New Orleans Saints
(With the Saints on bye last week let’s rewind to Week 6)
Jimmy Graham: 15-4-11-6-BYE (36), Darren Sproles: 6-8-3-12-BYE (29), Pierre Thomas: 6-6-9-1-BYE (22), Marques Colston: 8-8-2-3-BYE (21), Kenny Stills: 2-6-2-3-BYE (13), Ben Watson: 2-2-1-4-BYE (9), Jed Collins: 1-1-5-1-BYE (8), Nick Toon: dnp-2-1-4-BYE (7), Robert Meachem: 2-1-1-1-BYE (5), Lance Moore: 3-dnp-dnp-dnp-BYE (3), Travaris Cadet: 0-0-0-1-BYE (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 and to add injury to insult he had to leave the game with a foot injury.
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.
Red Zone Targets (Weeks 3-7): Jimmy Graham: (5), Darren Sproles: (4), Jed Collins: (4), Pierre Thomas: (3), Marques Colston: (3), Nick Toon: (2), Ben Watson: (1), Kenny Stills: (1), Travaris Cadet: (1)
New York Giants
Victor Cruz: 8-16-12-5-7 (48), Hakeem Nicks: 1-9-12-8-10 (40), Rueben Randle: 4-4-13-5-3 (29), Brandon Myers: 6-1-5-1-3 (16), Da'Rel Scott: 3-2-dnp-2-dnp (7), Bear Pascoe: 2-1-0-2-2 (7), Peyton Hillis: dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-6 (6), Brandon Jacobs: 0-1-3-2-dnp (6), John Conner: dnp-0-0-0-5 (5), David Wilson: 0-3-1-dnp-dnp (4), Jerrel Jernigan: 1-0-3-0-0 (4), Michael Cox: dnp-0-0-0-2 (2), Henry Hynoski: 1-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp (1), Louis Murphy: 1-0-dnp-dnp-0 (1)
Peyton Hillis led the Giants in fantasy points on Monday night and I think that’s all you really need to know about that game. Well, that and Hakeem Nicks for some reason continued to get targets even though he couldn’t catch a cold on a 16 hour plane ride with 40 first graders. He had two receptions on 10 targets.
Red Zone Targets (Weeks 3-7): Victor Cruz: (3), Hakeem Nicks: (3), John Conner: (1), Jerrel Jernigan: (1), Rueben Randle: (1)
The Giants as you can see haven’t been in the red zone much lately.
DeSean Jackson: 7-6-12-6-8 (39), Jason Avant: 8-4-7-6-12 (37), Riley Cooper: 7-2-1-6-7 (23), LeSean McCoy: 1-3-8-2-7 (21), Brent Celek: 5-6-3-1-4 (19), Zach Ertz: 1-2-3-6-5 (17), Bryce Brown: 0-3-2-2-1 (8), Jeff Maehl: 0-2-0-1-4 (7), Chris Polk: 0-2-0-0-dnp (2), James Casey: 0-1-0-dnp-0 (1), Damaris Johnson: 0-0-0-1-0 (1)
Nick Foles’ inaccuracy and Matt Barkley’s three interceptions are the reason you will see Michael Vick this week. The main fantasy players you’ve used all season will remain the same with McCoy and Jackson being the only two. Zach Ertz and Riley Cooper have flashed some fantasy prowess off and on, but there is no consistency developing. Zach Ertz will have value at some point, but I’m only rostering him in leagues with deep benches.
Red Zone Targets (Weeks 3-7): DeSean Jackson: (7), Jason Avant: (6), Brent Celek: (4), Riley Cooper: (1), Jeff Maehl: (1), LeSean McCoy: (1), Damaris Johnson: (1), Zach Ertz: (1)
Jason Avant has seen a decent amount of red zone targets, but just the one touchdown. Jackson is the only receiver you want on this team.
San Francisco 49ers
Anquan Boldin: 8-7-6-8-6 (35), Vernon Davis: dnp-4-6-11-8 (29), Kyle Williams: 6-1-0-2-1 (10), Frank Gore: 4-2-0-0-3 (9), Vance McDonald: 3-2-0-1-2 (8), Bruce Miller: 1-3-1-2-1 (8), Jon Baldwin: dnp-2-2-2-0 (6), Kendall Hunter: 1-1-0-1-0 (3), Garrett Celek: 2-0-0-0-0 (2), Marlon Moore: 1-dnp-0-1-dnp (2), Quinton Patton: 1-1-dnp-dnp-dnp (2), Anthony Dixon: 0-0-0-1-0 (1)
If Vernon Davis hadn’t have missed a game with a hamstring injury he would be the target leader and really, for all intents and purposes he is. A healthy Davis is a much better player than an older Anquan Boldin. At this point Boldin is just a matchup play.
Frank Gore had been trailing Anthony Dixon in goal line carries until the Jacksonville game where he had four carries inside the five-yard line and scored two touchdowns. Let’s hope that continues.
Red Zone Targets (Weeks 3-7): Vernon Davis: (5), Anquan Boldin: (3), Jon Baldwin: (1), Bruce Miller: (1), Vance McDonald: (1)
Vernon Davis is the preferred red zone target, but they also run the ball often when they get close to the end zone.
Golden Tate: 8-5-11-7-7 (38), Sidney Rice: 7-5-4-4-4 (24), Doug Baldwin: 2-4-9-4-1 (20), Luke Willson: 5-0-4-3-2 (14), Marshawn Lynch: 0-3-2-5-3 (13), Zach Miller: 3-3-dnp-dnp-7 (13), Jermaine Kearse: 1-1-1-3-3 (9), Kellen Davis: 2-0-0-1-1 (4), Robert Turbin: 1-0-0-2-0 (3), Derrick Coleman: 0-1-0-1-1 (3)
Golden Tate is now getting consistent targets, but since he isn’t usually a big play receiver, he needs targets closer to the end zone to score. Unfortunately for Tate Marshawn Lynch is the touchdown hog in Seattle. And if you couple that with Percy Harvin being very close to returning to the field, Tate is in trouble.
Red Zone Targets (Weeks 3-7):
Golden Tate: (4), Zach Miller: (3), Jermaine Kearse: (2), Sidney Rice: (2), Doug Baldwin: (1), Kellen Davis: (1), Robert Turbin: (1)
Tate has just one touchdown on the season while Miller has three on 13 receptions. Like I said, Lynch is the main man. Percy Harvin is going to have trouble scoring touchdowns as well, but as long as his explosiveness is still there he has the ability to make his own touchdowns happen.
St. Louis Rams
Chris Givens: 8-8-7-4-2 (29), Jared Cook: 7-9-3-2-7 (28), Tavon Austin: 7-8-6-1-5 (27), Austin Pettis: 5-9-5-1-4 (24), Brian Quick: 4-3-2-2-6 (17), Lance Kendricks: 5-1-6-2-3 (17), Isaiah Pead: 7-dnp-1-dnp-dnp (8), Zac Stacy: dnp-0-1-2-4 (7), Cory Harkey: 1-0-2-1-2 (6), Daryl Richardson: dnp-2-1-1-1 (5), Benny Cunningham: 3-1-0-0-dnp (4), Stedman Bailey: 1-0-0-0-0 (1)
The biggest problem for Rams receivers for fantasy this season is that Sam Bradford spread the ball out too much. There has been no go-to receiver and unless you are Drew Brees, Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers, that’s not going to translate into many fantasy players on your team. Now that Bradford is done for the season I suppose there is some small chance that Kellen Clemens or some other free agent scrub could really click with one of the receivers and target him like Mike Glennon targets Vincent Jackson, but that may be asking for too much. As it is the only player worth owning on the Rams is Zac Stacy and he just has flex appeal.
Red Zone Targets (Weeks 3-7):
Lance Kendricks: (5), Chris Givens: (3), Austin Pettis: (3), Brian Quick: (3), Isaiah Pead: (2), Jared Cook: (2), Tavon Austin: (2), Zac Stacy: (1), Cory Harkey: (1)
When Lance Kendricks is your main red zone target you know you are missing that one play-making receiver.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Vincent Jackson: 6-11-BYE-14-22 (53), Tim Wright: 2-6-BYE-9-3 (20), Mike Williams: 9-6-BYE-dnp-5 (20), Doug Martin: 6-4-BYE-4-3 (17), Chris Owusu: dnp-dnp-BYE-4-3 (7), Brian Leonard: 2-2-BYE-1-2 (7), Eric Page: 5-0-BYE-0-0 (5), Tiquan Underwood: dnp-dnp-BYE-4-1 (5), Mike James: 0-1-BYE-0-3 (4), Jeff Demps: dnp-1-BYE-2-dnp (3), Tom Crabtree: dnp-dnp-BYE-1-2 (3), Erik Lorig: 1-2-BYE-0-0 (3), Nate Byham: 1-0-BYE-dnp-dnp (1)
Vincent Jackson is the reason we pay attention to targets. If you have some ability (and VJax has a bunch) and you get a ton of targets, good things will happen. Over the last two weeks Jackson has seen 36 targets. Justin Blackmon is second with 29 and Dez Bryant third with 24. So he’s way ahead of the crowd. And in those two weeks he has caught 19 for 252 yards and four touchdowns.
On the other side of the coin is the rest of the team who are fighting like stray dogs over a hot dog bun. Half of Mike Glennon’s pass attempts went toward Jackson while the other 22 had to be rationed out to eight players. That doesn’t leave much room for fantasy relevancy, but if you are a Jackson owner you are pretty darn happy.
Red Zone Targets (Weeks 3-7): Vincent Jackson: (7), Mike Williams: (5), Doug Martin: (2), Tim Wright: (2), Kevin Ogletree: (1), Brian Leonard: (1)
All seven of Vincent Jackson’s red zone targets have come in the last two games and so have all four of his touchdowns. Coincidence? No, it probably isn’t. Mike Williams also had two red zone targets last game, so it’s not like he’s completely been forgotten, but he’s no longer the preferred red zone target like he was when Josh Freeman was quarterbacking.
Pierre Garcon: 13-7-BYE-15-8 (43), Leonard Hankerson: 7-7-BYE-6-5 (25), Jordan Reed: 6-dnp-BYE-6-9 (21), Santana Moss: 9-3-BYE-3-2 (17), Roy Helu: 3-3-BYE-6-2 (14), Logan Paulsen: 6-2-BYE-0-1 (9), Josh Morgan: 2-1-BYE-1-0 (4), Niles Paul: 1-3-BYE-0-0 (4), Aldrick Robinson: 2-0-BYE-0-2 (4), Darrel Young: 0-2-BYE-0-0 (2), Alfred Morris: 1-0-BYE-1-0 (2), Fred Davis: dnp-1-BYE-0-dnp (1)
Jordan Reed had a few week hiatus from his emergence as a fantasy star due to injury, but it was inevitable. His 15 targets over the last two games aren’t huge, but for Washington they rank him second to Garcon who is usually the only guy Robert Griffin actually wants to throw it to. Reed’s emergence should help Garcon out who will still remain the target leader for the team, but will also finally have someone else to take the heat off him.
Roy Helu’s three touchdowns were a bit of a shock to most people, especially Alf Morris owners. Morris was in the game for 41 snaps to Helu’s 35. Helu is the hurry up running back while Morris is the slow it down running back. With Washington’s defense it might be time to pick up Helu.
Red Zone Targets (Weeks 3-7): Pierre Garcon: (9), Jordan Reed: (2), Leonard Hankerson: (2), Alfred Morris: (1), Niles Paul: (1), Logan Paulsen: (1), Santana Moss: (1), Roy Helu: (1)
Garcon is of course the leader her, but Reed did get his two targets last week against Chicago. I may be too high on Reed, but Griffin loves his presence in the middle of the field and Garcon will as well.
Snap count data comes from our friends at Pro Football Focus