Targets and touches can influence a fantasy football player's value, but utilization totals fluctuate week to week, depending on game and roster circumstances. In Fantasy Football On Target, we dissect those conditions to determine whether target trends are patterns or flukes.
For a complete listing of targets and touches, check out our Statistics Analyzer and Utilizations pages.
You'll also find more fantasy football risers in our Fantasy Football Waiver Wire.
Andre Ellington, who logged an impressive 36-yard touchdown toss Sunday, looks like the third-down back. Bruce Arians said the rookie can carry the load if given the chance. Ellington could have occasional PPR flex use even as a situational player. His score came when both he and Mendy were lined up in the backfield, so they'll probably continue to find creative ways to get him involved.
Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring) will probably be hobbled for the next few weeks and is a much safer play in point-per-reception games.
Ax for S-Jax in Week 3
Steven Jackson (thigh) has been ruled out for Week 3. Expect a split between Jacquizz Rodgers (PPR) and Jason Snelling (goal line duties). The latter will cost you less to FAAB and might wind up offering a better return for the price.
With Roddy White (high ankle sprain) still serving as a decoy, Harry Douglas sustains mild, matchup-based PPR utility.
Baltimore went to Bernard Pierce after Ray Rice sustained a hip injury Sunday, but the backup mustered 57 yards on 19 carries. The starter is day-to-day. Pierce was already considered a threat for touches coming into the season, so he's a must-own now.
Joe Flacco got the ball in Torrey Smith's hands quickly on many of his 13 targets, using short routes to work around Joe Haden -- noteworthy for the Week 9 rematch. Start-worthy Marlon Brown (six targets in each of his first two games) has benefitted from extra attention sent Smith's way and the lack of reliable TE play.
It was another close utilization split between C.J. Spiller (21) and Fred Jackson (18), but Spiller shifted momentum back his way. The workload for both will continue to be more situation-defined than Spiller owners would care for, but he'll still export plenty of RB1 weeks.
Despite Scott Chandler's second straight week with six targets, Robert Woods is the main fantasy aerial complement to Stevie Johnson. EJ Manuel entrusted his fellow rookie seven times in Week 2. Woods' polish makes him worth owning as a WR5.
Steve Smith and Greg Olsen remain the only playable receiving components. Problem is Smith's 9.4 yards-per-grab average reflects how quickly Cam Newton must let go, thanks to their shoddy O-line. Newton is probably trying to do too much, to the detriment of this questionable, often conservative system.
Concerns about Martellus Bennett having to block have been eased: He has 15 targets, 10 targets and three touchdown grabs over his first two contests. Marc Trestman obviously values him as a weapon. Bennett has weekly borderline TE1 value.
Giovani Bernard's two-touchdown Monday night effort should do wonders for his involvement going forward. This offense's big-play ability multiplies by about a billion when he's on the field.
In other news, Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert continue limiting each other's ceilings with their continued involvement.
What horrible timing for Josh Gordon: Brandon Weeden (thumb) won't play in Week 3. Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer can't be trusted for deep plays yet. Though they'll continue throwing to Jordan Cameron, among wideouts, they'll probably focus on Davone Bess, Greg Little and Travis Benjamin.
DeMarco Murray, more....
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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