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.
|Season||SNAPS||SNAPS/GM||SNAP %||UTIL %||PTS/100 Snaps|
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?
|Rank||Name||Team||Pos||GMS||SNAPS||SNAPS/GM||SNAP %||RUSH %||TGT %||UTIL %||PPR||PTS/100 Snaps|
Here are some things you should be aware of heading into Week 3.
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.
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.
Phillip Lindsay didn't start, but in on second play and got the ball. Vance Joseph said not considering starting him: “No, because it doesn’t matter. Our deal with that room is more of gameplan. It’s what they do best. It’s more of who has the hot hand that day.'' #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) September 17, 2018
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.
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.