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NFL Week 5 Usage Trends: Fantasy Football Notes for All 32 Teams

In fantasy football, usage and opportunity are king. Fantasy points can’t accrue on our teams unless our players accumulate the snaps, attempts, and targets that lead to yards and touchdowns.

This weekly piece will look at usage trends from each NFL team from a fantasy angle. We will look at who is gaining and who is losing opportunities in order to make better future roster decisions.

If you have interesting usage notes, feel free to reach out to me on X (@CableBoxScore) and let me know. Let’s dive into Week 5 usage!

NFL Week 5 Usage Trends



Only two players in the NFL have at least 10 targets in three of the past four weeks. Their names are Puka Nacua and Marquise Brown. Brown is up to a 29.3% target share over the last three weeks.


Kyle Pitts Pops

Somehow, in his lowest snap share of the season (53%), Kyle Pitts had his best game of the season with 11 targets, seven catches, and 87 yards. Maybe, just MAYBE, if he can put together a complete game with that kind of target share, we might be able to see the Kyle Pitts who was drafted fourth overall by the Falcons.


Not Exactly aDOT Kings

There are 65 receivers who average at least 12.0 yards per reception through five weeks. Only one of them (Nelson Agholor, 12.1, 64th on the list) is a Baltimore Raven. The increased passing game that was supposed to happen for the Ravens this year has not materialized (51% rush rate, second-most in the NFL).


Cooking in London

You can likely throw the results of this game out with Buffalo traveling to London and playing Jacksonville, who had been there nine days already. But James Cook looked Cooked. He saw his highest snap share of the season (62%), and got only four yards on five rush attempts and three catches. Also worrisome, his second week of the 2023 campaign with zero Red Zone usage.


Thielen Old Man Red Zone

Adam Thielen had four Red Zone targets against the Lions on Sunday. Why is that important? First, it was second to Ja’Marr Chase in the entire NFL. Second, he had three total RZ targets in the first four weeks. He is now the go-to weapon in this offense.


Moore Receptions, Please!

With 230 receiving yards on eight catches, D.J. Moore became the second player since the year 2000 to reach that number on eight or fewer catches (Justin Blackmon, 2012). Moore was also just the 11th player all-time to accomplish that feat.


Burrow Needs More Time

Similarly, Ja’Marr Chase became just the third player since 2017 (but second this year!) to record at least 190 yards on at least 19 targets. Keenan Allen also accomplished the feat in Week 3. Chase’s 43.2% target share was the fourth-highest by a single player this year.


Cleveland Did Not Play in Week 5


Dak Destroys Dallas

Forty wide receivers and tight ends had at least five receptions in Week 5, but none of them were Dallas Cowboys. Dak Prescott’s 51.6 passer rating was the worst of his season and was only marginally better than Jordan Love and Mac Jones.


Jaleel White Hot

Filling in for injured Javonte Williams, backup Jaleel McLaughlin only played 33% of snaps, but was the superior running back on Sunday. He had three more rush attempts, 46 more rushing yards, and only one less catch than Samaje Perine. McLaughlin also had one of the highlight-reel touchdowns of the day.


Pour Me a Jameson

It was a four-man wide receiver committee on Sunday with Amon-Ra St. Brown out. Jameson Williams, fresh off suspension, played 47% of snaps but had just two catches for two yards. It’s going to take time for him to get up to speed.


Falling Out of Love

Take it away Warren Sharp…


Dameon Pierce Appreciation

Pierce had 20 carries in this game against Atlanta, and that’s now back-to-back weeks with at least 20. The Texans are featuring him more and even though he had only 66 rushing yards on Sunday, he led the league by rushing for 24 yards under expectation.


Minshew Mania

With Gardner Minshew taking over for a few weeks (Anthony Richardson shoulder injury), we should pay attention to his tendencies. He apparently only has eyes for two receivers: Michael Pittman and Alec Downs. They saw 13 of the 18 WR/RB targets in the game.


Put the Tank to Bed

After playing in just 15% of snaps and touching the ball only three times (all season-lows), it’s clear either Tank Bigsby doesn’t like British food or Travis Etienne is the full-blown workhorse in this Jacksonville backfield.


Rice is Cooking

Something to monitor going forward: Only Jaylen Waddle and Ja’Marr Chase saw more targets inside the 10-yard line than Rashee Rice. It might have been a product of Travis Kelce missing time, but Rice is clearly earning trust from Mahomes.


Jacobs’ Fall Off the Ladder

According to Nathan Jahnke of PFF, Josh Jacobs is now averaging less than 4.0 yards per carry in every game he has played in 2023. He reached that number just six times in 17 games in 2022.


Los Angeles Did Not Play in Week 5


Kyren and Puka Power

So much for easing Cooper Kupp back into things. He played on 95% of the snaps for the Rams, saw 12 targets (a team high), was fifth in target share (35.3%), and was seventh in total air yards (137)


Tua Short Stuff

Somehow, Tua Tagovailoa threw for 308 yards and two scores despite 11 of his 22 completions being at or behind the line of scrimmage. His 4.7 average intended air yards was the lowest in the league and the only players who had fewer air yards were two backups who didn’t start their team’s games (Gardner Minshew and Tyrod Taylor). It sure does amazing things for your stat line when you have a player like Tyreek Hill who turned a 30-yard pitch into a 70-yard touchdown.


Akers Plays Spoiler

Jordan Addison became the go-to guy on Sunday when Justin Jefferson went out, and he is a strong play this week with Jefferson unlikely to play. Addison’s three Red Zone targets were third in the NFL last week.


Mac’s Weapons Don’t Fire

All this kerfuffle about Mac Jones complaining about not having any weapons might have some merit. In the entire NFL, the bottom two receivers in creating cushion on their routes are both Patriots (minimum 13 targets) according to Next Gen Stats. And their best guy in that department (Demario Douglas) just played 13% of the snaps.


Red Zone Reliability

The Saints had 10 opportunities in the Red Zone against the Patriots on Sunday and eight of them went to Alvin Kamara (6) and Taysom Hill (2). Chris Olave had one target, which was his fourth game of the season with one or fewer. Olave is going to have to get his scores via the long pass if he wants them.


Daniel Jones in the Depths

Out of 32 NFL teams, Daniel Jones ranks 34th among quarterbacks with 2.8 adjusted net yards per attempt. One of those backups ahead of him is Gardner Minshew who went 172 picks after Daniel Jones in the same draft. Just something fun for the Giants’ fans to think about then they are paying him $30 million next year.


Hall Pass

Well, it was nice knowing you, Dalvin Cook. Breece Hall finally played more than 50% of the snaps on Sunday and you surely have heard he broke a big run for a 72-yard touchdown. More importantly, Hall handled seven of the nine running back opportunities in the Red Zone on Sunday.


Brown is Doing For You

A.J. Brown’s 694 air yards are 90 more than any other NFL wide receiver this year and he ranks sixth in yards after the catch. All that grumbling got him involved with this offense in a big way – he is now second only to Davante Adams in target share on the season (32.9%).


Picken’ on the Ravens

George Pickens led all wide receivers in air yards with 196 in Week 5. That number was a full 40% of his season total. And his 10 targets tied for a career high that was set….two weeks ago. This is  a player on the ascent and if Kenny Pickett can every figure out how play quarterback, Pickens will be a superstar.


Purdy, Purdy, Purdy Good

Two numbers can describe how well Brock Purdy is playing right now. First up – 4. That’s Purdy’s QB rank over the last three weeks in fantasy. Second – 5. Purdy has five straight games with at least 200 passing yards and no interceptions. That is just three games short of the all-time record.


Seattle Did Not Play in Week 5


Tampa Bay Did Not Play in Week 5


Tip of the Spears

That’s now four out of five games with more than 50% of snaps played for Tyjae Spears. This week, it was in a completely neutral game script with no need for long periods of catch-up or mop-up duty. Spears was more efficient that Henry on Sunday and was the running back who found the end zone.


Scary Terry

In his last nine games dating back to last season, Terry McLaurin averages 5.9 targets, 4.4 receptions, and just 56 yards. And much to fantasy managers’ dismay, McLaurin has scored just five touchdowns in his last 21 games.

Data Sources: Pro Football Focus, NFL Next Gen Stats, Football Guys Snap Summary, FTN Air Yards, Pro Football Reference, Team Rankings

Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterback | Running Back | Wide Receiver | Tight End | Half-PPR by Position | Flex Rankings | Positional Ranks w/ K & DST | Dynasty | Superflex Dynasty

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