Fantasy News & Analysis

Jahnke: Fantasy football reactions to NFL Week 12

Tampa, Florida, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) runs the ball for a touchdown ahead of Tampa Bay Buccaneers strong safety Antoine Winfield Jr. (31) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL had one of the craziest news days in recent memory on Saturday, and the result was an NFL Sunday with plenty of noteworthy players out due to Covid-19. The early slate didn’t produce many memorable games, as all of the big matchups were saved for the late window.

We saw the two most recent NFC Super Bowl participants battle it out, along with us the last two quarterbacks to win the Super Bowl. Then there was the matchup everyone was talking about between the Taysom Hill-led Saints and Kendall Hinton’s Broncos.

As always, this collection of fantasy reactions will include snap counts for skill players on each team, along with notes on players who saw their fantasy stocks rise or fall during the action — and how we should react to anything new.

This article will be updated as late games wrap up. 

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts

Tennessee Titans Indianapolis Colts
A.J. Brown – 58 snaps Michael Pittman Jr. – 64 snaps
Corey Davis – 56 snaps T.Y. Hilton – 54 snaps
Cameron Batson – 23 snaps Zach Pascal – 53 snaps
Kalif Raymond – 15 snaps Marcus Johnson – 26 snaps
Nick Westbrook – 1 snap De'Michael Harris – 11 snaps
Jonnu Smith – 54 snaps Mo Alie-Cox – 38 snaps
Geoff Swaim – 46 snaps Trey Burton – 27 snaps
Anthony Firkser – 20 snaps Jack Doyle – 22 snaps
Derrick Henry – 46 snaps Nyheim Hines – 48 snaps
Jeremy McNichols – 18 snaps Jordan Wilkins – 26 snaps
D’Onta Foreman – 5 snaps
Total – 69 snaps Total – 74 snaps

Winner: RB Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

Henry dominated the Colts defense and willed the Titans to victory. He ran for three touchdowns in the first half and finished the game with 27 carries for 178 yards. Ryan Tannehill scored a 1 rushing touchdown to end the first half, preventing Henry from a four-touchdown half. He benefited from a few injuries to the Colts defense and will likely finish the week as the top fantasy running back.

Covid-19 Replacement: RB Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts

Jonathan Taylor landed on the Covid-19 list earlier in the week, leaving the Colts with two running backs for this game. Indianapolis chose not to elevate any backs off the practice squad, leaving them with Hines and Jordan Wilkins. Hines wasn’t gaining nearly as many yards on the ground (29 yards on 10 carries) as he did in the last matchup with the Titans. But in the pass game, he led the team in targets with 10 and catches with eight. Jacoby Brissett punched in two 1-yard touchdowns for the Colts, which limited Hines’ fantasy line. Brissett’s playing time has increased in recent weeks as a situational quarterback, which hurts the value of all of the Indianapolis running backs.

Dynasty Watch: TE Mo Alie-Cox, Indianapolis Colts

Alie-Cox broke out in Week 2 with a five-catch, 111-yard performance. He followed that up with two straight games with touchdown catches. He then fell to the bottom of the Colts’ three-player rotation at tight end for a few weeks. His value is on the rise again after a third-straight game leading the Colts tight ends in pass routes. It hasn’t led to fantasy value, as he caught just two passes for 19 yards while Trey Burton caught three passes for 42 yards and a touchdown. Burton is an unrestricted free agent after the season, so there is a chance Alie-Cox will lead the way for Indianapolis next year without as much competition. He is someone worth trading for in dynasty leagues before his value increases further.

Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings

Carolina Panthers Minnesota Vikings
D.J. Moore – 59 snaps Justin Jefferson – 72 snaps
Robby Anderson – 53 snaps Olabisi Johnson – 58 snaps
Curtis Samuel – 42 snaps Chad Beebe – 35 snaps
Brandon Zylstra – 14 snaps Tajae Sharpe – 7 snaps
Ian Thomas – 43 snaps Kyle Rudolph – 57 snaps
Chris Manhertz – 25 snaps Tyler Conklin – 48 snaps
Colin Thompson – 24 snaps Brandon Dillon – 8 snaps
Mike Davis – 37 snaps Dalvin Cook – 46 snaps
Rodney Smith – 15 snaps Alexander Mattison – 12 snaps
Trenton Cannon – 10 snaps
Total – 65 snaps Total – 73 snaps

Winner: WR Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

Jefferson has strung together a few great games recently, but he’s been overshadowed by Adam Thielen. With Thielen missing this game, Jefferson had the opportunity to be a true No. 1 receiver for the Vikings, and he did not disappoint. The rookie caught seven of 13 passes thrown his way for 70 yards and two touchdowns. With or without Thielen, Jefferson is going to put up big numbers this year and several years to come.

Injury: WR D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers

Moore suffered a leg injury late in the game after catching four of nine passes for 61 yards. Brandon Zylstra replaced him on the final drive of the game. Zylstra’s been the clear fourth wide receiver since the release of Seth Roberts. He’s run 38 pass routes over the last five weeks. Pharoh Cooper is the only other backup to run a route (and he’s only run one). Zylstra is worth a waiver wire pickup if Moore misses significant time. He should see all of the playing time Moore usually gets, with Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel also likely seeing an increased target share.

Injury Replacement: WR Olabisi Johnson, Minnesota Vikings

Vikings lead receiver Adam Thielen was placed on the Covid-19 list earlier in the week, and Johnson took his role in the starting lineup. Johnson was the starter opposite Thielen to start the season before Jefferson moved into the starting lineup. Johnson ended up leading the Vikings in receiving yards with 74, catching all seven passes thrown his way. Third receiver Chad Beebe and tight end Kyle Rudolph also had seven receptions for the Vikings as Kirk Cousins spread the ball around. Johnson could be worth a waiver wire target if Johnson misses another week with a banged up Jaguars secondary up next.

New York Giants at Cincinnati Bengals

New York Giants Cincinnati Bengals
Sterling Shepard – 63 snaps Tee Higgins – 45 snaps
Darius Slayton – 57 snaps Tyler Boyd – 40 snaps
Golden Tate – 46 snaps A.J. Green – 40 snaps
Austin Mack – 17 snaps Auden Tate – 10 snaps
C.J. Board – 9 snaps Alex Erickson – 8 snaps
Evan Engram – 77 snaps Drew Sample – 38 snaps
Levine Toilolo – 39 snaps Cethan Carter – 13 snaps
Mason Schreck – 1 snap
Wayne Gallman – 51 snaps Giovani Bernard – 38 snaps
Dion Lewis – 22 snaps Samaje Perine – 7 snaps
Alfred Morris – 8 snaps Trayveon Williams – 5 snaps
Total – 81 snaps Total – 49 snaps

Winner: RB Wayne Gallman, New York Giants

Gallman came into the game with big-game potential and delivered. He has established himself as the main back for the Giants in recent weeks, but the schedule wasn’t doing him any favors. Gallman gained 94 yards on 24 carries and scored the game's first touchdown. He lost three yards on three catches but found himself more involved in the pass game than the rest of the Giants backs and some of their receivers. It’s also worth mentioning that teammate Evan Engram had one of his best games with 129 receiving yards on six catches.

Loser: WR A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals

The loss of Joe Burrow hurt the entire offense, with no skill player reaching 50 yards. Green suffered the most with no catches on three targets. Green has played in over 50% of offensive snaps and failed to make a catch twice in his 10-year NFL career. The first time happened two weeks ago against the Steelers, and the second time occurred today. Darius Slayton is another starting receiver who was held without a catch in this game.

Injury: QB Daniel Jones, New York Giants

Jones left the game early with a hamstring injury in the third quarter. He attempted to return but returned to the sideline after one play. Colt McCoy replaced Jones and had 31 passing yards on six completions. The Giants offense wasn’t as effective without Jones, but McCoy did lead drives to field goals which resulted in a New York victory. If Jones misses time, all of the Giants receivers would lose some of their fantasy value. The Giants play Seattle next week, so McCoy has value in superflex leagues in the short-term.

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets

Miami Dolphins New York Jets
DeVante Parker – 67 snaps Breshad Perriman – 54 snaps
Mack Hollins – 47 snaps Denzel Mims – 52 snaps
Jakeem Grant – 24 snaps Jamison Crowder – 44 snaps
Lynn Bowden Jr. – 22 snaps Braxton Berrios – 3 snaps
Antonio Callaway – 13 snaps Jeff Smith – 3 snaps
Malcolm Perry – 6 snaps
Mike Gesicki – 50 snaps Chris Herndon – 45 snaps
Durham Smythe – 30 snaps Ryan Griffin – 30 snaps
Adam Shaheen – 25 snaps Daniel Brown – 1 snap
DeAndre Washington – 34 snaps Frank Gore – 32 snaps
Matt Breida – 23 snaps Ty Johnson – 10 snaps
Patrick Laird – 10 snaps Josh Adams – 1 snap
Total – 71 snaps Total – 55 snaps

Winner: WR DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins

Parker dominated this game with twice as many catches (8) as any other player from either team. He posted a 36% target share in part due to all of the injuries the Dolphins have had recently to their skill players. This resulted in his season-best in receiving yards at 119. The only problem was that Parker moved Miami closer to scoring but the Dolphins tight ends ended up scoring the two touchdowns in this game. Parker will have a high upside the rest of the season thanks to his expected high target share.

Injury Replacement: RB DeAndre Washington, Miami Dolphins

Salvon Ahmed had been a popular waiver wire target in recent weeks while Myles Gaskin has been recovering, but this week Ahmed missed the game with a shoulder injury. This allowed Breida to be the starter for Miami, a role we thought Breida might have coming into the season. Breida played 11 of 14 snaps in the first quarter before DeAndre Washington took over and played over 60% of the offensive snaps over the rest of the game. Washington led the backfield in carries with 13 and yards at 49. None of the backs had a significant role in the pass game. If Both Ahmed and Gaskin were to miss next week’s game, Washington would be the player in Miami to pick up.

Injury Replacement: RB Frank Gore, New York Jets

La’Mical Perine landed on injured reserve with a high ankle sprain. Gore went from a part-time role to being the only viable running back for the Jets. The veteran took 18 of the 21 running back carries and gained 74 yards. He caught all three passes thrown his way for 12 yards. The Jets were never close to scoring a touchdown. Gore continues to have favorable matchups over the next few weeks, where he will maintain a high floor.

Injury: WR Malcolm Perry, Miami Dolphins

Perry had worked his way up the depth chart as the Dolphins’ slot receiver after various injuries and a trade. Jakeem Grant didn’t practice this week with a hamstring injury and didn’t end up seeing his usual slate of snaps. This allowed Perry to be the starter in a two-wide receiver set. He left the game in the first quarter with a chest injury and didn’t return. 

His absence led to a four-person rotation for the other receiver spots led by Mack Hollins. Hollins had the second-most receiving yards for a Falcons wide receiver at 19. He would be the player to pick up in deeper leagues if you want anyone from this wide receiver group.

Cleveland Browns at Jacksonville Jaguars

Cleveland Browns Jacksonville Jaguars
Rashard Higgins – 42 snaps Keelan Cole – 61 snaps
Jarvis Landry – 41 snaps Laviska Shenault Jr. – 59 snaps
KhaDarel Hodge – 28 snaps Collin Johnson – 52 snaps
Donovan Peoples-Jones – 11 snaps Trey Quinn – 3 snaps
Taywan Taylor – 9 snaps
Austin Hooper – 47 snaps Tyler Eifert – 39 snaps
Harrison Bryant – 42 snaps James O'Shaughnessy – 24 snaps
David Njoku – 40 snaps Ben Ellefson – 13 snaps
Eric Saubert – 9 snaps
Nick Chubb – 41 snaps James Robinson – 63 snaps
Kareem Hunt – 28 snaps Devine Ozigbo – 2 snaps
D’Ernest Johnson – 3 snaps
Total – 67 snaps Total – 65 snaps

Winner: WR Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns

Landry put together by far his best game of the season. He hadn’t caught a touchdown or put together a 100-yard game before today. Landry was thrown at 11 times while no other Browns player picked up more than three targets. He caught eight of them for 143 yards and a touchdown — he had 111 more receiving yards than any other Browns receiver. Landry benefited from injuries to the Jaguars secondary, but target share might be here to stay.

Returning From Injury: WR Laviska Shenault Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars

Shenault returned to the starting lineup after missing the last two weeks with a hamstring injury. The Jaguars didn’t have lead wide receiver D.J. Chark Jr. or Chris Conley, leading Shenault to play in every situation along with Keelan Cole. Shenault wasn’t heavily involved in the offense despite the playing time, with three catches for 31 yards on four targets. Part of the problem is that Shenault’s been more effective in the slot than out wide. He has gained 1.33 yards per route run out wide compared to 1.97 in the slot, but he’s only had one game this season with more snaps in the slot than out wide.

Dynasty Watch: WR Collin Johnson, Jacksonville Jaguars

Trey Quinn earned the third wide receiver role to start the game, but he lasted three snaps before a hamstring injury knocked him out for the rest of the game. It took Quinn’s injury as well as the two inactive receivers for Johnson to see significant playing time. The rookie fifth-round pick ended up leading the Jaguars in targets (8), receptions (4), receiving yards (96) and receiving touchdowns (1). Johnson is the only wide receiver for the Jaguars to put up over 60 receiving yards and a touchdown this season outside of Chark. He should be left on the waiver wire, as at least one of the three injured receivers ahead of him on the depth chart should return by next week. Two of the receivers ahead of him are unrestricted free agents after the season, so Johnson has a shot at the third wide receiver spot in 2021.

Arizona Cardinals at New England Patriots

Arizona Cardinals New England Patriots
DeAndre Hopkins – 71 snaps Jakobi Meyers – 50 snaps
Christian Kirk – 64 snaps Damiere Byrd – 45 snaps
Andy Isabella – 41 snaps N'Keal Harry – 26 snaps
KeeSean Johnson – 9 snaps Gunner Olszewski – 1 snap
Donte Moncrief – 1 snap
Maxx Williams – 52 snaps Ryan Izzo – 51 snaps
Dan Arnold – 26 snaps
Evan Baylis – 21 snaps
Kenyan Drake – 41 snaps Damien Harris – 34 snaps
Chase Edmonds – 32 snaps James White – 20 snaps
Sony Michel – 1 snap
Total – 73 snaps Total – 53 snaps

Winner: RB Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals

Drake led the way for the Cardinals offense with 22 carries for 78 yards and both of the team’s rushing touchdowns. He has compiled six rushing touchdowns in the last six weeks after scoring one in the first four. What made this game even more hopeful for Drake managers is how little Chase Edmonds was involved. Drake out-carried him by more than three times and had 15 yards receiving compared to Edmonds’ 14. Those who drafted Drake and have stuck with him all season are finally seeing some rewards.

Injury Replacement: WR Andy Isabella, Arizona Cardinals

Larry Fitzgerald missed only the seventh game in his 17-year NFL career after landing on the Covid-19 list. This led to Isabella taking over as the Cardinals’ slot receiver. Arizona failed to find much success in the pass game with 170 total passing yards and no touchdown passes. Isabella produced the second-most receiving yards for Arizona with 33 yards on four catches. Isabella will be an interesting play next week if Fitzgerald is out. They play the Rams, whose inside coverage has been a bigger weakness than their outside coverage.

Returning From Injury: RB Sony Michel, New England Patriots

Michel returned to the active roster for New England after dealing with a quad injury for two months. This move coincides with Rex Burkhead suffering a season-ending injury last week. Michel ended up playing only one offensive play in a two-running-back set where he ended up blocking. Damien Harris and James White functioned as a two-person backfield. Harris played in over 75% of the early-down snaps while White played in over 75% of the third-down snaps. Harris posted more plays when New England was in striking range, but White ended up with both of the Patriots touchdowns. In future weeks, Harris can still be expected to score more rushing touchdowns than White and put up bigger numbers.

Las Vegas Raiders at Atlanta Falcons

Las Vegas Raiders Atlanta Falcons
Henry Ruggs III – 42 snaps Russell Gage – 69 snaps
Nelson Agholor – 42 snaps Calvin Ridley – 56 snaps
Hunter Renfrow – 41 snaps Christian Blake – 50 snaps
Bryan Edwards – 19 snaps Brandon Powell– 13 snaps
Zay Jones – 13 snaps Olamide Zaccheaus – 12 snaps
Darren Waller – 61 snaps Hayden Hurst – 37 snaps
Jason Witten – 17 snaps Luke Stocker – 34 snaps
Foster Moreau – 8 snaps Jaeden Graham – 25 snaps
Derek Carrier – 1 snap
Josh Jacobs – 38 snaps Brian Hill – 39 snaps
Devontae Booker – 22 snaps Ito Smith – 28 snaps
Tony Brooks-James – 6 snaps
Total – 63 snaps Total – 78 snaps

Winner: Atlanta Falcons DST and K Younghoe Koo, Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons dominated the Raiders at the hands of their defense. Four different Falcons defenders forced fumbles and the Raiders lost all four. Deion Jones intercepted a pass and ran 67 yards for a touchdown. The defense scored as many points as it allowed. Another five Raiders drives went for four plays or less and ended in punts or turnovers on downs. The constant turnovers and good field position led to five made field goals by Koo and four extra points.

Loser: RB Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders

The game script was horrible for Jacobs, with the Raiders losing midway through the second quarter and the game being out of reach by the third quarter. Jacobs looked OK running the ball but only saw seven carries. He caught three passes for 17 yards. This game continued the trend of Jacobs having a lot of fantasy value whenever the Raiders win and being a bust in games they lose.

Injury Replacement: RB Brian Hill, Atlanta Falcons

Todd Gurley II was ruled out early in the week with a knee injury. Hill had a slight lead on Ito Smith in both carries and pass routes. The majority of their difference in offensive snaps came from Hill staying in to pass block seven times. There was not any clear situation outside of pass protection where the Falcons favored one back over the other. Smith ended up with the only rushing touchdown in the game and had five targets compared to one by Hill. If Gurley misses more time, I would expect the fantasy value for both Hill and Smith to be near-even.

Injury Replacement: WR Olamide Zaccheaus, Atlanta Falcons

Julio Jones has been bothered by a hamstring injury this season and was inactive today, resulting in Russell Gage going from a situational player to an every-down WR while Zaccheaus started the game playing in three-wide-receiver sets. Zaccheaus was limited to 12 snaps, catching one pass before suffering a toe injury. This kept him out of the rest of the game, and Christian Blake became the third receiver. Ten different players ended up with targets in this one. Even if Jones misses more time, the only receivers from Atlanta that should be in starting lineups are Calvin Ridley and Hayden Hurst.

Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills

Los Angeles Chargers Buffalo Bills
Keenan Allen – 78 snaps Stefon Diggs – 60 snaps
Mike Williams – 67 snaps Gabriel Davis – 60 snaps
Jalen Guyton – 63 snaps Cole Beasley – 53 snaps
Tyron Johnson – 18 snaps Isaiah McKenzie – 12 snaps
Jake Kumerow – 1 snap
Hunter Henry – 78 snaps Dawson Knox – 38 snaps
Donald Parham – 12 snaps Lee Smith – 17 snaps
Stephen Anderson – 6 snaps Reggie Gilliam – 6 snaps
Austin Ekeler – 60 snaps Zack Moss – 37 snaps
Joshua Kelley – 19 snaps Devin Singletary – 25 snaps
Troymaine Pope – 6 snaps
Total – 83 snaps Total – 62 snaps

Winner: RB Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers

Ekeler started the season as the Chargers’ lead back, played in three full games and then landed on injured reserve. He returned to action for the first time today and was not eased back into action. His 60 offensive snaps were a new career-high. Ekeler led the Chargers in rushing attempts (14), rushing yards (44), targets (16), receptions (11) and receiving yards (85). Ekeler’s biggest problem at the start of the season was Joshua Kelley taking the goal-line work. When the Chargers were within four yards of scoring today, Ekeler played five snaps to one by Kelley. Kelley ended up with the touchdown today, but Ekeler’s domination of goal-line snaps is promising for his value the rest of the season.

Loser: RB Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills

Moss’ playing time has been on the rise while Devin Singletary’s has been on the decline. The gap between them reached its largest point today, and it might be the highest it gets this season based on how the two backs played today. Singletary ended up with better stats in basically every category, though neither ended up scoring a touchdown. To be fair to Moss, he put up some of his best numbers of the season with 59 rushing yards on nine carries, but fantasy managers would ideally like to see him outperform Singletary.

Dynasty Watch: WR Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills

Davis' role in the Bills offense varies each week depending on which receivers are healthy. With John Brown on injured reserve, Davis was an outside receiver for Buffalo today and should stay in that role in the coming weeks. Davis led the Bills in receiving yards with 79 yards on three catches and caught a touchdown from Cole Beasley on a trick play. Davis grades significantly better from the outside and has posted a higher yards per route run (1.43 to 1.03) there. Depending on league size, Davis could be a waiver wire target this week. The only problem is that the Bills do not have a favorable schedule for their wide receivers, so it would be hard to start Davis this season. If Davis plays well enough over the remainder of the season, cutting Brown this spring would save Buffalo plenty of cap space without leaving much of a cap hit.

San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams

San Francisco 49ers Los Angeles Rams
Deebo Samuel – 63 snaps Robert Woods – 62 snaps
Richie James Jr. – 63 snaps Josh Reynolds – 61 snaps
Kendrick Bourne – 41 snaps Cooper Kupp – 55 snaps
River Cracraft – 2 snaps
Ross Dwelley – 44 snaps Tyler Higbee – 38 snaps
Jordan Reed – 31 snaps Gerald Everett – 29 snaps
Charlie Woerner – 13 snaps Johnny Mundt – 3 snaps
Raheem Mostert – 29 snaps Malcolm Brown – 25 snaps
Jeff Wilson Jr. – 25 snaps Darrell Henderson – 20 snaps
Jerick McKinnon – 18 snaps Cam Akers – 17 snaps
Total – 72 snaps Total – 62 snaps

Winner: WR Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers

Samuel missed the first three games of the season and then played in four games before missing another month of football with a hamstring injury. The second-year WR puts up his best numbers against division rivals, and that was true today with 11 catches on 13 targets for 133 yards. It was the first time in his career that he’s hit double digit catches. The rest of the 49ers players combined for 119 receiving yards. This was particularly impressive because the Rams have been great at shutting down outside receivers. Samuel gained 89 of his 133 yards while lined up on the outside — the most the Rams have given up to an outside receiver this year.

Loser: RB Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams

Henderson picked up one more carry than teammate Cam Akers, but Akers stole the show for the Rams offense. Henderson averaged under 2.0 yards per carry, while Akers broke off a 61-yard run. He also received a goal line carry and scored the Rams’ only offensive touchdown of the game. It’s possible that Akers will see more playing time than Henderson next week after this performance. The Rams tight ends could also be considered in this category for the week after they combined for three catches for 22 yards. The Rams typically run a lot of two- or three-tight end sets, getting both on the field. Los Angeles ran a total of seven plays from these formations, forcing the two to split playing time for most of the game.

Returning From Injury: RB Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers

Both Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. returned from injured reserve this week and the two split playing time on first and second downs. Mostert led the way with 43 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown, while Wilson also gained 43 yards but on 12 carries. Mostert caught two passes, but neither player gained any receiving yards. Jerick McKinnon maintained his third-down role. Tevin Coleman should also be returning from injury soon to make this backfield even more crowded. McKinnon can be dropped, as it would take multiple injuries for him to see significant touches again. Mostert will probably receive a larger share of the carries once he’s healthier, so both he and Coleman will take carries away from Wilson. Mostert is the clear back to have on your roster from this backfield even if his yardage total wasn’t high today.

New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos

New Orleans Saints Denver Broncos
Michael Thomas – 43 snaps Tim Patrick – 31 snaps
Tre'Quan Smith – 31 snaps K.J. Hamler – 28 snaps
Emmanuel Sanders – 20 snaps Jerry Jeudy – 22 snaps
Austin Carr – 15 snaps DaeSean Hamilton – 18 snaps
Marquez Callaway – 13 snaps Tyrie Cleveland – 11 snaps
Adam Trautman – 39 snaps Noah Fant – 30 snaps
Josh Hill – 39 snaps Nick Vannett – 20 snaps
Jared Cook – 19 snaps Troy Fumagalli – 12 snaps
Alvin Kamara – 31 snaps Melvin Gordon III – 35 snaps
Latavius Murray – 30 snaps Phillip Lindsay – 14 snaps
Dwayne Washington – 3 snaps Royce Freeman – 13 snaps
Total – 64 snaps Total – 43 snaps

Winner: RB Latavius Murray, New Orleans Saints

The Broncos ran the ball because they had no better option, while the Saints ran the ball because it was working. Alvin Kamara led the team in the first half but has been limited in practice all week with a foot injury, so he didn’t play as much in the second half. Taysom Hill again took both touchdown opportunities from Kamara in the first half. Murray took over in the second half and expanded the Saints’ lead. He ended up with 124 rushing yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns. He caught his only target for 2 yards in a game where the Saints had a total of 78 passing yards.

Loser: Denver Broncos Offense

The Broncos were in an impossible situation after all of their quarterbacks were placed on the Covid-19 list. Denver ran 24 plays with practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton lined up at quarterback, 10 plays with Royce Freeman and nine with Phillip Lindsay. Denver completed one pass while gaining 3.0 yards per carry in the run game. The Broncos were never able to put together a drive of more than six plays or more than 24 yards. Because they could never get a drive going, the running backs weren’t able to accumulate many rushing yards. They’ll be back to a more traditional offense with some actual quarterback for their next game, so there’s not much to take from this performance. 

Injury: RB Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos

Lindsay played a combination of quarterback and running back, gaining 20 yards on nine carries before suffering a knee injury to start the second half. He left for the remainder of the game. Melvin Gordon III played 57% of the offensive snaps in the second half while Royce Freeman played in the other 40%. Freeman looked like the best of the trio with 50 yards on eight carries. If Lindsay misses any time, Gordon’s role will remain unchanged while Freeman will step right into Lindsay’s role. Freeman is worth a waiver wire addition for anyone rostering Lindsay.

Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Kansas City Chiefs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tyreek Hill – 68 snaps Chris Godwin – 54 snaps
Sammy Watkins – 57 snaps Mike Evans – 53 snaps
Demarcus Robinson – 57 snaps Antonio Brown – 43 snaps
Mecole Hardman – 24 snaps Scotty Miller – 10 snaps
Marcus Kemp – 4 snaps Tyler Johnson – 5 snaps
Justin Watson – 1 snap
Travis Kelce – 68 snaps Rob Gronkowski – 43 snaps
Nick Keizer – 20 snaps Cameron Brate – 23 snaps
Deon Yelder – 15 snaps Antony Auclair – 8 snaps
Clyde Edwards-Helaire – 47 snaps Leonard Fournette –  33 snaps
Le'Veon Bell – 24 snaps Ronald Jones – 21 snaps
Darrel Williams – 8 snaps LeSean McCoy – 1 snap
Total – 79 snaps Total – 59 snaps

Winner: WR Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

Hill was the winner of the week after putting up historically great numbers in the pass game. He is now tied for the 15th-most receiving yards in a game at 269, tying 1960’s All Decade receiver Del Shofner from a 1962 game as a Giant. Hill caught 13 of 15 targets to get there, scoring three touchdowns along the way. This included two in the first quarter to help Kansas City to a 17-0 lead. Hill was WR2 on the season coming into the game and will likely top the leaderboard by the end of the week. 

Loser: RB Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fournette predictably ended up with more playing time than Ronald Jones due to the game script, but his stats don’t reflect it. Fournette ran the ball three times and gained 10 yards on those carries. On his three targets, he gained another 10 yards. He received the snaps when Tampa Bay was close to scoring, but that didn’t translate to a touchdown. Jones scored his first receiving touchdown of his NFL career on his only catch. The Buccaneers have a bye next week and then only teams with losing records left on the schedule. Those should all be games where Tampa Bay gains a lead and Jones leads the team in snaps. Depending on the league format, Fournette can be dropped. 

Returning From Injury: WR Sammy Watkins, Kansas City Chiefs

Watkins missed the last month and a half of football due to a hamstring injury. He went right back to his place on the depth chart behind Hill. Watkins had the second-most targets (7) and receiving yards (38) among the Chiefs wide receivers, hauling in four catches. In games where Hill doesn’t break records and the opposing cornerbacks aren’t so good, Watkins should put up bigger numbers. Mecole Hardman’s playing time continues to be limited, as he played less than a third of the team’s offensive snaps.

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers

Chicago Bears Green Bay Packers
Allen Robinson II – 64 snaps Davante Adams – 63 snaps
Darnell Mooney – 58 snaps Marquez Valdes-Scantling – 56 snaps
Anthony Miller – 47 snaps Equanimeous St. Brown – 38 snaps
Riley Ridley – 11 snaps Allen Lazard – 33 snaps
Malik Taylor – 2 snaps
Darrius Shepherd – 2 snaps
Cole Kmet – 54 snaps Robert Tonyan – 41 snaps
Jimmy Graham – 24 snaps Marcedes Lewis – 33 snaps
J.P. Holtz – 11 snaps Jace Sternberger – 16 snaps
Demetrius Harris – 1 snap
David Montgomery – 58 snaps Aaron Jones – 38 snaps
Cordarrelle Patterson – 9 snaps Jamaal Williams – 33 snaps
Ryan Nall – 3 snaps
Total – 68 snaps Total – 71 snaps

Winner: QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

The Packers were able to effectively move the ball down the field during long drives, especially early. Their first seven drives consisted of five touchdowns, one punt and a one-play drive to end the first half. Because they won with methodical plays, no individual player had a big day receiving. Rodgers completed 21 of 29 passes for 211 yards and four touchdowns, with each of the touchdowns going to a different wide receiver or tight end. No player ended up with more than six catches or more than 70 receiving yards. 

Loser: WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers

Valdes-Scantling remains the Packers No. 2 wide receiver in terms of playing time. He is coming off of three straight games with at least 50 receiving yards and has totaled three receiving touchdowns in that time. Valdes-Scantling was held without a target tonight despite running a route on nearly all of Green Bay’s pass plays. Every other skill player for the Packers who had a snap before garbage time touched the ball at least once. Allen Lazard finished with four catches on six targets on a touchdown in his second game back from injury. The gap between Valdes-Scantling and Lazard’s run blocks was large, but there wasn’t much of a gap between their routes. Lazard did leave the game late after a big hit. He was cleared to return and should be fine by next week. It’s safe to consider Lazard the Packers’ second wide receiver in the pass game now with Valdes-Scantling down to third.

Player to Cut: TE Jimmy Graham, Chicago Bears

Graham has seen a decline in playing time in recent weeks with rookie Cole Kmet taking his snaps. That trend continued in this game with Graham seeing 24 offensive snaps and running 18 pass routes. His only catches in the game came in the fourth quarter after the game was out of reach. He didn’t have a catch at all last week. At this point, it’s safe to say that Kmet is the starter and Graham is a backup, and this is not a situation where it’s worth keeping the backup tight end.

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