Chet Gresham

Targets and Touches

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Week 9 Target Watch: NFC

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Welcome to the NFC targets and touches for Week 9 of the NFL season. The AFC portion will be up tomorrow night, so mark your calendars.   


This week since I had a little more time due to the byes I’ve added a few wrinkles to the target stats. I have all the targets for each player since Week 2, and then in parentheses I have the total targets for the year followed by another parenthesized number, which is the average targets per game played for that player. Then below that I have the Red Zone targets and touches for each player. The wrinkle I added there was instead of just targets I’m given you both targets and rushing attempts. That allows us to see how many times a player was given an opportunity to have the ball inside the opponent’s 20 yard line. So of course the running backs will have larger numbers there.  And if anything is confusing hit me up on twitter or in the comments and I will happily explain.



Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $300,000 Fantasy Football league for Week 9. It's $25 to join and first prize is $25,000. Starts Sunday at 1pm ET. Here's the link.



Arizona Cardinals


Larry Fitzgerald: 5-6-9-6-12-5-7 (64) (8), Michael Floyd: 7-6-10-7-6-10-4 (56) (7), Andre Roberts: 8-4-2-1-4-8-2 (38) (4.8), Andre Ellington: 2-6-6-4-5-5-2 (33) (4.1), Rob Housler: dnp-3-2-2-5-7-1 (20) (3.3), Jim Dray: 7-0-1-2-2-2-0 (16) (2), Alfonso Smith: 1-1-1-3-1-4-0 (12) (1.5), Jaron Brown: 2-2-2-0-1-2-0 (11) (1.4), Rashard Mendenhall: 2-1-4-2-1-0-dnp (11) (1.6), Stepfan Taylor: 0-1-0-0-0-0-0 (1) (0.1)


It’s odd to say, but the Cardinals didn’t need to do much after halftime because they had the game in hand, but before then Andre Ellington, Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd all scored touchdowns. Carson Palmer only needed 13-of-18 completions for 172 yards and two touchdowns so there weren’t many targets and yards to go around for the receivers, especially the secondary receivers.


With Rashard Mendenhall out of the lineup with a toe injury, Andre Ellington went off for 154 rushing yards on just 15 carries. He had an 80 yard touchdown run, so of course his yards per carry is insane, but even if you take away that carry he had 76 yards on 14 carries, so the guy was getting it done on every carry. He was the lead back and was in on 63% of the snaps. He’s been around 45% over the last three games. His 17 total touches was his season high with 11 and 12 being his previous highs in Week 5 and 6.


Red Zone Targets+Touches: Rashard Mendenhall: 1-2-0-2-5-1-1-0 (12), Andre Ellington: 0-1-0-1-0-1-3-2 (8), Larry Fitzgerald: 3-0-0-1-0-1-1-2 (8), Michael Floyd: 0-3-0-1-0-1-1-1 (7), Stepfan Taylor: 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-3 (3), Andre Roberts: 0-0-1-0-0-1-1-0 (3), Alfonso Smith: 1-0-1-0-0-0-0-0 (2), Jim Dray: 0-0-0-0-1-0-1-0 (2), Jaron Brown: 0-0-0-0-0-0-1-0 (1), Rob Housler: 0-0-1-0-0-0-0-0 (1)


The Cardinals haven’t been in the red zone all that often this season so we have a bit of a scatter shot look at their usage, but it does look like Ellington and Larry Fitzgerald have been getting the most looks down there of late and that’s the way it should be.



Atlanta Falcons


Tony Gonzalez: 8-5-14-14-BYE-4-8 (59) (8.4), Julio Jones: 14-12-13-11-BYE-dnp-dnp (59) (11.8), Harry Douglas: 5-6-6-4-BYE-7-18 (52) (7.4), Jacquizz Rodgers: 4-3-6-4-BYE-9-5 (32) (4.6), Roddy White: 3-4-9-4-BYE-dnp-0 (22) (3.7), Jason Snelling: 4-5-3-5-BYE-0-dnp (20) (3.3), Steven Jackson: 2-dnp-dnp-dnp-BYE-dnp-5 (15) (5), Darius Johnson: dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-BYE-3-9 (12) (6), Levine Toilolo: 1-1-2-2-BYE-0-3 (9) (1.3), Drew Davis: 0-1-0-0-BYE-1-7 (9) (1.3)


Harry Douglas had a huge 18-target game and most of those targets along with his production came in garbage-time. Drew Davis had a good garbage-time game catching five of seven targets for 77 yards and a touchdown and rookie Darius Johnson saw the second most targets with nine.


Steven Jackson did not look good in his first game back from his hamstring injury and I am being kind there. He saw 51 snaps to Jacquizz Rodgers’ 39.  We’ll have to see if he looks better next week, but he has a tough game against the Panthers.


Red Zone Targets+Touches: Jacquizz Rodgers: 1-1-5-1-6-BYE-4-1 (19), Tony Gonzalez: 2-2-1-4-5- BYE -0-1 (15), Jason Snelling: 0-1-4-2-4- BYE -3-0 (14), Julio Jones: 2-0-1-2-4- BYE -0-0 (9), Harry Douglas: 2-0-2-1-2- BYE -0-2 (9), Steven Jackson: 4-1-0-0-0- BYE -0-3 (8), Roddy White: 1-0-0-4-0- BYE -0-0 (5), Levine Toilolo: 0-0-1-1-1- BYE -0-1 (4), Darius Johnson: 0-0-0-0-0- BYE -0-2 (2), Antone Smith: 0-0-0-0-1- BYE -0-0 (1), Drew Davis: 0-0-0-0-0- BYE -0-1 (1), Brian Robiskie: 0-0-0-0-0- BYE -1-0 (1)


Tony Gonzalez was actually seeing more red zone looks before Roddy White and Julio Jones both went down. Now that he is the focus of the defense he is having a lot of trouble getting open and he sees even more defensive attention in the red zone.



Carolina Panthers


Steve Smith: 11-7-BYE-10-7-6-7 (56) (8), Greg Olsen: 8-8-BYE-6-4-4-4 (44) (6.3), Brandon LaFell: 6-5-BYE-9-4-4-5 (33) (4.7), Ted Ginn: 8-4-BYE-5-3-2-6 (29) (4.1), DeAngelo Williams: 0-2-BYE-3-5-1-3 (17) (2.4), Mike Tolbert: 3-0-BYE-1-3-0-4 (12) (1.7), Armanti Edwards: 2-0-BYE-2-dnp-dnp-dnp (4) (1), Kenjon Barner: dnp-dnp-BYE-2-dnp-dnp-1 (3) (1.5), Domenik Hixon: 0-1-BYE-0-0-0-1 (2) (0.3), Richie Brockel: 0-0-BYE-0-0-0-1 (1) (0.1)


The Panthers destroyed the Buccaneers last Thursday night without really breaking a sweat. Cam Newton has now run an average of 10 times per game over his last three games and the Panthers have won each game by an average of 19 points. Mike Shula has given Newton more designed runs and in turn has made their best player the focal point of the offense once again.


Red Zone Targets+Touches: DeAngelo Williams: 1-5-2- BYE -3-5-1-4 (21), Mike Tolbert: 0-1-2- BYE -1-4-3-2 (13), Steve Smith: 2-1-1- BYE -2-2-2-0 (10), Greg Olsen: 1-1-2- BYE -0-0-0-2 (6), Brandon LaFell: 0-1-2- BYE -1-1-0-0 (5), Kenjon Barner: 0-0-0- BYE -1-0-0-1 (2), Ted Ginn: 0-1-0- BYE -0-0-0-1 (2), Richie Brockel: 0-0-0- BYE -0-0-0-1 (1)


DeAngelo Williams leads the team in red zone touches, but inside the five-yard line Mike Tolbert leads with eight touches to two for Williams. With Johnathan Stewart coming back at some point there just aren't enough touches to go around.



Chicago Bears


Brandon Marshall: 10-8-14-5-11-10-BYE (68) (9.7), Alshon Jeffery: 5-8-11-13-5-7-BYE (57) (8.1), Martellus Bennett: 9-5-12-5-7-3-BYE (47) (6.7), Matt Forte: 11-4-6-6-6-3-BYE (42) (6), Earl Bennett: 2-3-4-3-2-4-BYE (19) (2.7), Michael Bush: 0-1-0-0-2-dnp-BYE (4) (0.7), Steve Maneri: 1-1-0-dnp-dnp-dnp-BYE (2) (0.5), Joe Anderson: 0-0-dnp-0-1-0-BYE (1) (0.2), Marquess Wilson: dnp-dnp-dnp-0-dnp-1-BYE (1) (0.5), Tony Fiammetta: 0-0-0-0-1-0-BYE (1) (0.1), Dante Rosario: 0-0-0-1-0-0-BYE (1) (0.2)


Marc Trestman’s offense is allowing multiple fantasy players to have value, but we’ll have to see how Josh McCown leads for the next few games. Thankfully last week against Washington he came right on and looked good.  The target breakdown feels about right with Marshall slightly ahead of Jeffery. Forte is solidly around five per game and Bennett gets the biggest fluctuation.


Red Zone Targets+Touches: Matt Forte: 3-4-5-1-1-6-4-BYE (24), Martellus Bennett: 1-3-3-2-1-0-2-BYE (12), Brandon Marshall: 1-1-0-1-2-3-2-BYE (10), Alshon Jeffery: 0-2-0-4-3-0-0-BYE (9), Michael Bush: 0-0-4-0-0-0-0-BYE (4), Earl Bennett: 0-0-1-2-1-0-0-BYE (4)


Martellus Bennett, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are all targeted fairly equally in the red zone while Forte gets a lot of rushing attempts. That’s a nice group to have at your disposal.



Dallas Cowboys


Dez Bryant: 13-6-9-10-8-16-6 (76) (9.5), Jason Witten: 8-6-10-10-5-6-2 (56) (7), Terrance Williams: 3-0-8-4-2-7-10 (38) (4.8), Miles Austin: 4-5-dnp-dnp-4-3-dnp (28) (5.6), DeMarco Murray: 6-3-5-1-2-dnp-dnp (27) (4.5), Cole Beasley: dnp-1-3-4-5-7-3 (23) (3.8), Dwayne Harris: 1-1-2-2-0-0-2 (11) (1.4), Joseph Randle: dnp-dnp-0-0-2-4-4 (10) (2), Gavin Escobar: 1-2-0-3-0-1-0 (9) (1.1), James Hanna: 5-0-0-1-1-0-2 (9) (1.1), Phillip Tanner: 0-0-0-0-0-2-1 (4) (0.5), Lance Dunbar: 1-0-0-0-dnp-dnp-0 (1) (0.2)


Over the last three weeks Dez Bryant has 30 targets to Terrance William’s 19, Cole Beasley’s 15 and Jason Witten’s 13. Witten’s numbers have fallen hard while Beasley and Williams have been getting more work. I don’t think this is the end for Witten. He will have his games, but he has been inconsistent this season with just two games over 10 fantasy points.


DeMarco Murray should be back this week, but Joseph Randle was in on the bulk of the plays with 33 to Lance Dunbar’s 7 and Phillip Tanner’s 8.


Red Zone Targets+Touches: DeMarco Murray: 3-2-8-1-4-1-0-0 (19), Dez Bryant: 0-2-2-1-3-0-1-2 (11), Jason Witten: 3-0-1-1-3-0-0-0 (8), Terrance Williams: 1-1-0-1-0-2-2-0 (7), Joseph Randle: 0-0-0-0-0-3-0-1 (4), Cole Beasley: 0-0-0-0-1-0-2-0 (3), Gavin Escobar: 1-0-1-0-0-0-0-0 (2), Lance Dunbar: 0-1-0-0-0-0-0-0 (1), Phillip Tanner: 0-0-0-0-0-0-1-0 (1), Miles Austin: 0-0-1-0-0-0-0-0 (1), Dwayne Harris: 1-0-0-0-0-0-0-0 (1), James Hanna: 0-0-0-0-0-1-0-0 (1)


Jason Witten hasn’t seen a red zone target for the last three weeks while Terrance Williams has four and Cole Beasley has two.



Detroit Lions


Calvin Johnson: 8-13-10-dnp-8-15-16 (79) (11.3), Kris Durham: 2-3-4-8-13-8-6 (46) (5.8), Reggie Bush: 3-dnp-6-6-6-5-9 (43) (6.1), Brandon Pettigrew: 6-2-7-5-4-7-6 (41) (5.1), Joique Bell: 8-5-4-4-2-4-1 (34) (4.2), Kevin Ogletree: 3-6-9-3-2-2-0 (27) (3.4), Nate Burleson: 8-9-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp (23) (7.7), Ryan Broyles: dnp-3-1-2-2-4-2 (14) (2.3), Joseph Fauria: 0-3-0-0-3-4-0 (13) (1.6), Tony Scheffler: 0-2-2-7-dnp-dnp-dnp (12) (2.4), Patrick Edwards: 0-dnp-dnp-5-3-dnp-dnp (11) (2.8), Jeremy Ross: 0-2-dnp-dnp-dnp-0-3 (5) (1), Theo Riddick: 1-2-1-0-dnp-dnp-1 (5) (0.8)


It was clear last week that there really is no #2 receiver for the Lions. The pecking order is Calvin JohnsonKris Durham is second in targets, but he’s still just in the running with Reggie Bush and Brandon Pettigrew. Once Nate Burleson returns, he will easily fill that #2 position again.


Reggie Bush is the clear lead back with 67 snaps compared to Joique Bell’s 20 against Dallas and is easily the second most trusted player on the team and in the passing game.


When Ryan Broyles went down Jeremy Ross took his snaps.


Red Zone Targets+Touches: Reggie Bush: 7-0-0-4-0-3-4-4 (22), Calvin Johnson: 3-1-5-3-0-1-1-3 (17), Joique Bell: 2-0-6-1-0-0-0-1 (10), Kris Durham: 1-0-1-1-1-0-3-1 (8), Joseph Fauria: 1-0-3-0-0-2-2-0 (8), Brandon Pettigrew: 0-0-0-1-0-0-2-1 (4),

Nate Burleson: 2-1-0-0-0-0-0-0 (3), Theo Riddick: 0-1-0-0-0-0-0-0 (1), Ryan Broyles: 0-0-0-0-0-0-1-0 (1), Jeremy Ross: 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-1 (1)


Calvin Johnson is the red zone king for Matthew Stafford as he should be. After that it’s whoever is around.



Green Bay Packers


Jordy Nelson: 4-9-BYE-7-10-6-8 (54) (7.7), Randall Cobb: 10-11-BYE-8-4-dnp-dnp (45) (9), Jermichael Finley: 7-1-BYE-6-7-5-dnp (34) (5.7), James Jones: 12-8-BYE-6-1-dnp-dnp (29) (5.8), Jarrett Boykin: 0-0-BYE-0-6-10-6 (22) (3.1), Eddie Lacy: 0-dnp-BYE-1-1-7-4 (15) (2.5), Andrew Quarless: 3-5-BYE-0-0-1-2 (11) (1.6), Myles White: dnp-dnp-BYE-dnp-0-2-7 (9) (3), James Starks: 5-0-BYE-dnp-dnp-dnp-0 (6) (1.5), John Kuhn: 0-dnp-BYE-0-2-1-2 (6) (1), Johnathan Franklin: 0-3-BYE-0-1-1-0 (5) (0.8)


Your target leaders for the Packers over the last three games are Jordy Nelson (24), Jarrett Boykin (22) and Eddie Lacy (12). That puts Jordy Nelson easily as the superior option, but James Jones should be returning soon. The question is, who will play the slot when he returns? In the last two games Myles White has been the slot receiver, but Jarrett Boykin is the preferred receiver by the coaching staff. All three of Jones, Nelson and Boykin have played in the slot before so they will most likely move them around and White will be the odd man out.


Eddie Lacy was on the field for 62 plays compared to James Starks’ 11. He will continue to be the lead back with James Starks spelling him.


Red Zone Targets+Touches: Eddie Lacy: 3-0-0-BYE-1-3-2-10 (19), Jordy Nelson: 1-2-1-BYE-2-1-1-2 (10), James Starks: 0-4-5-BYE-0-0-0-0 (9), Randall Cobb: 4-3-1-BYE-1-0-0-0 (9), Johnathan Franklin: 0-0-4-BYE-0-0-2-0 (6), James Jones: 0-2-3-BYE-1-0-0-0 (6), Jermichael Finley: 1-2-0-BYE-1-0-1-0 (5), John Kuhn: 1-0-0-BYE-0-1-0-1 (3), Jarrett Boykin: 0-0-0-BYE-0-0-2-0 (2)


Eddie Lacy saw a whopping 10 looks inside the red zone last week. That isn’t a number you see that often.



Minnesota Vikings


Jerome Simpson: 5-8-11-BYE-7-9-3 (51) (7.3), Greg Jennings: 6-6-4-BYE-10-10-3 (46) (6.6), Kyle Rudolph: 6-8-2-BYE-11-9-4 (44) (6.3), Adrian Peterson: 2-6-1-BYE-4-4-3 (24) (3.4), Cordarrelle Patterson: 2-4-2-BYE-2-6-3 (20) (2.9), Jarius Wright: 2-4-1-BYE-2-5-0 (16) (2.3), John Carlson: 2-2-2-BYE-2-2-2 (13) (1.9), Toby Gerhart: 2-2-1-BYE-2-3-2 (12) (1.7), Joe Webb: 0-1-1-BYE-4-1-0 (7) (1)


There have been three different quarterbacks starting for the Vikings this season and that kind of turnover, coupled with the poor play from each, has made it difficult for these numbers to paint much of a picture, especially when your best player by a bazillion is the running back. You can’t trust any Vikings’ receiver right now.


Red Zone Targets+Touches: Adrian Peterson: 3-5-7-3-BYE-1-1-2 (22), Greg Jennings: 0-0-3-1-BYE-1-1-0 (6), Kyle Rudolph: 0-3-1-0-BYE-1-0-0 (5), Jerome Simpson: 0-0-0-0-BYE-0-2-1 (3), Toby Gerhart: 0-0-1-0-BYE-0-0-1 (2), John Carlson: 0-1-1-0-BYE-0-0-0 (2), Cordarrelle Patterson: 1-0-0-0-BYE-0-0-0 (1), Jarius Wright: 0-1-0-0-BYE-0-0-0 (1)


They just aren’t getting into the red zone enough for any receiver to have a good shot at consistent touchdowns. Adrian Peterson still can transcend the awfulness though.


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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 .
Email :Chet Gresham

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