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Week 15 Running Back Snap Count Analysis (2019 Fantasy Football)

by Josh Shepardson | @BChad50 | Featured Writer
Dec 18, 2019

Miles Sanders is playing like a league-winning player down the stretch.

It’s fantasy championship week in all but the leagues that unwisely use Week 17. Below, I highlight a handful of backfields that have fantasy ramifications in the most important week of the fantasy season for those who are still alive and fighting for a championship.

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Ravens last week vs. Jets, this week at Browns

Player Snaps (Percentage of offensive snaps)
Mark Ingram 34 (54%)
Gus Edwards 18 (29%)
Justice Hill 10 (16%)

The Ravens have two losses this year, and one of them is against their Week 16 opponent, the Browns. They’re playing for the No. 1 seed in the AFC, and they’re massive 10-point favorites, per the BettingPros consensus line. Ingram remains the clear top back, and his 54% offensive snap share in the Week 15 blowout win over the Jets is par for the course this year. He’s had 13 carries in two of his last five games and 15 carries in the other three games during that five-game stretch. He’s caught at least one pass in each of those games, and he’s reeled in 10 receptions overall during that time.

In a likely blowout win against a Browns team that appears to be playing out the string, Ingram should be in store for a similar workload against a run defense that Football Outsiders (FO) ranks 28th in Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA). He’s a good bet for 70 to 80 yards from scrimmage with upside for more, and he’s a regular in the end zone this year with 14 touchdowns. He’s firmly in the low-end RB1 mix for fantasy championship week.

Edwards is entrenched as the No. 2 running back for the Ravens, and his 29% offensive snap share last week is actually his lowest since Week 10. He’s a non-factor in the passing game with only five receptions on five targets this year, but he’s consistently receiving a handful of touches each week. Last week, he carried the ball five times for 35 rushing yards. The sophomore back’s averaging 5.2 yards per carry this year and through his first 25 games in his NFL career. If this game turns into a blowout as the line suggests it could, it might behoove the Ravens to get Edwards some extra touches in order to keep Ingram fresher for the postseason. Gamers in deep leagues who might have been dealt a blow with Dalvin Cook last week (more on this to come) could be stuck heaving up a hail mary. Edwards fits the bill, though, the floor is very low.

Eagles last week at Redskins, this week vs. Cowboys

Player Snaps (Percentage of offensive snaps)
Miles Sanders 55 (71%)
Boston Scott 35 (45%)

Sanders is playing like a league-winning player down the stretch. Last week, he set new highs in rushes (19), rushing yards (122), targets (6), and receptions (6). He amassed 172 yards from scrimmage and scored a pair of touchdowns. He’s a slam dunk starter as an RB2 or fringe RB1 with workhorse volume.

The Eagles’ receiving corps has been dealt numerous blows, and that’s helped open the door for Scott. He rushed six times for 26 yards last week, but he hauled in all seven of his targets for 39 receiving yards. He’s secured all 13 of his targets for 108 receiving yards over the last two weeks combined, and he flashed a bit more rushing potential in Week 14 with 10 carries for 59 yards and a score. He’s a legitimate flex or emergency RB2 option in point per reception (PPR) formats this week.

Redskins last week vs. Eagles, this week vs. Giants

Player Snaps (Percentage of offensive snaps)
Adrian Peterson 32 (60%)
Chris Thompson 18 (34%)
Josh Ferguson 3 (6%)
Wendell Smallwood 0 (0%)

Washington was in a one-score game basically the entire game last week, and that allowed them to play Peterson the majority of the time. He toted the rock 16 times for 66 rushing yards and a touchdown, and he even caught all three of his targets for 25 receiving yards. Ferguson rushed the ball three times for nine yards, and Thompson’s contributions were limited to two catches on three targets for 26 receiving yards. Washington’s a 2.5-point favorite at home against the visiting Giants, so Peterson should once again be leaned on as long as this remains a close game. He’s a low-end RB2 or flex.

49ers last week vs. Falcons, this week vs. Rams

Player Snaps (Percentage of offensive snaps)
Raheem Mostert 34 (53%)
Tevin Coleman 19 (30%)
Matt Breida 12 (19%)

The 49ers mixed and matched backs a bit more than I expected last week in their surprising upset loss at home. Still, Mostert’s 15 touches (14 carries and one reception) easily led the team over Breida’s six and Coleman’s four. Mostert totaled 59 yards from scrimmage and scored a touchdown, but he lost a fumble. Breida also lost a fumble. Coleman showed some signs of life with a 37-yard rush, but he tallied just three more rushing yards on his other three carries. Mostert’s still an RB2, though, I view him as a bit riskier than I did at this time last week.

Vikings last week at Chargers, this week vs. Packers

Player Snaps (Percentage of offensive snaps)
Dalvin Cook 28 (43%)
Mike Boone 21 (32%)
Ameer Abdullah 15 (23%)

Gamers relying on Cook last week saw their fears come to reality. He exited early after aggravating his chest injury, and he finished with only 27 rushing yards on nine carries and 16 receiving yards on three receptions. Alexander Mattison was inactive with an ankle injury, and that left Boone as the best back standing. He took advantage of the opportunity, rushing 13 times for 56 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Abdullah chipped in five carries for 25 rushing yards. The availability of Cook and Mattison is in question this week, making Boone a high-priority waiver option. Having said that, the Vikings don’t play until Monday night. Unless you also have Cook and Mattison or the team officially rules out one or both over the weekend, it’s tough to feel good about trusting Boone. This is a situation that warrants monitoring all week.

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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.

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