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 the 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 4.
*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: 16 | Carries: 13 | Receptions: 3
in a game where no touchdowns were scored until the game-winner in overtime, Chris Johnson had just 32 rush yards on his 13 carries and added 31 receiving yards on his three catches. He was out-snapped by Andre Ellington by a count of 32 to 43 and looks old and slow, which is probably why the Cardinals cut him in the preseason. He's not a great fantasy option as Arizona tends to throw the ball when they're near the end zone. Johnson will face the Eagles next week, but you're not starting him unless you're extremely desperate.
Honorable mention(s):Andre Ellington led the Cardinals with 14 targets, hauling in nine of them for 86 yards. He added five rushes for 18 yards on the ground. Ellington is the Arizona back to own, given his usage as a pass-catcher. He was on the field more than Chris Johnson and it looks like the team is finding ways to get him involved.
Target share: 27.5% |Targets: 14 | Receptions: 9 | Yards: 86
Arizona seems to be using Andre Ellington as an extension of the running game, which makes sense considering they averaged 2.3 yards per carry as a team. The team took to the air 51 times and games like that will boost Ellington's floor in PPR leagues. Larry Fitzgerald surrendered some of that underneath work to Ellington when Carson Palmer's pass protection failed, but still snagged the game winning touchdown for the Cardinals in overtime.
Touches: 20 | Carries: 18 | Receptions: 2
In a tough matchup against the Bills run defense, Devonta Freeman still managed to eek out a score, and his fantasy owners thank him for that. Freeman has now scored at least once in every game this season. He had some trouble with efficiency with just 58 rush yards on his 18 carries and added 20 receiving yards. Freeman is still the Falcons feature back, as he out-snapped Tevin Coleman by a count of 47 to 26. Freeman remains a must-start fantasy back but he has a bye in Week 5.
Honorable mention(s): Coleman, who had two huge runs each over 25 yards, finished Week 4 with more fantasy points (14.4) than Freeman (13.8). With game-ending injuries to both Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu, Coleman soaked up six targets and led Atlanta in receiving with 65 yards. He also managed 79 rush yards on just nine carries. The production was nice, but as noted by the snap count above, fantasy managers can't count on Coleman to produce on a weekly basis.
Target share: 16.7% |Targets: 7 | Receptions: 5 | Yards: 50
Austin Hooper was on the field for over 70 percent of the Falcons snaps, something he's done every week, but this was the first game in which he saw more than two targets. The injuries to both Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu helped boost his volume stock, as did the Falcons surprisingly playing in negative game script all day. Atlanta will not consistently push 40 pass attempts so it's unlikely we can count on Hooper for reliable volume just yet.
Honorable mention(s): With Jones and Sanu leaving the game early, the depth receivers for the Falcons had to shoulder more of a workload than usual. No. 3 receiver Taylor Gabriel was on the field for 81 percent of the team's plays but failed to catch any of his five targets. Justin Hardy drew six targets and caught a touchdown inside the 10-yard line. Hopefully, the injuries to the Falcons top-two wideouts won't cause any multi-game absences but if they do, Hardy might be a player to scoop up.
Touches: 9 | Carries: 9 | Receptions: 0
Alex Collins earned himself a start on Sunday against the Steelers, and while he only had nine carries, he made the most of them. The Ravens running back ripped off runs of 23 and 50 yards on his way to an 82-yard day. Baltimore was trailing for much of the game so the script didn't allow for much second-half usage. It's notable that Collins only played 17 snaps, or 25 percent of his team's total. Javorius Allen was on the field for 40 snaps.
Honorable mention(s): Allen had just two rush attempts for seven yards but he tied Mike Wallace for the team lead in receptions with six. Allen was on the field for 58 percent of Baltimore's snaps but it's not exactly clear if his usage was solely game-script based. Allen remains the best Ravens back to use in PPR formats, while Collins projects as the lead runner and likely goal-line back going forward.
Target share: 21.3% |Targets: 10 | Receptions: 6 | Yards: 55, TD
Mike Wallace saw 10 targets today and caught a red zone touchdown. The veteran receiver came into this game with nine targets total over the three previous games. With that in mind, we'll need to see much more evidence that his role is on the rise before recommending chasing this one.
Touches: 23 | Carries: 20 | Receptions: 3
In an ideal bounce-back spot for LeSean McCoy, he did just that. After two low-production games, Shady posted 108 yards from scrimmage, rushing 20 times for 76 yards in a win against the Falcons. His usage as a pass-catcher remained relatively high too, finishing with the second most targets and receptions on the team behind Charles Clay. McCoy was seen hobbling with what looked to an ankle or foot injury but he did get back on the field. McCoy will face the Bengals in Week 5.
Honorable mention(s):Mike Tolbert had eight carries for 31 yards and remains the clear-cut No. 2 in Buffalo. But as long as McCoy is healthy, Tolbert won't carry much fantasy value.
Target share: 35% |Targets: 7 | Receptions: 5 | Yards: 112
With target totals of nine, three, six and seven, Charles Clay has the type of consistent usage we just don't find nearly often enough at the tight end position. He needs to be owned in all formats and is a weekly starter until his role changes in any way.
Honorable mention(s):Jordan Matthews snagged his first touchdown with the team but left with a thumb injury in the fourth quarter. The team needs him to get healthy and more integrated with the offense. He's clearly their best receiver, as Zay Jones continues to whiff with his chances as the top wideout.
Touches: 14 | Carries: 14 | Receptions: 0
The Panthers backfield was in a good spot to put up fantasy points against a leaky Patriots defense on Sunday. Technically, Carolina did well on the ground, but the usual suspects were vultured ... twice. Jonathan Stewart led the unit with 68 rush yards on his 14 carries. Unfortunately for Stewart owners, Cam Newton rushed for a score as he's been known to do, and third-string back Fozzy Whittaker scored on a 28-yard screen in the second quarter. Very uncool of the Panthers to do that. Stewart remains the lead back from a volume standpoint despite a 45 percent snap share. He'll go up against the Lions in Week 5.
Honorable mention(s):Christian McCaffrey was on the field for 77 percent of Carolina's snaps but totaled a mere 10 touches against New England. The rookie rushed six times for 16 yards and caught four passes for another 33 yards. It seemed like breakout type of situation for McCaffrey, but Cam Newton had other plans, apparently. McCaffrey is tough to trust as anything more than a low-end flex in PPR formats.
Target share: 31% |Targets: 9 | Receptions: 7 | Yards: 70, 2 TDs
Greg Olsen's injury has indeed been a boost to Devin Funchess' stock. In the two games without Olsen, Funchess has 19 targets. The Panthers continue to make more use of Funchess on in-breaking and high-percentage routes. As long as that holds up and the Panthers offense looks more like today's version than Week 3's, Funchess has a solid chance to enjoy a breakout season. He's currently on pace for just over 860 receiving yards.
Honorable mention(s):Kelvin Benjamin looked like he suffered a grizzly injury but showed no ill effects today. He was on the field for 90 percent of the team's plays and caught all four of his targets for over 100 yards.
Touches: 20 | Carries: 18 | Receptions: 1
It was a weird night for the Bears offense last Thursday night. The game script got out of hand in the first quarter but somehow, even with a less-than-100 percent shoulder, Howard managed to find the end zone late in the fourth quarter. His usage, even with the Bears trailing the entire game, is encouraging going forward. Howard has a tough matchup against the Vikings next week, but he ripped up Minnesota in primetime last season.
Honorable mention(s): It's odd that Tarik Cohen only played 15 snaps against the Packers, because it seemed like a perfect situation for him to thrive. He wasn't very productive with just 48 total yards on his 10 touches, but he had two big runs called back on penalties. He remains a low-end flex with more upside in PPR formats.
Target share: 30% |Targets: 9 | Receptions: 5 | Yards: 44
Touches: 21 | Carries: 17 | Receptions: 4
For the second straight week under Bill Lazor's coordination, Joe Mixon was the Bengals lead running back. Unfortunately, Mixon totaled just 48 yards from scrimmage against the Browns ... not great considering the volume he received. The Bengals ground game was pretty awful all around on Sunday, so Mixon's inefficiency was sort of par for the course. It's good that they're using him as the primary back, but to trust him in fantasy we'll need to see more. The Bengals running backs have a tough matchup against Buffalo in Week 5.
Honorable mention(s): For the second straight week, Giovani Bernard scored a receiving touchdown. This one he had to work for though; he took a short pass from Andy Dalton 61 yards to the paint. Jeremy Hill is droppable at this point, but Bernard should be held onto. With bye weeks coming up, Bernard may have some value as a low-end flex in PPR formats.
Target share: 23.3% |Targets: 7 | Receptions: 5 | Yards: 63, TD
Target share: 23.3% |Targets: 7 | Receptions: 6 | Yards: 68, 2 TDs
A.J. Green served up another reminder that he's still an elite fantasy receiver even after a "slow" start in the first two games. 2015 third-round draft pick Tyler Kroft started in place of Tyler Eifert and really stood out. He was on the field for 83 percent of the team's plays and scored two red zone touchdowns. It was the type of usage we're all hoping to see from a top tight end in fantasy. If he ever manages to get back to anything close to 100 percent, we must hope Eifert slides into a utilization plan that resembles that.
Touches: 13 | Carries: 4 | Receptions: 9
Duke Johnson has been trending up as a fantasy asset the last couple of weeks, and he put up a serviceable line again in Week 4. With the Browns getting blown out, Johnson out-snapped Isaiah Crowell and led Cleveland with nine receptions. He added a garbage-time touchdown late in the fourth quarter for good measure. Johnson is becoming a solid option in PPR formats, as he's now posted double-digit points three weeks in a row. He'll face the Jets next week and should have high-end flex appeal at the least.
Honorable mention(s): It may be time to jump ship on Isaiah Crowell as Alex Gelhar tweeted earlier on Sunday. The Crow had just seven carries for 20 yards on the ground and one catch for seven additional yards. He's been a complete bust in fantasy so far this year, and his outlook isn't good considering Johnson's recent rise.
Target share: 24.4% |Targets: 10 | Receptions: 9 | Yards: 47
With the Browns living in negative game script, Duke Johnson was on the field for more plays than Isaiah Crowell. With how uninspiring Crowell's play has been of late, it's not out of the question that continues. Johnson's touch-total continues to trend up (two, seven, eight, 13) and with questions all over the wide receiver group, his passing game involvement should remain secure.
Touches: 25 | Carries: 21 | Receptions: 4
The Cowboys fed Zeke early and often against the Rams in Week 4 and he made some hay for his fantasy owners with two first-half touchdowns. On top of his 85 rush yards, Eliott added 54 receiving yards to help boost his fantasy point total to 25.9 for the week. It was Zeke's best fantasy outing so far this season. He gets the Packers next week.
Honorable mention(s):Alfred Morris ripped off a 70-yard run in the second quarter on one of his two carries of the game. He's nothing more than a Zeke handcuff for now, though.
Target share: 37.1% |Targets: 13 | Receptions: 5 | Yards: 98
Dez Bryant is pacing for 160 targets on the season, which would be a career-high. He's also sporting a 40 percent catch rate. Opportunity continues to flow Bryant's direction and it's keeping his fantasy stock afloat. Although it has to be a bit disconcerting that the Cowboys continue to feed Bryant strictly low-percentage passes and the connection with Dak Prescott seems to be a bit off.
Honorable mention(s): After going for over 90 yards and a touchdown on just three pass plays in Week 3, Brice Butler saw a small bump in playing time and was on the field for 16 pass plays against the Rams. However, that was more in line with his norm this season (20, 15, three, 16). He snared a target in the red zone that resulted in a touchdown.
Touches: 24 | Carries: 20 | Receptions: 4
With rumors of a "hot hand" approach in the Denver backfield over the weekend, C.J. Anderson owners breathed a sigh of relief. He bounced back after a down game in Buffalo last week and was the clear-cut primary back seeing 24 touches. Anderson rushed for 95 yards on his 20 carries and added 17 receiving yards on four catches. He failed to find the end zone, but he'll be fine as a low-end RB1 going forward. He has a bye in Week 5, so set your lineups accordingly.
Honorable mention(s):Jamaal Charles had six touches in this game, and doesn't seem to be as big of a threat to Anderson's workload as some might have assumed coming into the game. He's merely a change-of-pace option, and played just 10 snaps compared to Anderson's 43.
Target share: 24% |Targets: 6 | Receptions: 4 | Yards: 75, TD
Usually it's one of Demaryius Thomas or Emmanuel Sanders owning this spot but today a tight end emerged. A.J. Derby made a simply gorgeous catch for a touchdown and was impressive throughout. He drew some praise from observers in training camp, as well. However, at this point, Derby only averaged 18.5 pass plays per game, which isn't enough volume to sustain a truly reliable fantasy role. He's a player worth monitoring though, as Denver desperately needs help beyond their top two receivers.
Honorable mention(s): It was a slow day for Thomas and Sanders with 10 targets and six catches between them. We know that they are the lifeblood of this passing offense, but with just 25 attempts overall today, there wasn't enough volume to go around.
Touches: 23 | Carries: 20 | Receptions: 3
Against a stout Vikings defense that limited Jacquizz Rodgers to just 15 yards a week ago, Ameer Abdullah had his best outing of the 2017 season. Abdullah gained 109 yards from scrimmage, 94 of them on the ground. He also scored his first touchdown of the year on a three-yard run in the third quarter. He has a tough game next week against the Panthers, but at least it's in Detroit. Still, he'll be tough to trust in that one against a Panthers rush defense that ranks near the top of the league.
Honorable mention(s):Theo Riddick was surprisingly used very little in this game, and totaled just five touches. Abdullah was rolling and the Lions were protecting a small lead for most of the game, so the script probably had something to do with it. Riddick is in a better spot as a flex option against the Panthers in Week 5.
Target share: 16.1% |Targets: 5 | Receptions: 3 | Yards: 29
It was a disappointing line for Golden Tate in an overall low-scoring contest against the Vikings. With four players in total splitting the team-lead in targets with five, it's no surprise there wasn't much to eat for Tate. His usage has a bit of a yo-yo effect through the first four weeks with target totals of 12, four, 11 and five. Despite a role that usually breeds a strong floor for fantasy, short-area slot receiver, Tate doesn't appear to have the weekly volume locked-in to make good on that.
Honorable mention(s):Eric Ebron has target totals of three, five, seven and four through the first four weeks of the regular season. He's yet to cross 50 yards receiving. It's tough to consider him anything more than a fringe streamer at this point.
Green Bay Packers
Touches: 13 | Carries: 13 | Receptions: 0
Thursday night was rough for Ty Montgomery owners. He went out in the first quarter with a rib injury and didn't return. Reports suggest that the injury is not as serious as first assumed but it's a situation to keep a close eye on. Montgomery's absence allowed rookie Aaron Jones to get some work. Jones managed 49 yards and a touchdown against a tough Bears defensive front.
Honorable mention(s): Rookie back Jamaal Williams was actually next in line after Montgomery went out. Williams had just four carries before injuring his knee, but his prognosis is positive. With conflicting reports on Montgomery's potential return, both Jones and Williams are worth adding on waivers. Jones would be the likely starter in Week 5 and there's no guarantee Montgomery will see a full workload if he does return.
Green Bay Packers
Target share: 25.9% |Targets: 7 | Receptions: 4 | Yards: 75, 2 TD
Target share: 25.9% |Targets: 7 | Receptions: 6 | Yards: 39
In an unreliable tight end field, the volume for Martellus Bennett has been something we can count on. Bennett currently averages seven targets per game. However, just as reliable is his inability to turn that into any production. Bennett hasn't averaged over 10 yards per reception since Week 1 and has yet to eclipse 50 yards receiving in any game this year.
Touches: 23 | Carries: 19 | Receptions: 4
The Texans thumped the Titans in Week 4, and Lamar Miller benefitted from his rookie quarterback's big game. Miller totaled 131 yards from scrimmage and scored twice, once rushing and once receiving. It was by far his best outing of the season, and if the Texans offense keeps humming like they were Sunday, there could be more of these big games in store. He'll face the Chiefs in Week 5.
Honorable mention(s):D'Onta Foreman received his biggest workload of the season with 13 rush attempts for 45 yards. The Texans seemed to be riding Miller's hot hand, so Foreman's takeover will have to wait. He was far out-snapped by his veteran teammate by a count of 53 to 22. He's still worth holding onto as a bench stash for now.
Target share: 35.3% |Targets: 12 | Receptions: 10 | Yards: 107, TD
DeAndre Hopkins remains a target monster this season. He has target totals of 16, 13, eight and 12. Hopkins is on pace to push his outrageous 190-plus target finish from 2015. He may well begin to slightly slow down over the remaining months of the season, but it is clear rookie Deshaun Watson has no issues unconsciously feeding him on a weekly basis.
Touches: 15 | Carries: 12 | Receptions: 3
Against the Seahawks, the majority of Frank Gore's 15-touch workload came in the first half before the game got out of hand in Seattle's favor. He only had four second-half touches. His work in the passing game, with receptions of 19, four, and 11 yards, helped boost his floor in PPR formats, but Gore's overall production of just 80 yards from scrimmage left much to be desired. He's been getting the volume for Indy, but hasn't produced big yardage totals. Much of the veteran's fantasy value is based on touchdown scoring, and he failed to find the end zone in Week 4. He's got a revenge game narrative against San Francisco next week, for what it's worth.
Target share: 26.9% |Targets: 7 | Receptions: 5 | Yards: 27
The production predictably hasn't been there for Jack Doyle to start the season with just over game over 45 yards receiving and no trips to the end zone. However, the usage has been there, for the most part. Doyle consistently plays on more than 75 percent of the team's plays and averages just under six targets per game. When there are more scoring chances for this group with Andrew Luck at the helm, Doyle should see his touchdown chances should spike. So far, he's only registered two targets inside the 10-yard line, both coming in their previous two games with Jacoby Brissett at the helm.
Honorable mention(s): One interesting note from this game was Kamar Aiken's playing time. He averaged a 70.4 percent snap share in his first two games and left Week 3 after just a handful of plays with a concussion. Against the Seahawks, he was on the field more Than Donte Moncrief (49 to 42 plays). At worst, he looks entrenched as the No. 3 receiver there.
Touches: 28 | Carries: 24 | Receptions: 86
No surprises here, Leonard Fournette was the Jags' bell cow on Sunday against the Jets. He collected 28 touches on his way to 145 yards from scrimmage and scored for the fourth straight game. Fournette has scored in every game of his young NFL career and is becoming one of the most reliable RB1s in fantasy. His added involvement as a pass-catcher is encouraging as well. His Week 5 outlook sets up nicely with a matchup against the Steelers.
Honorable mention(s):Chris Ivory came into spell Fournette a few times as he's been doing all year. He totaled 42 yards on his nine carries. He has some handcuff value behind Fournette, but there's no need to rush out to add him.
Target share: 28.6% |Targets: 10 | Receptions: 4 | Yards: 42
After a mirage game in London, Blake Bortles reverted to the form we're used to seeing. He stalled drives, completed less than 45 percent of his passes and averaged under four yards per attempt. With efficiency like that, there's nothing to mine in the passing game. Allen Hurns led the team in targets with 10, following target totals of seven and three in the two games prior. He didn't secure a touchdown like he had in Weeks 2 and 3, so that cratered his value.
Los Angeles Chargers
Touches: 11 | Carries: 10 | Receptions: 1
Melvin Gordon had an uninspiring performance against the Eagles in Week 4. He played 70 percent of the Chargers snaps but totaled just 22 rush yards on his 10 attempts and seven yards on his lone reception. If he's not 100 percent healthy (knee) it's odd that the Chargers had him on the field at such a high rate. But it was a terrible fantasy outing for a guy who usually comes through one way or another. Gordon will look to bounce back against the Giants next week.
Honorable mention(s): Third-stringer Austin Ekeler had just one carry against the Eagles: A 35-yard touchdown run. He's a name to watch with Gordon's knee injury flaring up, but Branden Oliver remains the likely handcuff for now. Ekeler doesn't have the size to be a workhorse but he's a sneaky change-of-pace option.
Target share: 29.7% |Targets: 11 | Receptions: 5 | Yards: 138
Keenan Allen remains the clear top receiver in this offense. By hitting 11 targets today, he not only registered a season-high but also hit double-digits in his third game so far. As long he stays healthy he's a lock for 90-plus catches.
Honorable mention(s):Tyrell Williams finally broke out for fantasy with a 75-yard touchdown but his usage overall remained the same. He checked in with six targets despite leading the wide receiver group in playing time (89 percent). That's in line with what he's done all year. Williams is high-ceiling/low floor flex option.
Los Angeles Rams
Touches: 30 | Carries: 23 | Receptions: 7
Todd Gurley predicted that he was going to beat up on Dallas this week, and he did just that. Gurley led his Rams to a victory on the road on the heels of a 121-rush yard performance. He also led Los Angeles in receiving with 94 yards on seven catches, and added a receiving touchdown. Gurley's 27.5 standard fantasy points stand as the second-highest of the week heading into the Sunday night game. He's been one of the most consistent RB1s in fantasy football this season and is locked-in for high volume every week. He gets the Seahawks at home in Week 5.
Honorable mention(s): Move along, nothing to see here.
Target share: 22.8% |Targets: 8 | Receptions: 7 | Yards: 94, TD
Todd Gurley has just one game with fewer than five catches and has found the end zone as a pass-catcher in each of the last three weeks. He's averaging over 10 yards per reception for the season, as well. After miring under Jeff Fisher and his refusal to feature the talented Gurley as a receiving weapon, he's been fully unleashed under Sean McVay in the passing game.
Honorable mention(s): After a dominant game on Thursday night in Week 3, Sammy Watkins went quiet with just two targets on the day. He didn't see his first look until the fourth quarter. The tide turned back to slot receiver Cooper Kupp, who was second on the team with seven targets and scored a touchdown. The mark of a good offense is an ability to turn to multiple different players and dimensions in winning efforts. That's not much of a comfort to fantasy players, of course, but it's great news for the Rams as a team.
Touches: 13 | Carries: 12 | Receptions: 1
Jay Ajayi finished his Week 4 outing in London with just 46 rush yards on 12 carries against the Saints. It was the second consecutive disappointing game for Miami's workhorse. The slow start is more a result of the lackluster production from the Dolphins offense as a whole than anything else. They've had a tough travel schedule to start the season and quarterback Jay Cutler has struggled to move the offense in two straight favorable matchups. There should be brighter days ahead for Ajayi, but he'll be tough to trust in Week 5 against the Titans.
Target share: 28.6% |Targets: 8 | Receptions: 6 | Yards: 69
The Dolphins offense is broken. They're one garbage-time touchdown in Week 3 away from being shut out by the Jets and Saints defenses in back-to-back weeks. No. 1 wide receiver usage in terms of total targets and air yards share is there for DeVante Parker, but it doesn't seem to count for much in this "scoring" attack. The Dolphins have no bye and will travel straight back to Miami to face the Titans in Week 5. Tennessee's pass defense has been eviscerated in back-to-back weeks by Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson. However, soft landing spots didn't do much for this unit the last two games.
Honorable mention(s): This was Jarvis Landry's second-straight game with six catches for less than 50 yards. Unless you're looking for a pure floor play in a PPR league, his lack of downfield targets is a death blow to any fantasy utility.
Touches: 14 | Carries: 13 | Receptions: 1
Terrible news out of Minnesota on Sunday as Dalvin Cook suffered a non-contact knee injury and didn't return to the game. Early reports predict that it's an ACL tear, which would put Cook out for the rest of the season. He was rolling before he went out, too, with 66 rush yards and a score. Cook was one of the more exciting rookie backs and is a vital part of the Vikings offense. The team will bump Latavius Murray up a notch on the depth chart, and he'll likely be the team's starter going forward, making him the week's top waiver candidate. Murray had seven carries for 21 yards after Cook left the game.
Honorable mention(s):Jerick McKinnon will probably see an uptick in usage with Cook out, so it will be interesting to see how the Vikings employ the split between him and Murray. My assumption is that McKinnon's change-of-pace role will remain, and Murray will be the primary and goal-line back. Minnesota takes on the Bears next Monday night.
Target share: 26.7% |Targets: 8 | Receptions: 5 | Yards: 59
Adam Thielen saw one more target than teammate Stefon Diggs to lead the team with eight. Diggs owned the team lead in percentage of Case Keenum's intended air yards with 32 percent. His move to the outside continues to breed chances for big plays, as he averaged 18.1 air yards per target today. Thielen is far from a short-area option only, however, as he checked him with a 12.5 average.
Honorable mention(s):Kyle Rudolph hasn't found the end zone since Week 1 and his usage remains quite concerning. He's averaging just five targets per game this year and is blocking far more than he did last year when he led all tight ends in targets.
New England Patriots
Touches: 12 | Carries: 12 | Receptions: 0
The Patriots running backs faced a tough matchup against Carolina on Sunday, and the game script didn't help matters for Mike Gillislee. He totaled just 49 yards on 12 carries, while Dion Lewis vultured a score on one of his four rush attempts. That's the Patriots way when it comes to fantasy running backs.
Honorable mention(s):James White led the Patriots with 10 receptions on 12 targets and had 47 yards through the air. When the script allows, White is a PPR monster. He was on the field for 61 percent of New England's snaps in a game they were trailing, by two scores at one point. White goes up against the Buccaneers next week.
Target share: 26.7% |Targets: 12 | Receptions: 10 | Yards: 47
The Patriots came into this game as heavy home favorites follow a depressing showing by the Panthers in Week 3, which foretells a game script that doesn't center around passing game specialist James White. Of course, the game didn't play out that way and White was on the field for a season-high 41 plays.
Honorable mention(s): With Danny Amendola back in the fold, Chris Hogan only lined up in the slot on 35 percent of his plays in Week 4 and 25 percent in Week 3. That makes him a more high-variance player but Hogan continues to convert on his chances. He led the team with a 25.7 percent share of Tom Brady's intended air yards.
New Orleans Saints
Touches: 18 | Carries: 14 | Receptions: 4
The good news: Mark Ingram's usage in Week 4 was promising given how unproductive he's been thus far for fantasy owners. The bad news: Ingram wasn't very efficient. He totaled just 45 yards on 14 carries and a mere 17 additional yards on four receptions. Ingram has yet to find the end zone this season. As a reminder, the Saints have a Week 5 bye.
Honorable mention(s): The big story here is the emergence of rookie Alvin Kamara. He only had five rush attempts for 25 yards but caught 10 passes on 10 targets for 71 yards and scored a receiving touchdown. Adrian Peterson played just six snaps in the game and rushed for a measly four yards on his four attempts. Peterson is borderline droppable in 10 team leagues at this point.
Target share: 27.5% |Targets: 11 | Receptions: 4 | Yards: 75, 2 TD
Week 4 saw Michael Thomas record his second double-digit target game of the season and he averages 9.3 targets per game thus far. Thomas cracked 80 yards receiving in all three of the Saints' contests since their Week 1 loss against a tough Vikings defense. He's destined to be one of the most consistent wide receivers this season.
Honorable mention(s):Willie Snead picked up a hamstring injury during his first week of practice coming off a three-game suspension and was inactive for his 2017 opener. The Saints get a bye this week so he should be ready to roll in Week 6. In his absence, Brandon Coleman still played more than Ted Ginn (51 to 44 plays) and Coby Fleener was back in his place as the tight end playing time leader. None of them made much noise statistically with Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara combining for 18 targets.
New York Giants
Touches: 13 | Carries: 11 | Receptions: 2
With Orleans Darkwa inactive, the Giants gave rookie Wayne Gallman an opportunity. He finished with 42 rush yards on 11 carries which is the highest rushing total by a Giants running back this season. He added two receptions for eight yards and scored a receiving touchdown. There's nothing super inspiring about Gallman's running style but at least he can break a few tackles. Meanwhile, Paul Perkins had 13 yards on his nine attempts. Perkins is averaging about 1.8 yards per carry on the season, so the Giants backfield needs a spark. Maybe Gallman provides that, but it's still a muddled committee approach so his upside would be limited if he does end up taking the lead role.
Honorable mention(s):Shane Vereen had six touches for 24 total yards. He's not getting enough volume to carry much value outside of deep PPR fomats.
Target share: 30.6% |Targets: 15 | Receptions: 7 | Yards: 90
Odell Beckham is clearly established once again atop the Giants target totem pole. The all-star wideout has 28 targets over the last two games. Despite missing Week 1, it's not out of the question that Beckham sets a career-high in targets. The Giants are simply incapable of moving the ball on the ground and thus have no chance but to take to the air.
Honorable mention(s): The secondary targets in this offense all made their marks, and Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram even hit double-digits in targets. This passing offense should be voluminous enough for other players beyond Beckham to keep their fantasy stocks afloat as ancillary potential flex pieces.
New York Jets
Touches: 25 | Carries: 21 | Receptions: 4
With Matt Forte out due to injury, Bilal Powell got the start in the Jets backfield. Safe to say he did well with his opportunity as his first touch of the game was a 75-yard touchdown sprint. Powell finished the game with a ridiculous 190 yards from scrimmage and 25 fantasy points in standard scoring. It'd be shocking if the Jets go back to Forte as the lead back after this game from Powell. A borderline drop just a week ago, Powell's arrow is pointing up. He'll face the Browns next week.
Honorable mention(s): Rookie runner Elijah McGuire saw some added work with Forte out, too. And like Powell, he made the most of it. McGuire has 12 touches in the game, 10 carries and two catches. One of his runs was a 69-yard touchdown scamper, pushing his rushing total to 93 yards on the day. He added 38 receiving yards and will be a popular waiver pickup ahead of Week 5.
Target share: 22.6% |Targets: 7 | Receptions: 4 | Yards: 17
Honorable mention(s):Austin Seferian-Jenkins has 10 targets through his first two games back from suspension and was on the field for over 75 percent of the team's plays in both contests. It hasn't turned into massive production yet, but that's the profile of a usable tight end in fantasy.
Touches: 9 | Carries: 9 | Receptions: 0
It was an unfavorable matchup for Marshawn Lynch against Denver in Week 4 and that prediction held true. Lynch gained just 12 yards on the ground on his nine carries. These are the scripts Lynch's owners should be afraid of. When Oakland is losing in the second half, he's going to ride the pine. It didn't help that Derek Carr left the game with a back injury, but Lynch wasn't doing much anyway. That's two games in a row now that Lynch hasn't provided much fantasy value, and its a concern given the Raiders offensive struggles. You can't start him next week against the Ravens, either.
Target share: 22.8% |Targets: 8 | Receptions: 3 | Yards: 46
With strong perimeter corners, Denver's defense often funnels passing to the middle of the field. While that's exactly what happened with Jared Cook today, he's remained a consistent presence on this offense in every game this season. Cook is routinely out for the majority of passing plays and has target totals of five, six, six and eight. That puts him near the top of the streaming crop.
Honorable mention(s):Amari Cooper was likely to struggle in this spot in Denver but endured a horrendous afternoon with just nine yards on eight targets. It's his second game in a row with single digits in receiving yards. It's been such a nightmarish stretch for Cooper that it's worth exploring buy-low opportunities.
Touches: 17 | Carries: 16 | Receptions: 1
Just what we needed, a LeGarrette Blount bounce back. With Darren Sproles out, the Eagles leaned on Blount and he responded with 156 scrimmage yards on his 17 touches. He didn't find the end zone, but Wendell Smallwood did. Smallwood had 10 carries for 34 yards and four catches for 46 yards. Smallwood also out-snapped Blount 32 to 25, but it seems like this will continue to be a timeshare going forward. At least we know Smallwood has the pass-catching upside over Blount.
Honorable mention(s): Rookie Corey Clement also had 10 carries for 30 yards. He's a name to keep an eye on but does not require any action at this point.
Target share: 26.7% |Targets: 8 | Receptions: 5 | Yards: 81
Few players are as locked-in as Zach Ertz right now with 36 targets through four games. He has 80-plus yards or a touchdown to his name in every contest thus far. Someone must have taken his calendar and just stuck it on December.
Touches: 39 | Carries: 35 | Receptions: 4
The Steelers decided to attack the Ravens on the ground and absolutely loaded Le'Veon Bell up with volume. It paid off, as Bell ripped apart Baltimore's defense for 144 rush yards, and added 42 receiving yards on his four catches. He also scored two rushing touchdowns and his 30.6 standard points rank him atop Week 4's running back leaders heading into the Sunday night game. He's officially back, we told you not to worry. Bell matches up against the Jaguars in Week 5.
Honorable mention(s):James Conner had a couple of nice runs including a 23-yarder in the first quarter. His four carries were the most he's had this year. Conner should be considered one of the most valuable handcuffs in fantasy behind Bell.
Target share: 30% |Targets: 9 | Receptions: 4 | Yards: 34
With Le'Veon Bell handling 35 carries, there wasn't a heavyweight to lift for the passing game. Antonio Brown appeared frustrated on the sidelines several times throughout this game. He still finished the contest with a team-high nine targets. He'll face a tough set of cornerbacks when the Jaguars come to town next week.
San Francisco 49ers
Touches: 21 | Carries: 16 | Receptions: 5
Entering the game with a questionable tag, Carlos Hyde (hip) saw volume against the Cardinals but didn't produce big numbers for fantasy purposes. He rushed for 68 yards on his 16 carries and added 27 receiving yards on five catches. Even with the injury, Hyde remained the 49ers feature back, playing 71 percent of the snaps. He'll enjoy a favorable matchup against the Colts in Week 5.
Honorable mention(s): Hyde's backup, Matt Breida, saw ten touches on Sunday but rushed for just 16 yards on his nine attempts. He also had a touchdown reception called back on a penalty. For now, Bredia is more of a change-of-pace guy rather than someone who will threaten Hyde's workload. He needs to be owned as a Hyde handcuff though.
Target share: 25% |Targets: 12 | Receptions: 3 | Yards: 52
Marquise Goodwin left this game early with a concussion and Aldrick Robinson stepped right into the deep threat role. Not only did he lead the team in overall pass volume but he averaged 16.5 air yards per target. Robinson is a long-time Shanahan favorite and followed the coach from Washington to Atlanta before landing with him in San Francisco.
Touches: 15 | Carries: 12 | Receptions: 3
The biggest storyline from the Seattle backfield this week is the devastating leg injury to Chris Carson. The extent isn't known yet, but early reports suggest that he's going to miss a significant amount of time. His absence puts Eddie Lacy back on the redraft radar along with Thomas Rawls who was a healthy inactive for Sunday night's game. Rotating in with Carson and then taking over once he went out, Lacy was efficient with 52 yards on his 11 carries. It will likely be a timeshare going forward, but Lacy and Rawls are both worth adds this week on waivers. Seattle faces a Rams defense that has been susceptible to giving up fantasy points to running backs this year.
Honorable mention(s): Converted wide receiver J.D. McKissic came out of nowhere with two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving, on just five touches against the Colts. He could be the favorite to fill the C.J. Prosise role while he deals with an ankle injury, and is worth a speculative add in deeper formats with the attrition in the Seattle backfield. Don't expect more games like this one, but McKissic at least showed some gadget-type explosiveness, which can be a dangerous but high-varience asset in fantasy football. Target leader: Jimmy Graham
Target share: 23.1% |Targets: 6 | Receptions: 4 | Yards: 61
Fantasy owners are getting antsy with a player like Jimmy Graham after a nine-yard start over the Seahawks first two games and his lack of touchdowns. However, it's impossible to imagine cutting a player like Graham at that position. His two targets in Week 2 looks like the outlier, at this point, and he has 17 in their last two games. He's a hold or a buy-low right now with the Seahawks offense starting to ramp up.
Honorable mention(s):Doug Baldwin did appear to be on some sort of pitch count, as he went out for just 65 percent of the plays after suffering a groin injury in Week 3. Both Paul Richardson and Tyler Lockett were 70-plus percent players and crossed 60 yards receiving. Richardson is the vertical threat right now, averaging a team-high 14.9 air yards per target.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Touches: 18 | Carries: 16 | Receptions: 2
Jacquizz Rodgers needed a bounce-back after a 15-yard game against the Vikings last week, and he came through. Rodgers posted over 108 scrimmage yards on his 18 touches including 83 rush yards on 16 carries. He was unable to find the end zone though. The return of Doug Martin from suspension next week likely signals the end of Rodgers' standalone fantasy value, so he'll become a benchwarmer to stash. The Buccaneers take on the Patriots on Thursday night.
Target share: 28.9% |Targets: 11 | Receptions: 6 | Yards: 67, TD
Touches: 9 | Carries: 7 | Receptions: 2
The Titans were blown out on the road and faced a big deficit early, which led to low volume for the running backs. DeMarco Murray had 31 yards on his seven rushes and caught two balls for four yards. It didn't help that Marcus Mariota was out there rushing for two scores himself before he left the game with a hamstring injury in the third quarter. Mariota ended up leading the Titans with 39 rush yards.
Target share: 40% |Targets: 8 | Receptions: 3 | Yards: 49
The Titans fell behind early in this game and with Marcus Mariota suffering a hamstring injury after just 10 pass attempts, this is a set of results to just throw out for the Titans pass-catchers. Despite the overall low passing volume, Rishard Matthews still managed to earn eight targets. Matthews has target totals of nine, five, 10 and eight to his name this year. His volume is steady but he'd be a tough fantasy start if Mariota was to miss any games.
Honorable mention(s):Delanie Walker hasn't scored a receiving touchdown yet and he's averaging just 6.5 targets per game. It's fair to question if he's a "set it and forget it" weekly tight end start, at this point.
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