De’Von Achane had played six offensive snaps all season entering Week 3 and then finished as the RB1 with 51.3 PPR points against the Broncos. We’re going to get a lot of stuff wrong, but sifting through usage metrics can help us work through what matters and what doesn’t. That’s the goal of this article: to break down the most actionable takeaways from each week in a concise, numbers-filled format and work through what’s important. Let’s get right to it.
De’Von Achane and Raheem Mostert finish as RB1 and RB2 as Dolphins score 70
Achane and Mostert were the two highest-scoring fantasy RBs on the week, an incredible feat for two teammates considering there are only so many touches to go around. It helps, of course, when both players score four touchdowns and top 140 total yards apiece.
Achane is the most notable piece here considering he went from a healthy scratch in Week 1 to 10% of snaps in Week 2 to the positional scoring leader in his third week on an NFL roster. Mostert still played ahead of the rookie in all situations, playing 51% of snaps to Achane’s 41%, including out-snapping him 23-15 on early downs and 3-1 on late downs, but a 200-yard, four-TD showing is exactly what the Texas A&M product needed to warrant a bigger role moving forward. And it wasn’t like Achane only started getting touches when the game was out of hand — he got the majority of touches on the Dolphins’ second drive and out-carried Mostert 10-7 in the first half (although Mostert did have five receptions as well). Salvon Ahmed had just three carries in each of Miami’s first two games, so the Dolphins made a concerted effort to alleviate the load on Mostert and get Achane involved, even when the game result was still in question.
The next step for Achane is getting more involved in the receiving game, as he was heralded as a strong pass catcher coming out of college, but that role belonged to Mostert in Week 3 (18-11 routes and 7-4 targets). Achane is likely to be efficient, but it’ll be hard for him to be a weekly starter if he’s playing behind Mostert on passing downs. With that being said, it’s still Week 3 and we saw Achane’s role grow exponentially within a one-week span, so it’s pretty reasonable to think he eventually grows into that receiving role so many expected in preseason.
Jeff Wilson‘s eventual return will cloud this backfield’s outlook further, but it will be almost impossible for the Dolphins to minimize Achane’s role after the performance he had in Week 3. Mostert and Wilson are not going to go away — McDaniel has so much familiarity/trust in them from the years they have spent together — but it also makes sense to manage their touches considering their ages and Miami’s Super Bowl aspirations. Mostert will likely remain the lead back usage-wise in the short term, but it’s hard to see him holding off Achane for RB1 duties the rest of the season after what we saw on Sunday.
Jahmyr Gibbs gets 17 carries with David Montgomery (thigh) out
With Montgomery sidelined due to a thigh injury, Gibbs took over as the RB1 with Craig Reynolds mixing in behind him, but the usage wasn’t like we expected. Gibbs had 17 carries vs. a combined seven for Reynolds and Zonovan Knight (three of which came on the Lions’ second-to-last drive up 20-6). Per PFF’s Nathan Jahnke, he played 32 of 47 snaps on early downs. Interestingly, Knight got a carry before Reynolds despite signing with the team just last week, so he could push ahead of Reynolds in the coming weeks.
Gibbs did not have a monopoly on passing downs as many expected. The rookie played six third downs, the same number as Reynolds, and he ran just 20 routes on 37 Jared Goff dropbacks. That 54.1% route participation mark isn’t terrible, but it’s not what we expected from Gibbs given his reputation as a brilliant pass catcher and the absence of Montgomery. Gibbs had just two targets for a 6.1% target share, as Amon-Ra St. Brown and Sam LaPorta dominated the passing volume for Detroit.
Gibbs’ passing-down role will surely grow throughout the season; Dan Campbell has alluded to the team wanting to take things slowly with their first-round pick rather than thrusting him into a full-time role right away. The role sans Montgomery is still pretty good, as the Alabama product was essentially a workhorse carries-wise when the game result was still in question. However, the PPR goodness we expected from the 12th overall pick may take longer than expected, even without Montgomery. The fact that he’s getting this many carries without Montgomery is very good for his outlook because it means a true three-down role is possible later in the season. In the short term without Montgomery, Gibbs is a fringe RB1, but he falls back into flex territory once his usual backfield mate returns. I’d still be buying Gibbs if the person who has him in your league is upset with the lack of receptions, as that will likely materialize later in the year.
Marvin Mims dazzles again in extremely limited role
Mims is averaging 7.2 yards per route run through his first three NFL games. His 0.29 targets per route run is elite in its own right, but his 21.7 yards per target is propelling him to truly ridiculous (and wildly unsustainable) efficiency, admittedly on a very small sample. Mims also has two special teams touchdowns in his past two games, housing a punt return in Week 2 and a kickoff return on Sunday.
It’s no secret that this efficiency will take a big step back, but it should lead to a bigger role eventually, especially since Brandon Johnson is the current WR3 in Denver. Johnson ran 25 routes in both Week 2 and Week 3, while Mims saw only a slight increase from seven Week 2 routes to 11 on Sunday. Running as the WR4 on an average passing offense means Mims is nowhere near startable in fantasy right now despite the massive performances recently.
With that being said, Sean Payton was reportedly high on Mims throughout the draft process and Denver traded up to draft him, so redshirting him while an uninspiring journeyman in Johnson takes snaps the entire season would be unheard of. Mims’ time is coming, and the more he plays like he did in Weeks 2-3, the sooner it will arrive. The Oklahoma speedster has played just 48 snaps in three games (and his raw snap count has actually decreased each week). Fantasy players may be tempted to sell high as a result of his recent performances since his volume metrics have been bad; I’d recommend holding onto him, as the role should grow based on how well he has played. I don’t expect Mims to suddenly ascend into a full-time role in Week 4, but it would be surprising if he’s not an every-snap player sometime in the second half of the year.
Keenan Allen dominates with 18-catch outing; Mike Williams to miss rest of season with torn ACL
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