NFL.com Staff | Tags: Daniel Thomas, Alfonso Smith, Beanie Wells, Ben Tate, Chris Johnson, Fred Jackson, Jahvid Best, Ken Whisenhunt, Knowshon Moreno, LeGarrette Blount, LeSean McCoy, Maurice Jones-Drew, Michael Turner, Mike Tolbert, Reggie Bush, Ryan Mathews, Willis McGahee
Yesterday we took a look at the surprising WRs who were targeted most in Week 3, and also a glance at some surprising trends that brought us names like Andre Caldwell, Davone Bess and Dane Sanzenbacher (Jim Tressel is smiling somewhere). Today, it’s time to spotlight the RBs and take a look at the “touch leaders” for Week 3.
Most touches (rush + reception) by RBs in Week 3
1. Maurice Jones-Drew – 27.
2. LeSean McCoy – 27.
3. Daniel Thomas – 26.
4. LeGarrette Blount/Ryan Mathews/Willis McGahee – 25.
Yes, the first thing this means is put Thomas in your starting lineup or acquire him in a trade. Reggie Bush is back to the decoy role he had in New Orleans, and Thomas has been given/earned not only the number one job in Miami but also garnered a bigger role in the passing game. Mathews is winning the full-time job in San Diego over Mike Tolbert, which we talked about last week. McGahee? Is this 2008? This job-share in Denver might be more one-sided than it’s let on to be. Knowshon Moreno can’t stay on the field, and McGahee has some fresh legs after a lack of usage the last couple of years. McGahee is a good flex play the next couple of weeks while this trend continues.
OTHER THOUGHTS: Who had more total touches in Week 3 than Ben Tate, Jahvid Best, Fred Jackson, and Chris Johnson? Yup, Alfonso Smith of the Cardinals with 20. Ken Whisenhunt was really impressed by him, and it seems he’s leapfrogged Chester Taylor who was benched after a slow start against Seattle. Grab Smith because you know how Beanie Wells’ health has been throughout his career … Darren Sproles is worth a flex play every week — nine targets Sunday from Drew Brees in the passing game and a TD running. If you’re in a PPR league he’s a must-start … beware Michael Turner. As you get older, you get beat up. When your team isn’t as good as you thought, you’re throwing the football more. Add these up and Turner’s total touches for the season are at 46. Twelve touches a week? Considering MJD leads the way so far in 2011 with 72 through three weeks Turner isn’t what he was. I’d look to deal him and get an upgrade if you could.
— Jason Smith