NFL Snap Count Breakdown: Week 8
Andrew Cooper pores over the data and breaks down the NFL snap counts from Week 8 and highlights players that need to be on your radar.
In this article we break down the snap counts of all the fantasy relevant players for each week. Each team has a snap count chart with the percentage of total snaps played and below that you will find notes for each position group on anything that author Andrew Cooper found interesting (which running backs played more pass downs, whether tight ends ran routes or blocked on pass plays, which wide receivers lined up in the slot, who might have been injured, etc.). For more analytics driven fantasy takes, follow Andrew Cooper on Twitter @CoopAFiasco.
WR: The 49ers have had a brutal season injury-wise. The set up when everyone is healthy would be Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk out the outside with Kendrick Bourne in the slot. Deebo Samuel is currently out which has moved Kendrik Bourne into an outside role (12 snaps in slot, 47 out wide) with Trent Taylor in the slot. Hard to trust anyone outside Aiyuk but Bourne would be the next bet.
RB: Just like Raheem Mostert , Tevin Coleman made his debut from injury and promptly left with an injury. Jerick McKinnon was the guy on pass plays (29 to 15) while Jamycal Hasty got most of the running work (12 to 4).
TE: The biggest loss was George Kittle who broke a bone in his foot and will now miss 8 weeks. With Jordan Reed potentially returning from injury week 9, he becomes a must add if you don’t have a top tight end. There is no other tight end with his talent level with this clear of a path to top two on their team in targets.
RB: David Montgomery is getting nearly every snap at running back. Cordarelle Patterson mixed in on a couple pass plays but Montgomery got nearly every carry. You at least don’t have to worry about him having to split touches.
TE: Jimmy Graham ran 28 routes - next closed was Cole Kmet. Graham is still the guy but Kmet’s usage has actually been creeping up. If anything, this likely won’t result in Kmet being relevant this year but neither of them being relevant. Graham needs to catch more than 2 of 7 targets.
RB: We had expressed a little concern that Samaje Perine might vulture some carries and that came to fruition this week with 20 carries including a goal line TD. If Mixon is still out following the bye, Gio is a must start but they expect Mixon back.
TE: Drew Sample is still playing nearly the whole game and he’s still not giving you much. Too many other, better pass catchers. This week he ran 27 routes but was asked to block on 6 pass plays while guys like Boyd and Green ran 37 and 39 routes, respectively.
WR: As expected, John Brown and Stefon Diggs plays most of the snaps while Cole Beasely and Gabriel Davis split time in the slot. While Brown and Diggs are healthy the upside for Beasley and Davis are capped.
RB: The nightmare split roles on. 9 routes and 15 carries for Moss, 8 routes and 14 carries for Singletary. Moss got the goalline work but who knows if that is by design or just the way it worked out?
WR: Khadarel Hodge returned to take the spot he was occupying prior to injury on the outside. With no Odell, Rashard Higgins was on the other side. Jarvis Landry manned the slot and moved to the outside in two WR sets. Landry is the most reliable followed by Higgins.
TE: Austin Hooper becomes an interesting stash going into the bye week. The main reason we didn’t like him coming into the season was that every top 5 tight end for 5 years now has been a top 2 target in their offense. Now with Odell out, there is a window for Hooper to rack up some targets. That said, Stefanski still wants to run a “run-first” offense so his ceiling isn’t as high as it could be.
WR: A trend has emerged the last two weeks that we’ve yet to see with Mike Evans . In the first 6 games Mike Evans played 101 snaps from the slot or 16.8 per game. During that span he played 241 snaps split out wide (so only 25% of his snaps came in the slot. The last two games, he’s played 32 and 30 slot snaps for a slot percentage of about 50%. Given how Bruce Arians’s offense have used Larry Fitzgerald and Chris Godwin in the slot, this is a good thing for Evans. Scotty Miller is the next best option at WR but he should be usurped by Antonio Brown and the return of Chris Godwin . Per Bruce Arians himself, Antonio Brown likely won’t get a full workload right off the bat but he could play anywhere from ~10 snaps to ~35 depending on how many plays they run as a team.
RB: Whelp, Bruce Arians once again showed that he’s one of the most fickle coaches in the league. Despite starting, Ronald Jones fumbled and was promptly benched. Arians’s dog house is a notorious place so it’s hard to trust him now.
TE: Ever since Gronk made comments about “being a blocker” his usage has been pretty good so perhaps the squeaky wheel does get the grease. He ran 29 routes this week and only pass blocked once. Once Evans, AB, and Godwin are back up and running targets could be thin but for now he’s a decent start.
WR: With Tim Patrick out the Broncos made a pretty big change to how they operate. Jerry Jeudy had played primarily from the slot but moved to split end for this week with no Patrick, only running 4 routes from the slot. Instead fellow rookie KJ Hamler ran 34 routes from the slot while DaeSean Hamilton played opposite Jeudy on the outside. When Patrick returns, Jeudy likely moves back to the slot and one of Hamilton or Hamler take the hit in snaps.
RB: Gordon and Lindsay split running snaps but Gordon once again got more passing work. Gordon is the guy you want for the time being.
WR: The Cowboys had a fairly consolidated snap share with Gallup and Amari on the outside and CeeDee in the slot though Cedrick Wilso did mix in for some snaps at the expense of Lamb. Sometimes when backup QBs come in they have some plays that have worked with other backups in practice so perhaps Wilson played more out of familiarity with DiNucci. Don’t expect Wlson to be relevant without an injury to other WRs there.
RB: Zeke’s usage is ideal as usual but running is the luxury of the winning team and this team is far off from winning.
TE: Based on his spot on the target totem pole, Schultz is not an option in this current iteration of the offense. It doesn’t help that he was asked to stay in and block on 8 pass plays.
RB: Justin Jackson is clearly the preferred pass blocker of the group, blocking on 7 pass plays compared to Pope (0) and Kelley (1). Pass blocking skills get you extra opportunities which is why Jackson out snapped the others. WR: There were a lot of snaps to go around for the Chargers this week but they decided to essentially play the same pass catchers for almost all of it. Keenan Allen played 85 of 87 snaps (52 in the slot). Jalen Guyton and Mike Williams both played 76 snaps out the outside.
TE: Hunter Henry played 84 of 87 snaps. Unfortunately he blocked on 9 of his 49 pass plays but his usage still puts him in the upper echelon of tight ends.
WR: Tyreek Hill played the most snaps of the WRs per usual and had a nice easy day. Mecole Hardman, Byron Pringle , and Demarcus Robinson all got some work in a game that was well in hand. Typically with Sammy Watkins out, Demarcus Robinson plays split end and Hill plays slot/flanker which leaves Hardman and Pringle to rotate the remaining snaps.
RB: We had thought that CEH would cede pass work to Le’Veon Bell but CEH played 27 pass snaps to only 11 for Bell. They both split carries. This backfield could shake up to be a nightmare.
TE: Travis Kelce is the best tight end in the league.
WR: Michael Pittman Jr. made his return but he did not resume his normal role. Prior to injury he had played 130 snaps out wide and only 8 in the slot in three games. This week he played 23 slot snaps and 22 out wide. Zach Pascal had been the primary slot player and this week he played 36 slot snaps, 14 out wide. With a healthy TY Hilton, we would expect Pittman to play split end with TY at flanker and Pascal at slot but hard to say for sure given this week.
RB: Per Phillip Rivers, Jonathan Taylor was “nicked up” which opened the door for Jordan Wilkins to have a big day. Nyheim Hines played his typical third down receiver role and made the most of it but still isn’t getting reliable snaps.
TE: Jack Doyle is still the every down tight end but he only ran 14 routes while blocking on 31 plays. Trey Burton ran 15 routes and also got his wildcat goal line play, which he scored on again. Burton is the one you want. Mo Alie-Cox continues as a blocking TE with 22 plays blocking, 10 routes.
WR: It was a strange game given then Dolphins defensive dominance. DeVante Parker made his return from a groin injury but played sparingly. He and Preston Williams played the outside while Isaiah Ford split the slot with Gesicki. Surprisingly, Ford was traded to the Patriots shortly before the deadline. More on that below.
RB: Myles Gaskin played the bulk of the snaps as he has for most of the season but he ended up leaving the game with a knee injury and was promptly placed on IR. Given what we know about the rest of the guys in the backfield, Jordan Howard is likely the best short yardage runner but he's struggled with pass catching his entire career. Matt Breida is the front-runner to handle pass catching duties while Patrick Laird has proven capable in the past as well.
TE: The big winner of the Isaiah Ford trade is Mike Gesicki . This year, Ford led the team in slot routes run with 155, Gesicki was second with 135, and DeVante Parker was a distant third at 46. Now with Ford out of the way, Gesicki has a clear path to the big slot in Chan Gailey’s offense.
WR: Jalen Reagor made his return and played a pretty decent snap share. In two wide receiver sets it was Travis Fulgham and Greg Ward and then Ward moved into the slot in three WR sets. Moving forward we expect it to be Fulgham and Reagor on the outside.
WR: Calvin Ridley left the game with a foot injury. When Julio has been out, Olamide Zaccheaus was the fill in but it seems that Christian Blake was the one that took over in Ridley’s absence. It’s not unusual for teams to have direct understudies at each position as we’ve seen this exact thing from the Eagles and Cowboys in the past. So, if Ridley misses time, it might actually be Christian Blake playing flanker with Julio at split end and Russell Gage in the slot.
TE: If Calvin Ridley misses significant time and no one steps up after Julio Jones , Hurst could have a path to a higher target share. He’s still a low upside play but he has a decent floor with no Ridley.
TE: Evan Engram once again had ideal usage for a tight end - his 61 snaps and 42 routes were second only to Slayton in both categories. He’s worth a start every week, especially with the Redskins and Eagles coming up.
RB: Frank Gore got the start once again but La’Mical Perine got the extra work in the passing game. He’s the one you want of the two given his usage in the pass.
TE: Chris Herndon played 40 snaps. He played 25 pass snaps and blocked on 7 of them, meaning he only ran 18 routes and blocked on 22 routes. That’s why the scheme is important. Adam Gase is what makes Herndon irrelevant for fantasy.
WR: Kenny Golladay left the game with an injury and it was Marvin Hall who stepped up in his absence, playing opposite of Marvin Jones . Danny Amendola played his typical slot role. Quentez Cephus played the Golladay role in his absence last time - he was a healthy scratch this week but he may see an expanded role this week. Hard to trust anyone outside of Marvin Jones .
RB: Looking at the box score, you may be surprised to find that D’Andre Swift drastically out snapped the outer running backs. He only got one more carry than Adrian Peterson but he played 32 pass plays compared to 6 for AP and 11 for Kerryon. This is encouraging.
TE: TJ Hockenson ran 35 routes and only blocked on 10 plays (3 pass and 7 running). With Golladay out he has top 5 tight end potential.
WR: Davante Adams was the feature attraction once again while Marquez Valdes-Scantling lined up opposite of him on the outside. The big surprise was Equanimeous St. Brown playing a good chunk of slot snaps though he did have a hard time reeling a couple in, drawing some looks from Rodgers. Allen Lazard should be returning soon to be the second target after Adams.
RB: Aaron Jones is out and now Jamaal Williams and AJ Dillon have COVID. It will be Dexter Williams in the primary running role with Tyler Ervin mixing in on pass plays until those guys are back healthy.
TE: Robert Tonyan had a decent outing despite less than ideal usage (he blocked on 7 of his 33 pass plays). When Adams, Lazard, Aaron Jones , and Jamaal Williams are healthy he’s not a focal point of the offense but while those guys miss time he’s worth a spot start here or there if you need him.
RB: Any time CMC is out then Mike Davis is the guy. He played 46 out of 54 snaps which is the best you’re going to get.
TE: Ian Thomas gets good usage - he ran 31 routes and blocked on zero pass plays. He’s simply not a focal point of this pass attack.
WR: With N’Keal Harry and Julian Edelman out it was Damiere Byrd and Jakobi Meyers at split end and flanker and Gunner Olszewski in the slot. Isaiah Ford joins the mess now but hard to consider any of them.
TE: Ryan Izzo was the starting tight end - he ran 12 routes, blocked on 9 pass plays, and blocked on 27 run plays. Useless for fantasy.
WR: Same as last week - Ruggs and Agholor were the outside guys. Hunter Renfrow was in the slot but they used a ton of two tight end sets which limited his usage.
RB: Jacobs is the man here.
TE: Darren Waller played more snaps than any of the wide receivers. Witten and Moreau are othing more than blocking tight ends. Based on the usage, if something were to happen to Waller, we’d want Moreau.
WR: The Rams ran an absurd 95 offensive plays which led to an obnoxious number of targets for Cooper Kupp . It was Woods and Reynolds on the edge with Kupp in the slot.
RB: Darrell Henderson was out there for the first snap of the game meaning he was the “starter” but Malcolm Brown played more pass plays (47 to 9) and got more carries (10 to 8). Malcolm Brown was asked to block on an absurd 19 pass plays which might explain why he saw so much action. Cam Akers actually got some touches but he needs to get hot to be worth owning.
WR: Marquise Brown played 77 of 82 snaps but was still not pleased with his targets, given this since deleted tweet. Willie Snead played the slot and got the next most usage including a last second pass that he couldn’t reel in. Only Hollywood can be trusted.
RB: J.K. Dobbins had a bit of a breakout week though Gus Edwards technically got more carries (16 to 15). Dobbins was asked to block on 10 run plays compared to only 1 for Edwards so perhaps they prefer him blocking for Lamar Jackson (though that seems like a good way to tell the defense what you are doing).
WR: Might be hard to realize it looking at the box score but Juwan Johnson paced all position players in snaps. Tre’Quan Smith played Michael Thomas ’s slot role while Deonte Harris played opposite Johnson.
Taysom Hill : Here’s more of a typical Tayson Hill week - 5 snaps at QB, 1 in the backfield, 2 in-line, 5 in slot, 1 at WR, 4 on punt coverage, and 4 on punt return. Not sure if he’s worth all that money but they are at least trying to make him earn it.
WR: Lockett and Metcalf. That is all.
TE: The Seahawks used the two wide receivers nearly every snap then used a ton of two tight end sets to supplement that. Olsen had the best usage, running 23 routes to 16 for Dissly and 12 for Hollister.
RB: James Conner played almost all the relevant RB snaps. He’s the guy.
TE: Eric Ebron ’s 46 snaps were the most of any position player and his 31 routes run is rock solid. He’s a backend TE1.
WR: AJ Brown and Corey Davis are locked in as the split end and flanker. Adam Humphries is the slot but he took a nasty hit and could potentially miss time. If he does, the role should be filled by a combination of Kalif Raymond and tight end Anthony Firkser .
RB: Derrick Henry .
TE: Jonnu Smith was asked to block on 28 of his 50 plays so he only ran 22 routes. Despite playing only 26 plays, Anthony Firkser ran 19 routes. The loss of Taylor Lewan has seemingly forced Jonnu Smith to be part of the defense while Firkser is part of the attack in the slot.
WR: Adam Thielen played nearly every snap at split end while Justin Jefferson played the other wide receiver. The run game was so successful that they used a ton of two tight end sets and fullbacks so Chad Beebe and Olabisi Johnson hardly played.
TE: It was a big run day so the Vikings only passed 18 times. The good news is that Irv Smith did run 15 routes. Irv ran 15 routes and blocked on 26 pass plays while Rudolph blocked on 29 pass plays and only ran 10 routes.
Washington Football Team