Perhaps its the spread offense, or maybe the new breed of quarterback like Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson, but teams are throwing the ball downfield more and not to the running backs. Only three traditional running backs, Darren Sproles, Ray Rice and rookie Trent Richardson have been targeted more than four times per game this season. Dexter McCluster is more of a slot back and Marcel Reece an H-back, whose numbers will diminish with Darren McFadden back. Injuries have slowed the super-tight end's, with the "King Of Pain" Jason Witten running away as the most targeted at the position.
It's playoff time in most fantasy leagues across the nation and time to get back that investment. We continue to see a lack of running backs targeted, at the very least inconsistency. Last season's All-World tight ends aren't bringing in the fantasy bacon as they did a year ago, looking more like tight end's than the wide receiver numbers at the position in 2011. Receiving yards at running back are more icing this season, certainly not something you can count on- so focus on the backs that carry the rock. At tight end, we have a finite list of contributors, we are long past any new breakout players.
No position is as negatively effected by off-week's as that of running back. It's not even close. There are plenty of quarterbacks and pass catchers around to fill a bye week hole for a week. Matt Forte and Maurice Jones-Drew owners, I feel your pain. You don't know how much they mean to you, until they're gone. Those owners throwing darts with Carolina and New Orleans backfields, might have even found a more reliable option this past week. Week seven is the busiest bye week of the season and plenty of 'hurtin to go around. Michael Turner, Willis McGahee, Jammal Charles, Reggie Bush and all-world backs Ryan Matthews and LeSean McCoy will leave gaping holes in fantasy lineups this weekend.
Is Demarco Murray on your fantasy squad? How about Darren McFadden or Doug Martin? They, along with Mikel Leshoure return from by this weekend. With Dallas, Detroit, Oakland and Tampa Bay completing their bye weeks, Carolina, Chicago Jacksonville and New Orleans take their turn this week. Take proper precautions if you have Matt Forte, Maurice Jones- Drew or running backs in Carolina or New Orleans.
Is Jimmy Graham the best tight end in the NFL? The answer is a resounding yes, at least from a fantasy perspective. Saints quarterback Drew Brees has targeted the former University of Miami basketball star 96 times through ten weeks off play.