New Orleans Saints
Jimmy Graham: 3-12-5-11-7 (38) (7.6), Pierre Thomas: 3-10-7-5-6 (31) (6.2), Marques Colston: 6-dnp-8-8-6 (28) (7), Lance Moore: 4-10-2-4-2 (22) (4.4), Kenny Stills: 4-5-4-2-3 (18) (3.6), Darren Sproles: 4-1-7-4-dnp (16) (4), Robert Meachem: 3-5-1-2-3 (14) (2.8), Ben Watson: 3-1-3-dnp-2 (9) (2.2), Josh Hill: 2-1-0-2-3 (8) (1.6), Mark Ingram: dnp-1-3-2-0 (6) (1.5), Nick Toon: 0-4-0-1-dnp (5) (1.2), Jed Collins: 1-1-0-1-0 (3) (0.6), Travaris Cadet: dnp-0-0-0-1 (1) (0.2)
Sometimes I wonder why we even try to figure out who will do what for the Saints on any given Sunday. Unless someone gets hurt, like Darren Sproles for this game, we often are at a loss. But he was hurt so Pierre Thomas got quite a few looks in a good matchup. But he still only touched the ball 15 times. This is the way of the Saints. Drew Brees completed a pass to nine players in this one and no player topped seven targets. After Jimmy Graham it is tough to know who will get their looks.
Red Zone Targets+Touches: Jimmy Graham: Run 0/Tar 6, Marques Colston: Run 0/Tar 4, Ben Watson: Run 0/Tar 3, Pierre Thomas: Run 10/Tar 3, Lance Moore: Run 0/Tar 2, Darren Sproles: Run 2/Tar 1, Josh Hill: Run 0/Tar 1, Jed Collins: Run 3/Tar 0, Mark Ingram: Run 7/Tar 0
New York Giants
Victor Cruz: 10-BYE-10-11-4 (35) (8.8), Hakeem Nicks: 12-BYE-4-5-dnp (21) (7), Rueben Randle: 1-BYE-3-3-7 (14) (3.5), Brandon Myers: 4-BYE-0-4-5 (13) (3.2), Jerrel Jernigan: 4-BYE-0-2-7 (13) (3.2), Andre Brown: dnp-BYE-3-5-4 (12) (4), Peyton Hillis: 5-BYE-2-dnp-dnp (7) (3.5), John Conner: 1-BYE-0-3-0 (4) (1), Bear Pascoe: 0-BYE-0-1-2 (3) (0.8), Louis Murphy: 0-BYE-0-1-1 (2) (0.5), Michael Cox: 1-BYE-0-0-0 (1) (0.2)
This game was an odd one target-wise as Hakeem Nicks replacement Jerrel Jernigan tied Rueben Randle for the target lead with seven each while Victor Cruz had just four targets. The Giants offense ran through Andre Brown who totaled 138 yards on 25 touches, but for a team with some talent in the passing game against a team that hadn’t allowed less than 200 yards passing to any team this season, it is bewildering to me that Eli Manning could only throw for 174 yards. I thought with Brown back it would give their passing game a little room to work, but I was incorrect.
Red Zone Targets+Touches: Brandon Myers: Run 0/Tar 4, Hakeem Nicks: Run 0/Tar 4, Victor Cruz: Run 0/Tar 3, Rueben Randle: Run 0/Tar 3, Andre Brown: Run 12/Tar 2, Louis Murphy: Run 0/Tar 2, Larry Donnell: Run 0/Tar 1, Peyton Hillis: Run 0/Tar 1, Jerrel Jernigan: Run 0/Tar 1, Michael Cox: Run 1/Tar 0, Brandon Jacobs: Run 2/Tar 0
DeSean Jackson: 11-6-5-4-BYE (26) (6.5), Riley Cooper: 5-6-5-7-BYE (23) (5.8), LeSean McCoy: 5-4-1-4-BYE (14) (3.5), Zach Ertz: 4-6-0-3-BYE (13) (3.2), Jason Avant: 4-1-4-3-BYE (12) (3), Brent Celek: 3-4-1-1-BYE (9) (2.2), Bryce Brown: 1-1-0-2-BYE (4) (1), James Casey: 1-1-2-0-BYE (4) (1), Jeff Maehl: 0-1-0-1-BYE (2) (0.5), Damaris Johnson: 1-0-0-dnp-BYE (1) (0.3)
Nick Foles continues to play very well. This week he completed 17-of-26 passes for 298 yards and ran nine times for 47 yards and a touchdown. LeSean McCoy ran in two touchdowns as well, one after Riley Cooper was stopped a hair from a receiving touchdown, which would have helped a slow day for Cooper compared to what he’s been doing, but he did lead the team with seven targets.
Foles’ efficiency is perfect for this offense. DeSean Jackson only had four targets, but caught all four for 82 yards. After getting beat to death by the fast pace and run game, defenses are susceptible to big pass plays. As long as Foles continues to throw an accurate deep ball, which he has, he’s going to keep this team in the fantasy points.
Red Zone Targets+Touches: Jason Avant: Run 0/Tar 4, Riley Cooper: Run 0/Tar 4, Brent Celek: Run 0/Tar 3, Zach Ertz: Run 0/Tar 2, LeSean McCoy: Run 11/Tar 2, James Casey: Run 0/Tar 1, DeSean Jackson: Run 0/Tar 1, Nick Foles: Run 5/Tar 0
San Francisco 49ers
Anquan Boldin: 6-BYE-5-9-6 (26) (6.5), Vernon Davis: 4-BYE-2-5-7 (18) (4.5), Mario Manningham: dnp-BYE-6-4-7 (17) (5.7), Frank Gore: 1-BYE-2-3-2 (8) (2), Bruce Miller: 3-BYE-2-2-0 (7) (1.8), Vance McDonald: 0-BYE-2-2-1 (5) (1.2), Jon Baldwin: dnp-BYE-0-3-0 (3) (1), LaMichael James: dnp-BYE-0-1-1 (2) (0.7), Kendall Hunter: 0-BYE-1-0-0 (1) (0.2)
Colin Kaepernick and the passing game got a reprieve from playing horribly when they faced Washington on Monday night. Vernon Davis and Mario Manningham led the way with seven targets each and Davis caught four for 70 yards and his ninth touchdown of the season. Davis is on pace for 13 touchdowns this season, which would be the second most by a tight end ever, tying him with Antonio Gates and himself.
Michael Crabtree will be back this Sunday and could take away some looks for Davis, but it seems like he should still be at least able to keep getting red zone looks and touchdowns. Crabtree hasn’t played in a while now and Davis is playing very well. I doubt they do a 180 away from him.
Red Zone Targets+Touches: Vernon Davis: Run 0/Tar 5, Anquan Boldin: Run 0/Tar 4, Jon Baldwin: Run 0/Tar 1, Kyle Williams: Run 0/Tar 1, Colin Kaepernick: Run 3/Tar 0, Frank Gore: Run 11/Tar 0, Bruce Miller: Run 1/Tar 0, Kendall Hunter: Run 3/Tar 0
Doug Baldwin: 1-10-8-2-BYE (21) (5.2), Golden Tate: 7-3-7-4-BYE (21) (5.2), Zach Miller: 3-5-0-5-BYE (13) (3.2), Marshawn Lynch: 1-5-3-2-BYE (11) (2.8), Jermaine Kearse: 2-2-4-1-BYE (9) (2.2), Robert Turbin: 1-0-1-2-BYE (4) (1), Luke Willson: 0-0-2-1-BYE (3) (0.8), Sidney Rice: 3-dnp-dnp-dnp-BYE (3) (3), Ricardo Lockette: dnp-1-1-1-BYE (3) (1), Percy Harvin: dnp-dnp-dnp-1-BYE (1) (1), Michael Robinson: 0-0-0-1-BYE (1) (0.2)
Russell Wilson has proven so far this season that he is the best quarterback from the great rookie class of 2012. In his last three games he has completed an amazing 73% of his passes and thrown two touchdowns per game. Wilson has the fourth most fantasy points for quarterbacks this season and is averaging just 25 pass attempts per game! He’s not going to throw for 400 yards a game, but he’s going to give you some rushing yards, won’t throw many interceptions and will get the ball in the end zone one way or the other.
Percy Harvin had a couple nice plays in this one as they eased him back, but it’s going to be difficult to make him enough of a centerpiece in this offense with Marshawn Lynch and not many targets to go around. Golden Tate who had been rolling of late had four targets of which he caught one for 26 yards. Zach Miller led the way this week in targets, receptions and yards with 5, 4 and 69. Those 69 yards were 20 more than he had had on any game this season.
Red Zone Targets+Touches: Golden Tate: Run 0/Tar 5, Doug Baldwin: Run 0/Tar 4, Jermaine Kearse: Run 0/Tar 3, Sidney Rice: Run 0/Tar 1, Zach Miller: Run 0/Tar 1, Kellen Davis: Run 0/Tar 1, Marshawn Lynch: Run 16/Tar 1, Christine Michael: Run 1/Tar 0, Russell Wilson: Run 7/Tar 0, Robert Turbin: Run 2/Tar 0
St. Louis Rams
Chris Givens: 5-8-4-BYE-6 (23) (5.8), Jared Cook: 6-6-2-BYE-5 (19) (4.8), Zac Stacy: 3-7-3-BYE-2 (15) (3.8), Tavon Austin: 3-2-3-BYE-5 (13) (3.2), Lance Kendricks: 5-4-dnp-BYE-1 (10) (3.3), Austin Pettis: 4-4-0-BYE-0 (8) (2), Brian Quick: 3-2-0-BYE-2 (7) (1.8), Cory Harkey: 1-0-3-BYE-0 (4) (1), Stedman Bailey: 0-1-0-BYE-1 (2) (0.5), Benny Cunningham: dnp-0-1-BYE-0 (1) (0.3), Daryl Richardson: 1-dnp-dnp-BYE-dnp (1) (1)
If the Rams could never throw a pass again I think they’d be okay with that. In their two wins since Kellen Clemens became the quarterback he completed 19 of 38 passes while they ran 60 times.
This game was marred by Zac Stacy suffering a concussion before halftime, but it didn’t matter much for the Rams since Benny Cunningham came in and didn’t miss a beat against the Bears’ horrid run defense.
Red Zone Targets+Touches: Jared Cook: Run 0/Tar 4, Chris Givens: Run 0/Tar 3, Brian Quick: Run 0/Tar 3, Lance Kendricks: Run 0/Tar 2, Zac Stacy: Run 13/Tar 2, Tavon Austin: Run 0/Tar 2, Austin Pettis: Run 0/Tar 1, Stedman Bailey: Run 0/Tar 1, Daryl Richardson: Run 3/Tar 0, Benny Cunningham: Run 7/Tar 0
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Vincent Jackson: 13-4-8-12-3 (40) (8), Tim Wright: 8-4-1-2-9 (24) (4.8), Brian Leonard: 7-4-3-5-2 (21) (4.2), Tiquan Underwood: 4-3-5-1-5 (18) (3.6), Mike James: 5-2-0-dnp-dnp (7) (2.3), Erik Lorig: 1-3-0-2-0 (6) (1.2), Mike Williams: 6-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp (6) (6), Bobby Rainey: 0-0-1-2-1 (4) (0.8), Tom Crabtree: 2-1-0-1-0 (4) (0.8), Eric Page: 3-0-0-0-0 (3) (0.6), Skye Dawson: 1-0-2-0-0 (3) (0.6)
The Lions pass defense once again didn’t rise to the occasion, but instead of letting Vincent Jackson go crazy, they let Tiquan Underwood catch three of five targets for 108 yards and two touchdowns.
Tim Wright had seen a marked slump in targets of late, but against Detroit he had nine and caught eight of them for 75 yards. It’s good that they went back to him and I think he has the ability to be a good fantasy tight end.
Bobby Rainey came back to earth in this one rushing 18 times for just 35 yards, but the Lions run defense has been pretty solid this year while the Falcons, who he went off on last season, have been really not good. I think Rainey falls somewhere in between these two games. Unfortunately his schedule is not that easy going forward.
Red Zone Targets+Touches: Vincent Jackson: Run 0/Tar 7, Tiquan Underwood: Run 0/Tar 3, Tim Wright: Run 0/Tar 3, Brian Leonard: Run 2/Tar 2, Eric Page: Run 0/Tar 2, Erik Lorig: Run 0/Tar 1, Tom Crabtree: Run 0/Tar 1, Bobby Rainey: Run 10/Tar 1, Mike Glennon: Run 0/Tar 0, Mike James: Run 4/Tar 0
Pierre Garcon: 11-11-10-10-11 (53) (10.6), Jordan Reed: 14-5-9-1-dnp (29) (7.2), Santana Moss: 5-2-3-7-4 (21) (4.2), Leonard Hankerson: 3-6-5-1-dnp (15) (3.8), Logan Paulsen: 1-3-3-3-2 (12) (2.4), Roy Helu: 1-1-4-4-1 (11) (2.2), Josh Morgan: 2-1-1-dnp-6 (10) (2.5), Aldrick Robinson: 2-1-0-3-3 (9) (1.8), Darrel Young: 0-0-1-2-dnp (3) (0.8), Niles Paul: 0-2-0-0-0 (2) (0.4)
If you are in a PPR league at least Pierre Garcon caught eight passes. Of course his 48 yards weren’t the optimal result. Garcon once against saw double-digit targets, but this was one of the worst games of Robert Griffin’s career. It didn’t help that Jordan Reed was out and hopefully he’ll get him back this week.
With Leonard Hankerson also out Josh Morgan saw the second most targets with six of which he caught five for 45 yards, but a healthy Reed would make it tough to rely on Morgan seeing enough targets to be useful going forward.
Red Zone Targets+Touches: Pierre Garcon: Run 0/Tar 5, Jordan Reed: Run 0/Tar 4, Logan Paulsen: Run 0/Tar 3, Leonard Hankerson: Run 0/Tar 3, Santana Moss: Run 0/Tar 3, Niles Paul: Run 0/Tar 1, Darrel Young: Run 4/Tar 1, Josh Morgan: Run 0/Tar 1, Alfred Morris: Run 13/Tar 0, Roy Helu: Run 1/Tar 0, Robert Griffin III: Run 5/Tar 0
Snap count data comes from our friends at Pro Football Focus.