Chet Gresham

Targets and Touches

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Week 9 Target Watch: NFC

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Welcome to the NFC Targets for Week 9. They are much like the targets for the AFC from yesterday (if you click back there you’ll be magically transported), but there will be different words associated with them, but the same letters and numbers, but in completely different order. I have gone to the trouble of ordering those numbers and letters into a semi-coherent article about fantasy football.

Below you will find tight end red zone and every zone targets for the last four weeks. Tight ends need touchdowns to have much of a chance to be fantasy relevant, so I like to keep an eye on how often they have the ball thrown at them as they close in on the end zone.

Targets/Game (last four weeks)                                                     Red Zone Targets (last four weeks)

Rank Player Tar/Gm   Rank Player Tar
1 Jason Witten 12.3   1 Rob Gronkowski 9
2 Rob Gronkowski 8.8   2 Heath Miller 8
3 Tony Gonzalez 8.7   3 Jason Witten 6
4 Aaron Hernandez 8   4 Kyle Rudolph 5
5 Brandon Pettigrew 7.3   5 Marcedes Lewis 5
6 Heath Miller 7   6 Aaron Hernandez 5
7 Antonio Gates 7   7 Brent Celek 4
8 Brandon Myers 6.7   8 Dallas Clark 4
9 Owen Daniels 6.7   9 Tony Scheffler 4
10 Dustin Keller 6.3   10 Brandon Myers 4
11 Jermaine Gresham 6.3   11 Antonio Gates 4
12 Jimmy Graham 6   12 Anthony Fasano 4
13 Brent Celek 6   13 Jared Cook 4
14 Kyle Rudolph 6        

To start saving space I’ll be showing you the last 6 weeks of targets on each individual player. I’m also changing the parenthesized number from total targets to targets per game. That should help even that number out for players that have missed games because of injury or bye weeks.



Arizona Cardinals


Larry Fitzgerald: 9-15-15-12-7-11 (10.6), Andre Roberts: 6-9-10-6-9-11 (7.6), Early Doucet: 1-7-7-3-6-4 (4.4), Michael Floyd: 2-8-3-3-1-11 (3.6), Rob Housler: 2-3-6-3-7-5 (3.4), Jeff King: 2-2-1-4-0-3 (1.9), LaRod Stephens-Howling: 0-dnp-dnp-2-5-4 (2.3), Todd Heap: dnp-dnp-dnp-0-dnp-dnp (4.3), Ryan Williams: 2-2-1-dnp-dnp-dnp (2), William Powell: dnp-2-4-1-1-0 (1.6), Anthony Sherman: 0-0-2-0-dnp-2 (0.9)


When you throw the ball 52 times and don’t get into the end zone, you aren’t doing a very good job, John Skelton. Yes, if you are reading this, you should do better.


The Cardinals only ran the ball nine times for seven yards, so there were plenty of targets to go around and Andre Roberts and Larry Fitzgerald both had 11.  Fitzgerald still leads in red zone targets with 13 to five, as well as in total targets.


LaRod Stephens-Howling was the only running back to touch the ball against the 49ers. It seems that William Powell has been relegated to persona non grata, so The Hyphen is tentatively the starting running back.



Atlanta Falcons


Tony Gonzalez: 12-5-14-7-BYE-5 (8.4), Julio Jones: 7-8-15-8-BYE-5 (8.4), Roddy White: 8-12-6-8-BYE-4 (8.1), Harry Douglas: 2-2-5-7-BYE-dnp (3.8), Jacquizz Rodgers: 5-4-2-4-BYE-5 (3.3), Michael Turner: 2-5-5-1-BYE-2 (2.3), Jason Snelling: 1-4-1-0-BYE-3 (1.4), Lousaka Polite: 0-dnp-dnp-1-BYE-3 (0.8), Tommy Gallarda: dnp-dnp-2-1-BYE-0 (1), Michael Palmer: 1-dnp-dnp-dnp-BYE-0 (0.5), Drew Davis: dnp-dnp-0-0-BYE-2 (0.7)


Matt Ryan was Dexter-like in his dismantling of the Eagles defense in the first half completing 17-of-20 passes for 197 yards and three touchdowns. Of course two of those touchdowns went to non-fantasy relevant Drew Davis and Jason Snelling. And after that barrage, Ryan only threw for five more completions for 65 yards while Michael Turner ran into the line like a stuck Mario Brother.


No receiver saw more than five targets for the Falcons, but Julio Jones showed why his big play ability pays off as he took those five targets and caught each for 123 yards and a touchdown. He also leads Roddy White in red zone targets 10 to eight and has passed him in overall targets as well.


Michael Turner got plenty of opportunities with the big lead, but only had 64 total yards on 25 touches, while Jacquizz Rodgers had 80 yards on 13 touches.



Carolina Panthers


Steve Smith: 4-6-13-BYE-9-16 (9), Greg Olsen: 14-7-3-BYE-5-5 (6.3), Brandon LaFell: 5-3-3-BYE-8-4 (5.1), Louis Murphy: 3-1-2-BYE-9-4 (3.4), Mike Tolbert: 5-3-1-BYE-1-1 (2.3), Jonathan Stewart: dnp-1-4-BYE-4-6 (3.2), DeAngelo Williams: 2-2-2-BYE-0-0 (1), Kealoha Pilares: 0-1-0-BYE-0-0 (0.4), Ben Hartsock: 0-0-1-BYE-0-1 (0.3)


Mr. Smith is still alive and kicking, butt that is. He feasts on Bear flesh as often as he can and even though the Panthers lost, Smith showed he still has it. He is averaging 12.6 targets over his last three games.


Brandon LaFell also had a good game, but his concussion might leave him out of next week’s tilt against Washington. There’s not much depth at the wide receiver position in Carolina, but Louis Murphy would likely pick up most of LaFell’s starting snaps and sporadic targets.


Jonathan Stewart had a tough road against the Bears’ number one defense, but was the main man once again with 53 snaps to DeAngelo Williams’ 14. Maybe he’ll have a little more room this week against Washington.



Chicago Bears


Brandon Marshall: 11-8-17-BYE-10-14 (11.4), Matt Forte: dnp-1-4-BYE-5-5 (4.3), Earl Bennett: 4-dnp-dnp-BYE-6-4 (4.8), Alshon Jeffery: 7-5-4-BYE-dnp-dnp (4.6), Devin Hester: 2-4-4-BYE-6-2 (3), Kellen Davis: 3-4-4-BYE-2-1 (3), Michael Bush: 2-1-3-BYE-1-0 (1), Matt Spaeth: 0-0-0-BYE-1-2 (0.7), Kyle Adams: 1-0-1-BYE-1-0 (0.6), Dane Sanzenbacher: dnp-1-2-BYE-0-dnp (1)


Do Bears poo in the woods? Probably, but they for sure pooed all over Soldier field in the first half against Carolina. They ended up pulling out a win, and that’s all that matters. Wait, that doesn’t matter at all! But thankfully, the two main offensive weapons for Chicago are really their only offensive weapons. Brandon Marshall continues to get force fed the ball and Matt Forte only conceded three rushing attempts to Michael Bush and also found the end zone. Both are great fantasy players because their team relies on them so much.



Dallas Cowboys


Jason Witten: 6-14-BYE-7-8-22 (10), Dez Bryant: 8-13-BYE-15-3-11 (8.9), Miles Austin: 9-6-BYE-5-9-16 (8.4), Kevin Ogletree: 7-5-BYE-4-6-3 (5.3), Felix Jones: 2-0-BYE-1-6-3 (2.7), DeMarco Murray: 4-7-BYE-1-dnp-dnp (3.6), John Phillips: 0-0-BYE-2-0-3 (1.1), Phillip Tanner: 0-3-BYE-0-1-1 (0.7), Lawrence Vickers: 1-0-BYE-1-1-0 (0.4), James Hanna: 0-0-BYE-0-0-1 (0.3), Cole Beasley: dnp-2-BYE-dnp-dnp-0 (0.7)


Jason Witten won all my target leagues for me by a mile. Well, I fibbed a little. There is no such thing as a league that counts targets. Well, there probably is, but I’m not in one of them. But I’d much rather count targets in fantasy than net yards for punters, which I’ve seen before and cried after that slight exposure. Anyway, Jason Witten broke the record for most receptions for a tight end, but he actually broke his own record of 15, but he was tied with Kellen Winslow, so now he has sole possession with his new record of 18. Mazel Tov Jason.


Tony Romo was gunning for Drew Bledsoe’s record of 70 passing attempts in a game, but he came up way short with a measly 62. His four interceptions were, well, four interceptions, but when you look at his fantasy points, he still finished as the eighth best fantasy quarterback on the week and helped three of his receivers to 100 yard games. If I was a Dallas fan, I’d be throwing things at his fat head, but his errant throws actually can sometimes help him need to throw more in the long run and end up giving his receivers more possibilities for receptions. I know it’s a backwards way of looking at things, but it’s the way it is.



Detroit Lions


Calvin Johnson: 12-12-BYE-13-11-8 (10.7), Brandon Pettigrew: 12-9-BYE-7-6-9 (8.1), Nate Burleson: 12-8-BYE-9-3-dnp (7.2), Titus Young: 7-3-BYE-5-8-9 (5.4), Tony Scheffler: dnp-3-BYE-5-3-8 (5), Joique Bell: 5-8-BYE-2-4-4 (3.7), Mikel Leshoure: 4-5-BYE-4-7-5 (5), Kevin Smith: 0-0-BYE-dnp-dnp-1 (2), Ryan Broyles: 0-1-BYE-0-4-5 (2), Will Heller: 1-0-BYE-0-0-0 (0.6), Stefan Logan: 1-0-BYE-0-0-0 (0.3),
Keiland Williams: 0-1-BYE-0-dnp-dnp (0.4)


Matt Stafford got back on track this week and instead of Calvin Johnson getting all the fantasy love, it was his new partner in crime, Titus Young Sr. Stafford distributed the ball fairly evenly, but Young had an easier time with less coverage. This bodes well for both receivers. If Young Sr. can continue to play well, opposing defenses won’t be able to bracket Calvin Johnson on every play.


Ryan Broyles had a touchdown reception, but was still fifth on the team in targets. The good news is that he’s been targeted in the red zone three times in his last two games.


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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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