You’re here on Fantasy Alarm. You are sharp gamers. So you understand that the box score is a mirage. It doesn’t tell the full story. The good news for you is that we are here to break down the usage of every team and every position group. That way you have the full ammo needed to adjust your fantasy football rankings and attack the rest of the season.
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.
NFL Snap Count Breakdown: Week 1
RB: Elijah Mitchell might be the new Raheem Mostert as he simply cannot stay on the field. He’s now potentially expected to miss multiple weeks. Jeff Wilson Jr. picked up the slack. Keep an eye on rookie Tyron Davis-Price to see if he’s active this week.
TE: With George Kittle out, Tyler Kroft played the most but Ross Dwelley ran the most routes. None of these guys outside of healthy Kittle are worth starting in redraft leagues but Dwelley is your dart throw in DFS if you must.
WR: Darnell Mooney is the one guy you can consider in fantasy right now. Velus Jones Jr. was out and Byron Pringle has been limited. Equanimeous St. Brown was the outside receiver opposite Mooney with Dante Pettis mixing in so we will have to see how that shakes out when everyone is healthy.
RB: Despite Khalil Herbert making some noise in the box score, David Montgomery played more snaps (38), pass snaps (19), and run snaps (19), than Khalil Herbert (17/5/12). He’s the guy you want to start.
TE: This game featured some brutal weather so Cole Kmet put up a straight goose egg but he had surprisingly decent usage behind the scenes. He played most of the snaps and only blocked on one pass play. There will certainly be better games ahead for Kmet.
WR: This one is pretty set - Tee Higgins at split end, Ja’Marr Chase at flanker, and Tyler Boyd in the slot. But we got some valuable information this week with Tee Higgins suffering a concussion; the next man up behind Higgins at least is Mike Thomas.
TE: In the box score Hayden Hurst seemed like a good play but he did most of his damage in overtime (3 of 36 in overtime). The team isn’t going to run 100 snaps every week and he’s the fourth target on the team so just be careful chasing that.
WR: This was a hot off-season debate but, in Week 1 at least, Gabriel Davis got the job we had all hoped for opposite Stefon Diggs. In fact, he played virtually every snap. Isaiah McKenzie started in the slot but didn’t play a full snap share as he rotated with guys like Jamison Crowder, Jake Kumerow, fullback Reggie Gilliam, and TE Tommy Sweeney.
RB: Devin Singletary started and played more run down and pass downs than anyone else though Zack Moss did mix in and he looked pretty decent on pass downs. You have to feel for rookie James Cook who we thought might carve out that pass-down role but he fumbled on his very first touch.
TE: Dawson Knox had some concerning usage this week, blocking on 21.9% of his pass snaps. We asked Bills Beat writer Sal Capaccio about this and he said that the usage was likely related to a stout Rams pass rush and that he should have better games on the horizon.
WR: I’m surprised more folks aren’t excited about Donovan Peoples-Jones as he played the same number of snaps and ran the same number of routes as Amari Cooper but led the team in targets with 11. Those are the two guys that matter as the team used two tight end sets for a huge chunk of the game.
RB: We’ve known what this backfield is for years now. Nick Chubb starts and gets more work on the ground (23 carries, 18 pass plays). Kareem Hunt skews pass catching (11 carries, 31 pass plays). That’s how it’s going to be unless one of them gets injured.
TE: David Njoku played almost the whole game but his usage wasn’t technically ideal because he blocked on eight of his pass plays which are over 20% (we need that under 15% minimum but ideally under 10%). Harrison Bryant came on as a second tight end and ran 18 routes to Njoku’s 30 so not really a great option either.
WR: The big story is Chris Godwin exiting the game - he’s likely to miss some time. But this group is banged up across the board with Mike Evans, Julio Jones, and Russell Gage all missing practice as well. Even Breshad Perriman was limited. My guess is that Mike Evans and Julio Jones will be the full-time outside guys with Gage in the slot but keep an eye on the development.
TE: Camaron Brate had surprisingly good usage - 23 of 29 routes run, no pass blocking snaps. Kyle Rudolph was a surprisingly healthy scratch while Cade Otten played in a blocking capacity (30 snaps, only 4 routes run).
WR: Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy were you split end and flanker playing virtually the whole game. When they went three WR sets, KJ Hamler moved to flanker and Jeudy moved inside to the slot. But they used enough two tight end sets that Hamler did not play enough for high-end upside.
RB: Javonte Williams proved this week that he’s clearly the guy on pass downs - beyond the box score, he played 31 pass snaps to 15 for Melvin. But they did lean on Melvin for run situations including getting the first crack at the goal line. Both backs fumbled in the red area so can’t really make a call on that just yet.
TE: Albert Okweugbunam is the primary tight end and his usage was solid - 37 of his 44 plays were passing plays. The other tight ends made a little noise but they all spent more time blocking than running routes so not much fantasy relevance.
WR: Marquise Brown led the team in snaps as the flanker but there was a bit of a surprise in that WR2 chair as Greg Dortch played 59 of 62 snaps, primarily from the slot. The question of course is whether he’s just keeping that seat warm for Rondale Moore or if he’s actually carved something out here. AJ Green was the third wide receiver behind those two.
RB: James Conner got the most snaps in all phases including pass plays (34). Eno Benjamin was the clear next man up and he skews passing, playing 16 of 22 plays on pass snaps. James Conner is the man though.
TE: Zach Ertz has been dealing with a calf injury so he didn’t play a full snap share but he’s clearly the man. Expect him to continue to ramp that up. Maxx Williams and Stephen Anderson served as blocking tight ends, Trey McBride didn’t even play.
WR: CeeDee Lamb was the top dog as expected, playing both flanker and slot, while Noah Brown played the split end role (that will eventually be occupied by Michael Gallup). Dennis Houston was the next man up with Semi Fehoko mixing in a bit.
RB: The snaps were split a little more evenly to start this year with Zeke playing 40 and Tony Pollard playing 38. Zeke is usually the steady pass blocker but he allowed pressure on a couple of snaps this week though Tony Pollard did allow a sack himself. Will have to monitor this trend.
TE: Dalton Schultz played every single snap and then pass blocked only 3 times. If the quarterback wasn’t Cooper Rush it would be easier to get excited about him. But if Rush is competent and like Schultz, he could be moved up a tier with that usage.
TE: They paid Gerald Everett to play the Jared Cook role and that’s what he did, only pass blocking twice. Tre’ McKitty skews blocking so, if there is any interest out there in your dynasty leagues, I would move him.
WR: We got some answers here for an unsettled team - JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling are your full-time guys with Mecole Hardman contributing as the third fiddle. Rookie Skyy Moore was not involved.
RB: Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the lead back and scored two receiving touchdowns but he did split snaps with Jerick McKinnon - 27 to 27. Isaiah Pacheco came in for mop-up duty in a game that was well in hand.
TE: Travis Kelce is the man. They did mix in some Noah Gray and Joe Fortson but that was largely in a blocking capacity. Gray played 37 snaps but only ran 13 routes compared to Kelce who played 45 but ran 34 routes.
WR: Michael Pittman played 90 of 92 snaps to, when healthy, he’s locked in. I say when healthy because he has an injury to monitor going into the weekend. Parris Campbell played a promising share with 71 snaps and then no one else played a ton because of the two TE sets they used. Alex Pierce is the next most interesting.
TE: The big surprise here was that Mo Alie-Cox started but he only ran 21 routes. Kylan Granson actually led the team in both snaps (51 for him vs 52 for Mo) and routes run (30). Granson also played 19 of those snaps at a WR spot. If this holds, Granson is the Colts TE you want.
TE: Logan Thomas is recovering from an ACL so he’s working his way back. As his snaps increase, so should his involvement in this passing game.
WR: As expected, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle paced the WRs. Cedrick Wilson contributed from the slot but played less than 50% of the snaps, largely because they used extra tight ends and fullback Alec Ingold.
TE: Bad news for Mike Gesicki owners. The new coach wants an in-line tight end and it seems Durham Smythe is playing that role. Gesicki essentially just rotated with Cedrick Wilson, playing a partial snap share.
WR: The box score will make it seem like AJ Brown was the only guy out there but DeVonta Smith actually played MORE snaps than Brown. Smith played 96% of the snaps and ran 98% of the routes. So don’t rule him out yet. Quez Watkins was your slot wide receiver.
RB: Miles Sanders once again looked efficient and he actually managed to score for once. Of course, so did every other runner on this team including Jalen Hurts. Sanders is the top dog while Kenneth Gainwell will play some pass snaps and Boston Scott will play some run snaps.
TE: Even though he played a bunch of snaps, the usage for Kyle Pitts was not ideal. We are used to him playing 70-75% of his snaps at WR and running every route. Under Arthur Smith this week he only played around 50% of his snaps at WR and he blocked on a very concerning 20% of pass plays. Something to monitor.
RB: Saquon Barkley is back. That is all.
RB: James Robinson got a surprising amount of work in the run game but he and Etienne essentially split the snaps. Etienne skews pass down, Robinson run downs. The Jags should have plenty of game scripts that benefit Etienne.
TE: Evan Engram had a pretty solid outing - played a good snap share, played on 40 of 50 pass plays, and only pass blocked twice. He caught all four of his targets and also was pass interfered with on a fifth. Problem is, that Christian Kirk and Zay Jones dominated the targets.
WR: Elijah Moore is the guy they want on the field for every snap here. Corey Davis played a good amount of split end but his snaps share was well below Moore. Garrett Wilson and Braxton Berrios split too much time for them to have immediate upside.
RB: This game saw 84 offensive snaps so there was a lot to go around. Michael Carter played 50, including 38 pass plays, while Breece Hall played 38 (with 31 pass plays). Seems the rumors of Michael Carter starting were true - so far.
TE: CJ Uzomah was a game-time decision with a hamstring injury and that kept him limited with Tyler Conklin playing the vast majority of the snaps. We still don’t know how this will sort out but clearly skewing Conklin out of the gate.
WR: DJ Chark and Josh Reynolds were the two outside wide receivers with Amon-Ra St. Brown in the slot. All three wide receivers ran a fairly similar number of routes with ARSB continuing where he left off last year running a lot of low, aDot routes (5 yards).
RB: D’Andre Swift was the man but Jamaal Williams got the goal line work. Perhaps that is by design or maybe it just happened that way. Either way, you have to be happy with what you saw from Swift.
TE: TJ Hockenson played a full snap share but he did block on six pass snaps of 38 which we don’t like to see. Would rather he ran all the routes. Brock Wright was your blocking tight end.
WR: Sammy Watkins and Christian Watson played the most snaps than Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson but here’s how the routes shook out: Watson 29, Watkins 28, Cobb 27, Doubs 25. Not what you want to see since no one was close to running all 38 routes.
RB: Despite the box score, the split fell in line with a lot of preconceived notions. 29 pass plays for Aaron Jones, 19 for AJ Dillon. Dillon then played more run snaps. Over the long term, that should mean more targets for Jones despite how it looked on paper.
TE: Nightmare split at tight end. No one played more than 23 snaps. The hope is that, as Robert Tonyan recovers, he will get ramped up to a bigger share. But you have to remember that he wasn’t even playing a full share last year before he got hurt. And he had 10 or fewer yards in five of his first six games.
RB: Christian McCaffrey is the dude - no one else played more than seven snaps.
WR: DeVante Parker is the starting split end and he played every single snap. Jakobi Meyers split time between the flanker and the slot as the WR2. Nelson Agholor played a snap share that wasn’t super meaningful. There have been reports that Robert Kraft wants to see more Kendrick Bourne on the field so that is something to monitor.
RB: Damien Harris was your starter with Ty Montgomery in the pass-catching role. But Ty Montgomery was injured and he’s going to miss time. So now the question is whether Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson, JJ Taylor, rookie Pierre Strong, or even someone like Kendrick Bourne steps into that pass-catching back role.
TE: Despite an overall lackluster passing game, Hunter Henry’s usage was pretty good. Played a big snap share and ran 29 of 35 routes. Didn’t pass block once. Jonnu Smith was the second tight end running 19 routes.
RB: There was a bit of a split at first with Brandon Bolden playing 13 pass snaps but he left the game with an injury. Josh Jacobs they essentially assumed the full role with Ameer Abdullah mixing in sporadically. Could be wheels up for Josh Jacobs if he’s going to be a three-down back.
TE: Darren Waller’s usage was the best it’s been in years. He lined up at WR for nearly 90% of his snaps. Kind of the opposite of the Kyle Pitts situation where things are looking better than expected.
WR: Business as usual for a team that almost always plays 11 personnel. Cooper Kupp played every snap and Allen Robinson/Ben Skowronek weren’t far off. When Van Jefferson returns, he should replace Skowronek.
RB: Massive surprise here with Darrell Henderson's DOMINATING snaps. That said, 40 of 55 were pass plays. Will have to see if maybe a better game script helps Akers but it did not look good.
TE: Tyler Higbee actually had pretty good usage here, playing 47 pass plays and not blocking one time. He had some drops and his aDot was low but kind of promising.
WR: With a strange game script, no wide receiver really played the whole game. But Rashod Bateman played the most and he ran 25 routes. Devin Duvernay and Demarcus Robinson were next up with 18. Hard to trust the last two.
RB: Kenyan Drake dominated the snaps and touches. Will be interesting to see what happens when JK Dobbins is back.
TE: Mark Andrews had the best usage of any tight end but they only ran 56 offensive snaps because of the game script. Go out and get Andrews. Isaiah Likely did not play enough to consider starting but he did play a good amount of his snaps at WR which is promising.
TE: Folks will be rushing to add Taysom Hill hoping that he plays some wild cat but it was actually Juwan Johnson that had the better usage for a tight end. He ran 76% of the routes and he played 76% of his snaps at wide receiver. Adam Trautman can be dropped in all formats.
TE: Pat Freiermuth was featured heavily here and actually ran some high aDot routes for once. Don’t like that he blocked on six pass snaps but that is splitting hairs.
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