Target Practice: AFC Edition (Week 2): Mike Wallace Explodes, Youngsters Primed To See Increased Roles & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Who received significant targets?  Who was ignored?  Let’s take a look at all of the important situations to try and reach some conclusions:

Baltimore Ravens

  • Torrey Smith – 13 targets (7 receptions for 85 yards)
  • Marlon Brown – 6 targets (4 receptions for 45 yards and 1 TD)
  • Brandon Stokely – 5 targets (4 receptions for 36 yards)
  • Dallas Clark – 1 target (1 reception for 8 yards)

The fear with Torrey Smith is that he is more of a deep threat, making him an all or nothing option. However, you don’t target your deep threat 13 times in a game. With 8 targets in Week 1, it’s clear that he is more than just a big play receiver this season. Also, given the other options, he’s clearly the best the Ravens have. He should be targeted early and often each week, making him an ideal fantasy option.


Buffalo Bills

  • Stevie Johnson – 10 targets (8 receptions for 111 yards and 1 TD)
  • Steve Chandler – 6 targets (3 receptions for 10 yards)
  • Robert Woods – 6 targets (4 receptions for 68 yards)

The interesting player here is Woods, who was only targeted twice in Week 1. There’s upside and opportunity, making him an ideal WR5 for those in deeper formats.


Cincinnati Bengals

  • A.J. Green – 14 targets (6 receptions for 41 yards)
  • Jermaine Gresham – 9 targets (6 receptions for 66 yards)
  • Mohamed Sanu – 8 targets (5 receptions for 40 yards)
  • Tyler Eifert – 5 targets (3 receptions for 66 yards)

It’s interesting to see Gresham get so many more targets than Eifert, though it shouldn’t be something that we consider a guarantee to continue moving forward (in Week 1 they were both targeted five times).  Unfortunately we have to expect the two to take opportunities away from each other, leaving both as more of TE2 options.


Cleveland Browns

  • Greg Little – 12 targets (4 receptions for 33 yards)
  • Davone Bess – 8 targets (5 receptions for 38 yards)
  • Jordan Cameron – 7 targets (5 receptions for 95 yards)

Josh Gordon is back in Week 3 and he should eat into the targets of Little and most definitely Bess (who should be rendered relatively useless moving forward). Cameron should be unaffected, however, and is going to remain among the better tight ends in the league.


Denver Broncos

    • Eric Decker – 13 targets (9 receptions for 87 yards)
    • Julius Thomas – 9 targets (6 receptions for 47 yards and 1 TD)
    • Wes Welker – 8 targets (3 receptions for 39 yards and 1 TD)
    • Demaryius Thomas – 6 targets (5 receptions for 52 yards)

Think that Peyton Manning wanted to let Decker atone for his disastrous Week 1? Even with a running game that was productive, there were still enough balls to go around in Week 2. The notable dropoff was from Demaryius Thomas, who was targeted 11 times in Week 1, but it is of little concern. All four of these players should be viable options on a weekly basis.


Houston Texans

  • Andre Johnson – 13 targets (8 receptions for 76 yards)
  • DeAndre Hopkins – 13 targets (7 receptions for 117 yards and 1 TD)
  • Owen Daniels – 5 targets (2 receptions for 24 yards and 1 TD)
  • Garrett Graham – 5 targets (3 receptions for 30 yards and 1 TD)

We have repeatedly said that rookie wide receivers are tough to depend on, but it is impossible to ignore this performance from Hopkins. He clearly stepped up after Andre Johnson went out with a concussion and already has 12 receptions for 183 yards this season. He is quickly emerging as a WR2, if not more, in all formats. We also have to note the performance of Graham, who has now scored in each of the first two weeks. While Daniels has also been finding the end zone regularly (3 TD), you would have to think that the two could ultimately hurt each others value.


Indianapolis Colts

  • T.Y. Hilton – 12 targets (6 receptions, 124 yards)
  • Reggie Wayne – 8 targets (5 receptions, 46 yards)
  • Coby Fleener – 8 targets (4 receptions, 69 yards, 1 TD)
  • Darrius Heyward-Bey – 5 targets (2 receptions 10 yards)

Is it really a surprise that Hilton surpassed Heyward-Bey in short order? That should definitely continue as he clearly has more ability. In regards to Fleener, he benefited from the absence of Dwayne Allen. If Allen is out, Fleener is going to be a borderline TE1.  If Allen is playing both are more likely TE2s.


Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Cecil Shorts – 14 targets (8 receptions for 93 yards)
  • Ace Sanders – 7 targets (5 receptions for 64 yards)
  • Clay Harbor – 4 targets (3 receptions for 34 yards and 1 TD)

Does it really matter? It’s obvious that Shorts is the best receiver, at least until Justin Blackmon returns, but his value is going to be capped by the QB play. The Tim Tebow rumblings are out there, but would he even help? Don’t be surprised if Denard Robinson starts to take on the role.


Kansas City Chiefs

  • Dwayne Bowe – 8 targets (4 receptions for 56 yards and 1 TD)

Jamaal Charles led the way with 10 targets and no one else had more than 4. Bowe is the clear top receiver, but his numbers were hardly impressive this week. He has a favorable Week 3 matchup, but as we have repeatedly said his value is going to be capped by the presence of Andy Reid and Alex Smith.


Miami Dolphins

  • Mike Wallace – 11 targets (9 receptions, 115 yards, 1 TD)
  • Brian Hartline – 8 targets (5 receptions, 68 yards)

It really shouldn’t come as a surprise that Wallace exploded, after he was nearly invisible in Week 1. He signed a big contract and clearly is the team’s top receiver. While he may not match these numbers on a weekly basis, he’s going to be a good option moving forward.


Oakland Raiders

  • Rod Streater – 4 targets (3 receptions for 42 yards)
  • Mychal Rivera – 3 targets (3 receptions for 32 yards)
  • Brice Butler – 3 targets (2 receptions for 10 yards)
  • Denarius Moore – 2 targets (0 receptions)

Wasn’t Denarius Moore supposed to be a potential breakout? Terrelle Pryor has shown ability, though it’s been more with his legs than his arm (for now at least). Maybe Moore breaks out. Maybe Streater emerges as the go to guy. Who knows, but at this point it’s impossible to trust any receiver in Oakland.


Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Emmanuel Sanders – 10 targets (5 receptions for 78 yards)
  • Antonio Brown – 9 targets (6 receptions for 57 yards)
  • Jerricho Cotchery – 9 targets (3 receptions for 59 yards)

Sanders has now been targeted 22 times over the first two weeks and appears to be emerging as the top receiver in Pittsburgh.  While it’s going to be a long season for the Steelers (at least it appears like it so far), Sanders can be considered a viable WR3 at this point.


San Diego Chargers

  • Antonio Gates – 10 targets (8 receptions for 124 yards)
  • Eddie Royal – 8 targets (7 receptions for 90 yards and 3 TD)
  • Vincent Brown – 7 targets (4 receptions for 26 yards)
  • Malcolm Floyd – 6 targets (5 receptions for 102 yards)
  • Keenan Allen – 3 targets (2 receptions for 34 yards)

The injuries are piling up, but Eddie Royal has stepped up and produced big numbers. Can we really expect this type of production to continue? No one is going to score 5 TD every two games, so obviously the answer is no. Don’t be surprised if the team starts to incorporate young players like Allen and Ladarius Green into the mix, as well, making them intriguing options to stash.


Tennessee Titans

  • Kendall Wright – 11 targets (7 receptions for 54 yards and 1 TD)
  • Kenny Britt – 9 targets (4 receptions for 28 yards)
  • Nate Washington – 5 targets (3 receptions for 50 yards)
  • Delanie Walker – 2 targets (1 reception for 10 yards and 1 TD)

As we always say with Tennessee, you never know where the targets are going to go. This week it was Wright and Britt leading the way. In Week 1 Washington was the only receiver to be targeted more than four times. This isn’t one of those elite offenses, so there likely aren’t going to be enough targets to keep all three productive on a weekly basis. That instability renders them all as more like WR3 options, at best.


Make sure to check out all of our Week 3 rankings:

Target Practice: NFC Edition (Week 2): James Jones Rebounds, Tavon Austin Focus of Offense & More


  1. Donald says:

    I have a serious question and if Brandon marshal was healthy and Ike Taylor didn’t look like Deion sanders the past to weeks it would be a no brainer I need help at my 2nd recover Brandon marshal,tavon Austin .ceilshorts or Michel Floyd Aj green is my keeper / starter

    Thanks don week 3

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