Tracking snap counts is a good way to get an indication of how much a player is on the field, and what their future usage outlook could look like. Next to each player’s name you will see a number inside of parenthesis, for example John Smith (2), that 2 would represent how many snaps he played this week. We are going to dive into some of the more interesting situations around the league regarding snap count numbers. Starting next week we will add snap count risers and fallers, which will also be a useful tool for valuing a player’s fantasy stock.
The Patriots used all four of their RB’s, but the snap counts are a good indication of where each stands within the offense. James White (43) led the way, followed by Mike Gillislee (24), Rex Burkhead (10), and Dion Lewis (6). James White and Mike Gillislee were the clear-cut one-two punch in the offense, with Gillislee being used in all short-yardage and goal-line offenses. White was used in more of an all-around role and was in for nearly every snap once the Patriots got down big to the Chiefs late in the game. Burkhead had a lot of hype around him entering the game, but he can safely be dropped after this week one showing.
Terrance West (27) started the game at RB but finished with fewer snaps than Javorius Allen (33). West received two fewer touches than Allen. Allen replaced Danny Woodhead early in the game after Woodhead went down with injury. The Ravens blew out the Bengals, so this isn’t the best game to judge snap counts off of, but it is certainly an indication that the Ravens plan on using both RBs. If Allen is available on your wire, you may want to give him a look.
This situation was a messy one in week one, with all three backs all getting equal opportunities. Giovani Bernard (29) led the way in snaps, followed by Joe Mixon (22), and Jeremy Hill (10). While the snap count would lead one to believe Hill is not quite in the mix, the touch totals would show a different story. Fantasy owners who invested an early round pick on Mixon will be hoping for his snap total to increase as the season goes.
After week one, this backfield did not impress. Rookie Alvin Kamara (31) led the way in snaps, followed by Mark Ingram (26), and Adrian Peterson (9). Kamara appears to be the best value running back post-fantasy draft. Early-to-mid round selections of Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson are not looking very valuable after this week. Mark Ingram is the best back to own currently on the Saints.
The Panthers used both their RB’s in heavy amounts on Sunday. Christian McCaffrey (47) led the way while Jonathan Stewart (29) still got his fair share. Stewart had 18 carries compared to McCaffrey’s 13 and is still the clear back in games that the Panthers are winning. However, with McCaffrey receiving 7 targets in the pass game compared to Stewart’s 2, it is likely that McCaffrey will be the go-to back in games that the Panthers are playing from behind. Both players should see a solid chunk of the snaps each week for the time being, and are worth a spot in your starting lineup.
Fantasy owners who are hoping for Jamaal Williams (6) to take over this job may be waiting a while after Ty Montgomery (74) started and was in for nearly all of the Packers snaps. Montgomey out-touched Williams 23-2 and it is clear that the Packers have confidence in Montgomery to be able to get the job done at the RB position. Montgomery is operating as a three-down back and there is little reason to believe that will change anytime soon, barring injury. This week was great for those who drafted Montgomery.
It was believed that Frank Gore (19) would be the featured back in the Colts offense but that was simply not the case. The Colts used all three of their RB’s with Marlon Mack (17) and Robert Turbin (14) seeing over double-digit snaps. Mack finished with the same amount of touches as Gore, but the Colts were also down huge in this game, which likely played a factor in the decision to let the rookie get some usage. This trend could continue for as long as Andrew Luck is sidelined. Mack is worth a stash.
The Eagles utilized all three of their running backs with Darren Sproles (34) finishing with the most snaps. Sproles was followed by LeGarrette Blount (24) and Wendell Smallwood (16). Blount drew the start; but his preseason struggles carried over into the opener as he finished with just 46 yards on 14 carries. He will need to turn it around quickly. Look for Smallwood to receive a few more snaps and carries this coming week.
The Seahawks backfield is a hard one to judge after week 1 with Thomas Rawls being inactive for the game because of injury. Chris Carson (27) easily led the RB’s in snaps, followed by C.J. Prosise (15), and Eddie Lacy (7). One thing is clear; Lacy will have no role within this offense going forward. Carson appears to be the lead back currently, but we will need to see the snap counts once Rawls returns, to get a real feel for this backfield. Lacy can safely be dropped in all formats.
Fantasy owners looking for Powell to take over this backfield can’t be all that excited after opening weekend. Matt Forte (35) received the majority of the snaps, while Bilal Powell (30) didn’t receive his first touch until late in the second quarter. On the bright side; Powell did finish with more touches than Forte, but neither back played well. It is a situation worth monitoring. Powell is the more talented player at this point in their careers.
Devonta Freeman (36) and Tevin Coleman (24) both played a lot of snaps which is not a good sign for Freeman owners who used a first round pick on the RB. Freeman out-touched Coleman just 14-to-12. It is only week one and there is no reason to panic, but the totals for touches is a bit concerning. Freeman should see an increased snap and touch total next week.
The week one snap counts for DeMarco Murray (47) and Derrick Henry (18) were similar to much of what we saw last year from this combination. Much of the same can be expected going forward. Murray is still the featured back, but Henry will continue to have his own role within the offense.
This one turned out to be the most surprising of all the WR situations around the league this week. Robert Woods (43), Sammy Watkins (38), and Cooper Kupp (39) all played nearly identical amounts; while the team’s former number one WR Tavon Austin (7) had almost no role within the offense. Austin will still be used as a gadget at times, but it appears that his usage will be at a career-low this season.
Tom Savage (31) started the game and played miserably through one half. Deshuan Watson (48) came into the game to start the second half. Watson was far from perfect, but it was obvious that the offense was more effective with him in the game. News broke Tuesday that Watson will be the starting QB for their game Thursday night. Watson is worth adding in 2 QB leagues and superflex leagues. He has upside to have some solid fantasy games, but there will be some rough outings for the rookie behind an offensive line that gave up ten sacks this week to the Jaguars.