Chet Gresham

Targets and Touches

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Week 2 Target Watch – AFC

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Kansas City Chiefs


Dexter McCluster: (10), Tony Moeaki: (6), Dwayne Bowe: (6), Steve Breaston: (4), Peyton Hillis: (3), Kevin Boss: (2), Shaun Draughn: (2)


Easily the biggest news here is Dexter McCluster’s 10 targets and Jonathon Baldwin’s zero. McCluster ran 30 routes, second only to Dwayne Bowe’s 33. He also saw one of the two red zone targets on the day.

The problem of course is that the Chiefs were down quickly and went to the pass, whereas they would much rather run the ball as often as possible. The Chiefs defense will be getting some key players back and won’t always be facing a high-powered offense like the Falcons. With Bowe as the number one guy, McCluster isn’t going to see ten targets all that often.

Peyton Hillis and Jamaal Charles split up work about as we envisioned. It wasn’t 50/50 like we’d been duped to believe of course. Charles was on the field for 29 plays compared to Hillis’ 19, while Draughn came in for garbage time.



Miami Dolphins


Brian Hartline: (8), Davone Bess: (7), Reggie Bush: (6), Anthony Fasano: (5), Anthony Armstrong: (3), Daniel Thomas: (3), Legedu Naanee: (2), Jorvorskie Lane: (1), Charles Clay: (1)

Much like the Brandon Weedon experiment, the Ryan Tannehill show needed to be postponed for a few extra dress rehearsals. They were facing one of the best defenses in the league, so I’d like to see Tannehill face an easier matchup before I write off the Dolphins passing game for the foreseeable future, but they’ll need to show me before I take the bait.

The best news was probably for Reggie Bush who had 20 looks on the day and accumulated 115 total yards. Bush was only backed up by Daniel Thomas who ended his day with a concussion. Look for Bush to continue carrying the load.



New England Patriots


Brandon Lloyd: (8), Aaron Hernandez: (7), Rob Gronkowski: (6), Wes Welker: (5), Stevan Ridley: (3), Julian Edelman: (2)

The lack of targets is a big topic of discussion in the fantasy football community and for good reason.  In only one game last season did Welker see less targets than he had in week one. Is this a trend? His 22 pass routes are one of the lowest game totals I’ve seen for him in quite some time, but the Patriots did run the ball more than usual. Coach Belichick is all about situational football, so we could see Welker get 20 targets next week. I’m taking a wait and see attitude.

Stevan Ridley is probably the biggest story coming out of week one. His 23 touches is a very good sign for a team that likes to micro-manage their running backs. He had six looks in the red zone, so we’re not talking the Green Bay Packers offense here. Ridley can get into the end zone just like BenJarvus Green-Ellis did last season, but maybe more so.

New York Jets


Santonio Holmes: (8), Stephen Hill: (6), Jeremy Kerley: (4), Jeff Cumberland: (4), Chaz Schilens: (1), Bilal Powell: (1), Shonn Greene: (1), Dustin Keller: (1)

It seemed like we’d have to wait on Stephen Hill to make an impact in this league, but he went ahead without us and grabbed a couple touchdowns and saw the second most time on the field, behind only veteran Santonio Holmes. And after his big game it will take a lot to knock him out of that number two receiver position.

Jeremy Kerley had a big day and was only behind Hill and Holmes by a few snaps, so it will be interesting to see if he continues that workload. He also had two targets in the red zone, to help out his cause.

Shonn Greene only had one target on 10 pass routes, while Bilal Powell had one on 11 pass routes. That’s about as even as you can get, but Powell may start seeing more passing down work, which will hurt Greene when they don’t have big leads like last week.

Oakland Raiders


Darren McFadden: (18), Rod Streater: (10), Brandon Myers: (5), Darrius Heyward-Bey: (5), Marcel Reece: (2), David Ausberry: (1)

Holy Targets McFadden Man! Zoinks! Eighteen targets for a running back didn’t happen one time last year. Roy Helu came close with 17, but that’s one less than 18 I think. Of course his rushing numbers were abysmal, but 13 receptions will get you through anything in a PPR league. He won’t see that many usually, but he’s the guy and the guy’s uncle in Oakland.

With Denarius Moore out, Rod Streater had a target fest, but fumbled and only caught four of the ten targets. Thankfully for those that started him, he got into the end zone.

The offense was not right for Oakland, but they have weapons. These numbers are going to fluctuate quite a bit until they get things right. Heyward-Bey and McFadden are the shoreline in which the sea is crashing. Hold steady with them.

Pittsburgh Steelers


Emmanuel Sanders: (8), Antonio Brown: (8), Heath Miller: (7), Mike Wallace: (6), Jonathan Dwyer: (4), Isaac Redman: (2), Chris Rainey: (1), Jerricho Cotchery: (1)

The three Steelers wide receivers were used extensively in Denver. Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace ran 49 and 46 pass routes, while Emmanuel Sanders ran 38. Brown and Wallace are of course the main guys, but a healthy Sanders will continue to get targets in Todd Haley’s offense.

Antonio Brown’s three red zone targets are a nice stat to hold in your back pocket. He’ll continue getting looks near the goal line and should improve on his two touchdowns from last year by quite a few.

The running back situation broke down as Jonathan Dwyer being on the field for 42 snaps compared to 24 for Isaac Redman. And now Coach Tomlin has said Dwyer will see even more work going forward. Dwyer is the guy to own right now.



San Diego Chargers


Antonio Gates: (8), Malcom Floyd: (6), Curtis Brinkley: (5), Ronnie Brown: (5), Le'Ron McClain: (4), Robert Meachem: (2), Eddie Royal: (2), Dante Rosario: (1)

There wasn’t a whole lot of production coming out of the Charger’s offense late Monday night that didn’t involve three pointers, but we did learn that Antonio Gates and Malcom Floyd are the go to receivers. We knew that about Gates of course, but there was some debate around Floyd.

Floyd also had three targets in the red zone compared to one for Gates. If he can stay healthy, 10 touchdowns are very much in his future.

The running back situation is a mess with Ryan Mathews, but Curtis Brinkley at least looked like the best back they had. Neither he nor Ronnie Brown put up numbers, but Brown looks done.


Tennessee Titans


Nate Washington: (8), Chris Johnson: (7), Jared Cook: (6), Kendall Wright: (6), Damian Williams: (6), Darius Reynaud: (4), Lavelle Hawkins: (4), Craig Stevens: (1), Jamie Harper: (1)

Without Kenny Britt, we saw a lot of Damian Williams. This weekend I believe we will only be able to count on Nate Washington and Jared Cook. Speaking of Jared Cook, last season it was like pulling teeth, trying to get him a full game on the field. But this year, he was out there more than any other receiver. As long as that keeps up, he’ll be worthwhile in fantasy.

Chris Johnson saved his day, at least for PPR leaguers, by catching six passes. It wasn’t enough for where you drafted him of course, but hopefully his PPR value will stay in the realm of fantasy relevance even if he continues to rot as a rusher.


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 .
Email :Chet Gresham

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