Target and touch totals are important, but not as important as the market share. “Targets” is mostly a receiver stat (although there are some notable early exceptions). Touches are the currency of the running back.
What we’re doing is really simple. For pass-catchers, market share is targets divided by team pass attempts. For running backs, it is touches divided by team plays from scrimmage (not team touches, to be clear).
Snap counts and depth of target and type of touch (running back receptions are way more valuable than RB carries) are also important but generally will not be discussed here. This is pure market share. Consider this a primary tool for assessing waivers and trades.
Here’s the list. Be sure to select the current week but all the weeks of the season will be archived so you can get a multi-week sample on a player if you so desire. Also note as the season progresses that I gave great thought in doing these stats weekly and not for the season. The objective here is to respond quickly to present trends. Yearly stats just smoothes everything out to a more meaningless middle. Remember, as our Gene McCaffrey so wisely says, “To be very right, you have to be willing to be very wrong.”
The big story is Jaleel McLaughlin, who is at 21%, which demands a 42% bid according to my model. However, while McLaughlin’s usage was great, Samaje Perine saw the most snaps after Williams’ injury. Williams is expected to be out weeks. McLaughlin was a historically productive college player despite his lack of size. Maybe he’s the poor man’s De’Von Achane? Let’s go with a max of 40% of FAAB. I get that’s probably not going to cash.
David Montgomery does not deserve a near 50% market share. He can be a Top 10 RB though with just 25% given that he owns the goal line on a team with a good offense that should be in that area of the field multiple times per game.
We worried about Alexander Mattison given the acquisition of Cam Akers, but those fears were allayed by his No. 3 ranking (41%).
Alvin Kamara had BS points in fantasy (13 catches for 33 yards — disgusting) but he’s obviously likely to be very involved. Even though he appears to have lost a step, this level of usage more than makes up for that.
How good Kyren Williams is or is not misses the point that this column attempts to bring into sharp relief. Over 35% is bell-cow territory. He’s a Top 10 RB. No further analysis is needed.
Ditto Isiah Pacheco. What is he not getting that you would want a first-round RB to get? Third down? Okay, that’s a 15% hit, at best, and note his long TD came on 3rd-and-2. He also gets passes in the flow of the early-down offense and is explosive with them. If you factor in that he’s fast, runs with such fury and the Chiefs are often near the goal line, he’s RB15 at worst.
Bijan Robinson, without the goal line, is sort of stuck at RB10-11 or so, where he ranks this week. That’s adjusting for his skill/efficiency/receiving role. Something has to fundamentally change for him to return his ADP investment, though he’s not a bust, clearly.
Gus Edwards got a big role on Sunday in a blowout win. You have to upgrade him/start him near term, at least.
We said how Jaylen Warren is overrated in the Scouting Notebook but here he is in the Top 25 in opportunities. So he’s playable with the byes starting this week, but just a lower-end option.
The usage for Jerome Ford disappointed. It doesn’t seem he’s going to step fully into Nick Chubb’s market share. He’s still an asset but just not a real difference maker, it appears.
Breece Hall is being managed due to his return from his ACL, which won’t be fully healed until 2024. This was always the way it was going to be. You can’t keep holding on to that Adrian Peterson exception and thinking it disproves the rule of modestly ranking RBs and WRs inside the one-year recovery window. Injury recovery/return to prior performance is a brick wall that no one should be expected to crash through.
Roschon Johnson (54th) is not playable but I would hold him since Khalil Herbert has never proven he can withstand a heavy workload (even in college).
With 38% of targets, Christian McCaffrey has to be near a RB record. What can you say? He was their offense in Week 4.
Christian Kirk — at 40% — has really bounced back. Calvin Ridley (two targets) didn’t even chart. Ridley is averaging 12 points per game but is getting seven targets per game. He’s looking like a 110-target WR. He was drafted to be a 150-target receiver. That’s a 27% hit on expected value. I assure you someone in your league is not thinking this and will pay you about ADP if you trade Ridley (which you should do if you can get your investment back).
I have recommended Romeo Doubs even with Christian Watson returning and everyone enamored with the rookie Jayden Reed. I never expected a Top 5 finish though. You have to play Doubs until further notice in all Flex 10 leagues. If you can’t fit him in, trade a higher profile WR for something you need.
The idea that Garrett Wilson was going to be some scrub without Aaron Rodgers was always too reactive. It’s a huge hit but Wilson is still a great talent and Zach Wilson has throwing ability like any top QB pick.
Sunday was a big day for Joshua Palmer backers — he finished in the top 10.
Man, what a difference a week makes. Now Nico Collins is back up (No. 14) and last week’s object of affection, Tank Dell, had three targets and is being widely dropped. I still like Dell and would pick him up if he’s dropped in your league.
Maybe it is Tyler Higbee season after all. He was No. 2 at tight end. I expect him now to be a pick who moves the needle in a positive way for the balance of the season.
I like Marquise Brown mostly because Joshua Dobbs is fine. I do expect Dobbs to be the QB for the remainder of the season (see the salary cap implications of another Kyler Murray injury). I like that No. 27-ish ranking extrapolating to actual fantasy WR ranking for the rest of the year, regardless of who the QB is. That makes him a starter in PPR.
Drake London (sigh). Yeah, it’s Arthur Smith’s fault but he’s absolutely going to be a bad pick and is really even lower than WR36, or at least not higher given that he has such a below average passing environment (though above-average TD equity).
Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton were both at 17.9% and the Broncos had a very low play count. They get a terrible matchup this week against the Jets. I think they’re both in that WR2 bucket though, maybe at the bottom of it. I prefer Sutton, personally, but won’t fight the Jeudy backers at a WR25-ish sticker price. Basically, he’s Marquise Brown.
Jaylen Waddle maybe was still fighting injury? Why was he just 14.3%, which is gross? I’m going to have to see him under 20% in Week 5 before I worry too much, though.
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)