Chet Gresham

Targets and Touches

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Target Watch: Week 7

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cincinnati Bengals

A.J. Green: 4-14-5-10-8-7 (48), Jerome Simpson: 9-9-4-3-7-9 (41), Jermaine Gresham: 8-5-8-7-7-6 (41), Andre Caldwell: 1-4-12-5-4-4 (30), Brian Leonard: 2-2-1-2-3-2 (12), Cedric Benson: 1-3-1-1-0-1 (7)

Andy Dalton and the Bengals looked like the worst team in the league in preseason and now, amazingly, they don't. Dalton continues to find A.J. Green in the end zone. Green's rookie campaign is feeling very similar to Tampa Mike Williams' rookie season. Green's ability to make the tough catch will keep red zone targets coming his way.

Jerome Simpson saw a ton of targets and cashed them in for a 100 yard game. This isn't going to be the norm, but it's good to see that he can take a plus matchup and make good on it.

Cedric Benson outplayed Bernard Scott and today had his suspension reduced to just one game. And the game he gets to watch from his man cave is against the Seahawks tough run defense. All in all this is good news for Benson owners.

Cleveland Browns

Ben Watson: 7-4-10-9-BYE-8 (38), Mohamed Massaquoi: 7-6-6-9-BYE-7 (35), Greg Little: 3-5-5-8-BYE-12 (33), Josh Cribbs: 3-3-6-8-BYE-5 (25), Peyton Hillis: 8-4-dnp-6-BYE-1 (19), Montario Hardesty: 0-0-4-9-BYE-4 (17), Evan Moore: 6-1-3-2-BYE-3 (15), Alex Smith: 0-5-4-2-BYE-3 (14), Brian Robiskie: 3-0-1-3-BYE-1 (8)

The big news in the Browns target world is Greg Little. He got a promotion and ended up seeing 12 total targets against the Raiders. Add that to his eight before the bye and that's a nice trend. The Brown's offense isn't going to be able to pull off a Green Bay Packers costume for Halloween, but if Little can continue to get the targets he can be useful.

Ben Watson still leads the Browns in targets and receiving touchdowns, but Little has passed him and Massaquoi in receptions and should start to see more red zone targets going forward.

Dallas Cowboys

Jason Witten: 9-14-9-10-BYE-4 (46), Miles Austin: 9-15-dnp-dnp-BYE-10 (34), Dez Bryant: 8-dnp-4-5-BYE-8 (25), Felix Jones: 4-2-3-7-BYE-4 (20), Laurent Robinson: dnp-dnp-5-10-BYE-2 (17), Kevin Ogletree: 2-4-7-2-BYE-2 (17), Tashard Choice: 1-2-1-5-BYE-5 (14), Martellus Bennett: dnp-0-3- 3-BYE-3 (9), DeMarco Murray: 1-1-0-1-BYE-2 (5)

This week looked like it would be Dez Bryant's day but he once again decided to make an early exit into obscurity in the second half. The good news for fantasy fanatics is that Miles Austin is healthy. Yes, he dropped some balls and had a so-so game, but he had 10 targets and was visible on the field for the whole game.

Felix Jones left the game early with a high ankle sprain and DeMarco Murray and Tashard Choice filled in for him. Murray saw 26 snaps to Choice's 25 and 12 looks to Choice's 10. That's a fairly even split, but Murray looked like the more decisive runner and if I had to guess as to who would lead in touches this week it would be Murray.

Denver Broncos

Eric Decker: 5-9-12-10-5-BYE (41), Brandon Lloyd: 11-dnp-7-11-4-BYE (33), Daniel Fells: 6-2-4-3-4-BYE (19), Willis McGahee: 7-2-5-2-1-BYE (17), Matt Willis: 2-4-3-1-3-BYE (13), Lance Ball: 1-1-5-2-0-BYE (9), Knowshon Moreno: 3-dnp-0-1-3-BYE (7)

Demaryius Thomas and Eddie Royal will be back in Week 7 and Brandon Lloyd will be playing for some other team. With Tim Tebow at the helm the offense gets a whole new look. Willis McGahee will start to lose out on some goal line opportunities and Eric Decker will get the most targets in the near future.

Knowshon Moreno did get three targets against the Chargers and turned one of those into a touchdown. He was also on the field for 20 plays while McGahee was in there on 25. It will be interesting how that sorts out with Tebow Time in full effect.

Detroit Lions

Calvin Johnson: 10-7-11-13-6-9 (56), Brandon Pettigrew: 6-3-13-9-5-14 (50), Jahvid Best: 5-8-7-8-4-8 (40), Nate Burleson: 5-9-2-4-4-10 (34), Titus Young: 1-7-8-5-4-5 (30), Tony Scheffler: 1-3-1-1-1-dnp (7), Maurice Morris: 2-0-2-0-1-1 (6)

This was the week of Nate Burleson's target revival. After not topping four targets in Weeks 3-5 he received a season high with 10 catching only four of them, but one for a touchdown. Brandon Pettigrew continues to see a goodly amount of looks with a team high 14. Pettigrew is the only non-Megatron receiver that we can rely on from week to week right now.

Jahvid Best had eight targets but also left late in the fourth quarter with a concussion. Maurice Morris saw 25 snaps to Keiland Williams' two in relief but the Lions just traded for Ronnie Brown so that muddies the situation quite a bit. If Best can't go this week Morris has the upper hand since he knows the offense, but Brown would most likely come in for goal line looks.

Green Bay Packers

Greg Jennings: 8-8-10-7-5-10 (48), Jermichael Finley: 4-6-8-6-7-4 (35), Jordy Nelson: 8-2-5-6-7-3 (31), Donald Driver: 7-1-2-4-2-5 (21), James Starks: 1-4-4-6-3-2 (20), James Jones: 1-2-6-3-7-1 (20), Randall Cobb: 2-2-1-3-2-0 (10), Ryan Grant: 1-3-1-dnp-1-2 (8)

Jordy Nelson and James Jones combined for four targets, three receptions, 139 yards and two touchdowns. This is a good example of how good Aaron Rodgers is and how it impacts the weekly value of his receivers. The receivers don't need many targets to get into the end zone, but the margin of error is pretty slim when there are so many viable options for Rodgers to target.

Houston Texans

Andre Johnson: 11-9-12-5-dnp-dnp (37), Owen Daniels: 2-5-9-7-11-3 (37), Jacoby Jones: 3-4-2-1-11-7 (28), Derrick Mason: 6-2-10-3-1-4 (26), Arian Foster: dnp-2-dnp-5-7-11 (25), Kevin Walter: 2-dnp-3-1-6-8 (20), Joel Dreessen: 1-2-1-1-9-2 (16), Ben Tate: 0-4-4-0-dnp-1 (9)

The Texans took on the tough Ravens defense last week so dump offs to Arian Foster and the short passing game in general were the norm. Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones saw 15 targets together with Andre Johnson still out. Derrick Mason saw 29 snaps to their 59 and 64. It will be interesting to see if that number moves up.

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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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