NFL Snap Count Breakdown: Week 13
Andrew Cooper pores over the data to bring you the team by team and player by player snap counts following Week 13 of the NFL season.
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: With all the injuries and the COVID complications, it’s taken the 49ers until now to finally settle in. But we’ve been able to piece together all along the set up they want - Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel on the outside at split end and flanker and Kendrick Bourne in the slot. Bourne comes out for multi-TE sets. Bank on that set up moving forward making Deebo and Aiyuk the guys you want.
RB: Well, it’s pretty clear that Tevin Coleman and Jerrick McKinnon are on the outside looking in. Our guess would have been McKinnon but, surprisingly, Jeff Wilson played the pass snaps (21 pass snaps to 15 for Mostert).
WR: Unlike the 49ers, this one has been set for a while now. Allen Robinson and Mooney on the outside, Anthony Miller in the slot. Like Bourne, Miller is the one who primarily loses snaps to multi-TE sets.
RB: We’ve been saying it all along - Matt Nagy wants to use one back. That usage alone is eventually going to give you games like this. It won’t be every week but he’s got a safe floor given the usage. It’s Monty, rain or shine.
TE: We’ve said it for two weeks now - the guard is changing. If you’ve been following along or following me on Twitter, you’d already own Cole Kmet right now instead of having to battle waivers. This is the third week in a row he’s played both more snaps and more slot snaps than Jimmy Graham and this week he tied Allen Robinson to lead the team with 7 targets,
WR: If you didn’t see the game, the only reason Tyler Boyd ’s snap count was so low is he was ejected after one catch for fighting with Xavien Howard . At least we know that it would be Alex Erickson picking up those snaps in the event of an injury. Tee Higgins and AJ Green manned the outsides.
RB: No Joe = Gio.
TE: Drew Sample was a non-factor with Joe Burrow but both backup QBs seem to like throwing his way. He’s never going to rack up a lot of YAC given his lack of speed and low aDot but 7 targets is 7 targets. More of a desperation or DFS play but it’s better than what you’ve been getting all year.
WR: We’ve seen this every time John Brown has been out. Taylor Gabriel picks up John Brown ’s full snap share opposite Diggs. Beasley absorbs all of the slot snaps (which he usually splits with Gabriel). WIth John Brown on injured reserve, expect more of that the next couple weeks.
RB: Wow. Complete change of pace here. Even though Devin Singletary suffered a minor injury early, Zack Moss fumbled the ball on the 1 yard line, turning it over. After that Devin Singletary played 21 straight offensive snaps. How’s that for a punishment? Such is the reality of the “hot hand” offenses.
TE: If a fantasy relevant tight end were to emerge here it would be Dawson Knox who ran 31 routes. It’s still not in the 47-48 range of Gabriel, Diggs, and Beasley and I’m not sure if an injury to one of them would make him a must start.
WR: Once again the Browns used a heavy dose of multi-tight end sets but luckily they ran 72 plays which still gave ample opportunity to the WRs. The big news was Donovan Peoples-Jones playing a large snap share with Khadarel Hodge out with a hamstring injury. He made the most of it with a big splash play but it’s yet to be seen if he would keep that role with Hodge returning. Would be more exciting if he did.
RB: Typically the Browns skew more Hunt on pass plays and Chubb on run plays but this week was split right down the middle with Chubb playing 17 pass plays, 1 run and Hunt playing 19 pass plays and 16 runs. Despite traveling to Cleveland, the Ravens opened as 1 point favorites so it’s hard to say what the game script will look like.
TE: For the second week in a row the Browns not only deployed two tight end sets but three tight end sets. Hooper played more snaps than any of the WRs but only ran 21 routes to the 30 that Higgins and Landry ran. Bryant and Njoku ran even less. Hooper is a low floor, medium ceiling play that is probably best avoided.
WR: Tim Patrick is the split end with his foot tethered to the line on most plays, Jerry Jeudy plays a roaming flanker, and KJ Hamler primarily plays slot. When they use heavy sets it’s Hamler and then Jeudy who come out though, considering Tim Patrick only ran 3 more routes than Jeudy, those were primarily run plays
RB: Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay split the carries fairly evenly though Gordon got the bulk of the pass work. As we’ve mentioned time and time again, that’s mostly due to the fact that Lindsay is a poor pass blocker (though Gordon is also a better pass catcher as well at this point in their careers).
TE: Noah Fant played a ton of snaps but he only ran 21 routes as opposed to 32 and 29 for Patrick and Jeudy respectively. Fant is still a fairly reliable option if he’s your best TE but that’s not the kind of usage we would see from Travis Kelce or Darren Waller . There simply aren’t that many Kelce/Wallers out there though.
WR: Per usual, DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk played nearly every snap. With no Larry Fitzgerald , Andy Isabella stepped up in the slot role. They went back to their “Air Raid’ roots this week running a ton of four WR sets featuring KeeSean Johnson - the most snaps any tight end played was 18.
RB: As we discussed last week, they had been using Kenyan Drake for run duties and leaning more towards Chase Edwards on pass plays. That was technically true again this week with Edmonds playing 24 pass plays to 17 for Drake but Edmonds spend a lot of those pass blocking so it was actually 16 routes run for Drake to 17 for Edmonds. Of the two Drake is the only one you can trust in fantasy since Kyler Murray prefers to run it himself rather than dumping down to the RB.
TE: As we mentioned above, no tight end played more than 18 snaps and it was Maxx Williams who spent more than half of them blocking. The only path to fantasy relevance for any Cardinals tight end would be an injury to DeAndre Hopkins that not only frees up targets but propels Dan Arnold into four receiver sets. Even then it might not happen.
WR: Still the most predictable WR group. Gallup and Amari on the outside with Lamb in the slot. Lamb has played 90% of his snaps this year from the slot.
RB: We talked about it last week but the Cowboys O-line is decimated and their QB is Andy Dalton . Zeke is at least getting a full workload but he’s having to fight for everything. You can’t really go away from him at this point but his ceiling isn’t what it was.
TE: Dalton Schultz is in a similar spot to guys like Hayden Hurst and Eric Ebron . On paper his usage is good, playing a ton of snaps and running a lot of routes. But he’s 4th in the target pecking order which puts a crunch on his upside.
WR: Same as always here. Jalen Guyton and Mike Williams on the outside, Keenan Allen playing in the slot (and wherever they feel like putting him). All three ran around ~50 routes and Guyton actually received a season high 7 targets - of which he caught 2. He’s not a fantasy asset.
TE: The Titans were clearly in dire straits and opted to run more 4 WR sets than usual. This capped Henry’s usage a bit and he only ran 28 routes compared to the ~50 the WRs ran. The Patriots are a tough TE defense anyway so could have been game plan related. Henry should bounce back this week vs the Falcons - one of the worst TE pass defenses in the league.
WR: Tyreek Hill is an every snap guy but you start him every week so you don’t really even need to think about it. Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson rotate playing split end - all the players are lined up interchangeably in their quest to get the ball to Hill and Kelce. Robinson at least is off the radar.
RB: With CEH suffering from an illness he was active but didn’t play - fantasy gamer's worst nightmare. Bell still had to split snaps with Darrel Williams so expect CEH to get his snaps back when he’s healthy.
TE: Travis Kelce does what he does. Bi-weekly reminder that the handcuff for Kelce is not likely Deon Yelder or Nick Keizer who are primarily blocking tight ends but rather Ricky Seals-Jones who they brought in as insurance and have kept on ice.
WR: Pittman and Hilton on the outside, Zach Pascal in the slot. At this point the only thing I could see shaking this up would be the return of Parris Campbell which would likely affect Pascal’s snaps in the slot. Frank Reich has not ruled that possibility out.
RB: This split looked like the one we often talk about with the Packers - Aaron Jones gets the bulk of the carries and splits pass snaps fairly evenly with Jamaal Williams . That’s what you had this week with Jonathan Taylor in the Jones role and Hines in the Williams role. Ideal usage would be Taylor getting all the work but this is the next best thing.
TE: Tight end may seem complicated for this team but it’s been fairly consistent for a couple weeks. Mo-Alie Cox starts and plays a balanced role mixed between route running (20) and blocking (24). Jack Doyle comes in to primarily block (27) but does run a few routes (11). Trey Burton comes in for pass work (16) and is sued minimally to block (9). Burton and Mo step on each other's toes in terms of who will be Rivers’s favorite week to week.
WR: Parker was ejected but he still led the team in snaps at WR. It looks like they ran heavy two-tight end sets (and they kind of did) but we’ll discuss that below. The reality in terms of “wide receiver” is that Mike Gesicki played 48 snaps at WR in week 12 and 34 in week 13 so he’s not really playing a lot of tight end in the true sense. Gesicki had been competing with Malcolm Perry for slot snaps but with Perry out, Lynn Bowden filled in. Will be interesting to see what happens when Perry returns as the Dolphins are clearly running pseudo-tryouts at WR - Isaiah Ford had his chance and was shipped out to the Patriots so it’s time to see what they have.
TE: We know Gesicki had been playing a lot of slot snaps but the big change as of late that has led to the production has been the snaps split out wide. In week 10 he played 12 slot snaps and 3 out wide. In week 11 he played 36 slot snaps and 3 out wide. Week 12 he played 26 in the slot and increased to a whopping 22 out wide. This week he played 17 slot, 17 wide. This is exactly what we saw with Chan Gailey on teams like New York, Buffalo, and Kansas City. Tony Gonzalez played slot - not inline TE. Eric Decker was his slot guy and Jeff Cumberland was the TE. In this offense, Gesicki is a “big slot” like Decker or David Nelson and Adam Shaheen and Durham Smythe are Jeff Cumberland.
WR: They clearly want to use Jalen Reagor on the outside on one side with Alshon Jeffrey on the other and Greg Ward in the slot but they are still timid about Jeffrey’s usage. Perhaps he’s not fully in game shape yet but it will be interesting to see who Jalen Hurts wants to throw to.
RB: Miles Sanders is getting the snaps but it’s hard to produce when the offense doesn’t produce. The QB change is a double edged sword as a better offense could mean more scoring but, per a study done by Andrew Erickson of FantasyData, mobile QBs definitively seem to target the RB less often that pocket passers like Wentz. Look at Arizona this year as an example.
TE: We laid this out last week but Goedert is the better blocker so he plays more in-line. Despite Ertz playing half the snaps, he played WR for 18 of those and ran 19 routes to 27 for Goedert. As he gets ramped up, Ertz should regain a good chunk of his role and target share. It’s worth mentioning that the QB change in general is bad for TEs.
WR: So much for a potentially limited Julio - he and Ridley both played 63 of 67 snaps. Russell Gage played a full workload in the slot as well. That’s the set up when everyone is healthy.
RB: This tweet from Falcons beat reporter Jason Butt was the best I could find on the situation. We’ve told you in the past that Brian Hill is arguably the worst pass blocking back in the league after being graded outside of the top 100 RBs for the second year in a row. So much so that they brought in Todd Gurley and had him play this week in that role despite a knee injury. Ito Smith split snaps with Gurley but suffered a concussion so Gurley will likely be a decent start this week vs. the Charger.
TE: Hayden Hurst plays a good chunk of snaps and he runs a ton of routes - 33 routes on 42 snaps with zero pass blocking snaps. The issue is, and has always been, that every top 5 fantasy tight end for the last five years has been top 2 on their team in targets. He’s currently 4th on his team despite just about every WR on the team missing time but him.
WR: The Giants went HEAVY tight ends this week with Colt McCoy at QB. Darius Slay ton was the lone wide receiver playing the bulk of the snaps. That said, Sterling Shepard (21 of 26 pass snaps) and Golden Tate (18 of 26) seemed to come out for run plays and come in for pass plays so they technically didn’t miss much pass work - Tate only blocked on 2 run plays. Either way, hard to trust them without Daniel Jones back.
TE: Engram Continues to have good usage, playing 15 of 40 snaps at WR and running 20 routes (zero run blocking snaps). He too, needs Daniel Jones. Despite playing a ton of snaps, Kaden Smith only ran 6 routes. Levine Toilolo was even less useful in fantasy - 2 routes run on 32 snaps. Basically an offensive tackle.
WR: We’ve been getting some potential glimpses of what this offense wants to do but injuries keep side tracking it. Laviska Shenault injured his thumb and missed the end of this one. DJ Chark is locked in as a split end/flanker, playing 54 snaps out wide. Rookie Collin Johnson was opposite him playing 31 snaps out wide and only 8 in the slot. That would likely mean Shenault would be the slot guy in an ideal set up but Keelan Cole also plays that role - for now.
RB: James Robinson played 60 of 71 snaps and once again had over 100 yards from scrimmage. He’s averaging over 100 yards from scrimmage which is something that neither Alvin Kamara nor Todd Gurley did in their Offensive Rookie of the Year seasons. That said, there are some politics that go into OROY voting that I won’t get into here but it will likely be Justin Herbert (unless he puts together a bunch more performances as bad as this week’s).
TE: Tyler Eifert saw good usage once again, running 35 routes which was more than Collin Johnson. He lacks burst at this point in his career so you won’t get YAC - he’s a guy that you can expect to catch a couple passes for less than 50 yards and he either scores or he doesn’t. Would have to be a deep league or tight end premium.
WR: This one has been figured out for weeks. Perriman and Mims on the outside, Crowder in the slot.
RB: La’Michael Perine was set to be the “feature back” then he landed on IR with a high ankle sprain. Now Frank Gore has suffered a concussion. Ty Johnson took on a full workload in his absence. If Gore is out, expect more Johnson with Josh Adams potentially mixing in some short yardage work.
TE: The Jets used heavy two tight end sets but they used them primarily to block, as Adam Gase does. Hebron ran 17 routes and Griffin ran 12. Not useful.
WR: If they hadn’t signed Mohamed Sanu for some reason, Quintez Cephus would be a lot more interesting. He popped for another big play but Marvin Jones and Sanu played most of the snaps outside. Danny Amendola was in the slot. Kenny Golladay is STILL not cleared to practice so it’s starting to look more and more like a lost season for him.
RB: Adrian Peterson handled the running work with Kerryon Johnson helping out in the pass game. D’Andre Swift returned to practice - prior to his injury, he received a full workload but it’s risky to assume he just gets that back in the first game.
TE: Hock played 40 pass plays but blocked on 6 of them. Not the end of the world but you want your fantasy tight end to be a focal point of the attack, not part of the protection.
WR: Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling manned the outside roles and Allen Lazard split snaps in the slot. Despite EQSB playing more snaps, Lazard ran 20 routes to only 12 for St. Brown - St. Brown blocked on 25 plays and most of that came in garbage time.
RB: The final score (41-25) actually makes this one look closer than it was and it still doesn’t look close. It was 41-10 going into the fourth quarter. Aaron Jones is still the guy but when it’s that out of hand there is no reason to beat him up.
TE: I posted a tweet regarding some interesting fantasy tight end stats and how they pertain to Roberty Tonyan. Essentially every top 5 fantasy tight end going all the way back to Randy McMichael in 2004 has had either 90+ targets OR 10+ touchdowns. Tonyan is on pace for 63 targets but he’s also on pace for 10-11 touchdowns making him one of the more touchdown dependent guys out there. The Packers are the highest scoring offense in the league though so he’s always in the mid to backend TE1 conversation in any given week.
WR: The Patriots put an absolute paddling on the Chargers this week. Jakobi Meyers led the team in snaps operating primarily from the slot (38 slot snaps). Damiere Byrd was next, primarily playing split end, and Harry was the third man who came out for multi-tight end or fullback sets.
RB: Don’t let the snap counts fool you - Damien Harris was the starter and got the bulk of the work. Sony Michel went in with Jarrett Stidham for mop up duty. This was more important than it seems because it tells you Sony Michel is healthy and the backup - not still banged up. In a positive game script, we didn’t see much James White but he’s still the passing down back as Damien Harris only ran 6 routes and was only targeted once. Harris now has only 5 targets on 229 snaps so to say he’s not a factor in the run game would be an understatement.
TE: Ryan Izzo only ran 12 routes on 43 snaps. Dalton Keane ran 11 on his 23 making him slightly more interesting, I guess.
WR: Same as always - Ruggs and Agholor outside with Renfrow playing the slot. And once again Darren Waller played more snaps than any of them. That’s been consistent for multiple weeks now.
RB: With no Josh Jacobs , Devontae Booker played the bulk of the run plays and Jalen Richard played the pass snaps (28 for Richard vs. 17 for Booker) but Richard was asked to block on 11 of those pass snaps.
TE: Waller is the man here. He blocked on 6 pass snaps but his 49 routes run were STILL more than any other Raiders WR. They lean heavily on him.
WR: This one had been pretty consistent with Woods and Reynolds on the outside and Kupp in the slot but they decided to give Van Jefferson more time this week. In fact they moved everyone around - here were the percentages of routes run from the slot this week: Kupp (57.6%), Woods (43.6%), Reynolds (38.1%), and Jefferson (36.0%). A little positionless football keeps the defense guessing.
RB: After being a backfield by committee last week and despite Darrell Henderson “starting”, Cam Akers is clearly the “hot hand” playing more pass plays (27) and run plays (25) than any other back. Akers didn’t practice Monday (shoulder) and was limited Tuesday but was a full participant Thursday. He’s the guy - for now.
TE: Tyler Higbee managed to score but, despite the high snap count, his usage was once again uninspiring being asked to block on 30 snaps. He and Everett both ran 34 routes. Neither can be trusted for fantasy.
WR: The big news here was that Dez Bryant was robbed of his revenge game by a positive COVID test. In his absence, they used Miles Boykin and Marquise Brown as the flanker and split-end with Devin Duvernay in the slot. With the return of Mark Andrews however, you can expect two tight end sets to pour some cold water on those snap counts - likely at the expense of Boykin and Duvernay.
RB: They are splitting the work up in annoying Ravens fashion but at least JK Dobbins is getting the most work (despite Mark Ingram “starting”). He’s the guy you want if you have to start one of them.
TE: Mark Andrews is activated from the COVID list. Fire him up.
WR: Michael Thomas had a vintage Michael Thomas game here - despite playing a lot fewer snaps than Tre’Quan Smith, he ran 36 routes to 38 for Smith suggesting he and Emmanuel Sanders were the ones coming out for heavy run sets.
RB: Speaking of vintage performances - Alvin Kamara looked like Alvin Kamara again. He was still only targeted 3 times but that’s what happens with mobile QBs. When the heat is on, Drew Brees looks to get rid of the ball while Taysom Hill looks to extend the play with his feet. Kamara owners desperately want Brees back.
TE: The tight end usage on this team is a bit odd. Josh Hill led the team in snaps but blocked on 34(!) of 42 of them, including 14 pass plays. He’s more of an extra offensive tackle. Jared Cook played more snaps at WR (15) than inline tight end (13) while Adam Trautman played mostly in-line. None of these guys are startable in fantasy really.
Taysom Hill : All 78 snaps at QB. Boring. Bring back the Swiss Army Knife!
WR: Metcalf and Lockett - locked in. David Moore seems to have beaten out Freddie Swain to absorb a good chunk of the split wide snaps that Greg Olsen w as playing but he’s not playing enough or being targeted enough for fantasy.
TE: Despite the similar snap count, Will Dissly only ran 23 routes to 31 for Hollister. He’s the one you want if you must.
WR: Juju and Diontae Johnson played the most - Chase Claypool had been playing a ton but he took a hit in snaps courtesy of James Washington . You still want Claypool over Washington but the targets can be thin when they are this spread out.
TE: As we’ve stated before, Ebron’s usage is great from a snap perspective. 45 routes on 57 snaps. The issue is the same as the WRs - target share dilution.
WR: For most of the season, Brandin Cooks and Will Fuller played nearly ever snap on the outside. Fuller is done for the year with a PED suspension. The big news here is that Chad Hansen essentially slotted right into Fuller’s role, playing 59 snaps (49 split out, 10 in the slot). Keke Coutee played the slot and both are guys who should probably be owned.
RB: David Johnson returned to take the bulk of the running work. The pass work was split fairly evenly with David running 24 routes and Duke running 27.
TE: As expected, Jordan Akins picked up at least some of the Will Fuller slack, running a season high 27 routes from the slot. He didn’t really give you much this week but he’s more interesting than he was before.
TE: With no Jonnu Smith , Goeff Swaim played the most snaps as predicted but he blocked on 9 pass plays so he only ran 12 routes. Mycole Pruit also only ran 12 routes. Firkser ran 29 so he’s interesting any time Jonnu is out but Jonnu returned to practice yesterday.
Washington Football Team
WR: In reality, this team runs a lot of four wide sets but technically one of them is Logan Thomas who we’ll discuss below. Terry McLaurin and Cam Sims play every snap on the outside and ISaiah Write and Steven Sims man the slot when they are called upon.
TE: So here’s the thing with this team. Logan Thomas played 51 snaps at WR, only 20 in-line. Jeremy Sprinkle only played 10 in-line snaps. That’s why I say above that the vast majority of snaps are “four wide”. Now, Logan Thomas often lines up standing just outside of the tackle so he’s being covered by the same players a tight end would, but he’s not putting his hand in the dirt and blocking much. That’s why all season we’ve said he was an attractive option and it finally paid off.