Chet Gresham

Targets and Touches

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Week 5 Target Watch: AFC

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Welcome to the AFC version of Target Watch. You will find all of the AFC teams below, with all of their passing targets, plus some snap count data and words I wrote while typing them onto my laptop. If you click here you’ll find the NFC version of this article.


If you are new to the column let me take you through a quick look at how I set things up. You'll see something like this "Julio Jones: 9-14-12-13 (48)” which just means that Jones had 9 targets in Week 1, 14 targets in Week 2, 12 in Week 3 and 13 in Week 4 with 48 total.  It’s as easy as following me on Twitter.



Baltimore Ravens

Torrey Smith: 8-13-9-12 (42), Dallas Clark: 12-1-7-9 (29), Marlon Brown: 6-6-3-8 (23), Brandon Stokley: 10-5-1-dnp (16), Ray Rice: 11-3-dnp-1 (15), Vonta Leach: 4-2-2-2 (10), Tandon Doss: dnp-0-0-9 (9), Ed Dickson: 5-1-0-3 (9), Bernard Pierce: 1-1-2-1 (5), Deonte Thompson: dnp-dnp-dnp-5 (5), Jacoby Jones: 4-dnp-dnp-dnp (4), Billy Bajema: 0-1-0-0 (1)


Joe Flacco was about as bad as you can be, completing just 25 of 50 passes and throwing five interceptions in a game where the Ravens lost by just three points. The Ravens ran the ball a total of nine times against a Bills team that sat near the bottom in rush defense. Did I say they lost by just three points?


Torrey Smith was the big dog in this one with five receptions for 166 yards and a touchdown, but also had 12 targets, many of which Flacco threw off target. Flacco’s cannon of an arm keeps Smith always in close range of a big fantasy day, which is risky, but often worthwhile



Buffalo Bills


Steve Johnson: 6-10-13-6 (35), Robert Woods: 2-6-10-8 (26), Scott Chandler: 6-6-6-3 (21), Fred Jackson: 5-6-5-0 (16), C.J. Spiller: 6-5-1-0 (12), T.J. Graham: 1-3-5-3 (12), Tashard Choice: 0-1-1-0 (2), Lee Smith: 0-0-0-2 (2), Frank Summers: 0-2-0-0 (2)


E.J. Manuel had another poor game by completing just 10 of 22 passes for 167 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He flashes some great plays, but for the most part his inconsistency is just too much to overcome.


Robert Woods led the Bills in targets this week, as well as receptions, yards and touchdowns. He also had another touchdown overturned on review. He is quickly becoming a go to player for Manuel.


The Bills did have success in the running game, which is what gave them the win along with Flacco’s poor play. CJ Spiller had 23 carries for 77 yards and Fred Jackson had 16 carries for 87 yards and a touchdown. Spiller did leave the game with a sprained ankle, which gave Jackson 41 snaps to Spiller’s 31. I think it’s fairly evident that Spiller is not a 20+ carry back and he and Jackson are going to continue to split time, at least to a degree. If given the right kind of carries and passing targets (which he had zero against the Ravens) then Spiller doesn’t need to run until he pukes to be a fantasy star.



Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $300,000 Fantasy Football league for Week 5. It's $25 to join and first prize is $25,000. Starts Sunday at 1pm ET. Here's the link.


Cincinnati Bengals


A.J. Green: 13-14-8-15 (50), Mohamed Sanu: 5-8-5-6 (24), Jermaine Gresham: 5-9-5-5 (24), Tyler Eifert: 5-5-2-5 (17), Giovani Bernard: 2-2-4-7 (15), Marvin Jones: 2-4-4-3 (13), BenJarvus Green-Ellis: 1-1-0-0 (2), Alex Smith: 0-1-0-0 (1), Dane Sanzenbacher: dnp-dnp-0-1 (1)


Joe Haden shut down A.J. Green, as Green only was able to bring in seven of 15 targets for 51 yards. He wasn’t helped much by Andy Dalton, who had trouble with ball placement to his receivers and just had a poor game overall with 206 yards passing, no touchdowns and one interception on 23 of 42 passing.


With that kind of game from Dalton there weren’t many productive targets against a tough Browns defense. Green remains the only receiver you can feel good about as witnessed by Dalton continuing to throw to him even though Haden was playing him well.


Giovani Bernard took over the lead back role with 74% of the snaps to 26% for BenJarvus Green-Ellis. He also had 16 touches to six for Green-Ellis. It wasn’t a big game for Bernard, but he still managed six receptions on seven targets and 75 total yards, which is decent in PPR. You can safely play him as the lead back now.



Cleveland Browns


Jordan Cameron: 13-7-11-12 (43), Davone Bess: 10-8-10-6 (34), Greg Little: 10-12-8-2 (32), Josh Gordon: dnp-dnp-19-9 (28), Chris Ogbonnaya: 3-3-5-5 (16), Travis Benjamin: 8-1-0-1 (10), Bobby Rainey: 0-0-1-2 (3), Tori Gurley: 2-1-dnp-dnp (3), Gary Barnidge: 1-0-0-1 (2)


Brian Hoyer had another good game this week completing 25 of 38 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns. Jordan Cameron was his favorite target as he looked his way 12 times, which he caught 10 of for 91 yards and a touchdown. Cameron will have a tough time catching Jimmy Graham statistically this season, but being second to Graham is not too shabby.


Josh Gordon didn’t have as big a game as his season debut in Week 3, but he did show that games like that can and will happen again. He caught four of nine targets for 71 yards and now has 14 receptions for 217 yards and a touchdown in two games.


The three-headed running back monster was more productive against the Bengals than last week, but they are still splitting time. Willis McGahee did have 15 carries for 46 yards, but Chris Ogbonnaya was more productive on his five carries and five receptions for 48 yards and a receiving touchdown.  Bobby Rainey had 8 touches for 29 yards, but looked best in the receiving role. It seems like this split is going to continue with no back really making any big mistakes to lose snaps.



Denver Broncos


Demaryius Thomas: 11-6-11-10 (38), Wes Welker: 11-8-8-9 (36), Eric Decker: 7-13-8-7 (35), Julius Thomas: 7-9-4-4 (24), Knowshon Moreno: 3-3-2-1 (9), Ronnie Hillman: 2-0-1-3 (6), Virgil Green: 0-1-2-1 (4), Andre Caldwell: 1-1-0-2 (4), Montee Ball: 0-2-0-0 (2), Jacob Tamme: 0-0-1-0 (1)


Peyton Manning did his usual against the Eagles defense, and his usual is pretty filthy. He completed 28 of 34 passes for 327 yards and four touchdowns before sitting out the 4th quarter. That’s about as good as you can get, but Manning is better than anyone can get at this point.


Wes Welker’s high for touchdowns in a season was nine in 2011 and that came on 122 receptions, or a touchdown every 13.5 receptions. So far this season he has six touchdowns on 26 receptions, a touchdown every 4.3 receptions. Manning’s efficiency is slightly sickening.


Knowshon Moreno bounced back from a poor game to put up 91 yards and a touchdown on just 13 touches. Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball saw much of their work in mop up duty.



Houston Texans


Andre Johnson: 16-13-6-12 (47), Owen Daniels: 7-5-9-11 (32), DeAndre Hopkins: 6-13-7-3 (29), Arian Foster: 8-4-2-8 (22), Garrett Graham: 5-5-0-6 (16), Keshawn Martin: 0-2-3-6 (11), Ben Tate: 2-4-4-1 (11), DeVier Posey: 0-0-4-dnp (4), Lestar Jean: 0-1-dnp-dnp (1), Ryan Griffin: 0-0-0-1 (1), Greg Jones: 0-0-0-1 (1)


Matt Schaub actually had a pretty good game going against a tough defense before he threw a pick-six to turn his game into an utter disaster. He connected with Andre Johnson on nine of 12 targets for 110 yards and spread the all-around wealth to his playmakers. But, he shouldn’t have thrown that ball and that’s what it comes down to.


Garret Graham caught his third touchdown on the year and continues to get red zone looks, but he just doesn’t see enough targets to be of any consistent help to your fantasy team.


Arian Foster put together a big day rushing for 102 yards on 27 carries and catching six of eight targets for 69 yards and a touchdown. Those six receptions are what we need to see more of going forward to keep him as a top fantasy back. Ben Tate was once again involved early and looked good, but he did fumble and coach Gary Kubiak is not a fan of fumbling. We’ll see if it impacts his workload going forward.


Indianapolis Colts


Reggie Wayne: 8-8-7-11 (34), T.Y. Hilton: 5-12-4-9 (30), Darrius Heyward-Bey: 4-5-5-6 (20), Coby Fleener: 1-8-2-7 (18), Trent Richardson: 6-5-3-1 (15), Ahmad Bradshaw: 1-3-4-dnp (8), Stanley Havili: 0-2-1-2 (5), Griff Whalen: 0-3-0-dnp (3), Dominique Jones: 0-2-0-1 (3), Donald Brown: 0-0-1-2 (3)


The Colts defense and Blaine Gabbert’s “offense” made this a rout without any chance of any other outcome. Andrew Luck didn’t have to put up big numbers and it left his fantasy owners wanting. But this is the way with playing the Jaguars now.


After two down games, Reggie Wayne returned with five receptions, 100 yards and a touchdown. He’s still the main man, but the run/pass balanced attack will keep him from being a top guy week in and week out.


Trent Richardson had a slow game with 20 carries for 60 yards and a touchdown. Pro Football Focus blamed much of Richardson’s rushing problems on the Colts pass blocking, whereas Richardson had no holes on his carries, Donald Brown had gaping holes. Richardson gained 46 of his 60 yards after contact. I have no doubt that Richardson is at least partially at fault being unable to make these first tacklers miss or finding the best crease to hit, but I do think there are better days to come.



Jacksonville Jaguars


Cecil Shorts: 11-14-15-12 (52), Ace Sanders: 9-7-3-8 (27), Stephen Burton: 0-3-9-dnp (12), Maurice Jones-Drew: 2-1-5-1 (9), Allen Reisner: 5-2-1-1 (9), Clay Harbor: 1-4-1-3 (9), Justin Forsett: 5-1-0-2 (8), Jordan Todman: 4-2-0-0 (6), Will Ta'ufo'ou: 1-2-1-0 (4), Jeremy Ebert: dnp-dnp-dnp-3 (3), Mike Brown: 3-dnp-dnp-dnp (3), D.J. Williams: 0-0-1-dnp (1), Denard Robinson: 0-0-0-1 (1)


Blaine Gabbert threw three interceptions and completed just 17 of 32 passes for 179 yards with no touchdowns. Maurice Jones Drew ran 13 times for 23 yards and Cecil Shorts caught seven of 12 targets for 61 yards. Those are your statistical leaders for the Jaguars.

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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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