Chet Gresham

Targets and Touches

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Target Watch: Preseason

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck in at quarterback, the targets looked like so -- Reggie Wayne: 15, T.Y. Hilton: 9, Coby Fleener: 8, Donnie Avery: 7, Austin Collie: 5, LaVon Brazill: 5, Donald Brown: 5, Dwayne Allen: 3, Quan Cosby: 1, Kris Adams: 1, Mewelde Moore: 1, Griff Whalen: 1

Andrew Luck showed enough this preseason to encourage me to grab some Colts’ receivers. With Austin Collie sustaining another concussion we saw Hilton, Brazill and Avery all look good with Luck throwing to them.

Reggie Wayne is the stalwart of the group of course, and with all the questions surrounding the rest of the receivers, makes for a nice, safe play, week in and week out.


Jacksonville Jaguars

Blaine Gabbert in at quarterback, the targets looked like so -- Justin Blackmon: 18, Mike Thomas: 14, Laurent Robinson: 13, Marcedes Lewis: 7, Colin Cloherty: 3, Greg Jones: 2, Montell Owens: 2, Zach Miller: 2, Rashad Jennings: 2, Kevin Elliot: 1, Jalen Parmele: 1, Cecil Shorts: 1

Gabbert looked much more decisive this preseason, which should benefit his new go-to receiver, Justin Blackmon. I still don’t trust Gabbert enough to even consider the secondary receivers yet, but Blackmon is talented enough to take an excess of targets and do good things with them.


Kansas City Chiefs

Matt Cassel in at quarterback, the targets looked like so -- Dexter McCluster: 17, Jonathan Baldwin: 13, Kevin Boss: 6, Jamaal Charles: 6, Tony Moeaki: 6, Shaun Draughn: 5, Steve Breaston: 4, Dwayne Bowe: 4, Jake O'Connell: 1, Peyton Hillis: 1

These numbers are of course skewed by the absence of Dwayne Bowe for most of the preseason, but seeing Dexter McCluster with 17 targets is an eye-opener. If the Chiefs weren’t a run first and second team, I’d be more inclined to jump all over McCluster this year, but it’s going to be difficult for any receiver besides Bowe to be fantasy relevant on a consistent basis.


Miami Dolphins

Ryan Tannehill in at quarterback, the targets looked like so -- Legedu Naanee: 10, Anthony Fasano: 9, Davone Bess: 7, Marlon Moore: 5, Roberto Wallace: 4, Reggie Bush: 3, Charles Clay: 3, B.J. Cunningham: 2, Jeff Fuller: 2, Clyde Gates: 2, Daniel Thomas: 2, Marcus Thigpen: 1, Lamar Miller: 1, Jovorski Lane: 1, Rishard Matthews: 1, Steve Slaton: 1

There’s a problem when Legedu Naanee leads the team in targets, a big problem. Tannehill has ability, but very few targets. Davone Bess is the steadiest receiver in Miami right now and the only one who might have fantasy relevance.


Minnesota Vikings

Christian Ponder in at quarterback, the targets looked like so -- Kyle Rudolph: 8, Michael Jenkins: 8, Percy Harvin: 6, Jerome Simpson: 4, Matt Asiata: 2, Stephen Burton: 2, Rhett Ellison: 2, Devin Aromashodu: 1, Allen Reisner: 1, Jerome Felton: 1, Toby Gerhart: 1, Lex Hilliard: 1

Ponder has been targeting Rudolph all summer in practice and then in the fake games. There’s no reason to think this connection won’t continue into the season. Be happy if you own him.

Michael Jenkins’ eight targets annoy me a bit, because all last season in this column we watched Percy Harvin get underutilized.  I’m not really worried, but if he’s not at least 1 or 2 with Rudolph this season, I’m finding Frazier and giving him a good talking to (maybe I’ll just email).


New England Patriots

Tom Brady in at quarterback, the targets looked like so -- Aaron Hernandez: 9, Brandon Lloyd: 7, Rob Gronkowski: 6, Stevan Ridley: 3, Danny Woodhead: 2, Deion Branch: 1, Brandon Bolden: 1

Of course I have to once again point out the small sample size, but Aaron Hernandez is one of Brady’s favorite targets and I think we’ll see that even more this season. If he hadn’t been injured for two games last season, he most likely would have been second in targets to Wes Welker.

It’s also a good sign that Stevan Ridley saw three passing targets. If he can stay on the field on more passing downs, his stock rises a ton.


New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees in at quarterback, the targets looked like so -- Pierre Thomas: 10, Jimmy Graham: 10, Devery Henderson: 8, Marques Colston: 5, Lance Moore: 5, Darren Sproles: 2, Joseph Morgan: 2, Travaris Cadet: 2, Jed Collins: 1, Mark Ingram: 1

With Darren Sproles held out for most of preseason, the numbers are skewed in Pierre Thomas’ favor. Add to that Drew Brees’ tendency to throw to every Saints player at least once, and it’s hard to get a good read here, except to say that Jimmy Graham will once again lead the team in targets.


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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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