Welcome to Week 13 of the NFC Target Watch. We are closing in on the fantasy playoffs like Rick Reilly on a Twitter scoop, so buckle your fake football seatbelts and get to reading!
All target data is for the last six weeks.
Larry Fitzgerald: 7-11-12-BYE-7-12 (49), Andre Roberts: 9-11-7-BYE-5-13 (45), Rob Housler: 7-5-9-BYE-0-11 (32), Michael Floyd: 1-11-7-BYE-4-4 (27), Early Doucet: 6-4-4-BYE-7-dnp (21), LaRod Stephens-Howling: 5-4-4-BYE-4-1 (18), William Powell: 1-0-0-BYE-0-9 (10), Jeff King: 0-3-1-BYE-0-1 (5), Anthony Sherman: dnp-2-1-BYE-0-0 (3), LaRon Byrd: dnp-dnp-dnp-BYE-dnp-1 (1)
Ryan Lindley was able to move the ball some last week, but also threw four interceptions and only connected with Larry Fitzgerald on three out of 12 targets. He did give Andre Roberts and Rob Housler more production than they have had lately. Housler has ability and it’s intriguing that Lindley targeted him 11 times and he caught eight for 82 yards, but I don’t know how you could trust any Cardinals pass catcher until we see more consistency out of whatever quarterback they haul out there.
Beanie Wells had a nice fantasy return from his injury by scoring two touchdowns. He has proven to be a great goal line back over the last couple years, but of course injuries, a middling skill set, no passing down work, and no quarterback keep him from big numbers. He ran 17 times for 48 yards, which is a 3.8 yards per carry pace. He’ll need those touchdowns which will be hit and miss.
Roddy White: BYE-4-10-13-13-7 (47), Tony Gonzalez: BYE-5-5-15-8-5 (38), Julio Jones: BYE-5-6-5-7-9 (32), Jacquizz Rodgers: BYE-5-5-4-6-2 (22), Harry Douglas: BYE-dnp-2-7-6-3 (18), Jason Snelling: BYE-3-3-3-3-3 (15), Michael Turner: BYE-2-1-1-2-3 (9), Lousaka Polite: BYE-3-1-dnp-dnp-dnp (4), Drew Davis: BYE-2-0-1-1-0 (4), Michael Palmer: BYE-0-1-1-0-0 (2)
Julio Jones took his rightful place as the target and production leader this week after nursing a bad ankle over the last couple weeks. There is little doubt that he is the premier playmaker on the Falcons and if he’s healthy, the coaches use him as such. Of course much depends on the defense and flow of the game, but a healthy Jones means Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez have to share some targets.
The struggle between good (Jacquizz Rodgers) and evil (Michael Turner) was won by Rodgers last Sunday. Rodgers had 31 snaps compared to 23 for Turner and he also topped him in fantasy points. This battle is by no means over and I doubt we will see a clear winner this season, but it does seem like the coaches are gaining trust in Rodgers ability enough so that he had four red zone looks to Turner’s two.
Steve Smith: 9-16-7-7-7-7 (53), Greg Olsen: 5-5-9-10-6-5 (40), Brandon LaFell: 8-4-dnp-8-7-7 (34), Louis Murphy: 9-4-2-2-4-2 (23), Jonathan Stewart: 4-6-1-2-1-3 (17), Mike Tolbert: 1-1-1-2-2-2 (9), Armanti Edwards: 0-dnp-1-3-1-0 (5), Gary Barnidge: 0-1-1-1-0-1 (4), DeAngelo Williams: 0-0-0-1-0-1 (2), Ben Hartsock: 0-1-0-0-0-0 (1), Kealoha Pilares: 0-0-1-dnp-dnp-dnp (1)
Brandon LaFell has one more target than Steve Smith over the last three weeks and has tied or exceeded Smith’s fantasy production five of the last seven weeks. It seems Cam Newton isn’t going to just focus on Smith in the passing game like he did early in the season.
Jonathan Stewart is hurt and DeAngelo Williams will take over the lead back role, but Williams has a measly 3.2 yards per carry this season and Cam Newton is the goal line back.
Brandon Marshall: 10-14-10-13-4-17 (68), Earl Bennett: 6-4-8-2-2-4 (26), Matt Forte: 5-5-2-5-4-2 (23), Devin Hester: 6-2-2-4-4-0 (18), Kellen Davis: 2-1-0-5-2-4 (14), Matt Spaeth: 1-2-0-3-0-1 (7), Alshon Jeffery: dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-4-dnp (4), Michael Bush: 1-0-1-0-1-1 (4), Evan Rodriguez: dnp-dnp-1-0-1-1 (3), Kyle Adams: 1-0-0-1-0-0 (2), Eric Weems: 0-0-1-0-0-1 (2)
Any Chicago Bears target blurbage could just be me typing Brandon Marshall’s name over and over again until you throw something at the computer screen. Eric Weems took over for Devin Hester after his concussion and had one target. The only receiver left that has any kind of potential is Earl Bennett. I could see him doing something down the stretch, but picking the game he does it in will be tough.
Matt Forte reinjured his ankle and Michael Bush took over. He isn’t going to blow the doors off of any defenses, but he is really all the Bears have and will get every down work.
Jason Witten: 8-22-8-10-8-15 (71), Miles Austin: 9-16-9-4-12-2 (52), Dez Bryant: 3-11-4-5-15-11 (49), Felix Jones: 6-3-5-3-3-4 (24), Cole Beasley: dnp-0-2-1-1-13 (17), Kevin Ogletree: 6-3-4-0-3-dnp (16), Lance Dunbar: 0-0-2-0-3-6 (11), Dwayne Harris: 0-0-0-0-3-7 (10), Lawrence Vickers: 1-0-1-2-1-2 (7), John Phillips: 0-3-0-0-0-0 (3), Phillip Tanner: 1-1-0-0-0-0 (2), James Hanna: 0-1-0-0-0-0 (1)
Jason Witten is on pace for 119 receptions and 1.45 touchdowns. That is nutso facto. Amazingly Witten, Miles Austin and Dez Bryant all have the same number of red zone targets with 11. Of course Austin and Bryant have a much better chance at scoring from outside the red zone than Witten.
Dez Bryant continues to surge here at the end of the season with his second 145-yard performance in a row and four touchdowns in his last three games. He has a tough matchup with Pittsburgh, but Philly and the Saints make for fantasy bombshells.
Cole Beasley caught seven of 13 targets for 68 yards and did his best early in his career Danny Amendola impression. Of course those targets came with Miles Austin out of the game and it looks like he’ll be back this week. It does seem like Beasley helps this offense keep the chains moving so we may see him get more work going forward, but his fantasy value is very low with Austin healthy.
Calvin Johnson: 11-8-8-13-11-17 (68), Brandon Pettigrew: 6-9-3-9-7-15 (49), Titus Young: 8-9-5-7-6-dnp (35), Tony Scheffler: 3-8-3-1-10-6 (31), Ryan Broyles: 4-5-6-1-2-12 (30), Joique Bell: 4-4-4-8-1-2 (23), Mikel Leshoure: 7-5-2-3-1-2 (20), Mike Thomas: 3-7-0-0-0-6 (16), Nate Burleson: 3-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp (3), Kevin Smith: dnp-1-1-0-0-1 (3), Will Heller: 0-0-1-0-1-0 (2)
We already know that Calvin Johnson is the knees of bees, but we have a new receiver in town by the name of Ryan Broyles. After Titus Young was sent to bed with no dessert, Broyles feasted on Thanksgiving pies and cookies and all sorts of sugary snacks. He caught six of 12 targets for 126 yards and it looks like he’ll continue to have chances going forward as Young continues his persona non grata tour.