Cordarrelle Patterson is in prime position, even though the season is in it’s infancy, to be a 2021 league winner. But is that set to change? Or something that we can rely on for the season? We take a look at
The first thing to consider is how often is Patterson actually on the field? A wise man once told me you can only score point if you are on the field.
As you can see, he has far fewer snaps than Mike Davis (the assumed starter on the depth chart). But, that isn’t something that is particularly alarming. Patterson is still out on the field often enough to have a good workload in the offense.
The worry will be if Wayne Gallman continues to eat into Patterson’s snaps. Gallman saw his first action of the season in Week 4, and looked good on his six carries for 29 yards.
Snap Count Verdict
Patterson has enough of a snap share to be effective in the offense. His role is also somewhat steady, week to week, although Gallman’s involvement could limit Patterson having a larger role.
The next thing to consider is just how effective and heavily involved is Patterson when he is on the field? Despite being on the field just under a third of the time, he is third on the team in targets with 22 this season. That is a target share of just under 14%. He also leads the team in scoring, with one rushing TD and 4 receiving TDs.
For those stats, Patterson is seeing an effective workload unmatched from anyone else on the team. Patterson sees a rush attempt every 3.6 snaps he is on the field, compared to Davis with 3.9 snaps per rushing attempt. He also gets a target every 4.6 snaps, compared to the team’s leading receiver Calvin Ridley.
Simply, if Patterson is on the field, he is likely to be getting the ball. A trend that continues in the redzone.
Part of the reason for Patterson being so heavily involved is the injury to Russell Gage. Gage has operated in the slot heavily in his career. Patterson has operated in a hybrid role between the backfield and being in the slot with Gage’s absence.
Snap Count Verdict
When on the field, Patterson has been given the ball. With his skillset, he has been used out of the backfield and as a receiver.
Patterson’s opponents aren’t the greatest against the RB position, the only real good unit he faced has been Tampa Bay. Ironically, that was a game that Patterson scored both a rushing and receiving TD in. What made people sit up and notice however, was his performance against the Washington Football Team where he scored 3 TDs.
Week 5 brings a game in the UK, against the Jets who have struggled to stop the run this season. With Calvin Ridley not travelling with the team, Patterson is likely to be given a few more touches in the offense.
After the Bye Week
After the bye week, the team have a mixed schedule. It starts off nice matchup against Miami, but then there are three weeks of defenses that are good at defending the position. (Panthers, Saints , and Cowboys respectively).
The Falcons then matchup against the Patriots and Jaguars, before another tough stretch against their divisional rivals, Tampa Bay and Carolina.
The playoff schedule is nice, with the 49ers in Week 15, before Detroit (who are the worst in the league against the position). But then Week 17 (maybe your playoff final) brings a tricky matchup against the Bills
Snap Count Verdict
The Falcons schedule tightens up after their bye week, with only a handful of easier matchups (on paper). There is a clear reason to worry about the mid-season schedule.
So is Patterson a League Winner?
The short answer is yes. But not for the reason that you think. Yes, if you decide to roster him, you have to put him into your lineup and ride the wave.
But really the reason he is a league winner is that he gives you an opportunity to improve your roster. The hype around Patterson is real, and if you can cash that in for a solid piece I would do it.
Let’s not forget that Patterson was a late-round draft selection, or waiver wire pickup. Turning that into an every week starting piece (or two if you combine something else on your roster) seems the logical way to act with Patterson.