Opportunity is the name of the game in fantasy football. Talent matters, of course, but we want players who see a healthy volume of targets and touches to anchor our lineups, especially in daily fantasy. Every week we'll look over the 10 most targeted pass catchers and the 10 running backs with the most touches from the weekend's slate.
» Julian Edelman, WR: 19 targets, 11 receptions, 97 yards, 2 TD
» Calvin Johnson, WR: 17 targets, 10 receptions, 83 yards, 1 TD
» Michael Crabtree, WR: 16 targets, 9 receptions, 111 yards, 1 TD
» Steve Smith, WR: 16 targets, 9 receptions, 150 yards
» Julio Jones, WR: 15 targets, 13 receptions, 135 yards
» Greg Olsen, TE: 14 targets, 6 receptions, 70 yards
» Emmanuel Sanders, WR: 14 targets, 8 receptions, 87 yards, 2 TDs
» Demaryius Thomas, WR: 14 targets, 8 receptions, 116 yards
» Rob Gronkowski, TE: 13 targets, 7 receptions, 113 yards, 1 TD
» Allen Robinson, WR: 12 targets, 6 catches, 155 yards, 2 TDs
Julian Edelman continues to demonstrate why he's a high value PPR starter, and an every-week starter in standard leagues. He saw 19 targets in a game where many expected the Bills to give the Patriots' offense some fits. As long as Brandon LaFell is out of the equation, Edelman is going to be a target monster. He leads the NFL with 31 after two weeks.
Calvin Johnson had somewhat of a bounce-back game with a terrific touchdown catch after a two reception Week 1. Getting 17 targets against the Vikings showed a willingness by the team to correct that. However, 8.3 yards per catch is not what you want out of Megatron. The Lions offense is underperforming, and it starts with their quarterback.
Michael Crabtree is the biggest surprise name in Week 2's target leader list, seeing 16 go his way against Baltimore. He has out-snapped and out-targeted rookie Amari Cooper in the first two weeks, while producing at a similar rate. Of course, we like Cooper over Crabtree this year and long term, but the veteran wideout may yet revive his career and should be on fantasy rosters.
Greg Olsen found his way on to this top 10 list after seeing a meager three targets in Week 1. Olsen's target line was more in line with what owners who spent a mid-round pick on him were hoping for. However, he only hauled in 42.9 percent of his chance. Such inefficient catch/target performances will sadly be all too common in this offense, leading to good but not great lines like his six for 70 yards output of Week 2.
Both Denver Broncos receivers finished with 14 targets in Week 2, and scored double-digit points in both PPR and standard leagues. While Peyton Manning isn't playing up to his usual standards, his pass catchers are stepping up, and neither appears to be suffering from it. The Broncos are "playing the hits" with their receivers, and just funneling targets to their two studs.
Rob Gronkowski finished in the top 10 after "only" seeing eight targets in Week 1. He's great. He's in your lineup every week. Hopefully you didn't need a reminder.
Allen Robinson, he of the high offseason hype, finished tied with multiple players to round out the top 10 in targets for Week 2 with 12. One of the keys to Robinson unlocking his breakout potential was a big share of the target load. His Week 2 total was much more encouraging than his meager six looks from Week 1. 2014 DeAndre Hopkins is probably the best comp for 2015 Allen Robinson. Hopkins finished as the WR15, but had nine games with eight or more points, and seven games with less, finishing with an average of 9.7. There will be ups and downs with Robinson, and we may have just seen his best game, but we can also feel confident that Week 1 was as low as it'll get.
» Adrian Peterson, RB: 31 touches, 192 total yards
» T.J. Yeldon, RB: 28 touches, 83 total yards
» Jamaal Charles, RB: 25 touches, 127 total yards, 1 TD
» James Starks, RB: 24 touches, 106 total yards
» DeAngelo Williams, RB: 24 touches, 92 total yards, 3 TDs
» Doug Martin, RB: 23 touches, 98 total yards
» Giovani Bernard, RB: 23 touches, 139 total yards
» Matt Jones, RB: 22 touches, 146 yards, 2 TDs
» Chris Johnson, RB: 20 touches, 72 total yards
» Alfred Morris, RB: 20 touches, 72 total yards
Adrian Peterson garnered a league leading 31 touches in Week 2 after getting the ball only 13 times in the opener. The Vikings corrected a massive mistake in their Week 1 game script, and fantasy owners are grateful for it. With Peterson on this sort of workload, he can return the high-end RB1 value we expected from him going into the season.
T.J. Yeldon enters as somewhat surprising candidate in the top 10. However, the Jaguars did bill him as their workhorse back coming into the season. He was likely helped by Denard Robinson leaving the game with an injury, as well. When the Jaguars are able to win games, or at least keep them close, they'll give Yeldon a healthy volume of touches. He didn't bring much fantasy gold to the table, but we're encouraged that he played 85 percent of the team's snaps.
Jamaal Charles really beat himself up over a fumble that cost the Chiefs the game, but he turned in a dynamic fantasy performance. He finished as the RB6 in a day with some random running back scorers near the top. The volume Charles gets in the Chiefs' offense is what makes him a week-in-week-out threat to finish as the best running back in fantasy.
James Starks saw 24 touches go his way in a game where Eddie Lacy suffered an ankle injury, and did not return after a first half exit. We've seen this story before. Starks' rushing attempts double when Lacy is out of the lineup. In light of this, Alex Gelhar recommends you should make Starks your No. 1 priority on the waiver wire.
DeAngelo Williams has the second most carries in the NFL through two weeks, and is the top scoring running back in fantasy. He has every bit repaid the owners who took him in the late rounds to help them get through the Le'Veon Bell suspension. Of course, Williams is in line for a severe drop-off in touches with Bell set to return this week. He's proven himself as the most valuable handcuff in fantasy football. However, you must understand without a Le'Veon Bell injury, he won't provide the type of boom he brought to your lineups in the first two weeks.
Doug Martin owned the Buccaneers offense in Week 2. He saw 23 touches go his way, while Jameis Winston only threw 21 passes. However, there were little fantasy returns, as Martin never found his way into the end zone and is currently the RB36 in fantasy. Volume of touches indicates he'll get every opportunity to have a big game every week, but his situation is going to make this a difficult road to travel. Martin is playing well, and looks better than at any point over the previous two years, but the fantasy returns have been minimal.
Giovani Bernard took over as the Bengals lead back after Jeremy Hill lost two fumbles and was benched against the Chargers. This is a major concern for the Hill owners. You can brush it off as just one game, but Bernard (RB7 in Week 2) gave the coaching staff plenty of reasons to start dividing the backfield touches more evenly. In pass heavy game scripts, the Bengals know they can rely on Bernard after a big game in Week 2. If Bernard is owning the passing work, and Hill's carries get scaled back, the latter will struggle to pay off his August draft cost.
Matt Jones (22) and Alfred Morris (20) both finished in the top 10 in running back touches from Week 2. It doesn't take long to see who did more with their opportunities. Jones finished the day with a 6.5 yards per carry and 24.6 fantasy points to 3.3 and 7.2 from Morris. Did a changing of the guard take place before our eyes on Sunday? Morris is in the final year of his contract, and this new Washington regime drafted Matt Jones in May, and spent all offseason touting him. He's the future of this backfield, and he made a case for the future to start today on Sunday. What we know for sure is that Washington (and their limited quarterback) found a winning formula by mixing a run-oriented offense with a surprisingly stout front-seven on defense. We should expect the running backs to be featured heavily, but we don't yet have enough clarity to decipher who the majority of touches will lean towards going forward. Until that makes itself apparent, both running backs are safer as flex plays only, despite big potential for both.
Chris Johnson took over Andre Ellington against the Bears, and absorbed 20 touches (all on the ground). All that work unsurprisingly only brought 7.2 fantasy points. Johnson can be a steady run presence with a painfully low-ceiling, but clearly doesn't offer much at this stage of his career. It was the rookie David Johnson that stole the show, scoring 10.5 standard fantasy points on six offensive touches. Bruce Arians didn't seem in a rush to get David Johnson on the field, before or after the game, but given the rookie's insane size and open field speed combination, he might want to reconsider.