Snap Count Observations: Week 9

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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 9.

Broncos WRs – Emmanuel Sanders 92% / Courtland Sutton 85% / Tim Patrick 73%

The first two observations into snaps this week will be centered around the big trade from this last week. Demaryius Thomas was traded to the Houston Texas. In his wake, Thomas will be leaving behind 19% of the team’s targets and 25% of the team’s air yards. The main benefactor of this move on the Broncos was definitely rookie WR Courtland Sutton. His snaps instantly jumped up to bonafide WR2 numbers. While his fantasy output wasn’t amazing — he caught three of five targets for 57 — there are certainly reasons to be excited going forward. The Broncos’ upcoming schedule is the 14th easiest by defensive passing metrics. Sanders remains a low-end WR1 and Sutton should be a low-end WR2 for the rest of the season.

Texans WRs – DeAndre Hopkins 98% / Demaryius Thomas 79%

On the other side of the ball this past Sunday, Thomas suited up in Texans garb rather than Broncos. Seeing as how Will Fuller was placed on injured reserve and Keke Coutee was out with a hamstring injury, Thomas immediately saw 79% of the Texans’ offensive snaps. During the early part of the game, it seems like the Texans wrote up plays to get Thomas involved in front of his old team. Once the game broke down, it was all Hopkins. Thomas ended with an okay day, similar to Sutton — he caught all three of his targets for 61 yards. However, all three of these targets came in the first quarter. Thomas will have some time to sit down and learn the Texans playbook now, and he should have a solid role in this offense going forward.

Redskins WRs – Josh Doctson 99% / Maurice Harris 87% / Paul Richardson 78%

With Jamison Crowder out since week 5 with an ankle injury, the Redskins have mostly been employing a wide receiver by committee approach. Each of these WRs has had decent weeks and quiet weeks. However, Paul Richardson got injured in this game and was subsequently sent to injured reserve due to needing surgery on his AC joint. With Richardson out and Crowder’s chances looking bleak, the Redskins will have to lean heavily on third-year WR Josh Doctson. Maurice Harris may also have a role going forward, but I do not expect a repeat of his 12 target, 10 reception, 124-yard performance which came against the hobbled Falcons defense.

Jets RBs – Elijah McGuire 55% / Isaiah Crowell 35%

This was Elijah McGuire’s first game back from a foot injury that landed him on injured reserve to begin the season. McGuire rushed six times for 23 yards and caught three of his five targets for 37 yards. He also out-snapped Crowell by 20% of the Jets’ offensive snaps. The 3-6 Jets are having some growing pains with rookie QB Sam Darnold and a struggling passing defense. Luckily for us, that’s going to give us an opportunity to grab the new “catch-up more” RB on the Jets. Entering the year, McGuire was slated to be playing in Powell’s role, until his aforementioned trip to the IR. Before the season, New York Jets’ running backs coach Stump Mitchell praised him in a big way by comparing him to LaDainian Tomlinson. Perhaps a bit much, but high praise nonetheless.

Buccaneers WRs – Mike Evans 90% / Adam Humphries 82% / Chris Godwin 55% / DeSean Jackson 48%

This WR corps I found interesting because I don’t know anyone who expected Humphries to be number two on this list. Not even that, but he’s played the second most offensive snaps of any of the wide receivers outside of Mike Evans. With that being said, Humphries has the least receiving yards, air yards, touchdowns, average depth of target, and fantasy points out of these four receivers. In this case, I think we need to ignore the snaps, and definitely ignore his Week 9 boxscore. The Bucs have the 6th easiest strength of schedule for remaining games in terms of passing defenses. I think that DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin will likely be upside flex plays going forward, while Evans continues to dominate as a top 5 WR.

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