Week 3 was a glorious one for those of us paying attention to the right details - for instance, guys like Emmanuel Sanders and Christian Kirk had the right participation levels all along and it really bore fruit this week. But as Bill Belichick says, that game is done and we are onto the next week. Let’s check the trends and see what we can do with them.
As a reminder, this year we have a brand new tool that lets you not only look at this week's snaps but the total snaps on the year and percentage played by each player. On top of that you can sort by team or position to see how your guy stacks up!
The best way to consume this article is to have that tool open in another window and then sort by “team” which will automatically sort the players from most to least snaps. Then in this article I'll give an explanation as to what happened as well as some additional underlying stats (slot snaps, pass blocking snaps etc.) and what sort of actionable data we can extract to help us win our leagues.
WR: Well, it seems like Shanahan may have been telling us the truth - that Brandon Aiyuk was banged up which caused him to miss practice and he wasn’t ready. Because this week Aiyuk played 60 snaps which was right there with Deebo’s 63. Mo Sanu played slot but is not playing a big enough snap share.
RB: After all the debate about 49ers RBs, of course the back who would lead the team in snaps would be… Kyle Juszczyk. Trey Sermon did get the start and the bulk of the real work but it’s yet to be seen how this all looks like Elijah Mitchell and JaMycal Hasty back. And, eventually, Jeff Wilson as well.
TE: George Kittle had a more typical George Kittle game but one concerning statistic remains - Kittle has been asked to pass block a lot with 8 pass block snaps this week. He is the one player in recent years who has managed to finish top five in fantasy while pass blocking on over 15% of his pass plays but we’d still prefer he was used as part of the attack rather than the protection.
TE: Cole Kmet on paper has good usage - 43 of 45 snaps and he ran 29 routes while only pass blocking twice. But this pass attack is a joke. As crazy as it sounds, he might be better off with Andy Dalton as the quarterback.
WR: With Tee Higgins out, Ja’Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd ran the show with Auden Tate playing the other outside role (but not enough to matter as they leaned into two TE sets). When Higgins gets back it will be Chase and Higgins on the outside, Boyd in the slot.
TE: As I mentioned above, more multi-TE sets with Higgins out. Drew Sample is a strictly blocking TE and there aren’t enough targets for Uzomah to be relevant.
WR: Emmanuel Sanders led snaps with 63 followed by Diggs (59) and Beasley (52). Gabriel Davis is the fourth man in. In PPR Beasley is still interesting but Sanders and Diggs are playing the better roles and running the higher aDot routes.
RB: It’s starting to seem more and more like Moss was a healthy scratch week one for personal reasons (his aunt did pass away). We are right back to the nightmare split we had all last season where the snaps are split nearly down the middle. Moss is the bigger player so he’s the goal line guy while Singletary has skewed pass work at times.
TE: Dawson Knox actually had really good deployment this week - full snap share and he ran 39 routes while only pass blocking twice. If there were to be an injury to a WR he’d be on the radar but as of now he’s just an ancillary piece.
WR: We got our question answered here. Odell Beckham Jr. and Donovan Peoples-Jones are the two full time outside WRs while Jarvis is out. Rashard Higgs played the slot role and Anthony Schwartz is a field stretcher. I have a suspicion that DPJ’s blocking ability is what is pushing that snap share.
RB: After a weird week in week 2, we are back to business as usual here. More run work for Chubb, more pass work for Hunt. Dmetric Felton is almost exclusively playing in the slot so not much of a threat in the backfield.
TE: Heavy multi-TE sets is the name of the game here. Hooper played 25 pass snaps to 22 for Njoku but Hooper also was asked to block on five while Njoku only blocked on one so technically Njoku ran more routes. These guys are not the long term answer for your team.
WR: With no Antonio Brown this one was obvious - Chris Godwin and Mike Evans early and often. Tyler Johnson filled in some but they used a lot of two TE sets as well. Tyler Johnson is two injuries away from relevance.
RB: They told us what they planned to do and they are doing it. Gio Bernard is playing exclusively on passing downs - 33 pass snaps, zero carries. Ronald Jones fumbled in week one then allowed a sack in week two so for now Fournette is the starter for run work. Fournette played 21 pass snaps to only six for Ronald Jones - that’s what happens when you lose that trust.
TE: As long as Tom Brady is the quarterback, Gronk will get his looks but he did have surprising deployment this week. He only played 45 of 72 snaps, he only played 35 of 62 pass snaps, and he blocked on 7 of those so he only ran 28 routes. When they run 62 pass plays that works but with 35 pass plays, those percentage would only be like 15-16 routes run. You can’t sit Gronk at this point but something to think about. Also worth mentioning that Cameron Brate ran 27 routes so, anytime a WR is out, he is on the DFS radar.
WR: Jerry Jeudy was already out and now KJ Hamler is out too. Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick should see a highly consolidated snap and target share moving forward. We will likely see a lot of two TE sets but Diontae Spencer is the next man up in deep leagues.
RB: They have been splitting fairly evenly with Melvin getting more pass work and Javonte getting more run work but in this one Melvin got more of both. Looks like they are leaning on the vet a little.
TE: Noah Fant is in a good position given the injuries - he played more snaps than the WRs but he actually ran fewer routes (20 for Fant, 29 for Sutton, 25 for Patrick). Albert Okwuegbunam is the second tight end and could be a sneaky dart throw in DFS to see if he scores or not.
WR: Hopkins was banged up so we got to see who they leaned into - and it was AJ Green and Christian Kirk. Green continues to get a full snap share while Kirk is the primary slot guy. Routes run were Hopkins (38), Green (34), Kirk (29), Rondale Moore (14).
RB: They are splitting the run work evenly but Chase Edmonds is getting more pass work. He’s the guy you want in any sort of PPR.
TE: Apparently you CAN put Maxx Williams back in the bottle. Not an asset.
WR: CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper both played 65 snaps and ran a full compliment of routes (33 and 35 respectively). You’d think Cedrick Wilson played more given how he flashed a bit but his snap share was well below 50%.
RB: Zeke established his dominance to a certain degree this week - 53 snaps to 20 for Pollard. Zeke is still the trusted guy in pass and goal line while Pollard is a change of pace back who plays special teams.
TE: Schultz played 52 snaps and Jarwin played 43 but they both ran 21 routes. Schultz is getting the targets but it’s a risky proposition - splitting pass snaps on a team already crowded for targets.
RB: Ekeler is the man - the other guys just spell him at random intervals.
TE: Jared Cook gets most of the relevant pass work and all the other tight ends block more than they run routes.
WR: Here’s an interesting one - Tyreek, Demarcus Robinson, and Mecole Hardman played pretty much the whole game. But the Chiefs just signed Josh Gordon. If he lives up to the hype, who is the odd man out?
RB: Despite making mistakes on a weekly basis, Clyde Edwards-Helaire is still playing the most snaps in all phases. If it continues, look out for Darrell Williams though. Especially on pass plays where CEH has struggled with protection.
TE: Travis Kelce. Jody “Joe” Fortson played six snaps. Not a thing.
WR: Michael Pittman and Zach Pascal have played a ton of snaps on the outside but this week Parris Campbell’s snaps took a big leap into that range. Something to monitor but he likely needs to be the slot guy in three wide and flanker in two wide (at the expense of Pascal) to have big time upside.
RB: This split got really scary this week. In a negative game script, Nyheim Hines played more snaps than Taylor (primarily passing). The Colts need to get Taylor going on the ground early for him to have upside.
WR: There were a LOT of snaps to go around this week so everyone got to play some. Waddle was the clear winner playing 73 of 83. Parker was next. The question moving forward will be about whether Fuller or Gesicki can claim big enough snap shares.
RB: Malcolm Brown “started” but Myles Gaskin got more snaps in the end. Brown does the things that coaches like, like pass blocking and getting the tough yards, but he’s not exciting for fantasy outside of best ball formats. He just hurts Gaskin.
TE: Mike Gesicki is one of the more volatile assets right now. He pretty much only plays WR and he doesn’t play all of the snaps. 93% of his snaps came at WR and 46 of his 55 plays were pass plays. You can’t deny that Brissett likes him but tremendous downside looms in low scoring affairs.
RB: The Eagles didn’t even run the ball really. Absurd. Miles Sanders is playing more pass and run snaps so he’s the guy you want. Gainwell is just a handcuff or DFS dart throw.
TE: Goedert is still playing slightly more snaps but Ertz gets to play slot because Goedert is the better blocker. Goedert ran 30 routes, Ertz ran 29. Hurting each other.
RB: Cordarelle Patterson has officially muddled this backfield as pass down/ gadget back. Mike Davis is the short yardage, goal line guy. Tough situation.
WR: The Giants had a wealth of receiving options to start the game and then all of a sudden had very few. With Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton both getting hurt, it was Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, and Collin Johnson at WR. Engram mixed in limiting the upside of Johnson.
RB: Saquon Barkley is a full go.
TE: Evan Engram returned and had promising usage playing 70% of his snaps at WR and running 31 routes. Probably the most intriguing guy available off the wire.
WR: Same as last week - Marvin Jones Jr. and DJ Chark on the outside, Shenault in the slot.
WR: Elijah Moore suffered a concussion so Braxton Berrios stepped up opposite Corey Davis. If Moore is out, that leaves some uncertainty with Berrios, Mims, and possibly Jamison Crowder, if he’s back.
RB: The backs are still splitting snaps though Dan Campbell mentioned that Swift may have earned more snaps. Both backs are kind of interesting given how many passes are being dumped down to the RBs.
TE: TJ Hockenson is getting the bulk of the work. In bad offenses, guys have down games.
RB: Aaron Jones is getting the bulk of the work in both phases. Good spot for him.
TE: Robert Tonyan played more snaps this week than last but was still fairly irrelevant. He’s always been touchdown dependent.
WR: With Dan Arnold being traded we might see a lot more three WR sets here. They were already using all three of them on a big chunk of snaps but Marshall was the odd man out for two TE sets.
TE: With Arnold gone that opens the door for Ian Thomas and Tommy Tremble though they have a tough path to relevancy. Both were used primarily to block so let’s see if anyone has a role change. My bet would be Tremble.
RB: Last week we mentioned that the Pats have a two back system. With James White out, the work didn’t go to Damien Harris - a new pass catching back came in. Moving forward it might be Brandon Bolden or it might be JJ Taylor. We’ll see.
TE: Not sure if it was the hip injury or what but Hunter Henry ran 39 routes to only 15 for Jonnu. He’s the better bet right now.
WR: Bryan Edwards got a bigger share than Ruggs but they are both playing plenty. Renfrow is not playing enough.
RB: Looks like Gruden specifically wanted a split backfield, just like the Pats. Drake did not get the rundown work - Peyton Barber is getting that. Kind of hurts for Drake wonders but he’s still seeing most of the pass downs.
TE: Darren Waller’s usage is about as ideal as it gets.
WR: Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp are playing all the snaps but it certainly doesn’t feel like that for Robert Woods owners. Van Jefferson continues to outsnap DeSean Jackson but DJax got a chance to play this week and showed what he can do with a big TD.
TE: Tyler Higbee’s usage has been odd. First week he played every snap and ran nearly ever route. Next week he played every snap and blocked on one of every five pass plays. This week he only played 75% of the snaps but didn’t pass block much. He’ll continue to be a medium floor, medium ceiling play.
WR: Sammy Watkins and Marquis Brown are the outside guys, Devin Duvernary in the slot but only for three wide sets which limits his snaps. Ugly game for Hollywood.
RB: Patrick Ricard played just as many snaps as Ty’son Williams. Williams plays pass downs and Murray plays run downs but this backfield has never been friendly to RBs with Greg Roman calling the plays and Lamar executing them.
TE: We’ve been telling you all along that Mark Andrews is the guy. Well, he still is.
RB: Alvin Kamara is still the guy.
RB: Chris Carson is the guy - the others are just there to spell him.
TE: Gerald Everett finally carved out a bigger role but now he’s hurt. So Dissly I guess is the guy. Not enough targets to be interesting outside DFS.
RB: They are clearly committed to Najee Harris. Holy targets.
TE: Out of nowhere got his big snap share back but it was still Pat Freiermuth who looked better. Outside of DFS they are both too far down the target totem pole to get excited about.
WR: With no Nico Collins it was Brandin Cooks and Chris Conley on the outside, Anthony Miller in the slot. Davis Mills seemed to like Cooks and Miller best but Miller won’t get a full snap share in that role.
RB: The new Derrick Henry might be here and if he keeps catching passes he could be the best RB in fantasy.
TE: No one is relevant until Anthony Firkser gets back and even then he might not be.
WR: Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson every play - copy and past that each week. It seems like they will go back and forth between using two TEs or KJ Osborn in the slot making him an inconsistent play.
RB: With Davlin Cook out, it’s Mattison. With Davlin Cook in, it’s Cook. Nice and easy.
Washington Football Team
RB: JD McKissic is still playing a lot more pass snaps than Antonio Gibson. Though Gibson was the one to bust out the big play.
TE: Logan Thomas played every single snap - agan - and he ran every route but one. He’s still a guy you want and you start him if you don’t have someone amazing.