Fantasy Football

RotoWire NFL Target Analysis 121213

RotoWire.com Howard Bender
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It's Week 15 and that's playoff time, baby! Win or go home. No need for pleasantries here or some clever introduction. Let's just get to the meat of this piece and figure out who's worth starting this week, and who needs to sit on the bench. Let's start with a quick recap of last week's targets.

Week 14 Target Leaders

(Click column headings to sort.)

 

PLAYER POS YARDS TD PASS ATT TARGETS REC RZ TRGT RZ TRG% CATCH% TARGET%
Andre Johnson, HOU WR 154 0 58 21 13 4 36.4 61.9 36.2
Shane Vereen, NE RB 153 0 52 17 12 4 66.7 70.6 34.0
Garrett Graham, HOU TE 73 1 58 14 8 3 27.3 57.1 24.1
Marques Colston, NO WR 125 2 42 13 9 3 214.0 69.2 31.0
Larry Fitzgerald, ARI WR 96 1 32 12 12 3 42.9 100.0 37.5
Greg Olsen, CAR TE 40 0 34 12 8 1 16.7 66.7 35.3
Eric Decker, DEN WR 117 1 59 12 8 2 11.1 66.7 20.7
Pierre Garcon, WAS WR 37 0 42 12 5 0 0.0 41.7 29.3
Marlon Brown, BAL WR 92 1 50 11 7 1 16.7 63.6 22.4
Dennis Pitta, BAL TE 48 1 50 11 6 2 33.3 54.5 22.4
Steve Johnson, BUF WR 67 0 33 11 5 0 0.0 45.5 33.3
Jimmy Graham, NO TE 58 2 42 11 6 6 42.9 54.5 26.2
Roddy White, ATL WR 74 0 35 10 8 1 33.3 80.0 29.4
Josh Gordon, CLE WR 151 1 44 10 7 1 33.3 70.0 23.3
Demaryius Thomas, DEN WR 88 1 59 10 7 5 27.8 70.0 17.2
Wes Welker, DEN WR 61 1 59 10 5 3 16.7 50.0 17.2
Charles Clay, MIA TE 97 2 33 10 7 4 40.0 70.0 30.3
Greg Jennings, MIN WR 53 0 38 10 5 0 0.0 50.0 26.3
Rod Streater, OAK WR 130 1 36 10 7 3 60.0 70.0 28.6
Alshon Jeffery, CHI WR 84 1 36 9 5 1 10.0 55.6 25.0
Matt Forte, CHI RB 73 1 36 9 7 3 30.0 77.8 25.0
Jordan Cameron, CLE TE 121 1 44 9 9 1 33.3 100.0 20.9
Da'Rick Rogers, IND WR 107 2 46 9 6 2 40.0 66.7 19.6
Coby Fleener, IND TE 31 0 46 9 5 0 0.0 55.6 19.6
Julian Edelman, NE WR 64 1 52 9 6 1 16.7 66.7 18.0
Riley Cooper, PHI WR 74 0 22 9 3 3 75.0 33.3 42.9
Antonio Brown, PIT WR 137 1 39 9 5 1 25.0 55.6 23.1
Jerricho Cotchery, PIT WR 62 1 39 9 5 1 25.0 55.6 23.1
Le'Veon Bell, PIT RB 28 0 39 9 5 1 25.0 55.6 23.1

Andre Johnson, WR HOU - Nothing we can say here that hasn't already been said about Johnson. It's just good to see that it doesn't matter who is under center for the Texans. With the firing of Gary Kubiak, it looks like Case Keenum will take the reins for good, and that works just fine for Johnson and his owners as the five touchdowns he's scored this season have all come from Keenum's arm.

Shane Vereen, RB NE - Hard to argue with 17 targets, right? The Patriots cutting down to a short passing game worked perfectly for fantasy owners as Tom Brady turned to Vereen regularly, and the expectations everyone had coming into the season for these two finally came to fruition. With the Dolphins ranked 27th in the league against running back pass plays, Vereen could be a huge play once again.

Roddy White, WR ATL - For two weeks in a row, White has seen double-digit targets and now has 18 catches for 217 yards in that span. His return to fantasy glory was discussed last week and with a matchup against the Redskins, the discussion continues. Washington cornerback Josh Wilson isn't going to be able to keep pace with him in this one, and Matt Ryan is going to help White prove it all day.

Dennis Pitta, TE BAL - Another late-season addition done good as the Baltimore tight end came back from a near season-long hip injury to grab six catches off a team-high 11 targets and find his way into the end zone Sunday. He should make for a decent add if you're struggling at tight end, but keep in mind that his next opponent is Detroit, which ranks third in the league against the tight end. The week after, however, is New England, which ranks 19th against the position.

Wes Welker, WR DEN - Just a moment of condolence for all of you Welker owners. He's already been ruled out for Thursday's game, and Week 16 could be a problem as well.

Da'Rick Rogers, WR IND - If it wasn't for the fact that Darrius Heyward-Bey's hands were made of granite, I wouldn't even suggest looking into Rogers. But with the Colts already locking up their division, they can play around for the next three weeks and test some of their rookie receivers. Rogers had a big game last week and should be tested again to see if he's capable of maintaining this level of play.

Overall Targets Leaderboard

(Click column headings to sort.)

 

PLAYER POS YARDS TD PASS ATT TARGETS REC RZ TRGT RZ TRG CATCH TARGET
Andre Johnson, HOU WR 1277 5 528 149 95 13 22.4 63.8 28.8
Pierre Garcon, WAS WR 1017 3 482 144 89 17 30.9 61.8 30.4
Calvin Johnson, DET WR 1348 12 525 138 75 26 35.6 54.3 24.7
A.J. Green, CIN WR 1175 8 465 138 78 15 30.0 56.5 30.0
Antonio Brown, PIT WR 1240 7 502 133 90 15 20.3 67.7 27.2
Brandon Marshall, CHI WR 1090 9 486 132 84 17 23.3 63.6 27.8
Vincent Jackson, TB WR 1033 6 410 129 64 16 32.7 49.6 32.4
Alshon Jeffery, CHI WR 1193 6 486 127 75 18 24.7 59.1 26.7
Cecil Shorts, JAC WR 777 3 448 123 66 16 23.2 53.7 25.2
Josh Gordon, CLE WR 1400 8 552 123 71 12 18.2 57.7 21.5
Dez Bryant, DAL WR 908 10 465 118 70 15 26.3 59.3 25.5
Jimmy Graham, NO TE 1046 14 519 117 74 20 30.3 63.2 22.9
Demaryius Thomas, DEN WR 1149 11 538 117 74 18 18.4 63.2 21.8
Victor Cruz, NYG WR 973 4 458 115 71 12 25.5 61.7 26.6
Wes Welker, DEN WR 778 10 538 111 73 24 24.5 65.8 20.7
Larry Fitzgerald, ARZ WR 774 10 470 110 67 19 37.3 60.9 24.6
Julian Edelman, NE WR 775 5 523 110 76 18 28.6 69.1 21.4
Torrey Smith, BAL WR 963 4 489 110 55 15 24.2 50.0 22.7
Brian Hartline, MIA WR 855 4 494 110 67 9 15.3 60.9 22.7
Eric Decker, DEN WR 1088 8 538 109 71 18 18.4 65.1 20.3
Mike Wallace, MIA WR 762 3 494 109 58 10 16.9 53.2 22.5
Harry Douglas, ATL WR 926 2 533 107 68 11 15.3 63.6 20.5
Jordan Cameron, CLE TE 825 7 552 105 72 19 28.8 68.6 18.4
Kendall Wright, TEN WR 857 2 425 105 73 9 21.4 69.5 25.1
T.Y. Hilton, IND WR 798 5 474 104 58 9 15.3 55.8 21.0
Steve Smith, CAR WR 681 4 400 103 60 14 31.1 58.3 26.3
Anquan Boldin, SF WR 915 5 332 103 67 12 29.3 65.0 34.6
Antonio Gates, SD TE 776 3 487 102 68 12 15.8 66.7 22.5
DeSean Jackson, PHI WR 1080 8 407 101 65 10 20.4 64.4 25.4
Emmanuel Sanders, PIT WR 661 5 502 100 58 14 18.9 58.0 20.4
Tony Gonzalez, ATL TE 678 6 533 99 65 19 26.4 65.7 19.0
Steve Johnson, BUF WR 593 3 444 98 51 12 34.3 52.0 22.6
Jordy Nelson, GB WR 1046 7 453 97 67 16 25.4 69.1 22.1
Jamaal Charles, KC RB 460 3 463 90 57 16 21.9 63.3 18.0
Garrett Graham, HOU TE 545 5 528 89 49 13 22.4 55.1 17.2
Michael Floyd, ARZ WR 886 4 470 89 56 11 21.6 62.9 19.9
Dwayne Bowe, KC WR 602 5 463 89 49 13 17.8 55.1 17.8
Greg Olsen, CAR TE 651 5 400 88 58 14 31.1 65.9 22.4
Charles Clay, MIA TE 678 6 494 87 60 14 23.7 69.0 18.0
Jason Witten, DAL TE 632 7 465 85 55 14 24.6 64.7 18.4
Hakeem Nicks, NYG WR 789 0 458 85 49 9 19.1 57.6 19.6
Jerome Simpson, MIN WR 670 1 451 85 43 6 12.2 50.6 19.2
Keenan Allen, SD WR 902 5 487 84 61 13 17.1 72.6 18.5
Greg Little, CLE WR 384 2 552 84 35 11 16.7 41.7 14.7
Davone Bess, CLE WR 353 2 552 83 41 7 10.6 49.4 14.5
Matt Forte, CHI RB 518 2 486 82 65 11 15.1 79.3 17.3
Nate Washington, TEN WR 671 2 425 82 43 4 9.5 52.4 19.6
Greg Jennings, MIN WR 570 3 451 81 48 11 22.4 59.3 18.3
Marques Colston, NO WR 721 4 519 81 56 11 16.7 69.1 15.9
Golden Tate, SEA WR 710 4 381 80 52 8 20.5 65.0 24.0
Coby Fleener, IND TE 575 4 474 79 49 13 22.0 62.0 15.9
Martellus Bennett, CHI TE 588 5 486 79 53 16 21.9 67.1 16.6
DeAndre Hopkins, HOU WR 707 2 528 77 44 10 17.2 57.1 14.9
Danny Woodhead, SD RB 534 6 487 76 65 21 27.6 85.5 16.7
Rod Streater, OAK WR 787 3 404 76 50 8 20.5 65.8 19.3
Jared Cook, STL TE 606 4 436 76 43 9 13.8 56.6 17.6
Denarius Moore, OAK WR 569 5 404 74 37 11 28.2 50.0 18.8
Brandon LaFell, CAR WR 553 5 400 74 45 7 15.6 60.8 18.9
Chris Givens, STL WR 514 0 436 74 31 10 15.4 41.9 17.1
Dexter McCluster, KC WR 439 1 463 74 46 10 13.7 62.2 14.8
Kris Durham, DET WR 471 2 525 72 35 11 15.1 48.6 12.9
Riley Cooper, PHI WR 714 7 407 70 37 10 20.4 52.9 17.6
Kenbrell Thompkins, NE WR 466 4 523 70 32 10 15.9 45.7 13.6

Anquan Boldin, WR SF - With the addition of Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree to the 49ers passing attack, Boldin isn't seeing the blanket coverage he used to see throughout the year, and Colin Kaepernick is having a much easier time getting him the ball. The veteran receiver has been outstanding since the Week 9 bye and his 42 targets over the last five games have officially pushed him to the top of the leaderboard for target percentage. Even better is that he's backing that up with stats as he's turned those targets into 29 catches for 324 yards and three touchdowns. He has a bit of a tough matchup this week against Tampa Bay, but next week against Atlanta? Oh baby!

Torrey Smith, WR BAL - The upcoming Monday night matchup with Detroit practically makes him a must-start, but keep in mind that his target percentage is on the way down - 24.1-percent last week to 22.7 this week - and it could drop even more with the addition of Pitta to the passing game and the increased level of play Marlon Brown has recently brought to the table. Deep-league owners will obviously leave him in the lineup as the Ravens' No. 1 guy, but if you're in a shallow league and have a comparable option with a better matchup, you may want to think about the switch.

Chris Givens, WR STL - His 17.1-percent target rate is down slightly from last week, and rightfully so. He saw just two targets, and no, it's not because the Rams passing game is inept. Well, it kind of is, but that's not the point to be made here. The point to be made is that in the two games prior to this week, Givens totaled 15 targets and had just two catches. Sorry, but your quarterback isn't coming back to you with a catch rate that poor. Deep-league owners hoping he'd eventually come around can easily move on, if you haven't already.

Red Zone Target Percentage

Pierre Garcon, WR WAS - His 30.9-percent target rate inside the red zone has been solid, but what will things look like with Kirk Cousins under center for the next three weeks? Cousins has made two appearances this season and really didn't look good in either one. I'm guessing a strong effort from Alfred Morris all game, including a lot of check downs inside the red zone. Garcon should still see a fair amount of work, but it's not like it's going to be what it was with RG3, who always looked for Garcon before anyone else, under center.

Charles Clay, TE MIA - He had two touchdowns last week and has three over his last four games. Ryan Tannehill is growing more comfortable with Clay, especially inside the red zone, as evidenced by his target rate inside the 20 jumping from 20.4 percent to 23.7 percent. If you're looking for help this week, keep in mind that the Patriots rank just 19th in the league against the position. The opposition is throwing an average of 8.6 passes to the tight end against them, averaging 64.2 yards per game.

Potential Risers

Julius Thomas
Tavon Austin
Roddy White
Marlon Brown
James Jones

Potential Fallers

Dexter McCluster
Chris Givens
Kris Durham
Nate Washington
Jared Cook

Week 15 Matchup to Watch

San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos - Well, let's just get the part started with what should be the highest-scoring Thursday night game we've seen this season. The Chargers pass defense ranks dead last in the NFL and Peyton Manning has some records to smash this season. Sure, the ground game will get its fair share, but Manning should be good to find Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and returning tight end Julius Thomas quite a bit to pad his already puffed-up totals. And obviously with a desire to keep pace, Philip Rivers will take it to the air as well, finding Keenan Allen, Antonio Gates and Ladarius Green downfield as much as he can. Danny Woodhead should find his way into the action as well, so happily consider him for a flex option.

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Tagged: Falcons, Bears, Browns, Broncos, Lions, Titans, Colts, Chiefs, Raiders, Rams, Dolphins, Vikings, Patriots, Saints, Eagles, 49ers, Redskins, Panthers, Ravens, Cardinals, Steelers, Chargers, Texans, Peyton Manning, Steve Smith Sr., Anquan Boldin, Andre Johnson, Antonio Gates, Larry Fitzgerald, Wes Welker, Roddy White, Nate Washington, Greg Jennings, Marques Colston, Josh Wilson, Calvin Johnson, Greg Olsen, Matt Forte, Matt Ryan, Pierre Garcon, Jamaal Charles, Julian Edelman, Jared Cook, Danny Woodhead, Demaryius Thomas, Antonio Brown, Jimmy Graham, Eric Decker, Garrett Graham, Dennis Pitta, Riley Cooper, Dexter McCluster, Torrey Smith, Shane Vereen, Greg Little, Kris Durham, Charles Clay, Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron, Ryan Tannehill, Coby Fleener, Alshon Jeffery, Chris Givens, Rod Streater, Josh Gordon

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