Hello Rotoworlders! I have some target info below here if you are interested. We’ll start with the wide receivers, then the tight ends and then all the way down to the lowly running backs. Then we’ll go out for brunch, maybe do some Christmas shopping and see The Hobbit (no, I don’t know Danny Woodhead). After that, well, it’ll probably be a little weird since we don’t know each other all that well. So, let’s just cut our losses.
Wide Receiver Targets (Tier 1)
Over the last four games, the Detroit Lions lost Ryan Broyles and Titus Young Sr. One to injury and one to insanity. But whatever the reason, Calvin Johnson has become the target king over the last quarter of the season. You know this, I know this and the American people, well, I guess they mostly know this. But do they know that he is on pace to beat Jerry Rice’s receiving yardage record for a single season? Do they!? Victor Cruz leads the NFC wide receivers in Pro Bowl voting. I usually don’t care about the super-rigged and biased Pro Bowl, but come on people.
If the Bears threw the ball more, Brandon Marshall would have at least four bajillion targets this season. He averages 12.1 targets per game and the Bears have thrown the ball 31.3 times per game, or in other words, a pass is coming to him 38.7 percent of the time. On the other hand, it’s 30.3 percent for A.J. Green and Reggie Wayne, 28.4 percent for Wes Welker, 27.4 percent for Victor Cruz, 26.9 percent for Andre Johnson, 26.6 percent for Calvin Johnson, and 26.5 percent for poor, poor Larry Fitzgerald.
Danario Alexander is the biggest news in the wide receiver target world lately (all my target friends are absolutely a twitter). He’s the seventh ranked targeteer (my word, don’t steal it). That’s pretty good for someone the wide receiver depleted Rams let go during training camp. His skill set has always been that of a #1 receiver, but his knees were those of an 81 year old man. Now that he is healthy, he is the no doubt #1 receiver for the Chargers and he’s playing like one.
The Rams lost their actual #1 receiver, Danny Amendola, and rookie Chris Givens got the call. He’s the tenth targeteer (hey!) over the last four weeks and has shown ability on all areas of the field. In the right matchups he’s a valuable fantasy player. Amendola could return this week though, and that would put a hurtin’ on his value for Week 15.
The duo of Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon was looking pretty good, as they complemented each other’s strengths, but then Shorts went and got himself concussed. It helped Blackmon’s targets, but he has trouble separating and needs a player like Shorts to stretch the field.
With the “quarterbacks” the Cardinals are carrying around, Larry Fitzgerald could average ONE MILLION targets a game and still be a fantasy football black hole.
Wide Receiver Targets (Tier 2)
I’m gong to start with Hakeem Nicks here, because the bye skews his numbers. Even on a bum body, he is still getting his work in. He has more targets during this span than Victor Cruz, but Cruz’s health keeps him in the fantasy points lead. It looks like they’ll freeze wrap Nicks during the week to keep him fresh for games. If Danario can do it, anyone can!
Vincent Jackson averages over 20 yards a reception, so these target numbers are working out ok for him. He can’t overcome shut down corners like Champ Bailey, but give him a little space and he’s going to catch a bomb or two or three.
I’m a little befuddled and baffled and I also feel a slight bit bamboozled by the targets Donnie (not much ballgame) Avery continues to see over the more talented T.Y. Hilton, but it’s still a thing. But a thing that we have to go ahead and ignore, because Hilton is the better player and has a better chance of coming up with big plays.
‘When Targets Deceive’ should be the title of Anquan Boldin’s Week 14 bio pic. On just three targets, Boldin had three receptions for 72 yards and two touchdowns, while the younger and guy on my fantasy team, Torrey Smith, had three targets, catching one for 21 yards. Boldin has finally started to find the end zone over the last two weeks and is also getting more targets than Smith, weird.
Mike Wallace has had his downs and ups and a few more downs, but snapped out of a big down with seven receptions on 11 targets for 112 yards and two touchdowns. This spike in production was helped by Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown returning and there’s no reason not to tap into a possible hot streak.
Wide Receiver Targets (Tier 3)
It’s nice to see Jeremy Maclin back with the living. His 13 targets last week paid off well. It didn’t hurt that they faced Tampa Bay’s poor pass defense, but fake points are fake points! He’s the best receiver they have and Nick Foles knows that. Foles Knows? I don’t think Bo will allow it.
Kendall Wright sure gets a bunch of targets. Now if he could catch and subsequently score, that would help. In his last three games he has reception totals of 5, 6, and 7, but his yardage and lack of touchdowns make him hard to start.
Marques Colston has hit a bit of a target slide, which is similar to an electric slide in that you don’t score many fantasy points while doing it. In the last five weeks he’s gotten into the end zone twice, but during that span he hasn’t hit double digit fantasy points in standard leagues. That is not helping. Let’s hope Tampa’s secondary in the Superdome is the remedy.
When you get down to this level of targets your chances of consistent success aren’t, how do I say good? Oh right, good. Brandon Lloyd has been the opposite of good to us fake football players all season (while on American soil), that is until we completely give up on him. He had totaled 126 yards and zero touchdowns in the four games before he went for 86 yards and a touchdown against the Texans. Is this the start of a streak or an anomaly?
Kenny Britt, much like Brandon Lloyd, broke out last week after doing next to nothing all season. He’s seen an uptick in targets, but gets a tough matchup against the Jets secondary this week. We’ll really be able to see if he’s turned a corner if he can play well against Cromartie and company.