NFL Soup|Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Week 3 Targets and Touches: Julian Edelman and Martellus Bennett on the Rise 

Week two was a huge week for quarterbacks, and a forgettable one for running backs. Several big name runners suffered injuries over the weekend, making them nearly impossible to replace.

During this debacle, a lot of QB1s had huge games while other quarterbacks like Michael Vick and Phillip Rivers proved they still have QB1 fantasy potential this year after a turbulent 2012. As always, I give you the ever-important targets and touches from this past week, as well as some analysis that could help you as you make your final fantasy football lineup decisions for week three:

Running Back Touches

29- Doug Martin

28- Marshawn Lynch

26- Adrian Peterson

25- Chris Johnson

22- DeAngelo Williams and BenJarvus Green-Ellis

20- James Starks

19- Darren McFadden, Matt Forte, Arian Foster, and Bernard Pierce

18- Trent Richardson

16- C.J. Spiller, Ryan Matthews, Jamaal Charles, and Stevan Ridley

15- Rashard Mendenhall and Ahmad Bradshaw

Running Back Targets

11- Matt Forte

10- Jamaal Charles

9- Danny Woodhead

8- Joique Bell and Darren Sproles

6- Daryl Richardson, DeMarco Murray, LeSean McCoy, and Fred Jackson

5- James Starks, Pierre Thomas, C.J. Spiller, Bilal Powell, and Bruce Miller

4- Jacquizz Rodgers, Ben Tate, Da’Rel Scott, Darren McFadden, Isaiah Pead, Arian Foster, and Jason Snelling

Wide Receivers Targets

18- Julian Edelman

15- DeSean Jackson

14- A.J. Green, Julio Jones, and Cecil Shorts

13- Pierre Garcon, Dez Bryant, DeAndre Hopkins, Eric Decker, Torrey Smith, and Andre Johnson

12- James Jones, Tavon Austin, and Greg Little

11- Victor Cruz, Kendall Wright, Steve Smith, Vincent Jackson, and Austin Pettis

10- Randall Cobb, Brandon Marshall, Stevie Johnson, Emmanuel Sanders, and Aaron Dobson

9- Antonio Brown, T.Y. Hilton, Kenny Britt, Reuben Randle, and Jerricho Cotchery

Tight End Targets

16- Jimmy Graham

10- Antonio Gates and Brandon Myers

9- Julius Thomas, Martellus Bennett, and Jermaine Gresham

8- Tony Gonzalez, Jason Witten, and Greg Olsen

7- Jim Dray, Jordan Cameron, and Jermichael Finley

6- Scott Chandler, Coby Fleener, Kyle Rudolph, Brandon Pettigrew, Jared Cook, and Kellen Winslow

Watching the games this past Sunday and last night, here’s what I took away from the action that took place in Week 2:

  • As long as the Patriots receiving corps remains unstable, Julian Edelman will continue seeing plenty of work this Sunday against the Buccaneers. With Danny Amendola still out for a sports hernia and Rob Gronkowski reportedly 50-50, Edelman is still the most experienced receiver on the team, and his insane 18 targets only show how much confidence Tom Brady has in him given how shorted handed the Patriots are at the wide receiver position. Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson will see their fair share of targets, but it’s safe to say they still have a lot of developing to do and facing Darrelle Revis won’t be a great experience for either rookie. Since Edelman works mostly out of the slot, he shouldn’t ever land on Revis Island, making him a top 20 WR this week.


  • Martellus Bennett is legit. After years of lack of reliability at the tight end spot, the Chicago Bears have finally found a reliable target in the end zone for Jay Cutler not named Brandon Marshall. He saw more looks from Cutler this weekend than he did Week 1, and a clutch touchdown grab with time expiring is always a good sign for a QB-TE tandem. Brandon Marshall could end up seeing less targets moving forward, but is still the top dog on the offense. Bennett’s fantasy upside is limited by the fact that Jay Cutler is his quarterback and that the Bears have never been an efficient passing team to say the least. However, his reliability and effective blocking skills are enough to rank him well within the top 15 at his position


  •  After Eddie Lacy went down with a concussion, James Starks was shockingly productive for the Green Bay Packers carrying the ball 20 times for 132 yards. The Packers had entered Sunday without a 100-yard rushing performance for 44 straight games. Lacy may not be back anytime soon as concussions are tricky injuries to come back from 100%, and since Jonathan Franklin hasn’t been involved at all in the offense, Starks should carry most if not all the running load for now. This development skyrockets Starks’s fantasy value, and you could even get away with using him as a flex this week despite a tough matchup at Cincinnati. Either way, add him ASAP.


Check out more Fantasy Content From NFLSoup For Week 3:

About the author: Carlos Ramirez

Carlos Ramirez is a new contributor to NFL Soup who currently attends Georgia Tech and is majoring in Economics and International Affairs. An avid football aficionado and a diehard Atlanta Falcons fan , Carlos loves to compete in fantasy football and enjoys discussing the game of football all day every day. You can follow him on Twitter @falconfanallday

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