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In order to make the best waiver and lineup decisions each week you really need to break down who is on the field the most and who is touching the ball the most. If you follow those very basic principles you will do quite well week in and week out.

So every week I will be taking a close look at the amount of snaps that players who are in platoon situations are getting in order to uncover those hidden gems that win championships.

I know that I promised on the air last night to send out a three week strength of schedule report but I have called an audible here. I will send out the next three weeks strength of schedule tomorrow instead of the Rankings Review. I just couldn’t deprave you guys of the always-telling Snap Counts study.

Let’s examine some snap trends to determine which end of the following platoons you should own. The numbers below represent the past three games for each team and player.

(Player Snaps-Total Team Snaps)

Atlanta Falcons RB’s 

Steven Jackson - 77-197 (39%)

Jacquizz Rodgers 57-197 (29%)

Antone Smith 29-197 (15%)

Devonta Freeman 37-197 (19%)

Breakdown: The Falcons are crushing the fantasy value of all of their RB’s by splitting their snaps almost in fourths. Despite the somewhat equal timeshare here, Antone Smith is by far the most productive player here and one of the most productive fantasy players in the past 15 years.

 

Baltimore Ravens RB’s

Justin Forsett 118-191 (62%)

Bernard Pierce 28-128 (22%)

Lorenzo Taliaferro 41-191 (21%)

Breakdown: It is clear that Justin Forsett is leading the charge here in Baltimore. He is getting more early down carries than I would have ever thought in addition to his usual third down role. Thus, he’s elevated himself into a regular top 15 fantasy RB in PPR formats. Both Pierce and Taliaferro are borderline to even be on rosters at this point in the season.  

 

Cleveland Browns WR’s

Miles Austin - 117-198 (59%)

Andrew Hawkins 133-198 (67%)

Travis Benjamin 64-198 (32%)

Taylor Gabriel106-198 (54%)

Breakdown: Interesting that the player that is least owned in fantasy leagues (Taylor Gabriel) is getting nearly the same amount of snaps as the player who is most owned (Miles Austin). Gabriel is the Browns regular slot receiver and does get regular targets in this Browns offense. Hawkins is without question the most disappointing player here though. Both Gabriel and Benjamin are eating into his snaps and catches every week.  

 

Carolina Panthers WR’s

Kelvin Benjamin 192-221 (87%)

Jerricho Cotchery 163-221 (74%)

Jason Avant 132-221 (60%)

Philly Brown 23-221 (10%)

Breakdown: Benjamin is playing as much as almost any WR in the NFL here in his rookie year. But as Cam Newton regains his health and effectiveness one of these other receiving options are bound to jump out with some fantasy value. Avant is a nice player to move the chains and keep the offense moving but Cotchery is the one that intrigues me the most. Not only is he playing the most right now but he is also seeing far more red zone targets than any of the others.  

 

Green Bay Packers TE’s

Andrew Quarless 131-189 (69%)

Richard Rodgers 77-189 (41%)

Brandon Bostick 8-189 (4%)

Breakdown: Andrew Quarless is getting the majority of snaps for the Packers TE’s but still doesn’t have very much fantasy value. I would like to see the better pass catcher Richard Rodgers get more snaps. But until the Packers either run more offensive plays or suffer some injuries to their stellar wideouts, that is unlikely to happen.