by Ivar G. Anderson
Well, at least we are done with the six team bye weeks. Not that four teams is great, but I take my gifts when and where I can get them. This week, the chart below features the top 51 targeted players through Week 10 mostly because I wanted to get Anthony Gates onto the chart, and as you probably guessed he is the final entry listed below. I also added an additional column with the number of receptions each player has received, so the catch percentage has some more relevance when you peruse the list. On to this week’s target chart:
|Steve L. Smith||WR||BLT||10||81||49||60|
Things are shaking out where the bulk of the top targeted players are wide receivers. There are only two running backs that see significant targets, Matt Forte (of course) and Le’Veon Bell. If we were to expand the chart to the Top 100 targeted players, only seven more running backs would be added (ranking): Andre Ellington (67), Shane Vereen (75), Fred Jackson (81), Darren McFadden (91), Justin Forsett (92), Ahmed Bradshaw (94), and Demarco Murray (99).
Tight ends fare a bit better, but that makes sense doesn’t it? Tight ends are a check down option for the quarterback, and in a lot of cases are a superior receiving option for third down conversions just because of their physical skills and the coverage they receive by the defense. There are an additional 15 tight ends that make up the top 100 targeted players, besides the seven included in the chart above. I am not going to list them all here, but again, if any reader wants a copy of my complete spreadsheet it is available for the asking with an e-mail (my address is below at the end of the article).
Target changes to wonder about:
Week 10 brought forth some new faces to the group of players who are receiving more notice by their quarterbacks. Below are those that stood out for increases in their target totals based on their Week 10 production with the percent of their total targets that occurred in last week’s games:
- Bryce Brown RB BUF 70%
- Vincent Brown WR OAK 60%
- Tre Mason RB StL 60%
- DeAngelo Williams RB CAR 60%
- C.J. Anderson RB DEN 60%
- Greg Little WR CIN 36%
- Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE TB 27%
- Odell Beckham, Jr. WR NYG 26%
- Preston Parker WR NYG 23%
- Dwayne Bowe WR KC 21%
- Jarvis Landry WR MIA 20%
Wow, quite an influx of running backs this week. Bryce Brown is finally getting some use in Buffalo, so all of you who “wisely” drafted him after the Bills traded for him this past offseason are seeing your foresight rewarded. Of course, having no Fred Jackson in the lineup may have a bit to do with his usage, or maybe he is just cranking it up 10 weeks into the season.
Tre Mason is not a surprise entry, as he is the top RB in St. Louis, but he is not known for his receiving skills. Keep an eye on how this plays out this week when the Rams are again likely to be in catchup mode as they face the Broncos at home.
DeAngelo Williams is a receiving option in Carolina, as Jonathan Stewart is the primary ball carrier while Williams comes back from his foot injury. He simply has better hands than Stewart.
Anderson saw 12 targets in Week 10, up from seven the week before. If Monte Ball comes back this week Anderson’s touches may be reduced, or not, as the team has stated it will go with a “hot hand” approach in the running game. Anderson still figures to be involved, whether catching or running the ball, and he was a top waiver wire pick up this week for good reason.
As far as the wide outs, let’s say welcome back to Vincent Brown. He saw 10 targets in Week 10 (nice symmetry there), coming back from his hamstring injury. He is buried on the depth chart, but if he can keep converting 60% of his targets that may change.
Greg Little has always been able to get open, it is his ability to catch the ball that bothers his owners. With A.J. Green back in action, feel free to ignore Little.
Beckham, he of the Richard Sherman praise in Week 10, is coming on as a stud wide receiver. His development was stunted by his pre-season injury and the lack of time to connect with his QB, but if you held him or snagged him from the wire you will be rewarded big time in the second half of the season. I am not sure Parker is worth rostering in a non-PPR setting, except in deep leagues, but you have to be impressed with a guy that snags all seven of the passes tossed in his direction. He is going to play in the slot, and in PPR leagues could have value.
I have tossed Bowe on the trash heap before and refused to draft him this year, but he is now starting to convert his opportunities into catches and yardage. Despite being targeted 22 times in the past two games, and 58 times this season, he has yet to score. That makes him a sketchy WR option, especially with the run-oriented Kansas City offense.
It is interesting to see that the Tampa Bay tight end, Seferian-Jenkins, getting some love from his QB. Is this a result of the change at signal caller with Josh McCown now behind center? If so, then he becomes a viable TE2 if the targets continue.
I am going to keep working on developing this series of articles to best determine how you can use target information to succeed at your fantasy football efforts. I am open to suggestions as to how best to present this information for your use, so feel free to comment or send me a message at email@example.com.