Chet Gresham

Targets and Touches

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Target Watch: Week 13

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cincinnati Bengals

Jerome Simpson: 9-BYE-2-10-4-13-5 (43), Andre Caldwell: 4-BYE-6-9-8-9-3 (39), A.J. Green: 7-BYE-10-7-2-dnp-4 (30), Jermaine Gresham: 6-BYE-dnp-dnp-5-6-9 (26), Andrew Hawkins: 1-BYE-0-0-6-8-3 (18), Cedric Benson: 1-BYE-dnp-0-1-1-5 (8), Bernard Scott: 1-BYE-3-1-0-1-2 (8)

A.J. Green doesn’t need that many targets to put up good numbers as we saw last week when he only had four, but caught three for 110 yards.

Jermaine Gresham saw nine targets which is his high for the season and caught his second touchdown in three games. He’s healthy and a big part of the offense right now.

Cleveland Browns

Greg Little: 12-7-11-8-6-8-13 (65), Josh Cribbs: 5-6-3-5-5-3-4 (31), Ben Watson: 8-4-3-2-5-4-4 (30), Chris Ogbonnaya: dnp-5-8-1-2-3-2 (21), Jordan Norwood: 0-0-6-1-3-2-5 (17), Mohamed Massaquoi: 7-2-dnp-1-dnp-2-3 (15), Evan Moore: 3-4-2-2-0-0-1 (12)

Greg Little finally caught a touchdown pass. That’s one TD in 86 targets. That’s not very good but he does have 50-plus yards in each of his last three games and 27 targets. As long as he keeps getting so many targets he’s worth owning.

Peyton Hillis had two targets in his return from injury and 19 carries. He ran like a bull in a china shop as usual so he seems to be healthy again at least. Unfortunately he faces Pittsburgh and Baltimore twice before the season ends. Blame the lockout for that one.

Dallas Cowboys

Dez Bryant: 8-8-5-9-6-8-6 (50), Jason Witten: 4-6-12-7-7-3-5 (44), Laurent Robinson: 2-3-8-5-3-11-12 (44), Demarco Murray: 2-2-3-6-7-7-4 (31), Miles Austin: 10-5-3-3-dnp-dnp-dnp (21), Martellus Bennett: 3-0-1-0-1-3-2 (10)

Laurent Robinson has 7 touchdowns in the last five games and a whopping 23 targets in the last two. It will be interesting to see how the return of Miles Austin affects his playing time. On Thanksgiving, Kevin Ogletree was on the field for only 18 plays compared to Dez Bryant’s 53 and Robinson’s 55. Austin should get those 50-plus snaps back when he returns but they sure aren’t going to rush him back now that Robinson has gone all koo koo ka choo.

Denver Broncos

Eric Decker: BYE-3-12-5-3-5-6 (34), Eddie Royal: BYE-4-13-5-2-4-2 (30), Demaryius Thomas: BYE-10-3-2-0-6-1 (22), Matt Willis: BYE-2-3-0-1-0-3 (9), Daniel Fells: BYE-4-1-1-0-1-1 (8), Knowshon Moreno: BYE-2-2-4-0-dnp-dnp (8), Lance Ball: BYE-0-3-0-1-3-0 (7), Dante Rosario: BYE-1-1-1-1-1-1 (6), Jeremiah Johnson: BYE-dnp-dnp-dnp-1-4-5 (5)

In the Broncos’ run first offense Eric Decker still remains fantasy relevant. He has caught four touchdowns in his last five games and as long as he can get his 5 targets it seems his chances of getting in the end zone are higher than most receivers who only get five targets. After Decker you can’t count on any other receiver. Jeremiah Johnson took time off from trapping and hunting grizzlies to get five targets but you never know when he’ll light back out for the Rockies.

Detroit Lions

Calvin Johnson: 9-11-7-BYE-20-8-8 (63), Brandon Pettigrew: 14-6-4-BYE-9-5-8 (46), Nate Burleson: 10-3-7-BYE-9-7-7 (43), Titus Young: 5-3-5-BYE-10-3-3 (29), Maurice Morris: 1-4-3-BYE-2-1-10 (21), Tony Scheffler: dnp-3-3-BYE-7-3-2 (18), Kevin Smith: dnp-dnp-dnp-BYE-2-4-3 (9), Will Heller: 1-2-0-BYE-3-3-0 (9), Keiland Williams: 0-0-1-BYE-0-0-4 (5)

Kevin Smith got hurt early in the game and Mo Maurice went PPR crazy with nine receptions on 10 targets for 81 yards. There was a lot of passing in this one with the Lions trailing but there wasn’t much of a change in the breakdown of targets with Calvin Johnsonn, Brandon Pettigrew and Nate Burleson leading the way. Burleson’s numbers have been fairly steady with 20 receptions in his last three games compared to 21 in his previous 7 games. That’s some PPR chewy goodness.

Green Bay Packers

Greg Jennings: 10-10-BYE-8-5-6-5 (44), Jordy Nelson: 3-4-BYE-6-5-7-5 (30), Jermichael Finley: 4-2-BYE-7-4-3-5 (25), Donald Driver: 5-1-BYE-2-4-5-2 (19), James Starks: 2-4-BYE-1-4-6-1 (18), James Jones: 1-4-BYE-1-1-3-4 (14), Randall Cobb: 0-2-BYE-0-3-1-4 (10), John Kuhn: 0-1-BYE-1-2-1-1 (6), Ryan Grant: 2-0-BYE-0-1-0-3 (6)

After James Jones went 3 games with only 2 receptions on 5 targets, he gets four targets catching three for 94 yards and a touchdown. How do you start a guy with two receptions in three games? I think James Jones may be the only receiver that you can semi-reasonably do that with and then kick yourself when he gets shut out.

Jones’ extra couple targets hurt his fellow receivers. There is very little margin for error here and one pass that goes to Randall Cobb or Donald Driver is actually going to hurt Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson or Jermichael Finley. So when you yell at your TV because Cobb caught the ball instead of your guy Jennings, well, there is actually some merit to your disappointment that is being diverted into anger.

Houston Texans

Arian Foster: 11-5-4-7-4-BYE-9 (40), Owen Daniels: 3-5-6-4-3-BYE-7 (28), Jacoby Jones: 7-4-5-4-3-BYE-2 (25), Kevin Walter: 8-4-9-1-1-BYE-2 (25), Derrick Mason: 4-1-2-0-2-BYE-1 (10), Joel Dreessen: 2-2-2-2-1-BYE-1 (10)

My totally arbitrary cut off of 5 targets in the last 7 games left our man Andre Johnson out of the above list. I think the Texans must have left him out of their game plan as well because his 3 targets were an abomination!

Matt Leinart and then T.J. Yates weren’t about to air it out and put their defense in a poor position by getting picked off. Their mandate was not to get it on, but to hand it off and throw it short. Running backs and tight ends had 19 targets compared to seven for wide receivers. This will most likely be a trend with their strong running game and defense.

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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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