New Orleans Saints
Jimmy Graham: 12-5-11-7-9 (44) (8.8), Pierre Thomas: 10-7-5-6-4 (32) (6.4), Marques Colston: dnp-8-8-6-7 (29) (7.2), Lance Moore: 10-2-4-2-2 (20) (4), Darren Sproles: 1-7-4-dnp-8 (20) (5), Kenny Stills: 5-4-2-3-2 (16) (3.2), Robert Meachem: 5-1-2-3-3 (14) (2.8), Josh Hill: 1-0-2-3-1 (7) (1.4), Ben Watson: 1-3-dnp-2-1 (7) (1.8), Mark Ingram: 1-3-2-0-0 (6) (1.2), Nick Toon: 4-0-1-dnp-dnp (5) (1.7), Jed Collins: 1-0-1-0-1 (3) (0.6), Travaris Cadet: 0-0-0-1-0 (1) (0.2)
The Seahawks came to play on Monday night and Drew Brees was held to 23-of38 passing for 147 yards and a touchdown. That just doesn’t happen to Brees. They really couldn’t do anything and when they did make a completion it was usually underneath and stopped before it started. He did manage to get a touchdown to Jimmy Graham, which brings Graham to a healthy 12 on the season.
Red Zone Targets+Touches: Marques Colston: Run 0/Tar 4, Jimmy Graham: Run 0/Tar 4, Ben Watson: Run 0/Tar 3, Pierre Thomas: Run 10/Tar 3, Darren Sproles: Run 2/Tar 1, Josh Hill: Run 0/Tar 1, Lance Moore: Run 0/Tar 1, Jed Collins: Run 3/Tar 0, Drew Brees: Run 0/Tar 0, Mark Ingram: Run 7/Tar 0
New York Giants
Victor Cruz: BYE-10-11-4-7 (32) (8), Rueben Randle: BYE-3-3-7-4 (17) (4.2), Andre Brown: BYE-3-5-4-5 (17) (4.2), Brandon Myers: BYE-0-4-5-6 (15) (3.8), Hakeem Nicks: BYE-4-5-dnp-2 (11) (3.7), Jerrel Jernigan: BYE-0-2-7-0 (9) (2.2), Bear Pascoe: BYE-0-1-2-3 (6) (1.5), Peyton Hillis: BYE-2-dnp-dnp-1 (3) (1.5), John Conner: BYE-0-3-0-0 (3) (0.8), Louis Murphy: BYE-0-1-1-0 (2) (0.5)
Since Week 3 Eli Manning is averaging 19-of-33 completions for 218 yards, one touchdown and 1.1 interceptions. That might imply a tough schedule, but for the most part he’s had the easiest schedule in the league since Week 5 facing Philadelphia, Chicago, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Oakland, Green Bay, Dallas and Washington. That right there is enough to break the heart of any fantasy footballer who deals in the sweet study of matchups.
Against Washington he had a great completion rate, going 22-of-28, but could only muster 235 yards, one touchdown and had an interception, his 18th. Victor Cruz led the way with seven targets, which he caught six of for 80 yards. In the past this matchup would have been an automatic 100 yards and a touchdown for Cruz.
Red Zone Targets+Touches: Victor Cruz: Run 0/Tar 4, Brandon Myers: Run 0/Tar 3, Louis Murphy: Run 0/Tar 2, Andre Brown: Run 13/Tar 2, Hakeem Nicks: Run 0/Tar 2, Rueben Randle: Run 0/Tar 2, Brandon Jacobs: Run 2/Tar 0
Riley Cooper: 6-5-7-BYE-6 (24) (6), DeSean Jackson: 6-5-4-BYE-6 (21) (5.2), LeSean McCoy: 4-1-4-BYE-6 (15) (3.8), Zach Ertz: 6-0-3-BYE-6 (15) (3.8), Jason Avant: 1-4-3-BYE-4 (12) (3), Brent Celek: 4-1-1-BYE-6 (12) (3), James Casey: 1-2-0-BYE-0 (3) (0.8), Bryce Brown: 1-0-2-BYE-0 (3) (0.8), Jeff Maehl: 1-0-1-BYE-0 (2) (0.5)
Nick Foles is relentless in proving week in and week out that he is a good quarterback. He finished the day 21-of-34 for 237 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He now has 19 touchdown passes to zero interceptions. That trails Peyton Manning’s record of 20 touchdowns to zero interceptions by, well, you can do the math.
The Cardinals weakness on defense is against tight ends and the Eagles exploited that to its fullest with all three touchdown passes going to tight ends, two for Zach Ertz and one for Brent Celek. That left the star wide receivers out of the fantasy fun, but we knew the Cardinals were tough on wide receivers.
Red Zone Targets+Touches: Riley Cooper: Run 0/Tar 4, Brent Celek: Run 0/Tar 3,
Zach Ertz: Run 0/Tar 3, Jason Avant: Run 0/Tar 1, LeSean McCoy: Run 9/Tar 1, James Casey: Run 0/Tar 1, DeSean Jackson: Run 0/Tar 1, Nick Foles: Run 8/Tar 0
San Francisco 49ers
Anquan Boldin: BYE-5-9-6-13 (33) (8.2), Vernon Davis: BYE-2-5-7-5 (19) (4.8), Mario Manningham: BYE-6-4-7-0 (17) (4.2), Frank Gore: BYE-2-3-2-2 (9) (2.2), Bruce Miller: BYE-2-2-0-4 (8) (2), Vance McDonald: BYE-2-2-1-0 (5) (1.2), Michael Crabtree: BYE-dnp-dnp-dnp-4 (4) (4), Jon Baldwin: BYE-0-3-0-dnp (3) (1), LaMichael James: BYE-0-1-1-0 (2) (0.5), Kendall Hunter: BYE-1-0-0-0 (1) (0.2)
The addition of Michael Crabtree to the offense seems to have helped already. Colin Kaepernick completed 19-of-28 for 275 yards and a touchdown against the Rams. Those 275 yards were his highest total since his 412 yards in Week 1. Was that due to Crabtree? All I know is that it didn’t hurt. Crabtree had four targets and caught two for 68 yards, while Anquan Boldin had 14 targets and caught nine for 98 yards and Vernon Davis had five targets and caught four for 82 yards and a touchdown.
Crabtree saw 63% of the snaps and will get closer to 100% as he gets back into game shape. That will surely cut into Boldin’s targets more than Davis’. But any way you slice it, having those three on the field at the same time is a huge boon to that offense and Kaepernick’s upside.
Red Zone Targets+Touches: Anquan Boldin: Run 0/Tar 5, Vernon Davis: Run 0/Tar 4, Frank Gore: Run 12/Tar 1, Bruce Miller: Run 0/Tar 1, Jon Baldwin: Run 0/Tar 1, Colin Kaepernick: Run 1/Tar 0, Kendall Hunter: Run 2/Tar 0
Doug Baldwin: 10-8-2-BYE-5 (25) (6.2), Golden Tate: 3-7-4-BYE-5 (19) (4.8), Zach Miller: 5-0-5-BYE-8 (18) (4.5), Marshawn Lynch: 5-3-2-BYE-4 (14) (3.5), Jermaine Kearse: 2-4-1-BYE-3 (10) (2.5), Luke Willson: 0-2-1-BYE-1 (4) (1), Ricardo Lockette: 1-1-1-BYE-1 (4) (1), Robert Turbin: 0-1-2-BYE-0 (3) (0.8), Michael Robinson: 0-0-1-BYE-1 (2) (0.5), Derrick Coleman: dnp-dnp-dnp-BYE-1 (1) (1), Percy Harvin: dnp-dnp-1-BYE-dnp (1) (1)
Russell Wilson had his biggest yardage game since Week 1 when he tossed 320 yards against Carolina. New Orleans and Carolina have now given up five 300+ yard passing games this season, two of them to Wilson.
The Seahawks are always difficult to figure. Much like the Patriots, they will switch things up, especially in who sees the bulk of the targets. Over the past four games Doug Baldwin leads in targets with a measly 6.2 per game average. Zach Miller was the target leader this week and had his best game of the season. Oh, and he had zero targets just two games back. Wilson is accurate and a great decision maker, but nobody besides Marshawn Lynch gets special treatment.
Red Zone Targets+Touches: Doug Baldwin: Run 0/Tar 5, Jermaine Kearse: Run 0/Tar 4, Golden Tate: Run 0/Tar 2, Zach Miller: Run 0/Tar 2, Marshawn Lynch: Run 19/Tar 2, Derrick Coleman: Run 0/Tar 1, Robert Turbin: Run 2/Tar 0, Christine Michael: Run 1/Tar 0, Russell Wilson: Run 7/Tar 0
St. Louis Rams
Chris Givens: 8-4-BYE-6-9 (27) (6.8), Jared Cook: 6-2-BYE-5-6 (19) (4.8), Tavon Austin: 2-3-BYE-5-7 (17) (4.2), Zac Stacy: 7-3-BYE-2-2 (14) (3.5), Brian Quick: 2-0-BYE-2-4 (8) (2), Austin Pettis: 4-0-BYE-0-3 (7) (1.8), Stedman Bailey: 1-0-BYE-1-4 (6) (1.5), Lance Kendricks: 4-dnp-BYE-1-0 (5) (1.7), Isaiah Pead: dnp-0-BYE-0-3 (3) (1), Cory Harkey: 0-3-BYE-0-0 (3) (0.8), Benny Cunningham: 0-1-BYE-0-0 (1) (0.2)
It’s a bit surprising to see Chris Givens as the target leader over the last four games since he is averaging two receptions for 34.8 yards and no touchdowns during that span, but we have to remember Kellen Clemens is at the helm.
Tavon Austin did receive seven targets, his most since Week 4 when he had eight, but he still only had four receptions for 25 yards. He had back-to-back games with explosive touchdown runs, receptions and returns, but remains way too inconsistent to start in fantasy.
Red Zone Targets+Touches: Tavon Austin: Run 0/Tar 3, Chris Givens: Run 0/Tar 3, Brian Quick: Run 0/Tar 3, Lance Kendricks: Run 0/Tar 2, Zac Stacy: Run 11/Tar 2, Jared Cook: Run 0/Tar 2, Austin Pettis: Run 0/Tar 1, Stedman Bailey: Run 0/Tar 1, Isaiah Pead: Run 0/Tar 1, Benny Cunningham: Run 7/Tar 0, Kellen Clemens: Run 1/Tar 0
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Vincent Jackson: 4-8-12-3-5 (32) (6.4), Tim Wright: 4-1-2-9-3 (19) (3.8), Tiquan Underwood: 3-5-1-5-4 (18) (3.6), Brian Leonard: 4-3-5-2-2 (16) (3.2), Bobby Rainey: 0-1-2-1-3 (7) (1.4), Erik Lorig: 3-0-2-0-1 (6) (1.2), Chris Owusu: dnp-dnp-0-0-3 (3) (1), Tom Crabtree: 1-0-1-0-dnp (2) (0.5), Skye Dawson: 0-2-0-0-dnp (2) (0.5)
The stout Carolina defense got the best of Mike Glennon and company in this matchup. Glennon finished the day 14-of-21 for 180 yards, no touchdowns, one interception and one fumble. Vincent Jackson led the way with just five targets which he turned into three receptions for 75 yards while Tiquan Underwood backed up his big Week 13 with a respectable, under the circumstances, three receptions on four targets for 51 yards.
Red Zone Targets+Touches: Tiquan Underwood: Run 0/Tar 4, Vincent Jackson: Run 0/Tar 4, Brian Leonard: Run 2/Tar 3, Bobby Rainey: Run 12/Tar 2, Tim Wright: Run 0/Tar 2, Tom Crabtree: Run 0/Tar 1, Erik Lorig: Run 0/Tar 1, Mike James: Run 4/Tar 0
Pierre Garcon: 11-10-10-11-12 (54) (10.8), Santana Moss: 2-3-7-4-1 (17) (3.4), Jordan Reed: 5-9-1-dnp-dnp (15) (5), Logan Paulsen: 3-3-3-2-4 (15) (3), Roy Helu: 1-4-4-1-4 (14) (2.8), Leonard Hankerson: 6-5-1-dnp-dnp (12) (4), Aldrick Robinson: 1-0-3-3-2 (9) (1.8), Josh Morgan: 1-1-dnp-6-1 (9) (2.2), Fred Davis: dnp-dnp-dnp-0-4 (4) (2), Alfred Morris: 0-0-0-0-3 (3) (0.6), Darrel Young: 0-1-2-dnp-dnp (3) (1), Niles Paul: 2-0-0-0-dnp (2) (0.5)
Pierre Garcon continued to be a target monger with 12 against the Giants. He ended up with whopping nine receptions, but just 61 yards and no touchdowns. He has yet to have a game where he hasn’t caught five or more passes and only two games with fewer than 10 targets, but he does need some help to take the pressure off him and Jordan Reed is just that. They need Reed back badly.
Red Zone Targets+Touches: Pierre Garcon: Run 0/Tar 4, Logan Paulsen: Run 0/Tar 4, Jordan Reed: Run 0/Tar 3, Fred Davis: Run 0/Tar 3, Santana Moss: Run 0/Tar 2, Leonard Hankerson: Run 0/Tar 2, 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 2/Tar 0, Robert Griffin III: Run 6/Tar 0, Evan Royster: Run 1/Tar 0
Snap count data comes from our friends at Pro Football Focus.