Chet Gresham

Targets and Touches

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Target Watch: Week 6

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The numbers by each name are targets for week 5 and then in the parenthesis are the total year to date targets. All snap count data comes from our friends over at Pro Football Focus.

If you are looking for the bye week teams (Ravens, Browns, Cowboys, Dolphins, Rams, Redskins) take a look at last week's Target Watch.

Arizona Cardinals

Larry Fitzgerald - 8 (43), Early Doucet - 16 (37), Andre Roberts - 6 (23), Todd Heap - dnp (20), Jeff King - 6 (12), Beanie Wells - 1 (9), Rob Housler - 8 (9)

Week 5 went just like the Cardinals planned with Early Doucet and Rob Housler leading in targets as they destroyed the Minnes ... oh, wait, they lost you say? Ok, that makes more sense now that I look at this again. When Larry Fitzgerald isn't hurt and gets out targeted by Early Doucet by 8 there is little chance the Cardinals are winning. But as far as fake football goes, 16 targets is a whole lot, and Doucet is now clearly the 2nd (or sometimes 1st) read in this passing offense. He was targeted early and often and opportunity often trumps ability.

Atlanta Falcons

Roddy White - 9 (54), Tony Gonzalez - 8 (41), Julio Jones - 4 (41), Harry Douglas - 5 (18), Jason Snelling - 2 (14), Jacquizz Rodgers - 1 (10), Michael Turner - 0 (7)

Julio Jones left the game early with a hamstring injury and Harry Douglas picked up some targets. If Jones is out this week Douglas would most likely be in the starting role but that also means it will be the Roddy White show once again.

The two-headed running back monster is still lurking, well when it comes to the passing game, and I don’t think it's going to change. Rodgers and Snelling are going to continue to cancel each other out.

Buffalo Bills

Stevie Johnson - 5 (41), David Nelson - 2 (32), Donald Jones - 2 (31), Fred Jackson - 6 (23), Scott Chandler - 1 (15), Naaman Roosevelt - 7 (9), C.J. Spiller - 2 (6), Brad Smith - 1 (6), Ruvell Martin - 1 (4)

Naaman Roosevelt was the main beneficiary of Donald Jones' injury and led the Bills with 7 targets. His placement in the slot and the Eagles defense is what attracted the targets more than his ability and the true beneficiary should be David Nelson. He's a more talented receiver and without Jones competing for looks we should see his target totals get more consistent. Roosevelt will be the new slot receiver and will also see targets, but will be more inconsistent.

Breaking: C.J. Spiller was on the field for 6 plays.

Carolina Panthers

Steve Smith - 7 (48), Greg Olsen - 5 (32), Legedu Naanee - 7 (32), Jeremy Shockey - 7 (27), Jonathan Stewart - 1 (19), Brandon LaFell - 2 (18), DeAngelo Williams - 0 (10)

I keep looking for the more talented Brandon LaFell to start moving ahead of Legedu Naanee in targets, but it just isn't happening. The numbers are a bit baffling really; Naanee has 32 targets with 12 receptions for 128 yards while LaFell has 18 targets with 13 receptions for 181 yards and a touchdown. Add to that, Naanee's 9 red zone targets to Lafell's 4 and you have a chin scratcher to be sure.

The same can be said but to a lesser extent for the continued amount of targets Jeremy Shockey receives in relation to Greg Olsen who appears to be much quicker and more effective than Shockey. Olsen had been pulling away from Shockey in the target race, but this week the tables turned once again. Olsen is the player to own of course, but his ceiling is lowered by Shockey.

DeAngelo Williams was the running back of the week in Carolina, but was only on the field for 20 snaps compared to Jonathan Stewart's 38. Neither can be fully trusted in fantasy unless you can put them in the new RBBC slot that I just invented.

Chicago Bears

Matt Forte - 7 (40), Devin Hester - 7 (28), Dane Sanzenbacher - 10 (27), Johnny Knox - 2 (25), Kellen Davis - 3 (12), Sam Hurd - 5 (11), Roy Williams - 1 (10)

While the walls come crashing in on Jay Cutler every time he drops back to pass he is desperately looking to get rid of the ball and Dane Sanzenbacher and Matt Forte are running the shortest routes, i.e. they are ready for the ball to get there quickly. This will most likely continue as long as the Bears offensive line is awful beyond belief. Of course Earl Bennett could return at any time which could push Dane back to the bench, but who knows with Mike Martz. But as a general rule this season, don't roster a Bears wide receiver. Oh, and they should pay Matt Forte.

Cincinnati Bengals

A.J. Green - 8 (41), Jermaine Gresham - 7 (35), Jerome Simpson - 7 (32), Andre Caldwell - 4 (26), Brian Leonard - 3 (10), Cedric Benson - 0 (6), Andrew Hawkins - 2 (5), Bernard Scott - 2 (4)

Any improvement to Andy Dalton's game is a great boon for A.J. Green. Green has elite ability and just needs a quarterback to get him the ball. Dalton has been doing that as of late which should keep him in the WR2 range. And as that happens Jerome Simpson once again pops up on the radar, not the police blotter. In good matchups Simpson will benefit from the extra coverage Green will start to see.

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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 .
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