Welcome to Week 12 of the NFC Target Watch. You will find numbers and words and hyperbole and sleep-deprived paranoia. So sit back, relax and have someone read this article to you so you don’t have to strain your eyes.
My chart for today is of the top targets per game for each position over the last six weeks. My one comment is, THROW ARIAN FOSTER THE BALL!
Targets/Game by Position
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 to total targets for the last six weeks.
Larry Fitzgerald: 12-7-11-12-BYE-7 (49), Andre Roberts: 6-9-11-7-BYE-5 (38), Michael Floyd: 3-1-11-7-BYE-4 (26), Rob Housler: 3-7-5-9-BYE-0 (24), Early Doucet: 3-6-4-4-BYE-7 (24), LaRod Stephens-Howling: 2-5-4-4-BYE-4 (19), Jeff King: 4-0-3-1-BYE-0 (8), Anthony Sherman: 0-dnp-2-1-BYE-0 (3), William Powell: 1-1-0-0-BYE-0 (2)
Woe are the Cardinals and those that follow the Cardinals and those that accidentally see them on the television. Your newest quarterback is Ryan Lindley and even though they might as well play him to see how he looks, it looks like offensive woes will be in order. Larry Fitzgerald caught one pass for 11 yards on seven targets. And if Mr. Fitzgerald can’t get his, then no receiver will.
LaRod Stephens-Howling played well once again, rushing 22 times for 127 yards and a touchdown, but Beanie Wells will be back against St. Louis. It seems like The Hyphen should have won some extra snaps, but it looks like Wells will be the early down/goal line back, which makes both iffy plays with Lindley at the helm.
Roddy White: 8-BYE-4-10-13-13 (48), Tony Gonzalez: 7-BYE-5-5-15-8 (40), Julio Jones: 8-BYE-5-6-5-7 (31), Jacquizz Rodgers: 4-BYE-5-5-4-6 (24), Harry Douglas: 7-BYE-dnp-2-7-6 (22), Jason Snelling: 0-BYE-3-3-3-3 (12), Michael Turner: 1-BYE-2-1-1-2 (7), Lousaka Polite: 1-BYE-3-1-dnp-dnp (5), Drew Davis: 0-BYE-2-0-1-1 (4), Michael Palmer: dnp-BYE-0-1-1-0 (2), Tommy Gallarda: 1-BYE-0-0-0-dnp (1)
Julio Jones can’t stay on the field and that has been good news for Roddy White’s targets and production. Harry Douglas has seen an uptick in targets as well and is Jones’ fill-in, but we’d need to see Jones ruled out before giving Douglas a shot. Tampa Bay is on the docket and that is good news for whoever gets their shot.
Jacquizz Rodgers played 46 percent of the snaps to Michael Turner’s 45 percent. That’s pretty much how it goes when the Falcons are trailing in a game. Turner managed to get into the end zone, which is really the only way he can salvage a good fantasy day.
Steve Smith: BYE-9-16-7-7-7 (46), Greg Olsen: BYE-5-5-9-10-6 (35), Brandon LaFell: BYE-8-4-dnp-8-7 (27), Louis Murphy: BYE-9-4-2-2-4 (21), Jonathan Stewart: BYE-4-6-1-2-1 (14), Mike Tolbert: BYE-1-1-1-2-2 (7), Armanti Edwards: BYE-0-dnp-1-3-1 (5), Gary Barnidge: BYE-0-1-1-1-0 (3), DeAngelo Williams: BYE-0-0-0-1-0 (1), Kealoha Pilares: BYE-0-0-1-dnp-dnp (1), Ben Hartsock: BYE-0-1-0-0-0 (1)
The Panthers passing game is all over the map with Cam Newton leading the way. Well, the whole offense is all over the map. Steve Smith is in Alaska, Jonathan Stewart is in Florida, and Ron Rivera is out to lunch in an undisclosed location.
Brandon LaFell has seen an uptick in production of late, but this offense has little rhythm and it is difficult to lock onto any patterns at all. And I think that goes from the top down. Even in great matchups you just can’t trust them to put up normal numbers week in and week out.
Brandon Marshall: BYE-10-14-10-13-4 (51), Earl Bennett: BYE-6-4-8-2-2 (22), Matt Forte: BYE-5-5-2-5-4 (21), Devin Hester: BYE-6-2-2-4-4 (18), Kellen Davis: BYE-2-1-0-5-2 (10), Matt Spaeth: BYE-1-2-0-3-0 (6), Alshon Jeffery: BYE-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-4 (4), Michael Bush: BYE-1-0-1-0-1 (3), Evan Rodriguez: BYE-dnp-dnp-1-0-1 (2), Kyle Adams: BYE-1-0-0-1-0 (2), Eric Weems: BYE-0-0-1-0-0 (1)
The Bears were dismantled by the 49ers on Monday night, but I don’t think that means we have to start selling off our shares in Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall. Even with Jason Campbell at the helm, Marshall got into the end zone and when you face the 49ers rush defense with no way to lengthen the field in the passing game, well, Matt Forte had no chance. The good news is that Jay Cutler will return at some point, and those two guys will be fine.
The only other fantasy possibility on the team, Alshon Jeffery, came back for a little while, only to get hurt again. That’s no good for the Bears, but we know they have to funnel all work to Forte and Marshall if they want to have a chance of winning.
Jason Witten: 7-8-22-8-10-8 (63), Miles Austin: 5-9-16-9-4-12 (55), Dez Bryant: 15-3-11-4-5-15 (53), Felix Jones: 1-6-3-5-3-3 (21), Kevin Ogletree: 4-6-3-4-0-3 (20), Lawrence Vickers: 1-1-0-1-2-1 (6), John Phillips: 2-0-3-0-0-0 (5), Lance Dunbar: 0-0-0-2-0-3 (5), Cole Beasley: dnp-dnp-0-2-1-1 (4), Dwayne Harris: 0-0-0-0-0-3 (3), Phillip Tanner: 0-1-1-0-0-0 (2), James Hanna: 0-0-1-0-0-0 (1)
There’s no doubt that when Dez Bryant is healthy, he’s getting the ball. Of course he’s had nagging injuries this season, which in turn has led to inconsistent targets, but last week he was full-go and had 15 targets, catching 12 of those for 145 yards and a touchdown. And even with that huge number of targets, Miles Austin and Jason Witten also saw healthy targets. The lack of a running game and inconsistent play all around has kept Tony Romo throwing the ball, and that’s good for those three main targets.
The running back situation is impossible to project due to past usage because everyone is hurt. Play whoever is upright at your own risk.
Calvin Johnson: 13-11-8-8-13-11 (64), Brandon Pettigrew: 7-6-9-3-9-7 (41), Titus Young: 5-8-9-5-7-6 (40), Tony Scheffler: 5-3-8-3-1-10 (30), Joique Bell: 2-4-4-4-8-1 (23), Mikel Leshoure: 4-7-5-2-3-1 (22), Ryan Broyles: 0-4-5-6-1-2 (18), Nate Burleson: 9-3-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp (12), Mike Thomas: dnp-3-7-0-0-0 (10), Will Heller: 0-0-0-1-0-1 (2), Kevin Smith: dnp-dnp-1-1-0-0 (2)
Calvin Johnson will continue to be Calvin Johnson and it looks like Titus Young Sr. will continue to be Titus Young Sr. He had a golden opportunity to play opposite of the best wide receiver in the game and roam free with single coverage, but instead he acts a fool. He’s out for the Thanksgiving game and will be replaced my Mike Thomas, while Ryan Broyles stays in the slot. Broyles only had two targets last week, but should see an uptick on Thursday.
Last week Tony Scheffler saw a whopping 10 targets, but only caught two. And that was pretty much the name of the game, inefficiency. Matthew Stafford completed less than 50% of his passes and once again he was out of synch.
Kevin Smith saw 21 snaps to Joique Bell’s 11, so there was a bit of the changing of the guard there. It doesn’t matter much for fantasy with both getting work, but if you were holding onto Bell in a PPR league, say goodnight Gracie.