Hidden Stat Line: Week 16 Backfield Breakdown

Hidden Stat Line: Week 16 Backfield Breakdown

This article is part of our Hidden Stat Line series.

Last week, there were six running backs with snap shares in the 80s or 90s, plus five others in the 70-79 percent range. This week, David Johnson is the only RB at 80 percent or higher, and one of just seven to make it to 70 percent. 

Week 17 should be interesting mix, as some teams will lean on their lead backs more than ever, while others with nothing to play for could scale back workloads or even rest healthy starters. If you're playing any form of fantasy football in Week 17, you'll probably want to look at something like this ESPN article to get a feel for various playoff scenarios and what's on the line for each team.

Kansas City is the only team that's 100 percent locked into a specific playoff spot, but you could argue that Pittsburgh and Buffalo don't have much at stake, competing for the difference between the second and third seed. The No. 2 seed does have better odds of avoiding a matchup with Baltimore in the first round, though it's no sure thing. If I were the Steelers or Bills, I'd be hoping for a wild-card matchup with Cleveland/Miami rather than Baltimore/Indianapolis/Tennessee.

Anyway, let's take a closer look at Week 16 before we dive too far into playoff/rest scenarios for the final week of the regular season...

Week 16 RB Leaderboard

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB
1David Johnson96%1239.1%230.68
2David Montgomery83%

Last week, there were six running backs with snap shares in the 80s or 90s, plus five others in the 70-79 percent range. This week, David Johnson is the only RB at 80 percent or higher, and one of just seven to make it to 70 percent. 

Week 17 should be interesting mix, as some teams will lean on their lead backs more than ever, while others with nothing to play for could scale back workloads or even rest healthy starters. If you're playing any form of fantasy football in Week 17, you'll probably want to look at something like this ESPN article to get a feel for various playoff scenarios and what's on the line for each team.

Kansas City is the only team that's 100 percent locked into a specific playoff spot, but you could argue that Pittsburgh and Buffalo don't have much at stake, competing for the difference between the second and third seed. The No. 2 seed does have better odds of avoiding a matchup with Baltimore in the first round, though it's no sure thing. If I were the Steelers or Bills, I'd be hoping for a wild-card matchup with Cleveland/Miami rather than Baltimore/Indianapolis/Tennessee.

Anyway, let's take a closer look at Week 16 before we dive too far into playoff/rest scenarios for the final week of the regular season...

Week 16 RB Leaderboard

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DB
1David Johnson96%1239.1%230.68
2David Montgomery83%2325.6%270.73
3Miles Sanders78%15617.7%240.57
4Myles Gaskin76%14514.7%240.63
5Derrick Henry71%2300.0%110.39
6Jeff Wilson70%2229.5%110.44
7Darrel Williams70%10614.3%250.57
8J.D. McKissic69%41021.3%300.60
9D'Andre Swift68%10516.7%200.56
10Melvin Gordon66%1600.00%260.53
11Austin Ekeler65%1039.1%180.51
12Kenyan Drake64%1824.4%200.38
13Chris Carson64%16310.3%180.49
14James Conner62%5510.2%250.50
15Alvin Kamara60%22517.9%140.50
16Mike Davis60%1400.0%140.44
17Dalvin Cook59%1525.3%110.26
18AJ Dillon59%2114.20%110.42
19Nick Chubb58%11510.0%210.37
20Giovani Bernard58%16821.1%140.38
21Jonathan Taylor58%1812.9%130.33
22Malcolm Brown57%737.3%250.54
23Dare Ogunbowale55%14514%180.47
24Ezekiel Elliott53%19413.3%90.28
25J.K. Dobbins52%1114.2%150.58
26Josh Jacobs50%1326.7%150.41
27Wayne Gallman50%624.9%150.32
28Gus Edwards50%1528.3%80.31
29Zack Moss50%1212.6%120.32
30Devin Singletary49%1025.3%180.49
31Tony Pollard47%926.7%120.38
32Ke'Shawn Vaughn46%1524.9%110.25
33Frank Gore45%1413.6%100.29
34Kareem Hunt43%4510.0%200.35
35Nyheim Hines42%8514.3%190.48
36Darrell Henderson41%1200.0%100.22
37Todd Gurley40%439.1%130.33
38Latavius Murray39%12310.7%80.29
39Samaje Perine38%13410.5%120.32
40Sony Michel38%1000.0%30.12
41Aaron Jones37%10312.5%110.42
42Leonard Fournette33%937.3%140.32
43James White32%4316.7%70.27
44J.J. Taylor32%600.0%80.31
45Ito Smith32%1013.0%70.18
46Benny Snell32%600.0%70.14
47Rodney Smith31%727.1%120.38
48Le'Veon Bell30%737.1%90.20
49Antonio Gibson30%1048.5%90.18
50La'Mical Perine28%927.1%70.21
51Brian Hill28%739.1%110.28
52Jerick McKinnon18%1419.1%90.36

Classify Me, Captain

Three-down Role with 80-plus Percent Snap Share

  1. Houston Texans - David Johnson

Three-down Role, But Subbed Out Sometimes

  1. Minnesota Vikings - Dalvin Cook
  2. New Orleans Saints - Alvin Kamara
  3. Miami Dolphins - Myles Gaskin
  4. Chicago Bears - David Montgomery
  5. Jacksonville Jaguars - Dare Ogunbowale
  6. Denver Broncos - Melvin Gordon
  7. Los Angeles Chargers - Austin Ekeler
  8. Carolina Panthers - Mike Davis
  9. Philadelphia Eagles - Miles Sanders

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

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Leonard Fournette
  2. Detroit Lions - D'Andre Swift
  3. Arizona Cardinals - Kenyan Drake
  4. San Francisco 49ers - Jeff Wilson
  5. Las Vegas Raiders - Josh Jacobs
  6. New York Giants - Wayne Gallman
  7. Seattle Seahawks - Chris Carson
  8. Tennessee Titans - Derrick Henry

Two-Man Split

  1. Cleveland Browns - Nick Chubb & Kareem Hunt
  2. Baltimore Ravens - J.K. Dobbins & Gus Edwards
  3. Cincinnati Bengals - Giovani Bernard & Samaje Perine
  4. Kansas City Chiefs - Darrel Williams & Le'Veon Bell
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers - James Conner & Benny Snell
  6. Indianapolis Colts - Jonathan Taylor & Nyheim Hines
  7. Washington FT - Antonio Gibson & J.D. McKissic
  8. Los Angeles Rams - Darrell Henderson & Malcolm Brown
  9. Dallas Cowboys - Ezekiel Elliott & Tony Pollard
  10. Green Bay Packers - AJ Dillon & Aaron Jones

Not-So-Pretty Committee

  1. New York Jets - Frank Gore, La'Mical Perine & Ty Johnson
  2. Atlanta Falcons - Ito Smith, Todd Gurley & Brian Hill

   

Game-by-Game Breakdowns

Vikings (33) at Saints (52)

Vikings

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Dalvin Cook59%1525.3%110.2615-73-1 — 2-12-0
Ameer Abdullah18%112.6%70.161-13-0 — 0-0-0
Mike Boone3%100.0%00.001-4-1 — 0-0-0
  • Much to the chagrin of Cook's fantasy managers, Boone scored a four-yard TD on his lone carry. Cook was subbed out of the game after the Vikings quickly marched downfield early in the second quarter with a series of plays that included three consecutive carries for Cook.
  • Cook played 67% of snaps in the first half, before dropping to 53% after halftime. His 59% snap share for the game was his smallest since Week 5, but that was mostly on account of the Vikings using empty formations late in Friday's game. Minnesota ran 12 snaps in 02 personnel (0 RB, 2 TEs, 3 WRs) in the second half, forced to abandon their running game while playing from behind.
  • The Vikings have used 02 personnel on 77 plays this year, with 49 of those (64%) coming after halftime. Chicago (52 plays) is the only other team that's used 02 personnel more than 25 times.
  • This game was close until the fourth quarter, but Minnesota never held a lead, and the last tie was at 7-7 in the first quarter. Cook didn't do a whole lot after starting the game with three carries for 32 yards and a TD on the opening drive.
  • Cook still has a shot to lead the league in rushing touchdowns, but he doesn't have a realistic chance at the yardage title, even with the help of a Week 17 matchup against Detroit.

  

Saints

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Alvin Kamara60%22517.9%140.5022-155-6 — 3-17-0
Latavius Murray39%12310.7%80.2912-72-0 — 3-24-0
  • Kamara became the first NFL player in 91 years to rush for six touchdowns in a game. Ernie Nevers did it for the Chicago Cardinals in 1929, and nobody had scored more than five since. Three players have run for five TDs in a game since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger — Ricky Watters (1994), James Stewart (1997) and Clinton Portis (2003).
  • Speaking of statistical oddities, Kamara recorded catches Nos. 81-83, ensuring he won't finish with exactly 81 for a fourth time in four NFL seasons. He also locked up career highs for rushing yards (932), scrimmage yards (1,688), rushing touchdowns (16) and total touchdowns (21), with 5.0 YPC and 7.1 YPT being his best efficiency marks since his rookie year.
  • Kamara played seven of 10 snaps inside the 10-yard line, scoring five touchdowns on six carries. His only distance score was the first one, coming from 40 yards out on the opening drive.
  • The 12 carries for Murray were his most since Week 12. He'd seen just five, four and four over the previous three weeks, with the Saints going 1-2 in three close games. Murray has averaged 11.2 carries for 51.6 yards and 0.36 TDs in 11 wins this year, compared to 5.8 carries for 22.0 yards and no TDs in four losses.

  

Buccaneers (47) at Lions (7)

Bucs

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Ke'Shawn Vaughn46%1524.9%110.2515-62-0 — 1-7-0
Leonard Fournette33%937.3%140.329-34-1 — 3-32-0
LeSean McCoy17%012.4%70.160-0-0 — 1-5-0
  • Ronald Jones (finger/COVID-19) missed a second straight game. Fournette got the start again, and played 84% of snaps in the first quarter. He then played six of 24 snaps (25%) in the second quarter, and just three of 34 (9%) after halftime.
  • With Bruce Arians resting Fournette, Tom Brady and a few other veterans, Vaughn got 68% of snaps and a dozen carries in the second half.
  • McCoy played eight of 13 snaps on third downs, including five of 10 on third-and-medium/long. Vaughn got just one of those snaps, while the other four were run with no RB on the field.
  • Fournette played the lone snap inside the 5-yard line, converting for a four-yard TD to give Tampa a 20-0 lead early in the second quarter.

  

Lions

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
D'Andre Swift68%10516.7%200.5610-45-0 — 4-25-0
Kerryon Johnson21%026.7%50.140-0-0 — 2-17-0
Adrian Peterson11%400.0%20.064-10-0 — 0-0-0
  • The Lions scored their only points on a punt-return touchdown. They went 1-for-10 on third downs, and never sustained a drive longer than seven plays or 36 yards.
  • Swift played 88% of snaps on first downs, and 82% on second downs.
  • Swift has played more than half the snaps in each of his past four games — Weeks 10 and 14-16. During that stretch, he's averaged 12 carries for 54.3 yards and 0.75 TDs, plus 4.3 catches for 33.5 yards and 0.25 TDs on five targets.
  • Swift has seen either four or five targets in 11 of his 12 games this season. It's nice to know what you're getting, right?
  • Johnson played eight of eight snaps on third-and-medium/long. Swift's only third-down snap came on a 3rd-and-2.

  

49ers (20) at Cardinals (12)

49ers

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Jeff Wilson70%2229.5%110.4422-183-0 — 1-21-1
Jerick McKinnon18%1419.1%90.361-4-0 — 3-28-0
Tevin Coleman13%214.8%40.162-3-0 — 1-0-0
  • FB Kyle Juszczyk was a vulture, catching two passes for 10 yards and the two TDs. He, McKinnon and George Kittle were the only Niners with more than two targets in a game where C.J. Beathard attempted only 22 passes.
  • Wilson played both of the team's snaps inside the 10-yard line (the pair of Juszczyk TDs).
  • McKinnon played six of seven snaps on third-and-medium/long, while Wilson took two of two on third-and-short.
  • Wilson played 78% of the snaps on first downs and 73% of the snaps on second downs.
  • Despite the huge numbers, PFF charted Wilson with only two avoided tackles on 23 touches. His 42.5 Elusive Rating this season ranks 27th out of 45 qualified rushers, though it does put him ahead of teammates Raheem Mostert (28.7) and McKinnon (36.4). Mostert is 13th in YPC (5.0), two spots ahead of Wilson (4.9 - 15th).

  

Cardinals

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Kenyan Drake64%1824.4%200.3818-45-1 — 2-5-0
Chase Edmonds20%036.5%100.190-0-0 — 2-8-0
D.J. Foster20%100.0%100.191-0-0 — 0-0-0
  • Edmonds entered the game listed as questionable with ankle and knee injuries, but it was a hip issue that knocked him out in the first half Saturday. Foster spelled Drake in the backfield after Edmonds was gone, getting one carry and zero targets on 16 snaps.
  • Drake played 67% of snaps in the second half, taking nine carries and running 10 routes on 25 Kyler Murray dropbacks (zero targets). Foster played 33% of snaps, with one carry and seven routes (zero targets).
  • Edmonds played eight of nine third-down snaps in the first half. After halftime, Foster played four of seven, including three of four on third-and-medium/long.
  • Drake played each of the five snaps inside the 5-yard line, taking four carries and scoring one touchdown. All of the carries and snaps came on a single drive, with a defensive penalty giving Arizona two shots at converting inside the five. Anyway, Drake finally punched it in on his fourth try.
  • Drake has scored nine of his 10 TDs on carries inside the 5-yard line. He's played 79% of Arizona's snaps in that area, and has taken 21 of the 29 carries. Kyler Murray, on the other hand, has scored just four of his 11 rushing TDs from inside the five.

  

Dolphins (26) at Raiders (25)

Dolphins

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Myles Gaskin76%14514.7%240.6314-87-0 — 5-82-2
Salvon Ahmed24%612.9%70.186-2-0 — 1-1-0
  • Ahmed got the start, playing seven of 15 snaps (47%) in the first quarter and getting five of the first seven RB touches. But he did nothing with those touches, while Gaskin ripped off gains of 14 and eight on his two first-quarter carries.
  • Gaskin then played 77% of snaps in the second quarter, 93% in the third quarter and 80% in the fourth quarter.
  • Gaskin played 13 of 16 snaps on third downs, including 12 of 12 on third-and-medium/long
  • Ahmed was stuffed for a loss twice on third-and-short carries.
  • Gaskin played each of Miami's three snaps inside the 5-yard line, taking one carry for no gain. His touchdown receptions came from 10 and 59 yards out, with the second being arguably the best play of his young career. It won't come as any surprise if Miami brings in serious backfield competition this offseason, but that doesn't mean it'll be a priority for the team.

  

Raiders

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Josh Jacobs50%1326.7%150.4113-69-0 — 0-0-0
Jalen Richard27%213.3%80.222-19-0— 1-4-0
Devontae Booker23%626.7%50.146-11-0 — 2-8-0
  • Jacobs played each of the Raiders' three snaps inside the 5-yard line, failing to score on his lone carry. The other two snaps were both Derek Carr rush attempts, with the first being a QB sneak for a touchdown and the second being the infamous kneel-down near the end.
  • Richard played six of seven snaps on third-and-medium/long.
  • Jacobs has scored 20 PPR points in just four of 14 games this season. His receiving workload improved a little compared to his rookie season, but he sunk from 4.8 YPC all the way to 3.8.

  

Browns (16) at Jets (23)

Browns

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Nick Chubb58%11510.0%210.3711-28-1 — 5-38-0
Kareem Hunt43%4510.0%200.354-11-1 — 3-41-0
  • Hunt played 14 of 16 snaps (88%) on third downs. Chubb played 71% on first down and 69% on second down.
  • Hunt played 16 of 25 snaps (64%) in the fourth quarter with Cleveland pushing for a comeback. Chubb did have a carry for 16 yards and three catches for 17 yards in the fourth quarter, so he wasn't a total non-factor in catch-up mode.
  • Chubb played three of four snaps inside the 5-yard line. Both got one carry in that range, and both converted for touchdowns.
  • In addition to having their top-four wideouts placed on the COVID list, Cleveland played Sunday's game without LT Jedrick Wills and RG Wyatt Teller (ankle). It didn't go well.

  

Jets

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Frank Gore45%1413.6%100.2914-48-0 — 1-5-0
La'Mical Perine28%927.1%70.219-30-0 — 1-14-0
Ty Johnson26%200.0%120.352-13-0 — 0-0-0
  • Perine returned from IR after missing four straight games with an ankle injury. He came off the bench and split carries with Gore, while Johnson took most of the third-down work.
  • With Gore out for the season finale, Perine figures to work as the lead runner, though Johnson could see more routes and targets.

Giants (13) at Ravens (27)

Giants

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Wayne Gallman50%624.9%150.326-27-0 — 2-26-0
Dion Lewis38%100.0%130.281-15-0 — 0-0-0
Alfred Morris13%312.4%40.093-4-0 — 1-9-0
  • Devonta Freeman (ankle) has been practicing for a couple weeks but wasn't activated from IR for Week 16.
  • Gallman made his eight straight start, yet finished with single-digit carries for a second week in a row. He took 12 or more carries in six consecutive games Weeks 8-14.

  

Ravens

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
J.K. Dobbins52%1114.2%150.5811-77-1 — 0-0-0
Gus Edwards50%1528.3%80.3115-85-0 — 2-37-0
  • Dobbins got his first NFL start, but Edwards ended up leading the team in carries for the first time since Week 10. Mark Ingram was a healthy scratch again, while Justice Hill played three snaps and didn't have any carries or targets.
  • Edwards and Dobbins both played three of five snaps inside the 5-yard line. Edward, Dobbins and Lamar Jackson each got one carry inside the five, with only Dobbins converting for a score.
  • Dobbins is up to five straight games with 11-15 carries, 53-77 rushing yards and exactly one touchdown. He's seen just four targets over that stretch, with Baltimore attempting fewer than 30 passes in six straight games. Plus, Justice Hill has been stealing some third-down snaps, though he got just one of 11 in Sunday's win.
  • Edwards played seven of 11 snaps on third down, but only one of four on third-and-medium/long. Dobbins got two of the long-yardage snaps, and Hill took one.

  

Bengals (37) at Texans (31)

Bengals

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Giovani Bernard58%16821.1%140.3816-65-0 — 7-66-0
Samaje Perine38%13410.5%120.3213-95-2 — 4-41-0
Trayveon Williams8%200.0%10.032-6-0 — 0-0-0
  • The Houston defense has suffered through a lot of bad moments this year, but it doesn't get any worse than allowing 273 total yards in a single game to Cincinnati running backs. Apart from the past two weeks, Bernard and Co. have struggled to get it going without Joe Mixon (foot) leading the way.
  • Mixon doesn't seem especially likely to return for the season finale, but coach Zac Taylor didn't rule it out when he was asked last week:
  • Bernard played six of nine snaps on third-and-medium/long.
  • Perine played the lone snap inside the 5-yard line, scoring a three-yard TD. That was his second score of the game, giving the Bengals a three-point lead with two minutes remaining. His first TD was a 46-yard run early in the third quarter.

  

Texans

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
David Johnson96%1239.1%230.6812-128-1 — 3-11-1
Buddy Howell6%000.0%10.030-0-0 — 0-0-0
  • Duke Johnson (neck) missed a second straight game, his fourth absence this season. David has played 95%, 96%, 80% and 96% of snaps in those four games, but it was only the past two weeks where he put up big numbers.
  • Johnson scored 24.3 and 28.9 PPR points the past two weeks, after failing to reach 20 in his first nine games. He'll finish his season playing at home against the M.I.A. Tennessee defense.

  

Bears (41) at Jaguars (17)

Bears

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
David Montgomery83%2325.6%270.7323-95-1 — 2-26-0
Ryan Nall15%200.0%60.162-0-0 — 0-0-0
Artavis Pierce7%200.0%10.032-26-1 — 0-0-0
  • Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) was active, but he didn't play on offense. He took three snaps on special teams, with one kick return for 22 yards. Pierce filled in as the backup RB behind Montgomery, who put up a fifth straight game with a touchdown and 20-plus PPR points.
  • Montgomery played 90% of snaps through three quarters, followed by 60% in the fourth quarter.
  • Pierce got all five of his snaps and both carries in the fourth quarter. Prior to the final quarter, Montgomery was the only Chicago back with a carry or target.
  • Montgomery finished the day with 1,001 rushing yards, fifth most in the NFL. He has a chance to go as high as third, with James Robinson (1,070) and Aaron Jones (1,062) are both within striking distance. Granted, it'll be a pretty big surprise if Montgomery outrushes Jones by 62 yards in a Week 17 game that's hugely important for both teams.

  

Jaguars

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Dare Ogunbowale71%14513.9%180.4714-71-0 — 3-7-0
Devine Ozigbo20%112.8%90.241-1-0 — 1-3-0
Craig Reynolds9%112.8%20.051-4-0 — 1-3-0
  • With James Robinson (ankle) inactive for the first time, Ogunbowale made his first NFL start and took seven touches for 39 yards on the opening drive.
  • Ogunbowale played the only snap inside the 10-yard line, but it was a pass play.
  • Ogunbowale played 79% of snaps on first down, 68% on second down and 58% on third down.

      

Falcons (14) at Chiefs (17)

Falcons

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Todd Gurley40%439.1%130.334-16-0 — 3-34-0
Ito Smith32%1013.0%70.1810-46-0 — 1-5-0
Brian Hill28%739.1%110.287-36-0 — 3-25-0
  • Smith led the team in carries for a fourth straight week, but his snap share (32%) was down from 36%, 44% and 48% over the previous three games.
  • Gurley got the start, but Smith played 10 of 15 snaps in the first quarter, taking six carries for 34 yards. Smith didn't do much else, playing a single snap in the second quarter and 28% of snaps after halftime.
  • Gurley played 13 of 13 snaps on third down.
  • Gurley got two of three snaps inside the 10-yard line, but Atlanta threw the ball on each play.

  

Chiefs

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Darrel Williams70%10614.3%250.5710-46-0 — 4-27-0
Le'Veon Bell30%737.1%90.207-30-0 — 1-9-0
  • With Clyde Edwards-Helaire inactive, Bell made his first start for the Chiefs, playing 12 of 13 snaps in the first quarter.
  • Williams then played 19 of 20 snaps in the second quarter, helping KC rebound from a slow start.
  • Bell played seven of 10 snaps on the opening drive of the second half, but he didn't play at all over the final 25 minutes of the game, as Williams got 24 of 24 snaps on the last four drives.
  • Darwin Thompson was limited to seven snaps on special teams.

  

Colts (24) at Steelers (28)

Colts

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Jonathan Taylor58%1812.9%130.3318-74-2 — 0-0-0
Nyheim Hines42%8514.3%190.488-44-0 — 5-20-0
  • Jordan Wilkins only played special teams for a second straight week. He did have a couple of tackles, at least!
  • Taylor played 69% of snaps through three quarters. Hines then played 70% of snaps in the final frame, with Taylor getting just one carry and one target on 30% of snaps in the fourth quarter.
  • Taylor got five of nine snaps on third-and-medium/long. Hines will still get more playing time when the Colts go pass-heavy, but we've seen for a few weeks now that the team also trusts Taylor on clear passing downs.
  • One of those "clear passing downs" was a third-down snap from the Pittsburgh 6-yard line. The Colts caught the Steelers off guard with a draw play, and Taylor punched it in for his first of two scores.
  • Taylor played four snaps inside the 10-yard line, taking four carries for nine yards and two TDs (he scored a one-yarder after the aforementioned six-yarder). Hines played three of seven snaps inside the 10, with one carry going for three yards.

  

Steelers

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
James Conner62%5510.2%250.505-20-1 — 5-45-0
Benny Snell32%600.0%70.146-0-0 — 0-0-0
Jaylen Samuels6%000.0%40.080-0-0 — 0-0-0
  • Samuels technically got the start, but he played just one snap in the first quarter, while Snell took seven of 12 (58%).
  • Conner then played 69% of snaps in the second quarter, 35% in the third quarter and 91% in the fourth quarter. Six of Conner's 10 touches came in the fourth quarter.
  • Conner played 62% of snaps on first down, 64% on second down and 64% on third down.
  • Conner played four of six snaps on third-and-medium/long.
  • Snell played five of eight snaps inside the 5-yard line, taking two carries for no gain. Conner got only two snaps in that range, with his lone carry going for a one-yard score. Samuels also played two snaps, both pass plays.

  

Broncos (16) at Chargers (19)

Broncos

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Melvin Gordon66%1600.0%260.5316-79-0 — 0-0-0
Royce Freeman23%224.7%120.242-16-0 — 2-7-0
LeVante Bellamy10%312.3%40.083-11-0 — 1-5-0
  • The Broncos placed Phillip Lindsay (hip/knee) on IR on Saturday, so he'll also miss Week 17.
  • Gordon played the only snap inside the 10-yard line, which was Drew Lock's TD on a sneak.
  • Gordon played 72% of snaps on first down, 65% on second down and 59% on third down. He handled a three-down role, but with Bellamy and Freeman mixing in to steal some work. It was also rather unfortunate for Gordon's fantasy managers that he finished with zero targets on 26 routes.
  • Gordon played seven of 13 snaps on third-and-medium/long. Freeman got the other six.
  • Gordon played 72% of snaps through three quarters, before dropping to 57% in the fourth. The Broncos gave Freeman more playing time once they abandoned the run.

  

Chargers

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Austin Ekeler65%1039.1%180.5110-45-0 — 3-23-1
Kalen Ballage28%439.1%90.264-14-0 — 2-12-0
Justin Jackson16%200.0%40.112-4-0 — 0-0-0
  • Ekeler played at least 54% of snaps in each quarter. He handled 62% of first downs, 59% of second downs and 77% of third downs.
  • Ekeler played nine of nine snaps on third-and-medium/long.
  • Ballage played the only snap inside the 5-yard line, an incomplete pass thrown to Mike Williams. Ekeler played two of four snaps inside the 10, with a five-yard carry and a nine-yard TD catch.
  • The touchdown was Ekeler's first in five games since returning from IR. He's played 60-72% of snaps in each game, averaging 12 carries for 52.8 yards and 6.5 catches for 45.2 yards on 8.2 targets.
  • Ekeler was targeted on just three of 18 routes, despite Keenan Allen (hamstring) being inactive. For the season, Ekeler has been targeted on 58 of 209 routes (27.8%), which is an extremely high rate and yet still a major drop-off from last year (33.2%) with Philip Rivers.

  

Panthers (20) at Washington Football Team (13)

Panthers

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Mike Davis60%1400.0%140.4414-28-1 — 0-0-0
Rodney Smith31%727.1%120.387-23-0 — 2-15-0
  • Curtis Samuel played a season-high 10 snaps in the backfield, per PFF. He finished with career highs for carries (seven), rushing yards (52) and receiving yards (106), accounting for each of Carolina's three plays of 20 or more yards. His gains of 45 and 44 set up touchdowns on back-to-back drives in the second quarter — the team's only scoring drives all afternoon.
  • Christian McCaffrey hasn't been ruled out for Week 17, but his lack of practice participation last week suggests he's unlikely to play.
  • Davis has been TD-dependent during the second lengthy C-Mac absence, averaging 13.3 carries for 48.2 yards and only 2.7 catches for 15.8 yards over the past six weeks. Davis has scored 20 PPR points just once (Week 14 vs. DEN) since he did it in three consecutive games Weeks 3-5. He's down to 3.9 YPC and 5.3 YPT for the season.

  

Football Team

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
J.D. McKissic69%41021.3%300.604-15-0 — 8-77-1
Antonio Gibson30%1048.5%90.1810-61-0 — 3-8-0
Peyton Barber6%100.0%10.021-10-0 — 0-0-0
  • Gibson returned to the starting role after missing back-to-back games with turf toe. Apart from the Week 13 game in which he suffered the injury, Gibson's snap share in Week 16 was his smallest since Week 1.
  • Gibson played 63% of snaps in the first quarter, taking eight carries for 45 yards. He played just 20% of snaps over the final three quarters, with just two more carries and four targets.
  • McKissic played 80% of snaps over the final three quarters, accounting for each of his four carries and 10 targets.
  • Barber didn't play at all after the first quarter.
  • Washington didn't run any plays inside the 5-yard line. McKissic was the RB for both plays inside the 10, including a target. However, he scored his TD from 29 yards out, burning a linebacker downfield after QB Taylor Heinicke bought extra time.
  • McKissic has receiving scores in back-to-back weeks, after catching 58 passes without a single TD through the first 13 games of the season.
  • Washington ran just three plays with multiple running backs on the field, all in the first quarter. The dual-back formations with Gibson and McKissic on the field together were a big part of the offense before Weeks 13-15. The team ran at least 14 plays in 21 personnel (2 RBs, 1 TE, 2 WRs) in five straight games Weeks 7-12. Kind of strange to turn away from that tactic when the WR group (no Terry McLaurin) is even worse than usual, right?

  

Los Angeles Rams (9) at Seahawks (20)

Rams

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Malcolm Brown57%737.3%250.547-27-0 — 1-8-0
Darrell Henderson41%1200.0%100.2212-62-0 — 0-0-0
  • Henderson replaced Cam Akers (ankle) as the starter and lead runner, handling 56% of snaps and eight of the nine RB carries before halftime.
  • Malcolm Brown mostly got work on passing downs, but then shifted to an every-down role after Henderson injured his left ankle in the third quarter. Brown played each of the Rams' 17 snaps in the fourth quarter, getting two carries and two targets.
  • Despite the Henderson injury, No. 3 RB Xavier Jones strictly played special teams (14 snaps).

  

Seahawks

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Chris Carson64%16310.3%180.4916-69-0 — 3-10-0
Carlos Hyde32%213.5%140.382-8-0 — 1-18-0
Rashaad Penny6%300.0%00.003-9-0 — 0-0-0
  • The snap share was Carson's second-largest of the year, behind only 70% from Week 15. The 16 carries tied for his second-most.
  • The Seahawks eased Carson back into action when he returned from IR to face Philadelphia in Week 12. Since then, he's seen at least 12 carries, three targets and 45% of snaps in four straight games, averaging 14.0 carries, 4.3 targets, 89.1 yards and 0.5 TDs per week.
  • Carson got the only snap inside the 10-yard line; it was a fake in his direction, with Russell Wilson then running it in himself for a four-yard TD.
  • Hyde played 14 of 18 snaps (78%) on third down. Carson played 36 of 45 (80%) on first and second downs.
  • Penny played each of his four snaps in the fourth quarter, taking three carries while it was still a one-score game. He got two carries and six snaps the week before in his first game back from an ACL tear, so he might steal a few carries from Carson in the playoffs. Hyde is the choice for passing downs right now, but that could change if Travis Homer (knee) ever returns from IR.

  

Eagles (17) at Cowboys (37)

Eagles

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Miles Sanders78%15617.7%240.5715-57-1 — 4-27-0
Boston Scott11%200.0%30.072-17-0 — 0-0-0
Jordan Howard10%300.0%20.053-8-0 — 0-0-0
  • Sanders has played 81%, 83% and 78% of snaps in Jalen Hurts' three starts, averaging 15.3 carries, 4.3 targets, 103.3 total yards and 1.0 TD per game.
  • Sanders played each of Philadelphia's three snaps inside the 5-yard line, taking two carries for five yards and a TD.
  • Over the past three weeks, Sanders has four carries and two TDs inside the five, while Hurts has just one carry (a two-yard loss) in that area.

  

Cowboys

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Ezekiel Elliott53%19413.3%90.2819-105-0 — 4-34-0
Tony Pollard47%926.7%120.389-12-0 — 1-8-0
  • Elliott (calf) returned from a one-week absence and finished below 61% snap share for the first time this season. However, he easily outplayed Pollard, who stood out the week before with 132 total yards and two TDs on 90% snap share.
  • Elliott played each of the five snaps inside the 5-yard line, taking two carries for four yards but not touchdown. He was stopped inches shy of the goal line in the second quarter, and he might've been awarded a touchdown if Mike McCarthy had challenged. Anyway, Andy Dalton lost a yard on a bootleg on the next snap, so Dallas kicked a field goal from the 2-yard line.
  • PFF charted Elliott with 13 avoided tackles, most among all running backs in Week 16. Yes, that includes Alvin Kamara, Nick Chubb and AJ Dillon.

  

Titans (14) at Packers (40)

Titans

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Derrick Henry71%2300.0%110.3923-98-0 — 0-0-0
Jeremy McNichols16%014.0%80.290-0-0 — 1-6-0
Darrynton Evans11%128.0%50.181-3-0 — 0-0-0
  • Henry continued to see plenty of work even when the Titans were trailing by multiple scores in the second half. He handled eight carries and 81% snap share in the third quarter, followed by four carries and 53% share in the fourth.
  • Evans played five of his six snaps in the fourth quarter.
  • McNichols played eight of the nine snaps on third-and-medium/long, accounting for all but one of his snaps.
  • Henry played 21 of 22 snaps (96%) on first down and 17 of 21 on second down (81%). It wasn't until the final drive that he missed a first-down snap.

  

Packers

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
AJ Dillon59%2114.2%110.4221-124-2 — 1-5-0
Aaron Jones37%10312.5%110.4210-94-0 — 2-14-0
  • Jamaal Williams (quad) missed a second straight game. In Week 15, Aaron Jones played 90% of snaps. Sunday night, Jones took a backseat to the second-round rookie, who ran all over the Titans in the snow.
  • Dillon played 56% snaps on first down, 64% on second down and 56% on third down. He even played two of the five snaps on third-and-medium/long, with Jones getting two and Dexter Williams taking one (a kneel-down on the final snap of the game).
  • Green Bay didn't run any plays inside the 5-yard line but did have six snaps inside the 10. Dillon played four of those and took two carries for nine yards and a touchdown. Jones played two snaps, with his one carry stopped for a loss.
  • Prior to Sunday night, Dillon had played 54 offensive snaps in nine games, taking 24 carries for 115 yards and one catch for 16 yards. He played 38 snaps in the win over Tennessee, nearly doubling his carry/touch totals for the year.

     

Bills (38) at Patriots (9)

Bills

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Zack Moss50%1212.6%120.3212-57-1 — 1-0-0
Devin Singletary49%1025.3%180.4910-36-0 — 2-16-0
  • This was the same as ever, with snap shares around 50/50 and Moss getting a bit more work on the ground (including a five-yard TD).

  

Patriots

 Snap ShareCarriesTargetsTarget ShareRoutesRoutes/DBStat Line
Sony Michel38%1000.0%30.1210-69-0 — 0-0-0
James White32%4316.7%70.274-14-0 — 3-23-0
J.J. Taylor32%600.0%80.316-38-0 — 0-0-0
  • Damien Harris (ankle) was inactive again. Michel got the start and played 57% of snaps in the first half, handling eight of New England's 13 RB carries before the break.
  • Taylor played 70% of snaps after halftime, getting more work than Michel and White once the Patriots were down big.

  

RB Waiver Adds for Week 17

This list is limited to players that are less than 60 percent rostered on Yahoo. It'll be updated Tuesday morning.

  1. Malcolm Brown
  2. Benny Snell
  3. Dare Ogunbowale
  4. La'Mical Perine
  5. Darwin Thompson
  6. Darrel Williams
  7. AJ Dillon
  8. Ito Smith
  9. Gus Edwards
  10. Devontae Booker
  11. Rodney Smith

      

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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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