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NFL Usage Report for Week 15

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Welcome to the Week 15 fantasy football usage report. This piece is designed to give you a glimpse of both rushing shares and usage rates for running backs, wide receivers, and occasionally tight ends. It will help you understand how often a player is involved in his team’s game plan and if those players are susceptible to being faded or emphasized during various gamescripts.

(To see more, check out our Weekly Rushing Share and Usage by Situation pages.)

Definitions:

tgt_big_lead — Target share when team is leading by 14+ points
tgt_leading — Target share when team is leading by 9-13 points
tgt_one_score — Target share when team is in a one score game
tgt_down — Target share when team is down by 9-13 points
tgt_down_big — Target share when team is down by 14+ points

 

 

Weekly Rushing Share

Tier 1 – Teams with Situations in Flux

Arizona Cardinals

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James Conner is day-to-day with an ankle injury, and Chase Edmonds could make his return in Week 15 after missing the previous four games with his own ankle injury. Conner has 16 total touchdowns on the season and has benefited in the passing game because of Edmonds being on injured reserve. Over his last four games, Conner has 19 receptions.

Miami Dolphins

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Myles Gaskin, Phillip Lindsay and Salvon Ahmed are all on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Veteran running back Duke Johnson has joined the team to provide much-needed depth at the position. Keep an eye on this team as it comes out of its bye and gears up for a Week 15 matchup against the Jets.

New York Jets

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Rookie running back Michael Carter has been designated to return from injured reserve following a three-game absence due to an ankle injury. Prior to his injury, he topped 10 carries in seven of 10 games and was dynamic in the receiving game as well. The Jets are without two of their wide receivers so the extra help on offense will be welcome.

Tier 2 – Teams with Situations worth Monitoring

Buffalo Bills

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Zack Moss has been a healthy scratch in two of the last three weeks. Devin Singletary and Matt Breida paced the backfield in those two weeks, but Moss was significantly involved in Week 13. It’s also worth noting that Josh Allen has taken on a larger role in the rushing game over the last few weeks.

Cleveland Browns

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Nick Chubb has not topped 60 rushing yards in either of his last two games after posting at least 61 rushing yards in all eight of his previous healthy games. The Browns are dealing with multiple players on the Reserve/COVID-19 List but Chubb remains in the clear, for the time being. Kareem Hunt is unlikely to play this weekend with an ankle injury and was listed as a DNP on the practice estimate Wednesday.

Dallas Cowboys

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Without Tony Pollard on the field, Corey Clement stepped into the No. 2 role and recorded 13 carries (second most of his career). He actually had one more carry than Ezekiel Elliott, but neither running back posted strong fantasy numbers. Pollard did not practice Wednesday, which could signify more opportunities for Clement on the horizon.

Detroit Lions

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The Lions were without both D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams this past week, which opened the door for Craig Reynolds and Godwin Igwebuike to pace the team. Reynolds was efficient with his 13 touches by turning them into 99 scrimmage yards. Swift did not practice Wednesday, and Williams is still on the Reserve/COVID-19 List.

Jacksonville Jaguars

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James Robinson rushed for a paltry four yards on six attempts in a blowout loss this past week. The Jaguars did not score and were in a negative gamescript the entire way. The lack of opportunities for Robinson was concerning, but there’s hope that interim head coach Darrell Bevell might use the second-year back more. Robinson is effective when given the chance, so let’s hope that changes this week.

Las Vegas Raiders

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Kenyan Drake is done for the year, which has opened the door for Josh Jacobs to see an uptick in involvement in the receiving game. Jacobs has 14 receptions over his last two games and remains a mid-RB2 who needs to find the end zone to be valuable for fantasy.

Los Angeles Rams

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Darrell Henderson has missed consecutive games (thigh/COVID-19). Sony Michel has stepped up by rushing for a combined 200 yards and a touchdown on 44 carries over those two weeks. Keep an eye on practice reports in the coming days.

New England Patriots

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Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris have emerged as a potent tandem for the Patriots in recent weeks. Harris tweaked his hamstring in Week 13 and remained limited in practice Wednesday. If he cannot go this week, Stevenson should see a substantial workload as the team looks to stay atop their division and the AFC.

Philadelphia Eagles

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Kenneth Gainwell benefited from the absence of both Boston Scott and Jordan Howard in Week 13, but the Eagles’ bye week should allow the running back room to get healthy. Keep an eye on practice reports in the coming days.

Seattle Seahawks

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Former first-round pick Rashaad Penny finally broke out in Week 14 with a line of 16-137-2. Reports have come out that he’ll likely retain his lead-role duties moving forward as long as he produces. Penny was likely the favorite waiver claim this week and he could be a league-winner for fantasy managers who roster him.

Tier 3 – Teams with Stable Situations

Atlanta Falcons

Mike Davis has posted impressive back-to-back performances and much of it has come via his involvement in the passing game. He has at least three receptions and 20 receiving yards in four straight games. Cordarrelle Patterson has at least 16 touches in three straight and three rushing touchdowns in that span.

Baltimore Ravens

The injury to Lamar Jackson certainly hurts the Ravens’ overall rushing attack but Devonta Freeman continues to shoulder the load. He has at least 15 touches in five of his last six games.

Carolina Panthers

Chuba Hubbard gets the early-down work, Ameer Abdullah gets the passing-down work, and Cam Newton gets the goal-line work. None of these players are particularly valuable for fantasy, although Newton does have a rushing touchdown in four consecutive games.

Chicago Bears

David Montgomery continues to pace the Bears’ backfield and he’s seen a significant bump in targets over the last two weeks. In his first seven games, he had 12 receptions. In his last two games, he has 14 receptions.

Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Mixon SZN continues. His stretch of consecutive games with a rushing touchdown (6) ended in Week 14 but he remains the focal point of the Bengals’ backfield and should be confidently started everywhere.

Denver Broncos

The committee benefited both Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams this past week. Both backs topped 20 fantasy points and each scored a pair of touchdowns. Each continues to limit the upside of the other, but both have been valuable for fantasy this season.

Green Bay Packers

AJ Dillon has outcarried Aaron Jones in four straight games (one of which Jones missed) and Dillon has 67 carries over that time. As the weather gets colder, and if the Packers can control the clock and play with a lead, this tandem at running back will be difficult to stop.

Houston Texans

This backfield hasn’t offered much in the way of fantasy production this season, but it looks like Royce Freeman could offer some value. He saw eight targets in Week 14.

Indianapolis Colts

Fantasy managers were without Jonathan Taylor last week but will have him for the first round of the fantasy playoffs. Taylor needs 316 scrimmage yards to reach 2,000 for the season and the 22-year-old has racked up 18 touchdowns through 13 games.

Kansas City Chiefs

Clyde Edwards-Helaire has seen fewer rushing attempts in each of the last three weeks, but managed to score a pair of touchdowns in Week 14. Darrel Williams continues to have a role as the veteran scored through the air this past week.

Los Angeles Chargers

Three running backs for the Chargers saw at least nine carries in Week 14, but Austin Ekeler remains the most efficient and most involved, especially through the air. His involvement in the passing game keeps both his floor and ceiling in elite territory.

Minnesota Vikings

In a wild turn of events, Dalvin Cook went from potentially missing Week 14 to dominating the Steelers to the tune of 205 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns Thursday night. His added rest ahead of Week 15 should only serve to benefit this elite player.

New Orleans Saints

Alvin Kamara returned from a four-game absence to top 100-rushing yards for just the fifth time in his illustrious career. Despite Taysom Hill starting at quarterback, Kamara had 31 touches (27 rushing attempts/4 receptions) for 145 total yards. He’s a must-start now that he’s back from injury.

New York Giants

Saquon Barkley is looking better each week. He scored for the first time since Week 4 and remains involved in all facets of the game. For fantasy managers who invested significant draft capital, and managed to make it to the playoffs, the timing couldn’t be better.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Every week we see the same thing: It isn’t always pretty, but Najee Harris gets the job done for fantasy managers. Week 14 was his first multi-touchdown game and remains heavily involved as both the primary running back and as a receiver.

San Francisco 49ers

Elijah Mitchell missed Week 14 with a concussion and knee injury but could return this coming week. If he does, he’ll be in a great spot against the Falcons. Prior to his missed game, Mitchell had totaled at least 22 rushing attempts in three of his last four healthy games.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Playoff Lenny is heating up at the right time. Leonard Fournette has rushed for at least 100 yards in two of his last three games and has six touchdowns since Week 12. His involvement in the passing game raises his floor as he’s seen at least six targets in five straight games.

Tennessee Titans

D’Onta Foreman asserted himself as the 1A in the Titans’ backfield. Jeremy McNichols and Dontrell Hilliard both saw involvement but, in positive game scripts, Foreman appears to have the edge.

Washington Football Team

Antonio Gibson only saw 10 carries in Week 14, his lowest mark since Week 8. He still paced all running backs in touches but the dip in volume was concerning, especially given his proficiency as a receiver. Gibson should hopefully bounce back in Week 15.

 

 

Usage by Situation

Tier 1 – Teams with Situations in Flux

Baltimore Ravens

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Lamar Jackson is dealing with an ankle injury and did not practice Wednesday. He is considered day-to-day at this point. Obviously, a big part of his game is his elusiveness and ability to scramble and make plays with his legs. Fantasy managers would do well to roster Tyler Huntley and/or make other plans for Week 15.

Tier 2 – Teams with Situations worth Monitoring

Buffalo Bills

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Josh Allen suffered a foot sprain in Week 14 and was limited at practice Wednesday. Similar to Jackson, Allen relies on his legs for a major part of his on-field contributions. Fantasy managers will want to carefully follow his status in the coming days and downgrade all pass catchers if Allen is not able to go this week.

Carolina Panthers

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Cam Newton has been atrocious as an NFL quarterback but has provided some value with his legs by rushing for a touchdown in three straight games. The current plan is still for him to start in Week 15, but the Panthers did designate Sam Darnold to return from injured reserve. Phillip Walker could also see snaps at quarterback for the Panthers if Newton continues to struggle. DJ Moore has been limited with a hamstring issue this week but is expected to play.

Houston Texans

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Rookie quarterback Davis Mills is slated to start for the Texans for the remainder of the season. He played well in Week 14 by tossing for 331 yards and a score. His performance over the next few weeks will be very indicative as to what the team will do this offseason and they continue to deal with the Deshaun Watson situation.

Los Angeles Rams

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Odell Beckham has landed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List after scoring a touchdown in three straight weeks for the Rams. Van Jefferson has also scored in three consecutive games. Tyler Higbee missed the Week 14 matchup due to landing on the same list, but his test came back as a false positive, and he should be fine moving forward. Cooper Kupp remains elite.

New York Giants

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Mike Glennon accounted for three scores in Week 14 but is merely a stopgap for the Giants as Daniel Jones gets healthy. Jake Fromm could see some action this week as the team seeks to see what is has in their sophomore quarterback, who has not attempted a regular-season pass in his NFL career.

New York Jets

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Zach Wilson will seek to finish his rookie campaign without two of his top options in the passing game over the next few weeks. Both Corey Davis (out for the season) and Elijah Moore (injured reserve) will be unavailable in Week 15. Wilson and Moore are intriguing trade targets in dynasty leagues as both have flashed significant promise and both are rookies. Michael Carter is slated to return this week, which should help the offense.

Philadelphia Eagles