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Week 1 Snap Count Leaders: A Closer Look At Fantasy Football Analytics

snap counts

Using snap counts and targets, we’re going to see who was on the field most to pinpoint who’s legit and who’s fool’s gold when it comes to picking up players. Your league mates chase yards and touchdowns, we’ll chase sustainability.

Let’s get to it.

TE

Jared Cook: Cook played in 67 of 74 snaps (91 percent) for the Raiders week 1. As mentioned above, with his playing time, Cook hauled in nine receptions on 12 targets for 180 yards. Cook has a favorable matchup week 2 against the Broncos, who just surrendered four receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown to Will Dissly.

For week 2, Cook’s legit, however, his season outlook projects as fool’s gold. The Rams have two all-pro CBs in Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. It’s possible Cook’s performance was part of the game plan knowing the Rams personnel. If you need a TE for week 2 Cook’s a good pick up, but if you need someone beyond that consider other options.

Eric Ebron: Ebron played in 37 of 82 snaps (45 percent). Contrarily, his TE counterpart Jack Doyle played in 94 percent of the snaps. That said, Ebron secured four of five targets for 51 yards and a touchdown.

Based on the snap count distribution, it appears the Colts aren’t featuring 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 TEs) as much as anticipated. However, with five targets, you want your TE to obtain about 5o yards and a few receptions or a touchdown. Ebron did both week 1. Ebron’s legit, with the possibility of more playing time, moving forward.

Will Dissly: Dissly played in 33 of 57 snaps (58 percent), commanding five targets for three receptions, 105 yards, and a touchdown. Known for his blocking in college, Dissly shredded that label week 1. You’d like to see Dissly get more targets before calling him legit, but we may get that chance with Doug Baldwin expected to miss multiple weeks.

Dissly’s legit with a target floor of five on a weekly basis.

George Kittle: In a bad matchup, Kittle caught five receptions on nine targets for 90 yards in 77 percent of his team’s snaps. Kittle might be the most legit player on the list, as he paced the Niners for targets week 1.

With Marquise Goodwin banged up heading into week 2, it’s likely Kittle paces his team for targets again. Kittle could become for Jimmy Garoppolo what Rob Gronkowski is to Tom Brady.

Jesse James: James played in 82 percent of snaps week 1, commanding five targets for three catches and 60 yards. James is fool’s gold. While his snap count percentage is high, three catches aren’t enough to sustain his week 1 production of 60 yards on a weekly basis. No way he averages 20 yards per catch through 16 games.

Ben Watson: Watson played in 80 percent of snaps, registering four catches on four targets for 44 yards. Watson’s fool’s gold (for now). It’s not possible he’ll sustain a hundred percent catch rate, in addition to four targets not being enough for Watson to provide solid yardage on a weekly basis.

Watson may score every few weeks, but don’t chase touchdowns, chase sustainability.

WR

Kenny Golladay: Golladay paced Golden Tate and Marvin Jones for snaps played with 93 percent. Based on the final score of this contest, 48-17, I’m chalking this up to garbage time. Still, Golladay commanded caught seven receptions on 12 targets for 114 yards.

Golladay’s a speculative legit. 12 targets are hard to ignore, so if you feel inclined to pick him up just don’t start him yet.

Ted Ginn: Though he was behind Ben Watson in snaps played at 78 percent, he was third behind Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara in targets with six for five receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown. With Cameron Meredith still banged up after missing all of 2017, Ginn finds himself as the no. 2 WR alongside Thomas in the starting lineup.

With the Saints defense looking worse than in 2017, which will mean Brees likely throws more than 600 times this season, Ginn’s six targets per game bolds well for his fantasy outlook. Ginn’s legit, and a high upside flex play.

Phillip Dorsett: Dorsett caught all seven of his targets for 66 yards and a touchdown in 76 percent of snaps.

Until Julian Edelman returns week 5, Dorsett’s legit, but temper expectations week 2 against the Jaguars. Tom Brady targeted Dorsett three times on third down week 3 of the preseason, and four times on the final drive of the first half week 1. Brady wants to get him involved.

Quincy Enunwa: Picking up where he left off in 2016 when he led the Jets in receiving yards, Enunwa commanded 10 targets for six receptions, 63 yards and a touchdown in 67 percent of snaps. More importantly, Robby Anderson had one target that happened to go for a touchdown in  58 percent of snaps.

Don’t chase touchdowns, chase sustainability. Enunwa’s legit.

Willie Snead: Snead played in 52 percent of snaps week 1, commanding four receptions on six targets for 49 yards and a touchdown. Fade. Snead’s fool’s gold playing in just about half of his team’s snaps, and playing behind Michael Crabtree and John Brown. Snead could score week 2, and skepticism would still be high.

Tyler Lockett and Brandon Marshall: With Doug Baldwin likely out multiple weeks, both WRs are legit, after both scoring. Lockett played in 98 percent of snaps, commanding four targets for three receptions, 59 yards, and a touchdown.

Marshall played in 65 percent of snaps, obtaining six targets for three receptions, 46 yards, and a touchdown.

Consider these snap counts and targets as the floor. Lockett’s most likely to emerge as the no.1 WR, as he played the majority of snaps, but Marshall should see more playing time week 2 and is the most accomplished WR.

Cole Beasley: Beasley attracted eight targets for seven receptions and 73 yards in 67 percent of snaps. Beasley’s legit, and might be the sole bright spot in the Cowboys’ receiving corps. With the retirement of Jason Witten, Beasley in the slot is Dak Prescott’s new safety blanket. His value is capped with lack of touchdowns, though.

Honorable Mention: Chris Godwin (Finished outside the top-36 WRs week 1) – legit. Desean Jackson’s banged up and could miss week 2, too. Tough matchup against the Eagles, though. Godwin played in 70 percent of snaps, catching three of four targets for 41 yards and a touchdown.

Austin Ekeler: Ekeler played in 27 percent of snaps week 1. He’s fool’s gold on the strength of the first sentence. However, Ekeler made the most of his playing time, making an impact in the passing game with five catches on five targets for 87 yards and a touchdown.

While he flashed promise, Ekeler needs more playing time before being legit. He’s worth a speculative add in 14-team leagues and deeper.

Phillip Lindsay: Lindsay played 35 percent of snaps, four percent less than starting RB Royce Freeman. Both RBs earned 71 yards rushing on 15 carries, but Lindsay was more involved in the passing game with two receptions on three targets for 31 yards and a touchdown.

Because he paced Devontae Booker in snaps though he had two receptions, too, Lindsay’s legit. Freeman, who Lindsay split running downs work with, didn’t record a reception. Lindsay should be added in PPR formats. He displayed the ability to run in between the tackles and to be a threat as a pass catcher out of the backfield.

Jalen Richard: Richard paced Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin in snaps with 50 percent. In addition, he parlayed 11 targets for 55 yards and nine receptions. The Raiders RB is worth a speculative add in 14-team leagues and deeper, but he isn’t legit yet. Like Jared Cook, Richard could’ve been a product of the matchup.

Still, double-digit targets are hard to look past. Let’s see how he fares week 2 before a final ruling is made. Semi legit for now

Javorius Allen: Allen paced Alex Collins for snaps with 38 percent, and should see more playing time with Kenneth Dixon (28 percent) expected to miss time. Still, Allen commanded six targets and caught five for 15 receptions. Allen’s legit in PPR formats and should be added in all.

Also, Allen trailed Collins in rushing attempts by three, 4-7. If he can eat into Collins’ workload, it bolds well for Allen’s fantasy outlook in standard formats, too.

Look out for week 2 rankings and what to watch later this week.

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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