Ticking Timeshare - Week 4
Volume is always a key component to a successful fantasy football season. In 2012, David Wilson averaged 5.0 ypc, 2.66 Yco/Att (yards after contact per attempt), and finished with six runs of 15 or more yards despite receiving just 71 carries. Volume was what kept Wilson back from being an elite fantasy contributor, and projected volume is what helped propel him into the second round of 2013 fantasy football drafts.
Projected volume and actual volume tend to differ on many occasions. Between offseason coach-speak, injuries, and concerns with pass protection, the reality is that projecting touches is a very futile exercise.
Instead of guessing, in this column every week we will take a look at snaps, touches in both the running and passing game, pass protection, and other interesting stats only available on Pro Football Focus. One game never tells the entire story, as game flow often dictates a player’s usage. However, we can gauge a lot from week one when accounting for factors like game flow and more.
Each backfield will be broken up based on overall usage, but I will only briefly touch on the backfields that haven’t changed much from the previous week. This column will focus more on timeshares and changing backfields. You can reference Week 1’s edition here, and any other previous weeks by clicking on my name under the title at the top of the page.
The Backfields, They Are A-Changing
Green Bay Packers
Uh oh. Not only did Mike McCarthy fail to praise Eddie Lacy for his performance in Week 3, he also failed to stick with him. After operating as a true workhorse back in Week 2, Lacy finished with just 24-of-54 total running back snaps as James Starks (20) and DuJuan Harris (10) played a real role in the game. Lacy received just 10-of-21 total carries and was targeted just once in the passing game. Lacy owners can only hope this is not the start of a trend.
After two weeks of utilizing a backfield dominated in snaps by Toby Gerhart, the Jaguars moved more towards a timeshare. Gerhart was on the field for just 30-of-63 total running back snaps. Denard Robinson received just 10 less snaps than Gerhart and he finished with one less carry. Gerhart owners can only hope that Blake Bortles can save his season.
With the Bills falling behind for the first time all season, the timeshare took a turn for the worse. Fred Jackson (45) dominated C.J. Spiller (25) in total snaps despite finishing with just one more total touch than him. Jackson (30) had 21 more snaps on pass plays than Spiller (9) once again proving to be the comeback/passing down guy. This is becoming a game script issue again much like 2013—when the Bills are expected to fall behind, you’ll want to role with Jackson only.
Dan Schneier is a staff writer at PFF Fantasy and also writes about real football for FOX Sports. If you want to know any of his other evaluations on skill position players, continue the conversation, or yell at him for something he missed, you can find him on Twitter @DanSchneierNFL. You can also add him to your network on Google+ to find all of his past material.