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Fantasy Breakdown: Week 16 target, touch leaders

Week 16 marked the end of the line for plenty of you in the 2014 fantasy season with championship games galore. For some of you, the following list might be either a wonderful recap of how you ran to a title. For others, it'll be a painful reminder of why you finished your season as a runner-up. But for those of you still fighting for a championship in Week 17, it's your last chance to make some sense of the season-long usage trends.


Did anyone else get the feeling that the Eagles tried to make up for a full season of Zach Ertz disappointment in one game? There's no other real reason to explain how the underperforming tight end caught a franchise-record 15 passes on 18 targets in Saturday's loss. I have no idea what this means for next season. This was supposed to be the year that Ertz broke out. Instead, we were fretting between him and Brent Celek late in the season. I don't know about you, but I don't want to do that dance again next season.

Give Jimmy Clausen credit for this: He knows how to target Alshon Jeffery. Now for his next trick ... consistently connecting with Alshon Jeffery. It was nice to see the Bears toss 15 passes in Jeffery's direction. It would have been even nicer if he had been able to catch more than six of them. However it should give fantasy enthusiasts a nice warm feeling to know that regardless of who's under center, Chicago will find a way to keep its best pass-catching playmakers involved.

Odell Beckham, Jr. That is all.

Seeing Eddie Royal on this list is like a flashback to the early weeks of the season. It's a reminder that while you can't start Royal weekly, he's not a bad option as an injury replacement. Royal has become to the Chargers what Harry Douglas is to the Atlanta Falcons. And that ain't all bad.

Three targets for Greg Olsen? Three?!? How does this happen? Cam Newton, why have you forsaken us?

Other notables:Steve Smith (12), Hakeem Nicks (11), Golden Tate (10), Jimmy Graham (10), Brandon LaFell (10)


I know it's been a weekly headache playing with "will he or won't he" game with Arian Foster. But games like Sunday are why you persevere through the uncertainty. He turned 29 touches into better than 16 points -- that's not counting the touchdown pass he threw. Mabye 16 points don't qualify as video game numbers, but it's hard to complain about a running back who consistently finishes each week among the top five players as his position.

Early in the season, the Raiders offensive line took some blame for the failures of Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew. So how do you explain Latavius Murray? The latest Oakland back to take the reins has excelled in recent weeks, posting more than 20 carries in two of the past three weeks and averaging 12.5 fantasy points in his past four games. It looks pretty clear who will be in the lead for the starting running back job in Oakland when 2015 training camps open.

Seeing how productive Frank Gore was with 26 carries on Saturday makes it so much more frustrating to see how the 49ers kept the leash on the veteran back all season long. Why? What did Frank Gore ever do to them? I mean, besides run hard and be productive. Sigh.

Neither snow nor rain nor a blowout nor a broken bone in his hand will prevent DeMarco Murray from assuming a heavy workload in the Dallas Cowboys offense. This has truly been a magical year for Murray, but his usage this season combined with the uncertainty about where he'll be next season makes him one of the biggest fantasy draft question marks for 2015.

Other notables:Alfred Morris (21+0), Matt Asiata (16+4), Eddie Lacy (17+1), Branden Oliver (13+5), Isaiah Crowell (16+0)

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

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