Week 1 Fantasy Football Market Share Report: Is Kareem Hunt the Running Back to Have in Cleveland?
Let's overreact together.
Okay, let's not do that.
Week 1 is inevitably the most important week to not overreact to the things we just saw. You had a plan in place, drafted your team and put out your ideal starting lineup. If it didn't go well -- or not well enough -- shaking up your roster beyond recognition after an eight-hour Sunday binge isn't sound judgement.
In the Market Share Report, we take a look at some of the players whose usage and shares of their team's touches stood out. Making informed decisions on what is actionable and what is small-sample noise is tough to do. This article can help.
So let's get some data on a few players whose usage stood out in one way or another in Week 1.
Rushing Market Share
Kareem Hunt, Browns
Kareem Hunt led all Cleveland Browns rushers in touches (17) by carrying it 13 times for 72 yards, and he added 4 receptions for 9 yards. His backfield partner, Nick Chubb, rushed 10 times for 60 yards, and added 1 catch for 6 yards, losing a fumble in the process.
With Cleveland being in catch-up mode against Baltimore Ravens, Hunt saw more work, and Chubb took a backseat. The Browns won't always get behind big, and their Week 2 matchup versus the Cincinnati Bengals should play out differently. But Hunt is going to be a huge factor in this backfield.
Chubb and Hunt are likely to flip back and forth throughout the season as for who sees the most touches in a game. While Chubb should benefit in positive game scripts, this is going to be much more of an even split than most assumed heading into 2020. In PPR or half-PPR, Hunt is clearly in the RB2/flex range as a standalone play, and he has a better weekly floor than Chubb due to his pass-game role.
Nyheim Hines, Colts
Nyheim Hines, running back for the Indianapolis Colts, was often ignored in the Jonathan Taylor-Marlon Mack debates this offseason. And it’s not surprising, really. How many touches did we presume there would be to go around?
That started to change on the Colts' first drive of the season as Hines was out there plenty before capping it off with a score. And then Mack suffered a season-ending injury, leaving no doubt about Hines' rest-of-season fantasy relevance.
In the second half, when Mack was out of the picture, Hines played exactly as many snaps as Taylor did.
Colts' RB workloads in the second half:
- Jonathan Taylor: 20 snaps, 8 carries, 5 targets
- Nyheim Hines: 20 snaps, 2 carries, 4 targets
Definitely more encouraging for Taylor than the full-game split between the two.
— Jim Sannes (@JimSannes) September 14, 2020
Hines' receiving chops were on display with 8 reception, 45 yards and a touchdown in the game. He also had 7 carries for 28 yards and another touchdown on the ground.
Certainly, Taylor is the safe bet to take over much of the early-down work for the Colts, but with Hines' ability in the passing game, he's going to be a weekly flex play in PPR formats. Philip Rivers has long been a quarterback who loves throwing to his running backs, and Hines is going to benefit from that.
Taylor could be a league-winning player this season, while Mack is going to be this week's hottest waiver add.
Receiving Market Share
Will Fuller, Texans
Will Fuller corralled a 31 percent target share last Thursday night and totaled 8 receptions for 112 yards on 10 targets. He doubled the targets of Brandin Cooks, who finished with five looks, though Cooks wasn't fully healthy.
With his injury history, Fuller isn't easy to buy into, but he looks like the clear number-one target in an offense that's led by Deshaun Watson. That's a player you want on your roster. If Fuller stays healthy, a WR1 (top-12) season is fully within his range of outcomes.
Robby Anderson, Panthers
Anderson had a dominant game in Week 1, totaling 6 catches for 115 yards and 1 touchdown. He had just one fewer target than Moore did.
While we know Moore and Christian McCaffrey are going to get theirs in this offense, Anderson is competing with Curtis Samuel for the number-three role in the attack. Samuel got 8 looks of his own but turned them into just 5 catches and 38 yards. Round 1 undoubtedly went to Anderson.
With a defense that's likely to struggle this season, Carolina could find themselves in a lot of pass-heavy games, giving Anderson some fantasy appeal if he edges Samuel for targets.
Red Zone Market Share
Peyton Barber, Washington
Peyton Barber was a Week 1 red zone monster with 10 red zone touches and 2 touchdowns against the Philadelphia Eagles. Five of his touches -- including the two scores -- came from inside the five-yard-line.
Despite rushing 17 times for a mere 29 yards overall, the red zone work is elite -- at least for one week. He deserves waiver attention if your running backs suffered injuries or just weren’t good enough. Because, let's face it, touchdowns matter, and Barber can carve out weekly fantasy relevance for as long as he can hold off Antonio Gibson.
Zack Moss, Bills
Moss was third in the NFL in Week 1 with seven red zone carries, including three attempts inside the five-yard-line. Despite not scoring on the ground, Moss' red-zone rushing work is a huge feather in his fantasy cap. And if you have the red zone running back for this year's Bills, you actually have something.
Moss did get into the end zone through the air, scoring on a four-yard pass play. He was on the field for 45 percent of the Bills’ offensive snaps, and he looks like the preferred fantasy option in Buffalo's backfield.