It's championship week! And if you're like me in one league, you may have survived but now need to find replacements, in my case potentially for Dalvin Cook and Chris Godwin. It's awfully hard to win a championship without two of your best players, but points are points, and it ultimately doesn't matter if it's Cook or Kenyan Drake, Godwin or Breshad Perriman. Let's find Week 16's gems to help you take down your title. 

Data are typically courtesy of Pro Football Reference, RotoViz, the RotoGrinders Premium Usage App, or PFF. Always feel free to hit me up on Twitter @YardsPerGretch with any questions about anything I covered or to ask my thoughts on something I glossed over. That is some of my favorite feedback, because sometimes it's something I've missed.

Here are some important statistical acronyms to know for Stealing Signals:

Green Zone - Inside the opponent's 10-yard line.
HVT - High-Value Touches: for running backs, all receptions and all touches inside the 10 yard line. 
TRAP - Trivial Rush Attempt Percentage: for running backs, the percentage of all touches that are not high-value touches.
WOPR - Weighted Opportunity Rating: a metric created by Josh Hermsmeyer, it balances team share of targets and team share of air yards. Because a player's WOPR is a share of his team's overall opportunity, it's important to consider team volume as additional context. 
RACR - Receiver Air Conversion Ratio: also created by Hermsmeyer, RACR is calculated as total receiving yards divided by total air yards. Similar to yards per reception or yards per target, but per air yard instead.

Week 15
Week 15
Ravens 42 - Jets 21

Snap Notes: Vyncint Smith: 63% (+14% vs. previous season high), Trevon Wesco: 49% (+34 vs. Week 14), Daniel Brown: 49% (-38 vs. Week 14) 

Key Stat: Lamar Jackson — 5 pass TD on 23 attempts 

  • There's not much to say about the Ravens that we didn't already know, but one thing we can do is marvel at the extent of Lamar Jackson's greatness. Much has been made about Jackson setting the quarterback rushing record, but his passing efficiency hasn't just been adequate, or good, or even great. He's having an all-time season. Jackson's 8.9% touchdown rate is now higher than Patrick Mahomes' in 2018, and with it he's thrown 33 touchdowns on just 370 attempts. No one in the history of the NFL has ever thrown more than 36 touchdowns on fewer than 497 attempts, the number Peyton Manning threw in his record-breaking 2004 season. Jackson setting the rushing record certainly appeared plausible coming into the year, but that he appears poised to set a new passing touchdown standard for lower-volume quarterbacks — with just six interceptions to date — has to have surpassed even the most optimistic passing projections for his first full season under center, and it's created an absolutely lethal Fantasy combination.  
  • Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown were his preferred targets, as they have been throughout the year. Each scored, as did Seth Roberts on an efficient 3-3-66-1 line. Rushing production from a quarterback often eats up a lot of the Fantasy potential for an offense, but Jackson's high touchdown rate has allowed for multiple productive seasons from his receiving corps on lower volume. 
  • Mark Ingram had his fifth multi-touchdown game of the season. In PPR formats, he's gone over 20 in each of those five games, while otherwise topping out at 16.4 and settling for single digits five times. He's been great as a rusher, but doesn't catch a ton of passes, and has thus been the 2019 poster boy for the value of being the lead back in an elite offense. 
  • Le'Veon Bell caught multiple passes for his seventh straight game, bringing his total to 57 for the season. But Bell is the anti-Ingram, having scored just four touchdowns all year for a Jets team with just 23 offensive touchdowns for the season. The Ravens, by comparison, have 53. Bell's lack of scoring and rushing inefficiency (3.3 yards per carry) have led to a disappointing season, despite him maintaining a high share of touches when active (played 86% of the snaps in Week 15).  
  • With Ryan Griffin and Demaryius Thomas inactive, the Jets passing game centered on Jamison Crowder (11-6-90-2) and Robby Anderson (6-4-66). Small-school speed demon Vyncint Smith got extended run, and hauled in three of five targets for 40 yards, while the tight end reps were split between Daniel Brown and Trevon Wesco

Signal: Jets — more concentrated target tree without much of a tight end presence; Vyncint Smith — filled Demaryius Thomas role

Noise: Ravens — any receiving option outside Andrews or Brown is touchdown chasing, as they are the only two with more than 350 receiving yards for the season

Week 15
Packers 21 - Bears 13

Snap Notes: Allen Lazard: 78% (+23 vs. Week 14), Tarik Cohen: 65% (highest since Week 1), David Montgomery: 43% (lowest since Week 1)

Key Stat: Allen Robinson — 237 air yards (most in Week 15); Anthony Miller — 198 air yards (third most in Week 15)

  • The Packers knocked off the Bears despite Chicago out-gaining them 415 to 292. That can't even be chalked up to Chicago's three turnovers, as two were ultimately inconsequential plays — the final snaps of the half and the game. Rather, it was Chicago's inability to execute on key downs, going 0-3 on fourth down tries and settling for two field goals of 30 yards or closer. 
  • Mitchell Trubisky threw 53 passes, one short of a career high. Chicago's passing game has become pretty concentrated with Taylor Gabriel out the past few weeks, and even with an increase in volume that stayed true. Allen Robinson (14-7-125), Anthony Miller (15-9-118-1) and Tarik Cohen (10-7-57) all saw double-digit targets, while no other Bear saw more than four. 
  • Even with the 53 pass attempts, David Montgomery was targeted just once, confirming everything you need to know about his TRAP back role. Since Cohen reemerged as a key part of this offense, Montgomery has been relegated to early-down work, catching just six passes over the past six weeks. Since he hasn't been an efficient runner and the Bears have been among the worst teams in the league at executing in the green zone, his Fantasy value is limited. 
  • Davante Adams got back to dominating the Packers' passing volume, notching 13 targets on 33 attempts for a 39% target share en route to a 7-103-1 day. His 32% target share since returning in Week 9 leads the NFL. 
  • Allen Lazard's snaps jumped, and he ran a route on 67% of dropbacks, his highest rate since Week 12 and fourth highest of the season. Already the de facto No. 2 outside receiver, he hasn't seen more than three targets in a game in over a month, largely due to Adams' presence. But that bump is enough to make him interesting in deeper leagues, as the Packers play in a climate-controlled setting Week 16 at Minnesota, facing the Vikings' beatable corners. Lazard's averaged an impressive 10.4 yards per target for the season. 
  • A week after I noted the importance of air yards to Aaron Jones' statistical profile, he wasn't even targeted. He did convert two rushing touchdowns, but 17.1 Fantasy points is hardly a strong outcome in a multi-touchdown performance. Jamaal Williams saw just one target of his own, so clearly Aaron Rodgers found options he liked downfield. So few RB targets is more than likely a one-week blip, although Adams has certainly changed things for the passing offense as a whole. 

Signal: Allen Lazard — snaps, routes increased; Bears — concentrated passing attack right now with three main options

Noise: Bears — 53 pass attempts (and resulting raw target bumps for Robinson, Miller, Cohen)

Week 15
Patriots 34 - Bengals 13

Snap Notes: Mohamed Sanu: 86% (+27 vs. Week 14), N'Keal Harry: 58% (+55 vs. Week 14), Phillip Dorsett: 14% (-34 vs. Week 14), Jakobi Meyers: 11% (41 vs. Week 14), John Ross: 38% (-11 vs. Week 14)

Key Stat: Tom Brady — 4.4 yards per attempt (fourth time in past five games at 5.2 or lower)

  • New England got an easy victory in Cincinnati, largely thanks to four interceptions, one returned for a score. The Patriots ran 32 times against 29 passes, of which Tom Brady completed 15 for just 128 yards. 
  • James White caught an early 23-yard score on a swing pass, as New England exploited the Bengals where they are weakest (the edge). It was Brady's longest completion of the day, and White wound up leading New England with 49 receiving yards on three catches. 
  • N'Keal Harry was much more involved in Week 15 than the previous few weeks, and made a nice diving play on a 7-yard touchdown and another on a play that was negated by penalty. Harry also got two rush attempts for 22 yards, a positive sign they wanted to get him the ball. Mohamed Sanu also saw a significant increase in snaps, but caught just two of eight targets. Phillip Dorsett and Jakobi Meyers took a back seat as Sanu and Harry were the main secondary receivers alongside Julian Edelman, a configuration I've thought makes the most sense given their personnel, and thus think has sticking power, although they've rotated so heavily it's difficult to bank on it. 
  • In a matchup where Sony Michel should have had an increased role, he did, but he didn't really have the multiple-touchdown upside he needs to be worth starting, given his lack of a receiving role. That's largely due to the Patriots' offense just not being very good right now — they scored three touchdowns in this one, but no RB had a green zone touch. Before New England's bye, Michel averaged more than two green zone touches per game, with 20 in nine contests. In five games since the bye, he has two total, rendering him very difficult to use in Fantasy given the lack of receiving role. 
  • While Andy Dalton struggled, Joe Mixon racked up 136 yards on 25 carries, though none of those carries came in the green zone. He split routes with Giovani Bernard, and while Mixon caught three passes, there's typically a cap on his receiving potential. That said, he's been rushing more efficiently over the past month, and with Miami on the docket for Week 16 we should probably expect that to continue.
  • John Ross' role actually decreased after his Week 14 return from IR, as Tyler Boyd and Alex Erickson remained the lead receivers in terms of snaps and routes. Tyler Eifert's role also expanded in this game, but none of the Bengals were particularly effective. Boyd and perhaps Erickson are probably the only ones with enough recent usage to be worth considering for the Miami matchup. 

Signal: Patriots — not much to like in the passing game

Noise: Mohamed Sanu — two catches on eight targets, full snap share

Week 15
Texans 24 - Titans 21

Snap Notes: Will Fuller: 94% (missed Week 14), Kenny Stills: 62% (-6 vs. season average), Carlos Hyde: 67% (+4 vs. previous season high), Duke Johnson: 33% (-2 vs. previous season low), Jonnu Smith: 81% (fifth straight game over 75%)

Key Stat: A.J. Brown — 13 targets, 178 air yards, 0.85 WOPR

  • The Texans won an important divisional game that didn't really heat up until the fourth quarter. Both teams were relatively conservative throughout most of the game, as Carlos Hyde played a pivotal role for Houston. Hyde played a season-high snap share and went over 100 yards on 26 carries, but wasn't targeted. He had four green zone touches, though, after just one in his past six games combined. His Fantasy total was solid, but it's not exactly something worth chasing his and Duke Johnson's role has ebbed and flowed all season.
  • Will Fuller played a full snap share in his return after missing Week 14, and he caught five of seven targets for 61 yards, with 93 total air yards indicating his role was solid. DeAndre Hopkins had a big day, going 8-6-119, while Kenny Stills stole the show in the red zone with two scores on three targets. 
  • There's not much to say about A.J. Brown I haven't already said several times, but we're here, and he's an absolute stud. The cliff's notes again: He was a very strong age-adjusted prospect who out-produced D.K. Metcalf at Ole Miss. He only started playing a full snap share in Week 10, and his recent production solidified him as the No. 1 option, so there was always room for his targets to increase. His production on a per-target basis has been insane, but now he's coming off a game where he saw 13 looks, catching eight for 114 and a score. He'll have a tough matchup in Week 16 and few wide receivers are truly matchup-proof, but I'd have a hard time sitting him unless you have top-20 alternatives. 
  • Jonnu Smith put together a strong game as a secondary target, catching all five targets he saw for 60 yards. The Titans also lined him up at running back and gave him a toss play on the first snap of the fourth quarter, and he did his best Derrick Henry impression, turning the corner and breaking off a 57-yard gain. Smith's usage has been a bit sporadic and isn't helped by the Titans' slow pace, but he looks like a good long-term player for Tennessee. 
  • Ryan Tannehill had a rough first half, but the Titans have made a habit out of big second halves, and he finished with a solid Fantasy line. There was some concern throughout the game that he'd finish with a subpar Fantasy total, and that concern shouldn't be ignored as the Titans host the Saints next week. Tannehill continues to be bolstered by touchdowns — he's averaging three combined scores over his past four games — but that type of streak can't last forever.

Signal: A.J. Brown — was targeted early and often, 13 targets cleared previous season high by five

Noise: Carlos Hyde — four green zone touches (one across previous six games combined); Kenny Stills — two touchdowns (just three targets, no increase in role)

Week 15
Chiefs 23 - Broncos 3

Snap Notes: Spencer Ware: 40% (+1 vs. Week 14), Darwin Thompson: 35% (+8 vs. Week 14), LeSean McCoy: 25% (-6 vs. Week 14), DaeSean Hamilton: 83% (+7 vs. previous season high), Phillip Lindsay: 39% (-1 vs. previous season low)

Key Stat: Courtland Sutton — 10 targets, 7.3 aDOT (12.0 full-season aDOT)

  • Patrick Mahomes didn't seem too bothered by snowy conditions, throwing for 340 yards and two scores in a blowout win. After finding Tyreek Hill for an early 41-yard score, Mahomes settled in to target Travis Kelce 13 times in the intermediate part of the field, and his star tight end brought in 11 for 142 yards on the day. Hill finished with five catches on seven targets, but also caught a short touchdown in the third quarter. Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman all saw between two and four targets, but it remains clear this passing game centers on Hill and Kelce. 
  • The backfield remained a three-headed mess, with Spencer Ware leading in snaps but rookie Darwin Thompson picking up some work and leading in touches. I still think if we look ahead to the playoffs, this will likely be a committee led by Damien Williams, and it's possible LeSean McCoy isn't even active at that point given they seem to like what Ware brings them a bit more. It's possible Williams will return to a significant share right away, but even if he's back for Week 16 that would be a tough thing to trust for the Fantasy playoffs. 
  • I addressed some of the limitations of Drew Lock even after his big Week 14 performance, and we saw more of that in Week 15. Lock completed just 18 of 40 passes despite still throwing at a low average depth, and typically shorter passes have far higher completion percentages, so that's a troubling sign. Courtland Sutton caught four of 10 passes at an aDOT of just 7.3, far below his full-season number of 12.0. He did get to 79 receiving yards thanks to 59 yards after the catch, and had a near-miss on a jump ball in the end zone, but his overall situation has taken a substantial hit with Lock's inability to reliably push the ball down the field. 
  • DaeSean Hamilton has seen his snaps tick up over the past several weeks, topping out this week at a season-high 83%. Hamilton saw nine targets, but caught just two. Tim Patrick remained involved, catching three of seven targets. Noah Fant continues to be productive, but he saw just three looks, catching two for 56 yards. 
  • Phillip Lindsay had a poor game in what projected as a plus matchup, and that was mostly due to the Broncos falling behind early. While Lindsay isn't nonexistent in negative scripts, Denver continues to prefer Royce Freeman on passing downs, and that led to Lindsay playing a season-low snap share. Denver rushed just 15 times overall, explaining Lindsay's seven carries. 

Signal: Drew Lock — struggled to complete passes even at a low average throw depth 

Noise: Phillip Lindsay — script, 40/15 pass/run split dictated his season-low snap share

Week 15
Giants 36 - Dolphins 20

Snap Notes: DeVante Parker: 94% (left Week 14 with concussion), Albert Wilson: 80% (left Week 14 with concussion), Myles Gaskin: 48% (+30 vs. Week 14), Patrick Laird: 48% (-34 vs. Week 14)

Key Stat: Sterling Shepard — 11 targets, 38% target share

  • Sterling Shepard dominated the targets for the Giants, seeing 11 looks from Eli Manning a week after Darius Slayton was the lead dog. That may have had something to do with the wind in New Jersey, as Shepard is more of an underneath option. Interestingly, it was Slayton and Golden Tate who caught Manning's two touchdowns. Shepard caught nine balls for 111 yards, while Slayton caught two of three for 31 and the score and Tate caught just one pass on four looks, but it was a 51-yard touchdown. All three are running plenty of routes and it is difficult to predict who will lead in targets next week at Washington. 
  • Saquon Barkley finally got going, posting his best single-game yards per carry (noisy stat alert) since Week 2. Part of what makes this notable is his long run was just 12 yards, so his 24-112-2 rushing line featured plenty of positive gains. He also caught four of five targets for 31 yards and is a solid play at Washington if you're still alive with him on the roster. 
  • DeVante Parker (7-4-72-2) returned from his concussion and didn't miss a beat, while Albert Wilson (8-5-59) also returned to a full snap role and the duo pushed Allen Hurns and Isaiah Ford into part-time roles (both played sub-50% snap shares). Mike Gesicki also had a rebound performance with a decent 8-4-47 line. Miami hosts Cincinnati next week and these three appear to be the top targets, with Parker the only recommended play. 
  • Patrick Laird lost a significant number of snaps in Week 15 after his 82% snap share in Week 14, splitting reps evenly with Myles Gaskin. Gaskin was the more efficient runner, which has been the case across the small samples we have on both. Cincinnati's run defense is vulnerable, but this time share in an offense that hasn't generated much running back production all season makes it a difficult place to look even in deep leagues. 

Signal: Patrick Laird, Myles Gaskin — shift from a Laird-heavy backfield in Week 14 to a 50/50 timeshare

Noise: Giants target shares — Shepard led this week, Slayton last, seems likely to fluctuate

Week 15
Eagles 37 - Washington 27

Snap Notes: Miles Sanders: 71% (+14 vs. Week 14), Boston Scott: 45% (+2 vs. Week 14), Steven Sims: 70% (second straight game of at least 70%), Adrian Peterson: 60% (highest since Week 9)

Key Stat: Eagles — 30 RB high-value touches over past two games (30 total in previous six games combined)

  • Washington played Philadelphia tough, taking it right down to the wire before the Eagles regained the lead with 32 seconds left. They added a defensive touchdown on the game's final play to push the final scoreline to 10 points. 
  • Miles Sanders got back to a bigger snap share after cramps cost him some time in Week 14, and he put up some huge numbers. Sanders rushed 19 times for 122 yards and a touchdown and added six catches for 50 yards and a score, tying with Christian McCaffrey for the Week 15 lead with nine high-value touches. Meanwhile, Boston Scott still increased his snap share after his impressive performance late in Week 14, as the Eagles utilized several two-back sets along with their typical two-tight end looks. Scott caught seven passes of his own. The Eagles' backs have become a major part of the passing game with the wide receiver corps depleted, and both Sanders and Scott appear to be viable options, though Scott more in PPR leagues. 
  • Zach Ertz predictably led the Eagles in targets with 10, catching five for 61 yards and a score. Greg Ward (9-7-61-1) was the most-targeted wide receiver, with J.J. Arcega-Whiteside again failing to produce despite a huge snap share. Dallas Goedert was the other downfield weapon for Carson Wentz, catching five of six targets for 55 yards. Expect the Eagles to continue featuring their backs and tight ends in the passing game for the foreseeable future. 
  • Terry McLaurin took an early slant to the house for a 75-yard touchdown, and caught his other four targets on the day for a 5-5-130-1 receiving line. But rookie UDFA Steven Sims somewhat surprisingly led the team with 11 targets, catching five for 45 yards and a go-ahead score in the fourth quarter. 
  • Adrian Peterson played a big role with Derrius Guice out, rushing 16 times for 66 yards and a score and also catching three passes. Peterson gets a solid matchup with the Giants next week, and while he's not the best option, he's certainly shown he has a solid floor with Guice out. 

Signal: Greg Ward/Steven Sims — solid target shares; Eagles — still heavily focused on backs and tight ends in passing game

Noise: Terry McLaurin — 26 yards per target (big day was a great sign, but most of it came on one long catch-and-run)

Week 15
Buccaneers 38 - Lions 17

Snap Notes: Breshad Perriman: 89% (+6 vs. Week 14 season high), Chris Godwin: 61% (hamstring injury), Justin Watson: 56% (+1 vs. Week 14 season high), Scott Miller: 15% (hamstring injury), O.J. Howard: 88% (fourth straight game over 75%), Danny Amendola: 86% (+6 vs. Week 14 season high), Logan Thomas: 66% (+10 vs. Week 14 season high), Chris Lacy: 66% (+62 vs. previous season high), Wes Hills: 36% (season debut)

Key Stat: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin — 238 combined targets, 3,084 air yards (neither will play Week 16)

  • Even without Mike Evans, Jameis Winston didn't alter his vertical passing style. Given Breshad Perriman's three-touchdown day (6-5-113-3), it shouldn't be a surprise he led the Bucs in air yards with 124. With Chris Godwin (7-5-121, 94 air yards) also now out for Week 16, Perriman's volume looks even more secure, though it's worth pointing out that Perriman has never really been a target hog and his six targets on 42 pass attempts equate to a relatively unimpressive 14% share. Perriman is what he is, a downfield threat who will see plenty of air yards.
  • That means there are plenty of available targets. Behind Perriman and Godwin, Scott Miller caught an early touchdown and was on his way to a big day, posting a 3-3-49-1 line before a hamstring injury of his own after playing just 11 snaps. Justin Watson stepped in, but he was targeted just twice, catching both for 17 yards. But Watson is likely looking at a full snap share in Week 16 — especially if Miller can't go — and he did have a solid game in Week 14, so he's one option to consider for a surprising target total. 
  • Both tight ends also saw plenty of action, and are other options. Cameron Brate (7-3-33) somewhat surprisingly posted the higher aDOT (12.4) and more air yards (87) of the two. O.J. Howard (8-4-46) actually led the team in targets, and his 9.5 aDOT and 76 air yards were still strong for a tight end. Though Brate's a Winston favorite, he ran routes on just 43% of dropbacks, and typically sits below 50%, so he's a little tougher to trust. Howard's targets have now been pretty stable for three straight. Both are options against a Texans team that just struggled with Jonnu Smith, given the target void for the Bucs. 
  • The Bucs struggled to generate anything on the ground, as Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber again split reps. Houston boasts a solid rush defense, and that game has the makings of another potential shootout. The Bucs backs will be hard to trust, but their secondary receiving options are some of the better sleepers for Week 16. 
  • The Lions also have a banged-up receiving group with both T.J. Hockenson and Marvin Jones on IR, and David Blough locked into Danny Amendola and Kenny Golladay. Blough had far more success throwing underneath to Amendola (13-8-102 at a 10.2 aDOT) than downfield to Golladay (7-3-44 at a 17.0 aDOT). 
  • With Bo Scarbrough out, Wes Hills filled the early-down role, while Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic both mixed in on passing downs. Reports indicate Kerryon Johnson could return for Week 16 in Denver, and any information we get about his potential role will go a long way to determining whether he's a viable option. Hills scored on two short runs but is likely to be a one-week wonder, while the three backs combined for 10 targets and nine total high-value touches, so if we get news Kerryon could play a substantial snap share, there's plenty of upside here.   

Signal: Bucs — tons of available receiving opportunity, should still throw plenty against Houston

Noise: Wes Hills — one-week fill-in assuming Kerryon Johnson returns

Week 15
Seahawks 30 - Panthers 24

Snap Notes: Chris Carson: 76% (-6 vs. Week 14), Josh Gordon: 37% (-18 vs. Week 14 high with Seattle), Malik Turner: 30% (+8 vs. Week 14), Ian Thomas: 96% (+10 vs. Week 14 season high)

Key Stat: Chris Carson — 76% snap share, routes on 70% of dropbacks

  • The Seahawks got things going early on the ground against the Panthers exploitable rush defense, as Chris Carson rushed for 47 yards and a score on just four carries on the first drive of the game. Then they turned to the vertical passing game, as Russell Wilson hit Tyler Lockett for a 44-yard gain on the second drive and D.K. Metcalf for a 19-yard touchdown. The third drive featured a 58-yard bomb to Josh Gordon before a 19-yard touchdown to Lockett. They mostly coasted from there, finishing with a 27/34 pass/run ratio while holding off a late comeback attempt from Carolina. 
  • With Rashaad Penny out, Carson was again the workhorse back, rushing 24 times for 133 yards and two scores. C.J. Prosise mixed in behind him, but after Prosise lost a fumble we saw a little bit of sixth-round rookie Travis Homer late. Carson had just one reception on two targets, but ran routes on 70% of Wilson's dropbacks, so he has potential to expand on that. 
  • Lockett easily led the passing game with nine targets, catching eight for 120 and a score. Metcalf (4-2-36-1) and Jacob Hollister (3-3-23) each ran full route shares but took a back seat in the lower-volume game. Gordon has now been suspended by the league indefinitely. Malik Turner looks like the next man up, though Jaron Brown and David Moore each played at least 15% of the snaps in Week 15 and that trio will likely rotate. 
  • After Ian Thomas surprisingly led the Panthers with 10 targets in Week 14, D.J. Moore (12-8-113) and Christian McCaffrey (10-8-88 receiving) got back to being the featured passing-game options in Week 15. Curtis Samuel (8-5-31-1) saw a target bump and caught a touchdown, while Thomas (4-2-23) took a back seat. That quartet all played at least 90% of the snaps, which hasn't been unusual for Carolina this year, with the caveat that it's often Greg Olsen and not Thomas at the tight end spot. Olsen looks ready to return in Week 16, so Thomas is likely to shift back to a minor role. 
  • Rookie Will Grier will get the start for Carolina in Week 16, which could complicate things in this passing offense, but the heavy snap shares help. The vast majority of his targets should go to some combination of McCaffrey, Moore, Samuel and Olsen, and there's little reason to bet against McCaffrey and Moore leading the way as they have for the majority of the season. 

Signal: Chris Carson — workhorse role, ran routes on 70% of dropbacks

Noise: D.K. Metcalf/Jacob Hollister — limited targets (low team volume, both ran fairly full route shares)

Week 15
Jaguars 20 - Raiders 16

Snap Notes: Dede Westbrook: 93% (+7 vs. previous season high), Chris Conley: 88% (+8 vs. season average), Keelan Cole: 75% (+41 vs. previous season high), Seth DeValve: 51% (first game since Week 9), Josh Jacobs: 57% (missed Week 14), Jalen Richard: 29% (equal to season average), DeAndre Washington: 15% (-48 vs. Week 14)

Key Stat: Darren Waller — 10 targets, 93 air yards

  • Jacksonville stole the final game in Oakland, scoring two late touchdowns on drives that accounted for more than 100 of their 262 total yards for the day. They were close in large part because of the Raiders' inability to extend their lead, as Oakland settled for three field goals in the red zone, but Jacksonville also benefited from a bizarre sequence where officials erroneously stopped the clock before the two-minute warning on a Derek Carr slide in bounds, Jon Gruden then challenging that unchallengeable play, and a resulting delay of game and timeout charged to Oakland, all of which helped Jacksonville get the ball back with enough time to win.
  • Chris Conley finished 8-4-49-2, and three of those catches and both touchdowns came on the final two drives. Had the Carr slide been called correctly, there's a decent chance Oakland converts a first down without the delay of game and runs out of the clock, a scenario that would have shaved two catches, 25 yards and a score off Conley's final line. That's a bit of a stretch, but I'm not overly interested in chasing Conley's touchdown-dependent line. 
  • Keelan Cole caught three of six passes for 76 yards, while Dede Westbrook saw just four looks, catching two for 14 yards. That trio looks like the main core of Jacksonville's passing game going forward, with Leonard Fournette also factoring in. Each of those four ran routes on at least 89% of dropbacks, and Fournette had five catches on seven targets for 31 yards.
  • Josh Jacobs rushed 24 times for 89 yards, but ceded passing downs snaps to Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington. Washington played sparingly as he reverted to a backup role, while Richard maintained his role. All three backs were targeted three times, with Richard running the most routes at 38% of dropbacks. 
  • Tyrell Williams took a short pass 40 yards for an early score, but was targeted just twice more. Darren Waller dominated the Raiders passing game with eight catches for 122 yards on 10 targets. No other Raider had more than three targets, and no other Raider pass-catcher is Fantasy viable. 

Signal: Chris Conley/Dede Westbrook/Keelan Cole — all ran routes on at least 89% of dropbacks

Noise: Chris Conley — not interested in chasing short touchdowns from a sporadic deep threat

Week 15
Cardinals 38 - Browns 24

Snap Notes: Kenyan Drake: 75% (+9 vs. Week 14), David Johnson: 21% (-15 vs. Week 14), Ricky Seals-Jones: 27% (equal to season average)

Key Stat: Kenyan Drake — five green zone touches (two in previous five games with Arizona)

  • Kenyan Drake was the story in Arizona's win over Cleveland, rushing for four touchdowns en route to a massive Fantasy total. Three of Drake's four touchdowns came from within 10 yards, and he totaled five green zone touches on the day after just two in his previous five games with Arizona. Perhaps more important than the spike in green zone opportunity — which requires a certain degree of team productivity — was his increase in snap share after David Johnson had been a bit more active in Week 14. Drake rushed 22 times overall for 137 yards, and remains the clear lead back for Arizona. 
  • With Arizona dominating on the ground, Kyler Murray threw just 25 passes, his third time finishing with fewer than 30 attempts this season. Murray started the season throwing 40 or more times in each of the first three games, but he's hit that benchmark just once in the ensuing 11 games, and has crested 35 attempts just once more. I had high hopes for Kliff Kingsbury as a head coach, particularly as it related to overall play volume, but Arizona has run the 20th most plays and thrown the 17th most passes, and they've gotten slower-paced over time. 
  • No. 3 receiver Damiere Byrd led the receiving corps with a 6-6-86 line, while Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald each saw five looks and no other Cardinal saw more than two. 
  • Odell Beckham certainly seemed to get the squeaky wheel treatment, as he was targeted 13 times, a season high. Beckham caught eight passes for 66 yards, while Kareem Hunt (9-8-62) and Jarvis Landry (8-5-23) were the other heavily-targeted Browns. Ricky Seals-Jones caught two touchdowns against his former team, but ran just seven routes while posting a 4-3-29-2 line. He's not a major part of the offense. 
  • Nick Chubb continues to cede snaps — he played just 50% in Week 15, a season low — but also see plenty of touches, as they feature him when he's on the field. Chubb rushed 17 times for 127 yards and a score and also caught three passes. The Browns continue to implement an offense centered on both backs, with Beckham and Landry being the other key pieces, as has been the case since Hunt's activation. 

Signal: Kenyan Drake — took back some snaps from David Johnson, clear lead back

Noise: Ricky Seals-Jones — two touchdowns (ran just seven routes); Kenyan Drake — massive green zone role was a spike

Week 15
Vikings 39 - Chargers 10

Snap Notes: Dalvin Cook: 43% (shoulder reinjury, third straight game under 50%), Mike Boone: 32% (+24 vs. Week 14 season high), Adam Thielen: 51% (return from injury), Austin Ekeler: 48% (-9 vs. season average), Melvin Gordon: 40% (-6 vs. previous season low), Justin Jackson: 21% (second straight week over 20%)

Key Stat: Mike Boone — 4 green zone rushes

  • Minnesota went into halftime up 19-10, then lost Dalvin Cook on the first drive after the break. It was no bother, as they still won the second half 20-0 to coast to a road victory. Frustratingly for Fantasy managers with Cook, his backup Mike Boone (Alexander Mattison was inactive) rushed for two short second-half scores of 8 and 2 yards, on four green zone opportunities. Of course, those almost certainly would have been Cook touches had he stayed healthy. 
  • Adam Thielen returned to about half the snaps, though he ran routes on 72% of snaps. Minnesota went run-heavy in the second half with their typically high dose of two-TE sets and also used fullback C.J. Ham liberally, as Ham's 46% snap share was his highest rate since Week 7. While Thielen saw just three targets, he appears healthy ahead of the Vikings' showdown with Green Bay, and I'd expect him to be more involved assuming Minnesota throws more than the 25 times they did in Week 15. 
  • Minnesota wound up with a 25/37 pass/run ratio, limiting the overall pass volume and allowing Boone to rack up a 13-56-2 rushing line. But should both Mattison and Cook again miss, note that Boone ran just four routes, as Ameer Abdullah was targeted twice and Ham three times. In that scenario, Boone may be limited to primarily early-down work, though it's a bit tough to gauge given his playing time was mostly in the run-heavy second half.
  • Stefon Diggs led the offense with six targets, while Kirk Cousins targeted five players exactly three times each, including Thielen and both tight ends. That type of unconcentrated target tree on low volume is bad news for Fantasy, but it's not clear whether we should bank on that repeating if the Vikings need to get more aggressive next week.
  • The Chargers ended more than half their drives with turnovers, ultimately losing four fumbles and throwing three interceptions. Despite the blowout loss, they punted just once all game. Philip Rivers locked onto Keenan Allen (10-9-99) and Mike Williams (9-4-71-1), as well as his backs, who each catch five of seven passes. 
  • No. 3 back Justin Jackson has worked in for at least 20% of the snaps each of the past two weeks, and it's started to limit the snap ceiling for both Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler. Both games were blowouts, but none of Jackson's seven touches came in the fourth quarter. Instead, Jackson mixed in as early as the second quarter, and the majority of his touches came on a single drive in the third. With the Chargers' season over, it wouldn't be surprising to see Jackson steal some snaps. Still, the Chargers generate so many high-value touches as a team that both Gordon and Ekeler can have value — their ceilings are just capped a bit with Jackson cycling in as a third back.

Signal: Chargers — starting to work in Justin Jackson a bit, limiting the snap shares of their top two backs

Noise: Adam Thielen — 51% snap share (low due to run-heavy second half, ran routes on 72% of dropbacks)

Week 15
Cowboys 44 - Rams 21

Snap Notes: Tavon Austin: 37% (+5 vs. season average), Cooper Kupp: 92% (+64 vs. Week 14 season low), Brandin Cooks: 71% (+33 vs. Week 14)

Key Stat: Tyler Higbee — 33 targets over the past three games

  • The Cowboys coasted to a win, and they did so through unconventional means. Typically a concentrated offense, Dallas designed plays for role players like Blake Jarwin and Tavon Austin, while Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb each caught just one pass. 
  • More specifically, though, Dallas won this game on the ground. Ezekiel Elliott rushed 24 times for 117 yards and two scores, adding another 43 yards on three catches. Tony Pollard mopped things up with a bang, rushing for a late 44-yard score to go 12-131-1 in relief of Elliott. Only two of Pollard's carries came in the first half. 
  • Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks got back to fuller snap shares, signifying the weird Week 14 splits were gameplan-specific. Still, Jared Goff targeted Tyler Higbee 14 times on his whopping 51 pass attempts, and the tight end caught 12 balls for 111 yards. Kupp produced an efficient 6-6-41-1 line, while Robert Woods (9-4-17) and Cooks (8-4-46) were less productive on the outside. 
  • The main three receivers have solid raw target volume until you consider the 51 attempts. Higbee's presence has complicated their value, as the tight end is now averaging more than 10 targets per game over the past three, and it's hard for any offense to sustain four downfield options. Woods' recent playing time has been most reliable, while Kupp continues to be targeted at a solid per-snap clip as a Goff favorite, but the Rams' offense continues to evolve, and that could mean any number of things, including Higbee's targets not being as reliable as they seem on first blush. Still, it's hard to ignore what Higbee's done of late; he's a fine tight end option for Week 16. 
  • Despite racking up just 38 yards on 14 touches, Todd Gurley scored twice, and he dropped a wide open potential touchdown late that would have made it a three-score game. Gurley's explosiveness hasn't bee there this year, but his signature touchdown production has been, as he's now scored a dozen times. His 25 green zone touches are seventh-most among the league's backs.

Signal: Cooper Kupp/Brandin Cooks — last week's drop in snaps must have been gameplan-specific, both were back to full-time roles; Tyler Higbee — still heavily involved, complicating the target distribution

Noise: Tavon Austin/Blake Jarwin — still just role players; Amari Cooper/Michael Gallup — one catch each

Week 15
Falcons 29 - 49ers 22

Snap Notes: Christian Blake: 85% (+68 vs. Week 14), Austin Hooper: 82% (+18 vs. Week 14), Raheem Mostert: 53% (-6 vs. Week 14), Tevin Coleman: 30% (+14 vs. Week 14), Matt Breida: 19% (equal to Week 14)

Key Stat: Julio Jones — 1.27 WOPR (highest single-game total for any player this season)

  • Atlanta beat San Francisco in a thrilling finish, with Julio Jones capping off a dominant performance by barely crossing the plane of the end zone on what likely would have been the game's final play had he not scored. Jones saw 20 targets, catching 13 for 134 yards and two scores, and posting a higher Weighted Opportunity Rating of Atlanta's passing volume than any player in any game this season. What's perhaps most remarkable about that is Atlanta threw the ball 39 times; typically, it's easier to post a dominant opportunity rating of a passing game on lower overall volume. But even with Atlanta going pass-heavy, Jones was impossible for the banged-up 49ers' secondary to contain. 
  • On the other side, George Kittle's 1.06 WOPR was the highest for any tight end in any game this year, as he saw 17 targets on Jimmy Garoppolo's 34 passes, matching Julio's exact line with 13 catches and 134 yards, but without the touchdowns. Kittle's performance was perhaps as dominant as Jones', and both players received for nearly two-thirds of their quarterback's passing yardage. This box score was bananas. 
  • Each team getting a huge performance from their No. 1 passing game option meant relatively little performance elsewhere. For Atlanta, Christian Blake played big snaps for Calvin Ridley, while Russell Gage stayed in the slot. Austin Hooper's snaps also ticked up, and while he caught just three of six passes, there's room for him or one of Blake or Gage to be productive in Week 16 given Jones won't likely post such a dominant target share again. For San Francisco, Emmanuel Sanders and Deebo Samuel remained the second an third options, though each had down games. 
  • Tevin Coleman mixed in a bit more in Week 15, but Raheem Mostert continued his hold on the backfeld. Mostert's snaps have dipped each of the past two weeks since his big Week 13, and he saw 15 of 25 running back touches. He scored yet again, but this is starting to trend toward more of a committee than the past few weeks. 

Signal: Raheem Mostert — still the lead back, but ceded snaps for the second straight week

Noise: Julio Jones/George Kittle — 50% target shares are rare, contrary to this box score

Week 15
Bills 17 - Steelers 10

Snap Notes: James Conner: 58% (first game since Week 11), Jaylen Samuels: 29% (-11 vs. season average), Nick Vannett: 92% (+16 vs. previous season high)

Key Stat: John Brown — 1.01 WOPR

  • Buffalo won its fourth game while scoring 20 or fewer points, leaning on its defense in a fairly uneventful Fantasy matchup. The two teams combined for fewer than 500 yards of total offense. 
  • John Brown was one bright spot, as he dominated the Bills' passing game. Brown caught seven of 10 targets for 99 yards, accounting for more than half of Josh Allen's 13 completions and over 70% of his 139 passing yards. Cole Beasley (6-1-6) and Devin Singletary (3-2-2) were the only other Bills targeted more than twice. 
  • Singletary continues to dominate the backfield, but a sequence in the early second quarter was a microcosm of his Fantasy ceiling. Singletary ripped off an impressive 14-yard run down to the 1, only for Josh Allen to run in the touchdown on the next play.
  • Duck Hodges got the ball down the field more than he has typically, but that also resulted in four interceptions. James Washington was the biggest downfield target, finishing with 212 air yards, second most in the league in Week 15. Washington caught five of his 11 targets for 83 yards, while Diontae Johnson (7-5-62) and Nick Vannett (6-5-40) were utilized more underneath. The downfield nature of Washington's volume was a positive sign, but this is not an effective passing game and it's difficult to trust the volume. We also know that if the Steelers lead at the Jets next week, we'll likely see a far more conservative gameplan. 
  • James Conner returned to a 58% snap share, but rushed just eight times as the Steelers largely abandoned the run, rushing just 15 times overall. Conner did catch a touchdown on one of four receptions. The matchup with the Jets next week is a difficult one, and the Steelers' offense overall is limited. Plus, Conner still ceded a good chunk of snaps to Jaylen Samuels on passing downs and Kerrith Whyte and Benny Snell on early downs that I'm not overly optimistic about Conner's outlook. 

Signal: James Conner — not a full snap share, in a bad offense, tough Week 16 rushing matchup

Noise: James Washington — the 212 air yards are nice on paper, but many downfield looks had no shot of being completed

Week 15
Saints 34 - Colts 7

Snap Notes: Dontrelle Inman: 55% (IND debut), T.Y. Hilton: 52% (first game since Week 12)

Key Stat: Drew Brees — 29-of-30 passing (single-game completion percentage record)

  • On a night where Drew Brees overtook Peyton Manning for the most career passing touchdowns, he also set the single-game completion percentage record by throwing just a single incompletion on 30 attempts. He zeroed in on Michael Thomas, who caught all 12 targets he saw for 128 yards and a score. Thomas is now just 10 catches shy of Marvin Harrison's all-time receptions record of 143 with two games to play, a record Harrison holds by a full seven receptions. Just two other players have ever hit 130 receptions, and yet Thomas is on pace to shatter the record. He's having a truly remarkable season.
  • Behind Thomas, Jared Cook went 4-4-54 as the only other tight end or wide receiver with more than a single target. The running backs combined for eight looks, while Taysom Hill saw two, catching a 28-yard touchdown for Brees' fourth passing score. Tre'Quan Smith and Josh Hill also both scored on their lone targets. 
  • Alvin Kamara's touchdown-less streak continued, but he rushed for at least 4.5 yards per carry for the fifth time in the past six games, though his lack of explosiveness in the passing game persists. In thinking about Kamara's disappointing lack of scoring, I'm reminded of 2017, when Thomas had just two touches through the season's first 11 games before finishing with three in the final five, and two more in the playoffs that year. Thomas has since scored 18 touchdowns in 32 games, playoffs included. The Saints have tended toward more passing touchdowns this season as Brees has the second highest touchdown percentage of his career, but I'm not sure there's much to read into Kamara's lack of scoring other than a weird streak, much like Thomas' in 2017. Kamara scored 33 times in 35 games, playoffs included, entering this season. I continue to expect the touchdowns will come, though the season is of course nearing its end.
  • The Colts offense was completely ineffective until late, and even still finished with just 205 total yards. Jordan Wilkins got the late score, and he split time pretty evenly with Marlon Mack, though snap shares are always difficult to rely on in games that are decided as early as this one was (the score was 27-0 before the Colts ran an offensive snap in the second half). 
  • T.Y. Hilton returned to a limited role, but he still led the Colts with nine targets, though he caught just four. Zach Pascal (6-4-44), Jack Doyle (5-2-21) and Marcus Johnson (4-2-37) all moved a rung down the target totem pole. 

Signal: T.Y. Hilton — plenty of targets even on a limited snap share

Noise: Alvin Kamara — lack of touchdowns; Colts — 205 yards of offense