Tajae Sharp 44% / Nick Williams 42%
With Rishard Matthews asking for his release from the Titans and ultimately getting his wish, the Titans now operate with young receivers topping their depth chart. Corey Davis is going to be a lock as this team’s WR1, and that should come with no surprise. Davis even saw a huge workload against the Eagles — he converted 15 targets into nine receptions for 161 yards and a score. The more interesting story to watch here is sophomore WR Taywan Taylor.
In 2017, Taylor saw just 28 targets playing third fiddle behind Davis and Matthews. So far through the 2018 season, he has been impressive. He has caught 73.7% of his 19 targets through 4 games, including seven receptions for 77 yards against the Eagles. Taylor recorded 38 of his 46 snaps playing as a wideout, meaning he will likely be used in two WR sets in future games. I expect Taylor’s role to expand and his snap percentage should rise as well.
Falcons WRs – Mohamed Sanu 79% / Julio Jones 77% / Calvin Ridley 54%
It’s honestly a little surprising to see Sanu on the top of this list, but the Falcons use him in run blocking situations. I think the biggest glaring thing here is that rookie WR Ridley only played 54% of the offensive snaps. This is notable because he’s caught a whopping SIX touchdowns in three weeks. If you happened to start Ridley in Week 4, good job. The only problem is, will this continue?
Sanu’s involvement in this offense outside of catching passes could keep him in the lineup often. Ridley has caught a touchdown on 29% of his targets. This number is extremely high, and it is likely to regress to the mean. If Ridley’s snap counts hover around 50-60% and if he gets his average of 5.3 targets per game, he’s going to post some disappointing weeks. My recommendation is to sell him at his likely all-time high value if you can find a team who needs a WR. Julio remains a staple option in this offense — he’s enjoyed three games with 96 yards or more — the touchdowns should come eventually for Julio.
Ravens TEs – Nick Boyle 72% / Maxx Williams 53% / Mark Andrews 34%
The Ravens passing offense has looked stellar lately. Joe Flacco has been averaging 313 yards and two touchdowns per game. Even better, Flacco has been throwing the ball to the tight end position 24.4% of the time. Those 41 targets to Ravens tight ends would be great IF Flacco only targeted one tight end. Through three weeks, Boyle, Andrews, and Williams have 16, 13 and 12 targets respectively. None of them have been reliable enough to start.
Even worse, the Ravens likely will be getting their first-round draft pick, Hayden Hurst, back from injury this week. The easy answer here is to avoid all Ravens tight ends. In a few weeks, Hurst may make a push to regain his position as the team’s number one tight end, but until you see positive signs just avoid at all costs.
Buccaneers RBs – Peyton Barber 49% / Ronald Jones 32% / Jacquizz Rodgers 17%
Is there a more disappointing position group in the NFL right now? I’m not sure. Peyton Barber opened the season as the Bucs’ top RB, getting back-to-back games with 17 touches or better. Ultimately, Barber fell flat on his face. In four games, Barber has rushed for 2.96 yards per carry and not a single touchdown. Even worse, his touches started getting scaled back. Barber is starting to look like a drop candidate to me.
Meanwhile, rookie RB Ronald Jones got his first career action in Week 4 and… didn’t do any better. He rushed 10 times for 29 yards and had one catch for -1 yard. It seems like the Bucs will start to move on from Peyton Barber to Ronald Jones, so I would wager that his snaps and opportunities go up. Unfortunately, the Bucs are currently the worst offensive line in the league in adjusted line yards — basically, they aren’t good at run blocking.
Packers RBs (revisited) – Aaron Jones 38% / Jamaal Williams 37% / Ty Mongomery 26%
Last week: Jamaal Williams 43% / Ty Montgomery 29% / Aaron Jones 25%
I’ll keep this one short and sweet since I outlined most of my ideas on this backfield last week. Aaron Jones had 12 total touches in this game for 82 yards and a touchdown. This is your last week to trade for him at any kind of reasonable value. Jones stock is about to go through the roof, in my opinion.