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Snap Counts, Touches, and Usage Analysis for Fantasy Football Week 5

Antonio Gibson - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Welcome to Week 5 of the fantasy football season. This article series takes the recent snap and touch history of skill players into account, and now that we have three weeks in the books there is a bit more of a sample to work with.

Week 4 saw a litter of players across the league see curious usage, and that is always worthy of a write-up. This piece takes a look at the snaps and touches from each week to break down what is or is not important for fantasy football moving forward.

For any questions or concerns about the article, you can contact @RotoSurgeon on Twitter.

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Running Back Snaps for Fantasy Football

Antonio Gibson (41%), Washington Commanders

Antonio Gibson's snaps, and subsequently, his fantasy points, have dropped in each game since Week 1. Fortunately, there is a logical explanation via Washington's gamescripts which have seemingly gotten worse each week.

Week 1: 6-point win
Week 2: 9-point loss
Week 3: 10-point loss
Week 4: 11-point loss

The Commanders look horrible right now and when they trail by anything significant, Gibson is spelled for scatback J.D. McKissic often. Both are capable receiving backs but McKissic's pass-blocking and knowledge of the 2-minute offense is preferred despite a lack of rushing ability or breakaway speed. Gibson is still a significant part of this offense as his touches haven't dipped much but the looming activation of Brian Robinson remains and that could completely diminish his fantasy value.

Nevertheless, Gibson remains the starter in Washington and probably does not lose much in the first few weeks of Robinson's arrival, especially if Washington is winning games (however unlikely that may be). Start Gibson weekly until he is not touching the ball as often or scoring a significant amount for fantasy.

Cam Akers (38%), Los Angeles Rams

The Rams have not had a clear backfield split all season. Early on, Akers was hardly involved and then in Week 3, he virtually took over then fumbled his last touch which may have resulted in Darrell Henderson's snap dominance in Week 4.

Regardless, Akers is playing like the much worse back thus far and it is unfortunate given that he returned so soon from his torn Achilles in 2021. As of now, until there is some clear workload for Akers, he must be benched, even in matchups that can be considered must-start.

Rachaad White (38%), Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rachaad White earned a career-high in snaps and touches this past week. Not that we should expect him to overtake starting RB Leonard Fournette anytime soon, but it is a reason for optimism on his season-long value if Fournette were to get hurt. It seems as if the Buccaneers trust White enough to play full drives and even targeted him 5 times. However, it is worth noting that the Buccaneers were down a significant amount in this game early, and often. They faced an 18-point deficit as soon as the first quarter and never held a lead.

White is a great bench option for any team as his upside is immense in the case he does become a starter but there is no chance he cracks a fantasy lineup while Fournette is active.


Wide Receivers Snaps for Fantasy Football

Gabe Davis (98%), Buffalo Bills

Gabe Davis played all but 1 snap in Week 4 yet only created 13 yards on 3 targets. He was a heavily utilized decoy who has done nothing but tease since an explosive Week 1. While there is hope given that Davis was nursing an ankle injury that kept him out of Week 2, he did play 96% of the snaps the week after.

Either the ankle injury is an excuse, or the Bills are so desperate for his presence that they are willing to risk further injury by playing him as much as possible. Hopefully, he stays fully healthy in practice this week and we get a cleaner look come Sunday.

Rondale Moore (86%), Arizona Cardinals

In Rondale Moore's first game of the season, he played the second most of any Cardinals receiver and relegated early-season breakout Greg Dortch to WR3 duties. Moore's explosive speed and YAC abilities are highly coveted for a roster with limited pass-catching options until DeAndre Hopkins returns.

Despite being labeled as a slot-only receiver, Moore ran over half of his 62 routes on the perimeter and saw an aDOT over 10 which is notable given his short-area usage in 2021. While he cannot be started until a solid fantasy performance is displayed, Moore is absolutely worthy of a roster spot in all formats.

Chris Godwin (83%), Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Chris Godwin returned from his hamstring injury and played a near-full array of snaps for the Buccaneers. Whether this was planned or not is worth questioning given that Julio Jones did leave mid-game with another injury but for the sake of argument, Godwin being trusted with starter's snaps is valid for anyone looking to insert him into a fantasy lineup moving forward.

While Godwin did not look explosive, he is still playing on a superb offense with Tom Brady at QB and was just targeted 10 times. The target volume may have been a result of Brady throwing 52 times but that is negligible considering Brady led the NFL in attempts just last season. Godwin can be started moving forward but expectations should be tempered.

Chase Claypool (73%), Pittsburgh Steelers

Chase Claypool saw a significant snap decrease this past week as his performance this season has been lackluster at best. He is averaging a career-low in target share and efficiency while getting outshined by rookie George Pickens. His two targets this past week are not helping his cause for fantasy managers to hold on.

At this point, the only scenario worth rostering Claypool is if you believe a trade will come to fruition. He is a talented athlete but does not play in the offensive style that complements what the Steelers are attempting to do. He is a worse 50-50 receiver than Pickens and does move well enough to find holes in coverage. Claypool needs a QB who is willing to take shots downfield and that is not someone present in Pittsburgh.

Tight Ends Snaps for Fantasy Football

Hunter Henry (84%), New England Patriots

After finishing with at least 600 yards in each of the past three seasons, Henry has started the first month of the season with just 41 total while playing at least 50% of the snaps in all 4 games. Notably, Jonnu Smith did leave the most recent game with an ankle injury that led to a season-high 84% snap-share for Henry yet he still only managed 13 yards on 4 targets.

With the Patriots' offense so slow and run-heavy, Henry is constrained. He could become fantasy-relevant once again down the line if Smith's injury lingers and Mac Jones returns but for the time being, he is best left on the waiver wire.

Albert Okwuegbunam (2%), Denver Broncos

Albert O has pretty much run out of goodwill as a roster option in fantasy. There is still talent there but it is clear that the Broncos are not happy with his performance thus far and that is enough to let go. Obviously, playing just one snap says that but it must be made clear that he is not hurt and this is the team telling us where they stand. Greg Dulcich is not even active yet and when that occurs, it is pretty much the nail in the Albert O coffin for 2022.

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