Originally posted on Fantasy Sports Locker Room  |  Last updated 9/25/13

The final numbers tell one part of the story, but fantasy football is a game of volume. When predicting performance touches and targets on a weekly basis play as big a role as the name on the back of the jersey. With that in mind let’s take a look back at workloads from this past weekend and start thinking forward to who may find themselves in a more favorable situation in Week 4. Josh Gordon made 10 catches in his return to action this week on the strength of the most targets in the NFL this week. Given the way his skillset matches the Browns ‘air it out’ system he should stand to lead them in looks most week. It won’t always be such a big number, but, he’s going to be productive more often than not. Greg Little, meanwhile, played poorly. He was on the field for 58 snaps but caught just three balls on eight targets. As long as Gordon is getting open deep and Jordan Cameron is continuing to be… awesome… Little has limited value. Nate Burleson received 9 looks while Ryan Broyles made good on all three of his targets in his return to action. Detroit may ease Broyles back in, but, in light of Burleson’s injury those targets should eventually belong to Broyles. Meanwhile, TE Brandon Pettigrew saw just one target and worked in line as a blocker on more than half of his 56 snaps this week. Big body Joseph Fauria saw three targets, all of them coming in the endzone. He caught one for a score. This information isn’t actionable, but, it’s fantasy relevant because it means a) other Lions players may not receive the endzone looks that go to the undrafted free agent out of UCLA and b) Matthew Stafford’s value should improve if he can be a consistent threat in goal to go situations. Fauria has ideal size to dominate in the scoring area. Torrey Smith hasn’t seen fewer than 8 passes thrown his direction all season. He hasn’t broken into the endzone yet, but, with another 92 yards he’s giving owners a consistent outing every week. Beyond that, there wasn’t much excitement in the Ravens pass game though it should be noted that Marlon Brown still played 53 snaps. He saw three targets and made two catches, hardly enough to pay the fantasy bills but don’t get down on him yet. Baltimore had a healthy lead for much of the game. With a touchdown Julius Thomas gave his fantasy owners another solid week and you’ll want to start him as long as Peyton Manning is the man throwing him a ball, but, a season low 4 targets is something worth keeping an eye on. Kenbrell Thompkins is getting lots of attention after finally coming through for Tom Brady with two touchdown receptions. It should be noted, though, that he saw fewer looks than Aaron Dobson for the second consecutive week and still caught fewer than 50% of his passes. While Thompkins remains the starter for now, it will be interesting to see how the pair is deployed when Danny Amendola returns to the field. Keep an eye on how things shake out as Rob Gronkowski expects to return to the lineup this weekend. Against Tampa, Thompkins caught 3 of 7 targets while Dobson made good on 7 of 10. Steve Johnson has posted 199 yards on 22 targets over the past two weeks as he becomes a favourite of EJ Manuel. Robert Woods was on the field more frequently, playing in all 87 of Buffalo’s snaps but with just two receptions on nine balls thrown his way there seems to be a bit of a hiccup in the chemistry that we saw developing with his rookie QB. For the first time all year WR Golden Tate led the Seahawks in targets and he had a productive day on the field, adding some rushing yards. Doug Baldwin, meanwhile, gave a useful day to his fantasy owners so it is unlikely that anyway will protest too greatly… but, he saw just two targets and didn’t catch a ball until Tarvaris Jackson was behind center with the game in hand. At some point Ted Ginn’s name should make it’s way into your fantasy discussion, if it hasn’t already. While he’s not going to catch a long TD every week, there was some conversation in Carolina this offseason about the team’s interest in seeing what he could do as a receiver. So far, the results look good. He played just 29 snaps this weekend but saw 4 targets, catching 3 and posting a score. This on the heels of a 7-3-62-TD game in Week 2. Keep him on your radar, but, with Brandon LaFell also performing well for the Panthers (he and Ginn ranked 20th and 12th for their pass catching this week according to Pro Football Focus) three or four catches is probably his ceiling for the time being. The yardage totals don’t look like much but with seven catches on eight targets Alshon Jeffery had his busiest game of the season. We didn’t hear any complaining this time but Mike Wallace dipped back down to four targets this week after receiving 11 in Week 2 and 5 in Week 1. He’s definitely a threat for the team but it seems like there are going to be weeks where he is phased out of the gameplan to the disdain of his fantasy owners. Cordarelle Patterson’s 20 snaps and 4 targets were by far the most he’s seen all season but it is hardly anythin to get giddy about. Still, the team should continue to increase his role as the season moves along. Darrius Heyward-Bey played more snaps than TY Hilton for the second time this season. While Hilton’s day wouldn’t have looked as bad (13 yards) if he’d hauled all of his four targets, it’s troubling to his owners that DHB continues to be a big part of the Indianapolis offense. Clearly Donnie Avery’s use was a part of Andy Reid’s gameplan against his former team, but, lets hope the three target weeks don’t continue for Dwayne Bowe. Avery was 7 of 7 for 141 yards on Thursday night while Bowe drew just three looks.We can’t call it a trend because Bowe led receivers in targets in each of the previous two weeks but if it happens again there is legitimate cause for concern. Cecil Shorts had a big day on the strenghth of 8 cathces and 15 targets, even if some of the damage did come against the scrubs late. That said, Blaine Gabbert returns for Jacksonville this week and he heasn’t been as inclined as Chad Henne to look Cecil’s way. He does lead the league in targets through three weeks, however. Jimmy Graham is getting his (15 targets for the second straight week – he was the only TE in double digits in Week 3) and Marques Colston still sees enough volume to be productive (7 looks, also two weeks running) but the same can’t be said for Lance Moore. He was on the field for just 39 snaps this week, compared to 59 for Kenny Stills and drew just three targets, giving him a total of 11 through three games. Last year he was averaging 6.25 per game. New Orleans boasts a diverse pass attack. Robert Meachem saw just two looks yesterday, but, he’s another target and he scored a touchdown. There are perhaps too many mouths to feed for Moore to stay relevant this season. After signs that he was ready for a breakout last week Santonio Holmes saw nine targets and had a big day for the Jets. Stephen Hill had a nice day, too, but Holmes drew nine looks compared to his four and thus likely had the more sustainable perfomance. For anyone tracking the TE situation here, Kellen Winslow played plenty (53 snaps) but saw no targets while Jeff Cumberland had three. Kenny Britt didn’t appear on the score sheet after a number of troubling reports emerged this week. He did see 5 targets, including one in the endzone, but he played just 39 snaps and was replaced by Justin Hunter (good call, evidently) on Tenneessee’s winning drive. He’s not a player of interest for the time being. However, with 10 targets for Nate Washington and 6 for Kendall Wright (he caught them all, for 77 yards) there are options of interest in the Titan’s passing game. One trend in Green Bay: of the big three WRs in Green Bay, Randall Cobb is destined to be in the middle for targets. That’s all we know. The situation is a crapshoot, but this week the distribution was Nelson, Cobb, Jones. Last week it was Jones, Cobb, Nelson (Week 1: Nelson, Cobb, Jones). Again, they are all viable but its a challenge to predict whose week it is in any given contest. Chris Givens made just two catches but led Rams receivers in targets (8). Like others, I won’t put a ton of stock in the distribution of targets by the Giants this week. Eli Manning spent the day running for his life and just threw the ball wherever he could. Nicks’ slow day had more to do with that than design. Dwayne Harris had the touchdown, but, after Miles Austin left the game neither he or Terrance Williams saw a lot of work (largely because the Cowboys had the game in hand). Early season indications suggest that it’s Williams who will benefit most if Austin misses time, though. TE Jordan Reed saw 6 targets (5 catches) on 32 snaps and was having a nice day before injury became a concern. He’s the TE play, if you have to make one, with Washington right now. Eddie Royal’s 2 targets against Tennessee will likely quiet some of the early season enthusiasm. Keep him on your radar, but, we told you that he wasn’t going to find the endzone every single week. Antonio Brown had an excellent performance including a highlight reel catch in the back of the endzone and saw the third most passes come his way of anyone at the position this week. My guess is he wasn’t fighting with Haley on the sidelines in Week 3. The post Touches and Targets Week 3: Wide Receivers and Tight Ends appeared first on Fantasy Sports Locker Room.

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