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…..It certainly appears like Heyward-Bey is becoming a major part of the Raiders offense, doesn’t it?  Over the past two weeks he has been targeted 19 times, posting 11 receptions for 214 yards and 1 TD.  He is the receiver to own, at least currently, but we’ve all learned that it can change in a hurry in Oakland…..I wouldn’t read too much into Damian Williams’ target total from Week 5.  The Titans went down early and ended up throwing the ball 49 times.  It’s not likely to continue…..If there was any doubt who the third receiver is in Philadelphia, there isn’t anymore.  Jason Avant had 9 receptions for 139 yards while Steve Smith did not have a single target.  Avant has now been targeted 18 times over the past two weeks and is emerging as a viable option for those in deeper formats…..Early Doucet has been targeted at least 6 times each of the past four weeks, but does anyone expect him to get quite so many again?  Larry Fitzgerald was taken out of the game, but look for the team to make the necessary adjustments.

Top Targets – Week 5 – Tight Ends
1) Jimmy Graham – New Orleans Saints – 12
2) Owen Daniels – Houston Texans – 11
3t) Kellen Winslow – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 9
3t) Aaron Hernandez – New England Patriots – 9
3t) Jared Cook – Tennessee Titans – 9
3t) Joel Dressen – Houston Texans – 9

So much for Aaron Hernandez being eased back into the offense.  In comparison, Rob Gronkowski was targeted 4 times.  Does that mean that type of split is going to continue on a week-to-week basis?  Not likely, though Gronkowski was targeted just 5 times in Week 4, when Hernandez was out of action.  Hernandez appears to be the better fantasy bet…..It seemed obvious that Owen Daniels would get extra targets with Andre Johnson out, but Dressen as well?  Don’t look for that to continue.

Top Targets – Week 5 – Running Backs
1t) Darren Sproles – New Orleans Saints – 7
1t) LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia Eagles – 7
1t) Arian Foster – Houston Texans – 7
4t) Fred Jackson – Buffalo Bills – 6
4t) Marshawn Lynch – Seattle Seahawks – 6
4t) Javon Ringer – Tennessee Titans – 6

Arian Foster isn’t just getting things going in the running game, as he has gotten 12 targets over the past two weeks.  Obviously the injury to Andre Johnson does have something to do with that, but look for Foster to continue to produce at this point.

Top Targets – Year To Date
1) Wes Welker – New England Patriots – 65
2) Roddy White – Atlanta Falcons – 54
3t) Jimmy Graham – New Orleans Saints – 48
3t) Steve Smith – Carolina Panthers – 48
5t) Reggie Wayne – Indianapolis Colts – 47
5t) Mike Thomas – Jacksonville Jaguars – 47
5t) Calvin Johnson – Detroit Lions – 47
8t) Jeremy Maclin – Philadelphia Eagles – 44
8t) Hakeem Nicks – New York Giants – 44
10) Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals – 43

The two biggest surprise names in this list are probably Mike Thomas and Jeremy Maclin.  With Thomas, could his hold of being a usable option be starting to slip?  Jason Hill has exploded the past two weeks with 17 targets (in Week 5 he delivered 5 receptions for 126 yards and 1 TD).  Granted, Thomas has still been targeted 18 times over that span, but you have to wonder if the Jaguars will continue such a pass heavy attack…..When it comes to Maclin, he’s only a surprise due to the presence of DeSean Jackson.  Maclin has actually been the more productive option thus far, with 32 receptions for 388 yards and 3 TD (Jackson has 21 receptions for 410 yards and 2 TD).  Maybe it’s not as surprising as we first thought.

Top Targets – Year To Date – Tight Ends
1) Jimmy Graham – New Orleans Saints – 48
2) Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys – 42
3)Tony Gonzalez – Atlanta Falcons – 41
4t) Kellen Winslow – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 36
4t) Brandon Pettigrew – Detroit Lions – 36

So much for not being able to count on any Saints receiver getting consistent looks, huh?  Graham has received at least 7 targets every week and has 26 over the past two weeks.  It’s a nice change of pace when the hype lives up to the results…..Jason Witten was on a bye in Week 5, so the fact that he’s #2 is slightly deceiving.  His low on targets for the season is 9 and he remains the elite tight end in the league.

Top Targets – Year To Date – Running Backs
1) Darren Sproles – New Orleans Saints – 42
2t) Mike Tolbert – San Diego Chargers – 34
2t) Matt Forte – Chicago Bears – 34
4) Jahvid Best – Detroit Lions – 32
5) Earnest Graham – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 27

This list helps to put into perspective who the best assets are as far as receiving running backs, doesn’t it?  Obviously we all know that players such as LeSean McCoy (26) and Ray Rice (25) are tremendous options and I would expect one of the two to overtake Graham before long…..If Darren Sproles was a bigger threat in the running game he would be a monster option.  As it is, he clearly is a must use in PPR formats and is a borderline RB2 in all formats as he continues to pile up the numbers (26 carries for 185 yards and 1 TD; 31 receptions for 264 yards and 1 TD).

Other Thoughts:

  • Pierre Garcon – With Curtis Painter starting at QB the past two weeks Garcon has been targeted 16 times (one more than Reggie Wayne, who has 15 targets), leading to 7 receptions for 271 yards and 4 TD.  He certainly appears to be a good play in three wide receiver formats.
  • Vernon Davis – While he made the most of his targets in Week 5 (3 receptions for 39 yards and 2 TD on 3 targets), fantasy owners can’t be happy with his inconsistent opportunities thus far.  Until the 49ers get things in order, Davis is going to be a lower-end option (though a usable one in all formats due to his upside).

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2 comments

  1. Thomas says:

    Davis or Hernandez for week 6? I have a feeling the 9ers will leave Davis in to block until they get close to the endzone.

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