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Some quick notes on RB targets

Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys

Here’s a table of the running backs that were targeted in the passing game in week 1. I cut it off at the RBs who received at least two targets. All stats courtesy of fftoday.com, thoughts below:

Player

Team

Target

Rec

Yard

TD

 1. Ray Rice

BAL

11

8

35

0

 2. DeMarco Murray

DAL

10

8

39

0

 3. Shane Vereen

NE

10

7

58

0

 4. Reggie Bush

DET

8

4

101

1

 5. Arian Foster

HOU

8

6

33

0

 6. Steven Jackson

ATL

8

5

45

0

 7. Da’Rel Scott

NYG

8

5

51

0

 8. Joique Bell

DET

6

5

67

0

 9. Jamaal Charles

KC

6

3

23

0

 10. Charles Clay

MIA

6

5

54

0

 11. Matt Forte

CHI

6

4

41

0

 12. Doug Martin

TB

6

2

-1

0

 13. Daryl Richardson

STL

6

5

33

0

 14. Trent Richardson

CLE

6

2

30

0

 15. C.J. Spiller

BUF

6

5

14

0

 16. Darren Sproles

NO

6

6

88

0

 17. Justin Forsett

JAC

5

4

22

0

 18. Fred Jackson

BUF

5

4

41

0

 19. Darren McFadden

OAK

5

3

18

0

 20. Bilal Powell

NYJ

5

4

35

0

 21. Vonta Leach

BAL

4

3

12

1

 22. Adrian Peterson

MIN

4

4

18

1

 23. Anthony Sherman

KC

4

4

44

0

 24. Pierre Thomas

NO

4

4

16

0

 25. Jordan Todman

JAC

4

3

20

0

 26. Andre Ellington

ARI

3

1

13

0

 27. Marshawn Lynch

SEA

3

2

9

0

 28. Knowshon Moreno

DEN

3

3

37

0

 29. Chris Ogbonnaya

CLE

3

1

10

0

 30. Isaac Redman

PIT

3

2

7

0

 31. Jason Snelling

ATL

3

2

17

0

 32. LaRod Stephens-Howling

PIT

3

2

11

0

 33. DeAngelo Williams

CAR

3

3

14

0

 34. Danny Woodhead

SD

3

2

16

0

 35. Vick Ballard

IND

2

1

-5

0

 36. Giovani Bernard

CIN

2

1

8

0

 37. Tommy Bohanon

NYJ

2

1

21

0

 38. Ronnie Brown

SD

2

2

24

0

 39. Frank Gore

SF

2

2

21

0

 40. Roy Helu

WAS

2

1

11

0

 41. Ronnie Hillman

DEN

2

2

27

0

 42. Chris Ivory

NYJ

2

0

0

0

 43. Maurice Jones-Drew

JAC

2

0

0

0

 44. Eddie Lacy

GB

2

1

31

0

 45. Ryan Mathews

SD

2

2

22

1

 46. Bruce Miller

SF

2

2

24

0

 47. Marcel Reece

OAK

2

1

9

0

 48. Ben Tate

HOU

2

2

7

0

 49. Robert Turbin

SEA

2

2

13

0

 

Stealth Star DeMarco Murray registered the seventh best RB line in PPR this week, even though he didn’t hit 100 yards and didn’t find the end zone. The eight receptions helped him out. The yardage total isn’t impressive, but if he keeps getting those checkdowns and designed screens, watch out. Darren Sproles, who derives almost all of his value from the passing game, only saw 8 targets per game last year. DeMarco could well outperform his late 2nd/early 3rd ADP in PPR if Bill Callahan’s offense turns him into DeMarco Sproles.

You know who registered the 2nd and 3rd best PPR lines this week? Reggie Bush and Joique Bell. Bell scored twice on twelve combined touches, so he’s not going to keep being this good, but he’s on the radar as a flex play in deeper leagues. Always electric in the open field, Bush had 191 yards from scrimmage, but he’s not going to average 25 yards per catch. The fact that he was targeted 8 times is better for his PPR prospects than his 101 yards receiving, if that makes sense. He’s easily a top five running back in all formats if he keeps getting 20 carries and 8 targets a game.

I’m not dropping Vereen unless my hand is forced. A lot of people say he’s safe to drop, and it’s really a matter of preference, but we’ve seen what he can do in that offense when he gets some run. If my bench stays deep enough I’d love to have him coming back for the playoff push.

Just a hunch, but most of those eight targets that Da’Rel Scott saw are David Wilson’s if he takes the oven mitts off.

Darren Sproles is still Darren Sproles. There was some concern about whether or not his usage would stay the same, but it’s pretty clear that he’s going to have the same PPR value he’s had since he arrived in New Orleans.

I convinced myself that Danny Woodhead was going to have himself a nice PPR season playing with Captain Checkdown. That won’t happen if he keeps getting three looks per game. #analysis

We expected Pep Hamilton’s offense to throw to the running back a little bit more. At least in week 1 it didn’t happen as Bradshaw and Ballard saw three combined targets. That may change if Bradshaw settles into the starting running back position, since he’s a more accomplished pass catcher than Ballard. Until there’s an ounce of clarity in the Indy backfield, I’m staying away.

Conspicuously absent

Lamar Miller. Wooooooof. He’s not even on this list since he got only one target. He doesn’t even warrant too much consideration in a PPR post, but I feel the need to point out that he’s happier about David Wilson’s Sunday Night Meltdown than anyone. Save for that, the fantasy football world spends all week wondering how you can get three whole yards on ten carries.

LeSean McCoy has caught at least 40 passes each year he’s been a pro, but he was only targeted once on Monday night. In fact, that was the only target that any Philly running back got. I think that’s interesting and something to keep an eye on. Of course, it won’t matter if he keeps running like that, but I didn’t see a lot about Chip Kelly’s offense that suggested he would stop throwing to the tailbacks.

Chris Johnson caught 36 passes last year, and that was his lowest total as a pro. He didn’t register a look on Sunday. This is also something to keep an eye on, since we don’t know a lot about Dowell Loggains’ offense and it’s possible this turns into a trend.

Alfred Morris, Stevan Ridley, and the Law Firm remain running backs whose value takes a hit in PPR (relative to standard) by virtue of the fact that they hardly catch any passes at all. Not a surprise, but at least for this week it appears that nothing has changed.

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