Chet Gresham

Targets and Touches

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Target Watch: Week 3

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cincinnati Bengals

A.J. Green 14 (18), Jerome Simpson 9 (18), Jermaine Gresham 5 (13), Andre Caldwell 4 (5), Cedric Benson 3 (4), Jordan Shipley 3 (5), Brian Leonard 2 (4)

This week was the one Green owners were hoping for. Yes, Simpson still had a bunch of targets, but Green, being the better receiver, deserved more and got them. He absolutely has the skill to be a No. 1 receiver in this league and if Dalton continues to progress and give him targets he can be that sooner than later. It looks like Dalton knows what he has in Green.

Jermaine Gresham had a bit of a letdown from Week 1, but he still had a decent amount of targets including two red zone looks. So far so good there, especially now that we can have a little more faith in the Bengals passing game with Andy Dalton coming around.

Cleveland Browns

Mohamed Massaquoi 6 (13), Alex Smith 5 (5), Peyton Hillis 4 (12), Greg Little 5 (8), Ben Watson 4 (11), Josh Cribbs 3 (6), Owen Marecic 2 (2), Evan Moore 1 (7)

We’re going to be hard pressed to find a consistent fantasy receiver in the Brown’s offense. This game was of course more run oriented due to the opponent, but the offense runs through Hillis no matter who they are playing. And on a side note, that is bad for Hillis who wore down at the end of last season. If Hardesty doesn’t step up soon Hillis might not be able to get up soon.

We saw much less of Evan Moore due to Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney needing to be blocked, so don’t give up on him. But until I see some consistent targets for Little and Moore (the guys with the most upside) I’m taking a wait and see approach.

Dallas Cowboys

Miles Austin 15 (24), Jason Witten 14 (23), Kevin Ogletree 4 (6), Jesse Holley 3 (3), Felix Jones 2 (6), John Phillips 2 (4), Tashard Choice 2 (3), Demarco Murray 1 (1)

The Cowboys were mostly hobbling through this game, and Austin, their top target is now out for a few games. It’s difficult to see who will step up as the guy besides Jason Witten. He is rock solid and if Dez Bryant is back in the fold and healthy, they will be the target hogs. With Bryant out Ogletree didn’t distinguish himself, but he is the guy next in line and will take over for Austin.

The running back situation was fairly evenly split while Felix Jones was hurting. If he misses any time it very much looks like a time share and a guessing game for fantasy production between Murray and Choice.

Denver Broncos

Eric Decker 9 (14), Eddie Royal 3 (9), Matt Willis 4 (6), Willis McGahee 2 (9), Daniel Fells 2 (8), Julius Thomas 1 (4), Lance Ball 1 (1)

Eric Decker is the story this week. With no Brandon Lloyd and Eddie Royal getting hurt, he was the go to guy and proved he could handle the title. Lloyd will most likely be back, but Royal should be out 2-4 weeks and when he comes back Decker will probably have taken his job. 

Julius Thomas goes back in the wine cellar. He needs a little more aging, but don’t give up on him. He has upside to spare. And nice legs.

Detroit Lions

Nate Burleson 9 (14), Jahvid Best 8 (13), Calvin Johnson 7 (17), Titus Young 7 (8), Brandon Pettigrew 3 (9), Tony Scheffler 3 (4), Will Heller 1 (1)

The Lions decided to see if Todd Haley would give them a good old fashion finger wagging after this one. They did what they do best and went pass happy on the Chiefs depleted secondary. Stafford’s arm can support quite a few fantasy players, but of course as you go down the totem pole it gets a little spottier. We know what we have in Best and Megatron, but after that it is a little harder to decipher. So far Nate Burleson has a firm grip on that No. 2 position and I believe we’ll continue to see him get his targets, at least enough to be a WR3 week to week. After that, Young, Pettigrew and Scheffler will have to fight over the looks. I want to believe Young will continue to see this many targets because I love his upside, but I think he’ll be pretty inconsistent. And I also see Scheffler and Pettigrew continuing to steal looks from each other. Jerks.

Green Bay Packers

Greg Jennings 8 (16), Jermichael Finley 6 (10), James Starks 4 (5), Ryan Grant 3 (4), Jordy Nelson 2 (10), John Kuhn 2 (2), Randall Cobb 2 (2), James Jones 2 (3), Donald Driver 1 (7)

The Packers main receivers remain Finley and Jennings, but this offense can support more than that if we can see some consistency. Rodgers is one of those weirdo quarterbacks who likes throwing to the open receiver and with so many weapons we are going to see some fluctuation in targets, but if we look at the sheer number of routes it might help us see who the coaches prefer. The passing route numbers break down as such, Jennings 33, Finley 26, Nelson 24, Driver 22, Jones 11 and Cobb 8.

Last week we saw Nelson with 19 to Driver’s 31. It seems inevitable that this trend should continue which would make Nelson the No. 2 receiver. He only had two targets this week, but that number will be higher as we go forward. And he did have an 84-yard touchdown, so that’s good. Once again we saw James Starks dominate the time and looks on the field. Starks was on the field for 37 plays while Grant was only there for 18. That’s close to what it was last week. There’s no reason to think those numbers will start getting better for Grant any time soon.

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Chet Gresham writes Target Watch and The Morning After for and is the founder of The Fake Football. Chet can be found on Twitter .
Email :Chet Gresham

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