Man, the things you learn when you break down NFL snap counts. I would’ve never known Russell Gage was a converted defensive back who deserves way more fantasy consideration as a waiver pickup and sleeper than anyone is talking about. His Week 9 bye only helps to negate his value, too. As far as players with more immediate value, Devin Singletary, Phillip Dorsett and Dallas Goedert are among those who stand out in this week’s snap count analysis. They all scream breakout (with Goedert maybe already breaking out a bit). If they’re hanging out on any waiver wires, you should probably pick them up, and both Singletary and Dorsett are buy-low candidates in trades before their values rise.
On the flip side of all that excitement is the Lions’ backfield. There, Tra Carson disappointed all the people who used a top waiver claim on Ty Johnson last week. Not all hope is lost for Johnson, but things are certainly crowded there. Below, we try and figure out if any of them are worth owning and possibly starting in your fantasy leagues.
WEEK 9 NON-PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
We’ll also be watching Mark Ingram’s usage going forward. We discussed him in last week’s snap breakdown ahead of Baltimore’s bye, and whether he breaks 50 percent of snaps this week will be very telling.
Last week saw one of our bigger success stories in the past few weeks, as Allen Lazard continued his role at the top of Green Bay’s depth chart without Davante Adams in Week 8. Of course, Adams’ return has the potential to change everything, but there’s some truth behind the numbers. Kenny Stills, while disappointing a bit statistically, also continued his heavy playing time as we anticipated a week ago. The same was true of Olabisi Johnson and Irv Smith Jr., although both also had statlines that left something to be desired.
So, without further ado, let’s get right into our snap count breakdowns of Bills RBs, Patriots WRs, Eagles TEs, Falcons WRs, and Lions RBs.
Check out our 32-team breakdown of Week 8 snap counts here.
Bills Snap Counts: Devin Singletary vs. Frank Gore
Buffalo’s running back usage in Week 8 was similar to Week 1. Back then, we jumped right on the Singletary bandwagon because, although Gore got more carries, Singletary was heavily involved in the passing game and on the field for about double Gore’s snaps. In Week 8, the exact split was 48 for Singletary and 19 for Gore. That was likely influenced by Buffalo trailing, but it’s still worth noting.
What Week 2 showed us, ahead of Singletary’s hamstring injury, is that it’s still likely that Gore will outcarry Singletary. Maybe it won’t be at the 9-3 ratio that Gore had Sunday, but it will probably substantial. When the Bills hand the ball off, it’s usually to Gore.
There’s still reason to be excited about Singletary, though. He’s fully up to speed after returning from his hamstring injury, and six targets in the passing game Sunday make him an especially intriguing PPR option.
At this point, Singletary is probably owned in your league. This might be the perfect time to buy low on him, though. His carry share realistically can only go up, not down. It’s obvious Buffalo wants him on the field, and his fantasy value would shoot up quickly if he ever got a ton of carries. You’ll want to acquire him before that happens, especially in PPR leagues.
WEEK 9 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end
Patriots Snap Counts: Phillip Dorsett vs. Mohamed Sanu
Josh Gordon is on IR and might be waived. Mohamed Sanu could work his way a little bit more into the action, but in Week 8, he was the obvious third wheel (38 snaps) behind Julian Edelman (66 snaps) and Phillip Dorsett (64 snaps). Dorsett was also the second-most targeted Patriots WR with six throws going his way.
As we’ve seen with Gordon in the past, being an explosive No. 2 WR in New England doesn’t always translate into production. But more often than not, you can expect Dorsett to either hit 80 yards receiving or catch a touchdown.
Like Singletary, Dorsett is probably owned in your league, although if he’s not, he’s a priority waiver claim this week. If he is, he fits the profile of a buy-low candidate who’s ready for a huge week coming up soon.
As for Sanu, don’t bail on him yet. The Patriots acquired him for a reason, and it probably wasn’t just for a WR pass play in the Super Bowl (although that’s a nice benefit). If he plays more than half of New England’s snaps, he’ll have a few good weeks in the second half of the season.
Eagles Snap Counts: Zach Ertz vs. Dallas Goedert
The Eagles who saw the most offensive snaps in Week 8 (other than Carson Wentz) were Ertz and Goedert. This isn’t a new thing. Goedert has played between 10-20 snaps fewer than Ertz for much of the season, and of late, it’s led to touchdowns in back-to-back weeks for the backup.
Ertz owners are surely frustrated — he hasn’t played like the top-three tight end he was drafted as. Goedert isn’t the whole problem, but he’s a part of it. The thing is, Ertz still plays enough and gets enough targets that he’s better than any other TE option you can find on the waiver wire, at least most weeks. If you have Ertz, he’s still your fantasy starter.
Goedert is the potential pickup here. If he continues to play on three-quarters or more of the Eagles’ offensive plays, along with garnering red-zone looks, that’s as good as can be said for a number of other borderline fantasy TEs. When you add in the fact that Goedert is probably a better player than a number of NFL starters while getting near-starter level snaps, his fantasy appeal is obvious. And if Ertz were to get hurt, Goedert would be a top-10 fantasy tight end instantly.
Goedert isn’t some must-claim waiver wire target. But he’s a guy that probably will maintain a similar level of fantasy value the rest of the way. If tight end has been a wasteland for you, Goedert could be the solution.
Falcons Snap Counts: Russell Gage, fantasy sleeper
Gage played 47-of-80 Falcons snaps on Sunday, essentially replacing Mohamed Sanu in the Atlanta offense. We expected those to be Justin Hardy’s shoes to fill, but although he was healthy, it was Gage out there much more often.
A second-year receiver from LSU, Gage turned that playing time into seven catches (nine targets) and 58 yards. That’s not blowing standard-league owners away, but it’s a statline that should make some PPR leagues take notice, even factoring in Atlanta being in trail mode in the fourth quarter.
Gage is rather new to the wide receiver position, at least at a high level. He was a cornerback at LSU until his junior year, when he caught five passes. It was only as a senior that Gage broke out at all, catching 21 passes while rushing 28 times in a split usage. In college, he averaged 8.3 yards per rush and 13.3 yards per reception, both suggesting a level of big-play ability we didn’t see Sunday.
You probably don’t have to use a waiver claim on Gage because the Falcons have a Week 9 bye. But coming out of the bye, this is exactly the type of sleeper that will go under the radar. He’ll also be cheap on DFS sites in Week 10, creating a potential for extreme value against the Saints.
Lions Snap Counts: Tra Carson vs. Ty Johnson vs. J.D. McKissic
Of course it wasn’t as simple as Ty Johnson taking over for Kerryon Johnson. Instead, there was a four-way split: Johnson got 25 snaps, Tra Carson had 19, J.D. McKissic had 16, and Paul Perkins played six.
Carson seemed to be on the field the earliest as the de facto starter, and he carried multiple times on the first drive en route to a team-high 12 rushes on the day. It was Johnson most involved in the passing game and playing time, though, as he was targeted four times in addition to his seven carries. McKissic added three targets to the mix.
Detroit plays Oakland in Week 9, a defense that’s worse against the pass but not exactly dominant against the run. Limiting touchdowns has been the Raiders’ main reason for ranking as well as they do against RBs in fantasy.
Frankly, though, unless you’re desparate, this feels like a situation to stay away from in Week 9. If you must play one, Johnson is the preferred PPR play while Carson is the better standard-league choice. But if we’re talking about 11 or 12 touches for either in a not-great situation for RBs — in an offense that’s going to be inclined to pass – – then maybe you should look elsewhere to fill your RB2 and FLEX spots this week.
For snap count reactions for every team, click here.
Click Here: NRL Telstra Premiership