- Week 17
- Week 16
- Week 15
- Week 14
- Week 13
- Week 12
- Week 11
- Week 10
- Week 9
- Week 8
- Week 7
- Week 6
- Week 5
- Week 4
- Week 3
- Week 2
- Week 1
2016 RB Targets Week 17
With David Johnson and LeSean McCoy leaving their games early, and a resting Le'Veon Bell, we saw targets to some other names this week. Mark Ingram was the notable one, finishing with eight, and a strong week. Chris Thompson was tied with eight targets, and then we go down the list of Shaun Draughn, Ronnie Hillman, Lance Dunbar, and Charcandrick West as names with five or more targets. West filled in for the injured Spencer Ware. Devonta Freeman was very efficient this week, catching all five of his targets for 81 yards. This is the second time this year he has torched the New Orleans Saints defense.
2016 RB Targets Week 16
Devontae Booker saw ten targets this week, which was the most among any running back. Giv-en Denver was down from the start, and down quite a bit, there is no surprise here. Devontae Freeman saw a hefty amount of targets, catching all eight, but for just 35 yards. With Carlos Hyde done for the year, Shaun Draughn will step in, and he saw seven targets against Los An-geles. He is a decent receiving back, so keep an eye on him for value. Le'Veon Bell saw just four targets this week, but did his damage on the ground. Bilal Powell was shut down, seeing three targets in a game he was expected to deliver in.
2016 RB Targets Week 15
Bilal Powell led this week in running back targets, catching 11 of 12 passes against Miami. With Matt Forte dealing with his injury, Powell could be looking at a heavy workload down the stretch. Jerick McKinnon saw nine targets with Minnesota chasing for much of the game. While Adrian Peterson was active, McKinnon still got 15 touches. James White, Le'Veon Bell, TJ Yeldon, and David Johnson were the usual names up top of the list in Week 15 targets. Lamar Miller, Tevin Coleman, Kenneth Farrow were a few of the popular names that didn't see much action in the passing game.
2016 RB Targets Week 14
TJ Yeldon led all backs in targets this week, and was a check down option against Denver. David Johnson was second with eight. Johnson didn't have the usual week, but still went over 100 combined yards. Le'Veon Bell had five targets, because he was busy dominating on the ground. He had 38 attempts for 236 rushing yards and three scores. Bilal Powell, Jerick McKinnon, and Charles Sims are a couple of interesting backs moving forward with their involvement in the passing game. Tevin Coleman saw three targets, and had a bigger fantasy day than Devonta Freeman. They get the 49ers next week.
2016 RB Targets Week 13
David Johnson had about just as many targets as Mike Evans and Antonio Brown did combined. He finished with 12 on the day, racking up 91 yards through the air. He has been targeted heavily over the last few weeks, and continues to be the most dominant back in football in terms of volume. LeSean McCoy, Le'Veon Bell, Jay Ajayi, and TJ Yeldon all saw seven targets this week. Melvin Gordon had a productive day in the air, catching four of his six targets for 54 yards. Rashad Jennings, Theo Riddick, and Darren Sproles were a few others to see six targets. Dion Lewis and James White were both at five targets this week, putting up similar small lines.
2016 RB Targets Week 12
David Johnson had a monster game again, and this week it was more in the receiving role. He posted an 8-103-1 line on 11 targets. This was more than any other back. New England had both of their running backs working, as James White and Dion lewis combined for 16 targets. Neither had much success in terms of yardage, but the volume was there. The first week without Giovani Bernard, Jeremy Hill saw six targets. He caught all six of them for 61 yards. Carlos Hyde and Shaun Draughn were both used heavily in the 49ers system this week, seeing a com-bined 12 targets. Hyde was the one to find the end zone.
2016 RB Targets Week 11
Regardless of the tough matchup, David Johnson accumulated 11 targets against the Vikings, catching seven for 57 yards and a score. Theo Riddick was right behind him with ten, and Le'Veon Bell had nine. The top names were about who you would expect. Mark Ingram had an early concussion, which led to Tim Hightower snaps. He had nine targets, and caught eight of them. Dion Lewis is back for the New England Patriots, and saw five targets to James White's six. White had the bigger day with the touchdown. Giovani Bernard being done for the year leaves a hole in the passing attack.
2016 RB Targets Week 10
Have a day Le'Veon Bell, who caught nine-of-ten targets this week for 77 yards and a score.Darren Sproles saw another dose of targets this week, joining Bell as the only other back with double digit targets. Melvin Gordon and David Johnson were other big names to see their usual amount. Seattle had CJ Prosise leading the way this week, who had 17 attempts, but also seven targets in the passing game. He caught all seven, and looks to be leading the way in terms of snaps. Devonta Freeman hasn't been much of a factor in the passing game, and that was the case again this week. He saw just three targets.
2016 RB Targets Week 9
Darren Sproles had a big week in terms of usage, he had 13 attempts, but nine targets. He only caught three, but 20+ touches is big for Sproles. It was the usual suspects up top, as Le'Veon Bell and DeMarco Murray had seven and nine targets to their name. DuJuan Harris, who filled in for Carlos Hyde this week capitalized on his six targets. He posted a 5-83-1 line. TJ Yeldon, Benny Cunningham, and Melvin Gordon were a few other names to have solid target shares this week. Theo Riddick saw just three targets against the Vikings, which was a bit odd.
2016 RB Targets Week 8
This was the first week back for Theo Riddick, and he saw 11 targets in his return. He caught eight for 77 yards and a score. David Johnson barely got over the 100 yard mark this week, but it was close. He saw nine targets, and continues to be one of the heavier used running backs in the game. Alongside Darren Sproles season high in snaps, he saw seven targets, but didn't amount to anyone. If you were waiting for CJ Prosise to get something going, he had four tar-gets, catching all four for 80 yards. He might become a bigger part of the passing game.
2016 RB Targets Week 7
Without Ben Roethlisberger, there is no doubt that Landry Jones was going to be checking down to Le'Veon Bell. He led the Week 7 backs with 13 targets. Behind him was Matt Asiata, which was a little odd given Jerick McKinnon is usually in line for the receiving work. This wasn't the case, as Asiata was targeted eight times. Melvin “Thee Touchdown" Gordon had a big week, and saw seven targets in the passing game. Gordon continues to be solid threat in the receiving game, and even with them trailing most of this week, we have yet to see Dexter McCluster be a real threat to taking away some targets from Gordon. A few not so usual names had seven targets as well this week, Shaun Draughn and Chris Thompson both saw seven targets. Spencer Ware had two targets, yet he caught those two targets for 54 yards and a touchdown. It was a down week for James White, and while he had a touchdown, it was one of those New England weeks where they switch to the other back. Game flow will still dictate White's usage in the passing game. With Jeremy Hill leaving the game, Giovani Bernard might get more rushing attempts on top of his passing targets.
2016 RB Targets Week 6
It was a weird week for running back targets, although it looks like Tom Brady has his receiving threat out of the backfield. This is the second week in a row that James White was used heavily in the passing game. He had nine targets. While we know Brady has his weapons, New England has had pass-catching backs be a big part of the offense. The Steelers offense was a disaster this week, but Le'Veon Bell had over 100 yards again. He had seven targets in the passing game, which ranked second among backs. Baltimore has leaned on their running game a bit of late, but Terrance West showed off a bit of work in the passing game. He had six targets, and caught four of them for 36 yards. Duke Johnson and C.J. Spiller were a couple of other backs with six targets in the passing game. With many calling for Todd Gurley to get some more targets, he saw four this week. That was with Benny Cunningham back in action. Outside of those names it was a pretty lackluster week for receiving backs. Nobody inside the top 20 scored outside of James White. If you are on Jamaal Charles watch, he had two targets, and a rushing touchdown.
2016 RB Targets Week 5
Le'Veon Bell is being used in the passing game at wide receiver, and running back. He led all backs with 11 targets, and caught nine of them. It was another week of Bilal Powell getting looks in the passing game. The game flow has set him up for these types of games over the last few weeks. Matt Forte has also been used less and less. He only had two targets on the day. With Latavius Murray out, DeAndre Washington had six targets, and Jalen Richard had seven. Richard was the more successful back, at least when it came to efficiency. Theo Riddick had a performance similar to Week 1, with six targets, which resulted in two touchdowns. It is likely going to be a hit and miss things with the touchdowns, but he will continue to get a bunch of targets. DeMarco Murray is another one sitting with around six a game, and adding this to his dominance on the ground is a big plus for his floor and ceiling. Duke Johnson and Lamar Miller were a few backs to not get as many targets as they usually do, which was surprising given the game flow of their games.
2016 RB Targets Week 4
It was a heavy week for running backs in the passing game. Who led the Week 4 backs? Josh Ferguson, which is sort of an odd name out there in Indy. The Colts were down from the start, and they decided to use a more speedy back in the passing game. He had ten targets. There is nothing to note about this now, given he wasn't efficient, and really didn't show much ability to get out of the backfield. Fozzy Whittaker and Bilal Powell both saw targets in garbage time. Matt Forte's workload might be dropping a bit, which would mean more games like this for Powell. The Chargers-Saints game brought two featured backs to Week 4, and Melvin Gordon - Mark Ingram both had seven targets. Ingram caught six, while Gordon caught four. Both are involved in the passing game, which is a plus if they keep getting 15+ attempts on the ground. It has been a while, but LeSean McCoy is starting to look like the back of old. He had 19 carries on the road, and six targets in the passing game. He caught all six, with one resulting in a touchdown. With Sammy Watkins out, he is going to be used in various ways.
2016 RB Targets Week 3
Theo Riddick was flat out bad against the Packers on Sunday, but did lead running backs in targets. Charles Sims filling in for a full-time role with Doug Martin saw 8 targets, and was much more successful on the ground. There were numerous amounts of running backs with seven targets last week. Melvin Gordon got a lot of passing work down, with Danny Woodhead being out. San Diego signed Dexter McCluster, but we saw Gordon taking much of the snaps. McCluster might cut into that a little bit, unless Gordon continues to thrive. Bilal Powell was the other name that I have been waiting on for some passing targets. Matt Forte has had a huge workload to start the year, after hearing it could possibly be close to 60-40. This might have been due to the pounding they took against the Chiefs, but Powell still is someone to keep an eye on. Jeremy Langford certainly isn't getting it done in Chicago right now, and Jordan Howard is looming. He saw nine attempts on the ground, but also six targets in the passing game. He caught four for 47 yards. This backfield could be turning to Howard fairly quickly.
2016 RB Targets Week 2
Giovani Bernard led the running backs in targets this week, and was able to capitalize in the workload. He had nine catches for 100 yards and a score. Next in line was TJ Yeldon, who had nine targets. He caught eight catches for ten yards. This was the polar opposite of Bernard. Yeldon getting nine targets might be a bit of an issue for Jacksonville going forward. Tennessee has developed DeMarco Murray into a PPR back? He had seven targets again this week, and caught all of the them for 56 yards. Facing an Oakland defense in Week 3 could certainly be a plus matchup for him in this department. Speaking of Oakland, Latavius Murray had just eight carries, but had six catches for 44 yards. Six targets was a bit odd for Murray, but it certainly helped his ceiling in Week 2. With Danny Woodhead injured, Mevlin Gordon had three targets, and caught all three. He isn't much of a receiving back, so you can likely not expect any production in the passing game. Jerick McKinnon might be a back to see some targets in the passing game, due to the Adrian Peterson injury. Charles Sims will definitely see some, being a receiving back.
2016 RB Targets Week 1
This might have had something to do with Markus Wheaton being out, but DeAngelo Williams saw nine targets in the passing game, and caught six of them. He busted out a monster night, and will continue to be a focal point until Le'Veon Bell returns. Danny Woodhead is going to get a tick up in targets with Keenan Allen going down. We saw Woodhead shift into a more RB1 role, which sends Melvin Gordon back to where he was in 2015. This is unfortunate given Gordon's first half success. DeMarco Murray looks to be in a better spot than he was last year, and was used in the passing game for Tennessee.
2015 RB Targets
2015 RB Target Notes
The running back position has become much more versatile from decades before. While we still have a handful of power running backs in the league, we sit with a new era of running backs. The passing game is on the rise, creating receivers out of the backfields, and there are more and more each year. Danny Woodhead was a standout receiving back last season. He was targeted 111 times, catching 85 of them. Woodhead led all San Diego wide receivers last season, although if Keenan Allen stayed healthy he would have finished second. Either way, we saw an elite year out of a receiving back.
Often these running backs are hiding behind the number one back on the depth chart. Game flow is often the dictator of how much usage they receive in a game. Teams that play from behind often have a much higher usage for receiving backs. Six out of the top ten backs in targets were on teams with losing records. While it is not something to take huge stock in, it might be a difference maker between seeing maximum targets of not. Play style is another factor into a receiving back's targets. Pass heavy teams use receiving backs more often than true running backs.
You will see the top pass-catching backs near 5.5-7 targets per game on average. Woodhead for example received 6.6 targets per game last season. It might not seem like a lot, but given his production and 76% catch rate — this was very solid. There are a handful of running backs who can do both, which reminds me of the phrase for getting a significant other than can do both. This is sort of a similar situation. David Johnson was a late bloomer in terms of starting last season, but once he received starter's touches, he was off to the races. Johnson saw 5-8 targets over the last four weeks of the season. This goes against the average of 3.6 per game due to being a backup. Devonta Freeman was someone who saw 6.5 targets per game last season, given he was lead dog the whole way through. Freeman also saw 17.6 rushing attempts per game, putting him in an elite usage category. When Johnson started, he saw an average of over 15.
Overall whether you are playing on DraftKings and their full-point PPR scoring, or playing in a PPR season long league — you are going to be on the lookout for these pass-catching backs. Targets are a good indicator of usage, and it might be a tiebreaker between two elite backs. Game-flow is a small indicator into how much usage a back will get each week, so when narrowing down your heavy usage backs, take a gander at Vegas info and possible theories on how the game will play out. We saw that numerous times with New England last season — was it a LeGarrette Blount week, or Dion Lewis? In a pass-happy era of football, these backs are your friends.