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RB Snap Counts – Connecting the Dots

Connecting the Dots will focus on one key position and statistical area each week. After an exhilarating Week 2, we dive deeper into running back snap counts.

The top-20 RBs through two games have been on the field for an average of 60 percent of the offensive snaps. They have touched the football or have been targeted on an average of 44.7 percent of those snaps.

SeasonSNAPSSNAPS/GMSNAP %UTIL %PTS/100 Snaps
201764143.360.645.638
201663042.659.246.739
201557838.454.24537
201447534.8464838.7

Since 2014 the number of offensive snaps by the top-20 RBs has increased every season, but the utilization percentage has remained the same. The snap percentage refers to the share of team snaps played while the rush percentage is of a player’s snaps on which he had a rushing attempt. The target percentage is the percentage of snaps on which the subject player was targeted by a pass attempt. The utilization percentage is the percentage of snaps played on which a player touched the football or was targeted. Did you know that only six RBs have played 100 or more snaps through two games?

RankNameTeamPosGMSSNAPSSNAPS/GMSNAP %RUSH %TGT %UTIL %PPRPTS/100 Snaps
1Alvin KamaraNORB210351.579.220.417.537.96159.2
2Melvin GordonLACRB2984970.524.520.444.958.259.4
3Todd GurleyLARRB2108548036.17.443.55651.9
4James ConnerPITRB21507590.4267.333.353.735.8
5Chris ThompsonWASRB28341.554.210.825.336.147.156.7
6Saquon BarkleyNYGRB211356.581.325.719.545.145.640.4
7Christian McCaffreyCARRB21206089.615203541.434.5
8Ezekiel ElliottDALRB210954.593.229.49.238.537.334.2
9Austin EkelerLACRB2462333.134.817.452.236.479.1
10Joe MixonCINRB28140.561.846.99.956.835.644
11Matt BreidaSFRB2562843.139.310.7503155.4
11James WhiteNERB2703551.512.924.337.13144.3
13Adrian PetersonWASRB26733.543.855.2964.230.645.7
14Phillip LindsayDENRB2542738.653.77.461.130.356.1
15Jay AjayiPHIRB25125.533.843.1245.129.958.6
16Javorius AllenBALRB2723643.613.918.131.929.641.1
17Isaiah CrowellNYJRB25527.544405.545.528.151.1
18Tevin ColemanATLRB27738.557.932.57.840.32836.4
19Marshawn LynchOAKRB2683448.942.65.948.527.740.7
20Dion LewisTENRB2824164.136.61147.627.333.3
21Kenyan DrakeMIARB2824167.230.59.840.226.632.4
22Bilal PowellNYJRB2582946.429.313.843.126.545.7
23Carlos HydeCLERB28341.55545.83.649.425.530.7
23Jordan HowardCHIRB2984972.129.69.238.825.526
23Dalvin CookMINRB210753.574.324.311.235.525.523.8
26TJ YeldonJAXRB2804059.73015452531.2
27David JohnsonARIRB27135.572.43115.546.523.833.5
28Theo RiddickDETRB26934.546.95.827.533.322.232.2
29Corey ClementPHIRB2462330.523.9133722.148
30Lamar MillerHOURB21085476.631.53.735.220.919.4
31Kareem HuntKCRB2804070.242.52.54519.924.9
32Nyheim HinesINDRB26130.542.714.816.431.119.732.3
33Alex CollinsBALRB26934.541.823.27.230.418.927.4
34Kerryon JohnsonDETRB2522635.42517.342.318.335.2
35Jordan WilkinsINDRB270354934.37.141.417.525
36Jalen RichardOAKRB24522.532.415.624.44017.238.2
37Royce FreemanDENRB24522.532.151.12.253.315.935.3
38Jamaal WilliamsGBRB2844261.336.97.14414.817.6
39LeSean McCoyBUFRB2643250.82510.935.913.921.7
40Alfred MorrisSFRB26532.550403.143.111.818.2
41Frank GoreMIARB2422134.442.92.445.211.527.4
42Chris CarsonSEARB2442235.829.513.643.211.325.7
42Rashaad PennySEARB24522.536.637.815.653.311.325.1
44Kyle JuszczykSFFB2663350.809.19.110.916.5
45Peyton BarberTBRB2844267.741.72.44410.812.9
46Tarik CohenCHIRB24924.53618.410.228.610.621.6
47Kenneth DixonBALRB1222227.559.1059.110.447.3
48Rex BurkheadNERB2522638.246.25.851.910.119.4
48Giovani BernardCINRB25326.540.513.215.128.310.119.1
50Derrick HenryTENRB2462335.960.92.265.210.0221.8
51Ty MontgomeryGBRB24924.535.814.310.224.59.820
52Leonard FournetteJAXRB1212133.342.914.357.18.540.5
53Devonta FreemanATLRB1393929.315.412.828.2820.5
54Darren SprolesPHIRB1292919.217.224.141.47.224.8
55Duke JohnsonCLERB2643242.412.512.5256.510.2
56James DevelinNERB25527.540.409.19.16.211.3
57Marcus MurphyBUFRB2462336.519.615.234.85.411.7
58Devontae BookerDENRB24120.529.312.24.917.15.212.7

Here are some things you should be aware of heading into Week 3.

1

Austin Ekeler‘s performance through two games provides fantasy players a taste of what Ekeler is capable of if Melvin Gordon were to ever miss an extended period of time.

The Saints running game is ranked 32nd in the NFL averaging a measly 52.5 rushing yards after two weeks. The backups Jonathan Williams and Mike Gillislee have done little. Alvin Kamara continues to post positive efficiency numbers as a rusher and a receiver. It remains to be seen how Mark Ingram influences the running game once he returns from his four-game suspension, but the offensive line play could be the root cause of the Saints rushing woes. It’s worth noting here that Kamara actually played more offensive snaps than Ingram over the second half of last season.

Positive or negative game flow has dictated through two games who plays the most snaps in Washington. This trend will continue for the rest of the season for Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson.

2
Kyle Juszczyk actually played a higher number of snaps than Matt Breida or Alfred Morris in Week 2 against the Lions. Breida has been very efficient as a runner averaging a little over half a point more than expected per carry. Through two games his 184 rushing yards on the ground are the highest total in the NFL, as is Breida’s 8.4 yards per rushing attempt. This type of statistical production is not sustainable for the rest of the season, but he is still averaging 5.6 yards per carry even if you take away Breida’s 66-yard touchdown run. Breida has earned the right to play more snaps and to see his role expand, but I envision head coach Kyle Shanahan continuing to use a committee in the 49ers backfield.

The even split from a snaps perspective for Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell makes it difficult to project either player as anything more than a flex option. Crowell will see more rushing attempts if the Jets find themselves in positive game flow situations while Powell will be used as a receiver in negative game flow situations.

The number of snaps in Broncos backfield has been split fairly evenly between Phillip Lindsay, Royce Freeman, and Devontae Booker. Lindsay has been the most efficient through two games. He became the first undrafted free agent in NFL history with 100 total scrimmage yards or more in each of his first two games. Success or failure for Lindsay will ultimately be dictated by his performance on a week to week basis.

The Broncos are averaging 30 rushing attempts per game through two games. Lindsay has the potential to be a league winner if he had the opportunity to see a consistent number of touches per game.

Dion Lewis continues to play more snaps and statistically outperform Derrick Henry. The Titans were more balanced offensively in Week 1, but focused more on the running game in Week 2 given their quarterback situation and taking an early two-score lead. It would be surprising to see Henry have more rushing attempts in Week 3 considering he is averaging less than three yards per attempt through two games.
4
Could things get any worse for the Bills? The team has gotten outscored by 55 points over their first two games and may not have LeSean McCoy available for Week 3. He is dealing with cracked rib cartilage and is officially day to day. The belief was that Chris Ivory was signed by the Bills to back up McCoy, but Marcus Murphy is ultimately playing the snaps on the field. He is a sneaky pickup this week considering his ability as a pass catcher and that Vegas views the Bills as an underdog in Week 3.

New Colts head coach Frank Reich has a history of using an RB by committee and this backfield is no different. Things became even more complicated with the return of Marlon Mack. The Colts running game isn’t robust enough to support multiple fantasy RBs since the offense has only averaged 25 rushing attempts per game through two games.

Do you agree or disagree? What was most useful to you? Please leave a comment below or better yet reach out to me via Twitter @EricNMoody

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