Chet Gresham

Targets and Touches

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Week 16 Target Watch: NFC

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Welcome to the NFC targets and touches for Week 16 of the NFL season. The AFC portion will be up tomorrow night.


I have all the targets for each player since Week 11, and then in parentheses are the total and then average targets per game played for that player. Then below that I have the Red Zone targets and touches for each player, now sorted for rushing attempts and passing targets from Week 11 on. I hope you enjoy and if you get a chance give a follow on Twitter.



Arizona Cardinals


Larry Fitzgerald: 9-11-8-12-9 (49) (9.8), Michael Floyd: 11-7-10-5-5 (38) (7.6), Rob Housler: 9-5-6-4-dnp (24) (6), Andre Roberts: 4-5-8-2-3 (22) (4.4), Andre Ellington: 2-2-dnp-2-5 (11) (2.8), Jim Dray: 2-1-3-3-1 (10) (2), Rashard Mendenhall: 3-2-0-0-2 (7) (1.4), Stepfan Taylor: 0-1-3-3-0 (7) (1.4), Brittan Golden: dnp-dnp-2-dnp-2 (4) (2), Jake Ballard: 1-0-0-0-3 (4) (0.8), Jaron Brown: 0-1-1-1-0 (3) (0.6), Alfonso Smith: 0-1-0-0-0 (1) (0.2)


Larry Fitzgerald was once again the chain-mover in this one with nine targets and six receptions for just 49 yards. And with Michael Floyd hurting, it’s looking like the deep threat has been missing from this offense the last two games.


Andre Ellington broke out again. With limited touches it’s tough to know when it will happen of course, but on just 10 carries and four receptions he totaled 158 yards, while Rashard Mendenhall had 22 touches for 78 yards and two touchdowns. Mendenhall now has five touchdowns in his last five games.


Red Zone Targets+Touches: Larry Fitzgerald: Run 0/Tar 14, Michael Floyd: Run 0/Tar 4, Rob Housler: Run 0/Tar 3, Jim Dray: Run 0/Tar 3, Andre Ellington: Run 7/Tar 2, Andre Roberts: Run 0/Tar 1, Jake Ballard: Run 0/Tar 1, Rashard Mendenhall: Run 13/Tar 1, Stepfan Taylor: Run 4/Tar 0



Atlanta Falcons


Harry Douglas: 9-11-15-7-7 (49) (9.8), Roddy White: 9-2-14-10-7 (42) (8.4), Tony Gonzalez: 8-6-7-6-7 (34) (6.8), Darius Johnson: 7-8-4-1-4 (24) (4.8), Steven Jackson: 2-4-1-3-6 (16) (3.2), Jacquizz Rodgers: 2-3-1-4-4 (14) (2.8), Jason Snelling: dnp-2-1-1-1 (5) (1.2), Levine Toilolo: 2-1-1-dnp-1 (5) (1.2), Patrick DiMarco: 1-0-1-1-1 (4) (0.8), Antone Smith: 1-0-2-0-dnp (3) (0.8), Josh Vaughan: 2-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp (2) (2)


Matt Ryan seems to have lost his confidence to throw the ball deep. Of course it was much easier for him when Julio Jones was playing, but on the season only 12.1% of his passes have been aimed 15+ yards down the field, which is worst in the league. That doesn’t leave much chance for big production.


Red Zone Targets+Touches: Tony Gonzalez: Run 0/Tar 7, Roddy White: Run 0/Tar 3, Levine Toilolo: Run 0/Tar 2, Steven Jackson: Run 14/Tar 2, Harry Douglas: Run 0/Tar 2, Darius Johnson: Run 0/Tar 2, Jason Snelling: Run 0/Tar 1, Jacquizz Rodgers: Run 2/Tar 0, Matt Ryan: Run 1/Tar 0



Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $300,000 Fantasy Football league for Week 16. It's $25 to join and first prize is $25,000. Starts Sunday at 1pm ET. Here's the FanDuel link.



Carolina Panthers  


Greg Olsen: 8-9-7-12-8 (44) (8.8), Steve Smith: 6-8-4-8-5 (31) (6.2), Brandon LaFell: 8-5-7-4-4 (28) (5.6), Ted Ginn: 3-10-4-5-1 (23) (4.6), DeAngelo Williams: 3-3-dnp-2-4 (12) (3), Mike Tolbert: 0-1-4-2-2 (9) (1.8)


Cam Newton has targeted just six players over the last five weeks. That’s pretty remarkable really and you would think with that narrow of a base of offense there would be some fantasy consistency in there, but alas no.


DeAngelo Williams did have his best game of the season last week with 168 total yards and a touchdown on 18 touches. This came against a Jets defense that has for the most part been stopping running backs. His game was reminiscent of his 2008 season when he was breaking long touchdowns right and left, but those big plays have been scarce this year and picking the right day to start him has become too much of a guessing game.


Red Zone Targets+Touches: Greg Olsen: Run 0/Tar 10, Steve Smith: Run 0/Tar 5, Brandon LaFell: Run 1/Tar 4, Ted Ginn: Run 0/Tar 2, Mike Tolbert: Run 8/Tar 2, DeAngelo Williams: Run 7/Tar 1, Kenjon Barner: Run 2/Tar 0, Cam Newton: Run 9/Tar 0, Jonathan Stewart: Run 6/Tar 0, Derek Anderson: Run 1/Tar 0



Chicago Bears


Brandon Marshall: 10-12-9-8-13 (52) (10.4), Alshon Jeffery: 11-8-15-9-5 (48) (9.6), Matt Forte: 6-9-2-9-3 (29) (5.8), Martellus Bennett: 2-5-5-6-6 (24) (4.8), Earl Bennett: 1-8-3-2-4 (18) (3.6), Tony Fiammetta: 1-3-0-0-0 (4) (0.8), Michael Bush: 0-2-0-1-0 (3) (0.6), Dante Rosario: 0-0-0-1-0 (1) (0.2)


The return of Jay Cutler was a boon to Brandon Marshall’s targets last week as he saw 13, his highest since Week 9. He turned those targets into six receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown, while Alshon Jeffery say a big dip in targets with just five, his fewest since Week 5, but still caught all five for 72 yards and a touchdown.


Red Zone Targets+Touches: Brandon Marshall: Run 0/Tar 8, Matt Forte: Run 15/Tar 5, Alshon Jeffery: Run 0/Tar 4, Earl Bennett: Run 0/Tar 4, Michael Bush: Run 8/Tar 3, Martellus Bennett: Run 0/Tar 2, Tony Fiammetta: Run 0/Tar 1, Dante Rosario: Run 0/Tar 1, Josh McCown: Run 3/Tar 0



Dallas Cowboys


Dez Bryant: BYE-16-9-4-17 (46) (11.5), Jason Witten: BYE-7-3-3-8 (21) (5.2), DeMarco Murray: BYE-3-5-5-7 (20) (5), Terrance Williams: BYE-2-6-3-5 (16) (4), Miles Austin: BYE-3-5-4-4 (16) (4), Cole Beasley: BYE-4-3-3-4 (14) (3.5), Gavin Escobar: BYE-1-0-2-2 (5) (1.2), Lance Dunbar: BYE-2-1-dnp-dnp (3) (1.5), James Hanna: BYE-0-0-1-1 (2) (0.5)


The Cowboys offense is tough to figure out as you can tell by Dez Bryant’s four targets last week compared to 17 this week. In his last nine games his targets have gone 8-16-6-11-2-16-9-4-17.  That’s just too erratic for my liking. Bryant did end up catching 11 of those 17 targets for 153 yards and an acrobatic touchdown. He out-distanced everyone else by nine targets.


Tony Romo targeted his wide receivers 30 times, the most of any game this year.


Red Zone Targets+Touches: Dez Bryant: Run 0/Tar 7, Jason Witten: Run 0/Tar 7, Terrance Williams: Run 0/Tar 3, Cole Beasley: Run 0/Tar 3, Gavin Escobar: Run 0/Tar 1, Joseph Randle: Run 2/Tar 0, Tony Romo: Run 2/Tar 0, DeMarco Murray: Run 14/Tar 0, Lance Dunbar: Run 1/Tar 0



Detroit Lions


Calvin Johnson: 13-14-10-5-14 (56) (11.2), Kris Durham: 9-6-7-3-4 (29) (5.8), Nate Burleson: dnp-10-1-5-6 (22) (5.5), Reggie Bush: 5-7-5-dnp-4 (21) (5.2), Joique Bell: 4-3-4-7-2 (20) (4), Brandon Pettigrew: 5-5-2-3-2 (17) (3.4), Joseph Fauria: 2-1-1-0-1 (5) (1), Kevin Ogletree: 3-0-1-0-0 (4) (0.8), Jeremy Ross: 3-0-1-0-0 (4) (0.8), Theo Riddick: 1-0-1-0-1 (3) (0.6), Dorin Dickerson: dnp-0-1-1-0 (2) (0.5)


As Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson go, so go the Lions. Johnson had some drive-killing drops while Stafford had game-killing interceptions. You can’t not throw it to Johnson because he is the best offensive weapon, so he will and should be the target leader. After him it’s been a bit hit and miss all season.


Red Zone Targets+Touches: Calvin Johnson: Run 0/Tar 6, Joseph Fauria: Run 0/Tar 4, Kris Durham: Run 0/Tar 3, Brandon Pettigrew: Run 0/Tar 3, Nate Burleson: Run 0/Tar 2, Joique Bell: Run 11/Tar 2, Jeremy Ross: Run 0/Tar 2, Reggie Bush: Run 9/Tar 2, Kevin Ogletree: Run 0/Tar 1, Matthew Stafford: Run 1/Tar 0



Green Bay Packers


James Jones: 6-12-5-5-7 (35) (7), Jordy Nelson: 9-7-4-4-9 (33) (6.6), Jarrett Boykin: 8-10-3-3-6 (30) (6), Eddie Lacy: 2-6-4-5-5 (22) (4.4), Andrew Quarless: 3-3-2-7-6 (21) (4.2), Brandon Bostick: 1-5-dnp-4-1 (11) (2.8), John Kuhn: 3-4-1-1-1 (10) (2), Ryan Taylor: 0-0-1-2-1 (4) (0.8), James Starks: 0-2-0-0-1 (3) (0.6)


Thankfully for Matt Flynn you can count on the Dallas defense rolling over at some point and that’s what happened in this last game as he completed 26-of-39 for 299 yards, four touchdowns and one interception after looking abysmal in the first half.


He spread the ball around well between his top receivers and completed touchdowns to four different players. There is still a chance Aaron Rodgers will be back next week, but you really couldn’t have asked for any more from a backup quarterback.


Red Zone Targets+Touches: Jordy Nelson: Run 0/Tar 4, Andrew Quarless: Run 0/Tar 4, Jarrett Boykin: Run 0/Tar 4, Eddie Lacy: Run 19/Tar 3, James Jones: Run 0/Tar 3, Brandon Bostick: Run 0/Tar 2, James Starks: Run 4/Tar 1, Brandon Bostick: Run 0/Tar 1, John Kuhn: Run 0/Tar 1, Ryan Taylor: Run 0/Tar 1, Matt Flynn: Run 1/Tar 0, Scott Tolzien: Run 1/Tar 0



Minnesota Vikings


Cordarrelle Patterson: 9-11-4-7-6 (37) (7.4), Greg Jennings: dnp-3-9-10-13 (35) (8.8), Jerome Simpson: 2-4-9-8-3 (26) (5.2), John Carlson: 7-5-6-4-dnp (22) (5.5), Jarius Wright: 4-1-3-1-5 (14) (2.8), Adrian Peterson: 3-1-4-2-dnp (10) (2.5), Rhett Ellison: 0-2-1-3-0 (6) (1.2), Toby Gerhart: 3-1-1-1-dnp (6) (1.5), Matt Asiata: dnp-0-0-0-5 (5) (1.2), Jerome Felton: 2-1-1-1-0 (5) (1), Joe Webb: 3-0-0-0-1 (4) (0.8)


Cordarrelle Patterson has the most targets over the last five weeks, but that’s because Greg Jennings missed a game due to injury. With Matt Cassel at the helm Jennings has been getting many more looks and this week had his best game as a Viking. That leaves Patterson a little less safe in fantasy, but both getting the targets of a #1 and #2 receiver is a good thing.


Red Zone Targets+Touches: Cordarrelle Patterson: Run 0/Tar 8, Matt Asiata: Run 8/Tar 4, Greg Jennings: Run 0/Tar 3, Jerome Simpson: Run 0/Tar 3, Adrian Peterson: Run 11/Tar 2, Toby Gerhart: Run 4/Tar 2, Rhett Ellison: Run 0/Tar 2, John Carlson: Run 0/Tar 1, Joe Webb: Run 0/Tar 1, Chase Ford: Run 0/Tar 1, Matt Cassel: Run 1/Tar 0, Christian Ponder: Run 1/Tar 0


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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 .
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