Week one has begun! The bright lights are on and we finally had some game action. Going forward, there will be a weekly usage standout article. The idea is to highlight individuals who stood out in their respective games. However, it is week one and this is the first game so let’s not wait for the rest of the games and dive into some interesting usage we had on Thursday Night.
Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys
Tony Pollard is not the starter. Let’s make that very clear. However, he was utilized in multi-back sets and when he would enter the game he would be utilized often. This made him efficient overall.
Stats to chew on:
- Tony Pollard played 20 snaps of the 84 (23.8% snap rate)
- He managed to touch the ball on 35% of his snaps.
- They obviously make a point to utilize him when he was in: 3 carries for 14 yards (4.7 YPC) and on 4 targets he picked up 4 rec for 29 yds (7.3 yards per reception)
This bodes well for him as a plug-and-play flex option in bye weeks or if he were to gain reps. However, if this was not a shoot-out, it is not clear how often he would have been utilized. Watching his usage going forward is a must. This might be a great sell-high moment for Pollard and maybe you should approach the Ezekiel Elliot manager and check on their interest.
Amari Cooper vs CeeDee Lamb
This battle is far from over. Not to mention, it is possible (maybe even likely) that both flourish in this offense. However, Cooper reminded fantasy owners why he is still the guy in Dallas.
The big thing here is efficiency. Cooper was able to bring in the majority of his targets for catches where Lamb brought in less than 50%. This includes two drops. Lamb is a star in the making and a playmaker but the clean route running and efficient gameplay of Cooper should provide a safer, higher fantasy floor week-to-week. Regardless, both of these receivers are in for a great year as long as Dak Prescott can remain healthy.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Red Zone Usage
Red Zone Usage was interesting for Tampa Bay.
Chris Godwin was targeted heavily all game and appeared to be that valuable security blanket wide receiver Tom Brady always seems to have. His 9 receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown feels a lot like what we would see from Julien Edelman and Wes Welker once upon a time. This comes with an 80% slot rate and a 30.4% target share. This should mean he will continue to be that guy for Brady (assuming the slot usage remains similar).
Thanks for reading. Don’t forget, if you want to follow those weekly trends in usage per team, check out the Usage Chart.