Times are tough in these fantasy streets. You're looking for big numbers from your running backs? It's just not happening. This is why there's one running back below you have to pick up because he's a No. 1. Outside of that, keep stacking up on the wide receivers and try to make a deal if you can. Are you in search of a tight end that will get you more than four points in any given week? You have to consider a preseason breakout candidate who had been invisible up until Week 6. I know, it's not the treasure trove of fantasy production you'd hoped for, but like I said, it's hardscrabble days and nights for now. (Envision me taking a final drag off a cigarette and flipping it away before walking off camera as, behind me, fire rages while children scream and men run crazy through the streets.) Now, let's get to Targets & Touches.
Julian Edelman, Brandon Marshall and A.J. Green also had 11 targets apiece. A sigh of relief from Marshall and Green owners, who had seen their No. 1 wideouts stumble in recent weeks. Edelman's still getting the looks, but his production has slowed in recent weeks. He's really only a flex option if Danny Amendola is out, which happens a lot.
Yes, we all thought we'd be talking about Kris Durham this week (well, seriously, Jerry O'Connell did -- he pumped him in a big way on NFL Network's "NFL Fantasy Live" this past week. Forget about acting, he should be on the show with us). A touchdown last week followed by a 13-target game from Matthew Stafford. Calvin Johnson clearly wasn't himself on Sunday, but let's hit the brakes on Durham. Not because of him directly, but mainly due to the fact there's a lot of WRs putting up big numbers this season that you're playing even as low as a flex. But this says more about Matthew Stafford than anything else: As long as Calvin is playing, you can start Stafford.
Not to bring back what we talked about last week, but even with the effusiveness of praise I spent on Justin Blackmon, I might actually have undersold him. Twenty targets on Sunday and, despite being the only Jaguars threat outside, the Broncos still couldn't cover him. At worst right now, he's a high-end No. 2 fantasy WR but, as I said in the preseason, he might wind up being a No. 1 for you by Halloween.
Emmanuel Sanders saw the glory with his 55-yard touchdown reception for the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Jets, but make no mistake -- this is Antonio Brown's offense. Look at the targets Brown's gotten each week from Ben Roethlisberger starting in Week 1: seven, nine, 13, 13, and 11 in Week 6. No matter who's covering him, he's been getting open. He's an extremely solid No. 2 fantasy WR for you. Try to trade for him if you can and, if you own him, he's become a no-brainer to keep in your lineup.
Welcome to the 2013 fantasy season, Kyle Rudolph! Sure, most of his targets (11) and production came in garbage time, but it's always good for a potential fantasy starter at TE to emerge. This could be the final game under Matt Cassel, however, so Rudolph will be starting from scratch when/if Josh Freeman takes over. Going back to his history in Tampa Bay, Freeman never had a big weapon at TE, however, he never looked there with the football, either. So is Rudolph suddenly fantasy relevant? Look at it this way: The top seven tight ends are pretty set: Jimmy Graham, Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron, Antonio Gates, Martellus Bennett, Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten. After that? Charles Clay is your next most dependable player, and Heath Miller is coming on strong with 15 targets in each of the past two weeks -- go pick him up. So there's your answer: if you don't have a TE that I just mentioned, grab Rudolph.
Denarius Moore is fast becoming the most dependable fantasy option the Raiders have outside of Terrelle Pryor. He's just off the list with 10 targets this week, his third big week out of the last four. If he's available, make Moore a top priority this week on your waiver wire. Even though they have a bye, grab him and stash him. If you have him, he's a very good flex option for you. Look, it's the Raiders -- no one looks at their box scores ever unless it's to bemoan how bad Darren McFadden is. But now that Pryor is the unquestioned starter for the remainder of the season, Moore is safe to -- not just own -- but start on a fairly consistent basis. And with a favorable schedule the next few weeks after a bye in Week 7 (PIT, PHI, @NYG), Moore should be in your lineup through Thanksgiving.
Zac Stacy had 20 touches in Sunday's big win by the St. Louis Rams over the Houston Texans. Daryl Richardson had the second most with four, so it's clear it's Stacy's backfield, at least for now. He had a healthy 4.4 yards per carry and simply has looked like the best RB had by the Rams. So Stacy is at least a flex this coming week at Carolina, and possibly going forward. The big question surrounding the Rams is this: Is this a good offense that had a couple of bad games, or is this an average offense that had a few good weeks? It's the former. The Rams are trending upward, and Sam Bradford is at the forefront of it. Outside of Bradford, who is at the least a matchup-based starting QB -- though not this week against the Panthers, who dominate opponents' passing games -- Stacy is the Ram with the next best fantasy value.
Status quo in the backfields of the Bills and Bengals. Nothing occurred Sunday that vaulted any RB over their counterpart. Despite Giovani Bernard's exciting touchdown reception, BenJarvus Green-Ellis still had nearly as many touches (21 for Bernard, 18 for The Law Firm). Bernard is still the better flex play because of his dynamic ability, but Green-Ellis is starting to gain traction as a flex player as well, considering he's also their goal line back. Getting 10 fantasy points out of a less-than-elite RB is hard to come by in 2013. C.J. Spiller (12 touches) is starting to chew up yardage at a better clip than he has so far this year, but he's still being replaced by Fred Jackson (14) in just about every red zone, goal-to-go situation. Spiller remains a low-end No. 2 fantasy RB, and Jackson is a flex.
Jason Smith writes fantasy and other pith for nfl.com. You can see him as the host of NFL Fantasy Live that airs Sunday through Friday on NFL Network at 5pmET/2pmPT and also at 1amET/10pmPT. Listen to him on the NFL Fantasy Live podcast available at nfl.com and on itunes. Reach out to him on Google plus or Twitter @howaboutafresca, and listen to his Fantasy Podcast with Michael Fabiano and Elliot Harrison every week on nfl.com. He only asks you never bring up when the Jets play poorly.