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Targets and Touches

AAF Week 5: Targets and Touches

by John Daigle

All targets, touches, and air yards data is compiled from No Extra Points. Snaps and routes run data is sourced via Pro Football Focus.

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.

 

The website Fanball is offering Week 5 DFS contests for the AAF, including a 588-entry tournament with a $1,000 top prize and $10 buy-in. Pro Football Focus also sponsored a Fanball contest that pays $300 to first place with a $10 buy-in for a 118-person field.

 

Arizona Hotshots

Targets: Rashad Ross (7, 4, 8, 6, 6), Richard Mullaney (5, 4, X, X, X), Marquis Bundy (2, 0, 8, 3, 6), Jhurell Pressley (2, 0, 4, 5, 4), Gerald Christian (4, 4, 1, 2, 1), Freddie Martino (1, X, 3, 3, 7), Thomas Duarte (1, 0, 3, 2, 3), Justin Stockton (0, 1, 2, 1), Tim Cook (0, 1, 0, 0, 2)

Carries: Jhurell Pressley (18, 12, 10, 14, 8), John Wolford (8, 7, 2, 3, 4), Justin Stockton (7, 4, 5, 3, 5), Tim Cook (0, 13, 3, 3, 12)

RZ Targets: Rashad Ross (1, 1, 1, 0, 0), Marquis Bundy (0, 0, 2, 0, 0), Thomas Duarte (0, 0, 0, 0, 2), Gerald Christian (1, 0, 0, 0, 0), Tim Cook (0, 1, 0, 0, 0)

RZ Carries: Jhurell Pressley (2, 2, 0, 1, 0), John Wolford (1, 1, 1, 0, 2), Tim Cook (0, 0, 1, 0, 4)

Observations: The Hotshots found themselves grasping at straws following an ill-advised pick-six, three-and-out second possession, and late first-quarter fumble, skewing game script heavily in favor of receivers and creating a mishmash of marks across the board for running backs as the team tried a number of looks trailing by three scores early. This led to usual bellcow Jhurell Pressley ceding carries to sluggish plodder Tim Cook, including getting out-touched 4-0 inside the 10. Having said that, Pressley still quietly out-snapped Cook 41 to 20, and ran a whopping 32 routes to satellite-back Justin Stockton’s 7. Given his high passing-game floor, it’s egregious Pressley moved from being the second-highest priced back on FanBall in Week 5 all the way to No. 8 ($5,300) in Week 6.

Wideout Josh Huff’s mid-week move to injured reserve vacated the second-most routes run (98) on the team to that point, instilling Freddie Martino and Marquis Bundy into higher on-field usage. As touched on in this space last week, it was actually Martino who had run more routes than Huff in Week 4 despite their lopsided target distribution, so it came as no surprise to see the former get seven targets as the team’s No. 2 behind Rashad Ross again in Week 5.  Even so, it’s Ross who continues to hog Arizona’s target tree sans Richard Mullaney as the ex-Skins wideout has now averaged 6.6 targets, 90.6 air yards, and a 23.8% target share as the team’s sole deep threat over the last three games. Mullaney warrants tournament consideration if active given his injury-driven stone-minimum salary ($3,00) on FanBall, but Ross is the clear-cut receiver to own in this offense if he remains both the first and second go-to option for QB John Wolford.

 

Atlanta Legends

Targets: Seantavius Jones (8, 7, 8, 2, 6), Malachi Jones (6, 3, 5, 4, 5), Tarean Folston (4, 0, X, 7, 6), Ervin Philips (4, 2, 3, 3, 5), Bug Howard (5, 0, 4, 1, 5), Keith Towbridge (X, 2, 6, 3, 4), James Quick (0, X, 8, 5, 3), Justin Thomas (4, 1, X, 2, 0), Denard Robinson (1, X, 3, 2, 3), Montay Crockett (0, 2, 3, 3, 0), Brandon Radcliff (X, X, X, 1, 3)

Carries: Tarean Folston (12, 6, X, 5, 11), Brandon Radcliff (X, X, X, 12, 11), Lawrence Pittman (3, 9, 5, 3, X), Denard Robinson (5, X, 3, 9, 1), Aaron Murray (0, 0, 0, 7, 3)

RZ Targets: Malachi Jones (1, 1, 2, 1, 1), Tarean Folston (0, 0, X, 1, 4), Seantavius Jones (1, 1, 1, 1, 0), Denard Robinson (1, X, 1, 0, 0), Bug Howard (1, 0, 2, 0, 0), James Quick (0, X, 2, 0, 0), Keith Towbridge (X, 0, 1, 1, 0), Ervin Phillips (0, 0, 0, 1, 0)

RZ Carries: Denard Robinson (0, X, 2, 4, 0), Lawrence Pittman (1, 1, 2, 1, X), Brandon Radcliff (X, X, X, 4, 2), Tarean Folston (0, 0, X, 2, 2), Aaron Murray (0, 0, 0, 2, 0)

Observations: With starter Akrum Wadley moved to injured reserve mid-week and goal-line bulldozer Lawrence Pittman inactive, the Legends had only Tarean Folston, Brandon Radcliff, and Denard Robinson available at running back Sunday. Robinson was actually listed as the team’s emergency quarterback behind starter Aaron Murray, but he still got 16 snaps (19.7%) behind the other two. Week 5 was ultimately Tarean Folston’s breakout, though, as he logged backfield-highs in snaps (37, 45.6%), targets, and routes run (21). Radcliff was utilized in a 1B-role, playing 28 snaps (34.5%) and mirroring Folston in carries (11). The latter's floor remains high given his passing-down role, but his salary on FanBall jumped $1,600 from Week 5 ($4,200) to Week 6 ($5,800) despite the fact he failed to log even half of his team’s offensive snaps — not to mention Radcliff’s ongoing role. Folston becomes an easy fade candidate at obliviously-high ownership if Pittman returns to action.

 

Birmingham Iron

Targets: Quinton Patton (9, 7, 5, 6, 11), Trent Richardson (3, 7, 5, 8, 5), L’Damian Washington (0, 4, 5, 7, 5), Ladarius Perkins (8, 2, 0, 4, 2), DeVozea Felton (1, 3, 3, 5, 0), Tobias Palmer (3, 3, 2, 2, 5), Wes Saxton Jr. (X, X, 5, 3, 4)

Carries: Trent Richardson (23, 19, 17, 8, 8), Ladarius Perkins (5, 0, 8, 1, 0), Brandon Ross (0, 0, 0, 9, 3)

RZ Targets: Trent Richardson (0, 1, 1, 2, 0), Ladarius Perkins (1, 0, 0, 0, 0), Wes Saxton Jr. (X, X, 1, 0, 0), L’Damian Washington (0, 0, 1, 0, 0), Quinton Patton (0, 0, 1, 1, 0), DeVozea Felton (0, 0, 0, 1, 0)

RZ Carries: Trent Richardson (7, 3, 7, 2, 1), Ladarius Perkins (2, 0, 1, 0, 0)

 

Observations: Inefficient and erratic bottom-dweller Louis Perez was benched during Birmingham’s second possession following the play-caller’s seventh turnover of the season. Backup Keith Price stepped in and showed explosiveness, feeding air yards savant Quinton Patton for a team-high nine looks — a massive 31% target share. Patton has yet to cash in on his league-high 583 air yards, recording just 46.2 fantasy points and no scores despite three red zone targets and tantalizing downfield usage. His peppering from Price and median salary ($5,300) again make him a strong opportunity-based tournament option.

Backup RB Ladarius Perkins had been trumped by Brandon Ross in the Iron’s last two games and thus waived on Tuesday. Birmingham signed 5’8” 4.47-40 burner Marshaun Coprich to replace Perkins behind Trent Richardson and Ross. The latter only got three carries on 12 snaps (19%) against the Apollos, but an early two-score deficit forced him off the field in favor of Richardson, who either carried the ball or ran a route on 36 of his backfield-high 37 snaps (58.7%). Richardson’s floor is worth paying up for in cash games, but Ross would undoubtedly cut into the red zone-hoss’ workload if game script allows. That’s at least one viable reason (among many) to skip paying up for T-Rich, whose salary ($7,500) on FanBall is now $1,000 higher than the next closest option at his position.

 

Memphis Express

Targets: Alton Howard (6, 7, 2, 5, 3), Reece Horn (4, 6, 5, 4, 4), Zac Stacy (0, 2, 5, 2, 2), Dontez Byrd (1, 2, 3, 3, 0), Devin Lucien (0, 0, 3, 5, 1), Terrence Magee (0, 1, 1, 2, 2), Brandon Barnes (1, 1, 4, 0), Gerrard Sheppard (X, X, 2, 0, 2)

Carries: Zac Stacy (12, 19, 14, 18, 13), Terrence Magee (5, 6, 4, 3, 5), Zach Mettenberger (0, 0, 0, 5, 2)

RZ Targets: Zac Stacy (0, 0, 2, 0, 0), Terrence Magee (0, 0, 0, 1, 1)

RZ Carries: Zac Stacy (1, 6, 0, 4, 4), Terrence Magee (1, 2, 0, 1, 0), Zach Mettenberger (0, 0, 0, 2, 1)

 

Observations: Sherman Badie was injured in the third quarter and later moved to IR, freeing Zac Stacy for a backfield-high 27 snaps (58.6%) against Atlanta. With only Terrence Magee and Anthony Manzo-Lewis (the latter who hasn’t been active for a single game all season) on the roster behind him, Stacy is arguably in line for the highest on-field usage of any back in Week 6. Even without Badie, Magee only ran three routes to Stacy’s 12 on Sunday.

 

Orlando Apollos

Targets: Charles Johnson (5, 10, 5, 12, 10), Jalin Marshall (4, 4, 3, 6, 3), Rannell Hall (1, 4, 6, 5, 5), Akeem Hunt (3, 2, 1, 1, X), De’Veon Smith (1, 3, 0, 1, 2), D’Ernest Johnson (1, 1, 3, 2, 6), Scott Orndoff (1, 1, 3, 0, 3)

 

Carries: D’Ernest Johnson (5, 8, 13, 8, 9), Akeem Hunt (10, 2, 2, 8, X), De’Veon Smith (5, 4, 8, 12, 14), Garrett Gilbert (2, 3, 7, 5, 2)

 

RZ Targets: Charles Johnson (0, 1, 0, 0, 4), Rannell Hall (0, 1, 1, 0, 1), Jalin Marshall (2, 0, 0, 0, 0), Akeem Hunt (0, 1, 0, 0, X), De’Veon Smith (0, 1, 0, 0, 1), D’Ernest Johnson (0, 0, 0, 0, 1)

 

RZ Carries: De’Veon Smith (1, 2, 1, 1, 2), D’Ernest Johnson (1, 0, 2, 0, 2), Akeem Hunt (1, 1, 0, 2, X), Garrett Gilbert (2, 0, 0, 0, 0)

 

Observations: Starter Akeem Hunt was inactive to kick-off Week 5, inevitably allowing both D’Ernest Johnson and De’Veon Smith to prosper as a two-headed committee in the interim. Smith diced his way to a team-high 8.5 YPC on 14 totes and 22 snaps (30.5%) while Johnson racked up 122 total yards (including 73 through the air) on 14 explosive touches and a backfield-high 54.1% snap rate. If Hunt’s out again, the clear (and somewhat contrarian) approach is to simply roster both, as the duo offer simultaneous week-winning production at their position.

 

Salt Lake Stallions

Targets: De’Mornay Pierson-El (5, 6, 8, 2, 9), Adonis Jennings (4, 7, 2, 3, 5), Kenny Bell (3, X, 4, 5, 5), Brian Tyms (X, X, 1, 5, 9), Anthony Denham (7, 6, 1, 1, 3), Nick Truesdell (3, 2, 1, 1, 6), Branden Oliver (3, 2, 2, 2, X), Terrell Newby (X, 1, 2, 2, 5), Joel Bouagnon (0, 1, 2, 0, 2), Jordan Leslie (3, 2, X, X, X)

Carries: Branden Oliver (8, 14, 15, 17, X), Joel Bouagnon (16, 11, 12, 8, 11), Terrell Newby (X, 2, 2, 2, 6)

RZ Targets: De’Mornay Pierson-El (0, 1, 0, 0, 2), Nick Truesdell (1, 0, 0, 0, 2), Adonis Jennings (0, 1, 0, 0, 2), Jordan Leslie (2, 0, X, X, X), Anthony Denham (0, 1, 0, 0, 1), Kenny Bell (0, X, 1, 0, 1), Brian Tyms (X, X, 0, 0, 1)

RZ Carries: Joel Bouagnon (4, 1, 4, 1, 2), Branden Oliver (2, 4, 5, 0, X)

 

Observations: Branden Oliver had handled a workhorse-like 79 snaps in the seven quarters he played prior to injury, so it only made sense that Joel Bouagnon would take that role over once it was announced the former was ruled out. That came to fruition as Bouagnon hit team-high marks across the board in snaps (48, 58.5%), carries, red zone opportunities, and routes run (22). Terrell Newby did get his fair share of reps in, corralling 10 touches on 31 snaps (37.8%), but he notably didn’t receive a single carry following his third-quarter fumble at the 3:20-mark that the Fleet recovered and ran back for six. With Matt Asiata officially on IR and removed from hoarding goal-line looks, Oliver should immediately step back into his bellcow role (thus making him a tremendous tournament option) if healthy. If out again, even Bouagnon could be battling for time as the Stallions signed ex-Falcons RB Terron Ward and former Toledo Rocket Terry Swanson to the active roster on Tuesday.

Kaelin Clay was simultaneously placed on injured reserve with Asiata, setting the Stallions’ pecking order as Kenny Bell, De’Mornay Pierson-El, and Brian Tyms moving forward. Although it was Pierson-El who struck with 130 yards and 23 fantasy points in Week 5, note that Tyms actually saw more air yards (96) on an equivalent amount of targets despite turning in a mere 6.0 fantasy points on the day. His usage and opportunity are worth chasing as long as Jordan Leslie remains out. Nick Truesdell, however, is an easy fade after his breakout 6/71/1 evening occurred on a limited 19 routes run.

 

San Antonio Commanders

Targets: Mekale McKay (12, 9, 6, 4, 5), Greg Ward Jr. (7, 6, 4, 5, 3), De’Marcus Ayers (0, 8, 5, 5, 5), Alonzo Moore (5, 5, 1, 2, 3), Aaron Green (1, 5, X, X, 2), Evan Rodriguez (1, 3, 2, 1, 1), Kenneth Farrow II (0, 2, 1, 2, 1), Trey Williams (X, X, 2, 2, 1), Cole Hunt (4, 0, 2, X, X)

Carries: Kenneth Farrow II (14, 13, 9, 30, 12), Trey Williams (X, X, 7, 4, 10), Logan Woodside (4, 3, 1, 5, 8), David Cobb (9, 7, 3, 1, X), Aaron Green (6, 6, X, X, 3)

RZ Targets: Mekale McKay (2, 4, 1, 0, 0), Greg Ward Jr. (2, 1, 1, 0, 1), Alonzo Moore (0, 1, 0, 0, 2), Evan Rodriguez (0, 1, 0, 1, 0), Cole Hunt (2, 0, 0, X, X), De’Marcus Ayers (0, 1, 0, 0, 0)

RZ Carries: Kenneth Farrow II (2, 3, 3, 10, 4), Logan Woodside (1, 1, 1, 1, 3), Trey Williams (X, X, 0, 1, 3), David Cobb (1, 2, 0, 0, X), Aaron Green (1, 1, X, X, 0)

 

Observations: Kenneth Farrow II handled San Antonio’s first three carries inside the six-yard line (and ensuing two-point conversion) but wasn’t needed from that point on given the Commanders’ 26-0 first-half lead. Although the  Hotshots came roaring back at the end, Farrow’s 44.1% snap rate is misconstrued since he sporadically came off the field for Trey Williams and Aaron Green, both who logged 19 snaps (27.9%) each. Aaron Green will likely be active over red zone sloth David Cobb again, but it doesn’t matter. This is Farrow’s backfield in a competitive game script, as proven by his 77.7% snap rate the week prior. Williams would be the play (and the highest-owned back in Week 6) if Farrow (shoulder) sits this one out.

 

San Diego Fleet

 

Targets: Brian Brown (6, 6, 3, 3, 8), Francis Owusu (7, 3, 0, 1, 2), Gavin Escobar (5, 3, 4, 4, 3), Nelson Spruce (2, 6, 7, 5, 8), Dontez Ford (3, 4, 3, 6, 8), Marcus Baugh (4, 2, 1, 5, 4), Ja’Quan Gardner (3, 2, 2, 2, 3), Bishop Sankey (X, X, X, X, 3)

Carries: Ja’Quan Gardner (8, 15, 12, 9, 9), Terrell Watson (3, 14, 13, 10, 5), Bishop Sankey (X, X, X, X, 5)

RZ Targets: Nelson Spruce (0, 0, 2, 0, 0), Brian Brown (0, 1, 0, 0, 1), Dontez Ford (0, 0, 0, 1, 1), Marcus Baugh (0, 0, 0, 0, 1)

RZ Carries: Terrell Watson (0, 4, 1, 0, 1), Ja’Quan Gardner (0, 2, 0, 2, 0)

 

Observations: Mike Berco was fearless in his second go-round under center, completing 4-of-5 deep attempts (20-plus yards) en route to a 300-yard day. Wideout Dontez Ford was the primary beneficiary, posting an AAF-high 131 air yards on eight targets. Brian Brown and Nelson Spruce notably saw eight targets each, as well, but the downfield usage of both paled in comparison to Ford’s. While Brown has been unimpressive as the team’s No. 1, Spruce has flashed receiving chops as recent as Week 3 (7/50/2) that warrant tournament consideration now that he’s assuredly locked into three-wide sets.

Ex-Titans standout Bishop Sankey played merely 11 snaps (14.8%) in his season debut, but it’s worth noting he either carried the ball or ran a route every time he was on the field. Terrell Watson (35, 47.2%) and Ja’Quan Gardner (28, 37.8%) simply split reps, undoubtedly prepping to become a three-headed chihuahua with Sankey moving forward. None are viable options given their foreseeable spliced workloads.

John Daigle

You can follow John Daigle on Twitter @notJDaigle.