John Daigle

Targets and Touches

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Week 1: AFC Targets & Touches

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Targets and Touches will only have players’ six most recent games, regardless if they were active or on a bye. The data will be in descending order of games played.

All targets and touches data is compiled from Pro Football Reference. Air yards data is sourced via Josh Hermsmeyer’s Cornerback and routes run data is sourced via Pro Football Focus. The AFC will be released on Tuesdays, while the NFC is published on Wednesday.


The goal of these articles is to give you an idea of what the usage looks like for each player within their offenses, allowing you to spot any positive or negative trends regarding how a player is being used, and most importantly — letting the numbers tell the story.


Note: This data will stick to players averaging over one target/touch per game. Players are listed in order of target/touch leaders for their respective teams.


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Baltimore Ravens

Targets: Michael Crabtree (6), Willie Snead (6), Javorius Allen (6), Nick Boyle (6), John Brown (4), Mark Andrews (4), Maxx Williams (3), Chris Moore (2), Alex Collins (1)


Air Yards: Michael Crabtree (74), Willie Snead (49), John Brown (47), Mark Andrews (40), Chris Moore (30), Nick Boyle (18), Maxx Williams (16), Javorius Allen (15), Alex Collins (-1)


Carries: Kenneth Dixon (13), Lamar Jackson (7), Alex Collins (7), Javorius Allen (4), Joe Flacco (2), John Brown (1)

RZ Targets: John Brown (2), Nick Boyle (2), Alex Collins (1), Javorius Allen (1), Mark Andrews (1), Michael Crabtree (1), Willie Snead (1)


RZ Carries: Alex Collins (3), Lamar Jackson (2), Javorius Allen (1), Joe Flacco (1), Kenneth Dixon (1)


CB Catches-Yards-Touchdowns Allowed: Brandon Carr (2-24), Marlon Humphrey (2-6), Tavon Young (1-3)


Observations: Alex Collins (7-13-1) was the only running back to carry the ball during the Ravens’ first five drives. He fumbled and was promptly yanked from the game but returned and handled both carries on Baltimore’s opening drive to start the second half. There should be no concern over his usage. If anything, Sunday proved that Javorius Allen still has a secure role as Baltimore’s backup. He was in on 38% of offensive snaps Sunday, tying Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead, and Nick Boyle with a team-high six targets. Note that Joe Flacco has averaged 250.3 yards, two touchdowns, and 18.3 fantasy points over his last six games dating back to last season.


Buffalo Bills

Targets: Kelvin Benjamin (8), Zay Jones (6), Jeremy Kerley (5), Jason Croom (3), LeSean McCoy (3), Logan Thomas (2), Marcus Murphy (2), Robert Foster (2), Charles Clay (2)


Air Yards: Kelvin Benjamin (195), Robert Foster (65), Zay Jones (57), Charles Clay (51), Logan Thomas (39), Jeremy Kerley (29), Jason Croom (27), Marcus Murphy (4), LeSean McCoy (-11)


Carries: LeSean McCoy (7), Marcus Murphy (6), Josh Allen (4), Chris Ivory (3), Nathan Peterman (1), Corey Bojorquez (1)


RZ Targets: Kelvin Benjamin (1)


RZ Carries: Josh Allen (2), LeSean McCoy (1)


CB Catches-Yards-Touchdowns Allowed: Phillip Gaines (4-59-1), Rafael Bush (3-37-1), Tre’Davious White (2-14)


Observations: Kelvin Benjamin led the Bills with a 24% target share, but six of his eight targets came from Nathan Peterman. Once No. 7 overall pick Josh Allen took over, it was Zay Jones who recorded four of his six targets on the day. Still, Benjamin accumulated the third-most air yards among all receivers in Week 1, so that, combined with Allen’s exciting yet often at times errant 14.5 aDOT, would make for a fun watch against this banged up Chargers defense.


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Cincinnati Bengals

Targets: A.J. Green (8), Joe Mixon (7), Tyler Boyd (5), Tyler Eifert (3), John Ross (2), Giovani Bernard (1), Tyler Kroft (1), C.J. Uzomah (1)


Air Yards: A.J. Green (97), Tyler Boyd (25), John Ross (22), Tyler Eifert (20), C.J. Uzomah (4), Giovani Bernard (3), Tyler Kroft (2), Joe Mixon (-21)


Carries: Joe Mixon (17), Andy Dalton (2), Giovani Bernard (1)


RZ Targets: A.J. Green (1)


RZ Carries: Joe Mixon (3)


CB Catches-Yards-Touchdowns Allowed: William Jackson (6-61-1), Dre Kirkpatrick (5-49-1), Darqueze Dennard (5-37)


Observations: Some (including myself) drafted Gio Bernard in the later rounds thinking he would have occasional standalone value. That was apparently the square line of thinking as Joe Mixon was in on 42-of-55 (76.3%) offensive snaps, handling 17 carries (including two inside the five-yard line) to Gio’s one. Mixon even trumped Bernard at his own game, running 23 passing routes to Bernard’s seven. Barring injury, Mixon is the player to own in Cincinnati’s backfield.


Cleveland Browns

Targets: Jarvis Landry (16), David Njoku (7), Duke Johnson (6), Rashard Higgins (4), Carlos Hyde (3), Josh Gordon (3), Darren Fells (1), Antonio Callaway (1)    


Air Yards: Jarvis Landry (223), Josh Gordon (129), David Njoku (48), Rashard Higgins (48), Duke Johnson (12), Carlos Hyde (-22), Darren Fells (-4), Antonio Callaway (-4)


Carries: Carlos Hyde (22), Tyrod Taylor (8), Duke Johnson (5), Nick Chubb (3)


RZ Targets: Jarvis Landry (1), Josh Gordon (1) 


RZ Carries: Carlos Hyde (1), Duke Johnson (1), Tyrod Taylor (1)


CB Catches-Yards-Touchdowns Allowed: Briean Boddy-Calhoun (5-139), Denzel Ward (6-50-1), Terrance Mitchell (5-49)


Observations: Tyrod Taylor completed 15-of-40 passes for 197 yards and 4.9 YPA Sunday. It was truly an abysmal outing. His weapons are essentially locked into their respective roles, though, as David Njoku logged a career-high 87.6% snap rate and Josh Gordon, despite being on a “pitch count”, played 77.5% of snaps. Perhaps even more impressive was Jarvis Landry’s 223 accumulated air yards, 38% target share, and 13.9 aDOT. Assuming Gordon sees more than three targets, Week 2 makes for a terrific opportunity to start all your Browns skill players (or roster them with confidence in DFS) on turf and indoors at the Super Dome.


Denver Broncos

Targets: Emmanuel Sanders (11), Demaryius Thomas (10), Courtland Sutton (5), Jake Butt (4), Phillip Lindsay (3), Devontae Booker (2), Tim Patrick (2), Jeff Heuerman (1), Matt LaCosse (1)    


Air Yards: Emmanuel Sanders (104), Demaryius Thomas (68), Courtland Sutton (67), Tim Patrick (61), Jake Butt (44), Matt LaCosse (16), Phillip Lindsay (15), Jeff Heuerman (15), Devontae Booker (-8)


Carries: Royce Freeman (15), Phillip Lindsay (15), Devontae Booker (2)


RZ Targets: Demaryius Thomas (1)


RZ Carries:


CB Catches-Yards-Touchdowns Allowed: Chris Harris Jr. (2-13), Bradley Roby (3-33-1), Adam Jones (1-6)


Observations: The Broncos’ backfield was a two-way split between rookies Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay, essentially ousting Devontae Booker from meaningful usage. Freeman and Lindsay essentially mirrored each other in carries (15), yards (71), and snaps (29-26). Booker was in on 19 snaps but only received two carries. The real standout in Denver’s offense continues to be Emmanuel Sanders, who buoyed his 43.8% target share from Case Keenum in the preseason into 10-135-1 and a 28% target share Sunday. As noted by Adam Levitan, Sanders worked from the slot on 51% of his snaps Sunday compared to 27% just last year.


Houston Texans

Targets: DeAndre Hopkins (13), Bruce Ellington (8), Ryan Griffin (5), Lamar Miller (2), Jordan Thomas (2), Jordan Akins (2), Vyncint Smith (2), Tyler Ervin (1), Sammie Coates (1)     


Air Yards: DeAndre Hopkins (174), Vyncint Smith (134), Bruce Ellington (85), Ryan Griffin (60), Jordan Thomas (22), Jordan Akins (14), Lamar Miller (3), Sammie Coates (2), Tyler Ervin (1)


Carries: Lamar Miller (20), Deshaun Watson (8), Alfred Blue (5), DeAndre Hopkins (1)


RZ Targets: Ryan Griffin (3), DeAndre Hopkins (2), Sammie Coates (1)


RZ Carries: Lamar Miller (4), Deshaun Watson (3), Alfred Blue (1)


CB Catches-Yards-Touchdowns Allowed: Jonathan Joseph (6-40), Kevin Johnson (4-40-2), Aaron Colvin (0-0)


Observations: Without D’Onta Foreman (Achilles’, PUP) available, Lamar Miller was in on 57-of-74 (77%) offensive snaps. Alfred Blue scored, but four of his five carries came on the same drive in the third quarter. Miller, who handled 77.7% of Houston’s backfield touches, is the back to own despite his lack of success in Week 1. Will Fuller (hamstring) is expected to play in Week 2, but note that three of Ryan Griffin’s five targets came in the red zone.


Indianapolis Colts

Targets: T.Y. Hilton (11), Jack Doyle (10), Ryan Grant (9), Nyheim Hines (9), Eric Ebron (5), Jordan Wilkins (3), Chester Rogers (3), Zach Pascal (1), Erik Swoope (1)    


Air Yards: T.Y. Hilton (108), Jack Doyle (59), Ryan Grant (59), Eric Ebron (50), Nyheim Hines (4), Chester Rogers (3), Erik Swoope (2), Zach Pascal (1), Jordan Wilkins (-5)


Carries: Jordan Wilkins (14), Nyheim Hines (5), Christine Michael (2), Andrew Luck (1)


RZ Targets: T.Y. Hilton (3), Jack Doyle (2), Eric Ebron (1)


RZ Carries: Jordan Wilkins (2)


CB Catches-Yards-Touchdowns Allowed: Nate Hairston (5-54), Kenny Moore II (1-4), Quincy Wilson (4-45-1)


Observations: Eric Ebron (4-51-1) ultimately found the end zone over starter Jack Doyle (7-60), but the former will have to continue being uber-efficient on limited opportunities if he’s going to produce. Doyle’s usage was far away more consistent as he was in on 77-of-82 (93.9%) offensive snaps and ran 55 passing routes. Ebron played only 36-of-82 (43.9%) snaps and ran 25 routes. Rookie Jordan Wilkins was Indy’s clear-cut No. 1 back sans Marlon Mack (hamstring), handling 66.6% of the team’s backfield carries on 46 snaps (56%). It’s best to watch this one shakeout from afar, though, once Mack returns (at least at first).


Jacksonville Jaguars

Targets: T.J. Yeldon (7), Dede Westbrook (6), Austin Seferian-Jenkins (5), Donte Moncrief (5), Keelan Cole (4), Leonard Fournette (3), James O'Shaughnessy (2), Niles Paul (1) 


Air Yards: Donte Moncrief (99), Dede Westbrook (69), Keelan Cole (39), Niles Paul (21), Austin Seferian-Jenkins (13), James O'Shaughnessy (6), T.J. Yeldon (5), Leonard Fournette (-8)


Carries: T.J. Yeldon (14), Leonard Fournette (9), Blake Bortles (4), Corey Grant (1)


RZ Targets: T.J. Yeldon (1)


RZ Carries: T.J. Yeldon (2), Leonard Fournette (1)


CB Catches-Yards-Touchdowns Allowed: Jalen Ramsey (5-75), D.J. Hayden (3-12), A.J. Buoye (1-10)


Observations: As expected, Jacksonville’s receiving corps without Marqise Lee (ACL) was muddled. Dede Westbrook led the group in targets, Keelan Cole in yards (54), and Donte Moncrief in air yards. Note that Cole, however, was in on 74.6% of offensive snaps. If anything, we can at least be sure that T.J. Yeldon is the backfield heir if Leonard Fournette misses time. Without the latter available in the second half, Yeldon handled every carry. He’s arguably the No. 1 waiver priority if we get negative injury news on Fournette.


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You can follow John Daigle on Twitter @notJDaigle.
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