Monday, October 8, 2012
Fantasy Watch: Playing time in Week 5
By Mike Sando
Our weekly look at playing time in the NFC West, slanted toward fantasy football:
- Arizona Cardinals: The pecking order at wide receiver remains firmly established with Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Roberts playing just about all the offensive snaps. Early Doucet played two-thirds of the snaps as the third wideout. Rookie Michael Floyd played 40 percent. Injuries at running back and tight end contributed to increased snaps for Floyd, as did game circumstances (Arizona trailed). Second-year tight end Rob Housler made a positive impact as a receiver for the second week in a row, showing he deserves continued playing time even when veteran Todd Heap returns from a knee injury.
- St. Louis Rams: The situation at receiver remains in flux after the Rams lost top wideout Danny Amendola for an estimated six weeks. Austin Pettis saw additional snaps (32 percent) against Arizona, but veteran Steve Smith, who was inactive for the game, could factor as well. Rookie fourth-round choice Chris Givens justified his playing time (84 percent) with another 50-plus yard reception. He played more than Brandon Gibson (62 percent) and appears on the rise. Rookie second-round wideout Brian Quick played 12 snaps (21 percent). The split at running back worked out to 64 percent for Steven Jackson and 36 percent for Daryl Richardson. Jackson played 67 percent of the snaps last season, missing one game to injury.
- San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers' blowout victory gave them an opportunity to get more players involved. Mario Manningham led the 49ers' receivers with 32 snaps (48 percent). Michael Crabtree, who generally plays the most among San Francisco wideouts, played 43 percent. Kyle Williams was at 30 percent and Randy Moss played 27 percent. Second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick played 19 snaps, a season high. The team continues to work him into the regular offense as a Wildcat-type player. Kaepernick got a chance to finish this game after starter Alex Smith helped build the big lead.
- Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks played with two backs or two tight ends a significant portion of the time. Fullback Michael Robinson played nearly half the offensive snaps. Second tight end Anthony McCoy played 42 percent. That left fewer snaps for the team's various wide receivers. Sidney Rice played 45 snaps (69 percent). Golden Tate played 63 percent, followed by Ben Obomanu (34 percent), Doug Baldwin (25 percent) and Braylon Edwards (15 percent). Seattle got its skill players more involved in the passing game. Tight end Zach Miller (91 percent) made a key reception over the middle. Rice, Tate and Baldwin contributed.