Between the Lines: Week 3 Snap Count Analysis
In fantasy football, one way to gain an edge over opponents is digging into weekly snap counts. While a quick scan of the box scores can tell us who actually performed and produced, snap count data can give us an indicator of guys who are seeing the field on a consistent -- or inconsistent -- basis.
After all, opportunity is the creator of fantasy points.
First, a player needs to get meaningful snaps. Then, they need meaningful opportunities. And lastly, they must actually convert that opportunity into fantasy production. This weekly article addresses the first and most critical portion of the opportunity funnel: playing time.
Today, we will go division by division to take a look at the opportunity-based depth charts around the league. All percentages comes courtesy of Pro Football Reference's snap count data.
Buffalo Bills -- Gore the Goliath
Quarterbacks: Josh Allen (100%)
Running Backs: Frank Gore (63%), T.J. Yeldon (37%)
Wide Receivers: John Brown (90%), Cole Beasley (60%), Zay Jones (51%), Isaiah McKenzie (24%), Robert Foster (23%)
Tight End: Dawson Knox (54%), Lee Smith (54%), Tommy Sweeney (28%)
I'd love to know who or what was sacrificed to allow Frank Gore to have such a lengthy career as an NFL running back. Gore, who is just 418 yards from scrimmage away from passing Marshall Faulk for fourth on the all-time list, saw 63% of the Buffalo Bills' snaps in Devin Singletary's absence this week, rushing 14 times for 76 yards (5.4 yards per carry) and a score. Even if Singletary returns this week, it's hard to see the team not giving Gore significant work. You may want to avoid using him in fantasy this week, however, as the New England Patriots are giving up just 36.7 rushing yards per game. Incredible.
Miami Dolphins -- Preston Continues His Ascent
Quarterback: Josh Rosen (93%)
Running Backs: Kenyan Drake (64%), Kalen Ballage (35%)
Wide Receivers: DeVante Parker (96%), Preston Williams (96%), Jakeem Grant (64%)
Tight Ends: Durham Smythe (56%), Michael Gesicki (42%), Nick O'Leary (39%)
The Miami Dolphins have absolutely nothing to lose, and while they march their way to 0-16, they might as well give their talented rookies a chance to play. Such is the case with Preston Williams. After seeing 42% of the team's snaps in Week 1, he's been on a quick ascent. He jumped to 68% in Week 2 and 96% this week, putting him into a tie for the 13th-highest snap share this week among wide receivers. A jump in snap share doesn't always mean opportunity, but it has for Williams, who saw 12 targets this week after seeing just 11 combined in the first two. He's scored double-digit PPR points in all three weeks this season. While being on such a bad team is going to limit upside, Williams could solidify himself as a strong WR4 when all is said and done.
New England Patriots -- Don't Be Fooled
Quarterback: Tom Brady (95%)
Running Backs: Rex Burkhead (74%), Brandon Bolden (29%), Sony Michel (22%),
Wide Receivers: Phillip Dorsett (92%), Josh Gordon (88%), Jakobi Meyers (64%), Julian Edelman (51%)
Tight End: Ryan Izzo (66%)
The New England Patriots' backfield is always a merry-go-round. Such was the case this week when James White missed the game due to being away for the birth of his child. In his absence, it was Rex Burkhead who took over the receiving back role, playing 74% of the team's snaps and accounting for 17 touches, eight more than the next closest back (Sony Michel). He ended up with 18.9 PPR points this week, but don't get used to it. White should be back, relegating Burkhead to, at best, flex-play status.
New York Jets -- Bell Powers On
Quarterback: Luke Falk (100%)
Running Backs: Le'Veon Bell (100%), Ty Montgomery (16%)
Wide Receivers: Robby Anderson (100%), Jamison Crowder (90%), Braxton Berrios (59%)
Tight Ends: Ryan Griffin (92%), Trevon Wesco (22%), Daniel Brown (20%)
There are some players who might quit if they were in Le'Veon Bell's situation. Just three games into the season, he's already having to play with the New York Jets' third-string quarterback. Nobody other than Bell can move the ball, and he's had to sit by and watch the team's defense outscore the team's offense through three weeks. Ouch. Despite that, he's carrying on, even in the face of stacked boxes. Bell has now played 100% of the team's snaps in two of the team's first three weeks. It's hard to want to keep going out on the field down 30-0 like the Jets were this week, but Bell -- unlike his former Steeler counterpart who's been in the news -- has been a model of professionalism.
Baltimore Ravens -- Keep On Keeping On
Quarterbacks: Lamar Jackson (100%)
Running Backs: Mark Ingram (60%), Gus Edwards (27%), Justice Hill (13%)
Wide Receivers: Marquise Brown (75%), Willie Snead (71%), Seth Roberts (63%), Miles Boykin (33%)
Tight Ends: Mark Andrews (53%), Nick Boyle (52%), Hayden Hurst (27%
Mark Andrews didn't have the best fantasy game in the world (three catches for 15 yards isn't going to win you many weeks), but it's not time to jump ship. After dealing with an injury scare leading up to the team's Week 3 game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Andrews played 53% of the team's snaps, which was tied for his biggest snap share of the season. His seven targets were second on the team. It's easy to be reactionary in fantasy, but those are both strong signs that he's going to continue to be a focus of the Baltimore Ravens' offense. Keep on keeping on.
Cincinnati Bengals -- AUDacious
Quarterback: Andy Dalton (100%)
Running Backs: Joe Mixon (57%), Giovani Bernard (43%)
Wide Receivers: John Ross (100%), Tyler Boyd (90%), Auden Tate (89%), Alex Erickson (11%)
Tight End: Tyler Eifert (48%), C.J. Uzomah (46%), Drew Sample (16%)
Seventh-round wide receivers don't often get a chance to make their mark in the NFL, but don't tell that to Cincinnati Bengals wideout Auden Tate. The 253rd pick in the 2018 draft saw just four receptions on 12 targets in seven games in 2018. He put up six catches on 10 targets this week alone. After not seeing the field in Week 1, Tate saw a 36% snap share in Week 2 and a huge jump to 89% in Week 3. He was the second-most targeted receiver on the team, getting four more looks than fantasy darling John Ross. While he hasn't done enough to warrant starting him yet, he's well worth a speculative add given he's playing with a quarterback who has the second-most passing attempts and fifth-most completions on the season.
Cleveland Browns -- Chubbing Along
You should never have been worried about Nick Chubb's usage. If for whatever reason you were, hopefully Chubb's 97% snap share in Week 3 will have squashed any worries.The Browns made it clear who their workhorse will be, giving Chubb 23 carried along with seven targets. His 27 touches tied Christian McCaffrey for the most by any back this week, and his 58 carries on the season are second to only McCaffrey and Marlon Mack. You drafted him as an RB1, and he's already on the edge of returning that, coming into Week 4 as the RB13 in standard. While Kareem Hunt could take away some touches later in the year, it's pretty clear that the Browns will continue to rely heavily on Chubb.
Pittsburgh Steelers -- Diontae Rises
Quarterback: Mason Rudolph (100%)
Running Backs: James Conner (68%), Jaylen Samuels (26%)
Wide Receivers: JuJu Smith-Schuster (100%),James Washington (92%), Diontae Johnson (79%)
Tight Ends: Xavier Grimble (72%), Vance McDonald (28%)
Preston Williams isn't the only rookie receiver to see a big jump in playing time from Week 2 to Week 3. The Pittsburgh Steelers spent a third-round pick on Diontae Johnson, and it's now clear that they intend to use him. After watching Donte Moncrief suffer more drops than a sun-loving Portland transplant, the Steelers moved on to their rookie, who saw 79% of the team's snaps in Week 3, up 32% week-over-week. Johnson turned those opportunities into three catches for 52 yards and a score, giving the Steelers a boost in a game they ended up losing late. At 0-3, the Steelers have a long road ahead. While their outlook isn't as dire as some other winless clubs, they're going to have plenty of time to experiment this season, and Johnson could continue to play an increasingly large role.
Houston Texans -- Stills Solidifying His Role
Quarterback: Deshaun Watson (100%)
Running Backs: Carlos Hyde (52%), Duke Johnson (48%)
Wide Receivers: DeAndre Hopkins (97%), Will Fuller (97%), Kenny Stills (53%), Keke Coutee (28%)
Tight Ends: Darren Fells (65%), Jordan Akins (45%)
This offseason, Kenny Stills probably thought there would be a chance that he would be the Dolphins' leading receiver. Miami then decided that they were a ship quickly taking on too much weight, and they threw as many parts of their boat overboard as possible. Stills drifted to Houston, where he needed some time to pick up the playbook. It looks like that time is now over. Stills, who saw fairly equal playing time to DeAndre Carter and Keke Coutee in Weeks 1 and 2, respectively, was the clear-cut WR3 for Houston on Sunday, seeing a 53% snap share, compared to 28% and 2% for Coutee and Carter, respectively. His 89 yards led the Houston Texans this week, though Hopkins and Fuller each saw one more target. Still (pun intended), Kenny has put himself on the map and deserves to be rostered. Given he's only on 20.6% of ESPN teams, there's a strong possibility you'll be able to find him on your waiver wire this week.
Indianapolis Colts -- No WR2
Quarterback: Jacoby Brissett (100%)
Running Backs: Marlon Mack (62%), Nyheim Hines (25%), Jordan Wilkins (14%)
Wide Receivers: Deon Cain (56%), T.Y. Hilton (52%), Parris Campbell (45%), Zach Pascal (44%), Chester Rogers (41%)
Tight Ends: Jack Doyle (69%), Eric Ebron (51%), Mo Alie-Cox (38%)
Do the 2-1 Indianapolis Colts need a WR2 this year? It sure doesn't look like they are trying. Deon Cain's 56% snap share this week (which, amazingly, led the team) was the just the second time this season that a Colts wideout not named Hilton saw the field more than half the time (Devin Funchess was on the field 57% of the time in Week 1 before getting hurt). This is a team who focuses on the run and relies on Hilton and their tight ends. Another wideout could work their way into fantasy relevancy here, particularly if Hilton misses any time, but it's anybody's guess as to who that will be. Unless you're in a really deep league, you can avoid all non-Hilton Colts wideouts.
Jacksonville Jaguars -- Fabulous Fournette
Quarterback: Gardner Minshew (100%)
Running Backs: Leonard Fournette (100%)
Wide Receivers: Dede Westbrook (80%), Chris Conley (70%), D.J. Chark (70%), Marqise Lee (28%)
Tight End: James O'Shaughnessy (78%), Geoff Swaim (39%), Seth DeValve (22%)
One. That's the number of times Leonard Fournette saw at least an 80% snap share in his first two years in the league. With an injury history and T.J. Yeldon to worry about, there's at least a plausible explanation why that might have been the case until this year. However, you don't draft a player like Fournette that high in the first round and not use him. The Jags are figuring that out this year. Fournette has seen at least 86% of the Jacksonville Jaguars' snaps in all three weeks this year, culminating with the first 100% snap share of his career this past Sunday. The Jags leaned heavily on him, giving him 21 touches. Perhaps the most exciting aspect was his six catches, a new career best. There is no more Yeldon to take away that passing-down work, and Fournette has turned into one of the league's few three-down backs. Only injuries could take away from what looks like a bell-cow season.
Tennessee Titans -- Humphries Making His Mark
Quarterback: Marcus Mariota (100%)
Running Backs: Dion Lewis (52%), Derrick Henry (48%)
Wide Receivers: Corey Davis (74%), Adam Humphries (68%), A.J. Brown (50%), Tajae Sharpe (49%)
Tight End: Delanie Walker (57%), Jonnu Smith (51%), MyCole Pruitt (34%)
In an otherwise forgettable game for the Tennessee Titans, Adam Humphries provided some spark. The former Buc saw a season-high 68% snap share, tied for the team lead in targets (nine), and led the team in receiving (93 yards). He saw just three total targets in the first two weeks of the season, but this breakout is enough to make a speculative add if you have the room in PPR leagues.
Denver Broncos - Lindsay to Rise
Quarterback: Joe Flacco (100%)
Running Backs: Phillip Lindsay (56%), Royce Freeman (49%)
Wide Receivers: Courtland Sutton (89%), Emmanuel Sanders (79%), DaeSean Hamilton (58%), Juwann Winfree (14%)
Tight Ends: Noah Fant (63%), Jeff Heuerman (49%), Andrew Beck (32%), Troy Fumagalli (11%)
Phillip Lindsay, one of last year's surprise stars, had a relatively slow first two weeks, which wasn't entirely unexpected. The Broncos were going to have him and Royce Freeman split work, and that's precisely what they did. Freeman misses part of this week's game due to a shoulder injury, and Lindsay took advantage, scoring twice while Freeman was limited. While Freeman's injury doesn't look serious (he was able to get back in the game), if it turns into anything more serious, Lindsay could once again display the high-end RB2 status that helped get a lot of people to the fantasy playoffs last year.
Kansas City Chiefs - RB Factory
Quarterback: Patrick Mahomes (100%)
Running Backs: Darrel Williams (54%), LeSean McCoy (38%)
Wide Receivers: Sammy Watkins (96%), Demarcus Robinson (91%), Mecole Hardman (63%)
Tight End: Travis Kelce (93%), Blake Bell (46%)
While the Kansas City Chiefs have had a number of star backs in their backfield over the years, it sometimes doesn't seem to matter who is carrying the ball. With Mahomes opening up the offense at a faster pace than the Missoula Floods opened up the earth in it's path, running backs in the Chiefs' offense have a ton of space to run. Darrel Williams took advantage of that (thanks to injuries to McCoy and Damien Williams), touching the ball 14 times (including five receptions) for 109 yards. If Damien or LeSean -- who reaggravated his ankle injury -- were to miss any time, it doesn't seem like the Chiefs will miss a step. Darrel needs to be rostered. Darwin truthers, this does not seem to be your year.
Los Angeles Chargers -- Electric Allen
Quarterback: Philip Rivers (100%)
Running Backs: Austin Ekeler (65%), Justin Jackson (37%)
Wide Receivers: Mike Williams (93%), Keenan Allen (91%), Travis Benjamin (57%), Dontrelle Inman (32%)
Tight Ends: Sean Culkin (59%), Virgil Green (36%)
Let's forget about snaps for a minute and look at targets. Keenan Allen has 42 through three weeks. That is only the 12th time that has happened, dating back to 1992 (when targets were first recorded), according to Pro Football Reference. All but two of those receivers ended up with 100 or more catches (Andre Rison had 81 catches for 1,088 yards in 1994 and Julian Edelman had 61 catches in just nine games in 2015). No other receiver has more than 33 this year, and his 29.2 PPR points per game makes him the number-one overall player in those leagues. Yes, even more than Mahomes.
Oakland Raiders -- Waller Continues Success
Quarterback: Derek Carr (100%)
Running Backs: Jalen Richard (49%), Josh Jacobs (42%), DeAndre Washington (15%)
Wide Receivers: Tyrell Williams (97%), J.J. Nelson (78%), Hunter Renfrow (56%)
Tight Ends: Darren Waller (90%), Foster Moreau (39%), Derek Carrier (17%)
The Oakland Raiders could do little against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3, that is, unless they were looking Darren Waller's way. The TE3 in PPR leagues continued his surprising run, and this week he took it to a different level. His 13 receptions tied Keenan Allen for the league lead this week and were as many as his first two weeks combined. His 134 receiving yards were one yard more than his first two weeks combined. Carr has latched onto his tight end, and it's hard to see him letting go after this performance. Waller is looking like the kind of player who could lead fantasy owners to the promised land this year.
Dallas Cowboys -- Devin Dancing
Quarterback: Dak Prescott (100%)
Running Back: Ezekiel Elliott (76%), Tony Pollard (24%)
Wide Receivers: Devin Smith (92%), Amari Cooper (85%), Randall Cobb (74%), Cedrick Wilson (19%)
Tight End: Jason Witten (51%), Blake Jarwin (49%), Dalton Schultz (19%)
While many foresaw Randall Cobb's targets shooting up in Michael Gallup's absence, that was not to be the case. Cobb's snap share stayed rather steady at 74% (down slightly from 76% last week), and he saw just four targets in a 31-6 win over Miami. Instead, it was Devin Smith who saw the biggest boost. Smith saw a 92% snap share. While he only had 39 receiving yards, his five targets were second on the team. If you're weak at wideout, he'll be a likely overlooked add this week in a game against the New Orleans Saints that should be much more pass-heavy than the win over the Dolphins.
New York Giants -- By Gall-y, We Have a Situation
Quarterback: Daniel Jones (100%)
Running Backs: Wayne Gallman (63%), Saquon Barkley (37%)
Wide Receivers: Sterling Shepard (95%), Bennie Fowler (60%), Darius Slayton (45%), Russell Shepard (40%), T.J. Jones (23%), Cody Core (20%)
Tight Ends: Evan Engram (88%), Rhett Ellison (35%)
In case you somehow missed it, Saquon Barkley suffered a high-ankle sprain in this week's electrifying win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He'll be out for four-to-eight weeks, and in his place, it will be Wayne Gallman likely getting the bulk of the backfield work. Gallman saw a 63% snap share this past Sunday. Don't be too worried about his five-carry, 13-yard day. The Giants were in pass mode nearly all day after getting down 28-10 at halftime, and Barkley had only 10 yards on eight carries before leaving. Gallman may not have any Barkley-like weeks this year, but he's a must roster until his teammate returns.
Philadelphia Eagles -- Hollins Holla
Quarterback: Carson Wentz (100%)
Running Backs: Darren Sproles (36%), Miles Sanders (34%), Jordan Howard (33%)
Wide Receivers: Nelson Agholor (99%), Mack Hollins (99%), J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (72%)
Tight End: Zach Ertz (100%), Dallas Goedert (12%)
It was J.J. Arcega-Whiteside who saw the second-most snaps in an injury plagued Week 2 for the Philadelphia Eagles. His snap share, however, dropped from 93% to 72% week-over-week, and it was Mack Hollins who was the big beneficiary. Hollins was on the field for 99% of the team's offensive snaps, and his seven targets were tied with Zach Ertz for second on the team. It's early to add him in 12-team leagues given that Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson should be back relatively soon, but in deeper leagues, pull the trigger as a speculative add.
Washington -- Scary Terry, the Real Deal
Quarterback: Case Keenum (100%)
Running Backs: Chris Thompson (51%), Adrian Peterson (47%)
Wide Receivers: Terry McLaurin (89%), Paul Richardson (85%), Trey Quinn (75%), Kelvin Harmon (13%), Robert Davis (11%)
Tight Ends: Vernon Davis (71%), Jeremy Sprinkle (48%)
Terry McLaurin surprised many with two big weeks to start his career. Few, including myself, were thinking he could do it for a third-straight game with the Chicago Bears on tap last night. When you fall down 28-0, however, your team is forced into throw-only mode, and Case Keenum hooked up with Scary Terry often for a third-straight game. McLaurin finished the night with six catches for 70 yards, and he continues to be a WR1-level producer in both PPR and standard leagues. If you're waiting for a drop-off, don't. He has the New York Giants and Dolphins on tap in two of his next three games.
Chicago Bears -- Davis Decline, Montgomery Mamba
Quarterback: Mitchell Trubisky (100%)
Running Backs: David Montgomery (67%), Tarik Cohen (48%), Mike Davis (2%)
Wide Receivers: Allen Robinson (89%), Taylor Gabriel (74%), Anthony Miller (52%), Javon Wims (26%), Cordarrelle Patterson (14%)
Tight Ends: Trey Burton (61%), Adam Shaheen (35%), J.P. Holtz (21%)
We normally only list players who saw at least a 10% snap share here. We'll make an exception for Mike Davis. After seeing 56% of the snaps in a Week 1 loss to the Green Bay Packers, Davis saw just 25% in Week 2 and a paltry 2% in Week 3, a resounding win over Washington. David Montgomery has been the clear winner, seeing his snap share rise from 38% in Week 1 to 67% this week. While his touches declined from 19 to 16 week-over-week, Montgomery was more effective than ever, rushing for a season-high 67 yards and 5.2 yards per tote and grabbing a season-high three receptions. His rise is even causing Tarik Cohen, an RB1 in PPR leagues last year, to look like a poor fantasy option.
Detroit Lions -- Golladay Disappears
Quarterback: Matthew Stafford (100%)
Running Back: Kerryon Johnson (75%), Ty Johnson (20%)
Wide Receiver: Marvin Jones (82%), Kenny Golladay (80%), Danny Amendola (36%), Marvin Hall (17%)
Tight Ends: T.J. Hockenson (66%), Jesse James (55%), Logan Thomas (30%)
Kenny Golladay looked like a strong bet to continue his solid play heading into a Week 3 matchup against a Philadelphia Eagles defense that had allowed three 100-yard receivers. Instead, Golladay caught just two of eight targets for 17 yards, yielding the big day to teammate Marvin Jones, who finished with 101 yards and a score. The Detroit Lions have had a 100-yard receiver in each week. It's just been a different person each time. Matt Stafford has several reliable options in the passing game, and he and the Lions are taking advantage by exploiting matchups rather than targeting a single player. It's great for the team, but it's bad for predicting outcomes and steadiness on your fantasy roster. He could bounce back this week, however, as the Lions and Kansas City Chiefs have a total set at 53.5, the highest of the week.
Green Bay Packers -- Huh?
Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers (100%)
Running Backs: Jamaal Williams (61%), Aaron Jones (39%)
Wide Receivers: Davante Adams (91%), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (88%), Geronimo Allison (46%)
Tight Ends: Marcedes Lewis (54%), Jimmy Graham (42%), Robert Tonyan (30%)
Last week, Aaron Jones saw a solid 58% of the team's snaps and logged 23 rushes, the most of his career. Those numbers dove off a cliff this week. Jones, who, fortunately for fantasy owners, was able to find the end zone twice this past week, saw just 39% of the team's snaps and 10 rushes in a 27-16 win over the Denver Broncos. Jamaal Williams led the way with a 61% snap share, 12 carries, 59 yards, and two catches for 27 yards. It's a concerning development for Jones owners and something to keep an eye on. Williams should be rostered in all but really shallow leagues. You'd think that would be obvious, but he's on just 15.9% of ESPN rosters.
Minnesota Vikings -- Mattison Matters
Quarterback: Kirk Cousins (100%)
Running Backs: Dalvin Cook (60%), C.J. Ham (41%), Alexander Mattison (30%)
Wide Receivers: Adam Thielen (87%), Stefon Diggs (70%), Chad Beebe (22%), Olabisi Johnson (21%)
Tight Ends: Kyle Rudolph (87%), Irv Smith Jr. (49%), Tyler Conklin (22%)
After the Minnesota Vikings got up big in Week 3, Mattison started seeing increased looks. He saw a 30% snap share, 12 carries, 58 yards, and a score -- all of which were new career highs for a game. Playing for a team whose offensive line ranks fourth in Football Outsiders' Adjusted Line Yards metric, Mattison could walk into success if Cook were to sustain an injury. Rostered in just 13% of ESPN leagues, he's as solid of a stash as they come.
Atlanta Falcons -- Freeman Freed
Quarterback: Matt Ryan (100%)
Running Backs: Devonta Freeman (90%)
Wide Receivers: Mohamed Sanu (82%), Julio Jones (75%), Calvin Ridley (75%), Russell Gage (15%)
Tight End: Austin Hooper (89%), Luke Stocker (38%)
All it took was an injury to Ito Smith to make the Atlanta Falcons realize that they have a true number-one back. While Devonta Freeman may not again ascend the PPR heights that he did in 2015 (he was the overall RB1 that season), he could prove himself to be a reliable RB2 if the Falcons continue to feed him like they did this week. Freeman's 90% snap share was a massive jump over his previous season high of 62%, as were his 16 carries for 88 yards. While it would be great to see him more involved in the passing game, he did receive four targets for the third week in a row. Despite just 41 yards rushing in his first two games combined, Freeman is now a mid-tier RB3 on the season and, if he continues to see such a high snap share, can only rise from here if injuries are avoided.
Carolina Panthers -- Cam Who?
Quarterback Kyle Allen (100%)
Running Backs: Christian McCaffrey (92%)
Wide Receivers: Curtis Samuel (76%), D.J. Moore (73%), Jarius Wright (49%), Chris Hogan (30%)
8Tight End: Greg Olsen (79%), Chris Manhertz (51%), Ian Thomas (11%)
If you want to make a team forget about poor quarterback play, it's hard to do better than Kyle Allen just did in a win over the Arizona Cardinals. The Carolina Panthers' backup quarterback threw for 261 yards and four scores. He becomes one of just five quarterbacks ever to have four or more touchdown passes in a game in his first or second start, joining Mahomes, Mariota ... and Matt Flynn and Todd Bouman. He has a tougher test this week against the Houston Texans. If he can get past that with flying colors, it could be hard to bring Newton back in until he's 100% healthy.
New Orleans Saints -- No Need to Worry
Quarterback: Teddy Bridgewater (98%)
Running Backs: Alvin Kamara (88%), Latavius Murray (21%)
Wide Receivers: Michael Thomas (88%), Ted Ginn Jr. (67%), Austin Carr (67%), Lil'jordan Humphrey (10%)
Tight End: Jared Cook (76%), Josh Hill (59%)
For those who might have been worried about Alvin Kamara given the switch from Drew Brees to Teddy Bridgewater, you can take a deep breath. numberFire's Jim Sannes tweeted this interesting stat yesterday:
Alvin Kamara's 87.9% Week 3 snap rate is the highest mark of his entire career (previous was 84.8% during Ingram's suspension last year). Probably not a coincidence this happened in the first game Brees was out. They're going to lean on their play-makers.
— Jim Sannes (@JimSannes) September 23, 2019
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Jones Back in the Mix
Quarterback: Jameis Winston (100%)
Running Backs: Peyton Barber (36%), Ronald Jones (30%), Dare Ogunbowale (25%)
Wide Receivers: Chris Godwin (96%), Mike Evans (88%), Breshad Perriman (68%)
Tight Ends: O.J. Howard (75%), Cameron Brate (42%), Antony Auclair (26%)
Peyton Barber saw a 65% snap share last week, handling 23 carries in a win over the Carolina Panthers. Bruce Arians may not have liked what he saw, because Barber got just 36% of the team's snaps this week and was out-touched in the run game, 14 to 13, by Ronald Jones. Jones saw a 30% snap share after a paltry 12% clip last week, and he was effective with his touches, totaling 80 yards on those 14 totes and adding another 41 on his lone reception. He can't be trusted yet (though he needs to be rostered), but another couple of weeks of increased usage could change that tune.
Arizona Cardinals -- Steady as He Goes
Quarterback: Kyler Murray (100%)
Running Back: David Johnson (87%), Chase Edmonds (12%)
Wide Receivers: Damiere Byrd (96%), Larry Fitzgerald (92%) Christian Kirk (92%), KeeSean Johnson (48%), Michael Crabtree (17%)
Tight End: Charles Clay (33%), Maxx Williams (17%)
Christian Kirk's snap share stayed as steady as ever at 92% this week after being at 93% in both Weeks 1 and 2. Unlike some, his targets have stayed just as strong with his opportunity on the field. His 12 targets led the team, the second-time in three games that has happened. His 32 targets on the season are tied for third among all receivers; teammate Larry Fitzgerald is just one behind him. Though Arizona is going to have big ups and downs with a rookie passer at the helm, Kirk's usage doesn't look like it will be fluctuating along with it.
Los Angeles Rams --
Is the doom and gloom finally over, Gurley drafters? No, he didn't find the end zone, and his 43 yards on 14 carries was underwhelming, but he distanced himself from Malcolm Brown this week. Gurley saw 74% of the Los Angeles Rams' snaps, compared to just 26% for Brown, the biggest split this season. Brown saw just three carries for seven yards, looking like an afterthought. The one thing to be concerned about is the passing game. According to our JJ Zachariason, the Rams are the only team to target their backs less than 10% of the time. Though, if your team has Cooper Kupp, why would you throw to anyone else?
San Francisco 49ers -- Coleman Looming
Quarterback: Jimmy Garoppolo(100%)
Running Backs: Matt Breida (41%), Raheem Mostert (30%), Jeff Wilson (27%)
Wide Receivers: Marquise Goodwin (67%), Deebo Samuel (52%), Dante Pettis (42%), Richie James (35%), Kendrick Bourne (28%)
Tight Ends: George Kittle (100%), Levine Toilolo (13%)
While Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert have been playing well, their time could soon be coming to an end. Well, perhaps I don't need to be so dramatic, but with a Week 4 bye and reports of Tevin Coleman potentially returning to practice next week, the shared backfield could be even more muddied. It's hard to predict who rises from that mix once all three are healthy again, which sounds like it will be soon. It's hard to consider any of the three more than a RB3 until someone jumps out from the pack.
Seattle Seahawks -- Carson Capitulates
Quarterback: Russell Wilson (100%)
Running Backs: C.J. Prosise (55%), Chris Carson (44%)
Wide Receivers: Tyler Lockett (96%), D.K. Metcalf (85%), Jaron Brown (74%), David Moore (24%), Malik Turner (20%)
Tight Ends: Will Dissly (55%), Nick Vannett (31%)
Chris Carson has lost a fumble in each of the Seattle Seahawks' first three games. Here's what the gum-chewing addict Pete Carroll had to say about that:
Pete Carroll on Chris Carson, who has lost three fumbles in as many games: "Because we do believe in him, we're going to continue to show him that." https://t.co/9g2JiWc9RX pic.twitter.com/Ju1S79xahP
— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) September 23, 2019
So, Pete believes in him. Uh huh. That's certainly nice of him to say. If you just look at his carries, I suppose that's true; he's seen 15 carries in each game. His targets, however, have dwindled from seven to three to one, and his snap share has plummeted. Carson saw a 77% snap share in Week 1, 54% in Week 2, and just 44% in this week's loss to the New Orleans Saints. If Rashaad Penny returns this week from injury, don't be surprised if that number falls even further, despite Carroll's assurances.