Week-to-week player performance can be very volatile. The worst thing we can do is miss out on a fluky big day and then chase it the following week, when that player is both more expensive and more owned.
So by examining usage instead of performance, we can cut through some of the noise and figure out what’s sustainable. Here are the most important usage notes I saw in Week 3. Hat-tip to ProFootballFocus for a lot of the snap info found below.
1. Browns change mind on Nick Chubb
In Week 2, the Browns maddeningly played D’Ernest Johnson over Nick Chubb is virtually every pass-down situation. In Week 3, they changed their mind in a big way. All of a sudden they decided Chubb was indeed their best option in all game situations, playing him on 67-of-68 snaps. No other Browns RB even got on the field. Obviously, that’s tremendous news for Chubb’s value, particularly in a full-PPR setting. He saw a season-high seven targets Sunday night, and that part of his game will be needed against an excellent Ravens run defense in Week 4.
2. Darwin Thompson turns to dust
With Damien Williams (knee) out and LeSean McCoy (ankle) operating at less than 100%, it would have made sense for the Chiefs to let Darwin Thompson spread his wings. Turns out they weren’t comfortable doing so. Darrel Williams led the way with 37 snaps against the Ravens, followed by 26 for McCoy and just five for Darwin. I wouldn’t drop Thompson just yet as we don’t know how severe the injuries to Damien and McCoy are, but things aren’t looking good. He’s the No. 4 RB and the Chiefs clearly have far more confidence in Darrel.
3. Kerryon Johnson indeed sees usage bump
The Lions’ decision to move on from CJ Anderson indeed helped the #FreeKerryon movement. Paul Perkins was inactive (which might continue), allowing Johnson to see a massive 80% of the RB carries, set a career-high in carries with 20 and set a season-high in snap rate (77%). The production wasn’t there against a rugged Eagles front that funnels efficiency through the air, but this kind of bell cow usage is extremely encouraging for Kerryon’s outlook. He gets a far softer matchup against the Chiefs on Sunday.
4. Phillip Dorsett flies far under radar
The inconvenient truth is Tom Brady loves throwing to Phillip Dorsett. He’s been targeted 64 times over the past two seasons, including playoffs. That has resulted in a 50-547-8 line for Dorsett, who was in on 92% of the snaps Sunday. With Antonio Brown gone, Julian Edelman (chest) banged up and the Patriots going to a 3-WR base due to their lack of tight end talent, Dorsett’s usage is here to stay.
5. Aaron Jones can’t shake Jamaal Williams
It wasn’t just Mike McCarthy; the new Matt LaFleur regime also doesn’t think Aaron Jones is ready for a full workload. The Packers coach talked during the week about wanting to even up the touches between Jones and Jamaal Williams, and then acted on that Sunday. Jones got just 10 carries and one target on 21 snaps while J-Will racked up 12 carries and two targets on 33 snaps. This is the same coach who played Dion Lewis over Derrick Henry for 75% of last season, so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is adamlevitan) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.