Targets and Touches: Felix Jones, Jamaal Charles Can't Be Held Back
Fantasy football is all about opportunities. When your players are getting looks, they're usually producing. Targets & Touches analyzes backfield data as well as trends for runners, receivers and tight ends being targeted by their quarterbacks. Let's break it down...
• Deji Karim, not Rashad Jennings (inactive), got the second-most carries for the Jags against the Bills on Sunday. Maurice Jones-Drew had 19 carries for 84 yards and remains a top five back.
• Thomas Jones appears to have officially passed the torch over to Jamaal Charles, who got the bulk of carries in the loss to Indy. Jones looked slow and wasn't involved much, while Charles was explosive and received a handful of targets in the passing game. Consider Charles a solid RB2 going forward.
• Felix Jones took over starting duties from Marion Barber, who is probably done as a significant fantasy producer. Jones rushed 15 times for 109 yards in Sunday's loss to Tennessee, and while the Cowboys are struggling, they'll need to keep feeding Jones if they hope to turn things around.
• Neither Beanie Wells (20 carries for 35 yards) nor Tim Hightower (four carries for 6 yards) were especially effective against the Saints. Expect Wells to do most of the yeoman work, while Hightower is used on passing downs.
• The Raiders running game is looking bright, with Michael Bush capable of handling the workload (26 carries for 104 yards and a TD against the Chargers) until Darren McFadden returns. There's no way of knowing how things will shake out once both backs are healthy, but it's possible there will be a 50-50 split in carries, with McFadden seeing more work in the passing game.
• Arian Foster got the bulk of carries in the loss to the giants, but Derrick Ward vultured a late-game rushing TD. Unless Ward he starts getting more consistent work, he's not a threat to Foster's value.
• Despite some early season struggles and an ankle injury that kept him out Week 3, rookie Ryan Mathews was the more effective back in limited work (nine carries for 59 yards) than Mike Tolbert, who only managed 11 yards on 12 carries.
• Ray Rice (27 carries, 133 yards, two TDs) looked as healthy as a horse in the Ravens' win over the Broncos. Rice was the Week 4 carries leader, but Willis McGahee still contributed with 10 carries for 67 yards and a TD.
• LaDainian Tomlinson (20 carries) and Shonn Greene (10 carries) were both effective once again in a Jets victory. LT has the edge since he's getting twice as many carries, but Greene's value is trending upward.
• With Mark Clayton injured, Danny Amendola had 19 targets in the blowout loss to the Lions. Amendola will likely be a top waiver wire pickup this week and has WR3 value going forward.
• Michael Crabtree was targeted 14 times in the new 49ers offense. He came into Week 5 with just 11 catches for 139 yards in four games this season, but will be a solid fantasy performer if he stays in his coaches' good graces.
• Fantasy stud Hakeem Nicks (50 targets in 2010) had 17 targets for 12-130-2 in the Giants dominating win over the Texans. Mario Manningham disappeared from the stat sheet, and Steve Smith (8 targets, 6-89-1) should be active again this week facing the Lions.
• DeSean Jackson sat out a few plays with a knee injury and was targeted just three times by Kevin Kolb, but Jeremy Maclin's nine targets and 6-95-0 receiving prove he's more valuable at the moment.
• Pierre Garcon got right back into the mix with 14 targets, just 6-57-0 in an unexpected defensive struggle. He and Austin Collie will both be targeted frequently by Peyton Manning, but Garcon's return does lower Collie's value.
• Brandon Lloyd (54 targets on the season) continued his amazing 2010 season with five catches on 14 targets, including two long TDs, giving him 135 receiving yards on the day. If the Broncos fall behind, Lloyd is the guy they use to claw back.
• On just 10 targets, Malcom Floyd had 8-213-1 in the loss to Oakland, while Legedu Naanee had no targets and left early with a hamstring injury.
• Anthony Armstrong had seven targets to Santana Moss's 12 looks, but both contributed. Moss had seven catches for 118 yards, and Armstrong ignited a thrilling Redskins comeback with a TD in the fourth quarter.
• Terrell Owens continues to be Carson Palmer's preferred target, with 13 balls thrown his way en route to a 7-102-1 day. Chad Ochocinco was quiet.
• Roddy White made the most of his eight targets, finishing with five catches for 101 yards and a big TD. Only Owens (61) has more targets in 2010, with White at 58, Reggie Wayne at 56 and Larry Fitzgerald at 55.
• That's right – Fitzgerald owners do have something to get excited about, as the veteran connected with new QB Max Hall for 7-93-0 on 9 targets.
• Of all the receivers with at least eight targets, the worst days were had by Dwayne Bowe (2-33-0) and Carolina rookie Brandon LaFell (1-16-0). Also receiving eight targets on Sunday were Packers WR James Jones and Browns WR Chansi Stuckey.
• Roy Williams appears to be back in the Dallas game plan, with 8 targets and 6-87-1 in the loss to Tennessee. Miles Austin was targeted a game-high 12 times (9-166-1).
• Steve Johnson saw nine balls thrown his way, converting those opportunities into 5-46-2, while teammate Lee Evans went for 5-87-1 on eight 8 targets.
• Despite injury, Andre Johnson had 14 targets, while Kevin Walter posted 2-24-0 on five targets. Johnson's ankle shouldn't keep him out of action this week, and he remains a must-start WR1 based on his big-play capability.
• Jags TE Marcedes Lewis has more fantasy points than Indy TE Dallas Clark this season despite 21 fewer targets. Clark leads all TEs in targets this season (44) and has 31 catches for 295 yards and three TDs, but Lewis has 16 catches for 192 and five scores. The only TEs with more value are Antonio Gates (41 targets, 29-478-7), Dustin Keller (35 targets, 21-268-5), and Zach Miller (41 targets, 28-340-3).
• With Jermichael Finley out at least three weeks and Donald Lee slated to miss some time with a chest sprain, look for Green Bay reserve Andrew Quarless to see more action. If Aaron Rodgers misses any time, Quarless might be an option for Matt Flynn as the young QB will likely play it safe.
• Chris Cooley led all NFL tight ends in targets in Week 5 with 12, while Brent Celek, Kellen Winslow and Jason Witten – all of whom had been quiet recently – each had nine.