Between the Lines: Week 13 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 those opportunities into fantasy production. This weekly article addresses the first and most critical portion of the opportunity funnel: playing time.

Today, we will look at four big takeaways from Week 13. For a look at all of last week's snap count data, numberFire has you covered.

1. Patrick Laird, RB, Miami Heat

The running back merry-go-round in South Florida continues, and rookie Patrick Laird is about to step on and get his chance to ride.

The Miami Dolphins, who have now won three out of their last five games after outlasting the Philadelphia Eagles 37-31 on Sunday, will make another change in their backfield. Kenyan Drake got traded to the Arizona Cardinals for a conditional 2020 draft pick, Mark Walton deservedly got cut after being charged with aggravated battery, and Kalen Ballage exited Sunday's game with an injury.

That leaves Laird, Myles Gaskin, and De'Lance Turner as the running back committee in Miami, and it will be the Cal product Laird who will take over the lead role. Laird's 60% snap share in Week 13 was a huge jump from 37% the week before and represented a career-high.

While he was far from effective in the running game -- finishing with just five yards on 10 carries -- he did add a score and showed effectiveness in the passing game, where he caught 4 passes for 43 yards. If the Dolphins are smart, they'll continue using his skills in the passing game, which were on display his last two years in college, when he recorded a combined 96 receptions.

If you made your way into the fantasy playoffs and your running back corps is weak, you could do worse than to add a player who should be the team's bell cow until further notice. The Dolphins are no longer the laughing stock they were at the beginning of the season. Hopefully, they can finally learn how to utilize a running back this season as they have a trio of winnable matchups coming up as they take on the New York Jets, New York Giants, and Cincinnati Bengals.

2. Jordan Wilkins, RB, Indianapolis Colts

So much for the Jonathan Williams experiment. After two weeks in a row with more than 100 yards on the ground, Williams gained just 14 on eight carries in Week 13. The ineffectiveness was on display early, and Frank Reich didn't hesitate to make a quick change.

After seeing 46% and 67% snap shares in Weeks 11 and 12, respectively, Williams was on the field just 22% of the time on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. The player to come in and take immediate advantage was Jordan Wilkins.

While Williams could only muster 1.75 yards per tote, Wilkins came in and averaged 4.27 on his 11 carries. He was also targeted three times in the passing game to Williams' one. Making matters worse for Williams is the fact that Nyheim Hines played 43% of the snaps, his second-highest number this season.

Williams' numbers look even worse this week when you realize he had a 10-yard carry, meaning he gained just four yards on his other seven. That's not going to instill confidence in his coach.

Don't get too excited for Wilkins, though. While you can certainly pick him up off of waivers, Marlon Mack could return this week, which would quash any hopes of a Wilkins surge.

3. Javon Wims, WR, Chicago Bears

We've seen this kind of out-of-nowhere performance from Javon Wims before this season. Practice caution if you're thinking of picking him up.

After combining for just two catches on five targets since the Chicago Bears' Week 6 bye, Wims busted out this week for 5 catches on 6 targets for 56 yards in the Bears' Thanksgiving Day win over the Detroit Lions.

His 89% snap share in Week 12 was nearly double his 45% in Week 11 and his highest since he posted 93% in Week 5. It's that Week 5 game that is concerning for those thinking of picking him up.

Wims had a 94% snap share in Week 4, finishing with the exact same 56 yards he put up this week. Given basically the exact same playing time a week later, he put up a dud, failing to catch the only ball thrown his way.

The Bears are, surprisingly, a passing team this year, throwing the ball 62.2% of the time and 64.4% over their last three. They may need to up those numbers even more with games against the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, and Kansas City Chiefs on tap -- all teams who could easily build up big leads on Chicago and force them into more passing work.

The potential is certainly going to be there for Wims to continue to see elevated work, but don't count on it or waste a waiver pick on him.

4. Raheem Mostert, RB, San Francisco 49ers

Like Jordan Wilkins, San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert saw a major uptick in work this week. Also, like Jordan Wilkins, there's a good chance that the increase in work won't carry over going forward.

After seeing just 29% of the snaps in Week 12, Mostert, the fifth-year player out of Purdue, had a 74% snap share in a tough, last-second loss to the Baltimore Ravens. With Tevin Coleman showing little effectiveness on the ground early (picking up just six yards on five totes), head coach Kyle Shanahan turned to Mostert, who was a revelation.

Mostert picked up 146 yards on the ground, 40 of which game on this touchdown run that tied the game at 14 midway through the second quarter. It was easily Mostert's biggest game of the year and his career, and he obviously helped himself rise in the pecking order.

Unfortunately for those wishing to pick him up, he may not be getting as big a boost as you may have hoped. "Shanahan is optimistic" about a Week 14 Matt Breida return, which would lower Mostert's ceiling going forward.

If he's still on your waivers, he's certainly worthy of a roster spot. Please, pick him up. However, just know that it's going to be a roll of the dice to see who gets the most work for the Niners going forward.