Welcome to the AFC targets and touches for Week 8 of the NFL season. The NFC portion can be found by hovering that pointy thing over HERE and then “clicking.”
This week I’m using just the targets for the last five games so we can stay up to date and I’m also adding the total red zone targets over the last five weeks to give a fuller picture of how targets are distributed.
And 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 "T.Y. Hilton: 4-9-6-8-11 (38)” which just means that Hilton had 4 targets in Week 3, 9 targets in Week 4, 6 in Week 5, 8 in Week 6 and 11 in Week 7 with 38 total. It’s as easy as following me on Twitter.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $300,000 Fantasy Football league for Week 8. It's $25 to join and first prize is $25,000. Starts Sunday at 1pm ET. Here's the link.
Torrey Smith: 9-12-9-4-6 (40), Dallas Clark: 7-9-0-6-4 (26), Tandon Doss: 0-9-5-6-3 (23), Marlon Brown: 3-8-dnp-7-4 (22), Ray Rice: dnp-1-7-4-5 (17), Deonte Thompson: dnp-5-7-0-0 (12), Jacoby Jones: dnp-dnp-dnp-2-8 (10), Vonta Leach: 2-2-1-2-1 (8), Ed Dickson: 0-3-2-0-2 (7), Bernard Pierce: 2-1-0-2-1 (6), Kyle Juszczyk: 0-0-1-0-0 (1), Billy Bajema: 0-0-0-1-dnp (1), Brandon Stokley: 1-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp (1)
Jacoby Jones beat out Torrey Smith for the target lead in this one, but Smith still led the team in yardage. Jones has now passed Marlon Brown for snaps and is back as the #2 wide receiver.
Rice had another tough game, but these Steelers/Ravens games are always tough. He had five targets and 15 rushing attempts and totaled 72 yards. I’m not going to tell you those are great numbers, but the targets and receptions are keeping him from being totally useless.
Red Zone Targets: Dallas Clark: (5), Torrey Smith: (4), Tandon Doss: (3), Jacoby Jones: (3), Marlon Brown: (3), Ray Rice: (3), Vonta Leach: (1), Bernard Pierce: (1), Deonte Thompson: (1)
Dallas Clark caught a red zone touchdown in this one and leads the team over the last five games. It doesn’t look like Clark is going away anytime soon, but his upside is severely limited by his slowness.
Robert Woods: 10-8-13-6-4 (41), Stevie Johnson: 13-6-3-dnp-13 (35), Scott Chandler: 6-3-6-4-3 (22), Fred Jackson: 5-0-6-5-5 (21), T.J. Graham: 5-3-5-6-2 (21), Chris Hogan: 0-0-5-3-0 (8), C.J. Spiller: 1-0-0-2-3 (6), Tashard Choice: 1-0-0-3-1 (5), Lee Smith: 0-2-1-0-1 (4), Marquise Goodwin: dnp-dnp-dnp-3-0 (3), Marcus Easley: 0-0-1-0-0 (1)
Stevie Johnson led the team in targets this week by a wide margin. He had thirteen to Fred Jackson’s five. While Johnson has been injured Thad Lewis has become the starting quarterback, so it’s good to know that Johnson is his favorite target.
With C.J. Spiller’s ankle still hurting, Fred Jackson saw the bulk of the snaps even though he had reinjured his sprained knee. Tashard Choice did get some work, but didn’t show much, as usual. He would be the lead back this week if Spiller and Jackson couldn’t go.
Red Zone Targets: Steve Johnson: (3), Robert Woods: (2), Lee Smith: (1), Tashard Choice: (1), Scott Chandler: (1), Fred Jackson: (1)
For the most part the Bills want to run the ball near the goal line, but Johnson did see two red zone targets last week.
A.J. Green: 8-15-8-11-8 (50), Giovani Bernard: 4-7-3-7-6 (27), Jermaine Gresham: 5-5-4-4-5 (23), Tyler Eifert: 2-5-7-3-4 (21), Mohamed Sanu: 5-6-2-6-2 (21), Marvin Jones: 4-3-2-5-6 (20), Dane Sanzenbacher: 0-1-0-1-1 (3), BenJarvus Green-Ellis: 0-0-1-1-0 (2), Brandon Tate: 0-0-0-1-0 (1)
BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard have been almost 50/50 in snaps over the last three weeks. During that span Bernard has 48 touches for 228 yards and one touchdown and Green-Ellis has 47 touches for 177 yards and one touchdown. The difference isn’t as pointed as early in the season, but there’s no doubt that Bernard brings more upside to the position.
Of course A.J. Green remains the target king for the team and the league, but Bernard comes in at second for the team. That should keep him in PPR money. Over the last two weeks Marvin Jones hasn’t seen as many snaps as he was earlier in the season, but he has seen a slight bump in targets and a big bump in production. He has caught seven of his 11 targets for 128 yards and two touchdowns while also running once for 34 yards. So when he does make it into the game he is being used pretty often.
Red Zone Targets: A.J. Green: (5), Marvin Jones: (3), Giovani Bernard: (3), Tyler Eifert: (3), Mohamed Sanu: (3), Jermaine Gresham: (1)
The Bengals are spreading the red zone love around a little better than they have in the past now that they have a few more playmakers.
Josh Gordon: 19-9-6-9-6 (49), Jordan Cameron: 11-12-5-6-9 (43), Davone Bess: 10-6-5-3-6 (30), Greg Little: 8-2-5-5-9 (29), Chris Ogbonnaya: 5-5-2-12-2 (26), Gary Barnidge: 0-1-1-3-1 (6), Fozzy Whittaker: 0-dnp-dnp-0-5 (5), Bobby Rainey: 1-2-1-0-dnp (4), Travis Benjamin: 0-1-1-2-0 (4), Willis McGahee: 0-0-2-1-1 (4), MarQueis Gray: 0-0-0-0-1 (1)
Brandon Weeden only completed 17-of-42 passes in this one and lost his job in the process. Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron will remain the target leaders going forward no matter the quarterback and they are both good enough to put up decent numbers as long as they are getting the targets. And with the way the running game is going they should continue to see plenty of targets.
Willis McGahee continues to see the most rushing attempts, but he’s unable to do much with them. This week Fozzy Whitaker had seven touches including five targets and the second most snaps for a running back with 22 in comparison to McGahee’s 32 and Chris Ogbonnaya’s 20.
Red Zone Targets: Jordan Cameron: (11), Greg Little: (5), Josh Gordon: (4), Chris Ogbonnaya: (3), Davone Bess: (3), Gary Barnidge: (2), Fozzy Whittaker: (1)
Cameron remains the go-to guy in the red zone and probably will continue even with Jason Campbell at quarterback.
Eric Decker: 8-7-8-7-13 (43), Wes Welker: 8-9-6-8-12 (43), Demaryius Thomas: 11-10-6-5-9 (41), Julius Thomas: 4-4-12-7-6 (33), Knowshon Moreno: 2-1-5-10-6 (24), Ronnie Hillman: 1-3-4-2-1 (11), Virgil Green: 2-1-0-0-0 (3), Jacob Tamme: 1-0-0-0-1 (2), Andre Caldwell: 0-2-0-0-0 (2), Montee Ball: 0-0-0-2-0 (2), Joel Dreessen: dnp-0-0-1-0 (1)
Peyton Manning’s target distribution continues to be uncanny in its evenness and Knowshon Moreno continues to have a stranglehold on the lead back position with 74% of the snaps over the last two games.
Red Zone Targets (Weeks 3-7): Wes Welker: (13), Julius Thomas: (12), Eric Decker: (8), Demaryius Thomas: (4), Ronnie Hillman: (3), Knowshon Moreno: (1), Virgil Green: (1)
The red zone is where the fantasy fates of the Denver wide receivers often diverge, but when you look at their total fantasy points there isn’t much of a difference over the whole season. As soon as you think one of the wide receivers is falling off, they'll end up having a big game. Right now all three of them rank in the top 12 for fantasy receivers. That is just phenomenal.
Andre Johnson: 6-12-10-8-6 (42), Owen Daniels: 9-11-9-dnp-dnp (29), Garrett Graham: 0-6-5-4-8 (23), DeAndre Hopkins: 7-3-4-5-4 (23), Arian Foster: 2-8-5-7-0 (22), Ben Tate: 4-1-2-4-3 (14), Keshawn Martin: 3-6-1-2-0 (12), DeVier Posey: 4-dnp-2-1-2 (9), Ryan Griffin: 0-1-0-3-0 (4), Greg Jones: 0-1-1-2-0 (4), Lestar Jean: dnp-dnp-dnp-2-2 (4)
With third string quarterback Case Keenum getting his first NFL start on the road amidst a sea of red in Arrowhead stadium, the likelihood of Houston’s receivers putting up good numbers was slim. But instead of being overwhelmed, Keenum took it to the number one defense in the league. He had his hiccups of course, but was able to give Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins quality targets and quality fantasy points.
Red Zone Targets (Weeks 3-7): Garrett Graham: (3), Andre Johnson: (3), Keshawn Martin: (2), DeAndre Hopkins: (2), Arian Foster: (2), Owen Daniels: (2), Ben Tate: (1), Greg Jones: (1), DeVier Posey: (1),
Over the last five weeks the Texans have run the ball 19 times inside the red zone and passed it 17 times and they have two touchdowns from those plays.
Reggie Wayne: 7-11-9-8-8 (43), T.Y. Hilton: 4-9-6-8-11 (38), Darrius Heyward-Bey: 5-6-6-2-7 (26), Coby Fleener: 2-7-3-6-5 (23), Donald Brown: 1-2-2-2-3 (10), Trent Richardson: 3-1-1-2-0 (7), Stanley Havili: 1-2-dnp-1-2 (6), Ahmad Bradshaw: 4-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp (4), Robert Hughes: dnp-dnp-2-dnp-dnp (2), Dominique Jones: 0-1-0-0-dnp (1)
On the season T.Y. Hilton is averaging 7.9 targets per game and Reggie Wayne was at 8.4. With Wayne done for the season that leaves quite a few targets to be dispensed to Hilton, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Coby Fleener and the new #3 receiver, LaVon Brazill. There’s no way to know how things will shake out, but these guys aren’t going to see less targets going forward!
Trent Richardson and Donald Brown are splitting snaps fairly evenly, with Richardson at 39 and Brown at 36 last week. Brown will see more work in up-tempo pass first games like against the Broncos, while Richardson is used more in lower scoring slow down games.
Red Zone Targets (Weeks 3-7): Reggie Wayne: (5), Coby Fleener: (4), Donald Brown: (2), Darrius Heyward-Bey: (2), T.Y. Hilton: (1)
Hilton is usually more of a deep passing threat, but will be used in more ways now that Wayne is out, so he should see a few more red zone targets. Coby Fleener could benefit the most in this area, as he is already a red zone threat.