Fantasy breakdown: Forte, Gore back to big workloads

Week 4 brought an interesting mix of players among the top targets and touches leaders. And while there were a number of players who saw the ball quite a bit, it didn't translate to big fantasy production in every circumstance. Just a not-so-friendly reminder that while opportunity is the lifeblood of fantasy success, it's not the only factor that contributes to creating points on the stat sheets.


There was a pretty big disconnect this week between some quarterbacks and their top targets. Of the five most targeted pass-catchers in Week 4, four of them caught less than 50 percent of the passes thrown their direction. In the case of Robert Woods and Andre Holmes, some of the fault lies with young and/or inconsistent quarterbacks. Jeremy Maclin's numbers could be attributed to a 49ers defense that stifled Philly's offense while Minnesota's secondary helped keep Matt Ryan, Roddy White and the Falcons passing game in check.

Until further notice, Jordy Nelson is the No. 1 target in Green Bay. Randall Cobb is certainly a playmaker, but he's still a ways off from overtaking Nelson as the player Aaron Rodgers looks for in times of distress. Add to it that Nelson is good for at least one incredibly tough catch every week and he might be the most underrated WR1 in fantasy football.

Much has been made recently of Martellus Bennett's post-September fades, but there are signs that this season could be different. The first is that Jay Cutler is looking in his tight end's direction more than in past campaigns. Through the first four games, Bennett has more targets (37) than any of his Bears teammates and has turned those into 29 receptions for 295 yards and four touchdowns. As long as Brandon Marshall continues to battle injury, Bennett will continue to be a large part of the passing game. Bennett's bromance with Cutler might not be as strong as Marshall's, but it looks like things are getting serious.

Other notables:Steve Smith, Sr. (10), Golden Tate (10), Victor Cruz (10), Kelvin Benjamin (9), Larry Donnell (8)


This week, a couple of teams went back to doing what they do best -- feeding their star running backs. Even though Matt Forte didn't find the end zone, the Bears did their best to get their top rusher on track with a healthy dose of carries and targets on Sunday. The same goes for the 49ers and Frank Gore. While only one of those two teams earned a win in Week 4, both hopefully realize that they will need their marquee backs to prosper in order to be successful in the standings.

After spending the past few weeks surmising that Ahmad Bradshaw was the running back to own in Indianapolis, the Colts turned the table by giving Trent Richardson a heavy workload. Richardson was much more effective as a receiver (52 yards) than as a rusher (47 yards), but he did score a touchdown and fantasy owners will take his 99 scrimmage yards any way they can get them. The beleaguered back could make good on his deep-sleeper potential yet.

If you don't know Darrin Reaves yet, now's a good time to get to know him. He's next in line in the Carolina Panthers backfield. With DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert all battling injuries, Reaves picked up the slack in Week 4 and could see a pretty full workload in Week 5 against a suspect Bears rushing defense. If you're dealing with injuries, bye weeks or play in a deeper league, Reaves could be a waiver wire option.

Other notables:Justin Forsett (14+4), Darrin Reaves (12+5), Lorenzo Taliaferro (15+0), Rashad Jennings (13+2), LeSean McCoy (10+0)

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for Follow him on Twitter @MarcasG.

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