Davone Bess-clearly the “Bess” receiver on the team, the man with the predator locks has emerged as a confident, productive receiver over the past few weeks. Bess was fourth in the league last week with 14 targets and he has 25 over the past three weeks. His monster game on Sunday during which he grabbed ten passes for 117 yards and a touchdown was clearly his most proficient game of the year, but Bess’ best may be yet to come. He faces the abysmal Jaguars pass defense next weekend and could be a great flex play for those of you looking to gain a playoff berth. He also faces the Titans and the Texans in the fantasy playoffs respectively.
Antonio Bryant-Bryant has come back strong from injury and he is showing why some drafted him in the middle of the pack. Last week, he was 14th in the league with 11 targets, catching five passes for 116 yards against Carolina. This was an improvement on his performance against Atlanta in week 12 during which he caught three passes for 91 yards. Bryant is a big-play guy and though I don’t like his matchup this week against the Jets, he draws Seattle and NO for the playoffs. If he is available on waivers I would definitely go after him.
Michael Crabtree-though the former holdout has yet to have a breakout game, Crabtree has been nothing if not consistent. Over his last four games he is averaging 4.5 catches and 60 yards per contest and last week against Seattle he grabbed six passes for 60 yards. As the Niners’ #1 guy, Crabtree gets his share of targets and he had 13 last week, good for 6th in the league. Over the past three weeks, Crabtree has received 27 targets which puts him towards the top of all receivers. Though Crabtree’s ceiling is low, if you are looking for a solid 8-12 points from your flex spot, he could be worth a look. He also has Detroit in week 16. It should be worth noting here that Josh Morgan has seen his targets skyrocket as well and he is fifth in RZ targets over the last three weeks (5). Morgan could be worthy of consideration in deeper leagues.
Robert Meachem-I seem to keep coming back to him, and quite frankly, he continues to impress me. I have owned Meachem for the last four weeks, electing to start him only once and I have regretted it. The big knock on Meachem is his consistency, but over the last four weeks he has simply been a fantasy monster. I think it is safe to say that he has surpassed Devery Henderson as Brees’ second favorite receiving target, and over the last three games, Meachem has commanded 19 targets, tying him with Colston for the team lead. Meachem also gets a lot of attention in the RZ and his eight catch, 142 yard game made me a believer that he was more than just a guy who catches touchdowns. Oh yeah, and Meachem scored yet again, bringing his touchdown total to eight, a team high. I am definitely starting him this week against a piss porous Atlanta pass defense.
Louis Murphy-Murphy is getting a lot of hype this week due to his four catch, 128 yard and a touchdown performance last week, but I would be a reluctant to waste a waiver claim on him. Over his last three games before last Sunday, Murphy had a total of three receptions for 51 yards. Murphy has 18 targets over his last three games and though Gradkowski has provided a much needed spark to the Raider offense, I think the smarter waiver choice would be Meachem, Bryant, or Bess in that order.
Devin Thomas-Thomas was targeted eight times on Sunday and twice in the RZ. Thomas made good on seven of those targets, garnering 100 yards and two touchdowns. Like Murphy, Thomas has not been particularly productive aside from last week’s game, but he has been more of a consistent contributor to his team’s offense. The Skin’s play Oakland, NYG, and Dallas in the coming weeks, which means that Thomas could have some value in the playoffs. His 21 targets over the last three games should also raise some eyebrows and even if you can’t find a spot for him on your roster this year, he could be an intriguing option for next year in keeper leagues.
Devin Hester-over the past three weeks, Hester has all but vanished from fantasy relevancy. This is largely due to his lack of targets as he has only 16 targets over the last three games, tying him with teammate Earl Bennett and putting him just two ahead of Johnny Knox. Over that same span, Hester has only managed a total of five catches for 86 yards and zero touchdowns. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like things will get much better for Hester who draws Green Bay, Baltimore, and Minnesota over the next three weeks.
Pierre Garcon-once again, Garcon is on the list after another stellar performance against a tough Tennessee defense on Sunday during which he caught six passes for 136 yards. More importantly, Garcon’s targets have been increasing steadily and over the last three games Garcon has surpassed Wayne in that category (27 to 24 respectively). Though Wayne is clearly the man, Garcon deserves to be started weekly at a WR 2 or flex spot depending on the matchup.
Target Trends Over the Last Three Weeks
Potentially Available Players With Over 25 Targets and Their Rank in the League
7. Brandon Gibson (30)
10. Mohammed Massaquoi (29)
11. Donnie Avery (29)
17. Pierre Garcon (27)
17. Kenny Britt (27)
17. Michael Crabtree (27)
25. Davone Bess (25)
#1 Guys With Under 20 Targets and Their Rank in the League
40. Nate Burleson (20)
40. Housh (20)
45. Marques Colston (19)
47. Vincent Jackson (18)
47. Roy Williams (18)
57. Devin Hester (16)
71. Greg Jennings (14)
Top 5 RZ Targets
1. Brandon Marshall (12)
2. Andre Johnson (9)
3. Pierre Garcon (8)
4. Santana Moss (7)
5. Josh Morgan (6)