Archive for Target Practice

10 Key Target Trends From Week 5: Percy Harvin, Trent Richardson, Ryan Mathews & More

by Ray Kuhn

Here are 10 players from Week 5 who I felt it was important to analyze based on their targets:

  1. Tony Gonzalez (14 targets, 13 catches, 123 yards, 1 touchdown).  As Gonzalez ages and new young, athletic tight ends emerge, he gets forgotten about.  This week’s performance is the perfect example of why Gonzalez should remain in the spotlight.  Julio Jones also had 15 targets, so you can’t attribute Gonzalez’s good day to Jones’ health.  Gonzalez was clearly an important part of the game plan for the Falcons, and not only was he targeted but he delivered.  There is no reason to doubt Gonzalez, and as Matt Ryan continues to improve Gonzalez is still at TE1.  Don’t underestimate him.
  2. Andrew Hawkins (13 targets, 5 catches, 47 yards).  Hawkins came on strong this season but his 5 catches last week were the closest he came to matching his 8 catch season debut.  It does work in his favor that he finds the end zone, but his recent performance has caused owners to doubt his viability.  As the bye weeks are in full swing and replacements are needed, I would still consider Hawkins to be a viable option.  Instead of looking at his mediocre performance this past week, I would prefer to focus on the fact that he was targeted 13 times and is an integral part of Andy Dalton’s offense.  When looking for borderline WR3/WR4, targets are my biggest concern so it is a positive sign that Hawkins is being targeted. Read more

10 Key Target Trends From Week 4: Jason Witten, Justin Blackmon & More

by Ray Kuhn

Here are 10 players from Week 4 who I felt it was important to analyze based on their targets:

  1. Brian Hartline (18 targets, 12 catches, 253 yards, 1 touchdown). Included in these numbers was his first touchdown of the season which was a big play to say the least, but even without that play Hartline still had a banner day. I think at this point Ryan Tannehill has proved that Hartline is his number one option and there is chemistry there. I would not be concerned about Hartline not getting targeted, but there will be some weeks where he does better than others. The only thing holding Hartline back is production wise he has been inconsistent this season, but he does also have a 9 catch 111 yard performance. He defiantly should be on a roster, but I would not look at him as more than WR3 or low end WR2 depending on bye weeks at this point. The important thing to me is that his targets are consistent and do not seem to be in danger.
  2. Lance Moore (15 targets, 7 catches, 67 yards). Moore really has nothing to show for an afternoon where he was targeted 15 times. At least this proves that you can count on Moore being targeted each week, though. In past seasons Moore would be inconsistent from week to week, and in some weeks he would be essentially nonexistent. At least now, even when he was a poor performer, he is still being targeted and holds some value (especially in PPR formats). His increase in targets is at least making him more of an every week option to be counted on, and there is still the potential for a monster week. Read more

10 Key Target Trends From Week 3: Larry Fitzgerald, Brandon Lloyd & More

by Ray Kuhn

Here are 10 players from Week 3 who I felt it was important to analyze based on their targets:

  1. Santonio Holmes (14 targets, 9 catches, 147 yards).  So far it appears that the chemistry is there between Holmes and Mark Sanchez.  Partly due to lack of options Sanchez is looking to Holmes often, and last week it proved to be a fruitful endeavor.  Regardless of what you think about Sanchez and the Jets offense, they still need to pass the ball and Holmes is not a bad receiver.  It seems that so far this season the Jets are looking Holmes down the field and he is producing.  At this point that makes Holmes a WR3 or a WR2 depending on your bye week situation.
  2. Greg Olsen (14 targets, 7 catches, 98 yards).  Regardless of how inconsistent and disappointing Cam Newton’s season has been so far, he is at least giving Olsen value.  There has not been much going on for Newton down the field, but Olsen is producing on the shorter routes across the middle of the field.  He is a talented tight end and although he is not as explosive or athletic as some of the top tight ends, Olsen does hold value.  This is especially true if Newton continues to target him this much. Read more

10 Key Target Trends From Week 2: Percy Harvin, Jason Witten & More

by Ray Kuhn

Here are 10 players from Week 2 who I felt it was important to analyze based on their targets:

  1. Danny Amendola – 16 targets, 15 receptions, 160 yards, 1 touchdown.  If there was any doubt it is now clear that Amendola is Sam Bradford’s go to target and that he is a valuable receiver not only PPR formats, but standard formats as well.  He only failed to catch 1 pass out of 16 on which he was targeted, which is both noteworthy and not likely repeatable.  By averaging 10.67 yards per catch, Amendola also showed an ability to rack up yardage which only serves to increase his value.  It is safe to say that he is at worst a WR3 in non PPR leagues as he has not only regained his health, but the trust of his quarterback.
  2. Dennis Pitta – 15 targets, 8 receptions, 65 yards.  At this point we can assume that Pitta has overtaken Ed Dickson as the number one tight end in Baltimore and that there is some chemistry between Pitta and Flacco.  As long as Flacco continues to target Pitta, he will to have value as a low end TE1 (especially as an injury replacement for Aaron Hernandez).  He might not be as explosive and athletic as some of the other tight ends, but as long as he is getting targets and Flacco continues to look comfortable leading the Ravens offense, Pitta has value as a target over the middle. Read more

10 Key Target Realizations From Week 1: Reggie Wayne, Darren McFadden & More

by Ray Kuhn

Here are 10 players from Week 1 who I felt it was important to analyze based on their targets:

Reggie Wayne – 18 targets, 9 catches, 135 yards.  It is clear that Wayne has not lost anything and at times last year was the victim of poor QB play.  What is also clear is that Wayne and Andrew Luck have developed chemistry and Luck has no problem looking to his veteran receiver.  This might change now that Austin Collie is returning, but it is also noteworthy that even without Collie Luck was able to target and complete this many passes to Wayne.  Wayne should be starting every week, and although he will never reach his levels of a few years ago, it is looking like he could turn into a WR2 this season.

Darren McFadden – 18 targets, 13 catches, 86 yards.  McFadden has never been particularly strong or valuable as a receiver, as prior to this season he averaged 2.6 receptions per game.  Not only was McFadden targeted, but he was catching the ball and gaining some valuable yardage as well.  He did not do much running the ball (15 times for 32 yards) but that is also due to the fact that Oakland was playing from behind.  With Jacoby Ford just having surgery and Denarius Moore battling injury problems, I would not be surprised to see this continue.  This obviously makes McFadden more valuable in PPR formats, but I would look for him to gain more than 32 yards on the ground going forward.  Until the Raiders establish more of a passing offense it might be difficult, but at least he is creating some value.  If McFadden is able to stay healthy, keep up even half of the receiving production and get in the groove running the ball, look out.  Although admittedly there are a lot of question marks there.  Read more

Target Trends For Week 6: Weekly/Year-to-Date Leaders

Let’s take a look at some of the target trends from the sixth week of the season.  Who was targeted most?  Who saw their targets increase?  Who saw them decrease?  Here’s all the information you need:

Top Targets – Week 6
1) Michael Crabtree – San Francisco 49ers – 15
2t) Brandon Pettigrew – Detroit Lions – 14
2t) Aaron Hernandez – New England Patriots – 14
4t) Brandon Marshall – Miami Dolphins – 13
4t) Mike Williams – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 13
6) Greg Little – Cleveland Browns – 12
7t) Arian Foster – Houston Texans – 11
7t) Pierre Garcon – Indianapolis Colts – 11
7t) Darren Sproles – New Orleans Saints – 11
7t) Jimmy Graham – New Orleans Saints – 11
7t) Marques Colston – New Orleans Saints – 11
7t) Fred Davis – Washington Redskins – 11

It was a nice showing for Michael Crabtree turning his 15 targets into 9 receptions for 77 yards.  Can we really anticipate that many looks on a weekly basis?  He should be one of the more targeted receivers in San Francisco, though Vernon Davis getting two targets will not be the norm.  Don’t expect a repeat performance….. Read more

Target Trends For Week 5: Who’s Moving Up (Pierre Garcon) & Who Lacked Looks (Vernon Davis)

Let’s take a look at some of the target trends from the fifth week of the season.  Who was targeted most?  Who saw their targets increase?  Who saw them decrease?  Here’s all the information you need:

Top Targets – Week 5
1) Early Doucet – Arizona Cardinals – 16
2t) Jimmy Graham – New Orleans Saints – 12
2t) Darius Heyward-Bey – Oakland Raiders – 12
4t) Jacoby Jones – Houston Texans – 11
4t) Owen Daniels – Houston Texans – 11
4t) Dwayne Bowe – Kansas City Chiefs – 11
4t) Victor Cruz – New York Giants – 11
4t) Damian Williams – Tennessee Titans – 11
9t) Jason Avant – Philadelphia Eagles – 10
9t) Ben Obomanu – Seattle Seahawks – 10
9t) Dane Sanzenbacher – Chicago Bears – 10

It was great to see Jacoby Jones targeted 11 times with Andre Johnson out of action.  Unfortunately he turned them into just 1 reception for 9 yards.  Really?!  A performance like that can easily reduce your role in the game plan, especially with the acquisition of Derrick Mason, so keep that in mind….. Read more

Target Trends For Week 5: Who’s Moving Up (Santonio Holmes) & Who Lacked Looks (Anquan Boldin)

Let’s take a look at some of the target trends from the fourth week of the season.  Who was targeted most?  Who saw their targets increase?  Who saw them decrease?  Here’s all the information you need:

Top Targets – Week 4
1) Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons – 17
2t) Wes Welker – New England Patriots – 14
2t) Jimmy Graham – New Orleans Saints – 14
2t) Hakeem Nicks – New York Giants – 14
5) Calvin Johnson – Detroit Lions – 13
6t) Ed Dickson – Baltimore Ravens – 12
6t) Santonio Holmes – New York Jets – 12
8 ) 6 receivers tied with 11 targets

After he was targeted just twice in Week 3 was it really a surprise to see Santonio Holmes targeted so often this past week?  Of course, they only converted 3 receptions for 33 yards, so it is not like opportunity yielded results.  The Jets need to fix their issues on the offensive line if they want their receivers to make plays, though I would expect better performances against New England this week….. Read more

Target Trends For Week 3: Who’s Moving Up (Sidney Rice) & Who Lacked Looks (Deion Branch)

Let’s take a look at some of the target trends from the third week of the season.  Who was targeted most?  Which teams targeted their tight end most?  Who threw the ball to their wide receiver least?  Here’s all the information you need:

Top Targets – Week 3
1) Wes Welker – New England Patriots – 20
2) Roddy White – Atlanta Falcons – 17
3) Anquan Boldin – Baltimore Ravens – 14
4t) Brandon Pettigrew – Detroit Lions – 13
4t) Reggie Wayne – Indianapolis Colts – 13
6t) Eric Decker – Denver Broncos – 12
6t) Andre Johnson – Houston Texans – 12
6t) Michael Jenkins – Minnesota Vikings – 12
6t) Andre Caldewell – Cincinnati Bengals – 12
9) Calvin Johnson – Detroit Lions – 11

While some of the totals are impressive (Wes Welker & Roddy White), there are also a few surprising names this week.  The Detroit Lions threw the ball 46 times in order to come back from the early hole they dug for themselves, which helps explain why Brandon Pettigrew was targeted so often.  Remember, he had just 9 targets (5 receptions for 64 yards) in the first two weeks combined.  He’s a nice option, but I wouldn’t anticipate him getting this many looks too often, especially with Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson & Jahvid Best also needing touches….. Read more

Target Trends For Week 2: Who’s Moving Up (Jeremy Maclin) & Who Lacked Looks (Antonio Gates)

Let’s take a look at some of the target trends from the first week of the season.  Who was targeted most?  Which teams targeted their tight end most?  Who threw the ball to their wide receiver least?  Here’s all the information you need:

Top Targets – Week 2

1t) Miles Austin – Dallas Cowboys – 15
1t) Jeremy Maclin – Philadelphia Eagles – 15
1t) Vincent Jackson – San Diego Chargers – 15
4t) Matt Forte – Chicago Bears – 14
4t) Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys – 14
4t) Steve Johnson – Buffalo Bills – 14
4t) A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals – 14
8t) David Nelson – Buffalo Bills – 13
8t) Steve Smith – Carolina Panthers – 13
8t) Kenny Britt – Tennessee Titans – 13

The Buffalo Bills were clearly forced to air the ball out, with 38 of 45 targets going to wide receivers (a week after 19 of 26 went to the WR).  While I wouldn’t expect 45 targets most weeks, it’s clear that David Nelson has become an important part of their passing game.  While Steve Johnson is going to be the top receiver (when healthy), Nelson should have value in deeper formats moving forward…..It was an uninspiring NFL debut in Week 1 for A.J. Green, with 1 reception for 41 yards and 1 TD (on 4 targets).  Obviously, he was a much more integral part of the offense in Week 2 (and produced 10 receptions for 124 yards and 1 TD), but so far he appears a bit sporadic.  There’s no doubt that he has a ton of potential, but Jerome Simpson (targeted 9 times in each of the first two weeks) may be a more stable option, though one with not as much upside. Read more