The following is a list of the Week 3 leaders in looks and touches. It defines those running backs and receivers who received the most attention this past weekend.
Touches is defined as the number of times a running back carried or caught the football.
Looks is defined as the number of times a player was the intended target of a pass.
• Matt Forte continues to be heavily utilized by the Bears – he led the league for the second time in three weeks with 34 touches (27 carries, 7 catches), and his 155 yards of offense (89 rushing, 66 receiving) were good for fourth in the league among RB. On the season, Forte's 86 touches (73 carries, 13 catches) are 13 more than second place Frank Gore's 73, while Gore has a slim lead over Forte for the top mark in total offense (412 to 409). Of note: he was only able to manage 3.3 yards per carry this past week, and his matchup with a tenacious Philadelphia defense in Week 4 will be a challenge.
• Reggie Bush is starting to make it look like he doesn't have to fit the mold of the "typical" starting RB to be a successful one in fantasy. He may never average 20 carries in a game, but he's currently sixth in the league with 68 total touches (42 carries, 26 catches) and his 402 yards of offense (152 rushing, 250 receiving) are good for third in the league.
• Steven Jackson's fantasy owners probably shouldn't be too enthused that he considers a day's work at 2.9 yards per carry "a pretty nice day". Granted, he pulled in five catches for 62 yards (28 touches, 128 yards total), but he's not going to justify his ADP (4.6) without getting it done on the ground, and then some. We'll find out if Trent Green's handoffs are more effective than Marc Bulger's in Week 4 versus a Bills' defense that has allowed 3.6 yards per carry to this point (Jackson's mark is currently 3.2).
• The Jacksonville RB attack finally got it going against the Bob Sanders-less Colts – both players got plenty of work (touches: Fred Taylor 28, Maurice Jones-Drew 23) and did a lot with it (yards: Taylor 130, MJD 166), and Jones-Drew also had a six-yard TD run. Through the season's first two weeks, the two had combined for 173 total yards on 44 touches.
• Friendly matchups aside, it's safe to say that Julius Jones was wildly successful in two weeks as the lone feature back for the Seahawks. His two-game averages include 143 yards (134 rushing, 9 receiving) on 26 touches (24 carries, 2 catches), and 1 rushing TD. His performance has likely earned him a firmer majority of the touches moving forward, even when Maurice Morris returns.
• The platoon watch notes when a team's RB2 is given at least half as many touches as the RB1, regardless of the reason. Platoon watch for Week 3 included: Atlanta (Michael Turner 23, Jerious Norwood 12), Baltimore (Le'Ron McClain 18, Willis McGahee 16), Carolina (DeAngelo Williams 12, Jonathan Stewart 7), Denver (Selvin Young 12, Andre Hall 6, Michael Pittman 6), Jacksonville (Fred Taylor 28, Maurice Jones-Drew 23), Miami (Ricky Williams 18, Ronnie Brown 18), Minnesota (Adrian Peterson 17, Chester Taylor 14), New England (Sammy Morris 10, LaMont Jordan 6), NY Giants (Brandon Jacobs 14, Derrick Ward 12), Oakland (Darren McFadden 17, Michael Bush 15), Seattle (Julius Jones 23, T.J. Duckett 19), Tampa Bay (Earnest Graham 12, Warrick Dunn 9), and Tennessee (Chris Johnson 18, LenDale White 16).
• Yards-per-touch leaders for Week 3 (minimum 10 touches) included: Derrick Ward (8.83, 12 for 106), Jerious Norwood (8.57, 12 for 105), and Rudi Johnson (7.71, 17 for 131). The bottom three: Earnest Graham (1.33, 12 for 16), Willie Parker (1.54, 13 for 20), and Brandon Jacobs (2.5, 14 for 35).
• Reggie Wayne, Brandon Marshall, and … Antonio Bryant. Bryant becomes the first somewhat unlikely leader of the looks tallies, in large part due to the fact that Brian Griese attempted 67 passes, just three short of the NFL record. Don't dismiss this entirely as a fluke, however – Bryant makes for a solid roster add.
• T.J. Houshmandzadeh finally busted out in a big way, converting 15 looks into 12 catches for 146 yards and a score. Chad Johnson remained quiet on the field, however, turning seven looks into three catches for 29 yards.
• Derek Anderson completed just 14 of 37 passes (37.8%) in Week 3, and Kellen Winslow bore the brunt of it – just two of his 13 targets resulted in catches (14 yards). Andre Johnson didn't fare much better, as he hauled in just two of his 12 looks (29 yards) – Matt Schaub completed 17 of 37 passes on the day (45.9%).
• The numbers were once again ugly for the notable Chiefs receivers – Dwayne Bowe was targeted 12 times, but it resulted in just 4 catches for 43 yards (albeit with a score); Tony Gonzalez was targeted 10 times, resulting in four catches for 35 yards. In two games, Tyler Thigpen has completed 28 of his 69 pass attempts, just 40.6 percent.