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Fantasy breakdown: Sanders among top targets

It was another busy Sunday across the NFL and while there were a number of big time fantasy stars that struggled to produce, there were plenty more that used their opportunities to the best of their advantage. Let's look at who saw the ball in Week 3.


One week after some fantasy owners expressed concern that Washington's change at quarterback could impact Pierre Garçon, all is right with the world again. Maybe Kirk Cousins just needed a week of practice to get on the same page with Garçon, but the speedy receiver rocketed back to the top of the list of targets. Garçon is tied for fifth among all NFL players in targets heading into this week's Monday night game. There's little reason to believe he won't continue this pace for the rest of the season.

If you're looking among the top targets around the league, you might be surprised to see Emmanuel Sanders among that group. Sanders is getting the ball from Peyton Manning at an eye-opening rate and he's catching the ball all over the field. Not only has he usurped the role vacated by Eric Decker, but he's starting to cut into Demaryius Thomas' workload as well. It will be interesting to see how long this continues, especially with Wes Welker back in action. Either way, we'll need to wait until Week 5 since the Broncos will be on a bye next week.

Yes we're only in Week 3, but rookie wide receivers have been showing out frequently in this young season. Chief among them has been Kelvin Benjamin. Carolina's big receiver had 11 more targets in Week 3 (he has 27 for the season) and turned them into 115 yards and a fantastic over-the-shoulder touchdown catch late in Sunday night's loss. There are still questions about the Panthers receiving corps, but there's little doubt that Cam Newton has full faith and confidence in Benjamin.

Other notables:Antonio Brown (10), Calvin Johnson (10), Brandin Cooks (10), A.J. Green (9), DeAndre Hopkins (9)


I've been fond of telling people that opportunity is the lifeblood of fantasy success. Donald Brown is a reminder that opportunity isn't the only thing that portends fantasy success. It's about production as well. Brown had 37 total touches on Sunday -- more than any other player in the league -- and it translated to 89 total scrimmage yards. You could do the math and realize that it comes out to 2.4 yards per touch. Or you could just call it #ungood. Brown's volume should continue with Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead out of action, but it would be nice to see him do a little more with it in the coming weeks.

It seems as though it doesn't really matter who Kansas City's running back is, Andy Reid is going to give him the ball. Knile Davis makes this list for the second straight week and looks like he'll be a busy man as long as Jamaal Charles can't go. Davis is tied with workhorse backs like Giovani Bernard and Arian Foster with the fifth-most carries in the NFL as we await Monday night's game. Charles' return won't signal a committee in Kansas City, but it's hard to imagine Davis becoming completely irrelevant considering his production the past two weeks.

The good news is that Jay Gruden and Sean McVay like giving Alfred Morris the football. The bad news is that they don't seem to like giving it to Morris near the goal line. Morris is averaging nearly 20 carries per game through the first three weeks but has just a pair of touchdowns. Meanwhile fullback Darrel Young leads the team with three scores in the early season. Death, taxes and someone else vulturing Alfred Morris' touchdowns. Some things never change.

Other notables:Stevan Ridley (19+1), Lamar Miller (15+5), Reggie Bush (12+8), Lorenzo Taliaferro (18+0), Giovani Bernard (14+3)

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

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