Fantasy Football On Target: Check out these replacements for Reggie Wayne

by Tim Heaney on October 24, 2013 @ 08:40:17 PDT

 

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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 conditions to determine whether target trends are patterns or flukes.

KFFL Target Data

For a complete listing of targets and touches, check out our Statistics Analyzer and Utilizations pages.

Find more fantasy football risers in our Fantasy Football Waiver Wire.

Running backs

Week 7 utilizations
Rk
Player
Tm
Wk 6
1
Chris Ivory
NYJ
36
2
Eddie Lacy
GB
29
3
Frank Gore
SF
27
4
Jamaal Charles
KC
25
5
Reggie Bush
DET
25
6
LeSean McCoy
PHI
25
7
Peyton Hillis
NYG
24
8
Marshawn Lynch
SEA
24
9
Joseph Randle
DAL
23
10
Knowshon Moreno
DEN
21
11
Ryan Mathews
SD
21
12
Zac Stacy
STL
21
13
Ray Rice
BAL
20
14
Le'Veon Bell
PIT
20

WAIVER WIRE: Bilal Powell was fighting a neck injury heading into Week 7, but Rex Ryan intimated that Chris Ivory's busy day was a case of the matchup against an injury-depleted New England Patriots front seven. Ivory, who only averaged 3.1 per tote, was a recommended add last week because the New York Jets lost Mike Goodson (knee). He'll log weeks like this, but Ivory is no more than an RB2 in a tasty matchup. Often, the momentum will remain with Powell, especially if Gang Green needs to throw a bunch.

The Dallas Cowboys gave Joseph Randle plenty of work but not the goal-line handle from Phillip Tanner, who converted it. DeMarco Murray's knee-related sideline stay will keep Randle as the primary carrier, but if Lance Dunbar (hamstring) returns this week, Randle's flex value becomes more tenuous.

Peyton Hillis stepped up with Brandon Jacobs (hamstring) and David Wilson (neck) out. He looked a bit like his 2010 incarnation. Of course, he also averaged 2.0 yards per carry and relied on a scoring plunge and a 5-45-0 receiving night. He said he wasn't staying in shape when he got a call and at times felt like he was out of gas. The fact the New York Giants trusted him more than rookie Michael Cox says he'll probably get the majority work as long as it's only the two of them. Of course, this may prove moot in the long term if Jacobs can return soon, and definitely will if Andre Brown (leg) resurfaces from short-term IR.

Ryan Mathews has carried it 43 times and averaged 4.9 yards per in the last two weeks. It took the San Diego Chargers a bit of time, but they seem to be using Mathews in the right situations and methods. Though he'll deliver RB1-type weeks, Danny Woodhead (13 utilizations) will be deployed more often if they need to pass more. Clock control and weak D-lines favor Mathews.

Alfred Morris' 95 yards (19 utilizations) made for a solid fantasy day, but the three red-zone touchdowns that went to Roy Helu (13) stole the Washington Redskins' backfield thunder. The 'Skins went with a lot of no-huddle, which clicked for Helu. With Robert Griffin III getting his legs back under him, this could be a productive offense with each carrier posting RB2 numbers. Owners of each, however, don't like this development as much as Washington does. (Hint: The Denver Broncos matchup looks like another Helu week.)

Ray Rice's tepid stats isn't due to a lack of tries. He's still coming around from a hip flexor strain. He said he felt better coming into this week, and he flashed such health at times, despite him averaging only 3.0 YPC. The Baltimore Ravens' heavy focus on no-huddles plus shotgun and spread formations Sunday was an experiment to try jolting the run game. It didn't work consistently but should make us cautiously optimistic about Rice, especially with how often he touches the rock.

  • Arian Foster (hamstring) and Ben Tate (broken ribs) will be watched carefully during their Week 8 bye. The Houston Texans' house-cleaning of their RB corps leaves fantasy speculators in limbo. However, given the offensive line's erratic play and QB efforts, it's hard to get excited about any middling commodity running behind a zone scheme that's a shell of its peak.
  • WAIVER WIRE: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers don't necessarily believe Doug Martin's shoulder injury is season-ending, but first-year bruiser Mike James would carry the load for any missed time. He ran with the ball 14 times after Martin exited Sunday but doesn't have the same two-way excitement Martin displayed at his peak.
  • C.J. Spiller's bum ankle continues to hinder his involvement and results, per Doug Marrone, so Fred Jackson won't be yielding majority duties anytime soon for the Buffalo Bills. Spiller may even miss a game or two coming up so he can recover.
  • Trent Richardson and Donald Brown each had 14 utilizations. The Indianapolis Colts haven't gotten steady results when using T-Rich as the work horse, and Brown has broken a few big plays as the changeup. Richardson often seems flat when he runs and will need to show more to pull away in terms of workload. This backfield, like many others, is a game-pace situation.
  • Another game, another long dump-off touchdown to Chris Johnson: Expect the Tennessee Titans to continue this trend of waiting for defenses allowing him to slip away into a receiving role. Looks like it's his best way to contribute.
  • Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin expects a near even split between Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller moving forward. The backs looked like they improved in yards after contact following their bye week, while the offense also focused on more north-south calls. That style would favor Thomas. Miller has more upside but hasn't displayed enough of it to lock up the gig. Of course, the Buffalo Bills were a favorable matchup, so don't expect this efficiency every time.

Wide receivers

Week 7 utilizations
Rk
Player
Tm
Wk 6
1
Vincent Jackson
TB
22
2
Dez Bryant
DAL
16
3
Calvin Johnson
DET
15
4
Stevie Johnson
BUF
13
5
Cecil Shorts
JAX
13
6
Eric Decker
DEN
13
7
Wes Welker
DEN
12
8
Jason Avant
PHI
12
9
Kendall Wright
TEN
12
10
T.Y. Hilton
IND
11
11
Mike Wallace
MIA
11
12
Brian Hartline
MIA
11

Vincent Jackson now has 47 targets in his first three outings with Mike Glennon. With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' potential season-long loss of Martin in the backfield, expect something close to this pace to continue.

Thaddeus Lewis enjoyed having a healthy Stevie Johnson back in the fold, though the receiver only had six catches for 61 yards. Johnson had just nine combined targets in his previous two efforts. It's reasonable to expect the chemistry to improve; Lewis has proven serviceable, and at times exciting, taking snaps.

Nick Foles and Matt Barkley leaned on Jason Avant as the Philadelphia Eagles tried to get the pass game going. Brandon Carr contained DeSean Jackson and Riley Cooper had seven targets, so it was a day of taking what the D gave them. Reports say Michael Vick (hamstring) may return this weekend, and the matchup looks more promising for D-Jax. Avant is not a confident fantasy play because he doesn't typically convert his busy days into points.

Jake Locker's return to the Tennessee Titans improves their downfield launching ability. Expect him to continue leaning on Kendall Wright, Nate Washington (10 looks) and tight end Delanie Walker (five), with project Kenny Britt looking more and more like trade bait. If Britt lands somewhere with a decent aerial game (Indianapolis Colts?), he may be worth a flyer, but there's a lot of finger-crossing involved.

WAIVER WIRE: Speaking of Indy, T.Y. Hilton will now become an every-down wideout after the unfortunate torn ACL for Reggie Wayne. Darrius Heyward-Bey's presence in the base package makes things smoother for him; he could be a more consistent PPR contributor unless Indy upgrades from external sources. Wayne's departure elevates Coby Fleener's likely offensive responsibilities while placing LaVon Brazill on fantasy watch-list status.

Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline garnered equal attention, but from the slot, Brandon Gibson gave the Dolphins the biggest advantage Sunday with an eight-target, 5-40-2 afternoon. It's going to be hard knowing when to play him, but when you need a flex installment, and the Phins are facing a weak secondary, he's not a bad activation.

Tight ends

Week 7 utilizations
Rk
Player
Tm
Wk 6
1
Rob Gronkowski
NE
17
2
Jordan Reed
WAS
9
3
Kyle Rudolph
MIN
9
4
Jordan Cameron
CLE
9
5
Vernon Davis
SF
8
6
Garrett Graham
HOU
8
7
Rob Housler
ARI
7
8
Jared Cook
STL
7
9
Brandon Pettigrew
DET
7
10
Zach Miller
SEA
7
11
Jeff Cumberland
NYJ
7

Think Tom Brady missed Rob Gronkowski? Expect him to lead the New England Patriots in targets most weeks as a must-start in fantasy.

WAIVER WIRE: Jordan Reed's 15 targets in his last two games, including his standout Sunday, and the Washington Redskins' reported shopping of Fred Davis should cement the former's weekly role in this O.

Kyle Rudolph has 20 targets in the last two weeks but, given the Minnesota Vikings' QB trials, won't always capitalize on the attention. He gained just 27 yards on three receptions as Josh Freeman was getting his footing under him. At least Rudolph gets enough attention to earn borderline TE1 weight.

Not a surprise that Case Keenum leaned on Garrett Graham, as most rookie slingers do. The Houston Texans will evaluate Keenum and Matt Schaub (ankle) during their off-week, but Keenum showed flashes of opening up the aerial game in his debut. As long as Keenum takes snaps, expect Graham to have fringe lineup significance.

Rob Housler, along with wideout Andre Roberts (eight looks), were heavily involved in the Arizona Cardinals' comeback attempt Thursday night. The team has teased their commitment to the shifty Housler with efforts like this, but he's not going to be anything worth relying on each week. Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd hold that distinction.

Zach Miller's effort was an opportunity by the Seattle Seahawks to exploit a matchup. It's another one-shot deal that shouldn't earn much fantasy credit, especially with the potential return of Percy Harvin (hip) in the coming weeks.

  • Tony Gonzalez's four looks show that defenses are continuing to try stifling Matt Ryan's top remaining target while letting others beat them. The Atlanta Falcons legend will face this same tactic with varying success from here on out.
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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, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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