Fantasy News & Analysis

Fantasy Football Week 18 Recap: Immediate takeaways & analysis for every game

Detroit, Michigan, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard (13) and quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrate together after connecting for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The final week of the 2021 NFL regular season was filled with chaos. In the early slate of games, the Jacksonville Jaguars upset the Indianapolis Colts to leave a variety of scenarios on the table for the rest of the AFC's playoff contenders. In DFS, the number of rested starters meant that there were a few unpredictable performances from backups or depth options.

PFF's fantasy football recap focuses on player usage and stats, breaking down all the vital information you need to achieve fantasy success in 2021.

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Table Notes
  • Snaps include plays called back due to penalties like offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.
  • Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.
  • Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.

CHI @ MIN | IND @ JAX | TEN @ HOU | PIT @ BAL | CIN @ CLE | GB @ DET | WFT @ NYG | CAR @ TB | NO @ ATL | NE @ MIA | NYJ @ BUF | SF @ LAR |
SEA @ ARZ | LAC @ LV


Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings

Chicago Bears Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Darnell Mooney 75 55 16 0
Allen Robinson II 53 32 4 0
Damiere Byrd 46 36 6 0
Marquise Goodwin 26 19 3 0
Dazz Newsome 20 10 1 0
TE
Cole Kmet 62 43 5 0
Jesse James 25 12 0 0
Jimmy Graham 19 12 1 0
J.P. Holtz 1 1 0 0
HB
David Montgomery 49 21 3 20
Khalil Herbert 17 10 0 4
Damien Williams 16 15 4 0
Total 82 56 43 24

 

Minnesota Vikings Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Justin Jefferson 46 25 6 1
K.J. Osborn 39 25 3 0
Ihmir Smith-Marsette 24 18 4 0
Dede Westbrook 5 5 0 0
TE
Tyler Conklin 32 20 3 0
Luke Stocker 14 2 0 0
Ben Ellefson 7 3 0 0
HB
Dalvin Cook 26 11 1 14
Alexander Mattison 18 10 1 5
Kene Nwangwu 1 0 0 1
Total 48 27 19 22

Vikings' running back split: Dalvin Cook has made the Pro Bowl in each of the past three seasons and typically plays at least 70% of offensive snaps whenever he’s healthy. He didn’t show up on the injury report this week, but Alexander Mattison saw nearly half of the pass-game work for Minnesota, including the two-minute drill. Both backs caught their only targets for three yards each.

Cook will be 27 next season, which is past the age of a running back’s prime. The Vikings might have a new coaching staff next season. There is a slight chance they make Cook even more of a workhorse back, but his percentage of playing time is more likely will go down next year rather than up.

Bears' three-man backfield: The Bears also have an interesting backfield heading into 2022, and potentially a new coaching staff that could view things differently than the current staff.

David Montgomery handled almost all of the run game work, while he, Khalil Herbert and Damien Williams all saw time on passing downs. Williams will be a free agent, but the two younger backs will both be under contract. Herbert has graded much higher as a rusher on the season, in part due to averaging more yards after contact per carry. The rookie never fumbled and produced just as many big plays on fewer carries. Montgomery’s status as a 20-carry per game back might be coming to an end.


Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Indianapolis Colts Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Michael Pittman Jr. 50 36 7 0
Zach Pascal 49 33 2 0
T.Y. Hilton 40 30 5 0
Ashton Dulin 10 2 0 0
Parris Campbell 8 5 3 0
TE
Jack Doyle 32 18 2 0
Mo Alie-Cox 22 12 3 0
Kylen Granson 11 7 0 0
HB
Jonathan Taylor 52 34 3 15
Nyheim Hines 9 6 3 0
Total 57 38 28 15

 

Jacksonville Jaguars Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Laquon Treadwell 61 34 5 0
Marvin Jones Jr. 60 36 8 0
Laviska Shenault Jr. 41 26 7 0
Josh Hammond 5 2 0 0
TE
Jacob Hollister 41 24 3 0
Luke Farrell 31 9 0 0
Chris Manhertz 29 6 0 0
HB
Dare Ogunbowale 46 22 5 11
Ryquell Armstead 19 6 2 9
Mekhi Sargent 2 1 1 1
Total 67 36 31 28

The return of Parris Campbell: Campbell fractured his foot in Week 6 on a 51-yard touchdown catch, which landed him on injured reserve. He was activated this week to hopefully give the Colts some depth before the playoffs. Unfortunately the Colts won’t be making the playoffs. He only played a few snaps and didn’t have a catch on any of his three targets.

T.Y. Hilton and Zach Pascal are both free agents after this season, so there is a chance Campbell could be a starter next season. Indianapolis also has plenty of cap space to upgrade if they choose.

Marvin Jones Jr. is trending up: The Jaguars won this game without their top two running backs or their top two tight ends. Jacksonville will have a new coaching staff next season, so there could be a lot of changes to personnel before next season. Jones made the case to remain on the roster next year. This was his third game in the last five weeks with at least 70 receiving yards and his first touchdown since Week 6. He was the clear leader in snaps as well as receiving grade among the Jaguars receivers on the season. He will be 32, but could still be a touchdown machine if Jacksonville has a better offense in 2022.


Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans

Tennessee Titans Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
A.J. Brown 56 30 4 0
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine 50 23 5 0
Julio Jones 46 28 8 0
Racey McMath 12 3 1 0
Chester Rogers 10 6 2 0
TE
Geoff Swaim 49 10 1 0
Anthony Firkser 23 15 4 0
Ryan Izzo 5 1 0 0
HB
D'Onta Foreman 36 9 1 21
Dontrell Hilliard 34 19 1 9
Total 69 33 28 32

 

Houston Texans Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Nico Collins 41 31 7 0
Chris Moore 37 23 3 0
Danny Amendola 30 27 9 0
Jalen Camp 22 9 0 0
Brandin Cooks 18 15 4 0
TE
Pharaoh Brown 32 8 0 0
Brevin Jordan 27 20 0 0
Antony Auclair 20 3 1 0
HB
Rex Burkhead 40 23 3 12
David Johnson 17 10 4 5
Royce Freeman 1 0 0 0
Total 57 38 31 18

The Titans are healthy at wide receiver: The Titans wide receivers have had trouble staying healthy all season, but they seem to be getting in rhythm at the right possible moment. Julio Jones had played in just three games over the last two months and never over 50% of offensive snaps. He surpassed that this week and had over 50 receiving yards for the first time since Oct. 18. Similarly, A.J. Brown had his second 50-yard game over the last two months after missing several games in that time. Those two and Nick Westrbrook-Ikhine all scored touchdowns.

The Titans clinched the first-round bye. Expect both players to see plenty of playing time in the divisional round of the playoffs.

The Texans surprisingly good passing game: Brandin Cooks has been the only reliable offensive weapon for Houston all season, but he suffered a knee injury and didn’t return for the second half of the game. Nico Collins had over 60 receiving yards for just the second time this season. He’s a favorite to start for Houston next season unless they bring in multiple starter-level receivers.

Danny Amendola stole the show with his 100-yard game and two fourth-quarter touchdowns, almost leading to a Texans upset of the Titans. It was his first 100-yard game since 2019. He’s 36 years old, so it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he chooses to retire after the season. If so, this would be a strong ending for the former undrafted player.


Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens

Pittsburgh Steelers Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Chase Claypool 69 44 7 3
Diontae Johnson 65 44 10 0
Ray-Ray McCloud III 50 32 9 0
Cody White 7 1 0 0
TE
Pat Freiermuth 50 35 9 0
Zach Gentry 44 17 5 0
Kevin Rader 11 1 0 0
HB
Najee Harris 40 18 4 11
Benny Snell Jr. 29 11 0 12
Kalen Ballage 7 2 0 1
Total 76 45 44 30

 

Baltimore Ravens Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Rashod Bateman 62 39 2 0
Marquise Brown 58 39 6 0
Sammy Watkins 21 16 1 0
Devin Duvernay 18 13 0 1
Tylan Wallace 5 2 0 0
TE
Mark Andrews 66 40 15 1
Eric Tomlinson 37 14 0 0
Josh Oliver 19 5 1 0
HB
Latavius Murray 39 16 0 16
Devonta Freeman 27 18 2 5
Ty'Son Williams 2 1 0 1
Total 71 42 27 28

Monitor the Najee Harris injury: The Steelers rookie running back suffered an elbow injury on the first drive of the game. Benny Snell Jr. ended up taking over as the primary back while he and Kalen Ballage split third downs. The duo didn’t add much to the Steelers offense.

Harris returned to the game late in the third quarter and saw the vast majority of offensive snaps in the fourth quarter and overtime. He gained 28 yards on 11 carries. As usual, a lot of the Steelers rushing problems were due to the offensive line, as the three backs had a cumulative 1 yard before contact. The fact that he was able to return today is a good sign he will be able to play in the Wild Card round, but it will be worth monitoring how he practices before putting him in DFS lineups.

Ravens changing of backs: Devonta Freeman had earned the Ravens top running back spot in the middle of the season, which led to six straight games with double digit carries. His hold of the rushing role seemed to slip recently. This was the third time in four weeks he was limited to six carries or fewer. Latavius Murray had two games in December with 1 rushing yard each, making it seem like he was fully phased out of the offense. His only game above 50 rushing yards was in Week 4. He was the hot hand today and gained 150 yards and a touchdown. It’s unlikely that either of these backs remains on the Ravens in 2022 if J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards make full recoveries.


Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns

  • D’Ernest Johnson: 25 carries, 123 yards, 1 TD (32% first down rate); 1 reception, 10 receiving yards
  • Jarvis Landry: 6 receptions, 75 yards, 1 TD (3 avoided tackles)
Cincinnati Bengals Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Mike Thomas 44 29 4 0
Trent Taylor 33 25 3 0
Stanley Morgan Jr. 33 15 2 1
Trenton Irwin 32 24 4 0
Ja'Marr Chase 5 4 4 0
TE
Mitchell Wilcox 47 28 5 0
Drew Sample 17 5 0 0
HB
Chris Evans 30 20 5 7
Trayveon Williams 24 12 2 9
Total 54 33 29 18

 

Cleveland Browns Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Donovan Peoples-Jones 52 25 4 0
Jarvis Landry 47 24 8 0
Anthony Schwartz 37 16 3 1
Demetric Felton 6 3 2 1
Ja'Marcus Bradley 3 0 0 0
TE
Austin Hooper 40 11 0 0
David Njoku 40 15 2 0
Harrison Bryant 34 9 3 0
HB
D'Ernest Johnson 47 17 1 25
Nick Chubb 16 4 1 9
Total 66 27 24 39

Bengals' frustrated DFS players: The Bengals were clear that they would rest their starters so they would be refreshed for their wild-card game. They gave Ja’Marr Chase time to break the team's single-season receiving record and then stayed true to their plan. Cincinnati rested both its starters and some key backups.

Samaje Perine was expected to be the lead back for Cincinnati today, but the team instead went to its third- and fourth-string players. Similarly, backup tight end Drew Sample was used sparingly, with third-string Mitchell Wilcox seeing most of the receiving work. The player workload in Week 18 has no bearing on how the Bengals will use their players next week.

Nick Chubb’s curious usage: Chubb dominated the Browns' backfield in offensive snaps and then didn’t return to the game until a three-play stretch late in the third quarter. He had a solid game with 58 yards on nine carries. D’Ernest Johnson then ran 25 times. Chubb hasn’t seen 25 carries in a single game since 2019.

Chubb played well this season but didn’t produce at the same level as some of his previous seasons. Kareem Hunt has been used as the team’s receiving back when healthy, and Johnson graded better as a rusher this season, albeit on a smaller sample size. Johnson has earned a chance to be part of the rotation, which isn’t great news for any of the backs in Cleveland for fantasy football purposes.


Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions

  • Allen Lazard: 5 receptions, 75 yards, 2 TD (4.41 YPRR)
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown: 8 receptions, 109 yards, 1 TD (5 explosive catches); 1 carry, 12 rushing yards
Green Bay Packers Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Equanimeous St. Brown 51 25 5 0
Juwann Winfree 44 21 3 0
Amari Rodgers 31 16 3 0
Davante Adams 22 19 7 0
Allen Lazard 21 17 6 0
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 15 13 1 0
TE
Josiah Deguara 29 20 4 0
Tyler Davis 24 13 1 0
Marcedes Lewis 20 4 1 0
Dominique Dafney 15 5 1 0
HB
A.J. Dillon 37 17 1 14
Patrick Taylor Jr. 31 12 2 11
Total 68 40 35 26

 

Detroit Lions Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Amon-Ra St. Brown 56 30 10 1
Josh Reynolds 49 28 3 0
Kalif Raymond 42 25 5 1
Tom Kennedy 15 11 2 0
KhaDarel Hodge 8 3 0 0
TE
Brock Wright 42 17 2 0
Jared Pinkney 16 6 0 0
HB
D'Andre Swift 33 21 5 7
Jamaal Williams 24 5 1 13
Craig Reynolds 6 1 0 3
Total 59 32 28 26

Monitor the Marquez Valdes-Scantling injury: The Packers wide receiver re-injured his back in the second quarter and didn’t return to the game. It’s unclear if he would have been able to had the Packers needed him, but Green Bay had backups play for a lot of the game. Green Bay has a first-round bye, which gives Valdes-Scantling more time to recover.

Equanimeous St. Brown took over as the third wide receiver, and he would take that role in a worst-case scenario. Randall Cobb was designated to return from injured reserve in late December, and there is a chance he will be available for the divisional round. Cobb would leapfrog St. Brown on the depth chart. If everyone is healthy, there would be a rotation between everyone except Davante Adams. Green Bay would also likely use more four wide receiver sets, limiting the routes run by the Packers tight ends.

D’Andre Swift on the decline: Swift didn’t rank as high as some anticipated in the Top-250 fantasy football rankings, and this game is a good example why. Swift remains the clear receiving back in Detroit, but the team has used a committee on early downs. The second-year back at one point in the season had 33 carries in a game and was at least seeing double-digit carries each week. He ran the ball just four times last week and another seven times this week. The Lions also have the cap space or draft capital to upgrade at running back on early downs if they choose to do so. Swift will still have value next season as a receiving back, but the odds of him being a top-10 back are decreasing.


Washington Football Team @ New York Giants

Washington Football Team Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Terry McLaurin 47 18 5 0
Cam Sims 39 15 1 0
Adam Humphries 37 15 2 0
Dyami Brown 20 8 0 0
DeAndre Carter 12 6 1 1
Dax Milne 6 1 0 0
TE
John Bates 59 20 1 0
Temarrick Hemingway 13 3 0 0
HB
Antonio Gibson 32 9 3 21
Jaret Patterson 17 9 2 6
Jonathan Williams 11 2 0 7
Total 59 22 15 36

 

New York Giants Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Kenny Golladay 43 30 5 0
Darius Slayton 42 30 2 0
Alex Bachman 25 18 0 1
David Sills 16 9 3 0
Collin Johnson 4 2 0 0
TE
Evan Engram 38 26 3 0
Kyle Rudolph 34 19 6 0
HB
Saquon Barkley 36 15 4 11
Devontae Booker 30 12 2 8
Total 60 37 26 22

Kyle Rudolph on the rise: The former Viking saw a lot of playing time early in the season while Evan Engram was out but since that point was largely just a blocker in two-tight end sets. Rudolph played in over 55% of offensive snaps for the first time since October. He saw a season-high six targets, while Engram only had one catch for 4 yards.

This is noteworthy because Rudolph is under contract for 2022 while Engram is not. It was widely believed Engram won't be returning to New York, but this adds even more evidence.

Antonio Gibson’s usage: Washington’s running back situation will be a hot topic this offseason with J.D. McKissic an unrestricted free agent. The receiving back hasn’t played since Week 12 due to a concussion, so we’ve seen what the backfield might look like without him.

Gibson has functioned as the every-down back in some games, at times playing over 80% of offensive snaps. He was limited in practice all week with a hip injury, which likely led to his low playing time today. He played less often than usual on early downs but did see a few snaps on third and long, which typically wouldn’t happen with a healthy McKissic. Gibson has top-10 RB potential if he can take more of the third-down snaps.


Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Carolina Panthers Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
D.J. Moore 55 38 10 1
Robby Anderson 54 39 9 0
Brandon Zylstra 50 31 2 0
C.J. Saunders 15 13 2 0
Keith Kirkwood 10 6 1 0
Alex Erickson 5 5 0 0
TE
Tommy Tremble 42 27 5 1
Ian Thomas 37 20 0 0
Stephen Sullivan 11 8 0 0
HB
Ameer Abdullah 40 30 10 7
Chuba Hubbard 32 9 2 9
Total 72 50 41 21

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Tyler Johnson 52 35 7 0
Mike Evans 43 34 8 0
Breshad Perriman 37 28 5 0
Scotty Miller 14 7 1 2
Jaelon Darden 8 3 1 0
Cyril Grayson 6 4 0 0
TE
Rob Gronkowski 50 36 9 0
Cameron Brate 10 5 3 0
O.J. Howard 9 3 0 0
Darren Fells 8 2 0 0
HB
Ke'Shawn Vaughn 27 13 2 10
Le'Veon Bell 23 16 1 3
Kenjon Barner 9 2 0 4
Total 60 40 37 20

Monitor the Cyril Grayson injury: Grayson suffered a hamstring injury on the Buccaneers' second drive and was ruled out for the game. The Buccaneers wide receiver group has been a hot topic in recent weeks, which gave Grayson the opportunity to play a big role in the offense. He was the clear every-down starter with Mike Evans to start the game, with Tyler Johnson playing in three-receiver sets.

Johnson seldom left the field when Grayson went down, and Breshad Perriman became the third receiver. If Grayson misses time, it will be Evans, Johnson and Perriman.

The Buccaneers' pair of backs: Tampa Bay didn’t have Leonard Fournette or Ronald Jones for this game, leaving them with second-year back Ke’Shawn Vaughn and veteran Le’Veon Bell.

Bell served as the primary third-down back as well as the back in two-minute drills. Vaughn played over half of the snaps on first and second downs outside of the two-minute drill. If the Buccaneers are relying on these two next week, Vaughn would be the most valuable of the two. If either Fournette, Jones or both come back, then Bell is the most likely back to continue seeing snaps on third downs while the returning back plays on first and second down. 

The Panthers targets: Carolina’s strategy has remained unchanged, as several targets were sent the way of their top two wide receivers and their receiving back. All three had at least seven catches on at least nine targets.

It was noteworthy that rookie tight end Tommy Tremble was the fourth-most targeted player in this game. The first-year pass-catcher had a career-high five targets but was only able to convert this into two catches for 7 yards. The Panthers will have the opportunity to upgrade at the position in free agency, but they could also decide to rely on their third-round draft pick in 2022.


New Orleans Saints @Atlanta Falcons

  • Russell Gage: 9 receptions, 126 yards, 1 TD (39.4% threat rate)
  • Alvin Kamara: 30 carries, 146 yards (5 explosive runs); 2 receptions, 16 receiving yards
New Orleans Saints Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Tre'Quan Smith 52 22 7 0
Marquez Callaway 46 17 1 0
Ty Montgomery 30 11 2 0
Deonte Harris 21 8 4 1
Lil'Jordan Humphrey 7 4 1 0
TE
Adam Trautman 50 12 1 0
Nick Vannett 20 3 1 0
Juwan Johnson 11 6 2 0
HB
Alvin Kamara 56 17 2 30
Adam Prentice 25 6 1 1
Tony Jones Jr. 14 5 1 7
Total 72 26 23 44

 

Atlanta Falcons Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Russell Gage 45 33 13 0
Olamide Zaccheaus 39 29 3 0
Tajae Sharpe 38 29 2 0
Christian Blake 3 3 0 0
TE
Kyle Pitts 37 30 5 0
Hayden Hurst 12 8 1 0
Parker Hesse 11 4 0 0
Lee Smith 4 0 0 0
HB
Cordarrelle Patterson 18 9 1 4
Mike Davis 18 11 3 6
Qadree Ollison 16 2 0 1
Total 50 37 29 11

The Saints need help at receiver: The Saints' receiving corps has been a problem all season. They seemed to be in relatively good shape coming into the game, with Deonte Harris recently coming back from suspension and everyone practicing at some level. Tre’Quan Smith and Ty Montgomery were both limited in practice this week but their availability was never really in doubt.

The Saints lost Lil’Jordan Humphrey in the first quarter after he limped off the field and never returned. Montgomery then fell to the ground after trying to make a catch and didn’t play in the last 9 minutes of the game. New Orleans was able to overcome all of these injuries in this game, but it hurt them enough throughout the season to keep them from making the playoffs.

The Saints should get Michael Thomas back this offseason, but they might trade him. They won’t have the cap space to find much help in free agency, which means they will be left looking at the draft to upgrade.

The decline of Cordarrelle Patterson continues: Patterson had the worst game of his season this week, totaling just 11 rushing yards on four carries and one catch for one yard. This game tied his season-low in both carries and yards, and it was his fourth straight game under 30 rushing yards. He seemed like someone the Falcons would need to re-sign in free agency, but now it doesn’t seem to be as much of a necessity. 


New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins

  • Duke Johnson Jr.: 25 carries, 117 yards, 1 TD (3 explosive runs); 1 reception, 5 receiving yards
  • Brandon Bolden: 7 carries, 46 yards, 1 TD (6.4 yards after contact per carry); 2 receptions, 20 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD
New England Patriots Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Nelson Agholor 55 32 3 0
Jakobi Meyers 52 27 7 0
Kendrick Bourne 36 24 4 1
N'Keal Harry 12 4 1 0
Gunner Olszewski 2 2 0 0
TE
Hunter Henry 42 24 5 0
Jonnu Smith 25 6 0 1
HB
Damien Harris 30 10 4 11
Brandon Bolden 28 12 2 7
Rhamondre Stevenson 9 4 2 4
Total 62 33 28 26

 

Miami Dolphins Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Jaylen Waddle 61 25 7 0
DeVante Parker 49 23 4 0
Albert Wilson 24 8 0 0
Isaiah Ford 9 3 0 0
Mack Hollins 7 3 1 0
TE
Durham Smythe 47 11 2 0
Mike Gesicki 39 19 3 0
Adam Shaheen 33 9 0 0
Cethan Carter 4 0 0 0
HB
Duke Johnson Jr. 43 15 1 25
Phillip Lindsay 15 3 0 11
Myles Gaskin 7 5 3 1
Total 68 26 21 39

Monitor the Rhamondre Stevenson injury: Stevenson suffered a head injury on his first play but was able to return in the third quarter. He played for eight plays but didn’t play in the last 18 minutes of the game. As a result, Damien Harris and Brandon Bolden saw an increase in playing time, with Bolden finding the end zone twice in the game and Harris following suit in the fourth quarter. It will be worth watching the injury report on Stevenson over the next week. Harris would be a much more valuable DFS target if Stevenson misses the game.

The rise of Duke Johnson Jr. and the fall of Myles Gaskin: The Dolphins shifted even closer toward Johnson being the main running back and Gaskin not being part of the offense. Johnson handled double-digit carries for the third time in four weeks. This was his second game of the season with 100 rushing yards.

Gaskin’s playing time has declined in every game over the last month and a half. This was his first game of the season with single-digit snaps, as well as his first with only one carry. Gaskin will probably be better off fighting for a roster spot with a new team next year, while Johnson has at least earned a chance to stay in the league another year.


New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills

  • Devin Singletary: 19 carries, 88 yards (49 yards after contact), 1 TD; 2 receptions, 24 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD
  • Stefon Diggs: 9 receptions, 81 yards, 1 TD (6 first downs)
New York Jets Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Denzel Mims 35 23 1 0
Jeff Smith 34 26 2 0
Keelan Cole 28 19 3 0
Tarik Black 19 13 2 0
Jamison Crowder 7 5 1 0
TE
Tyler Kroft 44 24 3 0
Kenny Yeboah 3 2 0 0
HB
Michael Carter 24 15 2 9
Ty Johnson 15 10 1 1
Tevin Coleman 10 2 1 5
Total 46 31 16 15

 

Buffalo Bills Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Gabriel Davis 75 49 13 0
Stefon Diggs 67 48 12 0
Cole Beasley 42 33 6 0
Isaiah McKenzie 22 13 1 1
Jake Kumerow 10 3 1 0
TE
Dawson Knox 75 44 6 0
HB
Devin Singletary 62 32 2 19
Zack Moss 18 9 2 5
Matt Breida 1 1 0 0
Total 82 51 44 28

Devin Singletary continues to trend up: Singletary has been the clear top back in Buffalo for weeks now, but the Bills got all three of their running backs into the mix tonight. Singletary was the only one who mattered, as he carried the offense and even scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Zack Moss tallied five carries but only gained eight yards. It’s safe to say Singletary can hold off Moss and Matt Breida for at least a few more weeks to help anyone who trusts him in DFS.

Jets backfield split: The Jets started the season with a three-man backfield, but they stuck with two players for most of the season. However, Michael Carter‘s recent concussion — which kept him out of practice earlier in the week — left the Jets rotating their backs a little more than usual today. Ty Johnson saw most of the third-down work despite Carter playing better as a receiver during the season.

The Jets rookie should be the lead back in 2022 and has a chance to be an every-down back if he can hold off Johnson on third downs when healthy.


San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Rams

  • Tyler Higbee: 6 receptions, 55 yards, 2 TD, (3 for 3 on contested targets)
  • Jauan Jennings: 6 receptions, 94 yards, 2 TD, (2 avoided tackles)
San Francisco 49ers Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Brandon Aiyuk 65 35 7 0
Deebo Samuel 50 33 6 8
Jauan Jennings 45 29 7 0
Trent Sherfield 10 1 1 0
Travis Benjamin 6 1 1 0
TE
George Kittle 66 31 7 0
Charlie Woerner 11 1 0 0
Ross Dwelley 2 0 0 0
HB
Elijah Mitchell 36 12 0 21
JaMycal Hasty 18 14 3 1
Jeff Wilson Jr. 6 0 0 0
Total 70 36 32 31

 

Los Angeles Rams Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Cooper Kupp 64 36 8 1
Odell Beckham Jr. 51 34 4 0
Van Jefferson 45 29 3 0
Bennett Skowronek 17 9 2 0
TE
Tyler Higbee 61 31 6 0
Kendall Blanton 4 3 0 0
HB
Sony Michel 52 27 3 21
Cam Akers 13 8 3 5
Total 65 37 29 27

The return of Cam Akers: Akers returned to the Rams after spending the entire season on injured reserve due to a torn Achilles. He gained only nine yards on six touches, but Sony Mitchel wasn’t faring any better against the 49ers' defense. He played nine snaps in the first half compared to four in the second half and none in overtime. It was clear before the game Los Angeles would ease him in, and the team will likely provide him a larger role next week. The Rams prefer to have one clear starter at running back, so Akers could see anywhere from 100% of offensive snaps next week, to only seeing 20%-30%.

Elijah Mitchell’s limited playing time: Mitchell played on only half of the 49ers' offensive snaps, but this was entirely game script-related. He played 85% of offensive snaps on first or second downs outside of the two-minute drills. He rarely plays on third downs or in two-minute drills, and the 49ers happened to have a lot of plays in those situations. He gained 85 yards on 21 carries.

This can be a sigh of relief for those who like to rely on Mitchell in DFS, but it’s worth mentioning he has a tough matchup against the Cowboys next week. They’ve allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to running backs this year and the fewest among teams playing next week.


Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals

  • Rashaad Penny: 23 carries, 190 yards, 1 TD, (7.1 yards after contact per carry)
  • Tyler Lockett: 5 receptions, 98 yards, 2 TD, (15.4 aDOT)
Seattle Seahawks Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Tyler Lockett 51 27 5 1
D.K. Metcalf 51 27 11 0
Freddie Swain 19 10 1 0
D'Wayne Eskridge 12 7 0 0
Penny Hart 4 1 0 0
Aaron Fuller 1 0 0 0
TE
Gerald Everett 55 23 3 0
Colby Parkinson 36 12 3 0
Tyler Mabry 2 0 0 0
HB
Rashaad Penny 43 14 0 23
Travis Homer 13 9 3 1
DeeJay Dallas 2 1 0 1
Total 58 28 26 29

 

Arizona Cardinals Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
A.J. Green 69 45 9 0
Christian Kirk 69 45 3 0
Antoine Wesley 58 35 3 0
Greg Dortch 12 8 2 0
Andy Isabella 2 2 0 0
TE
Zach Ertz 71 45 9 0
Darrell Daniels 24 8 0 0
David Wells 3 0 0 0
HB
James Conner 47 26 6 15
Eno Benjamin 25 15 4 7
Jonathan Ward 5 5 1 0
Total 77 48 37 23

The Cardinals limp into the playoffs: The Cardinals' offense has been hurting in recent weeks. DeAndre Hopkins is on injured reserve, while Chase Edmonds and Rondale Moore have missed the past few games with injuries. James Conner was limited all week with a heel injury, but that didn’t stop the Cardinals from relying heavily on him. He was the clear leader in carries and paced the team in targets for most of the game. It wasn’t enough to get Arizona the victory.

Conner left the game early and was unable to play in the last 11 minutes of the game. Eno Benjamin took over as the team’s running back and would start next week if both Conner and Edmonds can’t play. Arizona will need to get a bit healthier in one week to compete in the playoffs.

A new top free agent running back?: Rashaad Penny continued to establish himself as a potential top back in 2022. This was his fourth game of 130 or more rushing yards in the past five weeks. He also scored six rushing touchdowns in that span. He is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and his potential salary keeps getting higher. The only problem with his fantasy value is he’s rarely involved in the passing game. The Seahawks have Chris Carson under contract for one more season and will have a decision to make before free agency starts.


Los Angeles Chargers @ Las Vegas Raiders

  • Austin Ekeler: 16 carries, 64 yards, 1 TD (3.0 yards after contact per carry); 5 receptions, 35 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD
  • Hunter Renfrow: 4 receptions, 13 yards, 2 TD (7.5 aDOT); 1 carry, -4 rushing yards
Los Angeles Chargers Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Keenan Allen 82 61 7 0
Mike Williams 67 48 17 0
Josh Palmer 56 41 7 0
Jalen Guyton 50 39 9 0
Andre Roberts 3 3 0 0
TE
Jared Cook 65 52 7 0
Stephen Anderson 25 11 0 0
Tre' McKitty 22 6 0 0
HB
Austin Ekeler 78 55 10 16
Justin Jackson 17 13 1 3
Total 93 67 58 20
Las Vegas Raiders Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Zay Jones 71 37 8 0
Bryan Edwards 56 28 5 0
Hunter Renfrow 51 28 5 1
DeSean Jackson 8 6 0 0
Tyron Johnson 4 1 0 0
TE
Darren Waller 62 37 8 0
Foster Moreau 49 14 2 0
Derek Carrier 12 4 0 0
HB
Josh Jacobs 57 18 2 26
Jalen Richard 24 17 2 2
Total 80 40 32 34

The return of Darren Waller: The Raiders' star tight end returned after a five-week absence. He got more and more involved as the game went on, and he was basically shouldering a regular workload by the end of the game. Waller led the Raiders in targets but only brought in two passes for 22 yards. The former Pro Bowler will likely be a big part of the Raiders game plan next week.

The health of Josh Jacobs: The talented running back was limited all week with a rib injury and was questionable coming into the game. He not only played but played more than usual.

Peyton Barber was consistently handling 5-13 snaps per game, recording at least five carries in each of the last three games. However, Barber didn’t see a single snap on offense today, with Jacobs playing in all of the rushing situations. He wasn’t entirely effective running, but the chances are the Raiders will continue to rely on their best players in the playoffs.

Chargers two key free agents: Two of L.A.'s starting skill players are headed for free agency in two months, and they had two very different games. Tight end Jared Cook caught four passes for 80 yards, the most for him in a Chargers uniform. He was on the field late in the game but wasn’t involved while Los Angeles tried to catch up. He will be 35 before next season, so there is at least a chance he retires this offseason. If not, there are plenty of free-agent tight ends if Los Angeles wants a change. 

Wide receiver Mike Williams was held to single-digit yards over the first 50 minutes of the game. He only got involved in the middle of the fourth quarter while Los Angeles tried to catch up. The deep threat was heavily targeted in the last 10 minutes of regulation as well as overtime.

Williams started the season on fire, going over 80 receiving yards in four of his first five games, but he hit that mark only three more times over the rest of the season, including tonight. Few available wide receiver options will represent an upgrade to Williams, but the team has the cap space to try. After how much he helped the team almost make the playoffs, they will likely try to bring him back.

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