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With three weeks in the books we’ve now gotten a decent look at how most players will be used throughout the season barring any major injuries or changes. Meanwhile, major injuries have already changed the landscape of several teams, allowing fantasy players to quickly snag up an RB1 or WR1 who simply wasn’t addable a week ago.
Let’s take a look at the top targets still available in nearly all fantasy leagues.
Blake Bortles (Owned in 6% of Yahoo leagues): Bortles piled up 223 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions, and 30 yards rushing in just one half of football against the Colts which is impressive in itself, not just because Chad Henne, with the same talent around him, was only able to muster 33 yards in the first half. He’ll likely be a matchup-reliant streaming option the rest of the way but a cheap one with a lot of talent around him and one that clearly looks like he’ll be aggressive as he tries to make up for his defense’s complete inadequacy.
Geno Smith (13%): It’s the third week we’ve featured Geno, the third week he’s put up strong fantasy numbers, and the third week he’s still available in more than 85 percent of leagues. Over Geno’s last seven games, he is completing 61 percent of his passes for 1503 yards, seven touchdowns, and six picks to go with 51 rushes for 270 yards and four touchdowns.
Even while throwing a season-high two interceptions against the Bears, Geno was able to put up 316 yards and a touchdown, and 20 more yards on the ground. And that was without Eric Decker, who suited up but barely played before getting pulled. I wouldn’t rush to start him against the Lions this week but he doesn’t have too many great defenses he’ll have to face the rest of the year.
Running Back Targets:
Lorenzo Taliaferro (8%): The Ravens needed an answer at running back and the rookie out of Coastal Carolina delivered. Taliaferro rushed 18 times for 91 yards and a touchdown against a solid Browns defense and looks to be the guy as Bernard Pierce and Justin Forsett don’t elicit the same optimism.
He’ll face Carolina whose run defense was handled easily by Tampa and blown out of the water by Pittsburgh. He’s got good matchups in Indy, Tampa, and Atlanta after that.
Isaiah Crowell (18%): A lot of people like Terrance West because he’s getting slightly more touches than Crowell. But Crowell is the better back. In his last two games, West is only averaging 3.3 yards per carry while Crowell is averaging 5.2 yards over his 27 carries this season.
He’s got a great ability to get through tackles and get extra yardage and his portion of the timeshare with West should grow. If you have the bench spot to be a bit patient, Crowell is your guy.
Wide Receiver Targets:
Allen Robinson (2%): Robinson’s targets have now basically doubled in every game and Blake Bortles looked his way often in his rookie debut. With 11 catches for 154 yards over his last two weeks, the second-round pick has the potential to break out sooner than later after he was overlooked in a receiver-heavy NFL draft.
Miles Austin (11%): Say what you will about Austin but he’s second on the team in yards and targets and is the only receiver not named Travis Benjamin to catch a touchdown for the Browns. He’s been targeted 18 times over the last two weeks and came away with 12 catches for 95 yards and two scores. He’s touchdown-dependent but a 6-50-1 week in PPR is 17 fantasy points.
Tight End Targets:
Owen Daniels (25%): Daniels was targeted 10 times (caught 9) in his first two games with Dennis Pitta healthy. With Pitta out for the season, Daniels could step back into the role he had under current offensive coordinator and then-Texans head coach Gary Kubiak.
It’s been a couple of years since Daniels was relevant but it was just two seasons ago that he was targeted 104 times and put up 716 yards and six touchdowns. He could do that again on a Ravens team where Steve Smith seems to be the main, sometimes only, target.
Dwayne Allen (23%): Allen took a weird week off against the Eagles but bounced back nicely catching four passes for 43 yards and a touchdown. He’s now caught two scores and is clearly the preferred option over Coby Fleener. After missing all of last season, Allen may be ready to make good on his promising rookie campaign in 2012.
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