In this post I will provide stats to try and clarify positional situations.
Arizona Cardinals Wide Receivers
Week 3 Snap Counts: Larry Fitzgerald (80/82, 97.6%), Michael Floyd (74/82, 90.2%), John Brown (47/82, 57.3%)
Season Snap Counts: Fitzgerald (198/209, 94.7%), Floyd (185/209, 88.5%), Brown (113/209, 54.1%)
Week 3 Target Totals: Fitzgerald 12, Floyd 11, Brown 11
Season Target Totals: Fitzgerald: 32, Floyd: 24, Brown: 18
Larry Fitzgerald is clearly Arizona’s number one option in the passing game, playing on nearly 95% of the Cards offensive snaps, and averaging double digit targets through the first three weeks. Michael Floyd is running second in this trio, but the thing to note from this week is that John Brown’s usage is increasing. Brown saw his highest % of snaps and number of targets against the Bills. Look for his role to expand as his health gets better. I expect his snap counts to eventually get around the 70-75%
Atlanta Falcons Running Backs
Week 3 Snap Counts: Devonta Freeman (38/64, 59.4%), Tevin Coleman (27/64, 42.2%)
Season Snap Counts: Freeman (108/193, 56%), Coleman (89/193, 46.1%)
Week 3 Touch Totals: Devonta Freeman: 19 Touches, Tevin Coleman: 15 Touches
Season Touch Totals: Freeman: 51 Touches, Coleman: 42 Touches
The Falcons backfield work is basically being split in half. On Monday night Coleman saw 4 carries inside the Saints 10 yard line, while Freeman saw 1, which led to Coleman scoring 3 touchdowns. Freeman also scored a touchdown, but it came in the pass game. I am not sure if this means that the Falcons believe Coleman is the better red zone back, or if that this was a hot hand approach on Monday Night. This is definitely something to monitor going forward. Both guys are playable, and god forbid one of them gets injured the other instantly becomes a top 10 RB.
Detroit Lions Running Backs
Week 3 Snap Counts: Theo Riddick (45/68, 66.2%), Dwayne Washington (25/68, 36.8%)
Week 3 Touch Totals: Riddick: 17 Touches, Washington: 11 Touches
The Lions backfield is something we want to monitor with Ameer Abdullah out for the season. This week Theo Riddick saw 10 carries, which was the same amount as Dwayne Washington. Riddick saw most of his work through the air, where he caught 7 of his 9 targets for 39 yards. Washington is the better between the tackles and red zone back. His usage should increase as the Lions face softer run defenses than the Packers. Going forward I expect Riddick play 60-65% of offensive snaps, and Dwayne Washington at 35-40%.
Miami Dolphins Running Backs
Week 3 Snap Counts: Kenyan Drake (27/67, 40.3%), Jay Ajayi (18/67, 26.9%), Isaiah Pead (12/67, 17.9%), Damien Williams (11/67, 16.4%)
Week 3 Touch Totals: Drake: 11 Touches, Ajayi: 7 Touches, Pead: 5 Touches: Williams: 4 Touches
I was hoping we would get some clarity in this backfield with Foster out, but that was not the case. This situation is very ugly. From the snap and touch numbers, Drake, Ajayi, and Pead were used in a 3 man rotation, while Damien Williams was used as a 3rd down receiving back. This is a situation to stay away from until one of them separates themselves or Arian Foster returns.
Minnesota Vikings Running Backs
Week 3 Snap Counts: Jerick McKinnon (35/54, 64.8%), Matt Asiata (19/54, 35.2%)
Week 3 Touch Totals: McKinnon: 17 Touches, Asiata: 7 Touches
Minnesota had a tough matchup against the Panthers on Sunday, but the backfield played out as expected. McKinnon is the more talented back, and out touched Asiata 17 to 7. We will continue to see McKinnon used between the 20s, while Asiata will be sprinkled in when McKinnon gets tired and in the red zone.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Running Backs
Week 3 Snap Counts: Charles Sims (68/90, 75.6%), Jacquizz Rodgers (21/90, 23.3%)
Week 3 Touch Totals: Sims: 19 Touches, Rodgers 6 Touches
Tampa Bay’s coaching staff talked up Jacquizz Rodgers early last week, and even mentioned splitting work with Charles Sims in Week 3. As we got closer to Sunday reports said Sims would be the guy, and Rodgers would spell him. When Sunday rolled around, Sims was the bell cow in place of the injured Doug Martin. He played on 75% of the offensive snaps, had 19 touches, and found the end zone. Sims is a great receiving back; he caught 6 balls for 69 yards. As long as Martin continues to be out, Sims will be the Bucs clear RB1.
Quick Hitters on Other Important Situations
Lions Wide Receivers: Marvin Jones has outshined Golden Tate through the first 3 games. Jones has seen 29 targets compared 22 for Tate. The difference in these players success is that Marvin Jones is averaging 22.7yds/rec, while Golden Tate is averaging 7.23yds/rec.
Washington Pass Game: There are too many mouths to feed in Washington’s passing game. Four players have 20 or more targets through three games (Jordan Reed, Jamison Crowder, Desean Jackson, Pierre Garcon). Out of nowhere Jamison Crowder is tied with Jordan Reed with a team high 25 targets. Jordan Reed hauled in 11 Touchdowns in 2015, but has failed to reach the end zone so far this season.
Oakland Raiders Running Backs: Everyone seemed to be pretty high on Latavius Murray coming into 2016. Luckily for fantasy owners he has scored a touchdown in each of his first three games. The fact that Murray is averaging 13.3 touches per game, while the rookie combination of DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard is also averaging 13.3 touches is concerning. Oakland’s coaching staff must not have full confidence in Latavius.