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NFL Snap Counts Week 4 Fantasy Breakdown: RBBC Review

NFL Snap Counts Week 4 Breakdown

Week 3 is now behind us and Week 4 is here. This week marks the end of the first quarter of the Fantasy Football season. And, as sad as that is, you should be happy that we now have enough information through three weeks to start making more meaningful judgments about our fantasy players. The goal of this article is to take the season-long information we have on which running back is truly receiving the most volume and cross-referencing that with the most recent week’s usage to provide a brief snapshot and prediction of what you can expect in the coming week/weeks. In short, I’ve found a more correlated set of stats for running back usage and I present them to you so you can win your matchups!

The data that I use is populated by the Snap Counts page from FantasyData.com. I then take this raw data and calculate not just whether an RB was on the field but if they were being used and what percentage of the offense did their usage make up. Looking back at the entire season of 2019 (you can find old RBBC Reviews on my profile page), snaps per game was nicely correlated to end of year fantasy points with an R-squared value of 69%. Snap Percentage was even more correlated with an R-squared value of 74%. However, the two stats that I include and lean on heavily, % of Offense and Plays Used, had R-squared values of 85% and 93%, respectively. For reference, many stats, including Utilization %, most combine metrics, and many more, have R-squared values in the single-digit percentages. In it’s simplest definition R-squared values are the percentage of which one a variable can be attributed to another variable. For example, 93% of end of year fantasy points can be explained by the number of plays that a player is used – the more plays a player is actually used on results in more fantasy points.¬† R-Squared is also the slope of the trendline of two sets of data and can be used in predictive data analysis. So if a player is being used on a lot of plays but isn’t producing fantasy points yet there is a likelihood that he will regress to the mean in the future and produce more fantasy points.

Now that the nerdy data work is out of the way, here are your season leaders in % of Offense and three teams with RBBCs that are worth exploring using these metrics. Enjoy!

Season Long Workhorses

Name Team GM SNAPS SNAPS /GM SNAP % RUSH % TGT % TOUCH % UTIL % FPts FPts/ 100 Snaps Team Snaps Plays Used % OFF
Derrick Henry TEN 3 161 53.7 73.9 50.9 5 54 55.9 51.5 32 218 90 41.31
Josh Jacobs LV 3 137 45.7 67.8 49.6 9.5 56.9 59.1 58.7 42.8 202 81 40.07
Christian McCaffrey CAR 2 112 56 80 36.6 8 42.9 44.6 53.3 47.6 140 50 35.68
Ezekiel Elliott DAL 3 219 73 92.8 26.5 10 33.3 36.5 67.7 30.9 236 80 33.87
Dalvin Cook MIN 3 121 40.3 70.8 39.7 7.4 43.8 47.1 64.8 53.6 171 57 33.35
Alvin Kamara NO 3 127 42.3 67.2 24.4 24.4 45.7 48.8 106.8 84.1 189 62 32.79
Clyde Edwards-Helaire KC 3 146 48.7 66.1 37.7 11 45.2 48.6 51.2 35.1 221 71 32.12
Aaron Jones GB 3 121 40.3 56.8 41.3 14.9 49.6 56.2 79.8 66 213 68 31.92

First of all, holy cow, Christian McCaffrey is the man! He is injured and didn’t play the entire Week 3 but was still so much of his team’s offense from Week 1 and 2 that he is in third place for % of Offense! Most of the other names atop this list shouldn’t come as a surprise since they were drafted in the first round. Zeke, Cook, Kamara were top-five draft choices since the early summer. Josh Jacobs has been a guy that I have been excited about and expected him to take this step forward so it is great to see him in the second spot with only him and Derrick Henry over 40% of their team’s offense. After praising myself, I also need to humble myself – I did not expect CEH to be this integral to the high-powered Cheifs offense. Until proven otherwise, he is a must-start at the RB position along with all of the guys on this list.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

RBBC Review

Name OPP SNAPS SNAP % RUSH % TGT % TOUCH % UTIL % FPts FPts/ 100 Snaps Team Snaps Plays Used % OFF
Ronald Jones II DEN 35 51.5 37.1 11.4 42.9 48.6 9.3 26.6 68 17 25.03
Leonard Fournette DEN 25 36.8 28 8 36 36 4.2 16.8 68 9 13.25
LeSean McCoy DEN 11 16.2 0 36.4 18.2 36.4 4.4 40 68 4 5.9

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been a tough team to nail down. New faces and injuries have led to early-season inconsistencies. The numbers point to Ronald Jones being the leader of this backfield, though, with almost 50% more Plays Used on the season and this ratio being reflected in Week 3. Fournette’s stellar Week 2 performance seems like a fluke.¬† But, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a couple of such games throughout the season. The difficulty lies in being able to predict when these games will come. Both of these backs are “averaging” 10+ PPR points per game however RoJo is consistently scoring between 9 and 11 points whereas Fournette has two games with less than 5 PPR points. I’m starting RoJo over Fournette until this dynamic changes but I will also be holding on to Fournette where ever I own him just in case the change does happen.

Baltimore Ravens

RBBC Review

Name OPP SNAPS SNAP % RUSH % TGT % TOUCH % UTIL % FPts FPts/ 100 Snaps Team Snaps Plays Used % OFF
Mark Ingram II KC 18 32.1 38.9 5.6 38.9 44.4 3 16.7 56 8 14.25
J.K. Dobbins KC 24 42.9 4.2 16.7 20.8 20.8 8.4 35 56 5 8.92
Gus Edwards KC 13 23.2 30.8 0 30.8 30.8 3.9 30 56 4 7.15
Patrick Ricard KC 11 19.6 0 0 0 0 0 0 56 0 0

Let’s face it, this is frustrating and we knew deep down that it would be – just maybe not this bad. In Week 3, J.K. Dobbins led the Baltimore runners in snaps yet Mark Ingram II led in rushing attempts but Gus Edwards led in rushing yards. Dobbins “won” the week due to his work in the passing game pulling in a team-high four receptions. To make things more complicated, Dobbins leads the group in fantasy points on the season. But, he is slightly behind Gus Edwards in Plays Used and at 50% of the number of Plays Used for Mark Ingram. Gus Edwards is simply a fly in the ointment in this scenario as he can’t be trusted to put up fantasy points yet he will have games where he will pilfer points from the others. Mark Ingram is the immediate start especially with the schedule lightening up some – over the next three weeks the Ravens take on the struggling Washington Football Team, the fledgling Bengals, and the injury-prone Eagles. Dobbins is a longer-term play and most likely a sit for me until the Ravens start facing some stouter run-stuffing teams like the Steelers in Week 7. Week 4 will be interesting to see how the Ravens use their backs as they should be beating the Washington Football Team easily and trying to run the clock out. On the other hand, the WFT has a strong defensive front that could open the door to some swing routes for Dobbins to get into space. I am starting Ingram over Dobbins Week 4 but I am hopeful this backfield shakes out by the end of the week.

Los Angeles Rams

RBBC Review

Name OPP SNAPS SNAP % RUSH % TGT % TOUCH % UTIL % FPts FPts/ 100 Snaps Team Snaps Plays Used % OFF
Darrell Henderson Jr. BUF 34 49.3 58.8 8.8 61.8 67.6 19 55.9 69 23 33.33
Malcolm Brown BUF 34 49.3 20.6 5.9 20.6 26.5 1.9 5.6 69 9 13.06

In Week 1, the Rams used Malcolm Brown and Cam Akers for 36 touches of the teams’ 71 plays (just over 50%) versus Darrell Henderson’s 3 touches. Week 1 is a distant memory. Since then, Henderson has been used on 38 plays and is only one play shy of Malcolm Brown’s total number of Plays Used. Sean McVay has mentioned using the dreaded “hot-hand approach” with his running backs and, currently, Darrell Henderson is the hot hand. It is important to note that rookie RB Cam Akers hasn’t practiced since leaving Week 2 with a rib injury. The second-rounder, Akers, could cause trouble upon his return from injury but only if Henderson’s play slips to open the door. I am firing up Henderson where ever I can especially Week 4 against a laughable Giants team.

Well, we are off and running for the new year! I will send out a Tweet every Monday morning asking which team from the weekend you think should be included in the RBBC Review so be sure to follow me and reply! Until next time, catch you on the flip side…

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