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Back to the drawing board


Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Identifying a sure-fire, 100 percent accurate method for choosing the best fantasy players to start is about as hard as finding a politician who is working for his constituents and not himself - that is to say nearly impossible.

But we thought we had one earlier when we watched as a number of star performers complained about their workload and saw an immediate boost in production.

Mike Wallace came out of the season opener with just one catch for 15 yards on five targets. After the game, Wallace was obviously frustrated and complained about it.

The next week the Dolphins receiver was clearly favored by quarterback Ryan Tannehill as he posted nine catches for 115 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets.

The following week Pittsburgh wideout Antonio Brown griped that he wasn't getting the ball enough after a six-catch, 57-yard box score during a 20-10 loss to Cincinnati.

It likely wasn't a coincidence that Brown was targeted 13 times in Week 3 against the Bears. He caught nine of the throws for 196 yards and two touchdowns and was named the TSN Fantasy Player of the Week.

Then in Week 3 we saw San Francisco running back Frank Gore having words with coach Jim Harbaugh late in a bad loss to Indianapolis. It apparently had a lot to do with Gore getting just 11 carries that day.

We didn't have to wait long to see a positive result from the Gore-Harbaugh "conversation" as the 49ers opened Week 4 play on Thursday and Gore's number was called 20 times. The running back came through with a big effort, rushing for 153 yards and a touchdown, to lead San Francisco to a much-needed victory.

For fantasy owners paying attention, that was three well-publicized blow ups and three stud fantasy games the following week.

So along comes Hakeem Nicks who complained "I can't throw the ball to myself," after he was held without a catch in Week 3 against the Carolina Panthers.

He's sure to have a big day against Kansas City, right?

Sorry fantasy owners. While Nicks was targeted nine times on Sunday he managed just three receptions for 33 yards, as Victor Cruz had the "monster" day (10-164-1).

Oh well, back to the drawing board. Three-for-four isn't bad, but we will continue to search for the perfect indicator.

Don't hold your breath.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.