Touches and Targets Week 9: Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

By on November 30, 2015

Here goes with Week 9 of our touches and targets review. For the first timers, what we’re going below is taking a position by position, team by team look at relevant workload data from the weekend that was in an effort to add to a full picture of the future for individual players. Essentially, we’ll talk fantasy relevant touch, target, and snap count data to help identify any trends that can improve your roster. I’ll try to avoid discussing anything overly obvious and stick to that which could provide you with actionable information to help improve your rosters.

Anything I missed? It’s all being charted, even if it doesn’t make the article. Feel free to get at me on twitter (@joncollinsFSLR) or ask in the comments section.

One final note: this column uses Pro Football Focus’ ‘thrown at’ data which occasionally differs from a standard ‘target’ count in that it’s charting throws that were truly intended for a receiver, rather than throwaways which may have been aimed in his direction.

… Onward.

Check out the RB Post

Touches and Targets Week 9: Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

  • Jacob Tamme was heavily engaged again for the Falcons. He’s 20% owned in Yahoo! leagues and should continue to be a factor for the Falcons coming out of their bye. With a 10 target, six reception week this week he has run his two week total to 22 and 16. Of course, Julio Jones got his in the Falcons’ loss (16 targets, 10 catches, 137 yards) as well. Behind him, Roddy White was out-targeted by Justin Hardy 4-2 again this week. Hardy’s emergence is the biggest threat to Tamme’s workload, and while a 4/4/17 week doesn’t necessarily scream breakout, he’s been making plays.
  • Sammy Watkins‘ big week came with just one other receiver (Robert Woods) seeing a lone target. Meanwhile, Watkins secured all eight of his for 168 yards and a score. When he’s healthy, and not covered by Darrelle Revis – particularly with Harvin now shelved for the season – he’s the central part of the Buffalo passing attack and Tyrod Taylor has proven that he has no problem looking for him.
  • Don’t look now, but, Tedd Ginn has failed me a couple of weeks in a row after dominating the targets for Carolina early in the season. He saw just four (catching one) this week while Jerricho Cotchery netted eight for a solid 82 yards and Devin Funchess finally posted a respectable stat line. The rookie scored against the Packers, and caught three of his four targets for 71 yards.
  • With Eddie Royal out of the lineup, while Alshon Jeffery got his, Martellus Bennett was heavily involved this week with nine targets and eight receptions (for 57 yards). Marquess Wilson is a popular name while he starts alongside Jeffery, but he drew just three targets and Marty remains a big time factor on offense. Jeffery posted his run of the mill double digit target/catch week with 16, 10 and 151 yards. He’s going to (rightfully) dominate the target load at the position as long as he’s healthy – no guarantee in Week 10, by the way.
  • While Jeffery continues to dominate targets for Chicago, A.J. Green got lost in the mix again this week. He made a few big plays on Thursday night, but was targeted just six times. That number matched Marvin Jones and was just one more than Tyler Eifert, who caught all five of his balls and loved the red zone work with three TDs. Green is still a legit one, but, there is a risk every week that others are going to be the one’s to see the targets and make the plays.
  • With Johnny Manziel under Center this week, Gary Barnidge posted a quiet night. It wasn’t for lack of trying, however. Barnidge was targeted seven times, its just that he and his QB were only able to connect twice. Barnidge fell once on a coulda-been touchdown, as well. Meanwhile, analysts are making a big deal out of Dwayne Bowe‘s three catches on five targets, but, with Andrew Hawkins and Brian Hartline set to return he’s as likely a candidate to return to the gameday inactive list than he is to top-50 yards.
  • Vernon Davis saw just one target, on nine snaps, in his Broncos debut but don’t be disheartened. While Owen Daniels had a big day (8-6-102-TD) the team traded for Davis because they weren’t satisfied with what they were getting from Daniels. As VD acclimates, he’ll take on a greater role.
  • While Randall Cobb found the endzone for his owners this week, and produced 99 yards on four catches, it took him 13 targets to get to that number and he was charged with a pair of drops along the way. We won’t knock Cobb too much, but, it’s worth noting that DaVante Adams came alive this week with seven receptions for 105 yards on 11 targets. In the right matchups, he’ll likely draw more looks than Cobb if the veteran continues to struggle and he can produce. This week against the Lions, both should post start-worthy numbers.
  • Coby Fleener‘s six targets were double Dwayne Allen‘s. At this point, no surprise here but I share again. Allen is not a fantasy relevant TE, period. Meanwhile, with 27 targets over his last four games, Fleener is stream-worthy for owners without a top-tier TE. At WR, TY Hilton caught all five of his targets for 82 yards while Andre Johnson‘s run of intrigue appears to have come to an end. He had just two targets (no catches) this week after making 17 receptions over his last four games. When Griff Whalen (five targets) is drawing more interest, its safe to say you’ve lost a step.
  • Julius Thomas had just one target in a game where you’d expect the Jags to stay away from their receivers against the Jets’ secondary. Instead, Allen Robinson did work against Darelle Revis and co. Thomas now had two or fewer catches in three of his four games this season, and with the receivers playing at a high level there simply isn’t a huge need to rely on Peyton Manning‘s former TE. As for Robinson, he didn’t face Revis exclusively but did see a lot of coverage from him and was the team’s most targeted receiver (11) regardless. His six catch, 121 effort was impressive and cements his target-heavy and productive role in any matchup. Meanwhile, Allen Hurns continued to be as good a compliment as any team could want. He picked up five catches and a score on eight targets of his own. Mix in some Bryan Walters (6/5/54/TD) and why would you want to throw to Thomas?
  • Dan Campbell’s Dolphins continued to show their willingness to hand the ball to Jarvis Landry, giving him four carries on top of his healthy 13 target workload. The extra carries are a boost to his in-week production, though, they probably increase his risk of injury over the course of the season. Elsewhere, Kenny Stills‘ five targets were one more than the four given to Rishard Matthews (who caught all of them). A week ago he had a dozen, however, so  I wouldn’t treat this as Stills taking any of his looks on a permanent basis.
  • Stefon Diggs had a quiet day in a low-scoring outing against St. Louis, but, he did lead the team with three receptions and 42 yards (on four targets). Mike Wallace drew six, but made just one catch. This remains Diggs’ offense and he’s in line for a big game against a Raiders secondary that was abused by Antonio Brown this past week.
Brandon LaFell had a big line in his third game active this season (Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America).

Brandon LaFell had a big line in his third game active this season (Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America).

  • Here comes Brandon LaFell. He matched Julian Edelman for the team lead with eight looks, and produced 102 yards on five catches. Edelman remains the most valuable receiver in New England, but, as LaFell gets his game legs and takes on a larger role, he’ll become a useful WR2/3 while Edelman probably doesn’t see enough work to maintain a weekly WR1 ranking.
  • Josh Hill scored the TD and Ben Watson‘s day was relatively quiet, but, a 5/5/60 line coming off a hot month is nothing to shake a stick at. Expect him to stay engaged in the offense. At WR, with an 6/4/73 line (and a TD), Brandin Cooks has found some consistency – topping eight standard league points three weeks in a row.
  • Clive Walford had a quiet day, with one catch for one yard, but he did find the end zone and was targeted five times. Twice more than Mychal Rivera. Again, you can expect him to continue to press for a greater proportion of the targets as the season moves along. You can recycle my Cooper/Crabtree stories from past weeks… they were both great against Pittsburgh, and they give Derek Carr great compliments to throw to. Cooper: 13/7/88/TD. Crabtree: 12/7/108/2.
  • Jordan Matthews finally had the day his fantasy owners had hoped for, complete with a game winner. All told, he was targeted 12 times and caught nine balls for 133 yards and a score. Philly ran well against Dallas, but, in the passing game they let their big dog eat this week, and it worked out. Miles Austin, Josh Huff and Zach Ertz matched his 12 targets between them as the only other pass catchers targeted.
  • Antonio Brown: 23/17/284. That is all.
  • Stevie Johnson was in and out of the game, but still managed nine targets and seven catches for 68 yards to lead receivers in the wake of Keenan Allen‘s injury. Malcom Floyd suffered his own, and, while he’ll attempt to play through it, this is Johnson’s show which should lead to quality PPR play the rest of the way. Dontrelle Inman was targeted four times and caught three balls.
  • Garrett Celek scored two TDs in the first game of the post-Davis; post-Kaepernick era. Come Week 11 his value will be a bit hard to project, given that those came on his only two targets of the day, and with Anquan Boldin presumed to be back to full health. On that note, Blaine Gabbert didn’t show any greater inclination to use Torrey Smith, even with Boldin out – Smith led receivers with four targets, making two catches for 24 yards – hardly fantasy worthy stats.
  • I’ll say it again – The Rams keep finding ways to get Tavon Austin involved, such that he warrants use as a WR3. This week, he didn’t have the splash play that got him into the endzone, and he only produced 15 yards receiving on five targets (four catches). And yet, they gave him the ball as a rusher eight times, and he produced 66 yards for a total of 8.1 standard league points. For those calling him boost/bust, I’d use this game to suggest there is more floor with Austin in his current deployment than you’d think. Meanwhile, Stedman Bailey had just four looks (two catches, 12 yards) in his final game before suspension, so, I wouldn’t get too excited about the amount of work available for Wes Welker in an offense built around Gurley and supported by Austin.
  • You can choose to read Mike Evans‘ 155 yard outing two ways: either be pleased with an eight catch, 155 yard performance in which his QB was willing to pump him the ball relentlessly, or be disappointed that one of the weakest secondaries in the NFL allowed just eight completions on those 19 targets from Winston. I’m likely in the latter camp… Jameis has had an up and down rookie season, but, I don’t like him to be able to consistently make Evans relevant down the stretch. Tampa has a great matchup against New Orleans in Week 14, the first of most fantasy playoffs, but closes with St. Louis and Chicago thereafter. In particular against the Rams, I’m likely to shy away.
  • It likely had more to do with Kendall Wright‘s injury than it did a new coaching staff, but in any event Dorial Green-Beckham finally got his target feast this week. He acquitted himself quite well against the above noted Saints’ secondary, making five receptions on 10 targets for 77 yards. Those ten looks were double any other receiver (Harry Douglas had five; Justin Hunter four). With Wright slated to miss this week as well, DGB could actually be a sneaky play against the Panthers, depending on how much of Josh Norman he sees.
  • DeSean Jackson‘s six targets in his return (3-15) were two fewer than both Pierre Garcon and Jamison Crowder. As he integrates into practice and back into the offense, Jackson likely won’t be the third most targeted receiver for long, but Crowder has played well in his absence and should hang onto his own share of the work. Expect a fairly even distribution in the short-term, with 6-8 looks a week feeling like a fair number for all parties.

The post Touches and Targets Week 9: Wide Receivers and Tight Ends appeared first on Fantasy Sports Locker Room.

This article, Touches and Targets Week 9: Wide Receivers and Tight Ends, first appeared on Fantasy Sports Locker Room.

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