Chet Gresham

Targets and Touches

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Week 3 Target Watch – AFC

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Welcome to the AFC version of Target Watch. You will find all of the AFC teams below, with all of their passing targets, plus some snap count data and words my brain neuroned together after analyzing the NFC teams on Wednesday.

With two weeks of data under our hat I’ll be showing y’all per-week targets and the total number of targets. So for Dennis Pitta you’ll see “Dennis Pitta: 9-15 (24).” That means he had nine targets week one, fifteen targets week two, for a total of 24 targets. Addition!!

But before we get to all of these AFC teams, let me give you the top players for red zone targets and carries. Look at this handy dandy chart below.


        Red Zone Targets                           Red Zone Targets                        Red Zone Carries

Rk Wide Receiver Tar   Rk Tight End Tar   Rk Running Back Rush TD
1 Sidney Rice 6   1 Martellus Bennett 5   1 Arian Foster 13 3
2 Julio Jones 5   2 Jimmy Graham 5   2 Willis McGahee 11 2
3 Roddy White 5   3 Heath Miller 5   3 Michael Turner 10 1
4 Malcom Floyd 4   4 Dante Rosario 4   4 Curtis Brinkley 10 0
5 Reggie Wayne 4   5 Todd Heap 4   5 Marshawn Lynch 9 1
6 Kevin Ogletree 3   6 Anthony Fasano 4   6 Alfred Morris 8 2
7 Brian Hartline 3   7 Dennis Pitta 4   7 Jonathan Dwyer 8 0
8 Damian Williams 3   8 Brandon Pettigrew 3   8 Doug Martin 8 1
9 Doug Baldwin 3   9 Tony Scheffler 3   9 Adrian Peterson 7 2
10 Antonio Brown 3   10 Jermaine Gresham 3   10 Jackie Battle 7 2
11 Andre Roberts 3   11 Rob Gronkowski 3   11 Stevan Ridley 7 1
12 Victor Cruz 3   12 Scott Chandler 2   12 Shonn Greene 5 1
13 Eric Decker 3   13 Fred Davis 2   13 Steven Jackson 5 0
14 Donnie Avery 3   14 Clay Harbor 2   14 Ahmad Bradshaw 5 1
15 Percy Harvin 3   15 Jacob Tamme 2  
16 Jeremy Maclin 3   16 Tony Gonzalez 2  
17 Larry Fitzgerald 3   17 Brent Celek 2  
18 Braylon Edwards 3   18 Coby Fleener 2  



I’ll let you mull over this red zone chart, but I do want you to pay close attention to the Black Unicorn (Bennett), because he’s on the touchdown radar big time. Oh and these Chargers sure like their running backs. I wonder if that Ryan Mathews fella can do some damage at some point? Well, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Onto the targets!!!



Baltimore Ravens


Dennis Pitta: 9-15 (24), Ray Rice: 4-10 (14), Anquan Boldin: 5-4 (9), Torrey Smith: 3-5 (8), Ed Dickson: 3-4 (7), Jacoby Jones: 3-2 (5), Vonta Leach: 3-1 (4), Deonte Thompson: 2-0 (2), Tandon Doss: 0-1 (1)

Who is the target leader for all tight ends? You guessed it, Dennis Pitta, that’s who! And where does he sit in the fantasy tight end rankings? Ninth! Yes! Oh wait, that’s not that great, but it is good, so don’t get all huffy. I side with the targets here and if the targets are there, the fantasy points will come along for the ride.

I’m starting to wonder if Torrey Smith decided to get on board though. Right now he is behind Jacoby Jones and Anquan Boldin in fantasy points. He’s up there with Boldin in targets with eight to his nine, but if he’s getting so few targets he must get into the end zone to be relevant. If we see another five targets or less day against New England, who they should throw against, I’ll be worried.

Ray Rice isn’t getting the rushing attempts his owners want (and deserve!), but he does have nine receptions on 14 targets, which keeps him in prime fantasy territory.



Buffalo Bills


Stevie Johnson: 10-5 (15), Scott Chandler: 6-5 (11), Donald Jones: 7-3 (10), C.J. Spiller: 3-3 (6), David Nelson: 5-dnp (5), Tashard Choice: 0-1 (1), Brad Smith: dnp-1 (1), Lee Smith: 1-0 (1), T.J. Graham: dnp-1 (1)

The Bills didn’t need to air it out against the Chiefs on Sunday because C.J. Spiller hung the Chiefs out to dry. So it’s difficult to see exactly how many targets David Nelson’s replacement, Donald Jones might have had if Fitzpatrick would have thrown more than 19 times.

The good news is for Scott Chandler who managed to up his targets, at least in relation to the other receivers. If he can continue being targeted around the second most on the team, he could become a consistent fantasy option.


Cincinnati Bengals


A.J. Green: 11-12 (23), Jermaine Gresham: 8-5 (13), Andrew Hawkins: 9-3 (12), Armon Binns: 5-5 (10), BenJarvus Green-Ellis: 2-3 (5), Brandon Tate: 2-3 (5)

A.J. Green continues to get his targets in a consistent way. Last year he started out the first three weeks with targets of 4, 14, and 5. If he sees double digits a third straight week, he should easily be a top-5 receiver this season.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis saw a single uptick in targets, which is actually great news for his prospects, especially if he catches each one like he did last week. He hardly saw a target as a Patriot, so this aspect of his game would help him gain more PPR relevance.

Jermaine Gresham’s three red zone targets week one dropped to zero last week. He’s been a consistent red zone target for Dalton, so I think this is probably an anomaly.

Andrew Hawkins proved he could be a factor on just three targets, a big drop from last week. I hate to see the drop, but he looks like the real deal, so his numbers should go back up.


Cleveland Browns


Mohamed Massaquoi: 8-7 (15), Greg Little: 4-7 (11), Trent Richardson: 3-5 (8), Josh Gordon: 4-3 (7), Travis Benjamin: 6-0 (6), Chris Ogbonnaya: dnp-6 (6), Alex Smith: 1-4 (5), Brandon Jackson: 4-dnp (4), Ben Watson: 2-1 (3), Owen Marecic: 2-1 (3), Josh Cribbs: 0-2 (2), Jordan Cameron: 1-0 (1)

We have a bit of a dilemma here. Week one Brandon Weeden was totally overwhelmed by the Eagles defense, but in week two, he looked great against the Bengals, so far, not so good defense. That also coincided with Trent Richardson breaking out, so chicken meet egg. But if you believe Weeden is closer to week two Weeden, then we need to start taking a closer look at these receivers.

The target and reception numbers favor Massaquoi, but he hasn’t found the end zone like Little has, so people aren’t as keen on him and his post-post-sleeperness. I’d say he has just as much a chance as Little and Gordon of breaking out if Weeden can play well.

Chris Ogbonnaya had a crazy six targets and six receptions last week, but Richardson was still in on 21 pass plays compared to Ogbonnaya’s 14. It looks like they will be splitting receiving work for the time being.



Denver Broncos


Demaryius Thomas: 7-11 (18), Eric Decker: 7-8 (15), Brandon Stokley: 3-6 (9), Jacob Tamme: 5-4 (9), Joel Dreessen: 2-2 (4), Willis McGahee: 1-2 (3), Lance Ball: 0-2 (2), Matt Willis: 1-1 (2)

So far Demaryius Thomas is the guy and the guy behind the guy (who’s standing next to Decker) in receptions, yards and touchdowns. There’s no reason to think otherwise going forward. Eric Decker is still useful, but Thomas’ upside is higher week in and week out.

Joel Dreessen was on the field 59 times to Jacob Tamme’s 27, but Tamme had four targets to Dreessen’s two. Right now I’m shying away from both.



Houston Texans


Owen Daniels: 8-9 (17), Andre Johnson: 10-4 (14), Arian Foster: 3-7 (10), Ben Tate: 3-4 (7), Kevin Walter: 2-4 (6), James Casey: 2-4 (6), Keshawn Martin: 1-2 (3), Lestar Jean: 2-0 (2), Garrett Graham: 0-1 (1)

Last week was a rushing parade with Arian Foster and Ben Tate as co-grand marshals. Tate was on the field for 22 plays compared to Foster’s 58. So far Foster has 52 carries and seven targets to Tate’s 12 carries and seven targets. The two to one touchdown lead by Tate will not last.

Andre Johnson’s lack of targets was disappointing, but as long as he’s healthy, you just go onto the next game and collect your fantasy points.

Owen Daniels is the leader in targets, and even though he will go back to second on that list at some point, it’s worth taking notice. In games where they need to pass more, Daniels will be useful in fantasy.

Right now the hopefulness surrounding Lestar Jean and Keshawn Martin was only that. Hope in one hand; pick up Donnie Avery in the other.



Indianapolis Colts


Reggie Wayne: 18-7 (25), Donnie Avery: 8-10 (18), Coby Fleener: 10-4 (14), Kris Adams: 4-3 (7), Mewelde Moore: 1-2 (3), Donald Brown: 2-0 (2), Vick Ballard: 0-1 (1), Dwayne Allen: 0-1 (1), LaVon Brazill: 1-dnp (1), T.Y. Hilton: dnp-1 (1)

Andrew Luck’s 76 pass attempts ranks 8th overall, which is good news for Wayne, Fleener, Avery and/or maybe someday Collie. Those are the only guys worth owning on your team right now and they have decent upsides with Luck and the Indianapolis defense helping them out.

Donald Brown of course is the starter and probably needs to be on teams, but only as a desperation start. Right now he is giving up a lot of work to Vick Ballard and neither are doing much that’s productive.


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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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