Between the Lines: Week 10 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 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.
we will look at five big takeaways from Week 10. For a look at all of last week's snap count data, numberFire has you covered.
1. Kareem Hunt, RB, Cleveland Browns
Coming into Week 10, many wondered how the Cleveland Browns would use Kareem Hunt, the 2017 NFL rushing leader. Hunt was suspended for the team's first eight games of the year for violating the league's personal conduct policy and wasn't cleared to practice with the team until October 21.
Would he be out of game shape? Would he fit into the team's system? Both of those questions were roundly handled on Sunday. Hunt played a surprisingly large portion 54% of Cleveland snaps (Chubb was at 81%), and was the go-to back in the passing game while Chubb dominated the carries, making the backfield look a lot like a Rust Belt version of the Los Angeles Chargers.
We know Hunt can catch -- he had 53 receptions in his rookie year -- and those skills were in strong display this week. Hunt saw nine targets against the Bills, catching seven for 44 yards. His performance was good enough for a strong 14.4 PPR points, which actually was 0.3 more points than Chubb. Lest you Chubb fans worry, Chubb saw 20 carries to Hunt's four.
Expect to see Hunt heavily involved in the passing game going forward. He's a strong flex play moving forward and could even end up working as a strong RB2 in PPR leagues should his involvement in the passing game continue.
2. Jacob Hollister, TE, Seattle Seahawks
Honestly, I could have easily brought Jacob Hollister's name to the table in last week's iteration of this piece, but better late than never. The Seattle Seahawks' starting tight end saw his snap share jump from 36% in Week 8 to 80% in Week 9.
His 4 catches and 37 yards in Week 9 were both career-highs, and he was worth a flier in deeper leagues, but he was still a distant third passing option for the team, which is not necessarily exciting for a team who focuses on the run.
Things change in an instant in the NFL, however, and Hollister's stock shot up quickly last night. The San Francisco 49ers shut down Tyler Lockett, and Hollister ended up being the most consistent option for Russell Wilson, finishing with 8 catches on 10 targets for 62 yards and a score.
Lockett suffered a lower leg contusion in overtime last night. Fortunately for the Hawks, they have a bye, so he'll have a chance to heal. If the injury turns out to be a "severe situation" (as Pete Carroll put it), and he has to miss time beyond the bye, his targets will have to go somewhere. While Hollister is obviously not going to eat up any of Lockett's deep-route targets, he could certainly take over a lot of the short-yardage work, especially after seeing his and Wilson's rapport last night. He should be a welcome addition to any fantasy team in need of tight end help.
3. J.D. McKissic, RB, Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions' backfield was somewhat of a mess when Kerryon Johnson was still healthy, but it has turned into a complete *%!& show ever since the former Auburn player went down with a knee injury a few weeks ago. Ty Johnson looked to be the obvious choice to take over, but that thought has since turned into a laughable one.
Despite the mess, there has been one player who has at least seen consistent involvement, especially in the passing game. That player's name? J.D. McKissic.
The third-year player out of Arkansas State became a known quantity in 2017 for Seattle, but he played just five games last year, garnering a total of eight yards from scrimmage in the process. He was certainly not expected to be a big part of the Lions' plans in 2019, but as injuries have piled up and others have shown their ineffectiveness, McKissic has started to rise.
Last week's 38% snap share was a season-high, but McKissic blew that out of the water with a 70% mark this week, and his involvement rose with the extra playing time. McKissic came into the game with at least three targets and two catches in each of his previous four games; on Sunday, he saw seven looks, catching four in a 20-13 loss to the Chicago Bears.
More importantly, however, was his big jump in the running game. McKissic had seen no more than five carries in any other game this season. On Sunday, he led the team with 10. While he totaled just 36 yards on the ground against the Bears, it was a very positive sign for his involvement going forward, especially as no other back had a snap share of more than 18%.
Rostered in only 16.0% of ESPN leagues, he could be a useful addition down the stretch, especially in PPR leagues, where his receiving skills can shine.
4. Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Samuel's 83% snap share was not a season-high, but it was a 17 percentage point jump from Week 9, and the highest since he saw 88% in Week 1. Samuel took advantage, becoming Jimmy Garoppolo's favorite target without Sanders on the field.
Samuel's 11 targets were the most of any player in Monday night's clash, and he hauled in 8 of them for 112 yards. All three were career-highs for the rookie, who takes on the Arizona Cardinals next week.
If Sanders is out, Samuel would likely be the WR1, which could well mean coverage from Patrick Peterson. Sanders had no trouble in that matchup, but Peterson getting burned was a rarity. He was upset with the performance, noting that "This loss is on me." Expect him to focus on bouncing back in his rematch against the Niners in Week 11, which would limit Samuel's upside.
We currently project Samuel for 3.5 receptions and 44.2 yards in this week's matchup.
5. Nyheim Hines, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Nyheim Hines isn't going to knock your socks off, but if Jacoby Brissett is out for another week, then he could end up being a low-end flex play for those desperate deep-league souls in need of running back help with four teams on bye in Week 11.
Hines has had a couple of serviceable games this season, but he's not one on which to have relied upon. His performances were all over the place and highly dependent on game flow. The one thing he does have that could solidify his usage this week, however, is the presence of Brian Hoyer.
Hoyer looked nothing like an NFL quarterback in Week 10's loss to the Miami Dolphins, the team once destined for the #1 seed in the 2020 draft, who are now playing like they care. That's not to say the Dolphins are good; it's to exemplify how bad Hoyer's performance really was.
Hoyer went just 18-for-39, throwing three interceptions in the process. One of his only reliable outlets was Hines, who was tied for second on the team with seven targets (a season-high). Hines would, presumably, be a lock for strong targets if Hoyer once again has to take the field, as the journeyman can't seem to lock onto receivers.
This all be moot, however, if Brissett returns (and he could). Hines' chance to shine would then fall by the wayside, and he'll be nothing more than waiver wire fodder.