The Week 7 Targets and Touches report is a bit of an anomaly from previous weeks. In the Targets category, the numbers of the overall leaders were in the low teens and below. And as far as the Touches went? Well, let's just say some of your leaders are either available on your waiver wire or were still out there as recently as a week ago. It's a game of 'What have you done for me lately?' I always forget if that was Janet Jackson or Jody Watley. (Wikipedia check: Jackson. Watley was 'Real Love.' Now I'll never get it wrong again.) To the T-N-T we go.
Cecil Shorts, Hakeem Nicks, Brandon Myers, Lance Moore and James Jones also had ten targets each. Shorts does this once every three weeks, but in the bye weeks he may be worth a pickup but only if you have a space on your bench. Nicks will round back into shape quickly, so keep him in your starting lineup. Jones and Moore are excellent flex plays and are even good No. 2 wide receivers for you.
As Joe Flacco goes, so goes Torrey Smith. Flacco is at the point where you play him at home, when he has a good matchup. Sunday, he had neither, but still went to Smith 13 times in the game. It's good that he's still targeting him, but bad in that Flacco's play is too up-and-down to count on Smith every week. Smith looked like a breakout star earlier in the season, but he's become pretty pedestrian lately. You're still starting him, but you can even drop him down to a flex or replace him in your lineup if you are either deep at wide receiver or if Baltimore has a bad match up.
For everyone who sounded the death knell for Fred Jackson's fantasy value, look at Sunday's game against Tennessee. Yes, the Titans defense is porous, and he's going to split the workload with C.J. Spiller. But he's going to be a threat for 8-12 fantasy points a week because of his involvement in the passing game. He's now become a good flex option, especially during the bye weeks. Just be happy for the points you're getting and don't do what I do, and that's look at the Bills box score after every game and say "Wow, if Fred Jackson had ALL the carries he'd be getting 20 points a week." All it will do is upset you.
How about Owen Daniels? In 2008, I thought he was the next great tight end in fantasy. (I also thought Brett Favre was going to win the Super Bowl for the Jets.) Then he got hurt, and it's been a long way back, but now he's become more reliable than Andre Johnson in the Texans offense. He's averaging over 10 fantasy points per game over the last month and has become a top five fantasy tight end who you picked up off your waiver wire. Congratulations, because this production will continue.
Wait a minute, a Jet is on this list? Congratulations to Jeremy Kerley, who has proven himself to have viable fantasy value. He's Mark Sanchez' favorite wideout (really the only one he can trust throwing the ball to), so he will continue to be the most targeted player on the team. If he's available, he's a pretty decent flex option for you. Don't expect monster weeks of 20-plus fantasy points, but he can be a solid double-digit producer.
You want to talk about the other side of the coin? Dez Bryant had just three targets against Carolina, JerMichael Finley had just two, and Vernon Davis saw zero on Thursday night. I think Bryant's was just being a victim of how the game went, he's still a good flex option for you, but the tight ends are a different question. I can't believe anyone is still playing Finley, who's just invisible in the Packers offense. Even now that they're scoring a ton, he still can't get involved. And Davis is a worry as well. He had a fantastic first three weeks but has given you nothing the last four. It's still Vernon Davis, so you can't waive him, but if someone of worth pops up on your tight end waiver-wire, he's worth nabbing because if Davis continues his downward spiral, by Week 10 you'll need another answer.
Nine running backs had over 20 touches on Sunday, so here's the skinny on the most interesting ones. LaRod Stephens-Howling totaled 24 touches Sunday as part of his 105-yard rush day. It certainly seems like he's the lead dog in the backfield and should be one of your top waiver wire pickups of the week...
Alex Green's 24 touches, meanwhile, translated into just 64 yards of offense. Is he worth owning? Sure. Is he worth starting? No. Green Bay is back to being the team they were a year ago, who ran the ball only when they had to and not when they had to score...
Vick Ballard had 21 touches Sunday and more importantly, helped Indianapolis run out the clock against Cleveland. Ballard is a grinder who provides toughness, an element that the Colts need in the running game. His performance and potential makes him worth owning even when Donald Brown comes back...