Backfield Breakdown: Week 1 Recap & Week 2 Sleepers

Backfield Breakdown: Week 1 Recap & Week 2 Sleepers

This article is part of our Backfield Breakdown series.

I've made a few small changes this year, starting with the title. Hidden Stat Line is no more, relegated to RotoWire's column graveyard. In its place we have Backfield Breakdown (on Mondays) and On Target (on Tuesdays), with the first focusing on running backs and the second on wide receivers and tight ends.

Game-by-game breakdowns are still the meat and potatoes here, and it's only after those are finished that I'm ready to provide suggestions for stuff like waiver pickups, drops and IR stashes. But I'm also realistic, or at least I like to think I am. And, realistically, a stat/volume-focused recap of all 32 NFL backfields isn't everyone's cup of tea. 

It takes a while to read, and some of the details really only matter if you're playing in deep leagues or building numerous DFS tournament lineups. For example, I note below that Jaguars No. 3 RB Dare Ogunbowale strictly played special teams Week 1. He's far removed from the mainstream fantasy radar, but you could argue this bit of information is relevant to James Robinson and/or Carlos Hyde, in addition to helping the few of us in super-deep leagues where Ogunbowale is (borderline) rosterable.

We'll still have all those Ogunbowale-type details in the recaps below, but in terms of presentation, we'll first look at some of the things that are more universally relevant, including stat leaderboards for Week 1 and waiver picks/sleepers for Week 2.

Then, we'll have the game-by-game recaps, complete with usage tables for each and every backfield. Those tables, among other things, will show each player's team market share for carries, targets and touches. And then I include notes to provide context, with key observations highlighted in bold. That's where you'll find details on goal-line work, third-down snaps and more.

After that, be sure to check back Tuesday afternoon for On Target, where we'll have you covered with the same depth of information and analysis on every fantasy-relevant wide receiver and tight end. Now let's get to it...

Week 1 RB Usage Leaderboard

Top 10 in Bold

Only shows RBs with more than five touches or more than 25 percent of snaps.

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
1Najee Harris100.0%1676.2%39.4%375.943.6%
2Darrell Henderson94.2%1669.6%13.9%2615.739.5%
3Christian McCaffrey89.1%2177.8%927.3%3027.758.8%
4Ezekiel Elliott83.0%1161.1%23.5%545.921.7%
5Chris Carson82.4%960.0%213.3%144.442.3%
6Joe Mixon78.3%2980.6%415.4%2325.058.9%
7Devin Singletary75.3%1144.0%59.8%451125.5%
8Mike Davis74.6%1557.7%618.2%3510.238.3%
9Alvin Kamara72.6%2051.3%420.0%1818.142.6%
10Clyde Edwards-Helaire71.9%1460.9%38.8%2910.234.0%
11Dalvin Cook71.1%2090.9%714.9%3920.444.1%
12D'Andre Swift67.8%1145.8%1119.3%4724.430.7%
13Antonio Gibson66.0%2074.1%523.8%1411.856.1%
14Miles Sanders65.7%1548.4%515.6%2517.332.8%
15Leonard Fournette65.0%964.3%715.2%3110.930.4%
16Elijah Mitchell63.6%1967.9%00.0%1416.441.3%
17James Robinson63.0%531.3%612.2%388.418.2%
18Derrick Henry61.5%1777.3%411.1%2210.745.5%
19David Montgomery59.4%1661.5%12.5%2318.830.9%
20Austin Ekeler58.0%1551.7%00.0%3111.725.0%
21Chase Edmonds58.0%1236.4%412.5%2514.629.6%
22Ty Johnson55.6%423.5%38.3%303.613.5%
23Jonathan Taylor54.7%1756.7%718.4%2117.641.8%
24Myles Gaskin53.7%939.1%518.5%1912.635.9%
25Nick Chubb53.4%1557.7%27.4%1122.136.2%
26Damien Harris53.3%2376.7%37.7%1511.742.4%
27Melvin Gordon50.0%1139.3%38.3%2120.825.0%
28Javonte Williams50.0%1450.0%12.8%175.126.8%
29James Conner49.3%1648.5%00.0%105.329.6%
30Aaron Jones49.1%533.3%26.1%234.220.0%
31Saquon Barkley47.5%1050.0%38.3%163.726.2%
32Kareem Hunt46.6%623.1%311.1%2017.119.2%
33Mark Ingram46.0%2663.4%13.1%814.541.9%
34Nyheim Hines45.3%930.0%821.1%2314.227.3%
35Damien Williams43.5%623.1%512.5%21818.2%
36Devontae Booker39.3%420.0%12.8%182.311.9%
37James White37.3%413.3%718.0%2412.117.0%
38J.D. McKissic36.0%13.7%14.8%130.82.4%
39Kenneth Gainwell35.7%929.0%39.4%1312.319.0%
40Jamaal Williams35.6%937.5%915.8%2225.027.4%
41Tony Jones35.5%1128.2%15.0%76.322.2%
42Jeremy McNichols35.4%29.1%411.1%206.311.4%
43Carlos Hyde34.0%956.3%24.1%167.825.0%
44Cordarrelle Patterson33.8%726.9%26.1%138.719.2%
45Larry Rountree31.0%827.6%00.0%132.713.3%
46Malcolm Brown29.6%521.7%00.0%51.612.8%
47JaMycal Hasty29.1%13.6%14.0%128.84.4%
48AJ Dillon28.1%426.7%26.1%103.614.3%
49David Johnson28.0%37.3%412.5%1711.89.7%
50Phillip Lindsay26.0%819.5%13.1%108.512.9%
51Michael Carter25.4%423.5%25.6%103.013.5%
52Tony Pollard24.0%316.7%47.0%168.311.7%
53Tevin Coleman23.8%952.9%00.0%62.424.3%
54Samaje Perine21.7%513.9%13.9%103.910.7%
55Salvon Ahmed20.4%313.0%311.1%84.812.8%

   

Week 1 Injury Report

  • 49ers RB Raheem Mostert is expected to be out for about eight weeks after exiting Sunday's game in the first quarter with a knee injury.
  • Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny aggravated a calf injury and didn't play any snaps after halftime. He was limited at practice last Wednesday and Thursday, but he didn't carry any game designation after a full practice Friday.

    

Week 1 Winners/Losers

Fantasy Value Rising

Elijah Mitchell

Darrell Henderson

JaMycal Hasty

D'Andre Swift

Leonard Fournette

Chris Carson

Larry Rountree

Devin Singletary

Kenneth Gainwell

Cordarrelle Patterson

Mitchell is heads and tails above the others in terms of the extent of his rise. Guys like Swift, Fournette and Carson answered lingering preseason questions or played more snaps than expected, but Mitchell went from the bottom of the depth chart to the top in a matter of hours (at least when it comes to public perception).

Henderson is the second big winner of the week, after functioning as a three-down workhorse Sunday night against the Bears. Even if he doesn't hold up all year, a half-season in this role should more than pay off his ADP. Granted, Michel could see more work once he knows the offense better.

   

Fantasy Value Falling

Raheem Mostert

Trey Sermon

Ronald Jones

Phillip Lindsay

Justin Jackson

Zack Moss

Devontae Booker

Sony Michel

Boston Scott

James Robinson

Sermon is worth holding as a bench stash given the Mostert injury, but we shouldn't expect much Week 2 after the third-round pick was a healthy scratch in the season opener. It is possible JaMycal Hasty was active ahead of Sermon for special-teams reasons rather than offense, so maybe Sermon's the No. 2 back next week... or maybe not. 

Robinson I'm not as worried about. He and the Jags stink it up Week 1, but Carlos Hyde getting more carries may have been a fluke. The game recaps below provide more detail, and there's still RB2 hope for Robinson even if the Jags are a mess again this year.

   

Proceed With Caution

Mark Ingram

Jamaal Williams

Ty'Son Williams

These guys had big Week 1s, but with underlying usage that suggests we've already seen the ceiling and the floor could be ugly. Granted, Williams has legit upside in the event of a D'Andre Swift injury, while Ingram is just a game-script-dependent bruiser who already got his best game script of the year. The best bet for now is to move them up a little, not a lot, from where you had them Week 1.

  

Week 1 Route Report

Includes all RBs with 12 or more pass snaps or three or more targets. Ideally, a running back will run routes on a large portion of his pass snaps and be targeted on a significant percentage of his routes. This can help make up for modest carry or snap totals.

 Routes RunPass PlaysRoute RateTargetsTargets per route
1Ezekiel Elliott445875.9%20.03
2D'Andre Swift415180.4%110.22
3Devin Singletary374877.1%40.08
4James Robinson333886.8%60.16
5Mike Davis313686.1%60.17
6Najee Harris303878.9%30.08
7Leonard Fournette293193.5%70.23
8Clyde Edwards-Helaire283287.5%30.09
9Dalvin Cook263966.7%70.18
10Chase Edmonds252696.2%40.15
11Nyheim Hines222491.7%60.25
12Christian McCaffrey223073.3%90.30
13Darrell Henderson212680.8%10.04
14Damien Williams202290.9%50.23
15Jamaal Williams202387%90.39
16David Montgomery202483.3%10.04
17Ty Johnson203066.7%30.10
18Melvin Gordon192286.4%30.14
19Miles Sanders192673.1%40.15
20Chris Carson182185.7%30.14
21Joe Mixon182378.3%40.17
22Jonathan Taylor182475%70.29
23Alvin Kamara172085%40.20
24Myles Gaskin161984.2%50.26
25Saquon Barkley161984.2%30.16
26James White162466.7%70.29
27Giovani Bernard151788.2%30.18
28Javonte Williams151978.9%10.05
29Kareem Hunt152075%30.15
30Derrick Henry152365.2%30.13
31Carlos Hyde141687.5%20.13
32Devontae Booker141973.7%10.05
33Jeremy McNichols142166.7%40.19
34Aaron Jones142360.9%20.09
35Antonio Gibson131586.7%50.33
36Tony Pollard131681.3%40.25
37David Johnson131872.2%40.22
38Kenneth Gainwell121675%30.19
39JaMycal Hasty101376.9%10.08
40Damien Harris101566.7%30.20
41Nick Chubb91369.2%20.15
42Cordarrelle Patterson81361.5%20.15
43Salvon Ahmed7887.5%30.38

   

Waivers & Sleepers

Here we're strictly looking at players who are rostered in half or less of Yahoo leagues. 

Waivers, Pt. 1 Potential Week 2 Starters/Streamers

  1. Elijah Mitchell - 9% rostered
  2. James White - 33%
  3. Mark Ingram - 20%
  4. Tony Jones - 23%
  5. Larry Rountree - 1%
  6. Ty Johnson - 11%

   

Waivers, Pt. 2 Bench Stashes & Sleepers

  1. Tony Jones - 23%
  2. Kenneth Gainwell - 8%
  3. Alexander Mattison - 36%
  4. Rhamondre Stevenson - 24%
  5. Chuba Hubbard - 19%
  6. Larry Rountree - 1%
  7. Carlos Hyde - 16%
  8. Le'Veon Bell - 46%
  9. Damien Williams - 5% rostered

     

Drops & Benchings

Drop'em 

Zack Moss

Ronald Jones

Phillip Lindsay

Justin Jackson

David Johnson

Boston Scott

Tevin Coleman

Malcolm Brown

Devontae Booker

   

Bench'em

Trey Sermon

AJ Dillon

Sony Michel

Michael Carter

   

Game-by-Game Backfield Breakdowns

Cowboys (29) at Buccaneers (31)

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR Pts.%. of Team Touches
Ezekiel Elliott83%1161.1%23.5%545.921.7%
Tony Pollard24%316.7%47.0%168.311.7%
Corey Clement1%00.0%00000.0%
  • Elliott played more than three-fourths of the offensive snaps in all four quarters. He took each of the Cowboys' three goal-to-go snaps, including a carry and a catch (but no TD). Elliott didn't look good, but remember that Tampa returns all 11 starters to a defense that led the league in DVOA against the run in both 2019 and 2020. Even Alvin Kamara and Christian McCaffrey have had their issues against the Bucs in recent years.
  • That said, PFF charted Zeke with zero missed tackles forced on 13 touches. Not good, even for someone who doesn't break/dodge a ton of tackles even at his best.
  • The Cowboys ran eight plays with two RBs on the field. Out of his 20 plays overall, Pollard replaced Elliott for 12 snaps and joined him for eight.

  

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR Pts. Touch Share
Leonard Fournette65%964.3%715.2%3110.930.4%
Giovani Bernard26%00.0%36.5%173.24.4%
Ronald Jones9%428.6%00.0%2-0.68.7%
  • Jones lost a fumble on his sixth snap and didn't see the field again. But even before that he'd been stuck behind Fournette, logging just six of 24 snaps (25%) at the time of his blunder.
  • Naturally, the Bucs' next snap after Jones' fumble was a Fournette drop that turned into an interception. But Fournette nonetheless played 63.4% of snaps between the time of Jones' fumble and the end of the game (seeing only four carries but six targets after RoJo was benched).
  • Bernard got five of seven snaps on 3rd-and-medium/long. Fournette got the other two.
  • Bernard played each of 10 snaps on Tampa's final drive, catching two passes for 12 yards to help set up the game-winning FG.
  • Fournette played 83.9% of offensive snaps between the time of Jones' fumble and the start of the game-winning drive.

    

Jaguars (21) at Texans (37) 

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR Pts.Touch Share
James Robinson63%531.3%612.2%388.418.2%
Carlos Hyde34%956.3%24.1%167.825.0%
  • Robinson started and played 35 of 47 snaps (74.5%) through the first three quarters. But that included just five carries and three targets, while Hyde had five carries and zero targets on only 11 snaps (23.4%)
  • Hyde then played 53.8% of snaps in the fourth quarter, padding his stats in garbage time with four more carries and two targets. Robinson did also add three targets in the fourth quarter.
  • Robinson was on the field for 17 of 23 (73.9%) 1st-and-10s through the first three quarters.
  • Robinson played seven of the 12 snaps on 3rd-and-medium/long, including six out of nine through three quarters.
  • The Jaguars had just two goal-to-go snaps, and Robinson took them both (they were pass plays).
  • Hyde got the only snap on a 3rd/4th-and-short, but it came on the final drive deep in garbage time, i.e., it doesn't necessarily mean the Jags prefer Hyde over Robinson for short-yardage/goal-line work. Hyde picked up six yards on the 3rd-and-1, not that it matters.
  • No. 3 RB Dare Ogunbowale only played special teams.
  • Game script reminder: Jacksonville was down 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, and 27-7 at halftime.

    

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR Pts.Touch Share
Mark Ingram46%2663.4%13.1%814.541.9%
David Johnson28%37.3%412.5%1711.89.7%
Phillip Lindsay26%819.5%13.1%108.512.9%
Rex Burkhead13%00.0%26.3%91.61.6%
  • Ingram got the start and took 11 of the team's 15 RB carries in the first half despite playing only 37.2% of snaps. Ingram took a handoff on 11 of his 16 snaps before halftime, plus 15 of his 20 snaps after the break. He finished with 26 carries and a target on 36 snaps, meaning the Texans tried to get him the ball on three-quarters of his plays.
  • Ingram played 57.1% of snaps after halftime, taking on more work after Houston had established a healthy lead.
  • Ingram played four of eight snaps in 3rd/4th-and-short, seeing three carries and one incomplete target on those plays.
  • Ingram played seven of the 11 goal-to-go snaps, seeing four carries (including a TD) on those plays.
  • Johnson played the same number of snaps as Ingram in the first half (37.2%), with his one carry and three targets including a TD catch. Lindsay wasn't far behind at 30.2% of snaps, with three carries and one target. And even Burkhead mixed in, with one target on three snaps (7.0%) in the second half. In other words, don't overreact to Ingram's 26 carries... this was still very much a committee, and he might've finished with single-digit touches had game script been reversed.
  • QB Tyrod Taylor had four carries for 40 yards, with three of those being scrambles on pass plays. Designed QB runs weren't a significant part of the offense Sunday afternoon.

   

Chargers (20) at Washington Football Team (16) 

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTarget SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Austin Ekeler58%1551.7%003111.725.0%
Larry Rountree31%827.6%00132.713.3%
Justin Jackson14%13.4%12.1%71.73.3%
  • Just like you wrote it up! Ekeler saw zero targets on 31 pass snaps, needing a short TD run to salvage something for fantasy managers. He did at least look normal/healthy, after being listed as questionable with a hamstring injury.
  • Ekeler played 63.2% of snaps through three quarters, before dropping to 45.8% in the fourth (Rountree got 41.7% in the final frame, though he only took two carries).
  • Ekeler played 17 of 29 1st-and-10s (58.6%). Rountree wasn't too far behind at 41.4 percent.
  • Ekeler got only nine of 19 snaps (47.4%) on 3rd-and-medium/long. Jackson took seven (36.8 percent), and even Rountree played three (15.8%).
  • Jackson played seven of his 11 snaps on third down, essentially splitting passing downs with Ekeler.
  • Rountree got six of his eight carries before halftime, but he also played 30.6 percent of snaps in the second half (with just two touches on 11 snaps). Ekeler played 52.8 percent of snaps after the break, taking a carry on eight of the 19.

    

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTarget SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Antonio Gibson66%2074.1%523.8%1411.856.1%
J.D. McKissic36%13.7%147.6%130.82.4%
Jaret Patterson7%27.4%147.6%10.94.9%
  • Gibson played 16 of 23 snaps (69.6%) on first down and 16 of 20 (80%) on second down.
  • McKissic played eight of nine snaps on 3rd-and-medium/long, while Gibson got both snaps on 3rd-and short.
  • Gibson accounted for 56.1 percent of Washington's offensive touches, the third-highest rate in Week 1 (behind only Mixon and McCaffrey. Gibson even led the team with five targets, though that was kind of a fluke if we look at how he and JDM split playing time evenly on pass plays.

     

Seahawks (28) at Colts (16) 

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTarget SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Chris Carson78%1659.3%313.0%1912.742.2%
Rashaad Penny13%27.4%00.0%50.84.4%
DeeJay Dallas6%13.7%14.4%124.4%
Travis Homer4%00.0%00.0%200.0%
  • In the first half, Carson played 74.1% of snaps and Penny took 25.9%. Carson had eight carries and a target, while Penny took two carries and apparently aggravated his calf injury in the process.
  • Penny then missed the second half, in which Carson played 22 of 27 snaps (81.5%) and took another eight carries. Carson might've reached 20+ carries and 25+ touches if Seattle had run the usual ~65 plays instead of Sunday's 53.
  • Carson played both of the team's snaps on 3rd-and-7+. But he got just one of five on 3rd-and-medium, with Homer and Penny taking two apiece. We'll call it a three-down role, tentatively, for Carson.
  • Seattle never had any goal-to-go snaps, because Russ was cooking from distance. Penny and Carson got one red-zone snap apiece.
  • Alex Collins was a healthy scratch. But he might be the second option on early downs if Penny misses time. Or not. Dallas could also be the pick. Either way, Carson should get plenty of work unless/until he gets hurt.

    

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Jonathan Taylor55%1756.7%718.4%2117.641.8%
Nyheim Hines45%930.0%821.1%2314.227.3%
  • At the two-minute warning of the first half, Taylor had played 75% of snaps to Hines' 25%, with a 9-3 advantage in carries and 3-2 edge in targets. Taylor still got plenty of touches after halftime, but Hines had a 54/46 snap share advantage.
  • Taylor and Hines each played six of 12 snaps on 3rd-and-medium/long. A split there could give Taylor a beautiful floor this season, though I do worry that Indy's offense doesn't have much margin for error with Carson Wentz at quarterback, i.e., they need the O-line to be elite, not merely good... and it was neither in Week 1.
  • Seven targets on 21 pass snaps for Taylor is a bit fluky, especially post-Rivers, but you could also argue that Sunday's snap share is close to a floor if he's not losing any carries to Mack/Wilkins and . Compared to most of last season, it's a sign of progress to play half the snaps (more, actually) in a game where Indy trailed by multiple scores for the entire second half.
  • Marlon Mack was active but didn't play any snaps. Jordan Wilkins was active and only played special teams. It's pretty strange to keep four RBs active and have one not play at all. I guess they figure Mack is too good to be released but not good enough to take any snaps from Taylor? At that point, I'd be trying to move him for a sixth-round pick and just roll with Wilkins as the backup on early downs. Baltimore, Atlanta and Arizona could all use backfield help, FWIW.
  • Taylor got nine of 10 red-zone snaps and each of the seven goal-to-go snaps.

   

Jets (14) at Panthers (19) 

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Ty Johnson56%423.5%38.3%303.613.5%
Michael Carter25%423.5%25.6%10313.5%
Tevin Coleman24%952.9%00.0%62.424.3%
  • Coleman started and took six carries on nine snaps in the first half. He only got three snaps after halftime, but each was a carry. There's nothing smarter than telegraphing that you're giving the ball to a washed-up player. J-E-T-S!
  • Johnson played 62.5% of snaps after halftime, but that yielded just one rush and two targets.
  • Johnson took seven of the nine snaps on 3rd-and-medium/long. Carter, the supposedly dangerous receiving threat, got just two snaps in those situations.
  • In the first half, Johnson got 48.4% of snaps, ahead of Carter (29%) and Coleman (29%). So game script helped, but Johnson probably would've logged the most snaps regardless.
  • Johnson is probably the best Week 2 play of the bunch if you're desperate. But I'd stick with the rookie if we're just talking about a bench stash for upside. Then again, good luck finding upside in this backfield...

    

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Christian McCaffrey89.1%2177.8%927.3%3027.758.8%
Chuba Hubbard10.9%00.0%26.1%72.43.9%
  • It's obnoxious how much of an advantage the first pick has become in PPR redraft leagues that use snake drafts. Even the difference between the second pick and fourth this year felt too significant. Which is part of the reason I increasingly find myself turning to best ball, dynasty, auction, superflex. Basically anything where I don't feel like I'm handing my money to whoever got Pick 1 from the randomizer. (Yes, I know it didn't actually play out that way last year. Just let me have my Week 1 rant.)

   

Vikings (24) at Bengals (27) - OT 

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Dalvin Cook71.1%2090.9%714.9%3920.444.1%
Ameer Abdullah10.8%14.5%24.3%83.95.1%
Alexander Mattison10.8%14.5%12.1%81.63.4%
  • Cook played 80.6% of first downs, 71.4% of second downs and 52.9% of third downs.
  • Cook even got eight of 15 snaps (53.3%) on 3rd-and-medium/long, with Abdullah taking five (33.3%)
  • Cook played 76.2% of snaps in the fourth quarter and 100% in overtime. The Vikings are pretty smart about not giving him work in games that are already won or lost. And they tend to give him more snaps if the game is close. All worth remembering for DFS.
  • Mattison barely played. But he's still just one injury away from the RB1/2 borderline.

    

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Joe Mixon78.3%2980.6%415.4%232558.9%
Samaje Perine21.7%513.9%13.9%103.910.7%
  • Mixon played only seven of 14 snaps in the second quarter, but apart from that he was on the field for more than 80% of plays in each stanza, including a lengthy overtime.
  • Mixon played 83.3% of first downs, 86.4% of second downs and 50% of third downs.
    • In six games last year, Mixon logged 75.6% of first-down snaps, 76.7% of second downs and 26.9% of third downs. So this was progress.
  • Perine played seven of 11 snaps on 3rd-and-medium/long. He won't steal as many second-down and hurry-up snaps as Giovani Bernard did, but he'll presumably continue to get some.
  • Mixon ran routes on 18 of 23 (78.3%) pass snaps. Last year, it was 82.1%. So that looks about the same so far.

   

Cardinals (38) at Titans (13) 

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Chase Edmonds58.0%1236.4%412.5%2514.629.6%
James Conner49.3%1648.5%00.0%105.329.6%
  • Edmonds got the start and played 11 of 15 snaps (73.3%) in the first quarter, but it was essentially a 50-50 split thereafter, with Conner having an edge for carries and Edmonds taking far more pass snaps.
  • Edmonds played 60% of first-down snaps, and Conner got 53% (they took a few plays both on the field together).
  • Edmonds got nine of 12 snaps on 3rd-and-medium/long, with Conner handling the other three.
  • This looked similar to the Drake/Edmonds split last year, but tilted more in Edmonds' favor. He and Kenyan Drake often split pass snaps 50/50 even when Edmonds had a comfortable advantage in targets. That wasn't the case Week 1, with Conner way behind Edmonds for pass snaps. And Edmonds was also pretty close to even for carries, so he's a usable RB2/FLEX.
  • Conner and Edmonds got four snaps and one carry apiece in goal-to-go situations. Conner took the one inside-the-five snap – a two-yard TD run from Kyler Murray.

    

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Derrick Henry61.5%1777.3%411.1%2210.745.5%
Jeremy McNichols35.4%29.1%411.1%206.311.4%
  • Henry played all three snaps inside the 5-yard line, including two carries. Don't let The Big Dog tell you he didn't have any food in his bowl.
  • Henry played 84.6% of snaps on first down and 72.7% on second down. McNichols got 78.6% of the third-down work, which accounted for three of his four targets and 11 of his 23 snaps.

   

49ers (41) at Lions (33) 

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Elijah Mitchell63.6%1967.9%001416.441.3%
JaMycal Hasty29.1%13.6%14.0%128.84.4%
Raheem Mostert7.3%27.1%00124.4%
  • Trey Sermon was a healthy scratch, and MostHurt left after four snaps with a knee injury.
  • After the first quarter, Mitchell played 68.1% of snaps and Hasty took 31.9%. Mitchell, of course, had a much larger advantage when it came to carries (18-1) and touches (18-2).
  • After the first quarter, Mitchell played 19 of 23 (82.6%) snaps on first down and 13 of 13 (100%) on second down. Meanwhile, Hasty played all eight snaps on third downs, truly functioning as a passing-down specialist. In other words, don't be surprised if Mitchell hits 20 carries one of these next few weeks, even if it's a committee backfield longer-term.
  • Hasty's three-yard rushing TD was the team's only goal-to-go snap of the day. And Mitchell might've taken it if he hadn't carried the ball on three of San Francisco's previous five plays.

      

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
D'Andre Swift67.8%1145.8%1119.3%4724.430.7%
Jamaal Williams35.6%937.5%915.8%222527.4%
  • Williams technically was the starter, but Swift played 59.1% of snaps in the first quarter and 77.8% in the second. Williams then got 76.9% in the third, before Swift bounced back with 83.8% as the Lions mounted a furious comeback effort in Q4.
  • Swift played 11 of 14 (75%) third-down snaps, but Williams also got six (44%), with the Lions sometimes using two-back sets.
  • The Lions ran 84 plays, moving the ball slowly while San Francisco got it done with chunk gains. We obviously can't expect 40 combined touches for Swift and Williams each week, though Dan Campbell might like the sound of that every time he looks at his WR room.
  • Williams put up big numbers, but his playing time was far less encouraging. Proceed with caution.

   

Steelers (23) at Bills (16)

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Najee Harris100.0%1676.2%39.4%375.943.6%
  • Fantasy managers would rather have points, but the 100% snap share is an awfully nice silver lining. Unfortunately, it doesn't provide anything to work with if you're wondering whether Benny Snell or Kalen Ballage would make for a better deep-league bench stash. Actually, the answer might be Anthony McFarland, but he's on IR with an unspecified injury until at least Week 4.

   

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Devin Singletary75.3%1144.0%59.8%451125.5%
Matt Breida11.8%416.0%00.0%40.47.3%
  • Zack Moss was a healthy scratch. He had ankle surgery in January and missed a few practices this summer with a hamstring issue, but by most accounts was still expected to be the No. 2 back, even if he'd perhaps lost some ground to Singletary. In any case, it's still the same story here — Buffalo's offense deprioritizes the running backs, putting everything on Josh Allen and his receivers. Maybe that would change if the team had a better back, but it's worked pretty well so far, Sunday's loss aside.
  • Singletary played 10 of 18 (55.6%) third-down snaps, with Breida taking five and the Bills using no RB on three.
  • Singletary played 85.7% of snaps on first down.
  • Singletary played five of six goal-to-go snaps, including one carry and one target (but no TD).
  • Singletary fumbled twice. Both were near the sideline and went out of bounds, but Buffalo coaches still don't figure to be thrilled.

   

Eagles (32) at Falcons (6) 

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Miles Sanders65.7%1548.4%515.6%2517.332.8%
Kenneth Gainwell35.7%929.0%39.4%1312.319.0%
  • Boston Scott was active for the game but only played special teams (12 snaps). Gainwell apparently passed him on the depth chart this summer, and it doesn't look like he plans to give anything back.
  • Gainwell played 13 of 13 snaps in the two-minute drill at the end of the first half. Apart from that one drive, Sanders played 46 of 57 snaps (80.7 percent). I expect him to be closer to three-quarters of snaps than two-thirds moving forward, though Gainwell could make an argument for more playing time.

    

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Mike Davis74.6%1557.7%618.2%3510.238.3%
Cordarrelle Patterson33.8%726.9%26.1%138.719.2%
  • Wayne Gallman was a healthy scratch, leaving Davis and Patterson as the only active tailbacks.
  • In the first half, Davis played 69.2% of snaps and got 11 carries and three targets. 
    • But Patterson also was pretty busy, with 46.2%, 7 carries, 1 target. And he and Davis shared the field for a bunch of snaps.
  • After halftime, Davis logged 81.3% of snaps but got only four carries and three targets. Patterson, meanwhile, dropped to 18.8% with zero carries and one target, essentially disappearing in negative game script.
  • Davis played 71% of snaps on first down, 68.2% on second down, 86.7% on third down.  The role/usage is pretty much best-case scenario, but concerns about Davis' team context also increased this weekend.

   

Browns (29) at Chiefs (33) 

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Nick Chubb53.4%1557.7%27.4%1122.136.2%
Kareem Hunt46.6%623.1%311.1%2017.119.2%
  • Hunt continues to get it done on limited touches. I've been saying for a while that his luck will run out, barring a Chubb injury, but Hunt can probably keep it going if the Cleveland offense as a whole jumps into the Top 5. The two could combine for 25-30 TDs with some help from Baker Mayfield and Kevin Stefanski.
  • The O-line did lose LT Jedrick Wills to an ankle injury, but X-rays came back negative after the game, per Ian Rapoport. Even without Wills, the Browns would have a top-10 O-line.
  • Hunt played 37.5% of snaps in the first quarter. Then 61.1% in Q2, 0% in Q3, and 50% in Q4. (The Browns ran just four plays in the third quarter.)
  • Hunt got three of the five snaps inside the 10, while Chubb got two. Both got two carries in that area, scoring a TD apiece (Chubb also hit paydirt from 18 yards out). Chubb did get two of three snaps inside the five.
  • Hunt played eight of eight snaps on third down. Chubb got none.

    

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR Pts.Touch Share
Clyde Edwards-Helaire71.9%1460.9%38.8%2910.234.0%
Darrel Williams21.9%14.3%00.0%100.42.0%
Jerick McKinnon6.3%00.0%00.0%200.0%
  • CEH played 81.8% of first-down snaps and 78.3% on second down.
  • Williams got eight of 15 third-down snaps, with Edwards-Helaire taking the other seven. Williams did get seven out of 11 on 3rd-and-medium/long, so the Chiefs still prefer him on passing downs by at least a little.
  • Edwards-Helaire got both goal-to-go snaps and eight of 13 in the red zone. But he got just two RZ carries, and KC didn't run any plays inside the five.

   

Packers (3) at Saints (38) 

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Aaron Jones49.1%533.3%26.1%234.220.0%
A.J. Dillon28.1%426.7%26.1%103.614.3%
Kylin Hill24.6%533.3%00.0%91.414.3%
  • Jones played 73.7% of snaps through three quarters, including 81.3% of first downs and 71.4% of third downs. That's the role his fantasy managers were hoping for, though Sunday was ugly for all things Green Bay. Also not a great day for anyone counting on Dillon as more than a handcuff.
  • Dillon played 26.3% of snaps through three quarters, seeing three carries and zero targets (compared to five and two for Jones).
  • Hill had one snap and no touches until fourth-quarter garbage time.
  • Jones took two of the three red-zone snaps (Dillon got the other).

    

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Alvin Kamara72.6%2051.3%420.0%1818.142.6%
Tony Jones35.5%1128.2%15.0%76.322.2%
  • Kamara played 82.4% of snaps through three quarters. Jones then took 72.7% in the fourth quarter, though the final frame accounted for only four of his 11 carries.
  • Prior to the fourth quarter, Kamara had an 18-7 carry advantage and 4-1 target advantage over Jones. So pretty similar to the Kamara/Latavius split we knew and loved.

   

Broncos (27) at Giants (13) 

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Melvin Gordon50.0%1139.3%38.3%2120.825.0%
Javonte Williams50.0%1450.0%12.8%175.126.8%
  • Gordon got the start and played 10 of 16 snaps in the first quarter, taking five touches for just six yards.
  • Williams played 56.3% of snaps after halftime, with nine carries to Gordon's six. Of course, Gordon ripped off a 70-yard TD and also caught both of the targets.
  • It was truly a 50/50 split. Gordon got 55.6% of snaps on first down, 42.9% on second down and 46.7% on third down.
  • Gordon played seven of 14 snaps on 3rd-and-medium/long. So did Williams.
  • Williams got seven of the 11 red-zone snaps. But just two of those were inside the 10, and Gordon took one of them. Good luck figuring out who will be the TD scorer.

    

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Saquon Barkley47.5%1050.0%38.3%163.726.2%
Devontae Booker39.3%420.0%12.8%182.311.9%
Gary Brightwell13.1%00.0%12.8%71.62.4%
  • Apart from Barkley having a reduced role in his first game back from surgery, the takeaway here is that Brightwell actually got playing time. That's a ding to Booker's deep-league value, arguably hinting at a committee if Barkley misses time this year.

    

Dolphins (17) at Patriots (16) 

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Myles Gaskin53.7%939.1%518.52%1912.635.9%
Malcolm Brown29.6%521.7%0%51.612.8%
Salvon Ahmed20.4%313.0%311.11%84.812.8%
  • Gaskin played 13 of 13 snaps in the first quarter, taking six carries for 27 yards. But then...
    • Q2: 6 of 15 snaps (40%, 0 carries, 2 targets)
    • Q3: 5 of 12 snaps (42%, 2 carries, 2 targets)
    • Q4: 5 of 14 snaps (36%, 1 carry, 1 target)
  • Brown got nine of his 16 snaps and three of his five carries on the final drive of the game. He took three consecutive carries for 11 yards to help Miami close out the contest, but he also added three empty snaps on kneel-downs at the end. Those kneels were nearly 6 percent of Miami's total snaps in a game where New England dominated possession.
  • Ahmed mostly played pass snaps, but not third downs. He was on the field for just one of 12 third downs, while Gaskin and Brown logged six apiece.
  • Overall, Gaskin got 54.2% of snaps on first down, 55.6% on second down and 50.0% on third down. So he is a three-down back again, but likely one who's subbed out relatively often.
  • Brown got two of three snaps inside the 10-yard line, with Gaskin taking the other. They each got one snap inside the five. Neither came especially close to scoring. Gaskin had an eight-yard gain from New England's 11-yard line, while Brown had a four-yard gain from the 7-yard line.
  • The snap and touch shares aren't what Gaskin drafters were hoping for, but it also wasn't the disaster many of us worried about at one point this summer. If this is his role all year, he should be a tolerable RB2 again. The snap/carry/touch shares aren't where they were last year, but Miami's offense should be a little better, right? So maybe a few more TD

    

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR Pts.Touch Share
Damien Harris53.3%2376.7%37.7%1511.742.4%
James White37.3%413.3%718.0%2412.117.0%
Rhamondre Stevenson6.7%13.3%12.6%40.13.4%
Brandon Bolden2.7%13.3%00.0%10.51.7%
  • Harris was having a nice day and dominating carries until he lost a fumble in the red zone with New England down by one point and less than four minutes remaining. The Patriots never saw the ball again, and while coach Bill Belichick has an interesting history with fumbles and running backs, ESPN's Mike Reiss doesn't think Harris is in danger of losing the lead role right now. Reiss does suggest the team could "reevaluate" Harris' workload, perhaps distributing a few more carries to RBs. Of course, Stevenson also lost a fumble Sunday, on his fourth snap of the game in the first quarter. And he played just one snap the rest of the afternoon, while Brandon Bolden subbed in for a fatigued Harris on the final drive. It was basically just Harris and passing-down back James White after the Stevenson fumble.
  • White was targeted seven times, but he ran routes on just 16 of 24 snaps, pass-blocking eight times, per PFF. Part of that was just defensive play-calling, with Miami blitzing Mac Jones on 21 of 40 dropbacks. (Jones completed 16 of 20 passes for 138 yards against the blitz.)
  • New England didn't have any snaps inside Miami's 5-yard line. Harris played both snaps inside the 10, taking one carry.
  • White played nine of 10 snaps on 3rd-and-medium/long, but just nine of 35 (26.5%) on first downs.

   

Bears (14) at Rams (34) 

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
David Montgomery59.4%1661.5%12.5%2318.830.9%
Damien Williams43.5%623.1%512.5%21818.2%
Khalil Herbert1.4%00.0%00.0%100.0%
  • Montgomery played 76.5% of snaps in the first half, with 10 carries for 80 yards and a TD. But the Bears did nothing else right, and trailed by six or more points for 55+ minutes of game time. In the second half, it was close to a 50-50 split between Monty and Williams.
  • Montgomery played 62% of snaps on first down, 56% on second down and 64% on third down. Kind of like Gaskin, but with more work, and losing snaps to one guy instead of two.
  • Montgomery then sunk to 45% of snaps in the third quarter and 40% in the fourth, yielding to Williams with the Bears throwing more passes. However, it wasn't necessarily a case of Williams replacing Montgomery on passing downs. In fact, Montgomery played four of the five third-down snaps before halftime, including two of three on 3rd-and-medium/long.
  • Even after halftime, Montgomery and Williams got two snaps on 3rd-and-medium/long apiece. There wasn't a clear preference for obvious passing situations.

    

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Darrell Henderson94.2%1669.6%13.9%2615.739.5%
Sony Michel5.8%14.3%00%20.22.33%
  • Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp stole the show from a real-life standpoint, but Henderson emerges from Week 1 as arguably the biggest fantasy winner this side of Elijah Mitchell. Rookie RB Jake Funk only played special teams, and Michel didn't get a snap until the fourth quarter.
  • Only Najee Harris handled a larger snap share than Henderson in Week 1.
  • The Rams had just two drives that ate up more than three minutes of game clock, and ran only 50 plays on the night. That made it easier for Henderson to stay on the field, perhaps boosting his snap share by 5-10% or so. Still, the snap share hints at big things if he can stay healthy (a huge if, admittedly).

   

Ravens (27) at Raiders (33) - OT

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Ty'Son Williams51.5%926.5%413.32218.422.6
Latavius Murray30.9%1029.4%00.048.818.9
Trenton Cannon13.2%25.9%00.070.53.8
  • Williams easily got the most pass snaps, but Cannon poached a few third downs and Murray ended up getting more ground work after halftime. The fast start for Williams was enough for a big stat line, but this is best treated as a committee, especially if the Ravens eventually activate Le'Veon Bell from the practice squad.

    

 Snap ShareCarriesCarry ShareTargetsTgt. SharePass SnapsPPR PointsTouch Share
Josh Jacobs52.3%1047.6%23.7291720.0
Kenyan Drake47.7%628.6%59.3331220.0
  • Jacobs missed some snaps with a toe injury, likely pushing a few extra touches in Drake's direction. Maybe it ends up close to a 50/50 split, but Monday wasn't enough to assert that. Of course, Drake still gets a bump in value, now sitting one balky toe away from a potential 20-touch role.

   

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jerry Donabedian
Jerry was a 2018 finalist for the FSWA's Player Notes Writer of the Year and DFS Writer of the Year awards. A Baltimore native, Jerry roots for the Ravens and watches "The Wire" in his spare time.
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