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Week 15 Snap Counts and Opportunities: RBs

kenyan drake week 15 snaps

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 15 snap counts and opportunities for running backs.

If you are reading this post, that means you likely advanced in your fantasy championship. Congratulations! I hope that this article helped you succeed in 2019. Now, let’s finish the season strong and get some #TFAChampionships! For those of you who unfortunately did not advance, there are some dynasty/keeper nuggets in this week’s article, and also a few thoughts for next year. So this is still an article for everyone!

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!

Since it’s fantasy playoff time, I’m going to get straight to the point. If you have any questions or want a follow-up, reach out to me on Twitter (@NateHenryFF)!

Fantasy Football Snap Counts and Reactions

Arizona Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 David Johnson 21% -16% 3 0 6
RB2 Chase Edmonds 0% -8% 0 0 0
RB3 Kenyon Drake 75% 10% 22 1 146

We’ve known for weeks that this is Kenyon Drake’s backfield, and boy did he prove it in Week 15. Drake won’t have it quite so easy next week against Seattle, but he has to be in your lineup. There have been some rumblings that the team is going to move on from David Johnson in 2020, which is apparently fine by him because he isn’t happy with his situation either. That makes Drake an enticing dynasty/keeper option; I think Arizona extends him because he fits this offense perfectly.

Atlanta Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Devonta Freeman 79% 12% 12 3 55
RB2 Brian Hill 15% -4% 1 0 16

Freeman continued his lost season playing behind Atlanta’s atrocious offensive line. He’s still the unchallenged leader of this backfield logging nearly 80% of the snaps, so he could still be usable in Week 15 against Jacksonville. Jacksonville has been the second-most friendly defense to opposing running backs after only Carolina. Still, Freeman’s ceiling is severely capped by the Falcons O-Line and Qadree Ollison, who again got a goal-line carry.

Baltimore Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Mark Ingram 54% -1% 13 2 86
RB2 Gus Edwards 29% -4% 5 0 35
RB3 Justice Hill 16% 6% 4 0 15

Even with Lamar Jackson a little banged up, nothing changed in Baltimore. Ingram had two touchdowns to produce a great fantasy finish. (He could have had three touchdowns, had he not been tackled at the 1 inch mark). Ingram doesn’t have the massive snap counts we want in our RB1, but his efficiency playing next to Lamar Jackson has rendered him a fantastic draft pick. Keep rolling Ingram in Week 16 against Cleveland.

Buffalo Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Frank Gore 29% 10% 10 0 15
RB2 Devin Singletary 71% -10% 21 3 89

Singletary had a few fumbling issues in this game (two fumbles, one lost), but he was still pretty good against Pittsburgh’s strong defense. Buffalo is winning games by involving Singletary, and that won’t change even after the fumbling issues. He has New England next week, but I’d still consider playing him.

Carolina Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Christian McCaffery 100% 1% 19 10 175

McCaffery was a cheat code this year. He’s the clear, unchallenged 2020 #1 draft pick. Don’t even think about it.

Chicago Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 David Montgomery 43% -21% 14 1 49
RB2 Tarik Cohen 65% 18% 8 10 85

The Bears were losing for most of this game, but not by a ton. Montgomery just hadn’t flashed like many hoped. There will be people excited about him next year, but I probably won’t be one of them.

Cincinnati Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Joe Mixon 67% 8% 25 3 156
RB2 Giovani Bernard 33% -7% 5 2 37

Joe Mixon has been a revelation in the second half of the year. He averaged 36 rushing yards per game in the first seven weeks of the season, but he has completely changed course. Cincinnati should improve next year, so he is someone you should be thinking about drafting early next year.

Cleveland Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Nick Chubb 50% -20% 17 3 148
RB2 Kareem Hunt 61% -1% 4 9 76

Cleveland keeps taking snaps away from Nick Chubb, but he just keeps on scoring fantasy points. He has to be one of the most efficient runners in the NFL this season. 50% snap share scares you, but he’s too good to even consider benching.

Dallas Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Ezekiel Elliott 71% -28% 24 4 160
RB2 Tony Pollard 33% 33% 12 2 143

Both running backs smashed against the Rams in an extremely positive game script. Pollard is a really good player (PFF’s #1 running back in Week 15), but Dallas will never commit to him after paying all that money to Zeke. He’s a stash in a dynasty league, but you are hoping that he gets traded.

Denver Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Phillip Lindsay 39% -14% 7 2 32
RB2 Royce Freeman 54% 8% 5 4 26

Crazy weather conditions dampened the upside for both of these players, but this low output is nothing surprising. Denver’s backfield has been terrible all year.

Detroit Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Ty Johnson 45% 15% 2 5 20
RB2 JD McKissic 19% -4% 1 3 9
RB3 Wes Hills 36% -12% 10 2 22

This team isn’t worth analyzing. By the way, Kerryon Johnson is allegedly coming back this week… Nothing says stupidity quite like playing your oft-injured RB in a completely meaningless game… This is how bad franchises stay bad.

Green Bay Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Aaron Jones 59% 1% 13 0 51
RB2 Jamaal Williams 41% -1% 8 1 33

Jones had a nice day by scoring two touchdowns, but you don’t like to see zero targets. Jamaal Williams has been rendered irrelevant after popping a bit in the middle of the season.

Houston Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Duke Johnson 33% -19% 2 3 23
RB2 Carlos Hyde 67% 16% 26 0 104

In positive game script games, Hyde has actually been pretty good. Low ceiling though without any passing game involvement.

Indianapolis Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Jordan Wilkins 43% 29% 3 3 17
RB2 Nyheim Hines 16% -40% 2 2 12
RB3 Marlon Mack 45% 4% 11 0 19

The Saints crushed Indy, so the Colts’ running game never got a chance to get on track. The most notable stat is zero targets for Marlon Mack since returning from injury.

Jacksonville Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Leonard Fournette 96% 19% 15 7 73
RB2 Ryquell Armstead 4% -19% 1 0 1

So much for my theory that Jacksonville was considering lightening Fournette’s load… This offense is dreadful, and it got worse without D.J. Chark. Jacksonville has Atlanta next week, a defense who has been playing much better in the last 6 weeks. Nevertheless, Fournette’s workload demands that he be played, but I’m not projecting a huge game.

Kansas City Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Darwin Thompson 35% 8% 8 1 39
RB2 LeSean McCoy 25% -6% 6 0 16
RB3 Spencer Ware 40% 0% 7 2 35

No one in this backfield is playable.

LA Chargers Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Austin Ekeler 48% -1% 7 7 81
RB2 Melvin Gordon 40% -6% 7 7 64

Gordon fumbled twice and got punished. He came back in the game after the fumbles, but was notably on the sidelines when the game was on the line. He should get his normal workload again next week against a much better matchup (OAK).

LA Rams Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Todd Gurley 96% 16% 11 7 38
RB2 Malcolm Brown 4% -16% 0 0 0

Gurley’s efficiency was atrocious, but he still finished the week strong by scoring two touchdowns. Rob Haverstein was out for this game, which may have impacted the Rams ability to run effectively; that OL is already decimated by injuries. Gurley plays SF next week. Ignoring the playing snap counts, you probably should bench him due to the offensive woes in LA.

Miami Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Patrick Laird 48% -34% 12 5 52

I should probably track Myles Gaskin’s numbers, but I just don’t care enough about this backfield. They each play about 50% of the time; neither is any good.

Minnesota Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Dalvin Cook 43% -4% 9 3 43
RB2 Alexander Mattison 0% -37% 0 0 0
RB3 Mike Boone 32% 32% 13 0 56

Cook re-aggravated the shoulder injury for the second time in two weeks. Yet, he might still play in Week 16? Pick up Mike Boone if you can. I’m nervous about Cook. Mattison could also return. If either you or your opponent owns Cook, you should be targeting Boone and Mattison off the waiver wire.

New England Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Sony Michel 42% 29% 19 2 103
RB2 James White 38% -23% 3 4 62
RB3 Rex Burkhead 31% 4% 6 2 59

In a game where NE was way ahead, they gave Sony a bunch of carries and actually threw the ball to him a little bit, which he turned into a couple decent chunks of yards. Sony was a huge disappointment in 2019 and should have been dropped. He won’t be usable against Buffalo next week, but James White probably will.

New Orleans Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Alvin Kamara 63% -13% 14 5 89
RB2 Latavius Murray 33% 0% 9 3 49

Brees was insanely efficient last night (only one incomplete pass thrown). Through all that efficiency, Kamara wasn’t as involved as you’d hope in a blowout. Kamara’s passing game efficiency decreased in 2019, but don’t panic and don’t sell low (do try to buy low in dynasty/keeper leagues). I’d bet on the talent here, and I project a bounce-back in 2020.

NY Giants Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Saquon Barkley 79% -15% 24 5 133

Barkley had a nice day against Miami. His efficiency was in part due to the match-up, but he is another bounce-back candidate.

NY Jets Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Le’Veon Bell 86% 86% 21 2 88
RB3 Ty Montgomery 20% -12% 2 1 10

Lev Bell’s talent cannot overcome Adam Gase’s incompetence. Did you notice how Kenyon Drake, Devante Parker, and Ryan Tannehill all suddenly excelled this year? Meanwhile, Bell has totally regressed. This is an Adam Gase problem. Lesson for 2020: Avoid Adam Gase offenses.

Oakland Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Josh Jacobs 57% 57% 24 3 109
RB2 Jalen Richard 29% -9% 1 3 36
RB3 DeAndre Washington 15% -48% 6 3 22

Jacobs returned to his usual role and workload despite the injury concerns. He looks solid for the rest of the year. Dynasty players might consider targeting him if the price is right – he’s very talented.

Philadelphia Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Miles Sanders 71% 15% 19 6 172
RB2 Boston Scott 45% 1% 6 7 65

Miles Sanders smashed the Redskins. I expected Doug Peterson to give Boston Scott more opportunity after he had a hot hand in Week 14. Nevertheless, Miles Sanders started and got hot himself. If Jordan Howard remains out in Week 16, Sanders must be in your lineup.

Pittsburgh Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Jaylen Samuel 29% -18% 2 1 4
RB2 James Conner 58% 58% 8 5 51

James Conner returned and was mediocre to bad. His snap counts appear to have been managed as he came back off of injury. While Buffalo has a great defense, Conner’s upside is capped by Duck Hodges.

Seattle Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Chris Carson 76% -6% 24 2 137

Without Rashaad Penny, Carson was awesome against the league’s worst run defense. He’s an RB1 again next week. I’m less optimistic for 2020 – I think Penny takes the lead in this backfield.

San Francisco Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Matt Breida 19% 1% 4 2 17
RB2 Tevin Coleman 30% 14% 4 1 40
RB3 Raheem Mostert 53% -7% 14 2 59

Mostert again played by far the most in this backfield, and again looked to be the best running back in this backfield. I’d feel confident rolling with him in Week 16 with a championship on the line.

Tampa Bay Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Peyton Barber 28% -10% 10 2 40
RB2 Ronald Jones 45% 10% 11 3 49
RB3 Dare Ogunbowale 28% -1% 1 1 16

Nobody is usable in this backfield either. The Bucs do all their damage through the air, even with their dynamic duo of WRs injured.

Tennessee Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Derrick Henry 58% -2% 21 1 86
RB2 Dion Lewis 36% -3% 3 1 21

Derrick Henry had a “dud” game according to his standards, doing the opposite of what he did last year: disappointing fantasy players in the fantasy playoffs. The game script dictated that Tennessee pass more often, and Henry isn’t the preferred pass catching back in Tennessee. We’ve talked about this, but it hasn’t really mattered overall for Henry’s production. He’s a top pick next year, but I’d be picking players with more pass-catching involvement over Henry. Henry is the perfect RB2 in 2020, but he’ll likely be picked long before that point.

Washington Snaps  +/- Carries Targets Total Yards
RB1 Adrian Peterson 60% 17% 16 3 91
RB3 Chris Thompson 34% -6% 0 3 26

Peterson continues to be just fine simply due to volume. He’s a playable asset in Week 16. I hope he goes out with a bang, as this is likely his swansong.

Biggest Takeaways

  • Nick Chubb’s snap counts continue to decrease, but his workload and efficiency is not. He remains solidly playable.
  • Aaron Jones’s receiving volume mysteriously disappeared again. He continues to salvage his fantasy season with tons of touchdowns.
  • Melvin Gordon’s snap counts were down due to fumbling issues. He should see a normal workload in Week 16, if you somehow survived.
  • Between playing SF next week and continued OL injuries, Todd Gurley is not going to be a good option in Week 16.
  • Mike Boone and Alexander Mattison are priority pickups for anyone, especially Dalvin Cook owners or opponents.
  • Despite injury worries, Josh Jacobs played his season average snap counts.
  • Miles Sanders is a must play next week against Dallas so long as Jordan Howard remains out.

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