Hello all you fantasy footballers; I’m glad to back for another installment of target(s) practice. This year I’ll be switching things up a bit by including tight ends and running backs. After all, they’re people too and they’re just as important for setting your game day lineups. Obviously this information will be particularly valuable for you PPR nuts, but targets lead to touches and touches lead to touchdowns so everyone should benefit from this discussion. As always, feel free to comment, criticize, or question but be gentle; I bruise like a peach. Let’s get started.
Target Studs-the leaders
13 targets-Gates, White, Marshall
No shockers there. Don’t be intimidated by White’s pedestrian stat line. He’s still clearly the frontrunner for target champion of the universe. Also, Matt Ryan will pick it up. Remember the Falcons 9 point performance opening day a year ago? Marshall to me looks like a great buy high guy. The Dolphins commitment to the passing game seems genuine. Besides, what are they going to do, run the ball?
High Target Low Output Guys To Watch
Sometimes targets don’t lead to peak performances. However, targets are often a harbinger for future sustained success. Here are some guys to invest in for your future.
Mike Thomas-tied for 6th in overall targets with 11, Thomas was limited to 55 yards on 8 receptions for a meager 6.9 YPC. Though he won’t be setting the world on fire he is the really the only guy they have to throw the ball to and though I like Marcedes Lewis, he is inconsistent and I’m not sure how his relationship will be with McCown/Gabbert. Lewis’s 2 catches on 3 targets may be an early indication that there is a lack of chemistry in Jax but it could be too early to tell. I think Lewis will be ok in the long run but you should expect bigger and better things from Thomas.
Antonio Brown-everyone has been waffling on the Brown/Sanders train and with Cotchery in town it’s difficult to tell what to do with the Steelers receiving corps. Both Brown and Sanders have great upside but my money is on Brown emerging as the guy to challenge Hines ward for the #2 spot by the middle of the season. Sanders looks like he had a solid fantasy day with a 9 point PPR performance but he was only targeted 3 times, catching the ball twice for a total of 20 yards. When the chips were down, Roethlisberger was sending packages via UPS, looking to Brown 9 times and tying him for second in team targets with the sauce (that’s my new name for Hines Ward. Get it…sauce. He was arrested for a DUI and he’s phonetically linked to a famous ketchup brand…no…ok). His measly 2 catch 14 yard day is frightening but he’s a stasher that could save you later in the season.
Jerome Simpson-a virtual ghost in the preseason, this oft hyped homonym awoke from his slumber to catch four passes for 44 yards. Though that’s nothing to be too impressed about, he did steal nine targets to lead the team. Green still holds the value in terms of upside and he did receive four targets of his own as well as an electrifying 41 yard score but Simpson could be a viable stopgap plug in. He should continue to see the majority of targets in Cinci. P.S. they play the Broncos next week.
Jabar Gaffney-three catches for 59 yards on 7 targets. I wouldn’t fly out to the waiver wire and waste a claim on him but he’s a guy to keep an eye on. Grossman didn’t look half bad. Maybe this Shanahan guy does know what he’s doing…
Willis McGahee-everyone expected him to vulture all of the goal-line duties from main man Moreno but no one expected him to be much of a threat in the passing game. Well whatchu talkin’ ‘bout Willis? The vulture also stole five targets converting every one into positive yardage. Moreno palled in comparison, catching only two balls on three targets. I see flex position player in his future.
Smoke and Mirrors
Smoke and mirrors is a category designated to the men who make the most of their targets. Though that is certainly an admirable quality this is a numbers game and without the big target numbers, these guys could falter long term.
Early Doucet-Dropping Douces Early, he made the most of his three targets, catching all three passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. Don’t jump the gun on this promising talent however. Andre Roberts will still be in the mix and the two headed TE monster of King and Heap should steal plenty of targets and you know how much Kolb loves his tight ends (See Brent Celek). Definitely a guy to watch, but patience Kimosabe.
Randall Cobb-the whole world watched Cobb cornhole the competition on Thursday night, leaving fantasy owners salivating. But is there enough cheese inGreen Bayto satiate our hunger? In a return yardage league, maybe. In a standard or PPR league, no. He’s a good young talent but there are simply too many polished weapons on that squad to make him worth the risk. My prediction is that you’ll pick him up now and drop him after two weeks.
Nate Washington-coming off a six catch, 67 yard day on 7 targets, the general is looking pretty good. He has shown flashes of serviceability in the past but don’t be fooled. He amassed those numbers against the kitties of Jacksonville. Things won’t be so easy when he faces the giant killing Ravens next week.
Muscle Flexers-potential flex positions on the wire
Nate Burleson-in essentially one half of football Nate the Great caught all five of his targets for 60 yards. With a little Midol to help with the cramps he could be a consistent 8 to 15 point guy. He’s been doing it quietly for years and now that Stafford is currently healthy, you should expect consistent performances from him.
Brandon Gibson-one of the lone bright spots for the Rams offense, Gibson garnered five targets, three catches and fifty yards. With Amendola out and Sims-WalkerAWOL, look for Gibson to provide decent point totals. Could be a good matchup against a beleaguered Giants secondary on Monday IF Bradford is healthy.
Lance Kendricks-5 targets, 1 catch for 15 yards. Two HUGE drops and one egregious plug by Matthew Berry.
Mike Sims-Walker-4 targets, 1 catch, 5 yards.
Marcedes Lewis-3 targets, 2 catches, 28 yards.
ChadOchocinco-Ocho-ohno had 1 catch for 14 yards on three targets. The pecking order inBostongoes Welker, Branch/tight ends, some random linebacker on the goal line and then Ocho…ouch.
James Jones-1catch, 1 yard, 1 target.
Michael Crabtree-2 targets, 1 catch, 4 yards.