NFL Snap Count Breakdown: Week 15
Andrew Cooper pores over the data to bring you the team by team and player by player snap counts following Week 15 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.
|Jeff Wilson Jr.||RB||39||46.6%|
|Richie James Jr.||WR||54||64.5%|
WR: It’s been an absolutely brutal injury year for the 49ers which started with losing defensive star Nick Bosa . On the WR front Deebo Samuel is shut down for the season. That means it will be Brandon Aiyuk and Richie James on the outside and Kendrick Bourne in the slot as we saw this week. Aiyuk clearly the most trustworthy playing nearly all the snaps. They lost Jimmy G and now Nick Mullens is done for the year too, so even Aiyuk might not be safe.
RB: RB was no exception as Raheem Mostert battled injuries all year and is now shut down. The offense is in rough shape but Jeff Wilson Jr. is you best bet in your playoffs. McKinnon is simply not playing enough.
|Allen Robinson II||WR||57||89.1%|
WR: Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney played most of the snaps on the outside per usual. Anthony Miller typically plays in the slot but they mixed in Javon Wims this week. Neither of them are fantasy relevant.
RB: David Montgomery is the guy here - he’s one of the more trustworthy backs in terms of usage.
TE: Cole Kmet has essentially supplanted Jimmy Graham - this week he played 100% of the snaps and ran 20 routes while Graham played about half that and ran 10. The box score didn’t reflect that however. The one knock on Kmet at this point is that he blocks on a lot of pass plays - he was out there for all 26 pass plays but blocked on 6 which limits his upside.
|Stanley Morgan Jr.||WR||3||5.4%|
WR: All year this has been an easy one with Tee Higgins and AJ Green on the outside and Tyler Boyd in the slot. However, Boyd suffered a concussion. We learned during the week he got suspended that Alex Erickson is the next man up in the slot and that was confirmed this week so, if Boyd can’t go, Erickson is the new slot guy.
RB: Would be pretty silly to have Joe Mixon come back at this point but who knows - these guys want to play. Gio Bernard is the only guy you can consider in your fantasy playoffs of this group.
TE: Drew Sample played a monster snap share but he only ran 12 routes, blocking on 39 plays. Completely low upside, TD dependent option. He was supposed to be the blocking TE but CJ Uzomah got hurt.
WR: This one becomes interesting all of a sudden. When everyone is healthy, it’s Stefon Diggs and John Brown as the wide guys playing 90% of the snaps with Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis splitting in the slot. John Brown returns this week but Stefon Diggs left at the end of the game with an apparent foot injury. The Bills are fighting for the 2nd seed and a win vs. the Patriots goes a long way in that fight so can’t expect them to rest people now. There are two Cole Beasley s - the one dropping 100 yard games and the one that catches a couple passes for less than 50 yards. The second one has showed up fairly often when John Brown is in the lineup.
RB: This has actually developed into a pretty annoying set up as Zach Moss gets more carries but Devin Singletary plays more pass snaps and gets more targets. On top of that, anyone is a candidate for rushing touchdowns, including Josh Allen who snagged 2 last week. The offense is good so the players are viable but you are always rolling the dice. The Patriots might not be a good team overall but their defense is still pretty good.
TE: Good usage for Dawson Knox running 29 routes but the top pass catchers were running 46-47 this week. He’s just an ancillary piece so he can’t be trusted.
WR: Higgins and Donovan People-Jones manned the outside with Jarvis Landry in the slot. Peoples-Jones is an interesting dynasty stash if the future doesn’t include Odell or Juice but this team wants to run the ball.
RB: They lean Chubb in the run game and Hunt in the pass game - everyone knows that. This week was an easy win so it was more of Chubb week. Browns get the Jets this week which should be a Chubb week as well.
TE: The Browns use a lot of two tight end sets for running purposes - Austin Hooper ran 25 routes while Njoku and Bryant ran 12 and 16 respectively so Hooper is the best bet. The Jets are the worst team in the league vs. the tight end so he’s not a bad play this week if you are searching.
WR: This game only saw 51 snaps from the Buccaneers offense as they struggled to get going early. The game plan seems to be to have Evans at split end and Godwin out there as the other guy in two WR sets. When Antonio Brown comes in, Godwin slides over to the slot. That makes Mike Evans and Chris Godwin the most trustworthy.
RB: What a weird backfield this has been. Ronald Jones was getting most of the run work with Leonard Fournette as the passing down back. Bruce Arians decided this week to have Fournette inactive with McCoy as the passing down back. Anyone that knows Bruce Arians knows that his doghouse is a dangerous place to be.
|Melvin Gordon III||RB||34||53.1%|
WR: Pretty simple - Patrick and Jeudy on the outside, Hamler in the slot.
RB: Same as usual here too. The carries are split fairly evenly but Melvin Gordon gets more pass work. Unsurprisingly, Phillip Lindsay was asked to pass block and he let up another sack. That’s been a known problem with him and it’s why Melvin is there - he’s now graded outside the top 110 RBs in pass blocking on PFF for two years in a row.
TE: After being sick last week, Noah Fant took over the reigns again this week. He should be solid middle of the pack start again this week.
WR: DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk on the outside, Larry Fitzgerald in the slot. They aren’t running 4 WR sets as much as the “Air Raid” advertised but when they do it’s been KeeSean Johnson as of late with Andy Isabella being a healthy scratch.
RB: It was Kenyan Drake who actually took a backseat in this one. Drake played 17 run plays but 7 of them were runs for Kyler Murray . Chase Edmonds outsnapped him 26 to 17 in the pass game which is seriously concerning for Drake owners.
TE: When he’s in there, Dan Arnold runs routes and often catches touchdowns. He’s just simply not in there enough to trust.
WR: The Cowboys had a run heavy plan and executed it well - unfortunately for the WRs that meant a lot of two TE sets. Amari Cooper played the most snaps but the extra blocker came at the expense of Gallup and Lamb often. The routes run totals were: Cooper 34, Gallup 27, Lamb 27. Also worth noting that Gallup suffered a bit of a rib injury but it wasn’t deemed to be overly serious and he has a good chance of playing.
RB: With no Zeke, Tony Pollard got the full work load and delivered a big day for you. If you were the Zeke owner stashing Pollard, you have to be rooting for Zeke to be out again. And, after words from executive VP Stephen Jones, Pollard may be the guy to start either way.
TE: Even with his snap share, Schultz is facing a lot of target competition so he’s a TD dependent play.
|Donald Parham Jr.||TE||24||36.4%|
WR: Star WR Keenan Allen has been banged up with a hammy - he hasn’t practiced yet this week and he seemed to be partially limited last week as he was outsnapped by Guyton, Williams, and Tyron Johnson. Allen is the guy you want if he shows improvement in practice.
RB: It’s the playoffs and very likely your super bowl so Austin Ekeler is the only guy you own and start.
TE: Good usage again for Hunter Henry - he’s a top TE target-wise and is a threat any given week to crack the top 5 TEs.
WR: The Chiefs ran nearly 100 plays in this one. Wild. Tyreek Hill and Sammy played almost all of them while no third WR is worth starting in your championship. Even Sammy is a tough start given that it’s really Tyreek and Kelce at the top.
RB: CEH has been the guy but he suffered a high ankle sprain meaning he’s likely to be rested for the rest of the regular season at the least. Le’Veon Bell all of a sudden becomes an intriguing options.
TE: Do I even need to write anything here?
|Michael Pittman Jr.||WR||45||82.9%|
WR: Mchael Pittman plays split end nearly every snap and Zach Pascal plays the other WR in two WR sets. TY Hilton comes in which moves Pascal to the slot. Despite the lower snap counts, it seems to be related to run blocking as Hilton and Pittman both ran 25 routes while Pascal ran 26 so Hilton isn’t missing passing opportunities.
|Lynn Bowden Jr.||RB||65||90.3%|
WR: This is an interesting situation with the “limited” injuries. Given what we know, Mack Hollins is a lock to play one of the spots on the outside no matter what. If DeVante Parker can play, he will be opposite Hollins. If he doesn't, it will be Isaiah Ford . Similar situation in the slot. If Mike Gesicki can play, he will split the slot with Bowden. If he can’t, Bowden should have that role to himself. Pay close attention if you are considering these guys.
RB: Salvon Ahmed took over the full role with no Gaskin. It’s Gaskin’s role when he’s healthy so it needs to be monitored.
TE: We touched on it above but Gesicki actually plays slot, not TE. He’s the guy you want. The in-line tight ends are too unpredictable.
WR: The Eagles are back to their old tricks with heavy two tight end sets. Alshon Jeffrey led the WRs in snaps with Jalen Reagor opposite him and Greg Ward operating out of the slot. Rookie Quez Watkins mixed in a bit but not enough.
RB: Miles Sanders with a monster work load. He’s a locked in starter for your fantasy team.
TE: To us this felt like an easy one for fantasy purposes. You want the guy playing slot/WR and that’s Zach Ertz . He played 38 WR snaps (30 slot, 8 split). Goedert did play some WR but played the majority inline with 44 inline snaps. Also, now that Ertz is back, Goedert is also back in his special teams role on kick return, punt coverage, extra points etc. If they viewed him as the top dog right now, that probably wouldn't be the case.
|Todd Gurley II||RB||16||24.6%|
WR: The Falcons opted to use a lot of two tight end sets this time around with no Julio. The reality is that, at this point in the season, you are starting Julio and Ridley if they are active and Russell Gage if Julio is out. Brandon Powell is a DFS dart throw with no Julio.
RB: Gurley is still limited with the knee injury. Can’t be trusted. Ito Smith is getting the best usage but he’s a tough start as well unless it’s a very deep league.
TE: Hayden Hurst , as usual, plays a ton of snaps and runs a lot of routes. The issue for him has always been his spot on the target totem pole there but he’s a backend TE1 with TD upside to finish top 5-6.
RB: Wayne Gallman has been the guy but Devonta Freeman was designated to return. We would imagine that Gallman would still be the preferred guy on run downs with Freeman only mixing in for some pass work and a carry here or there.
TE: Good usage for Engram again as 31 routes is right there with Darius Slay ton (32) and ahead of Sterling Shepard (30). He played 20 snaps at WR with 17 in the slot - if he’s your TE you fire him up and hope for the best given how he’s used and his upside.
|D.J. Chark Jr.||WR||49||84.5%|
|Laviska Shenault Jr.||WR||43||74.1%|
TE: Tyler Eifert ran 24 routes on his 37 snaps. Not enough for you championship, maybe a cheap TD dependent dart throw for DFS.
|Chris Herndon IV||TE||43||66.2%|
WR: Same as it’s been - Mims, Perriman, Crowder.
TE: Chris Herndon actually only blocked on 3 pass plays which is surprising for him in Gase’s offense. We would still never ever start him in fantasy while Gase is the coach, but that’s something positive.
|Marvin Jones Jr.||WR||58||89.1%|
WR: Same as last week. Marvin Jones Jr. played the whole game. Sanu was the other guy in two WR sets. Danny Amendola came in to play slot. MJJ is the only one you can trust unless Golladay were to magically appear.
RB: It’s the Swift show now. The others are there merely to spell Swift.
TE: Hockenson is a rock solid middle of the pack guy. He plays a good chunk of snaps and runs decent routes. He is asked to block on some pass plays which is what separates him from the guys like Kelce, Ertz, Engram who are a focal point of the attack.
|Equanimeous St. Brown||WR||11||17.7%|
RB: Jamaal Williams ’s role has been completely relegated at this point. It’s Aaron Jones early and often. You could look at that as a sign they are committed to him or perhaps, since he’s a free agent next year, they don’t mind running him into the ground.
TE: Robert Tonyan continued his outlier season by scoring another touchdown. There are essentially two paths to a top 5 tight end - targets and touchdowns. Every top 5 tight end since Randy McMichael in 2003 has gotten either 90 targets or 10 TDs. Robert Tonyan is on pace for 63 targets but he’s got those 10 TDs. Something to keep in mind for next year as he’s surely a top regression candidate. I’d sell high in dynasty if you can.
WR: Back to business as usual. Moore and Anderson on the outside, Samuel in the slot.
RB: No CMC = Mike Davis . Rinse, repeat.
TE: Ian Thomas with another game where he runs around a ton and doesn’t catch much. Given his usage, it would not surprise us if he just all of a sudden had a random big game. Also wouldn’t surprise us if he went out and ran 40 routes and caught 0 passes again.
WR: Jakobi Myers and Damiere Byrd played full snap shares and were the guys in two TE sets. When N’Keal Harry comes on for three wide, Myers moves into the slot.
RB: The Patriots backfield is really three positions. Running down back, passing down back, and fullback. With Damien Harris out, Sony Michel got his running down back job back. But, in a negative gamescript, James White got more work as he’s the passing down back. This week expect another James White game vs. Buffalo.
TE: With no Ryan Izzo , the Pats rookies split the job. Neither fantasy relevant right now.
WR: Henry Ruggs is still a question mark for this week. Agholor is a lock for one outside spot. If Ruggs is out, Zay Jones and Bryan Edwards will battle for the other outside role. Hunte Renfroe plays slot when they got three wide but they ran a lot of 2 TE sets.
RB: It’s the Josh Jacobs show once again.
TE: Darren Waller once again with a full workload and he also led the team in routes. In fact, with Carr getting hurt, he actually led the team in pass plays. He’s the clear number 2 after Kelce.
TE: They used heavy 2 TE sets vs the Pats week 14 and we expected more of the same vs. a Jets team that is the worst in the league vs. the TE but Gerald Everett left in the 2nd with a concussion scare and was used sparingly afterwards. Neither are trustworthy.
|Willie Snead IV||WR||43||64.9%|
RB: Dobbins got the biggest share of the work but Gus Edwards was still looming. Of course, Harbaugh said publicly that Mark Ingram would also be called on with the playoff push so this situation is still annoying. Dobbins is the guy you want.
TE: Mark Andrews has only pass blocked twice on the season and he’s out there for a ton of pass plays even if he comes out for some run plays. He’s a start where you have him.
RB: Latavius Murray is nothing more than a handcuff here.
TE: Jared Cook ran 26 routes on 32 snaps which is great usage. The other tight ends mostly blocked.
RB: Chris Carson was the man this week. No one likes a split backfield.
TE: 20 routes for Hollister, 10 for Dissley. Hollister is the guy if you must.
|Benny Snell Jr.||RB||51||78.5%|
|Anthony McFarland Jr.||RB||7||10.8%|
WR: Diontae Johnson bounced back from his benching with a full snaps share. Juju played a full share as well. Claypool and James Washington battled for the other snaps. There were more snaps to go around with Eric Ebron leaving the game but he’ll likely be back this week.
TE: It was a bit of a scare for Ebron but the word is that he should be ready to go for Sunday. Keep an eye on it though as back injuries can be tricky.
RB: David Johnson returned to play his ful role with no Duke.
TE: Jordan Akins ran 30 routes - Fells and Brown only ran 7 a piece. The interesting thing is Kahale Warring who ran 11 routes on 12 snaps. He’s not run 32 routes on 37 snaps this season indicating they view him as a pass catcher. Deep dynasty stash perhaps?
RB: Derrick. Henry. That is all.
|Irv Smith Jr.||TE||56||82.4%|
WR: Adam Thilen and Justin Jefferson. That’s it.
RB: Dalvin Cook is the guy. The Vikings offense is pretty easy to figure out.
TE: With no Rudolph, Irv Smith was the pass catching TE. But his upside is third target on a run first team so it’s not exactly appealing.
Washington Football Team
WR: The reality is that this team runs a lot of McLaurin and Cam Sims on the outside with Logan Thomas in the slot. They run a lot of four wide sets with those 3 and Steven Sims or Isaiah Wright as the 4th guy. McLaurin and Thomas are your best bet.
RB: JD McKIssic played an absolutely monster snap share with 70 of 80 snaps. That alone should intrigue you.
TE: Logan Thomas has had a terrible schedule but he’s produced because of his usage. Can’t fade him now when he has a decent matchup.