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The name of the game in fantasy football is volume. That's why it's so important to take note of which wide receivers are seeing a significant target market share and how each team splits up its backfield opportunities. Each week, Matt Harmon and Matt Franciscovich will break down the week's wide receiver targets and backfield touches leaders with takeaways you can use for your fantasy football teams going forward. We won't bore you with any more introductory comments here, let's dig into the good stuff from Week 12.
*NOTE: This article will be updated with data from the Sunday Night and Monday Night games the following day, so check back for more information as games wrap.
Touches: 24 | Carries: 20 | Receptions: 4
Adrian Peterson racked up 99 scrimmage yards, 79 rushing, and 20 receiving, against the Jaguars. The veteran got work throughout the game as the score remained close and he had his best outing of the last few weeks yardage-wise. Peterson will be in play next week against the Rams, but if the script falls out of favor for Arizona, he could lose some volume so keep that in mind.
Target share: 21.6% |Targets: 8 | Receptions: 3 | Yards: 12
Larry Fitzgerald snapped his streak of solid play with the backup quarterbacks, averaging 91.3 yards over his previous three games. Against Jacksonville, that was to be expected. His fantasy owners can take solace in the fact that he checked in with eight targets, keeping his volume projection intact. Fitzgerald will be back in high-end WR2 consideration against the Rams next week.
Honorable mention(s): So, Ricky Seals-Jones might just be a thing. After an out of nowhere two-touchdown performance in Week 11, the wide receiver to tight end convert saw six targets (second on the team) and scored another touchdown. He was only on the field for 17 plays, third among tight ends, but 12 of them were passing plays. The Seals-Jones show is at least worth monitoring now.
Touches: 19 | Carries: 19 | Receptions: 0
With Devonta Freeman out again, Tevin Coleman dominated backfield opportunities for Atlanta. He posted 97 rush yards and scored twice against Tampa Bay which was enough production for 20-plus fantasy points. Whether Freeman is back next week or not, it's not a favorable matchup for the Falcons backfield against the Vikings, so temper expectations.
Target share: 44.1% |Targets: 15 | Receptions: 12 | Yards: 253, 2 TDs
So, we hope you didn't forget Julio Jones is good at football. Just in case you did, he offered up a massive reminder against the Buccaneers by going for 253 yards and two scores, that's more yards than he had in his previous three games combined. Spike stat-line aside, Week 12 was Jones' third game over the last four where he earned double-digit targets. We can let go of our concerns regarding his role in the offense.
Touches: 26 | Carries: 22 | Receptions: 4
If you're shocked that LeSean McCoy had a huge workload, you probably shouldn't be playing fantasy football. Unfortunately, Shady posted just 79 total yards on his 26 touches, so it was an inefficient and disappointing fantasy outing after last week's explosion. He'll look to bounce back next week against the Patriots.
Target share: 35.7% |Targets: 10 | Receptions: 3 | Yards: 33, TD
Despite another inefficient catch rate day, don't look now but Zay Jones is starting to get cooking. He has target totals of seven, seven and 10 over his last three games and scored a touchdown in two of them. If Kelvin Benjamin continues to miss time, Jones will be in position to keep up this slight momentum.
Honorable mention(s):Charles Clay has not been a focal point of the offense since returning from injury, which he certainly was to start the year. Clay has target totals of three, four and four over the last three games. He was on the field for just 65 percent of the plays today.
Touches: 15 | Carries: 15 | Receptions: 0
Jonathan Stewart turned back into a pumpkin Sunday with 26 rush yards on his 15 attempts, averaging just 1.7 yards per carry, but did find the end zone. Christian McCaffrey was much more efficient with 62 yards on seven carries and added 35 receiving yards. Of course, Cam Newton vultured a rushing touchdown to keep up with the status quo. Next week against the Saints: Start McCaffrey, don't start Stewart.
Target share: 42.9% |Targets: 12 | Receptions: 7 | Yards: 108
Honorable mention(s): No wide receiver did much of anything in the wake of Curtis Samuel's season-ending injury. Kaelin Clay got the promotion, likely due to his similar speed profile, and went out for 70 percent of the plays but didn't catch any of his three targets. He returned a late punt for a score. Greg Olsen left the game early after aggravating his foot injury but the team didn't sound too concerned after the game.
Touches: 9 | Carries: 7 | Receptions: 2
Jordan Howard had his worst game of the season against a stout Eagles rush defense, totaling just 20 yards from scrimmage on nine touches. That number includes six rush yards on seven carries. You should have tempered expectations coming into the week, but Howard's bust was a devastating blow if you did indeed start him. Meanwhile, Tarik Cohen was completely ineffective as well with -11 rush yards and eight receiving yards, netting -3 total yards in the game. The usually-productive Bears backfield will look to rebound against the 49ers next week.
Target share: 28.1% |Targets: 9 | Receptions: 4 | Yards: 64
Honorable mention(s):Adam Shaheen is not a thing yet. He had a single target today after scoring a touchdown last week.
Touches: 26 | Carries: 23 | Receptions: 3
Rookie running back Joe Mixon had a career day with 165 scrimmage yards, 114 rushing and 51 receiving, and a touchdown against the Browns Sunday. He was featured early and often for the Bengals and racked up a few big runs in the fourth quarter to help pad his total line. Mixon's biggest play was a 36-yard reception in the second quarter. It was a long time coming for Mixon, who'd received a big workload for weeks but struggled to produce behind his offensive line, one of the worst in the league. Mixon gets a much tougher matchup next week against the Steelers.
Target share: 30.8% |Targets: 8 | Receptions: 5 | Yards: 66
With the Bengals in control of this game essentially throughout the afternoon, they didn't need to go to the air much. They doled out 26 carries to their running backs while Andy Dalton threw just 28 passes. Without much passing volume to go around, A.J. Green led the proceedings with eight targets and caught five for 66 yards.
Honorable mention(s): None.
Touches: 17 | Carries: 16 | Receptions: 1
Isaiah Crowell bounced back with 105 scrimmage yards on 17 touches against the Bengals in Week 12, but failed to find the end zone. The Crow has seen good volume and consistent scoring chances over the last month and he'll again be an RB2 play next week against the Chargers. Meanwhile, Duke Johnson totaled 67 yards on 10 touches and remains a PPR option going forward.
Target share: 26.7% |Targets: 8 | Receptions: 3 | Yards: 64
Corey Coleman kept up the solid momentum he started with an 11-target return to the lineup in Week 11 by leading the team in targets once again on Sunday. Coleman left some plays on the field but also came down with a 44-yard reception. He'll get a chance to put it all together against the Chargers in Week 13.
Touches: 11 | Carries: 9 | Receptions: 2
It was a rough day for the Cowboys offense against the Chargers on Thanksgiving. Rod Smith and Alfred Morris each logged nine carries but Smith was the Dallas back who found the end zone. He totaled 48 yards from scrimmage while Morris had 49. It will be hard to trust either back next week against the Redskins, but if you're rolling the dice, Morris provides volume upside while Smith is more of a risky flex type.
Target share: 28% |Targets: 7 | Receptions: 7 | Yards: 44
The Cowboys passing offense is broken. Nothing has gone right for this team through the air over the last three weeks. The wide receivers are some of the most inefficient players at the position this season. Volume aside, we're out on this group until we see something different.
Honorable mention(s): None.
Touches: 8 | Carries: 6 | Receptions: 2
Devontae Booker's eight touches led a very disappointing backfield for Denver against the Raiders. On those eight touches, Booker totaled 33 yards from scrimmage. C.J. Anderson recorded 12 yards on five rush attempts. That's it. There's a chance the Broncos backs are more productive against the Dolphins next week, but you'd be wise to find other players to use in your fantasy lineups.
Target share: 23.5% |Targets: 8 | Receptions: 5 | Yards: 18
Honorable mention(s): None.
Touches: 9 | Carries: 6 | Receptions: 3
The Lions backfield had a tough outing against the Vikings on Thanksgiving, but don't say we didn't warn you. Ameer Abdullah's totaled just 43 yards from scrimmage on his nine touches and lost a fumble. Theo Riddick, who's been virtually unplayable in fantasy, had just 39 total yards on six touches. Neither player has a favorable matchup next week against the Ravens, and you'd have to be pretty desperate to play either of them.
Target share: 28.1% |Targets: 9 | Receptions: 6 | Yards: 109, 2 TDs
Marvin Jones said to hell with your matchup concerns. Despite seeing plenty of Xavier Rhodes on Thursday, Jones went wild on a team-high nine targets. He popped up in the end zone twice. Jones has been on more than he's been off the last month and a half. You should, therefore, trend on the side of getting him in your lineups.
Honorable mention(s):Golden Tate got back on track in the volume department with eight targets, but the production still was not there. He only managed to haul in short passes, bringing down four for all of seven yards.
Touches: 19 | Carries: 17 | Receptions: 2
Target share: 29.6% |Targets: 8 | Receptions: 7 | Yards: 94
Jack Doyle's two-catch, nine-yard game against the Steelers before the Colts' bye looks like nothing more than a blip on the radar. The tight end popped up for a 94-yard affair today, catching seven of his eight targets. Before his dud against Pittsburgh, Doyle had target totals of 11, seven, 14 and nine. He remains a steady presence at the ever-rocky tight end position.
Honorable mention(s): Week 12 looked like a good spot for a big T.Y. Hilton considering it was an indoor game against a soft secondary. Hilton flopped in a big way, going for 15 yards on two catches.
Touches: 15 | Carries: 12 | Receptions: 3
Leonard Fournette didn't get much done against a tough Cardinals run defense on Sunday, totaling just 42 yards on his 15 touches. His biggest play was a 17-yard reception in the second quarter, and he had four plays that went for negative yardage -- not common for Fournette. It doesn't help that Blake Bortles rushed for two touchdowns on his own ... gross. Fournette gets a great matchup against the Colts in Week 13, so the future is bright.
Target share: 31.3% |Targets: 10 | Receptions: 6 | Yards: 41
Dede Westbrook led the team with 10 targets and owned a 37.3 percent share of Blake Bortles' intended air yards in his second career game. He still played as the third receiver behind Marqise Lee and Keelan Cole but was on the field for 74 percent of the plays. At some point, this speedster will hit a big play.
Kansas City Chiefs
Touches: 12 | Carries: 11 | Receptions: 1
Kareem Hunt put up just 26 total yards against a Buffalo defense that has been absolutely gashed by running backs the last few games. Starting Hunt in fantasy hasn't been great the last few weeks. And when you consider the defenses he's faced, none of which are tough against the run (Bills, Giants, Cowboys) it's a major concern for his outlook the rest of the year. It's not entirely his fault, as the entire offense has fallen off in recent weeks. He'll still get volume, but he's more of a flex play than anything else at this point. He gets the Jets in Week 13.
Target share: 31.4% |Targets: 11 | Receptions: 7 | Yards: 41
Honorable mention(s): None.
Los Angeles Chargers
Touches: 24 | Carries: 21 | Receptions: 3
Despite some concerns that Austin Ekeler was taking over Melvin Gordon's primary role, Gordon posted 88 total yards and a score on his 24 touches. That's a bell-cow type workload, and while Ekeler did work in for nine touches for 70 total yards, Gordon's job is not in danger. Gordon faces a Browns defense next week that just gave up a career-best outing to Joe Mixon.
Target share: 45.2% |Targets: 14 | Receptions: 11 | Yards: 172, TD
No wide receiver has been as hot as Keenan Allen the last two weeks. The Chargers wide receiver had a combined 331 yards and three touchdowns on a whopping 27 targets against the Bills and Cowboys. The Chargers have won both games in convincing fashion, giving hope to the idea they stick with Allen as a funnel receiver. It appears the three-game stretch that preceded this where Allen averaged 6.3 targets per contest was a mere blip on the radar.
Honorable mention(s):Hunter Henry made good on his volume catching all his targets for 76 yards and a touchdown. The problem is that he still saw just five targets. Henry doesn't have a game with more than five targets since Week 6.
Los Angeles Rams
Touches: 21 | Carries: 17 | Receptions: 4
Todd Gurley racked up 128 scrimmage yards against the Saints on his 24 touches, but he failed to find the end zone. Gurley had some impressive runs and again was part of the passing game, seeing seven targets from Jared Goff. There's no concern about Gurley going forward, but that's obvious. Fire him up against Arizona next week.
Target share: 25.6% |Targets: 11 | Receptions: 8 | Yards: 116
With Robert Woods out, Cooper Kupp popped up for a solid game as the team's top short to intermediate passing game threat. Kupp set a season-high with 11 targets and went over 100 yards for the first time all season. If Woods misses more time, Kupp makes for a great play next week against a Cardinals team that struggles with interior receivers.
Touches: 12 | Carries: 9 | Receptions: 3
Target share: 27.3% |Targets: 9 | Receptions: 8 | Yards: 70
Honorable mention(s): The DeVante Parker breakout dreams are over. He had just one catch today and 31 yards combined over the last two games. Parker hasn't pushed for 80-plus receiving yards since his first game of the season.
Touches: 20 | Carries: 20 | Receptions: 0
Latavius Murray kept rolling on Thursday against a soft Lions run defense. He posted 84 rush yards and a score on his 20 carries, marking his third straight game with a trip to the end zone. Murray's been the better fantasy option in the Vikings backfield than Jerick McKinnon over the last month, and it doesn't seem like the former is going to see a downtick in volume anytime soon. McKinnon had 14 touches but just 54 total yards and remains a flex option in PPR formats going forward. Murray will be in the low-end RB1 conversation in Week 13 against Atlanta.
Target share: 36.7% |Targets: 11 | Receptions: 8 | Yards: 89
Honorable mention(s):Kyle Rudolph popped up for a big game with a pair of touchdowns. Ironically, he did this on just four targets, his lowest total since October 1. With the two wide receivers enjoying breakout seasons, Rudolph hasn't had the same week-to-week target ceiling that he did last year.
New England Patriots
Touches: 16 | Carries: 15 | Receptions: 1
Technically, Dion Lewis was the Patriots lead back against the Dolphins, and he did well with his chances rushing for 112 yards on 15 carries. But it was Rex Burkhead who emerged as the best fantasy option out of the New England backfield as he found the end zone twice and totaled 53 yards from scrimmage. There's clearly room for both of these backs to be relevant in fantasy and they should both thrive again next week against Buffalo.
Target share: 28.6% |Targets: 8 | Receptions: 5 | Yards: 82, 2 TDs
Honorable mention(s):Brandin Cooks has target totals of 11, nine and seven over the last three games and posted a combined 18 catches for 306 yards and two touchdowns. He's accessed a solid floor this season, which is out of the ordinary for him through his career. It will be worth tracking his usage when Chris Hogan returns.
New Orleans Saints
Touches: 12 | Carries:11 | Receptions: 1
Getting right to the point, it doesn't matter that Mark Ingram led the Saints backfield in touches, this game was all about Alvin Kamara. He dropped 188 scrimmage yards and two scores on the Rams for a 30-point fantasy outing. Kamara has been on fire for the last six weeks or so, and is in the running for fantasy player of the year at this point. Keep him locked into your lineups even in a tough matchup against the Panthers in Week 13.
Target share: 34.4% |Targets: 11 | Receptions: 7 | Yards: 71
Honorable mention(s):Michael Thomas didn't score a touchdown, which his fantasy owners are certainly frustrated by, but it's important to keep perspective. Thomas has failed to reach eight targets in just one game, has eclipsed 50 yards in all but two games and has at least five catches in all but one game. The production hasn't been near his ceiling but he has a great floor.
New York Giants
Touches: 12| Carries: 11 | Receptions: 1
Orleans Darkwa collected just 39 yards from scrimmage against the Redskins on Thanksgiving. Wayne Gallman out-snapped Darkwa for some reason by a count of 21-18 finishing with 43 total yards on 11 touches. It's odd because Darkwa's role had been so consistent for about a month. Either way, you're playing with fire starting a Giants running back in fantasy at this point. New York faces Oakland on the road next week.
Target share: 29.2% |Targets: 7 | Receptions: 3 | Yards: 18
Target share: 29.2% |Targets: 6 | Receptions: 3 | Yards: 26
Despite leading the team in targets in each of the last two weeks, Evan Engram has amassed just four catches for 27 yards in those games. Engram has left some plays on the field and doesn't have that kind of margin for error in a passing offense that is completely bereft of talent. The wide receivers don't matter until Sterling Shepard plays again.
Honorable mention(s): None.
New York Jets
Touches: 10 each | Carries: Powell: 9, Forte, 10 | Receptions: Powell: 1, Forte 0
With Matt Forte back in the mix the Jets backfield was once again a three-headed committee, making for a terrible fantasy situation as touches and yards were split. Powell totaled 46 yards, Forte totaled 26 yards and Elijah McGuire totaled 34 yards. As long as all three backs are healthy, they'll continue to cannibalize each other's fantasy value. Expect more of the same next week against the Chiefs.
Target share: 32.4% |Targets: 11 | Receptions: 7 | Yards: 105, TD
Honorable mention(s):Robby Anderson is no fluke, in case you're a month and a half late to the show. He has six touchdowns over his last five games. The 2017 breakout player has 41 catches on 74 targets this season and has saved his best ball for late in the year.
Touches: 29 | Carries: 26 | Receptions: 3
There was a report on Sunday morning that the Raiders wanted to get Marshawn Lynch more work and he ended up seeing a season-high 26 rush attempts against Denver. He posted 111 total yards and found the end zone in his best overall performance of the 2017 season. He's been producing lately, with two games of at least 15 fantasy points in his last three contests. He should continue to produce next week against the Giants.
Target share: 20.8% |Targets: 5 | Receptions: 1 | Yards: 1
With Michael Crabtree (ejection) and Amari Cooper (concussion) leaving this game early, no receiver saw the ball funneled his way. Jared Cook led the team in targets but managed just a single yard. Seth Roberts, Johnny Holton and Cordarrelle Patterson led the wideouts in playing time, in that order, with the top-two out.
Honorable mention(s): None.
Touches: 15 | Carries: 15 | Receptions: 0
In another blowout win for the Eagles, LeGarrette Blount was featured, rushing for 97 yards on 15 attempts. He was the only Eagles back with double-digit touches, and is the clear-cut leader of what should be viewed as a full-blown committee backfield with no real clarity other than Blount's role. Jay Ajayi had five carries for 26 yards, but the real story is his fumble at the goal-line that was recovered by Nelson Agholor for a touchdown. Meanwhile, Corey Clement had five touches. The Eagles face the Seahawks next week.
Target share: 30.8% |Targets: 12 | Receptions: 10 | Yards: 103, TD
Zach Ertz got back on track after a slow contest last week coming back from an injury absence. He posted a monster game in Week 12 with 10 catches on 12 targets, which tied a season-high.
Honorable mention(s):Alshon Jeffery has target totals of eight, 11, seven and nine over his last four games and has scored five touchdowns during that span. Nelson Agholor scored his first touchdown in over a month. He needs to make big plays to return value because he has cracked seven targets just twice all year. He hasn't cleared 50 yards since Week 6.
San Francisco 49ers
Touches: 23 | Carries: 16 | Receptions: 7
Given his volume, Carlos Hyde's fantasy production was disappointing in Week 12. He saw a ridiculous 13 targets, catching seven of them for just 21 yards. He added 47 rush yards on 16 carries, so clearly he had a tough time moving the ball against the Seahawks. His opportunity makes him a must-play every week, as he stays on the field even in negative game scripts, but unless he's scoring, which he's only done in two games all year, you can't expect big fantasy production.
Target share: 34.2% |Targets: 13 | Receptions: 7 | Yards: 21
Carlos Hyde has turned into a passing volume monster with C.J. Beathard under center. The running back has target totals of eight, nine, 11, three and 13 over his last five games. Beathard left this game with an injury, which might lead to the start of the Jimmy Garoppolo era next week. It will be worth monitoring if Hyde's passing game usage changes under a different quarterback.
Honorable mention(s):Marquise Goodwin has target totals of eight, two and six over his last three games played. He's topped 60 yards in each of those contests.
Touches: 20 | Carries: 17 | Receptions: 3
Eddie Lacy racked up 20 touches for 61 total yards against San Francisco Sunday. His lack of efficiency is telling against what's been a horrible 49ers run defense. Russell Wilson scored the Seahawks only rushing touchdown, which came from inside the five-yard-line. J.D. McKissic saw eight touches for 46 total yards. You're not starting any Seattle running back against the Eagles next week.
Target share: 21.2% |Targets: 7 | Receptions: 4 | Yards: 70
Target share: 21.2% |Targets: 7 | Receptions: 4 | Yards: 24
Paul Richardson has hit seven-plus targets in five games this season, including Week 12. The former 2014 second-round pick continues to make vertical plays and pops up in scoring position.
Honorable mention(s):Jimmy Graham has scored eight touchdowns since Week 5. The Seahawks have fully unlocked his red zone and inside the 10-yard line upside this season. Doug Baldwin crashed down to 25 scoreless yards. After a stretch of hot games, a comedown for the inconsistent Baldwin was to be expected.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Touches: 9 | Carries: 8 | Receptions: 1
Doug Martin left the game with a concussion after gaining just 33 yards on seven attempts. His injury left a committee of Jacquizz Rodgers, Peyton Barber and Charles Sims to carry the load. Rodgers led in touches but it was Barber who found the end zone twice on just five carries in the second half. If Martin misses any time, expect a full-blown committee backfield out of Tampa Bay next week against the Packers.
Target share: 27.2% |Targets: 12 | Receptions: 6 | Yards: 78
The volume was once again there for Mike Evans but the production did not follow. We're used to that at this point in the season for Evans. He has just two games under 60 yards but has still yet to crack 100 in any contest. You'll keep deploying him because of the volume alone.
Honorable mention(s): The tight end situation has devolved into a full-blown committee, at best, rendering both players unusable for fantasy. Cameron Brate has just one catch in each of his last four games since the calendar turned over to November.
Touches: 15 | Carries: 12 | Receptions: 3
In one of the more frustrating backfield results of Week 12, DeMarco Murray rushed for NINE yards on 12 carries and scored on a 1-yard touchdown run. Derrick Henry rushed for 79 yards on 13 carries. Murray added 33 receiving yards but has clearly lost a step at this point, and it's a shame that Henry doesn't get more looks. Murray remains the "lead" back, but his snap count was identical to Henry's on Sunday (each back played 29 snaps). Murray is probably the smarter play against Houston next week, but he's trending in the wrong direction.
Target share: 20.8% |Targets: 5 | Receptions: 4 | Yards: 63, TD
Honorable mention(s): None.
Touches: 27 | Carries: 24 | Receptions: 3
Target share: 26.7% |Targets: 8 | Receptions: 7 | Yards: 72
Jamison Crowder has officially turned his season around. After a painfully slow start, Crowder has target totals of 13, 11, eight and 10 over his last four games played. With over 70 yards in each of those contests, and seven-plus catches in three of four, he's now having the steady season that many imagined when he was pegged as a popular breakout candidate during fantasy drafts.
Honorable mention(s):Josh Doctson looks great but he will continue to live off big plays and touchdowns. His season-high in targets is seven and he had just four on Thursday night.