Chet Gresham

Targets and Touches

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Target Watch: Week 4

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Below you will find a bunch of information that I will try my best to shepherd you through. The numbers by each name are targets for week 3 and then in the parenthesis (those things we use for smilies and frownies) are the total year to date targets.

All snap count data comesfrom our friends over at Pro Football Focus http://www.profootballfocus.com/

Arizona Cardinals

Larry Fitzgerald
- 8 (24), Andre Roberts - 6 (17), Early Doucet - 6 (15), Todd Heap - 10 (14), Chris Wells - dnp (6), Alfonso Smith - 5 (5), Jeff King - 0 (5), Anthony Sherman - 1 (2), Chester Taylor - 2 (2)

Todd Heap was the target story in this one. Jeff King had been the guy getting the few tight end targets (and scoring TDs in the process), but Heap got a whole bunch of them on Sunday and caught 6 for 61 yards. If he starts to see target numbers like this consistently he’ll be ownable.
Early Doucet and Andre Roberts continue to split targets and will cancel each other out. Larry Fitzgerald is leading in target numbers as he should, averaging 8 a game, but last season he averaged over 10 a game and I’d like to see those number increase. In this offense he should get 100 receptions and he’s on pace for 80.

Atlanta Falcons

Roddy White
- 17 (34), Tony Gonzalez - 8 (24), Julio Jones - 7 (20), Harry Douglas - 7 (13), Jason Snelling - 2 (12), Jacquizz Rodgers - 3 (8), Michael Turner - 0 (5), Ovie Mughelli - 1 (2), Michael Palmer - 1 (1)

Rowdy Roddy White was the target czar this week as he should be. He’d easily win the target hound dog award that I just made up if it wasn’t for Wes Welker’s crazy day.  We know White is gold in PPR so it’s good to see him still near the top in receptions this season with Julio Jones in the mix. And it is clear that Jones is in the mix.
There’s no doubt that Jones has a full tank compared to future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez, so these target numbers will most likely begin favoring Jones sooner rather than later. Add to that Michael Turner’s no doubt slowdown as the season wears on and you have a recipe for more and more passing.
The Jason Snelling versus Jacquizz Rodgers saga didn’t materialize due to Snelling leaving with a concussion. If Snelling is out in week 4 this will be a great opportunity for Rodgers to take a big step forward in that battle.

Baltimore Ravens
Anquan Boldin - 14 (28), Ray Rice - 7 (20), Ed Dickson - 9 (20), Torrey Smith - 8 (9), Lee Evans - dnp (9), Vonta Leach - 4 (8), Dennis Pitta - 1 (6), LaQuan Williams - 3 (3), Ricky Williams - 1 (3), Tandon Doss - 1 (1)

This game was a blowout from the start so it’s hard to get a good feel for how a real game would have gone, but Torrey Smith was the hub-ub and scuttlebutt. The Ravens could have scored numerous ways in that game, but Smith took advantage of his first three targets and turned each one into a touchdown. The Ravens offense is still filtered through Ray Rice and Anquan Boldin so don’t expect this to become the Torrey Smith show any time soon.
Ed Dickson has run away with the tight end job with 20 targets to Pitta’s 6. Boldin and Rice are getting the redzone touches over Dickson, so that will cap his ceiling, but he should continue to be a solid backup tight end.  

Buffalo Bills

Steve Johnson - 10 (30), David Nelson - 8 (27), Donald Jones - 10 (21), Scott Chandler - 3 (12), Fred Jackson - 6 (9) C.J. Spiller - 1 (3), Naaman Roosevelt - 1 (1), Brad Smith - 1 (1)

The #2 wide receiver carousel is flying out of control in Buffalo right now. Thankfully both Donald Jones and David Nelson saw enough targets to both be useful for fantasy purposes, but they won’t face the Patriots pass defense every week. In Chan Gailey’s spread out offense there is no easy way to predict which will get more looks any given day. C.J. Spiller is currently the forgotten man in this new Bills high powered offense. His skill set seems well suited for the fast paced offense, but he only saw the field for 7 total plays compared to Fred Jackson’s 64. That, to put it mildly, is a discrepancy.Scott Chandler has 4 touchdowns on 12 targets. That’s a touchdown for every 3 targets! Throw him the ball! Well, I suppose that touchdown rate may possibly regress at some point. I mean, it WILL regress.

Carolina Panthers

Steve Smith
- 7 (31), Greg Olsen - 10 (20), Jeremy Shockey - 7 (15), Jonathan Stewart - 3 (14), Legedu Naanee - 2 (14), Brandon LaFell - 0 (10), DeAngelo Williams - 3 (9), Mike Goodson - 1 (3)

Cam Newton was not on target this week for the most part and that was heightened by the deluge that fell for half the game. But the targets were still there and that’s a good sign as far as his fantasy value goes.  His reliance on the tight ends may have been slightly exaggerated due to the weather in this one. The fact that Greg Olsen and Jeremy Shockey continue to split targets hurts their value.

Steve Smith had a clunker of a game, but still was targeted 7 times.  That’s good news and there is no reason to lower your expectations for him. The other wide receivers were targeted twice and that was just Legedu Naanee. Brandon LaFell’s targets fell to zero.

Chicago Bears

Matt Forte
- 8 (28), Johnny Knox - 9 (19), Devin Hester - 5 (19), Dane Sanzenbacher - 7 (15), Roy Williams - 4 (8), Kellen Davis - 2 (8), Sam Hurd - 1 (4), Tyler Clutts - 1 (2)

The Bears offense runs through Matt Forte even when they aren’t running, which they aren’t. 25% of their total targets have gone to him and with the way their receivers are playing I doubt that number will change anytime soon.

With Earl Bennett out, Dane Sanzenbacher has stepped in and performed well by grabbing a couple touchdowns and seeing 7 targets in each of the last two games. Add that to his 6 red zone looks and he’s an efficient PPR league fill-in as long as Bennett is shelved.

Cincinnati Bengals

A.J. Green
- 5 (23), Jerome Simpson - 4 (22), Jermaine Gresham - 8 (21), Andre Caldwell - 12 (17), Brian Leonard - 1 (5), Cedric Benson - 1 (5), Donald Lee - 1 (1)

Andre Caldwell got the start this week over Jerome Simpson and saw a whopping 12 targets.  Simpson’s status is still up in the air, but his home delivery service isn’t going to help him see more targets unless they’re police investigations. So Caldwell most likely will continue to see these dink and dunk passes from Dalton who doesn’t have a huge arm anyway (it’s normal sized).

Jermaine Gresham continues to get his full allotment of targets, but hasn’t gotten into the end zone since week one.  He’ll be inconsistent, but should get his red zone looks; he’s seen 4 this season.

A.J. Green’s targets each week have fluctuated from 4 to 14 to 5. Right now he is probably the best offensive player on that team and needs more than 4-5 targets a week. Logic screams for it!

Cleveland Browns

Ben Watson
- 10 (21), Mohamed Massaquoi - 6 (19), Greg Little - 5 (13), Peyton Hillis - dnp (12), Josh Cribbs - 6 (12), Evan Moore - 3 (10), Alex Smith - 4 (9), Montario Hardesty - 4 (4), Brian Robiskie - 1 (4)
The only relevant fantasy news that came out of this game is that Montario Hardesty isn’t horrible. And that news makes Peyton Hillis less valuable and he’s really the only player on the Browns worth owning in a 12 team league. Insert sad trombone, but be careful.

Colt McCoy does not have the arm strength to take advantage of Greg Little’s large abilities and unfortunately the rest of the receivers and tight ends aren’t good enough or targeted consistently enough to overcome McCoy and the offensive game plan.


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



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