Now let’s take a look at the overall targets for each position over the last four weeks.
Wide Receiver (All Targets - past four weeks):
Calvin Johnson has more targets (67) in the last four weeks than Vernon Davis has on the season (58). Johnson already sits at eighth all-time in receiving yards, just behind some guy named Calvin Johnson and he still has two games left. His increase in targets has a lot to do with Nate Burleson, Titus Young and Ryan Broyles’ absences and they aren’t coming back anytime soon. While he goes for the record, expect the targets to keep flying.
Andre Johnson averaged 7.4 targets, 4.8 receptions and 63.4 yards in the first seven games and 11.9 targets, 8.4 receptions and 130.9 yards in the last seven. This increase is likely due to Johnson getting healthier. The lack of touchdowns keeps his fantasy ceiling from blowing up, but those second half numbers are right on par with Calvin Johnson’s.
Dez Bryant is quite a ways down on this target list even though he has the most fantasy points during that span. He’s actually number one over the last five weeks, bolstered by his league high seven receiving touchdowns. There are five receivers in second with four touchdowns. His finger injury did slow him down some last week, but he still had a nice game. As long as Romo is targeting him in the end zone (5 times in the last four games), he should be able to do well in a nice matchup with the Saints.
Brandon Lloyd is somehow back into the spotlight with back to back big games that correlate with 25 targets in those two. I’m not entirely sure why he wasn’t being used more throughout the year, but I think we have to take him seriously as a threat going forward.
Mike Wallace has now topped 10 targets over the last two weeks. He just missed a long touchdown against Dallas after scoring two the week before. He’s back in the fold.
Josh Gordon is the Browns #1 receiver without a doubt, but with Brandon Weeden at the helm, he will remain erratic. But his upside will continue to get higher and higher, especially if Weeden progresses as well.
Since returning from injury three weeks ago, Antonio Brown has 17 receptions and two touchdowns. A touchdown in back to back games for Brown is almost unheard of. He had multiple bone-headed plays last week, but he is too valuable to the Steelers for them to not give him targets.
Cecil Shorts is a one man wrecking crew. Did you ever think that the second-year player would be able to put up these kinds of numbers with Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne at the helm? I sure didn’t. But the amazing thing is that he is consistent. Even after missing a game with a concussion he gets right back on the horse and gallops for 100 yards. They know what they have in Shorts and aren’t going to hide him away in a bushel basket.
Miles Austin had four touchdowns in the first seven games of the season, but only one since. He’s still getting targets and receptions, but is only averaging 43 yards a game over the last six games.
Michael Floyd has been getting much more work in the second half of the season. It’s not turning into much on the field, with the Cardinals quarterbacks playing like fullbacks, but it’s good to see him getting work. If they can somehow get a competent quarterback, he could blossom.