Chet Gresham

Targets and Touches

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Week 7 Target Watch: AFC

Thursday, October 17, 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 “Jamaal Charles: 6-10-8-11-9-9 (53)” which just means that Charles had 6 targets in Week 1, 10 targets in Week 2, 8 in Week 3, 11 in week 4, 9 in Week 5 and 9 in Week 6 with 53 total.  It’s as easy as following me on Twitter.


I’ve also added red zone target totals for each AFC team this week and plan on doing that in this column from here on out.



Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $300,000 Fantasy Football league for Week 7. It's $25 to join and first prize is $25,000. Starts Sunday at 1pm ET. Here's the link.



Baltimore Ravens


Torrey Smith: 8-13-9-12-9-4 (55), Dallas Clark: 12-1-7-9-0-6 (35), Marlon Brown: 6-6-3-8-dnp-7 (30), Ray Rice: 11-3-dnp-1-7-4 (26), Tandon Doss: dnp-0-0-9-5-6 (20), Brandon Stokley: 10-5-1-dnp-dnp-dnp (16), Vonta Leach: 4-2-2-2-1-2 (13), Deonte Thompson: dnp-dnp-dnp-5-7-0 (12), Ed Dickson: 5-1-0-3-2-0 (11), Bernard Pierce: 1-1-2-1-0-2 (7), Jacoby Jones: 4-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-2 (6), Billy Bajema: 0-1-0-0-0-1 (2), Kyle Juszczyk: 0-0-0-0-1-0 (1)


The Packers took Torrey Smith out of this one, which was sad for my fantasy teams, but that’s neither here nor there! But as they moved extra help Smith’s way Dallas Clark, Tandon Doss, Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown were all able to step up with some nice plays. Clark’s six targets for four receptions, 81 yards and a touchdown was a surprise, especially after his zero targets the week before, but this is situational football, which is the killer of fantasy predictions.


This was Smith’s worst game of the season and one they should learn from going forward. They’ll need to get more creative with him now that teams see him, rightfully so, as an elite receiver.


Ray Rice is either still feeling residuals from his hip injury, or he’s lost a step. It’s a real possibility that it was his injury holding him back, so I’m not ready to say you should lower expectations, but 17 touches for 49 yards and no touchdowns isn’t going to help his fantasy owners out much.
Jacoby Jones only played 20 snaps while Brown and Doss played 48 and 43, but he did catch both of his targets for 43 yards and a touchdown. We will most likely see Jones get more snaps going forward.


Red Zone Targets: Dallas Clark: (5), Torrey Smith: (5), Ray Rice: (5), Marlon Brown: (5), Vonta Leach: (3), Tandon Doss: (2), Brandon Stokley: (1), Jacoby Jones: (1), Bernard Pierce: (1), Deonte Thompson: (1)


On the season you can see how well Joe Flacco is spreading the ball out in the red zone, which is good in real life, but tougher for fantasy players who want a go-to player to pick up.



Buffalo Bills


Robert Woods: 2-6-10-8-13-6 (45), Steve Johnson: 6-10-13-6-3-dnp (38), Scott Chandler: 6-6-6-3-6-4 (31), Fred Jackson: 5-6-5-0-6-5 (27), T.J. Graham: 1-3-5-3-5-6 (23), C.J. Spiller: 6-5-1-0-0-2 (14), Chris Hogan: 0-0-0-0-5-3 (8), Tashard Choice: 0-1-1-0-0-3 (5), Marquise Goodwin: 1-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-3 (4), Lee Smith: 0-0-0-2-1-0 (3), Frank Summers: 0-2-0-0-0-0 (2), Marcus Easley: 0-0-0-0-1-0 (1)


With Thad Lewis at the helm and Stevie Johnson out, there was no one player that really dominated targets. T.J. Graham and Robert Woods led the way with six each, but Woods only caught two for nine yards while Graham caught four for 74 yards. The scoring came from tight end Scott Chandler and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin who just returned from injury. With Johnson most likely back this week the target distribution will point back toward him.


C.J. Spiller’s ankle seems to still be bothering him as he saw just 18 snaps to Fred Jackson’s 39, but he still was able to outproduce Jackson with 66 yards on 12 touches to Jackson’s 48 yards on 14 touches.


Red Zone Targets: Steve Johnson: (5), Robert Woods: (4), Scott Chandler: (2), T.J. Graham: (1), Tashard Choice: (1), Lee Smith: (1)


As you can see, the Bills aren’t getting into the red zone all that often, but the target distribution holds pretty close to the target distribution on the rest of the field.



Cincinnati Bengals


A.J. Green: 13-14-8-15-8-11 (69), Jermaine Gresham: 5-9-5-5-4-4 (32), Mohamed Sanu: 5-8-5-6-2-6 (32), Tyler Eifert: 5-5-2-5-7-3 (27), Giovani Bernard: 2-2-4-7-3-7 (25), Marvin Jones: 2-4-4-3-2-5 (20), BenJarvus Green-Ellis: 1-1-0-0-1-1 (4), Dane Sanzenbacher: dnp-dnp-0-1-0-1 (2), Brandon Tate: 0-0-0-0-0-1 (1), Alex Smith: 0-1-0-0-0-0 (1)


A.J. Green was able to get his first 100-yard touchdown game since Week one. Even though he caught just six of 11 targets, it’s great to see that the Bengals and Andy Dalton will go to any length to keep him on track. The other receiver that finally broke out was Marvin Jones who had a great game on just 26 of 88 total snaps, which was his least amount of time on the field in the last four games. He caught three of five targets for 71 yards and a touchdown. He was featured when he was in the game and he played extremely well. Hopefully this will lead to more work going forward.


Giovani Bernard once again overtook BenJarvus Green-Ellis in snaps after losing out to him in Week 5. Bernard had 50 of 88 snaps to Green-Ellis’ 37 of 88. Bernard had a woeful game on the ground with 15 carries for 28 yards while Green-Ellis ran 18 times for 86 yards, but Bernard made up for it in the passing game catching six of seven targets for 72 yards and a touchdown and his 20 yard touchdown reception and run was a thing of beauty.


Red Zone Targets: A.J. Green: (9), Tyler Eifert: (3), Mohamed Sanu: (3), Marvin Jones: (2), Jermaine Gresham: (1), Giovani Bernard: (1),


Green is the red zone king and has been for most of his career. It’s good to see Tyler Eifert and Marvin Jones on this list, but without a full complement of snaps you can’t expect either to have value yet.



Cleveland Browns


Jordan Cameron: 13-7-11-12-5-6 (54), Josh Gordon: dnp-dnp-19-9-6-9 (43), Davone Bess: 10-8-10-6-5-3 (42), Greg Little: 10-12-8-2-5-5 (42), Chris Ogbonnaya: 3-3-5-5-2-12 (30), Travis Benjamin: 8-1-0-1-1-2 (13), Gary Barnidge: 1-0-0-1-1-3 (6), Bobby Rainey: 0-0-1-2-1-0 (4), Tori Gurley: 2-1-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp (3), Willis McGahee: dnp-dnp-0-0-2-1 (3)


Josh Gordon is averaging 10.8 targets per game to Jordan Cameron’s 9 and they are of course the only two rosterable pass catchers, but the 12 targets for Chris Ogbonnaya were pretty interesting. He caught seven of them for 61 yards and a touchdown and rushed five times for 24 yards while Willis McGahee rushed 10 times for 37 yards. Ogbonnaya had 41 snaps to McGahee’s 29.  In the right matchups, like Green Bay this week, we could see Ogbonnaya see quite a few receptions.


Red Zone Targets: Jordan Cameron: (13), Greg Little: (6), Davone Bess: (5), Josh Gordon: (2), Chris Ogbonnaya: (2), Gary Barnidge: (2), Tori Gurley: (1)


Cameron is the red zone leader by a wide margin and that should remain even with Brandon Weeden at quarterback.



Denver Broncos


Eric Decker: 7-13-8-7-8-7 (50), Wes Welker: 11-8-8-9-6-8 (50), Demaryius Thomas: 11-6-11-10-6-5 (49), Julius Thomas: 7-9-4-4-12-7 (43), Knowshon Moreno: 3-3-2-1-5-10 (24), Ronnie Hillman: 2-0-1-3-4-2 (12), Montee Ball: 0-2-0-0-0-2 (4), Virgil Green: 0-1-2-1-0-0 (4), Andre Caldwell: 1-1-0-2-0-0 (4), Jacob Tamme: 0-0-1-0-0-0 (1), Joel Dreessen: dnp-dnp-dnp-0-0-1 (1)


You know you are on a tear when 295 yards, two touchdowns and one interception are a bad fantasy game and Peyton Manning did have a bad fantasy game by his standards. Of course if he had wanted he most likely could have thrown for five touchdowns, but instead he handed the ball of to Knowshon Moreno for one yard, eight yard and three yard touchdown runs in a game that seemed close because it was supposed to be such a major blow-out.


The big three receivers are still almost identical in targets, but touchdowns are what separates them in fantasy right now. Wes Welker’s ability to get open in confined spaces makes him the perfect end zone target for Manning who can get rid of the ball post haste.


Red Zone Targets: Wes Welker: (13), Julius Thomas: (10), Eric Decker: (7), Demaryius Thomas: (6), Ronnie Hillman: (2), Virgil Green: (1), Knowshon Moreno: (1)


As you can see Welker leads the team in red zone targets, which converts into his league leading eight touchdowns, of which all eight have come from inside the red zone. Demaryius Thomas is having a little trouble in this regard, but last season Decker was way ahead of him in red zone targets, they weren’t playing at this tempo and Thomas actually had fewer red zone targets than he has this season.



Houston Texans


Andre Johnson: 16-13-6-12-10-8 (65), Owen Daniels: 7-5-9-11-9-dnp (41), DeAndre Hopkins: 6-13-7-3-4-5 (38), Arian Foster: 8-4-2-8-5-7 (34), Garrett Graham: 5-5-0-6-5-4 (25), Ben Tate: 2-4-4-1-2-4 (17), Keshawn Martin: 0-2-3-6-1-2 (14), DeVier Posey: 0-0-4-dnp-2-1 (7), Greg Jones: 0-0-0-1-1-2 (4), Ryan Griffin: 0-0-0-1-0-3 (4), Lestar Jean: 0-1-dnp-dnp-dnp-2 (3)


The Texans had another disastrous game on Sunday with two turnovers returned for touchdowns and a defense that didn’t step up when needed. The only positive on offense was Arian Foster looking a lot like his old self as he ran for 141 yards on 20 carries and caught four passes for 57 yards which is not easy to do on a team that loses 38-13.


Andre Johnson was able to put up okay numbers in this one catching seven passes for 88 yards and he now leads the league in receptions with 44, but has yet to score a touchdown. Of course Johnson has never been known as a touchdown scorer in this offense, but zero on 44 receptions is pretty bad.


Red Zone Targets: Garrett Graham: (7), Owen Daniels: (5), DeAndre Hopkins: (5), Andre Johnson: (3), Arian Foster: (3), Keshawn Martin: (2), Ben Tate: (2), Greg Jones: (1), DeVier Posey: (1)


And here is where you can see one of the reasons Johnson isn’t getting into the end zone. The two tight ends have 12 red zone targets to his three. With Owen Daniels out Johnson should see a few more, but the team has jumped into a dumpster fire and it may take them a little while to get out.



Indianapolis Colts


Reggie Wayne: 8-8-7-11-9-8 (51), T.Y. Hilton: 5-12-4-9-6-8 (44), Darrius Heyward-Bey: 4-5-5-6-6-2 (28), Coby Fleener: 1-8-2-7-3-6 (27), Trent Richardson: 6-5-3-1-1-2 (18), Ahmad Bradshaw: 1-3-4-dnp-dnp-dnp (8), Donald Brown: 0-0-1-2-2-2 (7), Stanley Havili: 0-2-1-2-dnp-1 (6), Dominique Jones: 0-2-0-1-0-0 (3)


Andrew Luck is averaging 31 pass attempts per game. That’s less than Geno Smith and Christian Ponder. So as you can see why Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton only have one game each with double-digit targets.  Coby Fleener has topped out at eight and since he can’t seem to catch the ball that’s not nearly enough to make him fantasy-relevant.


Trent Richardson’s value is hurt whenever the Colts go into pass mode. Against the Chargers he only had 25 snaps to Donald Brown’s 24. He very much needs the Colts to get out to a lead to get his touches.


Red Zone Targets: Coby Fleener: (6), Reggie Wayne: (6), Darrius Heyward-Bey: (3), Donald Brown: (2), T.Y. Hilton: (1)


Fleener and Wayne are Luck’s favorite red zone targets, but there haven’t been many chances with their methodical, plodding offense not getting down into the red zone. On average they only run seven plays from inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, which ranks 24th in the league.


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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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