This article is part of our Hidden Stat Line series.
When it comes to evaluating roles and usage, the first week of the regular season is generally the most important. We're guaranteed a few big surprises (Myles Gaskin in a lead role?) and a few major sources of frustration (Peyton Barber with a 17-29-2 rushing line).
The goal below is to focus on usage — breaking down snaps, carries, target and routes run, both in terms of the raw numbers and as a share of each team's RB production. We also provide observations and tweets to provide context for other stuff, including goal-line usage and the impact of garbage-time stats.
If you don't care for the nitty-gritty and simply want a quick overview, you can scroll down to the bottom of the page for leaders in some key volume stats, or take a look right below where we divide each backfield into different categories, e.g., every-down workhorses vs. two-man splits vs. committees. Keep in mind this is based on what we saw Week 1; it isn't a prediction or promise about what will happen in the future.
You'll also notice that we include two percentages in parentheses when evaluating targets. The first number represents the player's targets divided by the total number seen by RBs on his team. The second number is target share relative to the entire team (including WRs and TEs). For routes run, we show the number of routes divided by the number of team QB dropbacks.
First, let's divide the 32 backfields into categories based on Week 1 usage:
Not Allowed to Come Off the Field Unless You Can't Breathe
- Carolina Panthers - Christian McCaffrey
- Dallas Cowboys - Ezekiel Elliott
- New York Giants - Saquon Barkley
Three-down Role, Sometimes Subbed Out
- Houston Texans - David Johnson
- New York Jets - Le'Veon Bell (hamstring)
- Green Bay Packers - Aaron Jones
- Minnesota Vikings - Dalvin Cook
- Los Angeles Chargers - Austin Ekeler
- Arizona Cardinals - Kenyan Drake
- Los Angeles Rams - Malcolm Brown
- Pittsburgh Steelers - James Conner (pre-injury)
Clear Lead Back, But Usually Off the Field for Obvious Passing Situations
- Kansas City Chiefs - Clyde Edwards-Helaire
- Las Vegas Raiders - Josh Jacobs
- Jacksonville Jaguars - James Robinson
- Atlanta Falcons - Todd Gurley
- Cincinnati Bengals - Joe Mixon
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Ronald Jones
- San Francisco 49ers - Raheem Mostert
- Cleveland Browns - Nick Chubb (1A) & Kareem Hunt (1B)
- Chicago Bears - David Montgomery (thumper) & Tarik Cohen (scatback)
- Indianapolis Colts - Jonathan Taylor (thumper) & Nyheim Hines (scatback)
- Buffalo Bills - Devin Singletary (1A) & Zack Moss (1B)
- Philadelphia Eagles - Boston Scott (1A) & Corey Clement (1B)
- New Orleans Saints - Alvin Kamara (1A) & Latavius Murray (1B)
- Baltimore Ravens - Mark Ingram, J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards
- Detroit Lions - Adrian Peterson, D'Andre Swift, Kerryon Johnson
- Seattle Seahawks - Chris Carson, Carlos Hyde, Travis Homer
- New England Patriots - Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, J.J. Taylor
- Washington Football Team - Peyton Barber, J.D. McKissic, Antonio Gibson
(Snap totals, snap shares, carries and targets come from pro-football-reference.com. Data on dropbacks and routes run comes from Pro Football Focus.)
Houston Texans (20) @ Kansas City Chiefs (34)
- Houston ran three plays early in the game with both Johnsons on the field, but we didn't really get to see if it was a staple or just part of the first-15 gameplan, as an ankle sprain ended Duke's night midway through the third quarter.
- David had only eight carries and three targets when Duke left the game, so the backfield split wasn't quite as drastic as the final stat line suggests.
- Despite Duke's early exit, No. 3 RB Buddy Howell strictly played special teams. In other words, David should get a huge workload if Duke is out for Week 2 vs. Baltimore.
Carries: Edwards-Helaire - 25 (76%) — Williams - 7 (21%)
Targets: Edwards-Helaire - 2 (50%, 6%) — Williams - 2 (50%, 6%)
Routes: Edwards-Helaire - 18 (0.51 r/db) — Williams - 11 (0.31 r/db)
- This was the 26th time the Chiefs have logged 30+ carries in Andy Reid's 113 regular-season games as head coach, but it was only the third time it's happened with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, and the other two instances were exactly 30 carries (the Chiefs had 34 on Thursday, including one from Sammy Watkins and one from FB Anthony Sherman, but none from Mahomes).
- Maybe Reid will run more now that he has the RB he wants, or maybe it was a one game anomaly. FWIW, the team's run rate was 42 percent (16/38) in the first half, with Mahomes throwing 21 passes and taking one sack, while CEH and Co. got 16 carries en route to a 17-7 lead at the break.
- Edwards-Helaire got nine carries in the red zone and six inside the 5-yard line, yet his one TD came from 27 yards out. He also had gains of 18, 14, 11, 9, 9, 9, 8 and 8, picking up four or more yards on 13 of his 19 non-goal-line carries. He produced 7.4 YPC on those 19 carries. The only concern is that the might lose some of those high-value touches to Williams if the short-yardage struggles become a trend.
- FB Anthony Sherman had one carry, converting a 4th-and-1.
Seattle Seahawks (38) @ Atlanta Falcons (25)
Carries: Hyde - 7 (44%) — Carson - 6 (38%) — Homer - 3 (19%)
Targets: Carson - 6 (75%, 17%) — Homer - 2 (25%, 6%)
Routes: Carson - 18 (0.43 r/db) — Hyde - 11 (0.26 r/db) — Homer - 8 (0.19 r/db)
- Carson had 6-21-0 on the ground and 6-45-2 receiving... exactly what you expected, right?
- The only goal-line carries came with about four minutes left in the game and Seattle up by 13 points. Homer picked up a yard from the 2-yard line, then Hyde punched it in on the next snap to seal the game.
- Prior to that final drive, the carry split was Carson (5), Hyde (5), Homer (2), i.e., garbage time wasn't really a factor in the numbers above. It really was a three-way split. Of course, it was also Carson's first game back from a major hip injury.
Carries: Gurley - 14 (78%) — Hill - 3 (17%) — Smith - 1 (6%)
Targets: Gurley - 5 (50%, 10%) — Smith - 3 (30%, 6%) — Hill - 2 (20%, 4%)
Routes: Smith - 18 (0.31 r/db) — Gurley - 16 (0.27 r/db) — Hill - 13 (0.22 r/db)
- Gurley caught just two of five targets for one yard, but he did have 14-56-1 on the ground, with the TD coming from one yard out after he was stopped from the 4-yard line and the 3-yard line on the previous two snaps.
Cleveland Browns (6) @ Baltimore Ravens (38)
Carries: Hunt - 13 (54%) — Chubb - 10 (42%) — Johnson - 1 (4%)
Targets: Hunt - 6 (86% RB, 17% team) — Chubb - 1 (14% RB, 3% team)
Routes: Chubb 17 (0.40 r/db) — Hunt 14 (0.33 r/db) — Johnson 2 (0.05 r/db)
- Chubb and Hunt took six carries apiece in the first half, with the former producing 42 yards and the latter 37. Chubb finished with 6.0 YPC, and Hunt with 5.5, but their five receptions produced only 18 total yards.
- Hunt got the lone goal-line carry, which he fumbled but then recovered himself. Later on, Chubb lost a fumble on the final play of the third quarter.
- Chubb didn't see any more touches after his fumble, while Hunt had six carries and a catch in the fourth quarter. In other words, Chubb had a 10-7 carry advantage at the time of his final touch (the fumble).
- The two-back sets with Chubb and Hunt on the field together weren't really a thing. They may have done it once or twice, but I watched the entire game — apart from the opening drive and final drive — without noticing it.
Carries: Ingram - 10 (45%) — Dobbins - 7 (32%) — Edwards - 4 (18%)
Routes: Dobbins - 15 (0.48 r/db) — Ingram - 7 (0.23 r/db) — Edwards - 3 (0.10 r/db)
- Ingram took his final carry at the 10-minute mark of the fourth quarter. After that, Edwards took three carries and Dobbins got one more.
- Dobbins ran a route on 15 of 16 pass snaps, while Edwards blocked on four of his seven.
- Lamar Jackson's seven carries were tied for his second fewest through 25 career starts, including playoffs. Only the Week 1 blowout in Miami last season had fewer rush attempts.
- Despite the final score, Baltimore had only two goal-line carries, the first being a three-yard TD for Dobbins in the second quarter, and the second being a two-yard TD for Dobbins ealy in the fourth quarter.
New York Jets (17) @ Buffalo Bills (27)
Carries: Bell - 6 (43%) — Gore - 6 (43%) — Adams - 2 (14%)
Targets: Bell - 2 (50%, 6%) — Adams - 2 (50%, 6%)
Routes: Bell - 22 (0.54 r/db) — Adams - 10 (0.24 r/db) — Gore - 4 (0.10 r/db)
- Bell injured his hamstring and didn't play after the opening drive of the second half. At the time of Bell's final touch, Gore had one carry and Adams had none, i.e., Bell was getting the vast majority of snaps and opportunities.
- Rookie fourth-round pick La'Mical Perine (ankle) was inactive Sunday, but he seemed to be ahead of Adams for the No. 3 role this summer. FWIW, Perine didn't practice at all last week, so he isn't looking great for Week 2.
Carries: Singletary - 9 (50%) — Moss - 9 (50%)
Targets: Singletary - 7 (64%, 16%) — Moss - 4 (36%, 9%)
Routes: Singletary - 27 (0.47 r/db) — Moss - 20 (0.35 r/db)
- Josh Allen led the team with a 14-57-1 rushing line, including only five plays that PFF charted as scrambles from dropbacks. So, you might say this was a three-way backfield split between Allen, Singletary and Moss, though it's worth notting that the QB averaged only 3.9 designed runs per game last year.
- Moss got four carries and two targets inside the Jets' 10-yard line, including a four-yard TD catch in the first quarter and three consecutive carries late in the fourth quarter (one from the 7, then from the 4, then from the 3, then the Jets kicked a FG).
- Singletary got one carry and one target in the red zone, but nothing inside the 10.
Las Vegas Raiders (34) @ Carolina Panthers (30)
Carries: Jacobs - 25 (86%) — Booker - 4 (14%)
Targets: Jacobs - 6 (60%, 21%) — Booker - 3 (30%, 11%) — Richard - 1 (10%, 4%)
Routes: Jacobs - 18 (0.56 r/db) — Booker - 3 (0.09 r/db) — Richard - 3 (0.09 r/db)
- Sunday was a very good day for anyone who drafted Jacobs in the second round or even the later part of the first round. The massive usage resulted in 25-93-3 and 4-46-0, with his snap share going above 68 percent for the first time since his NFL debut. Just keep in mind that the Raiders never trailed by more than three points and didn't have many third-and-medium/longs or a two-minute drills. Jacobs stayed on the field for in-between type situations, but Richard got five of the seven snaps on third downs with more than two yards needed for the first down.
- The three RBs accounted for 10 of the Raiders' 28 targets (36 percent).
- Jacobs scored from 7, 6 and 1 yards out.
Carries: McCaffrey - 23 (92%)
Targets: McCaffrey - 4 (100%, 12%)
Routes: McCaffrey - 35 (0.85 r/db) — Davis - 2 (0.05 r/db)
- New coaches, similar story. CMac finished with 23-96-2 and 3-38-0, playing all but two snaps.
- FB Alex Armah got two carries; one from the Raiders' 4-yard line (no TD) and one on 4th-and-1 (unsuccessful) in the final two minutes of the game.
Chicago Bears (27) @ Detroit Lions (23)
Carries: Montgomery - 13 (54%) — Cohen - 7 (29%) — Patterson - 4 (17%)
Targets: Montgomery - 3 (50%, 8%) — Cohen - 2 (33%, 6%) — Patterson - 1 (17%, 3%)
Routes: Cohen - 18 (0.45 r/db) — Montgomery - 14 (0.35 r/db) — Patterson - 6 (0.15 r/db)
- Per PFF, Patterson took six of his 10 snaps in the backfield, so we'll count him as an RB for our purposes. Meanwhile, Cohen got only three snaps out wide and three in the slot, compared to 24 from the backfield.
- Montgomery handled 57 percent snap share last season, with Cohen at 50 percent.
- The Bears didn't have any goal-line carries, but Montgomery did get an incomplete target from the Detroit 2-yard line.
Carries: Peterson - 14 (58%) — Johnson - 7 (29%) — Swift - 3 (13%)
Targets: Swift - 5 (63%, 12%) — Peterson - 3 (37%, 7%)
Routes: Swift - 24 (0.47 r/db) — Peterson - 9 (0.18 r/db) — Johnson - 9 (0.18 r/db)
- Swift scored a one-yard TD on Detroit's lone goal-line carry, but that doesn't mean he's the goal-line back. It was at the very end of the second quarter when the Lions were running their hurry-up offense, i.e., they had their passing-down personnel on the field.
- Swift dropped what would've been a game-winning, 16-yard touchdown with six seconds remaining.
- Peterson averaged 6.6 YPC and 7.0 YPT en route to 114 total yards, while Johnson and Swift combined for 37 total yards on 13 touches.
Indianapolis Colts (20) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (27)
Carries: Taylor - 9 (45%) — Hines - 7 (35%) — Mack - 4 (20%)
Targets: Hines - 8 (47%, 17%) — Taylor - 6 (35%, 13%) — Mack - 3 (18%, 7%)
Routes: Hines - 29 (0.58 r/db) — Taylor - 14 (0.28 r/db) — Mack - 7 (0.14 r/db)
- Mack had an eight-yard catch on the first snap and got each of his seven touches before Taylor had even a single touch.
- Taylor had a 35-yard reception shortly after Mack suffered what's believed to be a season-ending injury. Taylor was then stuffed from the two-yard line on the next snap, and Nyheim Hines had an eight-yard TD catch a couple plays later (Hines already had a 12-yard TD run in the first quarter).
- In addition to the touchdowns, Hines was stopped short on a 4th-and-1 from the Jacksonville 3-yard line late in the first quarter. The play wasn't from a power formation; it was a "long" one yard, and the Colts ran the snap out of shotgun with three WRs on the field.
- Early in the third quarter, Taylor was stuffed on a 2nd-and-1 and a 3rd-and-1 on back-to-back snaps, which was followed by the Colts converting the fourth down with a pass to Jack Doyle.
- Hines finished with 7-28-1 on the ground and 8-45-1 through the air.
- Taylor finished with 9-22-0 and 6-67-0.
Carries: Robinson - 16 (100%)
Targets: Thompson - 2 (66%, 10%) — Robinson - 1 (33%, 5%)
Routes: Thompson - 12 (0.41 r/db) — Robinson - 11 (0.38 r/db)
- The Colts ran 74 plays to Jacksonville's 50, so there wasn't a ton of volume to go around.
- Per PFF, Laviska Shenault also took two snaps in the backfield, plus a third on a direct snap.
Green Bay Packers (43) @ Minnesota Vikings (34)
Carries: Jones - 16 (64%) — Williams - 7 (28%) — Dillon - 2 (8%)
Targets: Jones - 6 (60%, 15%) — Williams - 4 (40%, 10%)
Routes: Jones - 19 (0.42 r/db) — Williams - 15 (0.33 r/db)
- I'm not counting Tyler Ervin, because PFF charted him with just two of his 14 snaps in the backfield (11 slot, one wide). But he did have three carries and a target.
- Dillon's two carries came on 1st-and-10s while the game was still competitive. In other words, he wasn't the goal-line specialist and he didn't get work in garbage time.
- Jones got three of the four carries inside the 5-yard line, including a five-yard TD run. He also had a catch from the 5-yard line, but gained only a yard on the play.
- Jones finished with 16-66-1 rushing and 4-10-0 receiving. Williams was 7-21-0 & 4-21-0.
Carries: Cook - 12 (67%) — Mattison - 6 (33%)
Targets: Mattison - 4 (67%, 16%) — Cook - 2 (33%, 8%)
Routes: Cook - 14 (50%, 0.44 r/db) — Mattison - 12 (43, 0.38 r/db) — Abdullah - 2 (.07 r/db)
- The Packers ran 78 plays to Minnesota's 52, so there wasn't a ton of opportunity here.
- Mattison's 4-30-0 receiving line was entirely produced on the Vikings' final drive when they were trailing by 17 points. Garbage time distorted the snap and target numbers here, though Mattison did get some carries before things got out of hand.
- Cook had a one-yard TD, a three-yard TD and a pair of two-point conversions, plus he easily ran more routes than Mattison before the final drive. Cook's fantasy managers should feel good about this one, even though their guy had only 48 yards (50 rushing, -2 receiving).
Miami Dolphins (11) @ New England Patriots (21)
Carries: Gaskin - 9 (41%) — Howard - 8 (36%) — Breida - 5 (23%)
Targets: Gaskin - 4 (100%, 13%)
Routes: Gaskin - 26 (0.68 r/db) — Breida - 7 (0.18 r/db) — Laird - 2 (0.05 r/db) — Howard - 1 (0.03 r/db)
- Howard got the start and the first five carries, with Gaskin initially subbing in on third downs but then also picking up carries starting in the second quarter. Breida mixed in throughout, while Howard essentially disappeared between the first quarter and the fourth.
- Howard reemerged from irrelevance to take three consecutive goal-line carries early in the fourth quarter, scoring from one yard out on his final attempt. There was a report that Howard's absence was injury-related, but it seems to have been a mistake (someone confused him with WR DeVante Parker, who did in fact injure his hamstring).
- Gaskin had 9-40-0 rushing and 4-26-0 receiving, with Breida adding 5-22-0 and Howard 8-7-1.
- Gaskin got half the opportunities (carries+targets) and nearly two-thirds of the snaps, so while it may be best to treat this as a committee going forward, it's probably more accurate to say the second-year pro was the lead guy Week 1. Anyway, this didn't really fall into any of our categories at the top of the page... Gaskin got three-down playing time, but not the carries to match.
Carries: Michel - 10 (38%) — Burkhead - 7 (27%) — White - 5 (19%) — Taylor - 4 (15%)
Targets: White - 3 (75%, 16%) — Taylor - 1 (25%, 5%)
Routes: Burkhead - 8 (0.33 r/db) — White - 7 (0.29 r/db) — Michel - 4 (0.17 r/db) — Taylor - 2 (0.8 r/db)
- The Patriots ran eight plays with an extra O-lineman and used FB Jakob Johnson on 33 percent of their snaps, averaging only 2.36 WRs on the field per snap. Last year, with Tom Brady at QB, they averaged 2.63 WR snaps per play. It's obviously a small sample after just one game, but if it continues, that won't be good news for James White, who mostly gets playing time in three-wide formations.
- Cam Newton did 15-75-2 on the ground, with Michel at 10-37-1, Burkhead at 7-32-0, Taylor at 4-28-0 and White at 5-22-0.
- Newton and Michel got one carry apiece from inside the 5-yard line, both converting for TDs. Newton had four carries inside the 10-yard line, accounting for 80 percent of the team total.
- This looks like an absolute mess for fantasy purposes.
Philadelphia Eagles (17) @ Washington Football Team (27)
Carries: Scott - 9 (56%) — Clement - 6 (38%) — Huntley - 1 (6%)
Targets: Scott - 2 (50%, 5%) — Clement - 2 (50%, 5%)
Routes: Scott - 24 (0.47 r/db) — Clement - 15 (0.29 r/db)
- Miles Sanders (hamstring) was inactive, creating a perfect situation for Scott to torpedo millions of DFS lineups.
- Stud RT Lane Johnson (ankle) was inactive, leaving the Eagles without three of the five guys they planned to start on the O-line this year. (LT Andre Dillard and RG Brandon Brooks are out for the season.)
- Scott put up 9-35-0 and 2-19-0, while Clement had 6-19-0 and 2-2-0.
- Scott was a total bust for fantasy, but PFF charted him with five tackles avoided, tied for seventh most among running backs through the first 14 games of the week. Josh Jacobs is the league leader with 12, followed by Christian McCaffrey (8), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (7), Ezekiel Elliott (6) and Kareem Hunt (6).
Carries: Barber - 17 (59%) — Gibson - 9 (31%) — McKissic - 3 (10%)
Targets: McKissic - 5 (71%, 17%) — Gibson - 2 (29%, 7%)
Routes: McKissic - 21 (0.58 r/db) — Gibson - 8 (0.22 r/db) — Barber - 6 (0.17 r/db)
- Barber finished with 17-29-2, taking 10 carries in the red zone, seven inside the 10-yard line and five inside the 5-yard line. He accounted for Washington's last 10 carries of the game, so really it was close to an even split between him and Gibson until the end.
- Per PFF, Gibson played 15 snaps in the backfield, two in the slot and one out wide. McKissic was a little more varied, with three from the slot and five out wide.
- McKissic caught just one of five targets for one yards, and he lost two yards on three carries. Gibson, meanwhile, had 9-36-0 on the ground and 2-8-0 receiving. (McKissic could lose his role to the rookie if he doesn't do more with his touches in the future.)
Los Angeles Chargers (16) @ Cincinnati Bengals (13)
Los Angeles (NOT San Diego)
Carries: Ekeler - 19 (58%) — Kelley - 12 (36%) — Jackson - 2 (6%)
Targets: Ekeler - 1 (100%, 3%)
Routes: Ekeler - 23 (0.62 r/db) — Jackson - 7 (0.19 r/db) — Kelley - 3 (0.08 r/db)
- Ekeler didn't see any targets, but he did run 23 routes, a hair above last year's mark of 22.6 per game. He was never going to match last year's 2.74 yards per route, but the usage here is actually pretty encouraging if you can look past the PPR disappointment. The 19 carries were a career high.
- Jackson suffered a quad injury and didn't take any carries after the first quarter.
- Kelley didn't get his first touch until the three-minute mark of the second quarter, but he ended up playing a big role in the win, finishing with 12-60-1. He scored a five-yard TD early in the fourth quarter, then saw carries from the 6-yard line and 2-yard line on the next drive. Ekeler's closest shot was a four-yard gain from the Cincinnati 9-yard line on the snap right before Kelley's TD.
- Although he lost more playing time to Kelley in the second half, Ekeler still had nine touches (45 percent of his total) after the break.
Carries: Mixon - 19 (95%) — Bernard - 1 (5%)
Targets: Bernard - 5 (71%, 14%) — Mixon - 2 (29%, 6%)
Routes: Mixon - 17 (0.38 r/db) — Bernard - 12 (0.27 r/db)
- This was similar to last season, with Mixon getting nearly all of the carries and only coming off the field in clear passing situations.
- Bernard drew five targets, but he also was used as a pass blocker seven times, per PFF. Bernard had the fourth-most pass blocking snaps (100) of any RB last season, and Mixon (78) had the 10th-most, i.e., don't expect huge receiving numbers from Zac Taylor's backfield.
- Mixon finished with 19-69-0 and 1-2-0, plus he lost a fumble in the fourth quarter. PFF gave him the worst grade (49.6) of any player in the Cincinnati offense.
- Joe Burrow had 8-46-1 on the ground, but his TD came from 23 yards out. The Bengals ran only three plays in the red zone, all passes. And Burrow's carries were evenly split between designed runs (four) and scrambles (four), according to PFF.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (23) @ New Orleans Saints (34)
Carries: Jones - 17 (77%) — Fournette - 5 (23%)
Targets: Jones - 3 (60%, 9%) — McCoy - 1 (20%, 3%) — Fournette - 1 (20%, 3%)
Routes: McCoy - 21 (0.46 r/db) — Jones - 13 (0.28 r/db) — Fournette - 4 (0.09 r/db)
- Jones finished with 17-66-0 and 2-16-0, while Fournete managed only 5-5-0 but did at least gain 14 yards on his lone reception.
- Tom Brady had the lone goal-line carry (a TD sneak) but Jones did get two inside the 10.
Carries: Murray - 15 (54%) — Kamara - 12 (43%) — Montgomery - 1 (4%)
Targets: Kamara - 8 (89%, 27%) — Murray - 1 (11%, 3%)
Routes: Kamara - 25 (0.71 r/db) — Murray - 3 (0.09 r/db) — Montgomery - 1 (0.03 r/db)
- Kamara finished with 12-16-1 rushing and 5-51-1 receiving, and he came within inches of a third TD when Sean Payton decided to run up the score in garbage time (Kamara was pushed out of bounds just shy of the goal line on a fourth down with about 25 seconds left in the game). Kamara had a 38-yard catch on a trick play earlier that drive... prior to that, he had two TDs but only 30 total yards.
- Kamara had a 9-7 carry advantage over Murray before the fourth quarter.
Arizona Cardinals (24) @ San Francisco 49ers (20)
Carries: Drake - 16 (73%) — Edmonds - 6 (27%)
Targets: Drake - 2 (29%, 5%) — Edmonds - 5 (71%, 14%)
Routes: Drake - 27 (0.51 r/db) — Edmonds - 15 (0.28 r/db)
- Drake got the lone goal-line carry and converted it for a one-yard, game-winning TD.
- Drake was used as a pass blocker nine times, and Edmonds six times, per PFF. It may have been gameplan-specific, considering Drake averaged only five pass-blocking snaps in his eight games with the Cardinals last year (despite playing 80 percent of snaps overall).
- Drake finished with 16-60-1 and 2-5-0, while Edmonds had 6-26-0 and 3-19-1.
Carries: Mostert - 15 (65%) — Coleman - 4 (17%) — McKinnon - 3 (13%)
Targets: Mostert - 5 (42%, 16%) — McKinnon - 5 (42%, 16%) — Coleman - 2 (17%, 6%)
Routes: Mostert - 17 (0.45 r/db) — McKinnon - 14 (0.37 r/db) — Coleman - 2 (0.05 r/db)
- Coleman's lack of playing time likely was related to the poor air quality (he has sickle cell trait, putting him at greater risk for health complications).
- Mostert had a 76-yard touchdown catch en route to a 15-56-0 and 4-95-1 day.
- McKinnon put up 3-24-0 rushing and 3-20-1 receiving. Coleman had 24 yards on five touches.
- Mostert got the lone carry inside the 5-yard line, but McKinnon did get two inside the 10 (plus the target he caught for a TD)
Dallas Cowboys (17) @ Los Angeles Rams (20)
Carries: Elliott - 22 (92%) — Pollard - 2 (8%)
Targets: Elliott - 4 (57%, 11%) — Pollard - 3 (43%, 8%)
Routes: Elliott - 31 (0.65 r/db) — Pollard - 8 (0.17 r/db)
- Elliott put up 22-96-1 and 3-31-1, first scoring on a 19-yard reception and later on a one-yard run.
- Dak Prescott didn't have any designed runs. His 3-30-0 rushing line was entirely from scrambles, per PFF.
Carries: Brown - 18 (51%) — Akers - 14 (40%) — Henderson - 3 (9%)
Targets: Brown - 4 (80%, 14%) — Akers - 1 (20%, 4%)
Routes: Brown - 21 (0.60 r/db) — Akers - 10 (0.29 r/db) — Henderson - 1 (0.03 r/db)
- Brown stole the night with 18-79-2 and 3-31-0, while Akers managed only 14-39-0 and one catch for four yards. Henderson was healthy enough to play after dealing with a hamstring injury the past few weeks, but he wasn't a big part of the gameplan.
- Brown got both of the inside-the-5 carries and converted both for scores.
Pittsburgh Steelers (26) @ New York Giants (16)
Carries: Snell - 19 (73%) — Conner - 6 (23%) — Samuels - 1 (4%)
Targets: Conner - 4 (67%, 13%) — Snell - 1 (17%, 3%) — Samuels - 1 (17%, 3%)
Routes: Samuels - 19 (.53 r/db) — Conner - 9 (.25 r/db) — Snell - 7 (.19 r/db)
- Conner got off to a slow start with only nine yards on six carries, but he was staying on the field for at least some third downs before an ankle sprain ended his night early in the second quarter.
- After the Conner injury, Snell dominated carries but gave way to Samuels in obvious passing situations. Ben Roethlisberger threw only five passes in the fourth quarter.
Carries: Barkley - 15 (94%) — Lewis - 1 (6%)
Targets: Barkley - 9 (90%, 23%) — Lewis - 1 (10%, 3%)
Routes: Barkley - 32 (.67 r/db) — Lewis - 3 (.06 r/db)
- Barkley somehow managed only six yards on 15 carries, but he did catch six passes for 60 yards. Lewis is no more relevant than any other backup RB in the Barkley era.
- We don't include MNF on the leaderboards below, but if we did, Barkley would've placed third in snap share, fourth in RB carry share, second in target share and fifth in routes per dropback. The only knock on his usage was 11 pass-blocking snaps, which likely was at least somewhat related to the brutal matchup against the Steelers defense. Barkley averaged 7.1 pass-blocking snaps per game last year, per PFF.
Tennessee Titans (16) @ Denver Broncos (14)
Carries: Henry - 31 (100%)
Targets: Henry - 3 (75%, 8%) — McNichols - 1 (25%, 3%)
Routes: Henry - 20 (0.44 r/db) — McNichols - 6 (0.13 r/db)
- My hopes of Henry joining the McCaffrey/Elliott/Barkley usage tier didn't come to fruition, as the Titans subbed in McNichols for some passing downs. Still, it was a bit less than what Dion Lewis typically took last year, so this is a good first sign for Henry seeing a small increase in catches. And, of course, the rushing usage remains massive.
- Henry got 0.38 routes per QB dropback in his 15 games last year, per PFF.
Carries: Gordon - 15 (65%) — Lindsay - 7 (30%) — Freeman - 1 (4%)
Targets: Gordon - 3 (60%, 9%) — Lindsay - 1 (20%, 3%) — Freeman - 1 (20%, 3%)
Routes: Gordon - 18 (0.53 r/db) — Lindsay - 6 (0.18 r/db) — Freeman - 2 (
- Lindsay left early with a toe injury, taking his final touch around the five-minute mark of the second quarter. At the time, Gordon had only five carries and one target, while Lindsay had seven and one.
- Gordon lost a fumble on one of his three catches. He scored a one-yard TD in the fourth quarter, but only after Freeman was stuffed on the previous snap from the 1-yard line.
Week 1 Leaders (doesn't include MNF)
RB Carry Share
|Player||RB Carry Share|
Team Target Share
|Player||Team Target Share|
Routes per QB Dropback
|Player||Routes per QB Dropback|