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Snap Counts For Week 6’s, Predicting Week 7 Leaders Based On Trends

Using snap counts and targets, we’re going to see who was on the field most to pinpoint position-by-position who’s legit and who’s fool’s gold when it comes to picking up players to start or stash on your bench. These players are available in 40 percent or more of ESPN leagues. Your league mates chase yards and touchdowns, we’ll chase sustainability.

As a point of reference, snap count and target data is derived from Pro Football Reference and Fantasy Pros, respectively. In addition, players below scored inside the top 15 at QB/TE week 6 and the top 36 at RB/WR, so essentially all players would be started in a 12-team league.

RB

Peyton Barber

Barber paced Ronald Jones in snap count percentage, 62-15, and touches, 17-4, week 6. In addition, Barber had a 13-82 rushing stat line and a 4-24-1 receiving stat line for 20.6 fantasy points. Caution. In Barber’s first four games of the season, he didn’t have a combined 20.6 points. Consider Barber’s week 6 outburst a product of match-up, and for that reason Barber’s fool’s gold. Check this out:

Duke Johnson

Johnson paced Carlos Hyde in snap count percentage, 47-43. Week 6 was the second straight week Johnson played on more snaps than Hyde (Johnson paced Hyde 51-35 week 5). Last week against the Chargers was due to game script (final score 38-14, Chargers), but two weeks ago the Browns were in a competitive game with the Ravens (final score 12-9, Ravens). It appears the Browns are at the least decreasing Hyde’s touches, if not slowly phasing him out.

From week 4 to 6, Hyde’s playing time dove from 60 percent of snaps to 43. In that same span, his carries decreased from 22 to a season-low 14. On the season, Hyde has six catches, opposed to Johnson’s 14.

Consider Johnson, who’s scored double-digit fantasy points two of his last three games, a legit flex this week against the Bucs. If Hyde is slowly phased out, Johnson won’t assume all of Hyde’s workload. But, he should receive essentially all of the targets, as he receives the majority of them now. Unlike Hyde, Nick Chubb, Hyde’s potential replacement, isn’t an established pass-catcher.

Frank Gore

Gore played on 38 percent of snaps, second in the backfield to Kenyan Drake (played on 63 percent). Drake out-touched Gore 17-16, but Gore was more productive with a 15-101 rushing stat line, in addition to a 1-18 receiving stat line. Drake had 13 carries for 57 yards and a 4-21 stat line. But in the two games before week 6, Gore out-touched Drake both weeks, and 25-17 total.

We’re not ignoring a 100-yard rushing game, but, at this time, Gore is fool’s gold if you think he’s a viable flex.

Gore’s played more than Drake once this season, and it was week 4 in a blowout loss against the Patriots. In addition, Gore has played in more than half of Miami’s offensive snaps once this season, too. I don’t recommend flexing Gore, but he certainly needs to be rostered. If Drake were to go down, Gore would be in the RB2 discussion. For now, he’s the best handcuff.

Marlon Mack

Mack played on 35 percent of snaps, second to Nyheim Hines, in his first game since week 2. However, Mack out-touched Hines 13-5. In a game that the Colts were trailing, the game script should’ve favored Hines, but it appears Mack is in line to become the main back in the coming weeks. Mack had one catch to Hines’ two. Consider Mack a legit flex, but he faces the Bills week 7, a defense that’s allowed one rushing touchdown in the last four games against running backs.

Ito Smith

Smith’s fantasy value got the biggest spike after week 6 on Tuesday when it was reported that the Falcons were placing Devonta Freeman on Injured Reserve.

In week 6, Smith played on 46 percent of snaps, second in the backfield to Tevin Coleman, and Smith out-touched Coleman 13-11. Freeman did not play. In week 4 with Freeman out, too, Coleman out-touched Smith 17-10. While they’re hard to predict, it’s worth noting Smith has three touchdowns in the last three games, respectively. Our pal Graham Barfield, of nfl.com, breaks it down a little more in-depth below.

Smith’s a legit pick-up, and plug-and-play flex this week against the Giants this week. Smith’s outscored Coleman in two of their last three games, so it’s in the realm of possibilities for Smith to become the lead back for the rest of the season.

Raheem Mostert

Mostert played on 40 percent of snaps, second to Matt Breida (played on 47 percent of snaps), and Breida out-touched Mostert 14-12. Alfred Morris, who led the Niners in carries week 5, did not have a carry week 6, while Kyle Juszczyk recorded the backfield’s three catches for 30 yards. That said, Mostert led all backs in rushing yards with 87. Breida had 61 and a touchdown.

Consider Mostert a legit speculative add, but if you add him to flex him this week you’re chasing fool’s gold. It’s in the realm of possibilities that Mostert’s big game was the game plan. Another theory is Mostert’s being slowly worked into the offense, as his playing time and production were just at 13 percent of snaps and six touches, respectively, week 5. Caution. Mostert had a combined two touches in the first games of the season. For now, he’s a stash.

WR

Albert Wilson

Wilson played on 64 percent of snaps week 6. In addition, Wilson had a 6-155-2 stat line (nine targets). Kenny Stills paced all receivers in playing time in each of the team’s first six games, but Wilson leads all Miami receivers in targets, touchdowns and receiving yards. Since week 4, Wilson leads all receivers in targets per game, with a total of 21. In that same span, Stills had 13 targets. The writing’s been on the wall for Wilson for several weeks now.

Wilson’s targets the last three games: six, six, nine.

Still’s targets the last three games: six, five, two.

Wilson’s a legit boom-or-bust flex.

Cole Beasley

Beasley played on 58 percent of snaps week 6, third behind Michael Gallup and Allen Hurns. However, Beasley had a 9-101-2 stat line, leading all Dallas receivers with 11 targets. In fact, Beasley’s the only Dallas receiver to have a game with more than four catches. Beasley’s done it twice. Due to the lack of upside, it’s hard to call Beasley legit, but in 14-team PPR leagues and deeper, Beasley’s a legit speculative add.

Caution. After Beasley’s seven-catch game week 1, he had two catches for 13 yards the next week. Consider Beasley a lottery ticket add, but by no mean’s is he legit. Still, we’re not ignoring 11 targets or a 100-yard receiving game.

Marquise Goodwin

Remember when Goodwin was left for dead after Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a season-ending injury? Well, his big-play ability may be able to turn him into a boom-or-bust flex. For now, Goodwin’s a legit speculative add, but by no means does he warrant starting lineup consideration.

While Goodwin played on 95 percent of snaps week 6, he had just five targets (4-126-2 stat line). In fact, in four games, Goodwin has 14 targets. The playing time is there, but the targets aren’t, plus Goodwin’s catching passes from the backup quarterback. As good as Goodwin’s week 6 was, without scoring touchdowns he’s susceptible to a 2-24 stat line like he had in week 4.

Tyrell Williams

With Travis Benjamin out again, Williams played on 82 percent of snaps week 6. Williams had a 3-118-2 stat line (four targets). Consider William’s fool’s gold, as he’s the fourth passing option for Phillip Rivers behind Keenan Allen, Melvin Gordon, and Mike Williams. Don’t chase the touchdowns with Williams, as he showed them in the two respective games before week 6 what his stat line is without them.

In week 5, Williams had a 3-66 stat line, and in week 6 Williams had a 3-48 stat line. Fade.

Jermaine Kearse

With Quincy Enunwa out 3-to-4 weeks, Kearse is the next man up, as paced all receivers in snap count percentage week 6 (83 percent). In addition, Kearse had a 9-94 stat line (10 targets). Consider Kearse a legit volume-play flex receiver for as long Enunwa and his team-leading 22 targets are out.

Chris Godwin

Did you know Godwin and Desean Jackson have the same amount of targets (31) thru the Bucs’ first five games of the season? In fact, Godwin’s scored in four of five said games, including the first three of the season. While touchdowns are hard to predict, check out this stat on Godwin:

In Jameis Winston’s first start of the season week 6, Godwin tied with Jackson for the team-lead in targets with nine. Godwin played on 56 percent snaps week 6. Godwin has been and is a legit flex, as he’s currently WR37 in PPR.

Torrey Smith

Smith played on 70 percent of snaps, second behind Devin Funchess, and paced all receivers in targets with five. Smith’s 5-43-1 stat line for 17.3 fantasy points was buoyed by a touchdown. Caution. Smith had zero catches the week prior to week 6, and six catches combined in the Panthers’ first three games of the season. Consider Smith fool’s gold.

Taylor Gabriel

Gabriel played on 66 percent of snaps week 6, and he had a 5-110 stat line. Before the Bears’ bye week, Gabriel had a 7-104-2 stat line, however, rookie Anthony Miller was not active. While active week 6, Miller had one catch, though it was a touchdown. In the last two games, Gabriel has 12 targets, two 100-yard games, and two touchdowns. Gabriel’s a legit add. Consider Gabriel a sturdy plug-and-play flex week 7 against the Patriots, as Gabriel goes for the hat trick.

Willie Snead

For the second week in a row, Snead played more than 70 percent of Baltimore’s offensive snaps, pacing all receivers week 6 with 72 percent. From weeks 4-6, Snead’s snap count percentage increased 21 percent, starting at 51. In that same span, Snead has 24 targets. That’s tied with John Brown for second among receivers, and behind Michael Crabtree (29 targets).

In week 6, Snead had a 7-60 stat line, and the last three weeks combined Snead has 18 catches for 171 yards. Even as Joe Flacco’s third option, Snead’s been able to haul in at least five catches and 50 yards in all but two games. One of the two games he didn’t have five catches, he scored, meaning Snead’s scored double-digit fantasy points in all but one game this season. Snead’s a legit flex in all formats.

TE

Austin Hooper

Hooper played on 81 percent of snaps week 6, leading all pass catchers. In the Falcons’ last two games, Hooper has 18 catches on 22 targets for 148 yards and a touchdown. Still, I’m not ready to call Hooper legit. Based on the nature of the tight end position and Hooper’s hot streak, I understand starting Hooper week 7, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Hooper was a dud.

In week 5 against the Steelers, Hooper’s good game was match-up based, while in week 6 Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu both exited early. I’m not sure if one or both receivers don’t get hurt that Hooper has another great week of production week 6. Week 7 will be the legit test for Hooper, but the smart money will stay away from this bet.

O.J. Howard

Howard paced all Bucs tight ends in snap count percentage with 52 percent. In addition, Howard had a 4-62-1 stat line. Fellow tight end Cameron Brate had just one catch on his sole target, albeit it was a touchdown, so it appears Howard’s the guy. While Howard’s the clear fourth target in the passing attack for Jameis Winston behind Mike Evans, Desean Jackson, and Chris Godwin, Howard’s been able to put up three 13-plus fantasy point performances in three of five games.

Consider Howard a solid low-end TE1.

Chris Herndon

Herndon played on 39 percent of snaps week 6, and had a 2-56-1 stat line (two targets). Herndon didn’t have 56 receiving yards on the season before week 6. Combine that tidbit in with the fact Herndon’s playing on less than the offense’s snaps it’s easy to decipher that Herndon is fool’s gold. But, Quincy Enunwa out 3-4 weeks, Herndon could end up on your watch list, though there’s no need to add him at the moment.

Ricky Seals-Jones

After not catching any of six targets week 5, Seals-Jones caught five of six targets week 6 for 69 yards, playing on 67 percent of snaps. In three Josh Rosen starts, Seals-Jones has 16 targets. It appears Rosen and Seals-Jones have straightened out their chemistry issues during the former’s first two starts. Check this clip out below:

Consider Seals-Jones a legit plug-and-play tight end week 7, as he faces the Broncos on a short week on TNF.

C.J. Uzomah

Like Austin Hooper in week 5, C.J. Uzomah was able to exploit the matchup against the Steelers week 6. Uzomah had a 6-54 stat line on seven targets, playing on 92 percent of snaps. In week 7, Uzomah faces the Chiefs. With Tyler Eifert out for the season and based on the fact his next two matchups are against the Chiefs and Bucs (see Austin Hooper), Uzomah’s a legit streaming option at tight end for the next couple of weeks with the potential for more.

Notable Snap Count Trends: Finding The Next Weekly Scoring Leader

Scott Simonson ( Giants TE)

Simonson’s playing time has increased three straight weeks since week 4. In week 4, Simonson’s percentage of snaps played on was 23, then 32 week 5 and 97 week 6. However, in the first two games, Simonson had one target apiece, and he had three week 6.

The Falcons secondary is missing two starters, so there’s a chance Simonson could get loose in the middle of the field, of course, if Evan Engram doesn’t play.

Alex Erickson (Bengals WR)

After playing in less than 15 percent of offensive snaps in each of the first three games of the season, Erickson’s snap count percentage increased in each of the last three games. In week 4, Erickson played on 49 percent of snaps, and in week 6 Erickson played on 75 percent of offensive snaps. The Bengals face the Chiefs week 6, so there’s a decent chance Erickson could pop. Are you feeling lucky in DFS?

Damion Ratley (Browns WR)

Ratley was active two of the Browns’ first five games but got the start week 6. With Rashard Higgins out, Ratley played on 88 percent of snaps week 6, third behind Jarvis Landry (nine targets) and Antonio Callaway (10 targets), commanding eight targets (6-82 stat line {most catches and yards among receivers}). This was Ratley’s first game with a catch, but as long as Higgins is out Ratley’s progress is worth monitoring.

Ratley could pop week 7 against the second-worst defense against fantasy receivers this season, the Bucs.

Ryan Griffin (Texans TE)

Griffin’s snap count increased from 69 percent week 4, to 71 percent week 5 and to 84 percent week 6. In that same span, Griffin’s targets were the following: 1, 9 and 5, respectively. Griffin had a 6-65 stat line week 5, but he didn’t catch any of five targets week 6.

That, plus the fact the Texans face the Jags week 7 doesn’t make it likely Griffin will break out, but the playing time and targets (14 in the last two games) are there.

Zay Jones (Bills WR)

Jones’ playing time ballooned from 63 percent week 3 to 91 week 4. In week 5, Jones played on 77 percent of the Bills’ offensive snaps, while playing on 94 week 6. Weeks 4-6, Jones has 10 catches on 19 targets for 93 yards and a touchdown. Going up against the Colts with Derek Anderson as the starter, Jones is an interesting name to follow week 7, but if he doesn’t score he’ll be rendered useless.

Danny Amendola (Dolphins WR)

With Ryan Tannehill sidelined week 6, Amendola led all Miami receivers in targets with 11 (8-59 stat line). If Brock Osweiler is the starter again week 7, it would not shock me to see Amendola produce a similar stat line. For the season, Amendola is second in targets, behind Albert Wilson, with 31.

In addition, Amendola’s playing time spiked from playing on 70 percent of snaps week 4 to 86 week 5. In week 5, Amendola played on 83 percent of snaps, while he played on a season-high 96 percent week 6.

 

Joshua Kellem is a Slippery Rock University graduate with a BS in Journalism. In addition, he is the creator of fantasy football website fftalk.org

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