Running backs can’t score fantasy points if they aren’t on the field, so this weekly article will provide impressions by analyzing snap counts, percentages, and touches. Here we go with the Week 11 snap counts and opportunities for running backs.
Fantasy football is all about opportunity, and the NFL players who have higher snap counts have a higher probability of scoring more fantasy points. I provide fantasy football snap counts here with some context and impressions to help you make fantasy transactions and gain an edge on your competition. Looking at context will involve analyzing carries and targets and whether running backs were able to convert opportunity to yards gained. Be sure to also read our other redraft content and listen to the TFA podcast to get all the info you need!
The Packers, Giants, Seahawks, and Titans were on BYE during week 11, so you won’t find them in the report below.
As you have noticed, this article is getting a bit repetitive. As such, I am going to focus on the biggest changes and ignore consistency, unless consistency is notable. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@NateHenryFF) for instant reactions to running back usage!
Fantasy Football Snap Counts and Reactions
It appears as though David Johnson has been completely phased out of the Arizona offense. He’s barely playing and not involved when he is on the field. Arizona goes on BYE in Week 12, so added rest could re-introduce him into the lineup, but Chase Edmonds also likely returns afterwards. I believe the team has moved on and given the reins to Drake. Thus, Johnson is droppable in redraft leagues.
Brian Hill did not have a good day by any measurable standard. He did score a touchdown that was called back by a holding call, but even if that play had counted, his day would have been considered extremely inefficient. To add insult to injury, Qaadree Ollison vultured another goal-line touchdown. As such, Hill doesn’t have this backfield to himself, but he still has plenty of opportunity. That said, I’d definitely bench him next week against Tampa.
This game was surprisingly lopsided, but both Gus Edwards and Mark Ingram did damage in this split backfield. Ingram did most of his damage through the air (scoring both touchdowns on passes). Edwards doesn’t get mentioned as often as Tony Pollard or Alexander Mattison, but he is a valuable handcuff.
Singletary again dominated in snap counts, but his day was disappointing against Miami. I cannot explain how Frank Gore out-targeted Devin Singletary, but the numbers don’t lie. Singletary just can’t seem to put it all together. His schedule for the next 5 weeks is brutal (DEN, DAL, BAL, NE, PIT). So, I wouldn’t recommend dropping him, but I don’t think he will be usable for the rest of the fantasy year.
McCaffery is a monster. His floor is so high it’s almost unbelievable. In a game where his QB throws four interceptions, and McCaffery doesn’t come close to a TD, he still gets you over 24.5 PPR points. Amazing.
I recommended benching Montgomery last week due to the injury unknowns. He did play, but he wasn’t special. Clearly, the injury affected him in Week 10, and his snap counts reflect an unhealthy status. Instead, Cohen played more, but as I’ve said for the last few weeks, this weak offense severely caps the upside of both Bears RBs. Neither of these guys are league winners.
Mixon came back down to earth in this game, but still had a very nice game. He should be pretty good for the rest of the year, and the team appears to be relying on him more with Ryan Finley under the helm.
More of the same for Cleveland: lots of two-back sets. While using two RBs at the same time is a good thing for Nick Chubb, his number of routes run is decreasing (61% in Week 10 down to 39% in Week 11). It’s not as though he completely ignored in the passing game, but Hunt is much better in that aspect and seeing far more targets as a result (same number as Jarvis Landry, actually). Chubb is great – 92 yards against a tough PIT defense is really good – but his upside is capped a bit by Hunt. By the way, Hunt’s target numbers represent a startable asset.
There are some on Twitter saying that Pollard has looked like the better running back in this backfield, and I can’t necessarily disagree. Nevertheless, Zeke still gets huge snap counts and carry numbers. He was surprisingly inefficient against a weak Detroit run defense, but Detroit’s passing defense is even worse, so Dallas opted to expose that weakness instead. Also, Detroit kept the game close at home (a Zeke fumble helped matters). Elliott isn’t a top 3 RB anymore, but he’s still top 10.
What more is there to be said about this backfield that I haven’t already said? Lindsay played more snap counts because Denver was winning for most of this game, but game script alone may not have dictated his increased playing time. There were also reports of Denver wanting to get Phillip Lindsay more involved, which did result in a season-high snap counts. As such, this can’t be entirely ignored. He played decent, but like Chicago, this backfield is capped by the low-volume, low scoring offense. Lindsay is fine starting in a flex role, but don’t expect much out of this backfield rest of year.
The Lions revolving door of running backs keeps spinning; this time letting Bo Scarbrough have a turn. He did alright, all things considered. He even scored a touchdown. Don’t get too excited about Scarbrough; he didn’t see a target and the Lions’ running game is poor. The matchup against Washington in Week 12 is nice, so pick him up if you are truly desperate, but I’d rather spend my FAAB on Jonathan Williams. Meanwhile, Scarbrough’s presence resulted in nearly no carries for McKissic. Personally, I would just avoid this backfield completely for the rest of the year, especially because it doesn’t look like Stafford is coming back anytime soon.
Houston got down quick, so they played Duke Johnson a lot in catch-up mode. Despite those efforts, the game got completely out of hand. Taking a page from the Bengals last week, the Texans waived the white flag and began running the ball to just get out of town a little quicker. Those “lay-down-and-die” techniques resulted in obnoxious garbage time production for Hyde, including a busted long TD run against prevent defense. Frankly, the process of calling Hyde a sit was right, even if the end result was wrong. Had Houston kept the game from entering laughable territory, Hyde might not have seen more than 5 carries.
Indy dominated Jacksonville on the ground in this one, as the Jags allowed two players to eclipse 100 yards, including 4th string RB Jonathan Williams. Williams played big snaps after Mack broke his hand. Jordan Wilkins was inactive with an ankle injury, which could persist, meaning that Williams is likely the hottest waiver pickup this week. Mack likely cannot effectively carry the ball with a broken hand for most of the rest of the fantasy season, so I’d be spending big FAAB on Williams if you are a Mack owner.
Fournette had a bit of a down day, in part because Indianapolis rushed out to an early lead, but more so because the Colts controlled the clock so effectively. Personally, I interpret Fournette’s usage (especially the low number of 8 carries) to the ball control exercised by the opposing offense rather than indicative of a trend due to the return of Nick Foles. Fournette’s continued usage in the passing game at least gives him a solid floor.
|Kansas City||Snaps||+/-||Carries||Targets||Total Yards|
Damien Williams was banged up coming into this game and exited early due to the injury. That opened the door for Darrell Williams to play quite a bit more. McCoy was active this week and therefore more involved. No back was particularly good with Damien Williams hurt. Also, McCoy fumbled again, so watch to see if that puts him back in the doghouse. KC is on BYE in week 12, so I wouldn’t spend FAAB on Darrell Williams; I’d bet that Damien returns to full health after the week off.
|LA Chargers||Snaps||+/-||Carries||Targets||Total Yards|
The Chargers seem intent on getting Ekeler more involved, and that’s good news for Ekeler owners. But it’s also good news for Melvin Gordon owners because Ekeler is involved as a pass catcher, and not necessarily at the cost of Gordon’s usage. In this game, Gordon was used heavily and effectively early, but LA had to abandon the run to catch up to KC’s high-powered offense. That meant lots of Ekeler. I like both Chargers RBs moving forward.
|LA Rams||Snaps||+/-||Carries||Targets||Total Yards|
While playing Chicago certainly helps, it appears that the Rams have decided that Gurley is ready for increased usage moving forward. He played high snap numbers and received a season-high in carries. He also saw 3 targets, finally. To me, it appears that McVay wants to take some responsibility away from Goff and give more to Gurley. It could be an anomaly, given that the Rams were playing Chicago and Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks were both hurt, but I’m leaning towards the hypothesis that McVay wants to pass less with Goff. Goff only passed 18 times total in the game, meaning that if McVay can avoid passing the ball, he will. The offense as a whole takes a step back if they decide to go this run-heavy route, but it would at least give Gurley owners a bit more confidence in starting their high-round draft pick because he will be almost guaranteed 20+ touches per week.
Ballage continues to put out pathetic stat lines with high snap counts. I don’t care that he scored a TD, he’s not a startable RB in fantasy.
Dalvin had a down game, but Denver’s defense is really good. He played huge snap counts and saw a decent amount of targets while the Vikings made their dramatic comeback, but he didn’t get a chance to establish his running ability, leading to a somewhat disappointing day. Nothing to worry about.
|New England||Snaps||+/-||Carries||Targets||Total Yards|
As I predicted, the Patriots could not run the ball on the Eagles. Unfortunately, they couldn’t really pass that effectively either. This offense isn’t very good right now, and they need a heavy dose of Sony Michel to play better. Unfortunately, Sony isn’t offering week winning performances very often. Sony is only playable in plus matchups.
|New Orleans||Snaps||+/-||Carries||Targets||Total Yards|
Kamara had a great day against a very strong TB run defense. He caught all 10 of his targets but was actually more effective rushing the ball. He also saw 4 touches from within the 10-yard line, but he unfortunately did not score on any of those attempts. He looks healthy and strong for the stretch run.
|NY Jets||Snaps||+/-||Carries||Targets||Total Yards|
The Jets used Lev a little less this week, as Bell was fighting an illness and two different physical ailments. He continues to be a low-end RB1 against this stretch of weak competition. Luckily for him, that stretch continues next week.
Jacobs continues to dominate carries and is now consistently leading in targets. He’s is definitely returning value for those who took him early.
Miles Sanders finally got his shot to carry the load with Jordan Howard injured. He played a ton, but couldn’t do much against the vaunted Patriots defense. I’d love to see him get another shot at getting 85% of the snaps against a more mediocre defense, but I’d guess we won’t given Doug Pederson’s long history.
Good luck with this backfield anytime James Conner is hurt. Samuels appears to be the lead back, but he barely gets any carries, and is usually inefficient with them. Trey Edmonds isn’t much better. This team is beat up, has a terrible QB running things, and lacks playmakers without Conner. If I play any Steeler, it’s Samuel.
|San Francisco||Snaps||+/-||Carries||Targets||Total Yards|
Weirdly, SF was unable to establish any sort of running game against Arizona. Kyle Shanahan claimed that he “abandoned the run” for the first time in his career. George Kittle is a big part of that running game, and the team likely misses his presence. I am not reading too much into this weird chain of events. Oh and by the way, you may have seen Jeff Wilson score the game-winning touchdown and wonder why he isn’t shown above, well, that was his only snap, so take that for what it’s worth.
|Tampa Bay||Snaps||+/-||Carries||Targets||Total Yards|
There isn’t much to learn from this game either because the Buccaneers only ran the ball 8 times in the entire game. Despite what Arians said about giving more responsibility to Jones, Barber and Ogunbowale are still very involved. It doesn’t look like it’s gonna happen this year for Ronald Jones. His snap counts have dipped both weeks after his season-high 55% in Week 9.
Guice returned to action and got some run. Peterson still started the game but was worked out quickly in favor of Guice and a surprising amount of Wendall Smallwood. Guice might be a decent play next week against the Lions.
- David Johnson has been completely phased out of the Cardinals’ offense and is droppable in redraft leagues
- Bo Scarbrough led the Lions in snap counts and rush attempts, but he isn’t involved in the passing game and is unusable beyond Week 12
- Jonathan Williams earned a shot to carry the load in Marlon Mack’s absence and should be a waiver priority for RB needy teams
- Fournette had low usage due to game script, not the return of Nick Foles
- The Rams have seen enough of Jared Goff and moved away from a pass-heavy script, which should mean more touches for Todd Gurley
- Miles Sanders saw huge snap counts, but couldn’t get much going against the strong NE defense