Hunter Henry

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 6. Hat-tip to ProFootballFocus for a lot of the snap info found below.

1. Hunting for a big role

Hunter Henry was expected to be limited in his first game back Sunday night. Instead, he was unleashed. It certainly helped that the Chargers got down huge in the first half and played most of the second half in hurry up/garbage time, but Henry’s usage was still as good as it gets for a tight end. He played on 41-of-62 snaps, lined up in the slot for a whopping 30 of those and ran a route on 37 of Philip Rivers’ 46 dropbacks. When Rivers throws is more than 40 times and Henry is healthy, we know the production will follow. Anytime Henry has been healthy, he’s been among the TE leaders in yards per route run.

2. Tevin Coleman seizes back starting role

In his second game back from injury, Coleman reclaimed the job he had to open the year. That meant he started the game, out-snapped Matt Breida 43-28 and was the no-doubt goal-line back. The last point is important because it projects to be sticky on a week-to-week basis. The Niners have not felt comfortable with Breida near the goal-line all season, even using Jeff Wilson there while Tevin was out. Given the way this offense is functioning, Coleman is going to have value even while in a timeshare.

3. Chiefs can’t get settled in backfield

It’s tempting to try to figure out the Chiefs’ RB situation because it’s such a fantasy-friendly role. But Andy Reid has other thoughts. In Week 5, Damien Williams played on 56% of the snaps and handled 86% of the RB touches. In Week 6, Damien came off the bench behind both LeSean McCoy and Darrel Williams. When the dust settled, Damien Williams played on just 38% of the snaps and handled a pathetic 15% of the RB touches. This is going to be a hot-hand/guessing game until further notice.

4. Crowder-Darnold continue to mesh

Sam “Sammy Spleens” Darnold has a long history of targeting his slot receiver, going back to his USC days with Deontay Burnett. Adam Gase’s scheme has a long history of highlighting slot receivers such as Wes Welker (Denver) and Jarvis Landry (Miami). So it makes sense that Jamison Crowder has seen 26 targets in Darnold’s two games for a massive 35% share. Of course that target share won’t continue, but the point remains that Crowder is going to be a featured player in this offense. And given the Jets secondary woes, there will be some shootouts on tap.

5. Chase Edmonds gets more involved

David Johnson’s back issue appeared fine Sunday, but the Cardinals still wisely got Edmonds involved more. It’s necessary given their lack of wide receiver weapons, especially with Christian Kirk (ankle) sidelined. The Cardinals simply need more weapons on the field. Johnson played 52 snaps, lining up slot or wide five times and got 18 touches. Edmonds played 20 snaps, lining up slot or wide three times and getting seven touches. This offense runs enough plays where we don’t have to worry about DJ too much – particularly in a full-PPR setting. But Edmonds’ role should continue to grow.

Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.

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.