The following is a list of the Week 15 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.
And then there were two. Two weeks of action separate us from the NFL playoffs. But, we've got some business to attend to first.
Fantasy owners watched a group of veteran receivers rise to the forefront of targets this week. Rod Smith, Eric Moulds, Jimmy Smith, and Darrell Jackson stand alongside the youthful Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald, Chad Johnson, and Antonio Gates.
There were a lot of new faces breaking into both columns this week. Let's break down the play-by-play accounts.
Veteran receiver Rod Smith tops the Looks list this past week, having racked up 18 in the win over Buffalo. Early play-calling in this one called for a steady dose of passing attempts from Jake Plummer, begging the question of when the vaunted running attack would take over. Not to worry – Mike Anderson and Tatum Bell still piled up 35 Touches before the final gun sounded, but it was Plummer's connections with Smith that set the tone.
It will be interesting to see the play selection from Dennis Green now that Kurt Warner has been sidelined for the final two games. With another pair of double-digit Looks games in Week 15, Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald have been targeted 306 times by Arizona quarterbacks. Josh McCown gets the nod for the Cardinals against the Eagles pass defense, which has proven susceptible to the big play.
Joe Horn will be happy to see the 2005 season come to a close. Not only hasn't he scored since Week 2, the veteran receiver has become an afterthought in the Saints passing game. He was targeted a mere four times in Week 15 while watching Donte' Stallworth rack up 12 Looks. That disparity occurred despite Stallworth dropping five balls during the game.
As expected, the return of Kelly Holcomb to the starting lineup meant big things for Eric Moulds coming off of suspension. The veteran Bills receiver was thrown to 12 times in Week 15. With Holcomb back under center again this weekend, Moulds will continue to see his share of action against Cincinnati.
In his first game back from injury, the Seahawks certainly put Darrell Jackson's knee to the test. The Seahawks' top receiver was thrown to nine times and finished with six catches and a score as part of the Seattle juggernaut. Look for the Seahawks to get rolling again this week against Indy as they fight for home field advantage.
With their Herculean efforts in the Saturday game, Tiki Barber and Larry Johnson ascend to the top of the Touches chart for Week 15. Amazingly, Johnson has already eclipsed 300 Touches for the year, despite splitting time with Priest Holmes for half of a season.
LaDainian Tomlinson racked up another 28 Touches in the Chargers' upset win of the Colts, but sat out the final minutes and watched second-year back Michael Turner take it 83 yards to the house to seal the win. Don't worry, Tomlinson's 353rd Touch of the season didn't tip the balance. He was back at practice on Tuesday, and is ready to shoulder the load against Kansas City.
Marshall Faulk saw his most extensive action of the season in Week 15, piling up 19 Touches in the narrow loss to Philly. He figures to see another heavy workload this week as St. Louis plays its (and likely Faulk's) final home game against the lower-tier San Francisco run defense.
Brian Billick remains loyal to tailback Jamal Lewis. In Monday night's rout of the Packers, Lewis accumulated 24 Touches in reaching the century mark for the second time this year. In a position to give more extensive work and load up on carries for both backs, Billick called Chester Taylor's number only six times.
Somewhat lost in the Colts' defeat on Sunday was the change Indianapolis made from its normal play-calling. Though the San Diego defense has been very good against the run, Edgerrin James accrued only 15 Touches on this day. That amounted to half of his season average through 14 weeks.