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.
WAIVER WIRE: Chris Ivory's latest injury (bum quad) may keep him out for a bit, meaning Powell has an inside track at this utilization pace for the near future. His penchant for pass protection should make him an every-down option with the New York Jets.
Murray saw an increase following rampant reports that the Dallas Cowboys needed to run more. Granted, it was the same St. Louis Rams he carved up in 2011, but his vision looked better. Can they keep the same balance effectively in tighter game situations than Sunday's, though?
Pierce may not have that busy a day if Ray Rice (hip) can return this weekend, but expect something similar for as long as the starter must sit. He's a necessary handcuff, obviously. Ditto for Bell with Reggie Bush (knee).
MJD found the end zone but had just 62 offensive yards on 21 touches. They'll keep working him, and maybe the Jacksonville Jaguars' plans to ditch the zone-blocking scheme will work, but he's probably still not at optimal physical shape yet.
Bradshaw saw more work for T-Rich's first game in Indy, but Richardson found the end zone and should move into primary duties as he digests more of the playbook. He'll fit crisply into this offense.
WAIVER WIRE: Expect similar splits between Rodgers and Snelling that could last for at least another month with Steven Jackson (hamstring) out. Snelling is the goal-line option and better fantasy play most of the time because he can do a lot of the same things Rodgers can.
Even though Marc Trestman said Michael Bush is the Chicago Bears' designated goal line back, that's not going to limit Forte's workload all that much. It especially won't cripple his PPR value.
Lynch's lighter day was merely a result of the Seattle Seahawks' demolition of the Jacksonville Jaguars. No concerns over his stability.
WAIVER WIRE: Mark Ingram's toe injury and ineffectiveness so far could result in his permanent demotion or exit from the New Orleans Saints. Thomas owners, as a result, should feel pretty good about his potential for double-digit outings in point-per-reception games.
WAIVER WIRE: Ryan Mathews continues to lose time on passing downs, no-huddles, etc. to Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Brown. He continues to settle for flex-worthiness in the San Diego Chargers' carousel. Woodhead, meanwhile, could still be had for valuable bye fill-in value.
WAIVER WIRE: Don't get too excited about Franklin yet. Sure, one of Eddie Lacy (concussion) and James Starks (knee) could miss the Green Bay Packers' next game, but that's not until Week 5, so there's a chance Franklin will go back to a No. 3 role.
Franklin, however, acquitted himself well, so a rational, limited-expectations bid in free agency makes sense if he keeps his change-of-pace speed role.
Running out the clock
- WAIVER WIRE: Brandon Bolden's first game back for the New England Patriots may have entrenched him as the third-down, passing-formation specialist. LeGarrette Blount's previous work there was shoehorned because of need but will invade Stevan Ridley's territory most of the time if this arrangement sticks. Ridley shouldn't be dropped, but it'll be a rougher road with these two joining the committee. Bolden should earn waiver-wire cred for the chance he becomes the new Vereen, potentially making him the most secure PPR play.
- WAIVER WIRE: An opponent stepped on Daryl Richardson's injured foot and forced him to leave Sunday's game. Isaiah Pead and Benny Cunningham split the rest of the work. The St. Louis Rams play Thursday night. If Richardson can't go, they'll probably have a Pead-Cunningham pair again, with Pead the more desired fantasy component.
- WAIVER WIRE: Willis McGahee only mustered nine yards on eight carries in his Cleveland Browns debut, but he'll still be the main carrier in this no-name backfield, whatever that's worth. Any majority rumbler is worth a pickup anyway.
- WAIVER WIRE: A few KFFLers noted Jonathan Dwyer's clutch Week 3 pass protection. He may be separating himself from the group and earning a weekly role, even after Le'Veon Bell (foot) returns. Scoop up Bell and Dwyer wherever you can.
- The New York Giants were attempting a comeback during their 38-0 debacle, so they didn't run much. But David Wilson (11) was still utilized more times than Da'Rel Scott and Brandon Jacobs combined (seven). The 0-3 G-Men might have to abandon the run game frequently if they keep playing like this. Still, Wilson owners shouldn't sell him for pennies. He's still the best carrier here.
- Alfonso Smith plunged in for a TD Sunday but came in third for Arizona Cardinals backfield utilizations. It's still Rashard Mendenhall and Andre Ellington for the top two spots until further notice.
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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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