Before week 15, I would like the NFL snapshot count data to be more easily divided into segments. With so many injuries in week 14, it would have been ideal to see how many snapshots a particular player played after another player left the game. However, many of the injuries occurred early enough in games that we can still get a lot of information, hoping to help us make some additions of good fantasy playoff exemption cables and start / seat decisions.
The one who provoked that exact desire was the Atlanta reception body. Olamide Zaccheaus caught a 93-yard touchdown on Sunday after Calvin Ridley (abdomen) left, and unless he is a devotee of ACC soccer, he probably has never heard of Virginia Zaccheaus. But his snapshots line up perfectly to suggest that he took over directly from Ridley's place in the lineup, which makes him an interesting dream in the future.
WEEK 15 RANKINGS NO PPR:
Field Marshal | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D / ST | Kicker
Most back injury situations are at least simple because the teams have an obvious backup. If Josh Jacobs (shoulder) is still out, it will be DeAndre Washington who continues to take over; Derrick Henry (hamstrings) would be supplanted by Dion Lewis; and Adrian Peterson should get more work in Washington for Derrius Guice (knee).
WEEK 15 PPR CLASSIFICATIONS: Running | Wide receiver | Hard end
Then there are the most confusing situations, such as the tight end of Baltimore, where Mark Andrews (knee / thigh) never had a lot of pictures to start with. So does that mean that Hayden Hurst's relatively low count actually makes him more attractive than Nick Boyle? And what about Arizona, where David Johnson decided to introduce himself and play again? What do you do with Kenyan Drake?
MORE WEEK 15: Top Exemption Collections
We try to find those answers and more below, as we break down the instant counts of the 32 teams for fantasy football purposes.
Note: Snap account through pro-football-reference.com.
RB snaps (of 60):Kenyan Drake (39), David Johnson (22), Chase Edmonds (11)
This was the biggest action for Johnson since week 10, and he caught a long touchdown on the right sideline. The Browns are a regular showdown in Week 15, and the returned presences of Johnson and Edmonds, who had not seen an offense since their injury, only serve to bring down Drake's fantasy value. At this point, it is difficult to recommend playing any of them in standard leagues.
WR Snapshots (of 72):Julio Jones (58), Calvin Ridley (38), Russell Gage (37), Olamide Zacchaeus (22), Christian Blake (12), Justin Hardy (12)
Zacchaeus caught a 93-yard touchdown for his first NFL capture in his career, so everything is probably downhill from there. But his quick account intrigues me, since Calvin Ridley's abdominal injury, which ends the season, aligns with the amount Zacchaeus played. Gage probably sees some more goals with Ridley out, but Zaccheaus could be the direct backup who sees a surprising amount of game time. He has numerous reception records in Virginia and lit up the preseason, so it's worth it. Neither Gage nor Ridley are at stake in week 16 against the 49ers, but whoever gets more goals might be asleep week 16 against the Jaguars.
TE snapshots (of 60):Nick Boyle (54), Hayden Hurst (28), Mark Andrews (9)
Hurst is the preferred option here if Andrews (knee / thigh) fails Thursday night against the Jets. Snapshots shouldn't confuse you: Andrews often followed Boyle in snapshots this year, and Hurst is the most similar Andrews pass receiver. Boyle will also be at stake, if Andrews is out, just for being so much in the field.
Beasley has now surpassed 80 percent of Buffalo snapshots in four consecutive games. In fact, he left the field for only two plays on Sunday against Baltimore. The slot receiver captured another touchdown on Sunday, and as I said last week, it's time to believe in Beasley in all formats.
TE Snapshots (of 71):Ian Thomas (61), Chris Manhertz (17)
Thomas was finally released by the fact that Greg Olsen missed this game due to a concussion. Thomas saw 10 goals and will remain a worthy fantasy option if Olsen remains out.
WR Snapshots (of 73):Allen Robinson (71), Anthony Miller (65), Javon Wims (33), Riley Ridley (29), Cordarrelle Patterson (11)
Miller has solidified as the No. 2 WR in Chicago, and made a turn move to find the final zone Thursday night against the Cowboys last week. With Mitchell Trubisky looking solid, Miller can be a fantasy initiator in the future.
Snaps WR (of 75):Alex Erickson (60), Tyler Boyd (56), John Ross (38), Auden Tate (29), Stanley Morgan (23)
A lot happened in this game: Ross returned, Tate left with a knee injury and, despite everything, Erickson opened the way in snapshots. It probably isn't important for Week 15 against the Patriots, when none of these guys, even Boyd, qualify as good fantasy moves, but maybe in Week 16 against the Dolphins you'll want to use one. It was Erickson who led the snapshots and had seven goals against Boyd's six, putting him on the radar in the PPR leagues.
TE Snapshots (of 56):Stephen Carlson (41), David Njoku (21), Ricky Seals-Jones (11)
I don't think it's worth reading too much: Njoku was in his first game out of IR and was attacked three times compared to one for Carlson. The Browns play against the Cardinals in Week 15, and Njoku is the Cleveland TE you want in your fantasy lineups.
WR Snapshots (of 73):Randall Cobb (58), Michael Gallup (58), Amari Cooper (57), Tavon Austin (21), Cedrick Wilson (5), Ventell Bryant (1)
There really is nothing to see here. Cooper has been a little behind most weeks in recent times, potentially because it deals with the nicks and bruises that accumulate over a long season. I wasn't even on the injury report in week 14, so unless I go back there, you're fine to keep trusting him.
TE Snapshots (of 59):Jeff Heuerman (30), Noah Fant (29), Andrew Beck (20), Troy Fumagalli (16)
With potentially injured Fant (foot) and a confrontation with the TE-friendly Chiefs then it would be nice to grab a backup to add here. Unfortunately, there is none, despite Heuerman's touchdown capture on Sunday. The three closed ends that are not Fant saw a goal.
TE Snapshots (of 71):Logan Thomas (40), Jesse James (36), Isaac Nauta (6)
Thomas led the tight ends of Detroit in snapshots and with four goals in the first full game without T.J. Hockenson Since the rookie is on IR, we could see Thomas continue to get four or five goals per game, which could compensate for the weak defense of the Tampa Bay TE in Week 15.
TE Snapshots (of 62):Marcedes Lewis (39), Jimmy Graham (32), Robert Tonyan (20), Jace Sternberger (6)
More than anything, this is evidence to avoid Graham the rest of the way. He caught three passes for 49 yards on Sunday, but Tonyan caught a touchdown and Lewis played more. Any play of this unit is a TD-o-bust start, and this deep in the fantasy playoffs, we don't want that.
WR Snapshots (of 80):DeAndre Hopkins (80), Kenny Stills (77), Keke Coutee (57)
You may have seen Coutee's relatively large day compared to Stills and were ready to jump on it if Will Fuller (hamstrings) comes out again, but it seems more of a mistake than anything else, since Stills is still the preferred option for Houston.
RB snaps (of 63):Nyheim Hines (35), Marlon Mack (26), Jordan Wilkins (9)
This was related to the flow of the game in part, but at least Mack is back and working as the most used player for the Colts. The clashes are also better than those of Tampa Bay in the future.
DJ Chark Clock
Chark left Sunday's game late with an ankle injury, and the Jags have no reason to pressure him. If he is away, expect Chris Conley and Dede Westbrook to become the best dueling options for Gardner Minshew (Conley played 13 more snapshots than Westbrook on Sunday if he is looking for a way to differentiate himself).
RB snaps (of 78):Spencer Ware (31), LeSean McCoy (24), Darwin Thompson (21)
The only runner you can trust in this backfield is the healthy Damien Williams (ribs), and it is not certain that we will achieve it again in the regular season. McCoy saw 11 carries, so it is not unplayable, but the Chiefs simply brought Ware back and already opened the way in the field, which is annoying.
The blowout of the Chargers on Sunday skewed all the numbers here when Philip Rivers and some starters were eliminated with more than 10 minutes to play. Despite that, Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon played almost the same amount: 31 snapshots for Ekeler and 29 for Gordon.
Tyler Higbee Clock
Higbee left the field for only two plays and broke the 100-yard mark for the second consecutive game. Gerald Everett's possible return from a knee injury seems inconsequential at this point, since Higbee has become Jared Goff's most reliable target.
WR Snapshots (of 72):Allen Hurns (57), Isaiah Ford (55), DeVante Parker (18), Albert Wilson (17), Mack Hollins (10)
Parker and Wilson left with concussions, which allowed Ford to lead the way with nine goals, followed by Hurns with eight. Ford had six catches for 92 yards, while Hurns added five for 68. We would favor Hurns a bit in pedigree if Parker and Wilson are out, but it seems that Ford is also a legitimate option.
RB snaps (of 73):Dalvin Cook (34), Alexander Mattison (27), Mike Boone (6), Ameer Abdullah (6)
We heard a lot about Cook being good all week, but he ended up playing his lowest total of the season (excluding week 13 when he was injured). That allowed Mattison to get 14 carries of his own in addition to Cook's 18, although the Vikings who had a three-point lead over much of the fourth quarter probably had something to do with it.
RB snaps (of 67):James White (41), Rex Burkhead (18), Sony Michel (9), Brandon Bolden (2)
This is the second consecutive week that White received most of the New England RB snapshots. There will always be a game flow component in its outputs, as there will be for Sony Michel, and it is also very difficult to predict the Patriots. But if we had to do it, it seems that White will be the most valuable Pats in the final stretch.
TE Snapshots (of 72):Josh Hill (62), Jared Cook (8),Cousin:Taysom Hill (28)
Cook caught two touchdowns in his eight plays, but suffered a shock in the second and did not return. That allowed Josh Hill to catch his own touchdown, and he would be a TD-dependent tight end player in Week 15 if Cook is out. Taysom Hill is the most interesting, since he also saw a lot of TE work after Cook left, but until a fantasy site makes him eligible in a non-quarterback position, it won't matter.
It will be updated after Monday Night Football
TE Snapshots (of 71):Daniel Brown (62), Trevon Wesco (11), Ryan Griffin (3)
Griffin's ankle was rolled, forcing him out early. That allowed Brown to play most of the way as the first crossbar. With the Jets playing Thursday, Brown might be looking for a start. He caught a touchdown a few weeks ago, but in general, he should look elsewhere (Hayden Hurst, Josh Hill) if he needs to replace Griffin.
RB snaps (of 63):DeAndre Washington (40), Jalen Richard (24)
If Josh Jacobs' shoulder injury keeps him out for the rest of the season, Washington must be added in all leagues. Richard played enough to justify the consideration of PPR.
It will be updated after Monday Night Football
WR Snapshots (of 60):James Washington (43), Diontae Johnson (42), Tevin Jones (20), Johnny Holton (17), Deon Cain (15)
Johnson was amazing on Sunday, returned a punt for a touchdown and caught six of eight goals for 60 yards and another score. Its explosiveness makes it an interesting FLEX boom or bust in the future, but Washington would still be the slightly preferred (though not strong) play before a Week 15 clash with Buffalo.
RB snaps (of 67):Raheem Mostert (40), Matt Breida (12), Tevin Coleman (11)
Breida was back and it didn't matter. Mostert is the man in this field and seems to remain so for the rest of the season, which makes him a consideration of RB2 every week.
Chris Carson Clock
With reports indicating that Rashaad Penny (knee) is probably ready for the season, Carson will see a lot of work on the final stretch. CJ Prosise (11 of 67 snapshots) would only be a change of pace while Carson dominates the touches.
WR Snapshots (of 78):Chris Godwin (74), Breshad Perriman (65), Justin Watson (43), Mike Evans (14)
Evans is "very doubtful,quot; for week 15 due to a hamstring injury, Bruce Arians told reporters. That means Perriman should take on the No. 2 WR role for Tampa Bay after playing a lot on Sunday. Watson was actually the most objective, capturing five of eight looks, but both trapped touchdowns and Perriman will be the preferred option if he is in the field more.
RB snaps (of 62):Derrick Henry (37), Dion Lewis (24)
Henry was dealing with an apparent hamstring injury and he didn't finish the game. Lewis is the only other on the list (in addition to the fullback Khari Blasingame), so he would assume a massive role if Henry wasted his time.
RB snaps (of 65):Adrian Peterson (28), Chris Thompson (26), Derrius Guice (9)
With Guice twisting his MCL, it seems that we will have some final weeks of Peterson, the workhorse. He has already seen 20 carries in his 28 snapshots and scored a touchdown in week 14, and can expect a similar snap carry ratio in the future.