Using Snap & Target Data Analysis

By Jen Ryan
Jen Ryan When I envision fantasy football I prefer to look at the game as a pyramid. The top of the pyramid is the championship, and everything between the top and the large base is research and data oriented. The very bottom of this pyramid is the foundation for fantasy football, and for me that foundation is targets.

Targets, of course, go hand in hand with snap totals. The more snaps a player plays, the higher the probability the player will see targets. The more targets the player sees, the more opportunity arises. If said player is efficient with his opportunities he will score points. The more points the player scores the closer you move to the top of your fantasy football pyramid. Simple math, right? Quantifying snaps and targets is the basis for lineup decisions.

Over at FootballDiehards.com we will be rolling out weekly data on snap totals and targets. This is where I will be starting my lineup research each week. We will be providing our subscribers with crucial stats for each player:


Click here for website sortable Snap Data: NFL Snap Counts

Definition of Variables

Team Snaps – total number of snaps player was on the field for
Team Snap % – percentage of team snaps player was on the field for
Team Snap Total – total offensive snaps that team had
Trgts – total number of targets player saw
Trgt/Snap % – percentage of player targets per that player’s snaps
Trgt/tot tm Snaps % – percentage of player targets per the team’s total snaps

Time for Data : We will be offering a complete breakdown of each offensive player’s on-field opportunities and, like all of our statistical resources pages, you will be able to customize filters to your liking. As with all of our tools, a small investment of your time will yield huge dividends for your fantasy squad. I took a quick look at the 2015 season’s snap and target statistics and came away with a ton of information.

Here are 20 takeaways from the 2015 season using our NFL Snap Counts tool.

Not counting quarterbacks, Jason Witten was the only player who was on the field for 99 percent of his team’s snaps. The next-closest offensive player was DeAndre Hopkins, with 97 percent of his team’s snaps.

Three tight ends accounted for over 90 percent of their team’s snaps: Jason Witten, Greg Olsen, and Travis Kelce.

While Delanie Walker was only on the field for 66 percent of the Titan’s snaps he saw 12 percent of his team’s total targets. Of the top 15 players with the largest target share for their team, Walker was the only tight end in a sea of wide receivers.

Lance Dunbar, C.J. Spiller, Theo Riddick and Darren Sproles were the only running backs targeted on over 20 percent of their team’s snaps despite playing in fewer than 50 percent of the team’s total snaps.

Julio Jones was the only receiver who was on the field for less than 90 percent of his team’s snaps but was targeted on 20 percent of the snaps he played.

Danny Woodhead was the only running back with over 100 targets. He was only on the field for half of his team’s snaps (51 percent).

Two quarterbacks accounted for 100 percent of their team’s snaps: Blake Bortles and Jameis Winston.

No team ran more offensive snaps than the Houston Texans’ 1,182.

DeAndre Hopkins saw 16 percent of the targets on those 1,182 total team snaps, over 50% more than teammate Nate Washington’s 7 percent.

The St. Louis Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs were the only teams who did not run at least 1,000 offensive snaps in 2015.

Of those two teams, Jeremy Maclin was the only player who saw double-digit target percentage totals (12 percent)

Devonta Freeman was the only running back who saw at least 700 snaps. His 767 were 67 percent of Atlanta’s total. The next closest back was DeAngelo Williams, whose 698 snaps accounted for 65 percent of the Steelers’ total snaps.

2015 was only the third time in 11 seasons Frank Gore did not run for 1,000 yards. He was on the field for 62 percent of Indy’s total snaps. The Colts did very little in the offseason to add to the running game.

David Johnson led all Arizona running backs with 37 percent of his team’s total snaps. Chris Johnson, who re-signed with the Cardinals in the offseason, was on the field for 33 percent of the team’s snaps.

Giovani Bernard (55 percent) and Jeremy Hill (43 percent) were both on the field for enough of the Bengals’ team snaps to be fantasy football factors in 2015. Hue Jackson is now the head coach of the Cleveland Browns where Duke Johnson and Isaiah Crowell make up the one-two punch of the Browns’ backfield.

Michael Crabtree played in fewer Raiders’ snaps (806) than Amari Cooper (899), but he was targeted on 18 percent of them as opposed to Cooper being targeted on 13 percent of his. Crabtree also saw 13 percent of the team’s total targets to Cooper’s 11 percent.

Odell Beckham, Jr. and Rueben Randle were both on the field for 89 percent of the New York Giants’ team snaps. Randle is now a Philadelphia Eagle and the Giants drafted wide receiver Sterling Shepard with the 40th pick overall in the second round.

Randall Cobb and James Jones were on the field for 91 percent of the Green Bay Packers’ team snaps. Jones is a free agent and Jordy Nelson is expected to return to full health for the 2016 season.

Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders combined for 27 percent of the Denver Broncos’ total targets, more than any other receiver duo in the league. The New York Jets’ Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker were just behind them with 26 percent of their team’s total targets. Both the Broncos and the Jets have big questions at the quarterback position coming into 2016.

Martavis Bryant was on the field for 47 percent of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ total snaps, was targeted on 18 percent of his snaps and accounted for 8 percent of the team’s total targets. Markus Wheaton was on the field for 65 percent of the team’s total snaps, was targeted on 11 percent of the snaps he played and accounted for 7 percent of the team’s total targets. (Bryant will miss the entire 2016 season.)
These are just 20 pieces of info I was able to observe using the FootballDiehards.com NFL Snap Counts tool. Spending a little time digging around the numbers will help you gain a competitive edge in every facet of fantasy football. Head over to our website as you prepare for your fantasy drafts, and again each week during the season to begin your lineup research.
Remember, targets and snaps are the foundation for a fantasy football championship.

Click here for website sortable Snap Data: NFL Snap Counts