2017 NFL Snap Counts: Week 9
Dan Malin subs in for Justin Vreeland this week and analyzes week 9 snap counts for position battles across the NFL. He also breaks down what should be expected going forward across the league in terms of reps.
Week 9 was pretty interesting for snap counts. There was the trade deadline, A.J. Green getting ejected, and, as has been the case this year, there were injuries all around. Let’s take a look at how this week unfolded.
The recent acquisition of Duane Brown certainly helps improve the horrendous O-Line for the Seahawks. Seattle is typically a team that gradually gets better throughout the season. They’ll start off slow and then hit their stride in time for the playoffs. Perhaps this could benefit the running game, which has been non-existent so far this year. Since the Chris Carson injury, Thomas Rawls has been leading the way in terms of snaps for Seattle. On 42 snaps this past Sunday, Rawls touched the ball 11 total times for 70 all-purpose yards. For the second-straight week Eddie Lacy was limited to under 15 snaps. Perhaps the most surprising jump was J.D. McKissic. McKissic saw 16 snaps in week 8, but nearly doubled that this past week by logging 30 snaps, but just five total touches.
Kudos to Fantasy Alarm’s own Howard Bender for this gem of a tweet: “For Marlon Mack owners: Frank Gore’s just 165 yds away from 5th on All-Time Rushing List. Pagano is gonna get him there. Be patient.” This will certainly hamper Mack for a little bit. Gore’s snaps have been on the rise over the past three weeks going from 22 to 36 to 40. Mack had 39 snaps in Week 8 and then 27 this past Sunday. So yes, it appears Mack is on the back burner for now. With Andrew Luck seemingly done for the year and the Colts sitting at 3-6 there’s very little reason to watch or care about Indianapolis right now. Getting Gore that rushing milestone will make for a great story, but once they hit that expect Mack to get more work so Indy can see what it has with their young running back. Mack is averaging 4.1 yards per carry on the season, but he’s averaged just 3.3 YPC over his last three games.
Christian McCaffrey didn’t necessarily see a big jump in snaps. He was on the field for 53 of them, which he had reached in two of his last three games. The key piece worth noting is he was on the field for 32 more snaps than Jonathan Stewart. Stewart did fumble the ball twice in the first quarter so that may have played into it, but at the same time the Panthers didn’t go away from Stewart as the game progressed. McCaffrey’s involvement will be worth monitoring following the trade of Kelvin Benjamin to the Bills. Speaking of the Benjamin trade, Curtis Samuel might be worth an add in your fantasy league. In Week 8 he saw 18 snaps and that jumped to 49 post-Benjamin. The production was minimal as he had just three catches on five targets, but he’s definitely worth consideration as a stash for your bench.
A pair of rookie WRs have both made strides for more snaps. Corey Davis returned from injury and saw 39 snaps, but had just two catches on five targets. Also keep an eye on Mike Williams of the Chargers. Sure the Chargers were on Bye during Week 9, but Williams has seen his snap count increase from 11 to 14 to 22 over his first three career games. Both players are in offenses with plenty of mouths to feed so it remains to be seen if they can be fantasy relevant during their rookie campaigns.
The LeGarrette Blount Show (we’ll call it that) seems to be over in Philly. Not only did Jay Ajayi make an impact after being acquired earlier in the week, but he had 17 snaps. Prior to the game there were reports that Ajayi would have a minimal impact and yet he still scored a touchdown on a long run. And it wasn’t just Ajayi, but Corey Clement saw his snap count go up from 19-to-28. All the while Blount saw the field for just 16 snaps. It was his first game without 20 snaps since Week 2. With the Eagles pulling ahead as the best team in the NFC, they clearly wanted to beef up their running game and they added talent/depth by acquiring Ajayi. Unfortunately it will certainly limit Blount going forward.
A lot has been said of Kareem Hunt’s production lately. He had dominated the RB snaps in Kansas City for the past few weeks, but Sunday he saw his snaps drop from 46 to 31 while Charcandrick West’s snaps jumped from 12 to 23. What’s even more surprising was how West was on the field catching passes to move KC down the field late in the second half. It doesn’t make any sense how the Chiefs would just take one of their most explosive players off the field when it needed production most.
Notable Snap Counts
Vernon Davis’ production was based largely the absence of Jordan Reed for the Washington Redskins. Actually Davis has been a nice little piece in fantasy this year as he’s seen at least 45 snaps in five of Washington’s eight games so far and he was on the field for 47 snaps on Sunday. Reed’s knack for constantly being injured will keep Davis relevant. Reed caught six passes for 72 yards on Sunday. Prior to that he hadn’t seen more than five targets in any game this season. Ryan Grant saw an increase in snaps going from 40 to 59 (which was most of all WRs) during Jamison Crowder’s absence. It didn’t translate to any real production worth noting. He caught all three of his targets on Sunday for just 39 yards.
The San Francisco 49ers could see some players getting opportunities that you may not have heard of or at least won’t dare start because they play for the 49ers. With Pierre Garcon out for the rest of the year Marquise Goodwin, Aldrick Robinson, and Kendrick Bourne all saw their snaps increase dramatically (67, 60, 42 respectively). Goodwin and Robinson each saw eight targets while Bourne saw six. Neither of the three men found the end zone and Goodwin only hauled in two catches albeit for 68 yards. Another player that saw an increased workload in San Francisco’s passing attack was Garrett Celek who was on the field for 55 snaps. Now that was due in large part to George Kittle being injured, but Kittle will be sidelined for San Fran's next game against New York so if you’re desperate for a TE Celek could be your guy.
Surprisingly the A.J. Green ejection on Sunday didn’t open the door for anyone else largely because the Bengals couldn’t even crack 40 offensive plays on Sunday. However Josh Malone was arguably the only player to benefit from Green’s absence. He went from 19 snaps in week eight to 31 this past Sunday. The increase in snaps translated to just one catch on four targets. Fortunately for Green he won’t be suspended for his actions on Sunday.
Unfortunately for Mike Evans, he is suspended for this week’s game against the Jets. And as if the news for the Bucs couldn’t possibly get any worse the Bucs will also be without Jameis Winston who could be shut down for the season, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. So Ryan Fitzpatrick steps in without Mike Evans. Expect an uptick in snaps for WR’s like Chris Godwin and Bernard Reedy. You also hear all the time about what pass catchers benefit when a backup QB takes the reigns. These are guys that generally may have developed more chemistry with this particular QB during practice. If you buy into this narrative consider Luke Stocker, but really just for deeper leagues. Keep in mind Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard are still ahead of Stocker on the TE depth chart, but Stocker did haul in a touchdown catch from Fitzpatrick so they could have something going, but it’s a big gamble to stream Stocker.