by Ray Kuhn
Here are 10 players from Week 10 who I felt it was important to analyze based on their targets:
- Laurent Robinson (15 targets, 9 catches, 77 yards). The Jaguars offense may not be strong, nor do they have a top quarterback, but they still do get to play offense. Since they are usually trailing, they also pass the ball often. In fantasy football it does not matter if the bulk of a player’s stats come in garbage time, all that matters are those stats. Since he has returned from injury Robinson seems to now be the number one recipient of targets in Jacksonville. He does have some big play capability, but he does have value even in just accumulating some catches and yardage. Robinson is worth a late season add as a borderline WR3 or flex option based on the amount of targets he will receive.
- Danny Amendola (12 targets, 11 catches, 102 yards). Amendola is another receiver returning from injury who jumped right back into being heavily targeted. I am not sure if his stats are more impressive in his first game back from injury, or that they came against the 49ers. Granted Amendola has a great deal more value in a PPR league, but the volume of his activity each week has made him a viable WR2 candidate as he pretty much catches everything that is thrown his way. There are not many other receiving options on the Rams and it seems that he is usually open. I don’t not expect to see his targets decrease over the remainder of the season.
- Marcel Reese (9 targets, 7 catches, 56 yards). The Raiders offense might not have much success in the running game regardless of who is the running back, but it is a growing trend that they will target Reese out of the backfield. While some of these targets end up being check downs by Carson Palmer, it is still a good sign that he is looking Reese’s way. Also as the Raiders struggle to move the ball on the ground, short screen passes to Reese act in the same manner as a run, just with more success. It also does not hurt his value that he is receiving the bulk of the running work with Darren McFadden sidelined. Even when McFadden returns, he has not been having a banner season and could find himself in somewhat of a timeshare with Reese.
- Kyle Rudolph (9 targets, 7 catches, 64 yards, 1 touchdown). Rudolph started the season off strong but he seemed to taper off a little the last few weeks, becoming a virtual nonfactor in the passing game. Coming off a poor passing performance in Seattle the Vikings made Rudolph a focal point of their passing game once again. It paid off as Rudolph found his way into the end zone and made good use of the targets he received. Especially with Percy Harvin nursing an injury, it doesn’t seem like the Vikings will be able to have much success in the passing game without Rudolph so look for him to continue to be targeted.
- Greg Olsen (10 targets, 9 catches, 102 yards, 2 touchdowns). In order for Cam Newton to be successful he needs to lean on Olsen in the passing game. The fact that otherwise Newton really did not look great and the Panthers got blown out is not withstanding as Olsen had a top day. He went over 100 yards receiving and scored both of the Panthers touchdowns. As long as Newton continues to look his way, you can expect Olsen to continue having games like this. Granted he might not score 2 touchdowns every week, but if he is targeted 10 times a game, finding the end zone is a possibility.
- Danario Alexander (7 targets, 5 catches, 134 yards, 1 touchdown). Alexander had a big day, but what are the chances it is the beginning of a trend? Before the game last week against the Chiefs Alexander hadn’t caught a ball all season, and he then proceeded to catch 3 passes for 61 yards. This week was a little better for the new starter but an 80 yard touchdown catch added most of the flash to his stats for the week. He was still targeted 6 other times and did nothing to lose his status as starter. That is why I think Alexander is a viable candidate going forward, not because of his 134 yards.
- Kenny Britt (6 targets, 2 catches, 36 yards). Most fantasy owners probably saw the score of the game and figured that Britt had played a big role in it, but that was not true. There was not much going on in the Titans’ passing game Sunday despite their big win, and Britt really was a nonfactor. He did receive 6 targets which puts him ahead of Jared Cook, Nate Washington and Kendall Wright. For Britt owners hopefully that does count for something in the hierarchy of Tennessee receiving options.
- Rob Gronkowski (4 targets, 3 catches, 31 yards, 1 touchdown). For those of you that thought Gronk would have a busy day since Aaron Hernandez was inactive, you were wrong. When it comes to the Patriots tight ends it is not last year. They now have a running game and 3 viable receivers in Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Deion Branch. The Patriots do not need to force the ball to their tight ends if teams are going to take them away, as Tom Brady now has other options to look at.
- Victor Cruz (4 targets, 3 catches, 26 yards). If Cruz was targeted often and he and Eli Manning just did not connect it would be one thing, but the fact that Cruz only received 4 targets and was not able to break any big plays is a cause for alarm. Hopefully the bye week will treat Manning, Cruz and the Giants well. Since the Giants were trailing the whole game, you would have thought Cruz would have been targeted more, but this is clearly an issue that needs to be corrected soon.
- Devery Henderson (2 targets). Let this serve as a cautionary tale to those that become smitten by the big play potential of Henderson and the Saints offense. Unless you are looking for a lottery ticket or really do not have many other options, Henderson is not a reliable one and it is impossible to forecast his production on a weekly basis.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 11 rankings: