John Daigle

Targets and Touches

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Week 1: NFC Targets & Touches

Wednesday, September 12, 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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Arizona Cardinals

Targets: Larry Fitzgerald (10), David Johnson (9), Ricky Seals-Jones (6), Chase Edmonds (4), Chad Williams (3),    


Air Yards: Larry Fitzgerald (90), Ricky Seals-Jones (53), David Johnson (7), Chase Edmonds (4), Chad Williams (3), Christian Kirk (2)


Carries: David Johnson (9), Chase Edmonds (4), Sam Bradford (2)


RZ Targets: David Johnson (4), Larry Fitzgerald (1), Ricky Seals-Jones (1)


RZ Carries: David Johnson (1), Sam Bradford (1)


CB Catches-Yards-Touchdowns Allowed: Patrick Peterson (0-0), Budda Baker (4-33), Jamar Taylor (3-26)


Observations: On one hand, David Johnson played merely 68% of Arizona’s offensive snaps and received only five more carries than rookie Chase Edmonds. Johnson still ran 22 routes in Week 1, though, leading the Cardinals’ offense in red zone targets. Better days are ahead. With veteran Jermaine Gresham (Achilles’) inactive, Ricky Seals-Jones quietly played a whopping 49-of-53 (92%) snaps. The Cardinals ran the second-fewest offensive plays (51) in Week 1, but Seals-Jones ranked ninth among tight ends in total routes run (35). His days of 3-19 receiving lines should be an afterthought with that type of usage.


Atlanta Falcons

Targets: Julio Jones (19), Mohamed Sanu (6), Devonta Freeman (5), Austin Hooper (4), Tevin Coleman (2), Calvin Ridley (2), Eric Saubert (1)  


Air Yards: Julio Jones (282), Mohamed Sanu (49), Austin Hooper (23), Calvin Ridley (20), Eric Saubert (10), Devonta Freeman (-5), Tevin Coleman (-19)


Carries: Tevin Coleman (9), Devonta Freeman (6), Matt Ryan (2), Julio Jones (1)


RZ Targets: Julio Jones (3), Austin Hooper (2), Devonta Freeman (1), Mohamed Sanu (1)


RZ Carries: Devonta Freeman (3), Tevin Coleman (2)


CB Catches-Yards-Touchdowns Allowed: Desmond Trufant (1-2), Brian Poole (2-10), Robert Alford (4-26)


Observations: Devonta Freeman (56% snap rate) exited early Thursday but returned shortly thereafter. Even his brief absence allowed Tevin Coleman to play 51.4% of offensive snaps, a mark slightly higher than his 44.2% 2017 average. If Freeman (knee) is healthy for Week 2, expect Coleman to revert back into a weekly boom/bust bye-week option with limited touches. Freeman, however, has been unable to practice this week.


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Carolina Panthers

Targets: Christian McCaffrey (9), Devin Funchess (5), Jarius Wright (5), Greg Olsen (2), Torrey Smith (2), Ian Thomas (2)   


Air Yards: Devin Funchess (77), Christian McCaffrey (30), Greg Olsen (25), Torrey Smith (23), Jarius Wright (8), Ian Thomas (-8)


Carries: Cam Newton (13), Christian McCaffrey (10), C.J. Anderson (7), D.J. Moore (1), Alex Armah (1)


RZ Targets: Christian McCaffrey (1), Ian Thomas (1)


RZ Carries: C.J. Anderson (3), Christian McCaffrey (2), Cam Newton (1), Alex Armah (1)


CB Catches-Yards-Touchdowns Allowed: James Bradberry (1-9), Donte Jackson (3-20), Captain Munnerlyn (3-35)


Observations: At first glance, it may seem like Christian McCaffrey and C.J. Anderson received similar treatment. McCaffrey slightly out-carried Anderson 10-7, but it was ultimately Anderson who received an additional red zone carry. CMC unfortunately fumbled inside the five-yard line during the Panthers’ first drive then received just one of their next seven red zone carries. He was still in on a career-high 85% of offensive snaps, so there’s nothing to worry about, especially in a matchup against the Falcons, who have allowed the most receptions to running backs for three consecutive seasons. With Greg Olsen (foot) out for the foreseeable future, note that Devin Funchess averaged 7.7 targets and 14.1 fantasy points in nine games without Olsen last season.


Chicago Bears

Targets: Allen Robinson (7), Trey Burton (6), Jordan Howard (5), Taylor Gabriel (5), Tarik Cohen (4), Anthony Miller (3), Dion Sims (3)     


Air Yards: Allen Robinson (107), Trey Burton (60), Dion Sims (28), Jordan Howard (17), Anthony Miller (8), Taylor Gabriel (6), Tarik Cohen (-10)


Carries: Jordan Howard (15), Mitchell Trubisky (7), Tarik Cohen (5)


RZ Targets: Jordan Howard (2), Allen Robinson (1), Anthony Miller (1), Taylor Gabriel (1), Trey Burton (1)


RZ Carries: Jordan Howard (1), Mitchell Trubisky (1), Tarik Cohen (1)


CB Catches-Yards-Touchdowns Allowed: Prince Amukamara (3-69-1), Kyle Fuller (4-68-1), Bryce Callahan (6-48)


Observations: Coach Matt Nagy hinted in the offseason that Jordan Howard would play on third downs, virtually making him an every-down bell-cow. Howard was in on 50-of-70 (70%) offensive snaps and received 15 of Chicago’s 20 backfield carries. Perhaps even more impressive, Howard ran five more routes (23) than Cohen (18). He’s a true RB1 moving forward. Don’t lose faith in Trey Burton just yet, either. He was in on 61-of-70 (87.1%) offensive snaps and ran the second-most routes for the Bears. Those peripherals (along with a 17% target share) will lead to production soon.


Dallas Cowboys 

Targets: Cole Beasley (8), Deonte Thompson (5), Ezekiel Elliott (4), Geoff Swaim (4), Allen Hurns (3), Terrance Williams (2), Michael Gallup (1), Rod Smith (1), Blake Jarwin (1)      


Air Yards: Cole Beasley (51), Allen Hurns (47), Deonte Thompson (42), Blake Jarwin (32), Terrance Williams (21), Geoff Swaim (16), Michael Gallup (8), Ezekiel Elliott (-1), Rod Smith (-4)


Carries: Ezekiel Elliott (15), Dak Prescott (5), Rod Smith (1), Tavon Austin (1)


RZ Targets:


RZ Carries: Ezekiel Elliott (3), Dak Prescott (1)


CB Catches-Yards-Touchdowns Allowed: Anthony Brown (1-5), Byron Jones (3-41), Chidobe Awuzie (4-32)


Observations: The Cowboys went full WRBC as five receivers played at least 30% of their offensive snaps in Week 1. Cole Beasley, who led the team with a 28% target share, is a viable (very) low-ceiling FLEX option for the time being. Dallas’ offensive line isn’t what it used to be, but Ezekiel Elliott’s sheer involvement makes him a weekly schedule-proof must-start. Elliott was in on 59-of-64 (92%) offensive snaps, handled 88.2% (15-of-17) of the team’s backfield carries, and, as’s Graham Barfield noted, ran 34 routes on Dak Prescott’s 44 dropbacks. Salivating usage.


Detroit Lions 

Targets: Golden Tate (15), Kenny Golladay (12), Marvin Jones (8), Theo Riddick (7), Kerryon Johnson (3),  T.J. Jones (3), Hakeem Valles (2), Levine Toilolo (1), Luke Willson (1)


Air Yards: Marvin Jones (121), Kenny Golladay (120), Golden Tate (111), T.J. Jones (26), Hakeem Valles (20), Luke Willson (14), Theo Riddick (7), Levine Toilolo (4), Kerryon Johnson (-1)


Carries: Kerryon Johnson (5), Theo Riddick (4), LeGarrette Blount (4), Matt Stafford (1), Matt Cassel (1)


RZ Targets: Theo Riddick (1), Kenny Golladay (1), Golden Tate (1)


RZ Carries: Theo Riddick (1)  


CB Catches-Yards-Touchdowns Allowed: Darius Slay (1-7), Jamal Agnew (1-12), Nevin Lawson (4-51-1)


Observations: Kenny Golladay played a career-high 92.8% of offensive snaps Monday, collecting four more targets than Marvin Jones. The Lions had fallen behind early but Babytron’s involvement is still worth taking account. LeGarrette Blount’s pending injury status may leave ample opportunity for Kerryon Johnson, but I suspect the team would just activate Ameer Abdullah and thrust him into a timeshare if Blount misses any time.


Green Bay Packers

Targets: Randall Cobb (10), Davante Adams (8), Geronimo Allison (8), Jimmy Graham (4), Ty Montgomery (3), Jamaal Williams (2), Lance Kendricks (1)     


Air Yards: Geronimo Allison (112), Davante Adams (98), Randall Cobb (58), Jimmy Graham (40), Jamaal Williams (28), Ty Montgomery (3), Lance Kendricks (1)


Carries: Jamaal Williams (15), Ty Montgomery (2), Aaron Rodgers (1)


RZ Targets: Davante Adams (2), Geronimo Allison (1)


RZ Carries: Jamaal Williams (1)


CB Catches-Yards-Touchdowns Allowed: Kevin King (3-33), Tramon Williams (3-13), Jaire Alexander (3-36)


Observations: Zombie Aaron Rodgers supported fantasy’s WR6, WR12, and WR15 in Week 1. Geronimo Allison should be on your radar after his clear involvement as Green Bay’s third wideout, leading all of the Packers’ receivers in air yards. Jamaal Williams took hold of Green Bay’s backfield in Week 11 last year and averaged a 79.8% snap rate the rest of the way. He played ‘only’ 62% Sunday night since Ty Montgomery (38%) was needed on passing downs. Williams is still a short-term RB2 due to opportunity, but the fact he lacks explosion and failed to break a single tackle doesn’t bode well for his involvement once Aaron Jones returns in Week 3.


Los Angeles Rams

Targets: Cooper Kupp (9), Robert Woods (9), Brandin Cooks (8), Todd Gurley (5), Malcolm Brown (2)  


Air Yards: Robert Woods (161), Brandin Cooks (88), Cooper Kupp (83), Malcolm Brown (7), Todd Gurley (-9)


Carries: Todd Gurley (20), Cooper Kupp (2), Brandin Cooks (1), Robert Woods (1), Jared Goff (1), Malcolm Brown (1)


RZ Targets: Cooper Kupp (3), Robert Woods (3), Todd Gurley (2), Brandin Cooks (1)


RZ Carries: Todd Gurley (5), Cooper Kupp (1), Robert Woods (1)


CB Catches-Yards-Touchdowns Allowed: Aqib Talib (1-12), Marcus Peters (3-25), Nickell Robey-Coleman (5-63)


Observations: All three of Los Angeles’ receivers were in on 61-of-63 snaps. The Rams have a concentrated target tree that lacks any tight end involvement, so the trio Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp can consistently be started with confidence. For DFS and long-term outlook, I like to buy-low on Woods right now. He nearly doubled Cooks in air yards, all the while tying Kupp for the team-lead in targets and red zone targets.

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