Fantasy Football

RotoWire NFL Target Analysis 103113

RotoWire.com Howard Bender
Share This Story

   
 

While we're starting to see a lot of the same names appear on the weekly targets leaderboard, these larger-than-normal bye weeks are allowing us to get a glimpse of some names we may have normally bypassed. That's because, with six teams on a bye, the player pool for the week thins out immensely, and you're really left with some tough decisions. Most of the time you end up starting players you may not have ever started before. This week, we're looking at the same issue as another six teams are off, and your choices for that third wide receiver or that flex position look more and more difficult. Let's start with the Week 8 targets leaderboard and highlight a few receivers to illustrate what we're talking about.

Week 8 Target Leaders

(Click column headings to sort.)

 

PLAYER POS YARDS TD PASS ATT TARGETS REC RZ TRGT RZ TRG CATCH TARGET
Harry Douglas, ATL WR 121 0 61 18 12 3 33.3 66.7 29.5
Calvin Johnson, DET WR 329 1 48 16 14 5 50.0 87.5 33.3
Jordan Reed, WAS TE 90 0 39 14 8 1 25.0 57.1 35.9
Antonio Brown, PIT WR 82 0 45 13 9 1 14.3 69.2 28.9
Vincent Jackson, TB WR 79 0 51 13 5 3 50.0 38.5 25.5
David Nelson, NYJ WR 80 0 37 12 8 0 0.0 66.7 32.4
Hakeem Nicks, NYG WR 51 0 39 12 7 2 33.3 58.3 30.8
DeSean Jackson, PHI WR 63 0 34 11 8 0 0.0 72.7 32.4
Steve Johnson, BUF WR 72 1 39 11 7 1 33.3 63.6 28.2
Scott Chandler, BUF TE 72 0 39 11 7 1 33.3 63.6 28.2
Pierre Garcon, WAS WR 46 0 39 11 7 1 25.0 63.6 28.2
Demaryius Thomas, DEN WR 75 1 44 11 7 6 40.0 63.6 25.0
Emmanuel Sanders, PIT WR 88 1 45 11 7 2 14.3 63.6 24.4
Terrance Williams, DAL WR 64 1 30 10 2 0 0.0 20.0 33.3
Cecil Shorts, JAC WR 74 0 35 10 7 4 20.0 70.0 28.6
Justin Blackmon, JAC WR 31 0 35 10 4 2 0.0 40.0 28.6
Josh Gordon, CLE WR 132 1 36 10 5 0 0.0 50.0 27.8
Dexter McCluster, KC WR 67 1 36 10 7 0 0.0 70.0 27.8
Victor Cruz, NYG WR 86 0 39 10 7 0 0.0 70.0 25.6
Mike Wallace, MIA WR 41 0 42 10 3 4 33.3 30.0 23.8
Wes Welker, DEN WR 81 1 44 10 6 5 20.0 60.0 22.7

Leaderboard First-Timers

David Nelson, WR NYJ - Dealing with an array of injuries at wide receiver, the Jets ended up signing the former Bills role player hoping he would help sustain drives with his ability to make some of the short-yardage, clutch grabs that made him such an integral part of the Bills passing game before he got hurt last season. It took him two games to get acclimated, but he's been fairly consistent the last two weeks. The 12 targets he saw Sunday are definitely a little high for what he's likely to see on a regular basis, but given the score of the game and the Jets' need to air it out and move downfield quickly, you can see why he received so much attention. With another six teams on bye this week and the Jets facing the high-octane Saints offense, we could see more of the same, which would make Nelson another solid choice as a bye-week replacement. Long-term, there are probably a lot more options you'd like to have in there, but for these weeks where the player pool is thin, Nelson could be a nice help.

Scott Chandler, TE BUF - Every now and then you see Chandler start to garner a little more attention, and when that coincides with one of these bye weeks, he stands out even more. Similarly to Nelson and the receivers, Chandler isn't one of the more popular choices at tight end until you realize that there are so few quality ones available in a bye week. With some of the more high-profile names like Antonio Gates, Martellus Bennett and Coby Fleener off in Week 8, Chandler looked like a solid play. This week, with tight ends like Julius Thomas and Vernon Davis off, Chandler again becomes a solid play.

Emmanuel Sanders, WR PIT - OK, so Sanders isn't exactly a first-timer, but the 11 targets he saw in Week 8 marked his highest total since Week 1 when he saw 12 balls thrown his way. After the Steelers bye in Week 5, Sanders fell off the map a bit as he saw just eight targets in two games. With a strong matchup against the Patriots in Week 9 (they rank 31st against WR2) and then even softer matchups against Buffalo and Detroit, Sanders could be a decent play even beyond these big bye weeks.

Dexter McCluster, WR KC - Sunday was McCluster's best showing of the year with a season-high 10 targets and a much-needed trip into the endzone. With a banged up Dwayne Bowe blanketed by Joe Haden, McCluster found himself open a little more often downfield and Alex Smith took full advantage. With the player pool thinned out for another week and the Chiefs matching up with Buffalo, McCluster should be on your radar again if you're weak at wide receiver.

Other Notes:

Harry Douglas, WR KC - It's been two weeks since the Falcons lost Julio Jones and in that span, Douglas has averaged 135 yards per game and found the endzone once. With the seven targets he saw in Week 7 and now the 18 in Week 8. it's safe to assume that he's the new No. 1 stud in Atlanta. He not only has the ability to turn out great performances, but he's also got the trust of Matt Ryan. That should go a long way this season.

Josh Gordon, WR CLE - What better way to transition to the overall targets leaderboard than to throw a little love Gordon's way? While many will prefer the marquee names like Brandon Marshall and Larry Fitzgerald, make sure you know what you're bypassing when you choose them over him. He just racked up his third 100-plus yard game and scored his third touchdown of the season. He has 582 yards on the season, and that's even after missing the first two games. It might be a little nerve wracking that Jason Campbell is now his quarterback, but hey ... Marshall has Josh McCown throwing to him and Fitz' situation continues to look awful. If someone's talking trade with you, don't dismiss Gordon so quickly in favor of a "bigger" name.

Now let's look at the rest of the overall.

Overall Targets Leaderboard

(Click column headings to sort.)

 

PLAYER POS YARDS TD PASS ATT TARGETS REC RZ TRGT RZ TRG% CATCH% TARGET%
Vincent Jackson, TB WR 623 4 273 90 41 17 41.7 45.6 33.0
Cecil Shorts, JAC WR 565 1 281 87 46 24 23.5 52.9 31.0
A.J. Green, CIN WR 734 5 275 84 46 19 29.4 54.8 30.5
Calvin Johnson, DET WR 821 7 338 79 47 28 37.8 59.5 23.4
Pierre Garcon, WAS WR 512 2 277 78 47 19 37.5 60.3 28.2
Victor Cruz, NYG WR 677 4 311 77 47 9 25.0 61.0 24.8
Dez Bryant, DAL WR 641 8 295 76 45 26 28.9 59.2 25.8
DeSean Jackson, PHI WR 673 5 276 74 45 9 25.8 60.8 26.8
Antonio Brown, PIT WR 630 2 262 73 56 10 25.8 76.7 27.9
Wes Welker, DEN WR 555 9 332 72 50 35 30.6 69.4 21.7
Andre Johnson, HOU WR 584 0 280 71 48 4 10.0 67.6 25.4
Julian Edelman, NE WR 462 2 307 70 48 14 27.3 68.6 22.8
Eric Decker, DEN WR 669 3 332 70 46 24 19.4 65.7 21.1
Demaryius Thomas, DEN WR 685 6 332 69 48 15 16.1 69.6 20.8
Brandon Marshall, CHI WR 540 5 246 68 46 17 24.3 67.6 27.6
Hakeem Nicks, NYG WR 521 0 311 67 34 8 25.0 50.7 21.5
Jordan Cameron, CLE TE 596 6 323 67 49 25 37.5 73.1 20.7
Mike Wallace, MIA WR 398 1 271 64 30 11 24.1 46.9 23.6
Larry Fitzgerald, ARI WR 470 5 285 64 36 15 32.0 56.3 22.5
Jamaal Charles, KC RB 383 2 286 64 41 17 24.3 64.1 22.4
Anquan Boldin, SF WR 551 2 198 62 38 8 29.2 61.3 31.3
Jimmy Graham, NO TE 630 8 271 62 40 13 27.8 64.5 22.9
Steve Johnson, BUF WR 387 3 273 62 33 15 38.1 53.2 22.7
Torrey Smith, BAL WR 629 1 269 61 31 5 14.3 50.8 22.7
Tony Gonzalez, ATL TE 395 3 306 59 38 21 26.3 64.4 19.3
Josh Gordon, CLE WR 582 3 323 59 32 7 10.0 54.2 18.3
Kendall Wright, TEN WR 433 1 230 58 40 8 21.7 69.0 25.2
Alshon Jeffery, CHI WR 561 2 246 57 33 16 24.3 57.9 23.2
Emmanuel Sanders, PIT WR 396 2 262 57 31 8 19.4 54.4 21.8
Steve Smith, CAR WR 335 3 202 56 32 18 38.5 57.1 27.7
Brian Hartline, MIA WR 438 2 271 56 35 4 13.8 62.5 20.7
Jason Witten, DAL TE 403 3 295 56 37 12 21.1 66.1 19.0
Kenbrell Thompkins, NE WR 334 4 307 56 23 18 30.3 41.1 18.2
Davone Bess, CLE WR 261 0 323 56 28 7 12.5 50.0 17.3
Antonio Gates, SD TE 497 2 274 55 42 13 16.7 76.4 20.1
Michael Floyd, ARI WR 433 2 285 55 34 8 28.0 61.8 19.3
Golden Tate, SEA WR 439 3 213 54 32 8 27.3 59.3 25.4
T.Y. Hilton, IND WR 412 2 229 54 27 1 3.8 50.0 23.6
Jordy Nelson, GB WR 649 7 249 54 39 15 27.0 72.2 21.7
Greg Little, CLE WR 218 1 323 54 21 12 17.5 38.9 16.7
Nate Washington, TEN WR 439 2 230 52 26 5 13.0 50.0 22.6
Robert Woods, BUF WR 305 2 273 52 22 6 19.0 42.3 19.0
Harry Douglas, ATL WR 489 1 306 52 35 14 15.8 67.3 17.0
Julius Thomas, DEN TE 451 8 332 52 39 20 21.0 75.0 15.7
Jerome Simpson, MIN WR 422 0 243 51 27 3 12.5 52.9 21.0
Jason Avant, PHI WR 286 1 276 51 25 9 25.8 49.0 18.5
Jared Cook, STL TE 375 2 298 50 29 15 14.9 58.0 16.8
Tavon Austin, STL WR 207 2 298 49 31 12 14.9 63.3 16.4
Aaron Dobson, NE WR 324 2 307 49 26 13 21.2 53.1 16.0
Denarius Moore, OAK WR 431 4 192 48 27 15 35.0 56.3 25.0
Justin Blackmon, JAC WR 415 1 281 48 29 16 19.6 60.4 17.1

While normally we would talk about the target and target-percentage leaders, you'll see if you sort the table by each column that we'd be discussing the same players once again. Obviously, they're worth looking at for your starting lineup, but we just don't need to beat that dead horse again, do we? Instead, let's talk about the receivers who while appearing on the leaderboard aren't really providing owners with a strong value. They may see targets and get some attention by appearing on this leaderboard, but when push comes to shove, you're probably better off looking for someone else.

Steve Smith, WR CAR - So many fantasy owners are still clinging to Smith, but is he really worth it anymore? Is he even worthy of your third receiver spot? In a PPR league, maybe. He's making roughly five catches per game, which always helps. But the fact that he hasn't tallied more than 70 yards in a game this year and has just three touchdowns shows you just how much value he's lost over the years. There's always a chance he and Cam Newton connect for a big game, but at 34 and obviously having lost more than just a step, Smith has less upside than the many lesser-known names out there you might rather have the rest of the way.

Jason Avant, WR PHI - He doesn't really have the speed he once had, and his reliability is coming into question nowadays with that weak 49-percent catch rate. He's seeing plenty of targets, but that probably has more to do with the fact that the only other legitimate receiver on the Eagles is DeSean Jackson, rather than his actual talent level. He averages roughly three catches per game and has just two with 50 yards or more. This is definitely one of those cases where it's not always just about seeing the targets.

Davone Bess/Greg Little, WR CLE - Here's another pair of receivers appearing here because of a lack of options on the rest of the team. Josh Gordon dominates the looks in Cleveland while Little and Bess fight for scraps. Bess might be able to make some key third-down grabs, but overall, neither has value in the fantasy world despite seeing enough targets to keep them in the top 50. If you're even considering using one, you better be in a 20-team league with absolutely no one else left on your waiver wire.

Red Zone Targets Leaders

While Wes Welker, Calvin Johnson and Jordan Cameron continue to dominate the red-zone targets, there are a few names creeping up the ladder in Dez Bryant, Cecil Shorts and Eric Decker. Bryant is really a no-brainer, as he and Tony Romo are so in sync that former favorites Jason Witten and Miles Austin have completely fallen out of favor in Dallas. Shorts, provided he is healthy, has become just as important to Chad Henne as Justin Blackmon is and is well deserving of the extra looks he sees each week. Decker is an interesting one. Although he's up there with 24 red-zone targets, you'll notice that his red-zone target percentage actually sits below 20 percent, which is unusually low for someone this high up on the list. He's obviously on the field for the majority of red-zone plays, but with so many other targets available to Peyton Manning, he's simply not drawing all the looks he could be drawing. A bit of a decoy perhaps? I'd really like to hear from Peyton as to why Welker consistently sees so much more work in the red zone. His catch rate isn't that much better than Decker's, is it?

Potential Risers (those who failed to crack the leaderboard this week)

Kris Durham
Greg Jennings
Rueben Randle
Vernon Davis
Jordan Reed

Potential Fallers:

Aaron Dobson
Tavon Austin
Robert Woods
Kenbrell Thompkins
Jared Cook

Week 9 Matchup to Watch:

San Diego Chargers at Washington Redskins - While no one likes seeing a west coast team travel across country, the Chargers are coming off a bye week, so they're plenty rested and definitely ready for this one. Neither pass defense is particularly strong as both rank 25th or lower in total passing yards allowed and each one has given up a rash of touchdowns through the air. Neither team's ground game is especially great either, though each has shown flashes, so you have to assume that the quarterbacks will takr over - especially because opposing quarterbacks have a 102.1 rating against the Chargers and a 100.7 rating against the Redskins. Look for Philip Rivers to hit Keenan Allen and Antonio Gates early and often while Robert Griffin III finds his own tandem of Pierre Garcon and Jordan Reed. With the defensive matchups here, if I were a gambling man, I'd be taking the over on the line (51).

Follow @rotobuzzguy on Twitter.

Get a FREE RotoWire 10-day trial (no credit card required) at RotoWire.com.

Tagged: Falcons, Bills, Bears, Bengals, Browns, Cowboys, Broncos, Lions, Packers, Titans, Colts, Chiefs, Rams, Dolphins, Vikings, Patriots, Giants, Jets, Eagles, 49ers, Buccaneers, Redskins, Panthers, Jaguars, Ravens, Cardinals, Steelers, Chargers, Texans, Steve Smith Sr., Josh McCown, Jason Witten, Andre Johnson, Antonio Gates, Larry Fitzgerald, Wes Welker, Jason Campbell, Vincent Jackson, Alex Smith, Nate Washington, Vernon Davis, Greg Jennings, Jason Avant, Brandon Marshall, Miles Austin, Scott Chandler, Calvin Johnson, Jordy Nelson, DeSean Jackson, Matt Ryan, Pierre Garcon, Harry Douglas, Davone Bess, Mike Wallace, Jared Cook, Hakeem Nicks, Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas, Antonio Brown, Eric Decker, Emmanuel Sanders, Dexter McCluster, Victor Cruz, David Nelson, Cam Newton, Torrey Smith, Greg Little, Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron, Robert Griffin III, Justin Blackmon, Robert Griffin, Josh Gordon

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NFL Videos

AFC West fantasy football players to watch Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Ryan Fowler discusses who you should keep an eye on from the AFC West as you get...

Fantasy Football: AFC South Players to Watch Posted: Jul 11, 2014
Ryan Fowler has your AFC South fantasy players to watch for 2014.

Fantasy Football: AFC North players to watch Posted: Jul 09, 2014
Ryan Fowler names three AFC North players who could provide great late round val...

More Than Sports on MSN