Guten Tag razzballers. It was a wild week in the target department with some studs slipping into stagnation and some young guns jockeying for fantasy jubilation. Let’s try to make heads or tails of this coin flip flop and put the odds in your favor.
What happened to Roddy White and Antonio Gates? Perennial target paramounts were left at the base of mountain this week. Roddy rocked 3 targets and Gates limped in with one, yeah, one target. The Pats made it a point to double and triple team him all game which fared well for V-Jax. Fantasy owners of Gates are hoping that coaches don’t like to watch game tape. Before you find a rope and a rafter don’t accept any ridiculous trades for these studs, they will bounce back.
Weekimiss Twoemiss Studimiss Maximus
A.J. Green-A.J. is showing early that he is no Green thumb, torching the steers for 10 catches, 124 yards and a monstrous touchdown, all on a league second best 14 targets. His size and athleticism is freakish and my guess is that he will be solid all year, though with a rookie quarterback you can’t expect huge numbers every week despite how solid Dalton looks. He is, however, a great matchup play and next week they play my beleaguered Niners whose pass defense is nothing short of defenseless. For the record Jerome Simpson also lit it up which was predicted in my column last week—go me—and he is 16th among all offensive players in receiving yards. He also has 18 targets so far this year. I like both guys as matchup plays going forward.
Eric Decker-dropping double Decker fantasy numbers for the second straight week, this former Golden Gopher keeps finding holes in the secondary. He is a must add after the injury to Eddie Royal as he figures to grab the starting spot opposite Brandon Lloyd and will likely remain there for the season. His five catches for 113 yards and two scores was the result of a team high 9 targets. Water him with a waiver claim and watch him grow.
Deion Branch-many owners went out on a limb when they drafted Branch in spite of Ocho’s expectations and now they are being rewarded. With 19 targets over the last two weeks, Branch is 6th among offensive players with 222 receiving yards and 2nd in catches (15). Though there are a lot of mouths to feed in Foxboro, you should count on Branch to continue to produce going forward. They have a great matchup in what should be a shootout inBuffalo and Hernandez’s injury seem to be more severe than anticipated. The latest reports suggest that he will be out 4-6 weeks with an MCL sprain. Play the Pat.
Steve Smith-Those who snagged Smith in the mid to late rounds have certainly struck fantasy gold. Partying like it’s 2008, Steve Smith is leading the league in targets (24) and receiving yards (334). Many thought for sure that the Packers would paralyze Smith and turn Cam into a Fig Newton but neither happened which suggests that there is a high probability of Smith being matchup proof and WR1/2 worthy. A home game this week against the pussy cats ofJacksonville should ensure huge numbers.
Fred Davis-I’m becoming a believer in the Redskins passing game and in Davis in general. Even with Cooley on the field, right said Fred was 6th among tight ends in targets with seven, catching six passes for 86 yards and a touchdown. I like him this week against a Cowboys D that is still trying to find its way.
Jeremy Maclin-Maclin was a monster on Sunday night, looking fully healthy and back to 2010 form. Tied with Miles Austin and Vincent Jackson, Maclin garnered 15 targets, hauling in 13 for 173 yards and 2 touchdowns. He looked fast and furious and even with Vick out, Kafka targeted Maclin on every passing down (five times) but two (McCoy). If you’ve got him, good for you, if you don’t have him, get him.
Nate Washington-alright, unlike my Jerome Simpson plug I was wrong about General Washington. It turns out that his performance was anything but smoke and mirrors as he put up 99 yards on seven catches (11 targets). Hasselbeck looks rejuvenated and with CJ floundering early they have taken to the air. Britt has also been a true Titan. He is second in the league in targets (23) and receiving yards (271) to Steve Smith and he is clearly the undisputed #1. However, with this—dare I say—formidable passing attack, there could be two tangoing in Titan town.
Mike Sims-Walker-coming off a dismal opening day performance,Walker won the hearts of fantasy owners by catching 6 passes of 92 yards on 11 targets. Brandon Gibson looked strong at times as well, but it wasWalker who commanded more targets and who made bigger plays. The Giants’ secondary is nothing stellar however andBradford has been shaky since the start of the season. There is hope for the hyphen however and with the Ravens coming to town you know the Rams are going to have to air it out.
Preston Parker-the man with the Catholic schoolboy name took Viking defenders to Sunday school while catching six passes for 98 yards on seven targets. He now has 13 targets on the year and seems to be filling the void left by an absent Mike Williams. He’s a slot guy who seems to have benefited from the double teams on Williams and by no means should he be considered the air apparent. However, I would keep an eye on him over the next couple of weeks. We’ll see if he’s still in the mix after Sammie Stroughter comes back from his foot issues.
Ted Ginn-Though I wouldn’t endorse starting any Niners’ receiver with any confidence, this talented return man commanded seven targets in week two, catching four passes for 38 yards. He is dangerous when he gets the ball in his hands and he may have a future in Harbaugh’s regime. I’ll come to your home and slap you if you waste a claim on him, but there is no harm in keeping an eye on him.