The following is a list of the Week 4 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.
We've reached the quarter pole of the fantasy season (except for those using Week 17), and the ebb and flow of games keep the pundits scratching their heads. Owners saw the looks to Marvin Harrison yield fantasy gold this week, while Marc Bulger and Brett Favre fired off a boatload of TD passes in vain. Looking ahead to Week 5, both of Matt Hasselbeck's top options (Darrell Jackson and Bobby Engram) are doubtful with injuries, meaning that Joe Jurevicius and Peter Warrick are likely to appear on the Looks list next week. Before we get ahead of ourselves, though, let's take a look at what we already know:
After his brilliant breakout season in 2004, Ashley Lelie was expected to carry the torch for the Broncos passing game this year. Instead, he's shrunk away in the last two weeks. He was targeted 24 times over the first two weeks of the year, and just seven times in the past two games.
Tony Gonzalez owners can't be terribly impressed with his use in the offense, as he tallied just two catches for five yards while being targeted three times by Trent Green in Week 4. The return of Willie Roaf will solidify the line and let Gonzalez get away from blocking and back into pass routes. In any event, 26 looks in four games isn't what owners expected from their third or fourth-round selection.
Assuming that his arm is ready to reload on Sunday after tossing 60-plus passes against the Giants, Marc Bulger has found three new options in the absence of Isaac Bruce. Shaun McDonald and Dane Looker combined for 17 catches and 22 looks in Week 4, while Kevin Curtis was thrown to seven times. The Seattle defense is allowing only 184.5 yards per game through the air, with 1.25 touchdowns per game.
Keary Colbert got back into the act on Monday night against Green Bay, as the Packers threw the kitchen sink at Steve Smith. Colbert was targeted six times in the victory, and tallied four catches for 52 yards.
LaMont Jordan leads the charge in the Touches column, a bit of a surprise given the issues that had plagued the Cowboys secondary heading into the Week 4 showdown with the Raiders. Jordan pounded the rock with 26 carries and continued to be a big factor in the passing game. Mixing columns, Jordan has been targeted 32 times by Kerry Collins through four weeks.
Despite the big day from Peyton Manning and the passing attack, the Colts continued to work Edgerrin James hard. James tops all backs with 109 touches through the first four weeks. Julius Jones of the Cowboys trails by a single touch.
The Falcons and Broncos are two teams demonstrating the effectiveness of a dual backfield in the Win column, but cause nothing but headaches for fantasy owners. This week, the quartet of Mike Anderson, Tatum Bell, Warrick Dunn, and T.J. Duckett each recorded at least 14 touches.
Stephen Davis continues to shoulder the load for the Panthers, averaging 19 touches per week. John Fox has also done a great job of working DeShaun Foster into the mix. He averages nearly 11 touches per week, and has shown to be a capable receiver out of the backfield. I anticipate that his touches continue to increase, primarily in the passing game.