Hidden Stat Line: Week 5 Backfield Breakdown

Hidden Stat Line: Week 5 Backfield Breakdown

This article is part of our Hidden Stat Line series.

Most of the Week 5 fantasy excitement has centered around young wide receivers, namely Chase Claypool and Henry Ruggs. Things have been quieter as far as running backs are concerned, though we did see one key injury (Dalvin Cook) plus a few other backfields that were significantly impacted by players returning from injuries (Le'Veon Bell, Raheem Mostert).

Also of interest, Chase Edmonds continued his positive momentum for the Cardinals, while a couple other veteran backups lost their roles from previous weeks. We'll cover all that, and more, in our game-by-game breakdowns below. But first, let's take a look at the sortable Week 5 RB leaderboard... 

Week 5 RB Leaderboard

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB
1Miles Sanders85%11411%320.76
2Mike Davis83%161028.60%310.79
3Ezekiel Elliott82%1926.10%270.79
4David Montgomery81%10819.00%310.69
5David Johnson78%17411.40%230.61
6Alvin Kamara76%111021.3%390.76
7Joe Mixon76%24827.60%190.49
8Kareem Hunt70%20410.50%230.59
9Ronald Jones69%17512.20%200.45
10Kenyan Drake67%1813%160.42
11Le'Veon Bell67%1313.20%250.64
12Josh Jacobs64%23310.00%130.41
13James Conner63%1538.80%210.60
14Myles Gaskin63%16518.50%140.45
15Devin Singletary62%1112.2%280.57
16Clyde Edwards-Helaire60%10819.00%260.51
17Justin Jackson59%15618.8%190.50
18James Robinson57%13715.90%190.35
19Chris Carson57%8723.30%180.44
20Antonio Gibson56%11517.90%160.40
21Todd Gurley55%14514.30%200.51
22Jonathan Taylor55%1239.40%130.38
23Devonta Freeman54%17310%130.37
24Derrick Henry52%1927.1%110.35
25J.D. McKissic50%1828.60%230.58
26Alexander Mattison49%2037.90%180.43
27Raheem Mostert48%1138.60%14.35
28Chase Edmonds45%3617.10%150.39
29Darrell Henderson43%15414%120.38
30Dalvin Cook41%17513.20%170.40
31Gus Edwards40%738.50%150.38
32Jeremy McNichols39%913.6%80.26
33T.J. Yeldon39%736.7%160.33
34Malcolm Brown38%826.90%150.47
35Nyheim Hines38%3412.50%170.50
36Joshua Kelley35%1113.1%110.29
37Matt Breida31%913.70%50.16
38Mark Ingram30%110050.13
39D'Ernest Johnson30%812.60%110.28
40J.K. Dobbins29%138.50%140.36
41Dion Lewis29%0414%150.43
42Latavius Murray28%824.3%90.18
43Jerick McKinnon25%1411.40%10.25
44Tony Pollard23%639.10%60.18
45Cam Akers19%90000
46Wayne Gallman18%526.90%40.14

(5+ carries and/or 3+ targets to qualify. Bold = top 10 in a stat).

Classify Me, Captain

Three-down Role with 80-plus Percent Snap Share

  1. Chicago Bears - David Montgomery
  2. Carolina Panthers - Mike Davis
  3. Philadelphia Eagles - Miles Sanders
  4. Dallas Cowboys - Ezekiel Elliott

Three-down Role, But Subbed Out Semi-Regularly

  1. Atlanta Falcons - Todd Gurley
  2. New York Jets - Le'Veon Bell
  3. Arizona Cardinals - Kenyan Drake
  4. Houston Texans - David Johnson
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers - James Conner
  6. Miami Dolphins - Myles Gaskin
  7. Cleveland Browns - Kareem Hunt
  8. Minnesota Vikings - Dalvin Cook
  9. Buffalo Bills - Devin Singletary
  10. New Orleans Saints - Alvin Kamara

Clear Lead Runner, But Usually Off the Field for Obvious Passing Situations

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Ronald Jones
  2. Cincinnati Bengals - Joe Mixon
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars - James Robinson
  4. Las Vegas Raiders - Josh Jacobs
  5. Kansas City Chiefs - Clyde Edwards-Helaire
  6. Washington Football Team - Antonio Gibson
  7. San Francisco 49ers - Raheem Mostert
  8. Indianapolis Colts - Jonathan Taylor
  9. New York Giants - Devonta Freeman
  10. Seattle Seahawks - Chris Carson
  11. Tennessee Titans - Derrick Henry

Two-Man Split

   1. Los Angeles Chargers - Justin Jackson & Joshua Kelley

Not-So-Pretty Committee

  1. Baltimore Ravens - Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards & J.K. Dobbins
  2. Los Angeles Rams - Darrell Henderson, Malcolm Brown & Cam Akers

(italics denote significant changes from the previous week)   

Game-by-Game Breakdowns

(Snap totals, snap shares, carries and targets come from pro-football-reference.com or NFL.com's game books. Data on dropbacks and routes run comes from Pro Football Focus.)

Buccaneers (19) at Bears (20)

Bucs

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Ronald Jones 69%  17 5 12.2% 20 .4517-106-0 — 3-19-0
Ke'Shawn Vaughn 25%  0 3 7.3% 15 .340 — 2-5-0
  • LeSean McCoy (ankle) was ruled out beforehand, while Leonard Fournette (ankle) technically was active but was only available on an emergency basis. Fournette took the field for one snap, a kneel-down at the end of the second quarter. Maybe Bruce Arians put Fournette on the field to help him with a contract incentive involving the number of games he plays?
  • Vaughn lost a fumble late in the first half, but it's not really fair to blame him for Tom Brady throwing a hospital ball nine yards short of the sticks on 3rd-and-10. It reminded me of a play from last season where Phillip Lindsay became visibly angry at Joe Flacco for throwing a pass that put the RB at risk of an injury without offering any upside to gain yards (in the fourth quarter of a blowout, no less... SMH Flacco).
  • Vaughn suffered a chest injury on the aforementioned play and was listed as questionable to return. He played eight snaps in the first half and 10 in the second half, so it appears the injury wasn't serious and he should be fine for Week 6 against the Packers (10 days later). It's less clear if Vaughn will still have a role in the offense by then, as he could be phased out once McCoy is healthy enough to handle third-down and hurry-up snaps again.
  • The 69 percent snap share was a new career high for Jones, topping his 64 percent mark from the game four days prior against the Chargers. He averaged 18.5 carries, 7.0 targets and 126.5 total yards the past two games, taking advantage of the injuries to Fournette and McCoy. Jones has seen .52 and .45 routes per QB dropback the past two weeks, comfortably ahead of Vaughn (.24 and .34), as the rookie has rarely seen the field apart from third downs.
  • Jones was robbed of an 11-yard TD reception in the first quarter when a play that was initially ruled as an incompletion was deemed a catch after the Bucs challenged. Jones had rolled into the end zone untouched, but his final two yards didn't count because the refs had blown the play dead when they thought the pass was incomplete. Jones also seemed to think he dropped the pass — which would've been his fourth drop in a three-week stretch — but it turns out he bobbled it off his leg rather than the ground. (This should've-been TD was the only carry or target a Bucs running back saw in the red zone all night.)
  • Jones has been effective in 11 personnel (3 WR, 1 RB, 1 TE) the past two weeks, averaging 8.9 yards on 13 carries. He struggled in that regard Weeks 1-3, averaging 2.8 yards on 16 carries. The Bucs used 11 personnel on 59 percent of plays Thursday, nearly identical to their 58 percent rate for the season. (They might eventually use more three-wide looks now that O.J. Howard is out for the year, but they also had WRs Chris Godwin and Justin Watson inactive Thursday.)
  • PFF charted Jones with five avoided tackles, boosting his PFF elusive rating to 63.7, 18th-best among 41 qualified rushers at the conclusion of Thursday's action. He is 10th of 41 in overall PFF rushing grade, 10th in after-contact average (3.5) and 11th in YPC (4.9).

  

Bears

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
David Montgomery  81% 10 19.0% 31 .6910-29-1 — 7-30-0
Cordarrelle Patterson 24%  33 7.1% 11 .243-7-0 — 3-38-0
  • The 81 percent snap share was second-largest of Montgomery's career, behind only 85 percent from the previous game. The eight targets were a career high, topping his six from the previous week. In other words, he's getting most of the snaps and targets that previously went to Tarik Cohen (torn ACL).
  • Montgomery played 19 of 28 snaps (68 percent) in the first half, followed by 32 of 35 (91 percent) after halftime. It kind of felt like Patterson's role had expanded, but by the end of the night the breakdown looked very similar to Week 4. In the Week 4 contest, Montgomery played 76 percent of snaps in the first half and 94 percent in the second, i.e., the same idea as what we saw Thursday.
  • Montgomery did see a slight drop from .80 routes/dropback on Sunday to .69 r/db on Thursday, but his target share nonetheless rose from 14.3 percent to 19.0 percent.
  • The Bears have used Montgomery as a blocker on only nine of 75 pass snaps (12 percent) the past two weeks, slightly down from 17.2 percent Weeks 1-3, per PFF. Monty's pass-block rate last year was 23.0 percent, while Cohen was at only 7.2 percent.
  • Patterson took 11 snaps in the backfield, three out wide and one in the slot, per PFF. He's a running back now, but a lot of places still classify him as a wide receiver, which is messing up the personnel-grouping data (Grrrr). Anyway, C-Patt has taken 70 percent of his offensive snaps in the backfield this year.

Panthers (23) at Falcons (16)

Panthers

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Mike Davis  83% 16 10 28.6% 31 .7916-89-0 — 9-60-1
Trenton Cannon 3% 200 0 02–1-0 — 0
  • With Reggie Bonnafon (ankle) in injured reserve, Davis got a slight bump from 76 and 71 percent snap share the previous two weeks, matching a season high in carries while getting double-digit targets for the first time. His three starts have yielded 15.0 carries, 8.3 targets, 117.0 total yards and 1.0 TDs per game... high-end RB1 stats, and not far from what Christian McCaffrey (ankle) did last year. Davis has even been efficient, with 4.8 YPC and 6.2 YPT.
  • WR Curtis Samuel was the No. 2 RB for practical purposes, taking seven of his 48 snaps in the backfield, per PFF. Samuel gained 28 yards on four carries, while Cannon only came in the game briefly on two occasions when Davis needed a breather after consecutive touches.
  • PFF graded Davis with nine avoided tackles, most among all RBs on Sunday.

  

Falcons

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Todd Gurley  55% 14 5 14.3% 20 .5114-121-1 — 4-29-0
Brian Hill  31% 6 2 5.7% 12 .31 6-39-0 — 2-15-0 
Ito Smith  14% 3 0  0 6 .153-6-0 — 0
  • Gurley finished with 51-to-55 percent snap share and 14-to-16 carries for a third straight week. On the other hand, his five targets tied a season high from Week 1, and .51 r/db was a nice bump up from the previous two games (.33 and .38).
  • Still, Gurley is averaging only 1.6 catches for 7.6 yards on 2.6 targets, compared to 15.8 carries for 75.0 yards and 1.0 TDs on the ground. His heavy dependence on rushing makes him sensitive to difficult matchups, though he hasn't really been bothered by negative game script so far, in part because the Falcons have faced weak run defenses.
  • The five teams Atlanta has faced have the following ranks for YPC allowed: 10th (SEA), 22nd (DAL), 15th (CHI), 26th (GB), 31st (CAR).
  • Gurley's big day propelled him to a 72.5 PFF elusive rating, seventh among 39 qualified rushers. He's 16th in YPC (4.7) and third in rushing yards (375). PFF charted him with 11 avoided tackles Weeks 1-4, followed by seven in Week 5 alone.
  • Gurley took six of the 10 snaps on 3rd-and-medium/long. This was consistent with other weeks. The Falcons don't take him off the field in specific situations; they just remove him for rest/workload management. He has dominated red-zone work, with 71.0 percent of the total carries inside the 20-yard line and 71.4 percent (five out of seven) inside the five. His Week 5 touchdown came from 35 yards out, his first score this season spanning more than 10 yards.
  • For the year, Hill has a 25-11 advantage over Smith in carries and an 11-8 advantage in targets. Both should get work if Gurley misses time, but Hill is easily the preferred bench stash for fantasy.

Bengals (3) at Ravens (27)

Bengals

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Joe Mixon  76% 24 8 27.6%19  .4924-59-0 — 6-35-0
Giovani Bernard 24%  0 2  6.9%10  .260 — 1-4-0
  • The eight targets were a career high for Mixon, who had a career-best fantasy performance (181 total yards, three TDs) the previous week. Baltimore shut him down for the most part, but he's now up to 20.2 carries and 4.6 targets per game, compared to last year's 17.4 and 2.8.
  • Bernard got 11 of the 15 snaps on 3rd-and-medium/long, but only five snaps in all other situations. This has been a consistent trend for three weeks now — Mixon being on the field whenever there's any threat at all the Bengals might run. Mixon  has three straight games with 17 or more carries, three or more targets and snap share above 70 percent.
  • Mixon saw a ton of his volume in garbage time, getting 11 carries and two receptions on the final drive. Down by 27 points, Cincinnati bled the clock with runs to Mixon and then kicked a field goal with 37 seconds remaining to avoid a shutout (great job, guys!).

  

Ravens

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Gus Edwards  40% 7 3 8.5% 15 .387-25-0 — 0
Mark Ingram  30% 11 0 5 .1311-57-0 — 0
J.K. Dobbins  29% 1  8.5% 14 .361-34-0 — 3-21-0
  • Apart from the oddity of Edwards getting three targets, this was basically the same mess it's been all year. Ingram's 11 carries were a season high, but he still hasn't gone higher than 42 percent snap share, averaging 9.0 carries and 1.0 target per game.
  • Dobbins had a nine-yard reception and a 34-yard run on back-to-back plays late in the second quarter. He still isn't getting much work, but he's averaging 7.9 yards on 16 carries and 7.3 yards on 10 targets, so maybe the efficiency eventually leads to a larger role. The rookie at least has some theoretical upside that doesn't require a teammate injury, which is more than we can say for Ingram or Edwards.

Jaguars (14) at Texans (30)

Jaguars

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
James Robinson  57% 13 7 15.9%19  .3513-48-0 — 5-22-0
Chris Thompson  40% 2 3 6.8%23  .422-7-0 — 3-35-0
  • The Jaguars mostly played from behind for a fourth straight week. Robinson's snap share has gone as low as 45 percent and as high as 76 percent in that stretch, but each week he's seen 11-to-17 carries and 4-to-7 targets.
  • Robinson has been targeted on 22 of his 81 routes (27.2 percent), a rate that's more commonly seen among No. 1 wide receivers. Thompson, on the other hand, has drawn only 15 targets on 99 routes (15.2 percent).
  • Robinson actually has a slight advantage in total pass snaps (111-107), but the rookie has been used as a blocker on 26.1 percent of those plays, while Thompson has blocked on only 8.4 percent of his, per PFF. The Jags clearly trust Robinson as both a blocker and pass catcher, so Thompson's role on third downs and in the two-minute drill might be considered tenuous.

  

Texans

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
David Johnson  78% 17 4 11.4% 23 .6117-96-0 — 2-7-0
Duke Johnson  29% 3 1 2.9% 10 .263-8-0 — 1-11-0
  • David got a big boost compared to 55 percent snap share the previous week, taking on more work as the Texans played with a lead instead of a deficit. He also had season highs for carries and rushing yards, though his touch workload has been pretty consistent — 11-to-17 carries and 3-to-4 targets each week.
  • David played five of six snaps on 3rd-and-medium/long, while Duke got only two (the Texans sometimes use both RBs on the field together).
  • David played 20 of 25 snaps in the first half, with Duke getting eight. In Week 4, David had a 17-4 advantage at one point in the second quarter, but the huge gap narrowed when Duke handled the two-minute drill at the end of the half. It seems like it could be normal for David to play about three-quarters of snaps in games where the Texans aren't forced to abandon the run.

Raiders (40) at Chiefs (32)

Raiders

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Josh Jacobs  64% 23 3 10.0% 13 .4123-77-2 — 2-8-0
Devontae Booker  21% 7 1 3.3% 3 .097-62-0 — 1-5-0
Jalen Richard  20% 1 5 16.7% 10 .311-4-0 — 4-26-0
  • Jacobs has finished between 59-to-68 percent snap share each game since Week 1, averaging 20.3 carries and 3.5 targets over that stretch (15-plus carries and 3-4 targets in every game).
  • Jacobs scored from seven and two yards out, giving him five TDs from inside the 10-yard line this season. Jacobs has taken 11 of the Raiders' 12 carries inside the 10, including three of four from inside the five (the other went to Derek Carr, not Booker).
  • The seven carries and 21 percent snap share were season highs for Booker, whose day was highlighted by a 43-yard scamper in the second quarter. He had zero carries and only three snaps in the fourth quarter, so this wasn't a matter of piling up stats at the end of an easy win.
  • Booker had 10 carries for 59 yards entering Sunday's game, with all that work coming Weeks 1-3. Booker is making a nice case to stay involved with a handful of carries per week, but he's stealing lower-value opportunities rather than red-zone work or targets. While Richard's involvement impacts Jacobs' floor, Booker's involvement dings the ceiling a little bit.
  • Richard got each of the seven snaps on 3rd-and-medium/long. No change there.

  

Chiefs

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Clyde Edwards-Helaire  60% 10 8 19.0% 26 .5110-40-0 — 3-40-0
Darrel Williams  40% 1 5 11.9% 22 .431-4-0 — 1-15-0
  • The snap share was CEH's smallest yet, though not a huge difference from his previous marks (67, 62, 69, 73 percent).
  • Edwards-Helaire played 22 of 33 snaps (66.7 percent) before the final drive of the first half, but Williams handled most of the two-minute drill and then saw 38.4 percent of snaps after halftime. CEH did come in for the final part of that two-minute drill in the second quarter, appearing to score a receiving TD from four yards out but then seeing it waved off due to an OPI penalty on Travis Kelce.
  • The eight targets matched Edwards-Helaire's season high (Week 2), while the 10 carries matched his season low (also Week 2). He's seen 18-to-27 opportunities (catches plus targets) each week, but the Chiefs still don't run the ball much unless they're sitting on a lead.
  • He still hasn't scored a touchdown since the season opener, but Edwards-Helaire is the only Chiefs running back to take a carry in the red zone this year. He's 0-for-7 inside the 5-yard line, including a one-yard loss on a carry from the 3-yard line in Sunday's game — one snap prior to the aforementioned TD nullified by penalty.
  • Williams played each of KC's 13 snaps on 3rd-and-medium/long. He's essentially a lock to be on the field when the other team knows there's no threat of a run play.

Cardinals (30) at Jets (10)

Cardinals

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Kenyan Drake  67% 18 1 2.9% 16 .4218-60-1 — 1-2-0
Chase Edmonds  45% 3 6 17.1% 15 .393-36-1 — 5-56-0
  • The snap share was a season high for Edmonds, topping his 37 percent from the previous week. The Cardinals accomplished this by running eight snaps with two RBs, rather than by cutting back Drake's playing time. Prior to Week 5, the Cardinals had run only six plays all season with multiple RBs on the field.
  • Drake's snap share still hasn't gone lower than 65 percent or higher than 71 percent.
  • Edmonds got six targets for a second straight week, and now is averaging 4.6 per game. He also had his first rushing TD of the year, striking from 29 yards out.
  • Edmonds had a 4-to-3 advantage in snaps on 3rd-and-medium/long, continuing the approximately 50/50 split we've seen in those situations. Drake also maintained a tiny lead in routes run, while Edmonds maintained his massive lead in targets per route.
  • Edmonds has been targeted on 23 of his 76 routes (30.3 percent), while Drake has been targeted on only six of 95 (6.3 percent). Both numbers are at the far ends of the spectrum for what you'll ever see across a large sample, so we can still expect a little convergence... maybe? (I've been thinking the same thing since Week 2/3, and it still hasn't happened.) It's also possible Edmonds chips away at Drake's role, given that KD's 3.7 YPC places him 39th among 43 qualified rushers.
  • Drake also blocks a bit more often — 22.1 percent of his pass snaps, compared to 12.9 percent for Edmonds, per PFF.

  

Jets

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Le'Veon Bell  67% 13 1 3.2% 25 .6413-60-0 — 1-7-0
Frank Gore 33% 9 0 8 .219-30-0 — 0
  • Bell's return from IR left rooke La'Mical Perine with a special-teams-only role.
  • Bell dominated work in Week 1 before his injury, playing each of the Jets' 27 snaps in the first half. His Week 5 workload equates to clear-lead-back status, but not nearly at the same level of dominance. It is possible he takes on more snaps and touches as he distances himself from the hamstring injury.
  • Bell played 65 percent of snaps in the fourth quarter, so the 20-point loss didn't really impact his overall shore (Gore was involved throughout).
  • Bell played 10 of 13 snaps on third downs, including eight of nine on 3rd-and-medium/long.

   

Eagles (29) at Steelers (38)

Eagles

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Miles Sanders  85% 11 4 11.1% 32 .7611-80-2 — 2-19-0
Boston Scott  12% 1 0 6 .141-3-0 — 0
  • Corey Clement played three snaps but didn't have any carries or targets.
  • Sanders rumbled for a 74-yard TD on his third carry of the game, and added a one-yard score in the second quarter. The Steelers otherwise shut him down, and the Eagles went pass-heavy in a game where they kept things competitive but never held a lead.
  • The snap share for Sanders was a season high, though not much different from previous weeks (77, 78, 77 percent). He's averaging 15.5 carries and 5.8 targets per game.
  • Sanders is the only Philly RB with a carry inside the 10-yard line this year, converting two of his seven chances for scores. Carson Wentz has the team's other four carries (two TDs) inside the 10.

  

Steelers

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
James Conner  63% 15 3 8.8% 21.60 15-44-1 — 3-19-0
Benny Snell  20% 7 0 0 4 .117-19-0 — 0
Anthony McFarland 7% 3 00 2 .063-6-0 — 0
  • Jaylen Samuels also got two snaps and Trey Edmunds took six, so technically the Steelers used five different RBs. However, Samuels and McFarland barely played, while Edmunds was used as a fullback/H-back (FB Derek Watt was out with a hamstring injury).
  • Since exiting Week 1 with an injury, Conner has seen 63-to-77 percent of snaps and 15-to-18 carries each week, with target totals of two, five and three. His routes/db have been at .60, .54 and now .60 again, so while his receiving usage may be a bit disappointing, Conner is still the preferred back for passing downs. He played 10 of 14 snaps on 3rd-and-medium/long in Sunday's game.
  • Snell got three of his seven carries on the final drive of the game, with Pittsburgh up by nine points. Snell picked up the first down to ice it. He also saw three carries on the final drive in Pittsburgh's previous game, though only after Conner had moved the team into field-goal range with a seven-point lead. Conner may still be the "closer", but Snell is the mop-up man once the outcome feel secure, as the Steelers are well aware of Conner's injury history.

Los Angeles Rams (30) at Washington Football Team (10)

Rams

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Darrell Henderson  43% 15 4 13.8% 12 .3815-38-1 — 3-30-1
Malcolm Brown  38% 8 2 6.9% 15.47 8-30-0 — 1–6-0
Cam Akers 19% 9 0 0 09-61-0 — 0
  • Akers played for the first time since suffering a rib cartilage injury on the opening drive of the Rams' Week 2 contest at Philadelphia. His return forced the backfield back into a committee, though Henderson had a nice day for fantasy purposes on the strength of two TDs.
  • Akers got four of the final five carries, after an 11-yard TD reception by Henderson made it a three-score game midway through the fourth quarter. In other words, Akers got a boost from the blowout, though he apparently made a good impression on Sean McVay, perhaps due to a 46-yard scamper late in the game.
  • Brown got 12 of 14 snaps on 3rd-and-medium/long, including four carries for nine yards (the Rams were pretty cautious once they established a solid lead).
  • Henderson got two of the three carries inside the 5-yard line — including a one-yard TD — with Jared Goff accounting for the other. Brown did get a 3rd-and-1 carry but was stuffed at the LOS.
  • Henderson has taken all the team's RB carries inside the 5-yard line since Week 1, hitting paydirt on three out of six. However, Brown has also seen some higher-value chances, with three carries inside the 10-yard line in that stretch.

  

Football Team

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Antonio Gibson  56% 11 17.9% 16 .4011-27-0 — 5-24-0
J.D. McKissic  50% 18 28.6% 23 .581-3-0 — 6-46-0
  • Peyton Barber played two snaps, both in the third quarter. He also played 16 snaps on special teams, in case you were wondering (you weren't). He has 15 offensive snaps and seven carries over the past four games. #BarberWatch
  • Gibson and McKissic combined for 46.4 percent of the team target total Sunday afternoon. Washington's cumulative RB target share this year (25.1 percent) is eighth-largest in the league.
  • McKissic played each of the 10 snaps on 3rd-and-medium/long, but Gibson actually had a 9-to-5 snap advantage in the fourth quarter.
  • For the season, Gibson has blocked on only 8.9 percent of pass snaps, and McKissic on only 12.8 percent, per PFF.

Dolphins (43) at 49ers (17)

Dolphins

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Myles Gaskin  63% 16 5 18.5% 14 .4516-57-1 — 5-34-0
Matt Breida  31% 9 1 3.7% 5 .169-28-0 — 1-31-0
Patrick Laird  15% 0 0 0 5 .160 — 0
  • Goal-line vulture Jordan Howard was a healthy scratch, which helped Gaskin score his first TD of the year (from one yard out, no less). MG's 63 percent snap share actually tied a season low from Week 1, but that was partially due to the Dolphins reducing his playing time late in the game.
  • Gaskin played 69.4 percent of snaps in the first half, and 54.8 percent in the second half. Breida got 25.0 percent before halftime, compared to 38.7 percent after the break.
  • Gaskin played 13 of 14 snaps on third downs. He also got four of the five red-zone carries, plus he saw three RZ targets. In addition to the one-yard TD, he was stopped for no gain on another carry from the one-yard line, though it was nullified by a clipping penalty anyway.
  • Gaskin has now drawn four or more targets in every game, with double-digit carries in each of the past three. He hasn't been super efficient at 3.9 YPC and 5.9 YPT, but he's on pace for 1,267 total yards, averaging 12.8 carries and 5.0 targets per game.
  • Laird and Lynn Bowden both logged 10 snaps (15 percent), but neither served as a traditional RB. Laird was lined up as a WR or TE on eight of his 10 plays, per PFF, while Bowden took five direct snaps and four more in the slot.

  

49ers

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Raheem Mostert  48% 11 3 8.6% 14.3511-90-0 — 3-29-0
Jerick McKinnon  25% 1 4 11.4% 10 251-0-0 — 2-5-0
Jeff Wilson  23% 4 1 2.9% 4.104-27-0 — 0
  • JaMycal Hasty played two snaps in the fourth quarter but didn't get any carries or targets. Wilson played 15 snaps, but only three came before halftime.
  • Through three quarters, Mostert had taken 28 of 52 snaps (54 percent) and 10 of the 14 RB carries (71 percent). You might not know it from the box score, but Mostert's role looked similar to Week 1 (15 carries, 5 targets, 60 percent snaps) before the game got out of hand.
  • McKinnon also saw less work because of the blowout. He played 12 of 31 snaps (39 percent) in the first half, compared to four of 33 (12 percent) after the break. McKinnon got all seven third-down snaps in the first half.
  • This was Mostert's first game back in the lineup after a two-week absence, while Tevin Coleman (knee) remains on IR.

Colts (23) at Browns (32)

Colts

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Jonathan Taylor  55% 12 3 9.4% 13 .3812-57-1 — 2-17-0
Nyheim Hines  38% 3 4 12.5% 17 .503-8-0 — 2-22-0
Jordan Wilkins  4% 1 0 0 1 .031-1-0 — 0
  • Wilkins essentially disappeared from the offense, following three consecutive games with snap share in the 17-to-27 percent range and exactly nine carries. It'll be a huge boost for Taylor if Wilkins remains uninvolved in future weeks.
  • Taylor played 15 of 20 snaps in the first half, and nine of 16 in the third quarter. Hines then dominated the final quarter as the Colts tried to erase a nine-point deficit.
  • The Browns ran 72 plays to the Colts' 52, so there wasn't much opportunity for anyone in the Indy offense to pile up volume.
  • Taylor's four-yard TD was Indy's lone carry inside the 10-yard line Sunday. The rookie now has eight of the team's 13 inside-the-10 carries, including four of six inside the five. Hines has poached a few in spread formations, but Taylor gets all the goal-line work from power formations.

  

Browns

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Kareem Hunt  70% 20 4 10.5% 23 .5920-72-0 — 3-21-1
D'Ernest Johnson 30% 8 1 2.6% 11 .288-32-0 — 1-4-0
  • Nick Chubb (knee) was inactive, while Dontrell Hilliard strictly played special teams.
  • Hunt played 39 of 54 snaps through three quarters (72 percent), and 12 of 19 (63 percent) in the fourth quarter, but he only got half the carries (six of 12) in the final frame.
  • Johnson got six of his eight carries in the final 10 minutes of the game, seemingly taking on extra work while Hunt dealt with cramps on the sideline.
  • Hunt played 14 of the 18 snaps on third downs, including seven of 10 on 3rd-and-medium/long.
  • Hunt got three red-zone carries and two RZ targets, including a two-yard receiving score. Johnson didn't get any RZ work.

Giants (34) at Cowboys (37)

Giants

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Devonta Freeman  54% 17 3 10.3% 13 .3717-60-1 — 2-27-0
Dion Lewis  29% 0 4  13.8% 15 .430 — 2-1-0
Wayne Gallman  18% 5 2 6.9% 4 .145-24-0 — 2-0-0
  • Freeman's snap share was identical to the previous week, while his r/db dropped a little bit from .47 to .37.
  • Freeman played 23 of 33 snaps (70 percent) in the first half, nine of 17 (53 percent) in the third quarter, and four of 16 (25 percent) in the fourth quarter. Lewis got half the fourth-quarter snaps, picking up three targets in the final frame.
  • Gallman didn't get any goal-line work, but he was in the game when TE Evan Engram scored a three-yard rushing TD on an end-around. Gallman also had a red-zone carry and a red-zone target, though neither was inside the 10-yard line.
  • Freeman got two RZ carries — first from the 11-yard line, and then a four-yard TD a few plays later.

  

Cowboys

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Ezekiel Elliott  82% 19 2 6.1% 27 .7919-91-2 — 1-14-0
Tony Pollard  23% 6 3 9.1% 6 .186-30-0 — 2-2-0
  • Elliott saw fewer than four targets for the first time this year, but he made up for it with his most carries since Week 2 and his best mark for YPC (4.8) all season. Zeke leads the NFL with 11 carries inside the 5-yard line, and the only other Cowboy with more than one (Dak Prescott, four) just suffered a season-ending injury. Dak's absence leaves less competition for those goal-line carries, but it might also mean there are fewer to go around.
  • Elliott got five of six snaps on 3rd-and-medium/long.
  • Pollard got more than four touches for the first time this year, and his two largest snap shares (23 and 27 percent) have come in the past two games. It hasn't mattered much for fantasy purposes, but he is stealing a little more work from Zeke than he had through the first three weeks of the season.

Vikings (26) at Seahawks (27)

Vikings

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Alexander Mattison49%  20 3 7.9% 18 .4320-112-0 — 3-24-0
Dalvin Cook 41% 17 5 13.2% 17 .4017-65-1 — 5-24-0
  • Prior to halftime, Cook played 34 of 42 snaps (81 percent), taking 17 carries for 65 yards and a TD and adding four catches for 29 yards. He suffered a groin injury late in the second quarter, and he tried to come back after halftime but wasn't able to stay in the game.
  • Mattison played 80 percent of snaps in the second half, with 18 carries and one target.
  • Mike Boone played five snaps, and Ameer Abdullah got one (on a 3rd-and-long). Mattison got four of the six third-down snaps after halftime, and he also got a snap on fourth down...

  

Seahawks

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Chris Carson  57% 8 7 23.3% 18 .448-52-1 — 6-27-0
Travis Homer  43% 3 0 0 9 .223-14-0 — 0
  • Carlos Hyde (shoulder) was inactive again, while DeeJay Dallas only played special teams.
  • Carson was second on the team in targets, despite giving way to Homer in obvious passing situations, per usual. The Seahawks use Homer for the two-minute drill and most 3rd-and-longs, but he's seen only four targets all year, while Carson has 23 (including three or more in every game).
  • Homer blocked on 11 of his 20 pass snaps Sunday night, per PFF. He's now been used as a blocker on 29.3 percent of pass snaps this year, while Carson has blocked on only 7.6 percent of his. But that isn't the only difference, as Carson also has a 105-58 advantage in total pass snaps, and he's been targeted on 23.7 percent of his 97 routes (compared to 9.8 percent for Homer). So, while Homer technically is the third-down back, it's Carson who continues to pile up targets out of the backfield.
  • It's a good thing Carson is getting all those targets, as he's averaging a career-low 12.2 carries per game. This week it was largely due to Seattle falling behind early, but the bigger factor overall has been the team's new pass-first mentality on offense. Of course, the new approach is working well, and Carson has reaped benefits in the form of six TDs (three rushing, three receiving).

Chargers (27) at Saints (30) - OT

Chargers

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Justin Jackson 59%  15 6 18.8% 19.50 15-71-0 — 5-23-0
Joshua Kelley 35%  11 1 .3.1% 11.29 11-29-0 — 1-9-0
  • Jackson got the start in the first full game without Austin Ekeler (quad), playing nine of 15 snaps in the first quarter. Kelley then had a 15-14 advantage between the second and third quarters, but Jackson held a 19-5 snap edge between the fourth quarter and overtime (JJ also saw all three RB targets and six of the eight carries over that final ~21 minutes).
  • The Chargers ran four plays inside the Saints' 10-yard line — a four-yard TD pass to Mike Williams, a three-yard TD to Hunter Henry, a sack, and a six-yard carry from Kelley from the 9-yard line to the 3-yard line. Kelley played five red-zone snaps to Jackson's one, but that's partially because Jackson was taken out for a breather after his 36-yard scamper in the first quarter brought the Chargers into the red zone.
  • Neither back was able to consistently put up positive plays against a strong run defense, but Jackson did have some chunk gains (36, 13, 9, 8 , 7), while Kelley had a long run of nine yards and only three carries that picked up five or more.
  • Jackson played 12 of 17 snaps on third downs, while Kelley got only three. Jackson had an 8-to-2 snap advantage on 3rd-and-medium/longs.

  

Saints

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Alvin Kamara  76% 11 10 21.3% 39 .7611-45-0 — 8-74-0
 Latavius Murray 28% 8 2 4.3% 9 .188-34-0 — 2-23-0
  • The snap share was a season high for Kamara, who played between 66 and 68 percent in each of the previous four games. He was held out of the end zone for the first time all year, but his targets bounced back from only four the prior week.
  • Kamara dropped to 11th in the league with 25.9 percent target share, but he's still far ahead of any running back.
  • Murray is averaging 10.4 carries and 1.6 targets per game. It isn't quite enough for fantasy managers to start him with confidence, but it is a big upgrade from what he got before the Kamara injury last year (5.3 carries, 1.7 targets per game Weeks 1-6).

  

Bills (16) at Titans (42)

Bills

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Devin Singletary  62% 11 1 2.2% 28 .5711-25-0 — 1-8-0
T.J. Yeldon 39% 7 3 6.7% 16 .337-52-0 — 1-22-1
  • Zack Moss (toe) missed a third straight game, but this time Singletary didn't dominate backfield work.
  • After playing 89 percent of snaps both of the previous two weeks, Singletary played 22 of 23 possible snaps in the first quarter Tuesday night, taking six carries for 10 yards. But then Yeldon got nine of the 13 snaps in the second quarter, five of 17 in the third quarter, and 12 of 18 in the fourth quarter.
  • Yeldon played all seven snaps on the final drive in garbage time, so if we remove that part, his snap share drops to 33 percent and Singletary's rises to 70 percent. Still, that's a noteworthy change from the first two games Moss missed.
  • Singletary is now down to 3.9 YPC, though he does rank second among qualified rushers in PFF elusive rating, with 17 avoided tackles on carries and eight more on receptions. He's second-to-last in DVOA (-24.8%), ahead of only Josh Kelley (-36.0%).

  

Titans

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB Stat Line
Derrick Henry 52%19 2 7.1% 11 .3519-57-2 — 1-6-0
Jeremy McNichols 39% 13.6%  8 .269-28-0 — 1-3-0
Darrynton Evans 8% 2 0 0 2 .062-12-0 — 0
  • Henry saw a big drop in playing time, after handling 75, 71 and 75 percent of snaps in his first three games this year. In fact, this was his smallest snap share since Week 3 of 2019, a game where the Titans trailed by 10 or more points for the final 52 minutes. Reduced playing time in positive game script comes as a major surprise.
  • Henry played 18 of 28 snaps on first down, with McNichols getting seven and Evans two.
  • Henry's reduced playing time wasn't a product of a blowout. He played only 19 of 36 snaps (53 percent) in the first half, and was also at 53 percent through the third quarter. The Titans made a concerted effort to give some of Henry's Week 1-3 workload to McNichols instead.

  

RB Waiver Targets

This list is limited to players on less than 50 percent of Yahoo rosters as of Monday evening. Rankings are intended for a typical fantasy team, not one that's absolutely desperate for a Week 5 starter. With that in mind, we'll include some backups who make sense to stash on benches even if they didn't have any teammate injuries or role changes impacting their value this past weekend.

(List will be updated after MNF and the Tuesday game)

  1. Alexander Mattison - Already rostered in deeper leagues, but worth spending a large chunk of FAAB on wherever he's available, even if the Cook injury isn't considered too serious. Mattison will be an RB1 if Cook misses time.
  2. Justin Jackson - Grab him before MNF if he's available and you plan to cut one of your bench players anyway.
  3. Tony Pollard - Zeke is durable, but so was Dak. Pollard remains one injury away from RB1 valuable.
  4. Darrel Williams - His role doesn't offer much stand-alone value, but he could get ~10 carries and ~five targets per week if Edwards-Helaire were to suffer an injury.
  5. Jamaal Williams - Had his best game right before the Week 5 bye, and we still haven't seen any sign of AJ Dillon for more than the occasional carry.
  6. Brian Hill - Still the top backup to a guy with a history of knee troubles.
  7. Benny Snell - Not getting much work behind Conner, but clearly ahead of the other backup RBs.
  8. J.D. McKissic - No upside, but viable as a bye-week replacement if you're desperate for a starter. McKissic had 8-11 PPR points in each of his last three games.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jerry Donabedian
Jerry was a 2018 finalist for the FSWA's Player Notes Writer of the Year and DFS Writer of the Year awards. A Baltimore native, Jerry roots for the Ravens and watches "The Wire" in his spare time.
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