Chet Gresham

Targets and Touches

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Week 2 Target Watch – NFC

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Minnesota Vikings


Percy Harvin: (8), Kyle Rudolph: (7), Michael Jenkins: (5), Devin Aromashodu: (3), Adrian Peterson: (1), Matt Asiata: (1), John Carlson: (1), Toby Gerhart: (1)

Adrian Peterson was on the field for 32 plays and Toby Gerhart was in on 20.  Next week the gap will widen even more. And of course Peterson received all of the red zone carries. He’s back.

Percy Harvin had eight targets and five rushing attempts, with three of those looks coming inside the red zone. Let’s keep that up Mr. Frazier!

Kyle Rudolph is the #2 receiver right now. It will be interesting to see how the targets break down once Jerome Simpson returns, but I’m not too worried.



New Orleans Saints


Marques Colston: (11), Jimmy Graham: (10), Lance Moore: (10), Darren Sproles: (8), David Thomas: (2), Devery Henderson: (2), Jed Collins: (2), Joseph Morgan: (2), Pierre Thomas: (1), Mark Ingram: (1)

Drew Brees’ arm may fall off this season if the Saints defense can’t stop the other team from putting up 40 points on them. Three players saw double digit targets! That’s some crazy talk. If there was more time in the day, I’d look into how often that has happened, but my wife may disown me.

Colston and Graham are your usual target suspects, but lance Moore is the Keyser Söze of this group. Moore didn’t see double digit targets once last season. Of course most of his targets came in desperation mode, but it’s not like the Saints ever think they are out of a game, because they aren’t.

And even more good news for Moore (if only his name was Evan Moore) is that he ran the second most receiving routes on the team with 52 compared to 54 for Colston and 47 for Graham.  I like these numbers for Lance (don’t even call me Evan) Moore.

Darren Sproles didn’t rush the ball once, but did have five receptions on eight targets, with a touchdown. The best news is that four of those targets came in the red zone.



New York Giants


Victor Cruz: (11), Martellus Bennett: (6), Hakeem Nicks: (6), Domenik Hixon: (5), Ahmad Bradshaw: (2), Bear Pascoe: (1), Henry Hynoski: (1)

When you look at the snap count data, there is little doubt who the main receivers are, as Cruz, Nicks and Bennett were all on the field for 50+ snaps while Hixon was the next closest with 27.

Victor Cruz went on a pass dropping binge and Nicks still had a sore foot. This shall pass. But the Black Unicorn galloped his way to six targets, four receptions and a touchdown, which is probably around his ceiling (plus a few yards). He will most likely need to score a touchdown to be fantasy worthy, much like tight ends of yore.



Philadelphia Eagles


Jeremy Maclin: (14), DeSean Jackson: (11), LeSean McCoy: (9), Brent Celek: (8), Clay Harbor: (6), Jason Avant: (5), Damaris Johnson: (3)

Michael Vick “targets” a lot of receivers, but the other team came up with four inter-receptions and had chances at a couple more. So not all of these targets were worth writing home about, but they were targets I suppose. And as far as fantasy goes, these are the guys you want targeted early and often for the Eagles.

Maclin was Vick’s favorite target for the day and also in the red zone where he threw it his way three times. Maclin and McCoy should be fantasy slump proof this season.



San Francisco 49ers


Michael Crabtree: (9), Vernon Davis: (5), Mario Manningham: (4), Randy Moss: (4), Delanie Walker: (2), Frank Gore: (1)

Michael Crabtree was Alex Smith’s main target on the day, but when they got in the red zone, Smith looked Randy Moss’ way twice, compared to once for Vernon Davis and zero times for Crabs McTree.

It will be interesting to see how Moss is used going forward. In this first game he only ran 10 pass routes, but was targeted four times and two of those in the red zone. It’s going to be hard to keep him off the field.



Seattle Seahawks


Braylon Edwards: (9), Sidney Rice: (9), Doug Baldwin: (6), Zach Miller: (3), Marshawn Lynch: (2), Robert Turbin: (1), Ben Obomanu: (1), Anthony McCoy: (1)

Sid Rice and Bray Bray Edwards were on the field much more than any of the other receivers and their target numbers bear that out.  The Cardinals pass defense is nothing to scoff at, so the poor numbers may not be completely indicative of how this season will go for Seattle’s passing offense.

Marshawn Lynch was on the field for 63 plays compared to eight for Robert Turbin. I guess his back is feeling okay.



St. Louis Rams


Danny Amendola: (9), Brandon Gibson: (5), Steven Jackson: (4), Steve Smith: (3), Lance Kendricks: (2), Mike McNeill: (1), Chris Givens: (1)

The Rams two starting wide receivers are Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson. They saw the lion’s share of the receiving work against um, Detroit. Those aren’t the guys that will lead you to too many dubyahs.

Amendola is a worthwhile PPR player, but the list of Rams receivers who are vying for Gibson’s job is long. I’m staying away from all Rams receivers in standard leagues and throwing Danny in PPR and hoping Steven Jackson can stand up to the Fisher induced pounding.



Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Vincent Jackson: (10), Doug Martin: (4), Mike Williams: (3), Preston Parker: (1), LeGarrette Blount: (1), Dallas Clark: (1)

Mike Williams was on the field a whole bunch for only seeing three targets, but fortunately, one of those came in the end zone and resulted in a touchdown, thank you very much.

It does seem pretty evident that Josh Freeman feels like Vincent Jackson is his best shot at a productive passing game, while Doug “Muscle Hamster” Martin is the motor propelling the Buccaneers ship into the defenses port.

Martin had four receiving targets, 24 carries, with six of those carries coming inside the red zone. He just missed getting into the end zone, but it will come soon enough.



Washington Redskins


Aldrick Robinson: (6), Santana Moss: (5), Fred Davis: (4), Pierre Garcon: (4), Roy Helu: (3), Josh Morgan: (2), Logan Paulsen: (1), Brandon Banks: (1)

Pierre Garcon ran five pass routes, had four targets, and caught all four targets for 109 yards and a touchdown. Holy wha? If you extrapolate that out for a whole game he would have broken all of Jerry Rice’s career marks by halftime.

As long as Garcon is back this weekend these numbers are a little misleading, but it’s good to know that Aldrick Robinson is next in line and that even with Garcon out, Fred Davis wasn’t the guy RGIII targeted.

The running back numbers were dominated by Alfred Morris while Roy Helu served as the third down back. Morris had a bit of good fortune getting to 28 carries against a Saints team that almost never gives up 20 carries to an opposing back. He will need a large workload to come close to those numbers again and since he isn’t the third down back, those may not be the norm.

Check out the AFC Target Watch soon (Thursday) and for the rest of your life!


Snap count data comes from our friends at Pro Football Focus and red zone data from our other friends at The Football Guys.

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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