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.
- Snaps include plays called back due to penalties such as 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.
- D.J. Moore: 8 receptions, 113 yards, 2 TD (29.3% threat rate)
- Ezekiel Elliott: 20 carries, 143 yards, 1 TD (112 yards after contact)
|Carolina Panthers||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Terrace Marshall Jr.||50||36||3||0|
|Dallas Cowboys||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Continue to start Chuba Hubbard: Hubbard's role wasn't as big as we expected, thanks to Rodney Smith. The 2020 undrafted rookie served as the primary receiving back, which left Hubbard with only two receptions for 14 yards. However, Hubbard did receive 13 of the 16 carries designed for running backs. He looked fine on those attempts and just had Sam Darnold vulture the rushing touchdowns Hubbard can remain in starting lineups for as long as Christin McCaffrey is out.
Avoid the Panthers' tight ends: Dan Arnold was traded a week ago when the Panthers acquired C.J. Henderson. There was some hope that third-round rookie Tommy Tremble would take over as the receiving tight end, but Ian Thomas saw the majority of the work. Thomas caught two passes for 10 yards, and Tremble didn’t catch his only target. Ideally, the 21-year-old sees more playing time as the season progresses.
Buy low on CeeDee Lamb: The second-year receiver had a lot working against him in this game. The Cowboys were never playing from behind, allowing them to run a lot more than pass. He was also facing a Panthers team that’s been among the league’s best at preventing fantasy points to wide receivers. Still, he was the second-most-targeted Cowboy and should definitely rebound next week. His matchups will be especially good once the fantasy playoffs hit.
- Kareem Hunt: 14 carries, 69 yards, 1 TD, (3.3 yards after contact per carry), 2 receptions, 17 receiving yards
- Justin Jefferson: 6 receptions, 84 yards, 1 TD (2 for 3 on contested targets)
|Cleveland Browns||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Odell Beckham Jr.||62||32||7||1|
|Minnesota Vikings||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Monitor Dalvin Cook’s injury: Cook missed last week but returned for this game. He was limited, with Alexander Mattison seeing more carries. Cook only played two of 11 third-quarter snaps before returning in the fourth quarter for the majority of snaps. It will be worth monitoring how much he practices this week and to what the coaches are saying. Mattison should remain on fantasy rosters just in case.
Buy low on Adam Thielen: The Vikings wide receiver had his first game of the season without a touchdown. He only caught three passes for 46 yards but was the most targeted receiver for Minnesota. The Vikings' next five matchups are all more favorable than this one according to PFF's strength of schedule tool, and Minnesota has the best matchup next week.
Cut Austin Hooper: The leader among the Browns tight ends has constantly changed throughout the season. This week Hooper was the leader in targets and routes run, while David Njoku led in catches and yards. It’s hard to rely on a tight end who is only an option to throw to on just over half of a team’s pass plays. A tight end like the Vikings' Tyler Conklin is a better option, as he runs a route on a higher percentage of his team’s passes.
- Stefon Diggs: 7 receptions, 114 yards (4 explosive plays)
- Dawson Knox: 5 receptions, 37 yards, 2 TD (24 YAC)
|Houston Texans||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Mark Ingram II||10||2||0||6|
|Buffalo Bills||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Add Dawson Knox: Knox was the Bills' starting tight end last season but didn’t have much fantasy success because of the other tight ends in Buffalo’s offense. He was a top-10 fantasy tight end after three weeks as one of seven tight ends with multiple receiving touchdowns. He added two more today. It was his second straight game with five or more targets after only having two games with five or more all of last season. If he’s getting this involved when the Bills offense has been it’s healthiest, then he should remain involved the rest of the season.
Buy low on Brandin Cooks: The Texans were as bad as an offense could get. Five drives ended in turnovers. Another four drives had negative net yards prior to punting. Cooks was the only one to find any success with five receptions for 47 yards. In games where Houston can play even a little better on offense, Cooks should remain a fine fantasy starter.
Monitor the Bills running backs: Both Bills backs found success today, as each had 14 carries in the dominant victory. Zack Moss ran more routes than Devin Singletary, which is very rare. Neither back has been a great receiver, but Singletary is typically the one running the majority of the routes. That makes it seem like Moss is getting closer to an every-down role, but then Singletary outperformed Moss as a rusher in the game and looked better as a pass protector. This is a situation that could continue to evolve.
- Alvin Kamara: 26 carries, 120 yards (8 avoided tackles)
- Kenny Golladay: 6 receptions, 116 yards (17.5 aDOT)
|New York Giants||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|New Orleans Saints||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Tony Jones Jr.||9||6||2||3|
Monitor the injury to Tony Jones Jr.: The second-year back had performed well on a small sample size, earning the third-highest PFF grade among running backs heading into the week. And the team even opted to give him three carries and three targets early in the game before he was carted off the field with a right leg injury. Dwayne Washington will be the handcuff for Alvin Kamara if Jones misses time. However, the biggest impact might be an even higher percentage of carries and targets for the Saints All-Pro back.
Monitor the Giants' wide receivers: The Giants didn’t have Sterling Shepard or Darius Slayton for this game, which gave Kadarious Toney a chance to play in an every-down role. The first-round rookie recorded more receiving yards than Slayton has ever had in any game this season. Free-agent addition John Ross also saw his first action of the season and notably came away with a 52-yard touchdown catch. Collin Johnson had a big game last week but was fifth on the depth chart today. We might see a lot more rotation at wide receiver once everyone is healthy.
Consider starting Evan Engram: Engram made his return from injury last week and played in 11 personnel while the other tight ends played in 12. Engram’s role evolved this week — he took the field in 12 personnel with Kyle Rudolph, but Rudolph also took some of the 11 personnel snaps. Engram caught five passes for 27 yards. He may well see enough targets to make him a relatively consistent, borderline starting tight end in the future.
- Derrick Henry: 33 attempts, 157 yards, 1 TD, (5 explosive runs), 2 receptions, 20 receiving yards
- Corey Davis: 4 receptions, 111 yards, 1 TD (19.9 aDOT)
|Tennessee Titans||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|New York Jets||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Start Michael Carter in favorable matchups: Carter was the clear primary runner for the Jets for the second straight game. He maintained the role despite Tevin Coleman being active, unlike last week. He scored his first NFL touchdown in this game and should see double digit touches in any game that is competitive for New York, which makes him at least a consideration to start.
Add Jamison Crowder: Crowder saw his first action of the season and wasted no time putting up numbers. He maintained a 32.1% threat rate, leading to seven catches for 61 yards and a touchdown. It’s worth noting the Jets didn’t have Elijah Moore in this game, but Moore will likely take snaps away from Keelan Cole when he returns rather than taking snaps from Crowder. If the Jets offense continues to progress, there is a chance Crowder could be an every-week fantasy starter in PPR leagues.
Don’t add Anthony Firkser: This was the first game where all four Titans tight ends were healthy, at least for 40 minutes of the game. Tommy Hudson left late in the third quarter and didn’t return. Firkser was limited to snaps on third down or snaps in the two minute drill both before and after the Hudson injury. The Titans had far more plays in these situations than usual, leading to 37 routes run by Firkser. He should lead the team in routes run most games, but it will be close to other tight ends because other players have all of the first- and second-down snaps.
- Jonathan Taylor: 16 carries, 103 yards, 1 TD, (70 yards after contact) 3 receptions, 11 receiving yards
- DeVante Parker: 4 receptions, 77 yards, 1 TD (28.1% threat rate)
|Indianapolis Colts||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Michael Pittman Jr.||61||32||8||0|
|Miami Dolphins||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Will Fuller V||14||9||2||0|
Don’t start Myles Gaskin: The Dolphins running backs have been very inconsistent from one week to another. Gaskin has led the team in carries twice but received 25% of the carries or less in another two games. He led the backfield in routes run the first three weeks but only ran a route on nine of 35 pass plays with no targets today. He’s too unpredictable at this point to trust him.
Monitor the Will Fuller V injury: Fuller has already dealt with a number of injuries this season, and it was a hand injury that removed him from this game. Albert Wilson took over his snaps but only caught one pass for 11 yards. If Fuller misses any games, this likely would lead to more targets for the Dolphins' other starting receivers. Wilson would only be a target in deeper leagues.
Don’t add Mo Alie-Cox: The Colts tight end led the position group in snaps and caught both of the team’s receiving touchdowns. The reason he saw so much playing time is that starting tight end Jack Doyle missed most of practice this week with a back injury, so they restricted his playing time. There is a chance Alie-Cox sees a little more playing time going forward after the touchdowns, but this will still be a two- or three- person committee.
- Tyreek Hill: 11 receptions, 186 yards, 3 TD (6.41 YPRR)
- Jalen Hurts: 32-for-48, 387 yards, 2 TD, (76.2% adjusted completion percentage); 8 rushing attempts, 47 rushing yards
|Kansas City Chiefs||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Bench Miles Sanders whenever the Eagles are underdogs: Sanders carried the ball only twice while recording three receptions on Monday Night Football. He followed that up with 13 yards on seven carries and another three catches today. The Eagles have kept the ball with Jalen Hurts when they’ve been behind.
More concerning for Sanders is the fact that backup Kenneth Gainwell tallied more rushing yards, the Eagles' only rushing touchdown while putting up better receiving stats across the board. There is a chance Sanders might lose some playing time going forward, making it harder for him to have a high ceiling in more favorable matchups.
Monitor Kansas City backfield: The good news for Clyde Edwards-Helaire is that his fantasy performances are improving each week. He hit a season-high in rushing yards and scored a receiving touchdown for the second straight week. Unfortunately, his playing time has declined each week of the season, and now he’s barely playing above 50% of the offensive snaps.
Start DeVonta Smith: Smith has been the favorite among the Eagles receivers, and his role is only increasing. He played between 80-90% of offensive snaps in the first two games, and that has increased to 90-100% in the last two. He’s has seen at least six targets in each game, and this week he generated a career-high of 10. This was also his first 100-yard game. He should have both a high floor and a high ceiling the rest of the season.
- Cordarrelle Patterson: 6 carries, 34 yards, 5 receptions, 82 receiving yards, 3 receiving TDs (11.2 aDOT)
- Terry McLaurin: 6 receptions, 123 yards, 2 TD (35.1% threat rate)
|Washington Football Team||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Atlanta Falcons||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Sell high on the Falcons running backs: Cordarrelle Patterson was the star of the day, but he continues to see only a fraction of the offensive snaps. He scored on 25% of his pass routes, which is nowhere near sustainable. Mike Davis saw the majority of carries and the vast majority of pass routes. His fantasy value was saved by a receiving touchdown, but there is plenty of reason to be concerned about his role. Ideally, Patterson would start cutting into those pass routes more. Wayne Gallman saw his first offensive action of the season and cut into Davis’ carries. Gallman played better and could see more touches going forward.
Monitor the Logan Thomas injury: Washington’s star tight end injured his hamstring early in the game and was ruled out. PFF injury expert Mario Pilato's initial reaction is Thomas could miss the next 1-3 weeks. If that’s the case, Ricky Seals-Jones could be a decent short-term waiver wire target. He saw the second-most targets for Washington, catching two passes for 19 yards.
Add Curtis Samuel: The free-agent addition started the season on injured reserve and was activated for today’s game. They eased him into playing time but got him involved when he was on the field. He caught all four passes thrown his way. He should continue to take playing time away from both Dyami Brown and Adam Humphries.
- David Montgomery: 23 carries, 106 yards, 2 TD (8 avoided tackles)
- Darnell Mooney: 5 receptions, 125 yards (18.0 aDOT)
|Detroit Lions||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Amon-Ra St. Brown||51||31||8||0|
|Chicago Bears||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Allen Robinson II||40||18||4||0|
Prepare to spend on Damien Williams: David Montgomery suffered a knee injury in the fourth quarter and was ruled out for the remainder of the game. After establishing himself as the clear backup throughout the preseason, Williams took over Montgomery's role Sunday, and he will likely continue to do so if Montgomery has to miss time. If this is a season-ending injury, fantasy managers should consider using all of their FAB to add Williams to their roster.
Add Darnell Mooney: The Bears' receivers got off to a very slow start to the season, leading some who drafted Mooney to drop him from their roster. He’s now available in nearly 60% of leagues at ESPN, but that will change this week after his five-catch, 125-yard performance. Mooney was a sleeper wide receiver before the season because of his potential with Justin Fields at quarterback. It’s too early to put him in starting lineups, but this connection could continue all season and potentially for the next decade.
Sell high on Jamaal Williams: Both Lions backs ranked in the top 15 in fantasy points. That was always going to be hard to sustain, but things look worse this week.
Williams handled the bulk of the rushing work but wasn’t targeted. Coach Dan Campbell said before the week that we should see more D’Andre Swift going forward, which could still happen next week. The biggest concern is that Jared Goff has started to throw to his wide receivers more often, as the Lions' three starters all scored at least 12 PPR points today. And more plays to the wide receivers mean that it will be much harder for both backs to stay fantasy relevant.
- Chase Edmonds: 12 carries, 120 yards, (50.0% first down rate), 4 receptions, 19 receiving yards
- James Conner: 18 carries, 50 yards, (33.3% first down rate), 2 touchdowns, 2 receptions, 16 receiving yards
|Arizona Cardinals||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Los Angeles Rams||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Start Darrell Henderson: Sony Michel was the Rams' every-down back in Week 3 when Henderson sat out with a ribs injury. Some were weary of putting Henderson back in their starting lineups, as he was limited in practice for part of the week. He didn’t see as big of a role as the first two weeks, but he did play over 80% of the Rams' offensive snaps in Week 4. Some might look at the Michel lost fumble and assume that had a role, but Henderson saw just as high of a percentage of snaps before the turnover than after. Henderson couldn’t find the end zone in this game but should see plenty of opportunities going forward.
Monitor the Cardinals receivers: Maxx Williams had a big game at tight end, catching five passes for 66 yards and a touchdown. He did this despite seeing season lows in snaps and playing time. That’s because Arizona wanted to get Rondale Moore on the field more without limiting their other wide receivers. Christian Kirk saw only one target despite being on the field for almost all of the Arizona pass plays. These three players all fighting for the same snaps and targets will make it hard for any of them to be consistent fantasy starters.
Add Van Jefferson: The second-year receiver led the Rams in receptions (6), yards (90) and scored a touchdown. His playing time has been consistently high each game, and his targets have increased as the season’s progressed. It’s hard to start him at this point, as all four of the other starting skill players saw just as many, if not more, targets as Jefferson. He’s at least earned a spot on fantasy rosters with his high upside.
- Deebo Samuel: 8 receptions, 156 yards, 2 TD (3.55 YPRR)
- D.K. Metcalf: 4 receptions, 65 yards, 1 TD (30.8% threat rate)
|Seattle Seahawks||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|San Francisco 49ers||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Don’t start Brandon Aiyuk: Aiyuk’s percentage of playing time and all of his offensive stats had increased every week prior to this one. It seemed like a good sign, but Trent Sherfield was back to taking some snaps away from Aiyuk again. Aiyuk was limited to one catch for 15 yards, while Sherfield saw just one fewer target. He should probably have a game of at least 50 receiving yards before going into fantasy starting lineups.
Hold on Chris Carson: Carson saw a limited number of snaps last week, which seemed to be tied to his hamstring injury. He didn’t appear on the injury report all week but saw an even more limited role this week. Alex Collins notched nearly as many carries, including more rushing yards and a touchdown. It’s generally not a great sign when four backs are active and all see playing time. Carson is not a buy-low because Seattle might continue to get the younger backs more involved.
Hold onto Trey Sermon: Elijah Mitchell missed a second straight game. Trey Sermon was much more impressive this week, gaining 89 yards on 19 carries. He had arguably the most impressive running back performance by a 49ers back this season, as he was more consistently good rather than relying on a few big gains. Sermon should continue to see playing time once Mitchell is healthy, and he could even retain the starting job.
Add Trey Lance: Lance played the second half after Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a calf injury. He was everything fantasy managers could hope for in a half of football, throwing for two touchdowns and running seven times for 41 yards. There is a chance Garoppolo is fine and returns to the starting lineup next week, but Lance still needs to be on fantasy rosters. He would be a fantasy starter if he does become the first-string signal-caller.
- Latavius Murray: 18 carries, 59 yards, 1 TD (51 yards after contact)
- Marquise Brown: 4 receptions, 91 yards, 1 TD (20.2 aDOT)
|Baltimore Ravens||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Denver Broncos||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Melvin Gordon III||30||16||3||9|
Add Latavius Murray: Ty’Son Williams went from being the Ravens starter each of the first three weeks and playing 50% of offensive snaps to a healthy inactive. This allowed Murray to be the starter and Le’Veon Bell to see his first action of the season in a limited role. Murray wasn’t all that effective in his role but scored a touchdown on 18 carries, and the backups didn’t do much, either. Murray might not belong in starting lineups without the coaches declaring him the starter, but he’s at least worth a roster spot.
Monitor the Dionate Spencer injury: Spencer had taken over as the Broncos slot receiver after both Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler suffered injuries earlier in the season. He lasted three snaps in this game before a chest injury took him out of the game. Both David Moore and Kendall Hinton saw increased playing time due to the injury. Neither are worth waiver wire additions. If the injury is serious, this primarily means more targets for the rest of the fantasy-relevant players.
Monitor the Teddy Bridgewater injury: Bridgewater left the game with a concussion, leading to Drew Lock playing the second half. If Bridgewater misses time, it would be a notable hit to the fantasy value of the Broncos receivers and Noah Fant next week. It's a good idea to form a backup plan in case that happens.
- Randall Cobb: 5 receptions, 69 yards, 2 TD (24.0% threat rate)
- Diontae Johnson: 9 receptions, 92 yards, 1 TD (3 avoided tackles)
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Ray-Ray McCloud III||4||1||1||0|
|Benny Snell Jr.||8||7||1||1|
|Green Bay Packers||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Equanimeous St. Brown||11||3||1||0|
Add Randall Cobb in deeper leagues: Cobb’s role in the Packers' offense was very limited the first three weeks, but an opportunity opened after Marquez Valdes-Scantling landed on injured reserve, keeping him out for at least two more games. Cobb gained the third receiver role in three-receiver sets. He led the team in receiving yards (69) and hauled in both of the team's passing touchdowns. He should continue to see significant routes over these two weeks, and there's an opportunity for him to earn a bigger role for the rest of the season.
Sell high on A.J. Dillon: Dillon played well early in this game with four avoided tackles on four carries in the first half. This led the Packers to give him most of the work in the fourth quarter as Green Bay closed out the game. Over half of his carries came in the last 15 minutes of the game. Chances are Aaron Jones remains the clear leader of the backfield in future weeks, with Dillon going back to a reduced role. Even if Dillon gets a slightly larger role, he probably won’t belong in fantasy starting lineups unless Jones misses time.
Don’t add James Washington: Washington caught four passes for 69 yards and was the only receiver for the Steelers outside of Diontae Johnson to top 30 yards. He saw significant playing time only because Chase Claypool was out with an injury. Johnson should return to a reduced role once Claypool is back.
- Leonard Fournette: 20 carries, 91 yards, (4 avoided tackles); 3 receptions, 47 receiving yards
- Jakobi Meyers: 8 receptions, 70 yards (4-for-5 on contested targets), 2-for-2 for 45 yards passing
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|New England Patriots||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Buy low on Damien Harris: Harris had a great start to the season, with 39 carries for 162 yards and a touchdown over the first two weeks. He then faced two top-10 fantasy football run defenses. The Patriots now have one of the easiest schedules for running backs the rest of the season. His role increased with James White out, too, as he played a higher percentage of snaps on first and second downs outside of two-minute drills.
Cut Nelson Agholor: Aghlor just finished his third straight game with three or fewer catches. More concerning is the fact that N'Keal Harry returned. Agholor had played in at least 80% of offensive snaps each game, but the additional receiver cut into his playing time. Like other deep-threat receivers, he will occasionally have a big play or two, but they are too inconsistent to fit him into fantasy starting lineups.
Add Cameron Brate: Rob Gronkowski missed this game due to injury, and there is a chance he could miss additional time. Brate has taken over as the Buccaneers' receiving tight end in the future Hall of Famers absence, with O.J. Howard playing more of a blocking role. He caught only two passes for 29 yards, but he saw the third-most targets for the Buccaneers.
Start Leonard Fournette as long as Giovani Bernard is out: Fournette has been the Buccaneers' top running back this season. With Bernard out, Super Bowl Lenny took not only his usual role — he took all of Bernard’s typical snaps, as well. He didn’t find the end zone but was good for over 120 yards on offense. He should continue to get over 80% of offensive snaps while Bernard is out, which is good enough to be in fantasy starting lineups.