Typically, a team’s best and most clutch players are on the field for nearly every snap. If a player can make a key catch on third down to keep the chains moving, then he’s usually on the field for first and second down, as well.

That’s not the case for New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola, who has played just 43.57 percent of snaps this season. The Patriots seem to save Amendola for only the most important moments. Case in point: Amendola is tied for the team lead in third-down targets despite playing significantly fewer snaps than other skill-position players like Brandin Cooks, Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan.

He’d prefer to play more.

“Whenever they tell me to go in, I go in,” Amendola said last week. “I want to expand my role and be out there every play. Whatever I can do to make the team win.”

It’s not surprising that Amendola ranks second among slot receivers, behind the Minnesota Vikings’ Adam Thielen, in targets per routes run. Amendola has been targeted on 23.2 percent of the passing plays he’s on the field. And there’s a reason why Brady depends on him so heavily. He’s catching 78.2 percent of the passes Brady throws his way for a 113.8 passer rating.