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Week 7 Touches, Targets, Volume & Regression Index: Celebrating Jonathan Taylor's Unreal Efficiency

The Colts star running back is hitting his stride and may be in line for even more opportunities
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Which fantasy football players made the most of their opportunities this past week? Who’s in line for more or less work based on their performance? All that and more in the weekly volume report.

Inefficient Volume Players

RB D’Andre Swift, Lions

Detroit trailed from start to finish in a loss to Cincinnati, and Swift still commanded 13 carries, his second-most this season. He was on the field for a season-high 78% of snaps, which coincided with Jamaal Williams' worst game this year. The Bengals had allowed 100 yards rushing in each of their past two games and then held Detroit to 36 yards rushing—24 from Swift.

He boosted his output with a garbage-time touchdown with two minutes remaining in a game the Lions lost by 23. Swift, always a receiving threat, contributed 43 receiving yards on five catches as well. He’s tied with Najee Harris for the most catches among running backs (34). Receiving isn’t a concern—rushing is.

Swift averages 3.3 yards per carry (YPC), down from 4.6 as a rookie. That ties him for 45th of 48 qualified running backs. Swift's season-high rushing total is 51 yards, and his longest run is 16 yards. Involvement in the receiving game gives Swift a high floor—he's still comfortably an RB1—but running the ball so poorly caps his ceiling.

RB Darrel Williams, Chiefs

Williams, Kansas City’s replacement for the injured Clyde Edwards-Helaire, had more carries Sunday than the former starter had in any single game this season. That’s partially due to game script: the struggling Chiefs’ 18-point margin of victory over Washington was their largest this year. Even though eight of Williams’ 21 carries came with Kansas City leading by two scores in the fourth quarter, 24 touches in one of the best offenses in football cannot be ignored.

He managed 3.0 YPC for 62 yards but still reached the end zone twice. Upcoming games against the Titans and Giants may allow Williams to see a similar workload as he did against Washington. The lack of efficiency shouldn't scare fantasy managers too much based on a one-game sample, and Williams's scoring upside as RB1 in the offense was realized immediately. Edwards-Helaire is on injured reserve and will miss at least the next two games. Williams is a legitimate starting option until he returns.

WR Robby Anderson, Panthers

Anderson had a 28% target share against the Vikings and accounted for 5% of the team’s receiving yards in the overtime loss. His disappointing stretch continued with a stat line of three receptions for 11 yards on 11 targets. Anderson’s day was salvaged with a late touchdown grab, his second of the season, but it likely didn’t help many fantasy managers—he was started in 14% of ESPN leagues this week.

Of the 40 targets Anderson has seen this season, he’s caught just 15. That 37.5% catch rate is third-worst in the NFL among qualified receivers. It’s also by far the worst mark of Anderson’s career. His previous career-low was in 2018 with the Jets, Sam Darnold’s rookie season. The volume is there to support fantasy relevance—Anderson has more targets than DeAndre Hopkins and one less than Ja’Marr Chase—but the utter lack of production makes Anderson unstartable until further notice and, at this point, droppable.

Limited Volume Efficiency Players

RB Jonathan Taylor, Colts

The Colts' second-year back had his best rushing day of the season against the Texans. Taylor carried the ball just 14 times, his second-fewest carries this year, for 145 yards on the ground, a number that was inflated by an 83-yard sprint. Still, this was Taylor's second 100-yard rushing outing in three games and third consecutive week with more than 100 yards from scrimmage. He's peaking much in the same way he did down the stretch late last season.

He played a season-high 65% of snaps despite the game becoming a blowout in the third quarter. That's a good sign for his volume moving forward, and his rushing efficiency is among the league's best—Taylor's 5.5 YPC is the seventh-best mark in the NFL. Touchdowns are finally coming for Taylor, too, with the Colts playing better and facing weak competition in the past three weeks, other than Baltimore.

WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, Browns

Here's a player who's almost guaranteed to be one of the leading scorers among fantasy free agents this week. Peoples-Jones scored both of Cleveland's touchdowns in a loss to Arizona and broke 100 yards for the first time in his career. He caught four passes for 101 yards against the Cardinals, and his five targets were second on the team to Odell Beckham Jr.

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Back-to-back weeks with 70 or more yards is not a fluke, though it's worth noting that Peoples-Jones has caught passes of 42 and 57 yards in the past two games, which account for more than half of his receiving yards in that stretch. It should go without saying that touchdown regression is imminent, but Peoples-Jones could continue to be a big part of the Browns' passing offense moving forward.

WR Henry Ruggs III, Raiders

The nature of Ruggs' game is consistent with the limited volume, high-efficiency category. He doesn't attract many targets, but it's usually for massive gains when he does get the ball in his hands. That was the case against the Broncos when Ruggs caught three of four targets for 97 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown.

There's a case for Ruggs to see more targets for how good he's been this season. He now leads the Raiders in receiving yards despite being third on the team in targets. Ruggs has also only finished with fewer than 50 receiving yards in one game this season—he had 46 in the opener. Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow are the target magnets in this offense, but Ruggs' efficiency and consistency have been impressive.

Week 6 TTVR Index Performance Recap

Click here for last week's article

Inefficient Volume Players

Antonio Gibson: Number of opportunities decreased while dealing with aggravated shin injury (10 carries down from 20), but efficiency improved despite that (4.4 YPC up from 3.0).

Miles Sanders: The number of opportunities decreased (11 touches down from 16), but Sanders had one of his best games running the ball against Tampa Bay, which not many running backs can say. He averaged 6.2 YPC, his best mark this season when seeing five or more carries.

Terry McLaurin: His number of opportunities decreased (eight targets down from 11) in a game where quarterback Taylor Heinicke threw the ball 39 times. McLaurin had by far his worst game of the season, taking four receptions for 28 yards.

Robby Anderson: Anderson’s confounding season earned him a repeat mention on the inefficient volume players list.

Limited Volume Efficiency Players

Leonard Fournette: Number of opportunities increased (season-high 22 carries), and efficiency worsened (3.7 YPC down from 5.6 the week before). Fournette caught all six of his targets for 46 yards and tallied his third consecutive game with more than 100 total yards.

Aaron Jones: The number of opportunities remained constant (13 opportunities after 14 the week before) while efficiency worsened but was still impressive (5.8 YPC). Jones was again involved in the receiving game, catching all four of his targets for 34 yards.

Chase Claypool: The number of opportunities remained consistent (seven targets up from six the week prior), but efficiency completely fell off (caught two passes for season-low 17 yards).

Dawson Knox: The number of opportunities decreased (season-low three targets), and efficiency also worsened (8.3 yards per catch). Knox's catches were primarily dump-offs. He left the game with a hand injury and did not return. 

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