Chet Gresham

Targets and Touches

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Week 5 Target Watch: NFC

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Green Bay Packers


Jordy Nelson: 7-9-3-12 (31), Jermichael Finley: 11-5-5-5 (26), James Jones: 6-5-6-6 (23), Greg Jennings: 9-dnp-10-3 (22), Randall Cobb: 9-2-2-8 (21), Cedric Benson: 0-4-5-4 (13), John Kuhn: 0-3-4-0 (7), Donald Driver: 0-1-1-2 (4), D.J. Williams: 0-1-2-dnp (3), Tom Crabtree: 0-0-dnp-1 (1)


Well, the Packers finally faced a bad defense and did what they do to such defenses. Of course James Jones and Tom Crabtree combined for three touchdowns as Aaron Rodgers is wont to do, but overall it was nice to see the Packers offense get back on track.


There isn’t one player on the Packers that has seen over 20% of the targets, which is the only team with that distinction. If Greg Jennings hadn’t been injured he’d probably have gotten enough, but as it usually is in Green Bay, no one player dominates week in and week out.


Cedric Benson remains the feature back and if the Packers ran more near the goal line I’d say buy the old man, but unfortunately they don’t and if they do, John Kuhn or B.J. Raji or whoever might get the call. And Benson just doesn’t have the chops to score from way out.



Minnesota Vikings


Percy Harvin: 8-13-11-6 (38), Kyle Rudolph: 7-5-6-5 (23), Michael Jenkins: 5-6-5-4 (20), Adrian Peterson: 1-3-4-4 (12), Toby Gerhart: 1-3-4-1 (9), Devin Aromashodu: 3-3-2-0 (8), Jerome Simpson: dnp-dnp-dnp-5 (5), Stephen Burton: 0-2-1-dnp (3), John Carlson: 1-0-1-1 (3), Matt Asiata: 1-0-0-0 (1), Allen Reisner: 0-0-1-dnp (1)


The Vikings defense needs to stop playing well so Christian Ponder will throw more.  Right now they are near the bottom of the league in total passing attempts. Thankfully Percy Harvin is seeing over 30% of those, but after him, Kyle Rudolph is at 18.7%. That’s not horrible, but there are 11 tight ends ahead of him in percentage and unless the Vikings need to throw more, Rudolph is going to remain inconsistent.


Adrian Peterson had four targets and caught all four, which is very good. Not since Brett Favre’s magical season has Peterson had 40+ receptions and he’s on pace for that now. It’s not a ton, but every bit helps.



New Orleans Saints


Jimmy Graham: 10-13-8-9 (40), Lance Moore: 10-5-7-15 (37), Marques Colston: 11-4-4-13 (32), Darren Sproles: 8-14-3-7 (32), Pierre Thomas: 1-6-6-3 (16), Devery Henderson: 2-dnp-7-2 (11), Joe Morgan: 2-3-dnp-1 (6), David Thomas: 2-1-0-2 (5), Jed Collins: 2-0-1-1 (4), Mark Ingram: 1-0-0-1 (2), Courtney Roby: 0-1-0-0 (1)


The 0-4 Saints are tough to watch, but they are still huge fantasy contributors, both on offense and as a horrible defense to start all players against. Drew Brees is ahead of Matthew Stafford in the race to break the record for most attempts in a season, which really isn’t the record you want unless it comes along with a touchdown record, but still, it give plenty of chances for receivers to have good days.


Jimbo Graham is still Brees’ main target, just like last season and except for last week has had no trouble getting into the end zone. Lock and load The Reverend in your lineup.


Darren Sproles got back into the target game with seven targets in which he caught five for 44 yards and a touchdown.  Don’t worry about his PPR studliness.



New York Giants


Victor Cruz: 11-17-8-13 (49), Martellus Bennett: 6-10-7-3 (26), Hakeem Nicks: 6-15-dnp-dnp (21), Domenik Hixon: 5-1-dnp-11 (17), Ramses Barden: 0-2-10-4 (16), Andre Brown: 0-2-5-1 (8), Ahmad Bradshaw: 2-0-dnp-4 (6), Henry Hynoski: 1-1-2-1 (5), Bear Pascoe: 1-0-1-2 (4), Rueben Randle: 0-0-3-1 (4), David Wilson: 0-2-1-1 (4)

Victor Cruz is tied for the league lead in targets and has received over 30% of the Giants targets, which puts him at tenth overall. Of course those numbers might be slightly different if Hakeem Nicks had played the last two games, but Barden and Hixon filled in for Nicks admirably and received a big chunk of looks. It isn’t a stretch to say that whoever starts in Nicks’ spot is going to get his targets.


With Ahmad Bradshaw back, we saw Andre Brown’s touches decrease dramatically as well as his time on the field. Bradshaw was on the field 58 times to Brown’s nine. There’s no time-share there.



Philadelphia Eagles


DeSean Jackson: 11-8-10-9 (38), Brent Celek: 8-11-6-5 (30), LeSean McCoy: 9-3-3-4 (19), Jeremy Maclin: 14-1-dnp-3 (18), Damaris Johnson: 3-1-11-1 (16), Jason Avant: 5-2-4-2 (13), Clay Harbor: 6-2-0-1 (9), Stanley Havili: 0-1-0-2 (3), Bryce Brown: 0-0-2-0 (2), Mardy Gilyard: dnp-0-1-0 (1)


DeSean Jackson continues to be the most reliable receiver on the Eagles. Wait, huh? There’s little doubt that a fully healthy Jeremy Maclin would be the guy to own, but he is far from fully healthy. Against the Giants, Maclin played the exact same number of snaps as Jackson, but saw six less targets and only caught one for seven yards.

The good news is that Maclin played a full set of snaps, but the bad news is how are we to know when he’s truly back?  Oh the humanity!

Last season through four games, LeSean McCoy had 66 carries for 363 yards and 4 touchdowns and 15 receptions on 19 targets for 83 yards and 2 touchdowns. This season through four games he has 81 carries for 384 yards and 1 touchdown and 14 receptions on 19 targets for 59 yards and no touchdowns. So if anything, he’s seen more work than last year, but has five less touchdowns. It’s the touchdowns stupid!


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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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