NFL Snap Count Breakdown: Week 2
Andrew Cooper breaks down the NFL snap counts from Week 2 and highlights players that need to be on your radar.
Week 2 was an absolute bloodbath. If any of your teams are like mine, you might have enough red text on there that you’re tempted to call it quits.
But fear not my internet football pals because we’re here to break down what happened and tell you what you need to do to move forward. So pick that phone up out of the trash, full your IR spots, and let’s build this thing back up!
WR: Deebo Samuel is still absent but at least Brandon Aiyuk made his debut. His snaps came almost entirely at the expense of Dante Pettis who went from 72.6% of the snaps last week to 16.4% of the snaps this week. Bourne and Taylor remained the other main options and, based on the usage, it looks lIke Taylor will be the one that falls off when Deebo returns. Richie James also hit the IR but he wasn’t particularly relevant anway. Aiyuk is our favorite for the time being.
RB: Both Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman were hurt this week and both are expected to miss week 3 (Coleman is expected to miss even more time than that). That leaves Jeff Wilson to get the short yardage work and Jerick McKinnon on the passing downs. McKinnon has the best shot to become the “hot hand” and drastically increase his workload.
WR: Allen Robinson once again led the team but the surprise this week was Darnell Mooney emerging across from him. Mooney played almost all of his snaps outside so he looks to be out in front right now as the flanker to Robinson’s split end. Anthony Miller played 17 of his 26 snaps in the slot so he’s the favorite for three wide sets but his usage as of this week makes him essentially unstartable.
RB: David Montgomery took a big step forward in terms of snap share with Cohen’s backfield snaps dropping from 24 last week to only 12 this week despite the team running the same number of offensive plays. Monty is on the up and up.
TE: From a usage perspective, Jimmy Graham still saw a good chunk of slot snaps (14) and snaps at WR (8) but he played fewer snaps in general and was clearly less involved. For now he’s a stash as you likely have much safer options. Cole Kmet was used to block on 18 of his 22 snaps which is even worse than last week so he is still merely a dynasty stash.
WR: Despite only catching 3 of his absurd 13 targets, Green was actually third in snap share behind Tyler Boyd and the rookie Higgins. Green attributed his poor efficiency to growing pains in regards to the new offense and returning to the field after a long absence. Higgins could be worth a stash at this point while John Ross is droppable in most formats.
RB: This week wasn’t as clear cut for Joe Mixon as it was last week. In fact, Gio Bernard almost matched his snaps after being used heavily towards the end of the game in passing situations. If Mixon needs positive game scripts to be featured heavily, it could be rough sledding for a team that isn’t projected to win many games.
TE: C.J. Uzomah was a casualty this week, landing on the IR with a torn achilles. Blocking tight end Drew Sample slid into that void and managed to catch some balls in a good matchup but he’s unlikely to be a great asset in most formats giving his profile (4.71 forty) and his spot on the target totem pole.
WR: Not much change from Week 1 to 2 for the Bills which is a good thing for Diggs and Brown owners. Diggs is a start every week and Brown isn’t a bad option either.
RB: As similar split this week to last week for Singletary and Jones which confirms our worst fear - it seems the backfield will be split down the middle. An injury to one would be a boon for the other. The Taiwan Jones snaps were all played on special teams - had some technical difficulties with the sheet this week but those will be removed for next week.
TE: Dawson Knox left this week’s game with a concussion though Tyler Kroft still blocked heavily despite receiving more snaps. There likely isn’t enough target to go around to make Knox relevant even when he’s healthy but he is still the guy to own.
WR: It was the same split we saw last week with Odell, Jarvis, and Khadarel Hodge . In Stefanski’s run first offense, only Odell and Juice will be relevant unless there is an injury. And even then, the targets may go to Hooper rather than Hodge.
RB: After being split fairly down the middle last week, this week’s split favored Nick Chubb in both the running and passing games. It might be disappointing for Hunt owners but Chubb owners can certainly breath a little easier.
TE: The Vikings were a top three team last year in terms of two tight end sets, rivaling the Eagles and Ravens. Kevin Stefanski clearly brought this philosophy with him to Cleveland as Hooper played almost every snap while Harrison Bryant also played 30. The issue for fantasy has never been other competition from tight ends though - it’s that Odell and Jarvis are premier target hogs and the team isn’t even throwing much. Every top five tight end in fantasy for five straight years has been either first or second on their team in targets so Hooper’s ceiling is low as long as those two WRs are there.
WR: In the absence of Chris Godwin , the big bodied Justin Watson manned the slot for most of the game (21 snaps) until he hurt his shoulder. Next in terms of slot snaps were Mike Evans (14) and Scotty Miller (8). Watson hurt his shoulder and has yet to practice but Godwin and Evans will likely be the only two startable players.
RB: An early fumble for Ronald Jones opened the door for Leonard Fournette who paced the running backs this week. Unfortunately coach Bruce Arians said that Rojo is still the starter which likely means a convoluted backfield. We lean Fournette.
TE: Bruce Arians has never been one to hold his tongue. The words he used to talk about the tight ends this week were downright alarming for owners of any of them. Both Gronk (23 blocking vs 19 routes) and Howard (19 blocking and 15 routes) blocked more times than they went out for passes this week. Can’t be trusted.
WR: Courtland Sutton returned this week and then he season promptly ended. The door would seem wide open for the tongue guys but it looks like Tim Patrick will be playing split end as he played the most WR snaps. Jerry Jeudy will be in the slot and KJ Hamler will act as the field stretcher outside. Jeudy the most interesting though Hamler might be worth an add in best ball or standard leagues.
WR: For the second week in a row, this team lived up to the “Air Raid” moniker with over 75 plays run. Hopkins, Fitz, and Kirk are staples. No other WR plays enough to be relevant.
RB: Kenyon Drake was the primary running back again with Chase Edmonds spelling him mostly on pass downs. Drake himself told fantasy owners not to worry or to drop him at their own peril. We side with Drake.
TE: Dan Arnold ’s usage is interesting given his snap share and the number of snaps he’s playing wide receiver (22) vs. inline tight end (30). But the target are simply to thin to trust the UDFA in all but the deepest of leagues.
WR: As we mentioned last week, the Cowboys had one of the most consolidated snap shares last year and that continued both last week and this week. You love to see it. Cooper/Gallup/Lamb - locked in.
RB: Same as last week - it’s the Zeke show. Tony Pollard played 10 snaps, 7 of which were pass plays and he was asked to pass block twice at least. As we talked about, he needs to earn their trust pass blocking to see more time.
WR: We knew Keenan Allen and Mike Williams were going to be the guys. It looks like Jalen Guyton will be the third guy with Joe Reed relegated to mostly special teams. Unless Williams or Allen get hurt, Guyton isn’t startable either.
RB: Austin Ekeler (29 pass, 18 run) skews more pass heavy while Joshua Kelley (17 pass, 26 run) skews more run heavy but, so far, there have been enough touches to go around. I would keep an eye on potential game script as games they are losing would favor Ekeler and games they are winning favor Kelley. It’s also worth noting that Justin Herbet targets the running back far more heavily than TyRod Taylor - more info on that is available via our running back breakdown by Jon Impemba.
TE: Hunter Henry is the guy and he’s worth a start anywhere you don’t have another stud. 71 of 83 snaps and he only pass blocked 4 times.
WR: In week 1, Tyreek Hill (18 slot snaps) played the majority of the slot snaps with Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson outside. Mecole Hardman got the short end of the stick. With Sammy Watkins banged up, Robinson was the split end and Hill (25 slot snaps) and Hardman (24) slot the snaps at slot and flanker. If Sammy is out you can take a flyer on Hardman but, if he’s healthy, it’s hard to trust him.
RB: This backfield officially belongs to the rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire. If you took that risk, it’s looking like it paid off.
TE: Kelce played on 61 pass plays - he ran 60 routes and blocked on 1 pass play. That’s why he’s the best. He is the focal point of this offense.
WR: They may have been cautious last week but this week they made it clear - rookie Michael Pittman Jr. is the team’s starting split end. Pittman played the most snaps of any position player lining up opposite of TY Hilton. Zach Pascal picked up the slack left by Parris Campbell at slot. We don’t know how long Campbell will be out but it will certainly be more than a few games after being placed on IR. Pittman’s upside interests us.
RB: After playing 39 snaps and looking tremendous in week 1, Nyheim Hines took a distant back see to Jonathan Taylor playing only 9 snaps. It seems like the Colts are willing to let the rookies run wild and see what they have.
TE: With Jack Doyle out, Mo Allie Cox took over the passing tight end role and did an admiral job with 5 catches for 111 yards. If Doyle is out he could be worth a dart throw start but it will be it’s difficult to trust a guy who has spent the vast majority of his career as a blocker.
WR: This one is at least clear which is nice - Preston Williams and DeVante Parker on the outside with Isaiah Ford rotating in the slot with Mike Gesicki . Chan Gailey’s offense focuses heavily on slot so it’s not surprising to see the targets going to Gesicki and Ford in the early going. Parker is worth a start but Preston Williams is likely going to be a touchdown dependent flyer given his spot on the target totem pole.
RB: Myles Gaskin semed to emerge as the every down back on this team, outsnapping every other running back by 30+ snaps and leading snaps in all phases. Jordan Howard and Matt Breida look like fill-ins for short yardage or passing downs respectively - when Gaskins needs a breather.
TE: Mike Gesicki once again played the vast majority of his snaps from the slot but the Bills don’t have a Joejuan Williams like the Patriots do so he was ability to capitalize for a breakout game. Through 2 weeks Gesicki has played almost 80% of his snaps from the slot - he’s a slot WR you can play at tight end. Go get him.
WR: Rookie Jalen Reagor led the team in snaps then promptly injured his thumb and landed on IR. DeSean Jackson will be outside and it seems like J.J. Arcega-Whiteside will be opposite him with Greg Ward working in the slot with Zach Ertz . Might be time to stash Alshon Jeffrey now that he’s returned to practice.
TE: As expected, Dallas Goedert came back down to earth a bit this week despite playing additional snaps in the slot compared to the previous week (22 this week vs. 14 last week). Zach Ertz played his typical 60% of snaps lined up as a receiver. As long as Ertz is there, Goedert will have his ceiling capped a bit as he’s the one that’s asked to block on pass plays when needed (5 for Geodert vs 2 for Ertz). There has yet to be a game where Zach Ertz is asked to block more than Dallas Goedert in any capacity so the rumors of “Dallas Goedert surpassing Zach Ertz ” are unfounded - for fantasy football purposes at least.
RB: Todd Gulrey dominated the snaps here as well. This is what we like to see for fantasy football. High powered, heavily consolidated offenses.
TE: In our Week 1 TE Coach DFS article we had Hayden Hurst as a fade. In week 2 we had him as a start. Why? The over/under in that game was 54 points and the Cowboys just lost Leighton Vander-Esch. In most games though, Hurst is too far down the target totem pole to be a high end asset for your team. If Julio is out this week and Hurst does well again, it could be a big sell-high window. Right now may be the best time to make that move. There is too much data suggesting tight ends need to be the focal point of the offense to be high end fantasy assets.
WR: Sterling Shepard suffered one of the least predictable injuries in terms of recovery - the dreaded turf toe. He lands on IR so he’ll miss the next three weeks but it’s hard to gauge how effective he might in his return. Darius Slay ton maintained his outside role while Golden Tate featured in the slot. The rest of the slack was picked up sporadically by guys like Damion Ratley and C.J. Board . It likely won’t be one guy that jumps in and takes over those snaps but a mix of players and tight ends.
RB: With Saquon Barkley done for the season, this up coming week is one of the most interesting to watch. They signed Devonta Freeman who is the best bet for production long term but who knows what shape he’s in and how long it will take him to get up to speed. Wayne Gallman w as a healthy scratch last week and they immediately signed another player so it’s likely Dion Lewis vs. Freeman for touches.
TE: It took him awhile to get going on the stat sheet but, in terms of usage, Engram was out there nearly every play as always. Through two weeks he now leads the league in routes run. And with the Sterling Shepard injury, Engram played 16 snaps split out wide at WR after only playing 4 in the first week. Engram is a guy that you can likely start every week given his floor.
WR: As we saw week 1, DJ Chark was out wide, Keelan Cole in the slot, and Laviska Shenault on the other side. Chris Conley may be the captain but he must be more of a locker room presence as his usage on field is sporadic. That said, with Chark out in week 3 he should get a better chance to show what he can do.
RB: Despite playing more snaps this week in a losing situation (31 snaps with 27 on pass downs) this is James Robinson’s backfield. Robinson is worth a start in most formats though that Jags aren’t likely to be running over most teams.
TE: Tyler Eifert is clearly the pass catching tight end - O’Shaugnessy played 18 pass snaps and blocked on 7 of them. Eifert is more of a DFS play than a weekly starter given what we expect from one of the league’s worst offenses.
WR: This WR corps is a mess injury-wise and it somehow got even worse with the injury to Bredhad Perriman. They are now missing Jamison Crowder , Breshad Perriman , and rookie Denzel Mims. Chris Hogan logged the most snaps but suffered a rib injury himself and has been limited in practice. Our best bet would be a lot of Chris Hogan outside with Braxton Berrios in the slot and Josh Malone on the other side. Probably best to stay away.
RB: With LeVeon Bell on IR, Frank Gore carried the load with Perine, Ballage, and Adams all chipping in. Gore is the only one you can trust but worth keeping an eye on the youngsters to see if someone can flash.
TE: We’ve been saying it for years now but Adam Gase is terrible for fantasy tight ends. Chris Herndon played a ton and, one again, blocked on ton. He’s now played 60 pass snaps on the year and he’s blocked on 16 of them which is 26.6%. To put that in perspective, Travis Kelce has played 96 pass snaps and he’s blocked on 4 (4.2%). That’s why Chris Herndon isn’t “breaking out” but we told you that. Perhaps having literally no WRs will change Gase’s attitude a bit.
WR: Quintez Cephus filled in admirably for Kenny Golladay but Golladay is expected back this week. Probably not worth owning Cephus but at least we know who is likely to carry the water if Golladay or Marvin Jones get hurt. Danny Amendola is your slot guy.
RB: This backfield could not have a more annoying split. D’Andre Swift at least played 15 pass snaps to only 10 and 8 respectively for Kerryon Johnson and Adrian Peterson which makes him our preferred choice.
TE: Hockenson’s usage has been good so far though the team itself has struggled limiting his opportunities. He’s caught every target thrown his way so far so maybe the return of Kenny Golladay in a high powered battle with the Cardinals will shake things up a bit for the Lions offense.
WR: Davante Adams is THE guy when healthy but he was not safe from Bloody Sunday either and is now in danger of missing week 3. If he does miss it, that would be a boost for Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling with Malik Taylor potentially being a dart throw DFS play.
RB: The snaps may look split between the running backs but in reality it was all Aaron Jones . Jamaal Williams played his normal pass snaps and helped with mop up duty while Tyler Ervin was relegated to special teams. Even rookie AJ Dillon briefly saw the field. He’s still a stash in dynasty but has little value in seasonal leagues.
TE: As we discussed last week, Robert Tonyan is getting decent snaps but he’s not really getting the looks. Don’t let the touchdown this week fool you.
RB: Maybe we jinxed it last week talking about how CMC consistently has a huge snap share but he too will be doing an IR stint. It was Mike Davis taking over in the backfield and, based on the way we’ve seen them operate, he should get the bulk of the work until CMC returns. Trenton Cannon is the next man up after him.
TE: Ian Thomas was in on 33 pass plays and ran 33 routes while Chris Manhertz played 19 pass plays and ran 10 routes. Thomas would be the guy if there were enough targets to go around. With CMC banged up, he’s in the mix for more looks and could be one more injury away from startable in some formats. .
WR: Surprisingly consolidated for the Patriots - looks like you will have Harry and Byrd on the outside with Edelman in the slot. Edelman is the go to guy as usual better a better game from N’Keal Harry after Cam Newton had his back regarding last week’s fumble. Damiere Byrd you can skip.
RB: I’m sure by now we’ve all heard about the incident with James White and his family. Rex Burkhead took the bulk of the pass down snaps in his place. Sony Michel as an early down plodder is a difficult start given Cam’s own running ability in short yard situations.
TE: Ryan Izzo played nearly all the snaps and basically acted as an additional offensive lineman. No Patriots TE worth owning at this point.
WR: The Raiders were one of the teams hit hardest by injury woes. Both Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards were dinged up on the WR front. Ruggs is already ruled out but Edwards is likely to suit up. It should be Edwards on the outside with Hunter Renfrow in the slot. Zay Jones will likely pick up some snaps on the outside opposite Edwards.
TE: Darren Waller is also banged up but he too is looking like a go. He’s facing the Patriots defense which is one of the more difficult ones for tight ends so you may want to start someone else if you have the option either way.
WR: This game we saw more of what we expected coming in - Robert Woods and Josh Reynolds mostly on the outside with Cooper Kupp in the slot (17 slot snaps to 12 for Woods). Van Jefferson came in sporadically but that usage makes him a difficult start in most formats. Both he and Reynolds seemingly need an injury to Woods or Kupp to have relevance.
RB: With rookie Cam Akers already ruled out for week 3 with separated rib cartilage, Malcolm Brown can continue his quest to be the Rams “hot hand” running back. Darrell Henderson sprinkled in on 10 pass plays and 12 run plays but he’s not getting enough usage for a fantasy start at this point.
TE: Despite only playing on 24 pass snaps and blocking on 7 of them, Tyler Higbee scored 2 touchdowns from within the 5 yard line and another from about 20 yards out. With his lack of speed and lack of high volume, he is a touchdown dependent start but, as of now, Goff seems to really like him in those situations. Gerald Everett played on 30 snaps and blocked on a surprisingly large number of them so he is irrelevant for the time being.
WR: The Ravens showed a little bit of consolidation at the wide receiver position for once - Marquise Brown , Willie Snead , and Miles Boykin played a bulk of the snaps. As of now only Brown is startable in fantasy given the way that offense operates but this consolidation could yield additional options if it keeps up.
RB: Ingram received the most snaps but this one is looking to be a bit of a guessing game. It looks like Mark Ingram will get the first look with Dobbins spelling him where needed on passing downs and Edwards coming in for some run plays. Ingram and Dobbins are worth coin flip starts if you need them but the QB also takes a lot of the carries himself.
WR: With Michael Thomas out it was Emmanuel Sanders and Tre’Quan Smith on the outsides with Deonte Harris manning the slot. Smith looked the best of the two if you need someone to start while you wait for Michael Thomas to return.
RB: Alvin Kamara is the guy.
TE: Jared Cook is the guy right now and he’s not being asked to pass block on a single pass play. If anything were to happen to him, rookie Adam Trautman is waiting in the wings though, when both Thomas and Kamara are healthy, targets are thin for everyone else.
Taysom Hill : In true Taysom Hill fashion, he played 2 snaps at quarterback, 2 snaps in the backfield, 3 snaps at inline tight end, 5 in the slot, 2 at wide receiver, 3 on punt coverage and 2 on punt return. Keep doing what you do, football man.
WR: Through two weeks now Tyler Lockett has run 61% of his routes snaps from the slot with 44. With DK Metcalf operating on the outside, that leaves David Moore to spit snaps with the tight ends. There isn’t enough action there for it to matter as of now but Moore is likely the next guy up with an injury to Metcalf or Lockett.
WR: Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster once again dominated the wide receiver snaps playing nearly the full game. Despite a monster touchdown, Chase Claypool was actually outnsapped by James Washington 31 to 24. If you look closely, only 13 of Claypools snaps were pass plays with them using the big bodied receiver to block on 11 run plays. If his usage increases maybe he can become relevant but as of now he’s simply not getting enough time.
RB: The reports about a high ankle sprain did nothing to slow down James Conner . In fact, he took an even bigger snap share this week than he was on pace for last week. It’s all James Conner for the foreseeable future.
TE: Ebron played a bigger snap share in general and he played 31 pass snaps (0 pass blocking) to 21 for Vance McDonald (3 pass blocking). There might not be enough touches for Ebron but he’s the guy to own if you must own one.
WR: Brandin Cooks has a quad that is acting up but should be a go for this weekend meaning it will be Cooks and Fuller on the outside with Cobb in the slot. If Cooks is somehow downgraded, Kenny Stills would step in but he’s also dealing with a non-COVID illness.
TE: Jordan Akins appears to be running away with this tight end gig - this week he played double the snaps of Darren Fells . Watson spreads the ball out a little too much for our liking but Akins is a decent DFS or deep league player.
WR: Corey Davis played pretty much the whole game outside and managed to catch a touchdown. In the absence of AJ Brown, the rest of the snaps were split between Cameron Batson , Kalif Raymond , and Adam Humphries (who operated mostly out the slot). This team doesn’t pass enough to support much beyond Brown when healthy and possibly Davis.
RB: Derrick Henry is obviously the guy though he has never been much of a threat in the passing game and logged no catches this week. Jeremy McNichols is the next biggest threat in the passing game and he’s not threatening whatsoever.
TE: After only blocking on 3 pass plays last week, Jonnu reverted to his old ways a bit, blocking on 20% of his pass plays this week. This type of usage isn’t ideal but it was masked by a 63 yard play and a couple close range touchdowns. But without that completely blown coverage on the big catch and run, it would have been a typical 20 yard day for Jonnu. He’s looking like a boom/bust guy in an offense that would rather not pass if they can avoid it.
TE: The split between Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith Jr. was pretty much the same as last week - right down the middle for routes (10 vs 20), pass block (3 vs 2), and run block (16 vs 13). If either of them were to become relevant it would almost certainly take an injury to the other and even then there might not be enough targets.
Washington Football Team
WR: Terry McLaurin played nearly the entire game outside once again while Steven Sims was the second wide receiver, playing 49 snaps in the slot (played 44 last week). The big Dontrelle Inman played split end in three wide receiver sets but doesn’t look to factor in much.
RB: So much for “easing him in”. Antonio Gibson claimed a huge chunk of the backfield this week and flashed enough to keep it. How good he will be depends on how good the offense can manage to be but he’s worth holding onto and potentially starting where you need him.
TE: Logan Thomas once again played a monster snap share but this time they didn’t even pretend to have him play tight end - he only played 8 in-line tight end snaps. He played 44 snaps at slot and 7 at WR, once again getting 8 targets. This guy has the exact usage you see in a breakout tight end so hang onto him where you can.