New Orleans Saints
Jimmy Graham: 7-16-15-4-11-6 (59), Darren Sproles: 6-8-6-8-3-12 (43), Marques Colston: 6-7-8-8-2-3 (34), Pierre Thomas: 4-5-6-6-9-1 (31), Kenny Stills: 5-1-2-6-2-3 (19), Ben Watson: 3-0-2-2-1-4 (12), Lance Moore: 4-4-3-dnp-dnp-dnp (11), Jed Collins: 0-1-1-1-5-1 (9), Nick Toon: 0-dnp-dnp-2-1-4 (7), Robert Meachem: dnp-1-2-1-1-1 (6), Mark Ingram: 0-1-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp (1), Travaris Cadet: 0-0-0-0-0-1 (1)
The Patriots matched their big shutdown corner Aqib Talib against the Saints big offensive machine Jimmy Graham and Talib won. This was Graham’s first catchless game since his rookie season.
Drew Brees was uncharacteristically error prone on many throws in this game despite not getting much pressure. He completed just 17-of-36 passes, which is less than 50% and Brees has only had a completion percentage of less than 50% four other times in his 176 games played.
After averaging over seven targets per game through the first four, Marques Colston has averaged just 2.5 over the last two. I will be interested to see how they handle him after the bye when they take on Buffalo at home. That would be a great time to get him back involved, but if they don’t, I’m ready to run away.
New York Giants
Victor Cruz: 8-11-8-16-12-5 (60), Hakeem Nicks: 8-7-1-9-12-8 (45), Rueben Randle: 6-9-4-4-13-5 (41), Brandon Myers: 9-10-6-1-5-1 (32), DaRel Scott: 8-4-3-2-dnp-2 (19), Bear Pascoe: 0-2-2-1-0-2 (7), Brandon Jacobs: dnp-1-0-1-3-2 (7), David Wilson: 1-1-0-3-1-dnp (6), Jerrel Jernigan: 0-1-1-0-3-0 (5), Henry Hynoski: 1-0-1-dnp-dnp-dnp (2), Louis Murphy: 0-0-1-0-dnp-dnp (1)
This was yet another erratic performance from Eli Manning as he completed just 14-of-26 passes for 239 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. With all three receivers healthy, predicting each individual’s production has become tough, especially with Manning throwing so many interceptions. All three topped 68 yards and none topped 75, while Rueben Randle got the lone touchdown. Hakeem Nicks led the way with eight targets, but it didn’t help him move ahead of the rest in production.
Brandon Jacobs was the big fantasy winner this week with 22 carries for 106 yards and two touchdowns. His offensive line created some Mack truck sized holes that allowed him to get a head of steam going. Without those lanes Jacobs just doesn’t have the speed or elusiveness anymore to make defenders miss.
DeSean Jackson: 9-15-7-6-12-6 (55), Jason Avant: 3-7-8-4-7-6 (35), Riley Cooper: 6-3-7-2-1-6 (25), LeSean McCoy: 1-6-1-3-8-2 (21), Brent Celek: 3-1-5-6-3-1 (19), Zach Ertz: 3-2-1-2-3-6 (17), Bryce Brown: 0-1-0-3-2-2 (8), Jeff Maehl: 0-0-0-2-0-1 (3), James Casey: 0-1-0-1-0-dnp (2), Chris Polk: 0-0-0-2-0-0 (2), Damaris Johnson: 0-0-0-0-0-1 (1)
Against Tampa Bay Zach Ertz saw 62% of the snaps and six targets, both were his most on the season. He only caught three targets for 13 yards, but it is still significant, especially since Brent Celek saw just one target and his percentage of snaps drop to its lowest on the season.
DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper, Jason Avant and Ertz all had six targets, but Cooper and Jackson were the real stars in this one. Together they caught 10 passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns. This was another day at the office for Jackson, but Cooper has been pretty horrible up until this game. He had just eight receptions for 93 yards in the five previous games. It is most likely not a sign of things to come, but he did make some nice receptions and yards after the catch. This kind of game could at least help motivate his play a bit.
LeSean McCoy continues to put up big numbers. He totaled 171 yards on 27 touches and leads the league in total yardage averaging 145 yards per game. That puts him on pace for 2,323 yards this season. That would put him in some pretty lofty company at the end of the year if he can keep the pace and what a pace it is.
San Francisco 49ers
Anquan Boldin: 17-4-8-7-6-8 (50), Vernon Davis: 9-5-dnp-4-6-11 (35), Kyle Williams: 6-6-6-1-0-2 (21), Bruce Miller: 2-5-1-3-1-2 (14), Frank Gore: 2-3-4-2-0-0 (11), Vance McDonald: 2-2-3-2-0-1 (10), Jon Baldwin: dnp-dnp-dnp-2-2-2 (6), Marlon Moore: 1-1-1-dnp-0-1 (4), Kendall Hunter: 0-0-1-1-0-1 (3), Garrett Celek: 0-0-2-0-0-0 (2), Quinton Patton: 0-0-1-1-dnp-dnp (2), Anthony Dixon: 0-0-0-0-0-1 (1)
It’s good to see Vernon Davis back to full health and Colin Kaepernick throwing the deep ball again. Davis caught 8 of his 11 targets for 180 yards and two touchdowns. For the season he’s had three strong games, one dud against Seattle in which every 49ers player had a dud and a game he hurt his hamstring in, then he missed a game and then played a game at less than 100% and still managed a touchdown. On the whole it’s not hard to say Davis is having a pretty amazing season despite his injury. And with Anquan Boldin playing a little more like we expected (averaging 3.2 receptions for 42.6 yards and .2 touchdowns in the five games since his huge Week 1) Davis is by far the best receiver on the team. The only worry of course is that he’ll start to see increased coverage, but the targets should be there.
Frank Gore continues to play very well, but isn’t getting work in the passing game and continues to lose touchdowns to his running back mates. Kendall Hunter has three over the last four games on just 23 carries and Anthony Dixon has two over the last three weeks on 11 carries, while Gore has three all season. If you look at carries inside the opponents’ five-yard line, Dixon has five carries to Gore’s four and both have two touchdowns. Kendall Hunter’s touchdowns have come from further out.
Golden Tate: 7-2-8-5-11-7 (40), Sidney Rice: 3-5-7-5-4-4 (28), Doug Baldwin: 8-1-2-4-9-4 (28), Marshawn Lynch: 3-3-0-3-2-5 (16), Zach Miller: 4-4-3-3-dnp-dnp (14), Luke Willson: 0-1-5-0-4-3 (13), Jermaine Kearse: 2-0-1-1-1-3 (8), Robert Turbin: 2-1-1-0-0-2 (6), Derrick Coleman: 3-0-0-1-0-1 (5), Kellen Davis: dnp-0-2-0-0-1 (3)
Russell Wilson had one of his better games this season even though he didn’t record a touchdown. According to Pro Football Focus on his 23-of-31 passing, he only missed on four aimed passes. After that it was all about getting the ball to Marshawn Lynch.
Lynch had 25 touches for 155 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged 2.8 yards after contact and forced six missed tackles. He truly is a one-man team sometimes.
Golden Tate has pulled ahead in the target race and has three five reception games out of the last four, but only one touchdown on the season and he has failed to reach 33+ yards in half of his games.
St. Louis Rams
Tavon Austin: 7-12-7-8-6-1 (41), Chris Givens: 3-8-8-8-7-4 (38), Austin Pettis: 6-11-5-9-5-1 (37), Jared Cook: 10-6-7-9-3-2 (37), Lance Kendricks: 4-3-5-1-6-2 (21), Daryl Richardson: 6-6-dnp-2-1-1 (16), Brian Quick: 2-1-4-3-2-2 (14), Isaiah Pead: dnp-4-7-dnp-1-dnp (12), Benny Cunningham: 0-1-3-1-0-0 (5), Cory Harkey: dnp-1-1-0-2-1 (5), Zac Stacy: 0-dnp-dnp-0-1-2 (3), Mike McNeill: 0-1-dnp-dnp-0-0 (1), Stedman Bailey: 0-0-1-0-0-0 (1)
Tavon Austin played four snaps in this one, so unless you are in a deep league it may be time to cut bait. He’s not going away, but they just went into Houston and beat up on the Texans without him.
Jared Cook also saw a decrease in snaps as he played just 29-of-47 snaps and had two targets. This wasn’t a passing fest by any means, with Sam Bradford only throwing the ball 16 times and Zac Stacy running it 18 times. The Rams defense scored two touchdowns, so there wasn’t much need for offense in this one.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Vincent Jackson: 13-11-6-11-BYE-14 (55), Mike Williams: 8-6-9-6-BYE-dnp (29), Doug Martin: 6-1-6-4-BYE-4 (21), Tim Wright: 0-0-2-6-BYE-9 (17), Brian Leonard: 1-0-2-2-BYE-1 (6), Eric Page: 0-0-5-0-BYE-0 (5), Chris Owusu: dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-BYE-4 (4), Tiquan Underwood: dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-BYE-4 (4), Nate Byham: 1-1-1-0-BYE-dnp (3), Jeff Demps: dnp-dnp-dnp-1-BYE-2 (3), Erik Lorig: dnp-0-1-2-BYE-0 (3), Tom Crabtree: dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-BYE-1 (1), Mike James: 0-0-0-1-BYE-0 (1)
Under new quarterback Mike Glennon your target leaders are Vincent Jackson (25), Tim Wright (15), Kevin Ogletree (9), Doug Martin (8), Mike Williams (6), Tiquan Underwood (4) and then some other dudes. Of course with Mike Williams missing the Philadelphia game, these numbers are skewed. Oh, and Ogletree doesn’t play for them anymore. But the eye popper here was tight end Tim Wright’s 15 targets, which translated into 12 receptions for 132 yards. He is a converted wide receiver, but at 6’4”, 220 pounds and a 4.6 40 time, he fits the mold of a tight end. Glennon and Wright got to know each other well on the second team and now Glennon is looking for him often. Of course the return of Mike Williams hurts his upside going forward, but I like his game.
Pierre Garcon: 11-13-13-7-BYE-15 (59), Leonard Hankerson: 7-3-7-7-BYE-6 (30), Santana Moss: 9-5-9-3-BYE-3 (29), Jordan Reed: 6-3-6-dnp-BYE-6 (21), Roy Helu: 2-1-3-3-BYE-6 (15), Josh Morgan: 5-6-2-1-BYE-1 (15), Logan Paulsen: 0-3-6-2-BYE-0 (11), Fred Davis: 4-2-dnp-1-BYE-0 (7), Aldrick Robinson: 2-2-2-0-BYE-0 (6), Alfred Morris: 1-2-1-0-BYE-1 (5), Niles Paul: 0-0-1-3-BYE-0 (4), Darrel Young: 1-0-0-2-BYE-0 (3)
Pierre Garcon is averaging 11.8 targets per game, which is only behind Justin Blackmon, who has only played two games. Robert Griffin trusts him more than any other receiver and it’s been that way in every game they’ve ever played together. The problem in this game was Griffin’s inaccuracy. He was only able to complete 19 passes on 39 attempts. So with Garcon’s 15 targets, he only caught six for 69 yards. The only good thing to really come from his performance was his mobility, as he ran for 77 yards on nine carries.
Snap count data comes from our friends at Pro Football Focus.