Originally written on Fantasy Sports Locker Room  |  Last updated 11/18/14

Touches and Targets Week 11 WR and TE Dwayne Bowe hasn’t thrived all season in Andy Reid’s system. The TD looks nice, but, with 4 catches on 13 chances, the story isn’t much different this week (Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) With 13 targets against Denver Dwayne Bowe has now seen 25 in the last two games. However, he and Alex Smith connected on less than 1/3 of those attempts and while Bowe scored a touchdown there were yards left on the field – both in the nine balls that hit the ground, including a drop or two by the receiver, and also in the open routes that weren’t targeted. Bowe’s 30.8% catch rate was the 5th lowest of any WR targeted five times or more this week. The offenses’ unwillingness to press against the Broncos suggests they’ll never be throwing the ball deep to Bowe and as such his ceiling remains limited despite the high target number. Alex Smith has attempted just 22 passes over 20 yards this season (6.1% of his attempts, the lowest such number in the league) and has just seven completions over the number. Of interest, his 45.4% accuracy rating (which doesn’t penalize the QB for dropped passes) is actually right around the middle of the league… so it isn’t that he can’t throw the deep ball, it’s just that they won’t. If they aren’t taking shots against the Broncos, they aren’t taking shots. Coby Fleener had his best game of the season for Indianapolis, picking up eight receptions and 107 yards on 10 targets. If he can keep catching the ball at such a high rate, he’ll become a big part of the Colts offense. Particularly when Darrius Heyward-Bey played just 23 of 72 snaps for the Colts after another awful drop. Lavon Brazill picked up the most of DHB’s snaps and is worth a look in deeper leagues but drew just one target on the day. After drawing seven looks from Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 10 Justin Hunter saw just one this week, so, there goes the ‘sleeper with new QB’ conversation. Delanie Walker, though, appears to be in sync with his bearded Ivy League passer. He’s drawn 17 targets and caught 14 balls over the past two weeks including a 10/10 effort with a TD for the second consecutive game. Kendall Wright, meanwhile, delivered a fairly typical line. 12 targets to lead the team, nine catches and 80 yards. He’s a PPR maven but his limited touchdown appeal is unlikely to change. Just 6 of his 84 targets (7%) this year have come in the red zone. In his return to the lineup, Kellen Winslow played just eight snaps to Jeff Cumberland’s 50. Meanwhile, Santonio Holmes started and picked up 32 (fewer than David Nelson’s 50) drawing seven targets from Geno Smith. Smith threw two picks and two completions on those seven passes, but, it was heartening to see him target Holmes deep. The vet picked up 71 yards on those two grabs, suggesting there is some value there moving forward. Against a better than average Jets secondary in the wind, Marquise Goodwin had a nice day for Buffalo. With Steve Johnson and Robert Woods both missing the game, he drew nine targets and caught six balls for 81 yards and a score, catching two balls (including the TD) over Antonio Cromartie. T.J. Graham found the endzone as well, but, his three targets were less than or equal to Goodwin’s for the fourth straight week suggesting that it’s the Marquise of Buffalo that retains value when the others get healthy. Jacoby Jones can now officially come off your fantasy radar. With Marlon Brown a surprise (to me, anyway) deactivation Jones played 40 snaps to Tandon Doss’s 63 – by far his highest percentage of snaps played this season – and saw two targets to Doss’s five. He’s at best the 3rd option in any given week in a passing game that can realistically support one or two. It is hard to glean a lot on Chicago’s passing game in a contest played in the slop with their (competent) backup QB. However, it should be noted that while both Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall saw double digit targets, Martellus Bennett drew just two. He is averaging just 4.25 targets and 30 yards per game over his past four and owners can probably start shopping for more interesting waiver wire players (Garrett Graham, Delanie Walker, Rob Housler?). Josh Gordon’s target load skyrocketed again this week with 14 looks and five catches including a 74 yard touchdown. Meanwhile, Davone Bess and Greg Little had a catch apiece on a combined 10 targets. Fantasy owners are hopeful that the volume continues to go to Gordon but let’s not take this week’s distribution as a guarantee. Last week, Little saw nine targets and put up 122 yards and the passing game seems to alternate between Gordon heavy and evenly distributed. Jordan Cameron’s targets (six) were as high as they’ve been since Week 7 but he was able to turn them into just 29 yards despite catching each ball thrown his way. I mentioned in the lead up to this weekend’s game that AJ Green typically struggles against Cleveland but I don’t think anyone saw a four target, seven yard outing coming. It’s ok though, owners. Mourn the loss, grieve the rough weekend, and move on. This is not a sign of things to come and you know it. The schedule gets lighter from here, too. For anyone interested in how Andrew Hawkins would be used this season, you can let that go, too (four snaps, two targets, one catch). With the caveat that it was just one game and he was still held under 200 yards passing, Matt McGloin breathed a little life into the Oakland passing game in Week 11 (he posted a solid 1.2 Pro Football Focus rating on the game, too). It is unclear who will start for the team moving forward, but, if he hangs onto the job (short, or long term) it is good news for most of the pass catchers. Rod Streater led teh team in targets and showed good chemistry with his rookie QB catching six of eight balls thrown his way. While Denarius Moore had just 11 yards receiving on two catches he found the endzone, plus, there were yards left on the field as McGloin threw six passes his direction and Mychal Rivera saw his most targets (six) of the season, while getting into the endzone. Backup QBs tend to have a positive impact on the position, so, keep an eye on Rivera in particular if McGloin hangs around. After an 11 target outing the week before, DeAndre Hopkins drew just two looks and was benched, because, hey… the Texans were benching everyone this weekend (though, he played more than 50% of Houston’s snaps). I don’t think this will have any long-term ramifications for the rookie receiver but it is a situation to monitor. Andre Johnson drew 17 looks between two QBs and managed to stay fantasy relevant without a touchdown, which was nice. Garrett Graham, meanwhile, had 12 balls thrown his way and caught seven of them for a career high 136 yards after failing to eclipse that number in his last four games combined. Graham made good on what we thought would be workload promise in the wake of Owen Daniels’ injury this week. He’s worth an add but I’d like to see another six or seven passes thrown to him next week before going all in. With Michael Floyd able to go this week, Andre Roberts dropped right back down to irrelevance gaining just 14 yards despite three catches on four targets. Speaking of Floyd… he had a nice day at the office, turning in this highlight TD, and finishing with a total 193 yards on six catches (10 targets) which would have still been impressive without the tackle breaking 91 yard score. Discounting last week’s injury, Floyd came into the game averaging six targets per contest on the year and has come on in recent weeks. He’s going to start at WR for you more often than not to close the year. Larry Fitzgerald had a productive day, too (6/7/61/TD) and Rob Housler now has 10 catches and 127 yards over his last two games. I’m over my excitement re: Mike Brown in the wake of the Justin Blackmon suspension. Part of the reason for his limited work this week was that he left the game with a shoulder injury in the 3rd quarter, but, with just three targets and two catches he’s not exactly the volume play that I expected him to be. Neither was Cecil Shorts this week (four targets) and he wasn’t all that happy about it. He’s had just eight looks in the last two weeks, but, should retain WR2/3 value moving forward. Ace Sanders drew ten targets this week but seven of them came in the second half, so, we’ll assume that he won’t see that number again as long as Brown can go next week. I’ll let the Lardarius Green situation play out over a few weeks before acting, but, it should be noted that he was receiving looks all game while Vincent Brown was kept very quiet. Keenan Allen had seen just six targets and three catches before his injury. We’ll hope to see him back on the field quickly, but, his use may have peaked a few weeks ago as the entire passing offense may be coming back down to earth a bit. Mike Wallace is still averaging 7.5 targets per game over his last four, but, he’s simply not that useful from a fantasy perspective. This week, he had just six looks while Brian Hartline drew 11 targets and Rishard Matthews had five (which came back down to earth after 14 in Week 10 and is a more reasonable weekly projection). The Miami passing offense in general fared pretty well – certainly relative to last week – but don’t forget that the Chargers give up the 6th most passing YPG in the league. Leonard Hankerson went down with a ligament injury that may require surgery and in his stead Aldrick Robinson posted 60 yards and a score. Santana Moss saw more targets (six) than Robinson (three) but Moss operated largely out of the slot and only caught two of those six balls. Plus, Robinson played more snaps so my guess is that he’ll be the number two guy moving forward if Hankerson misses time. Jordan Reed was concussed after just one catch. Pierre Garcon, meanwhile, didn’t blow the doors off the Eagles but he was targeted a healthy 11 times and is averaging 10.25 per game over his last four. Nick Foles didn’t throw a passing touchdown so no one posted gaudy numbers, but, DeSean Jackson made good on all four of his looks for 82 yards while Riley Cooper was targeted six times and made three catches. With 129.8 Jackson leads the league in QB rating on throws in his direction. With Cooper, on the surface, his game will seem like a come-down game, but, there were a lot of yards left out there as Foles consistently targeted Cooper deep. On one ball in particular, Cooper beat his man for what could have been a long TD but he just couldn’t find the ball in the air. Later, he was stopped at the one yard line so that connection lives. I won’t even try to wrap my head around why Calvin Johnson disappeared in the second half with just three targets, but, his 12 (14 by the game book) on the day were plenty and his 179 first half receiving yards, to go with two scores, will pay the fantasy bills. He has 750+ yards in his last four games combined. Half of a stellar season’s numbers in a quarter season. Kris Durham drew eight looks after seeing just one target last week (a 5 yard TD) but his workload is about to change with Nate Burleson on the cusp of returning. If you’re bracing yourself for bad news on the Emmanuel Sanders foot injury front, get excited about good news on the Markus Wheaton front. The rookie played double digit snaps for just the second time all season after Sanders departed and while he didn’t post overwhelming numbers, his three catches on four targets bode well for an increased role if Sanders misses time. He’s worth a flier if you have the bench spot available. Antonio Brown, meanwhile, kept up the good work with a huge first half en route to 13 targets, seven catches, and 147 yards with two TDs. Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez and Harry Douglas each picked up nine targets. The latter two made seven and six receptions respectively. White, meanwhile, caught three balls and while he had a touchdown, it came in garbage time. His snap count and target load bode well, though and there are more forgiving matchups ahead. Mike Glennon found himself back in ‘throw it to Vincent, he’ll catch anything’ mode this weekend. His efficiency rating liked it (20/23 passing) as did Jackson owners. If you were otherwise invested in the Tampa Bay passing game (outside of Timothy Wright and maybe Tiquan Underwood in the deepest of leagues, you shouldn’t be) you were disappointed. Just one other receiver had a target and Wright had only two on the day, but, Jackson went 10/11/165 with a score against Atlanta and this type of volume should be expected more often than not. He’s a top 10 rest of season play in just about every week. Peyton Manning was, more or less, his usual self this week. He distributed the ball to all his receivers with three pass catchers over 70 yards and Julius Thomas having only 43 but finding the endzone. Wes Welker had nine targets and is averaging 9.25 over his last four games, so, it will be somewhat interesting to see where his looks get distributed if he doesn’t clear the league’s concussion protocol in time for a game that he may have a small degree of motivation to play in. Andre Caldwell saw 21 snaps but my assumption is that the targets will largely be spread around among the top three options there, assuming Julius Thomas is good to go (and it looks like he should be). After playing nearly a full complement of snaps in his first outing, Mario Manningham was on the field for less than half of San Francisco’s offensive snaps. He saw just three targets, and caught one ball. I’ll be interested to see what happens against Washington’s pass defense this week, though. Anquan Boldin received his typical eight targets and found the endzone. Marques Colston posted his second consecutive useful fantasy line, drawing six targets and making five catches, both are his third highest totals on the season and the two productive weeks in a row are a nice sign. Jimmy Graham, meanwhile, didn’t have a big impact. He was useful in PPR with six catches but gained just 41 yards on 11 targets. This is noteworthy as in every other game where he’s drawn double digit targets, Graham has posted at least 13.5 fantasy points, going over 20 in three of the four instances. The 49ers defense gives up the 3rd fewest fantasy points to TEs and are evidently a matchup to avoid. Jerome Simpson didn’t get the start in the wake of a discipline issue and while he played 32 snaps he was targeted just twice. Meanwhile, Jarius Wright and Cordarrelle Patterson each caught three balls on 45 and 42 plays respectively. Wright gained 69 yards and scored twice while Patterson gained 28 yards on nine targets. Still, it’s those nine looks that has me more excited about Patterson. Unless I hear otherwise, I’m expecting him to draw the start opposite Greg Jennings next week and the Vikings don’t play the Seahawks every week. Only 15 players had more than his nine looks this week. John Carlson continues to be interesting with Kyle Rudolph off the field(5/6/69). Percy Harvin didn’t play enough snaps (20) to say that his return limited Jermaine Kearse’s playing time, but, with just three snaps its probably safe to wipe him off your radar. Seattle didn’t throw the ball a ton to the WR/TE positions in this one, and they didn’t have to. Doug Baldwin had the big fantasy day, but, drew just two targets. In two weeks with Scott Tolzein at QB Jordy Nelson and Jarrett Boykin have each averaged 9 targets and have averaged 86.5 and 101.5 yards receiving respectively. The undrafted QB has had trouble getting the ball in the endzone but he is getting the Packers up and down the field. He’s confirmed as the starter for Week 12 and you can deploy these two as usual. James Jones is in the mix as well, but, he’s a clear third in the pecking order on an offense that can’t really support three fantasy contributors at the position until Aaron Rodgers returns. I’m trying to make something positive of Rueben Randle’s two TDs in the past two weeks – and hey, we’ll use them – but in each of those games he has been the third most targeted WR behind Cruz (averaging 10) and Nicks (averaging 4.5). He has just four redzone targets on the season compared to 10 apiece for Nicks and Cruz, so, I’m not certain the TDs are sustainable, though three of his four scores have come in the last five weeks. You’re probably starting Randle as a WR3 in most spots (and I’m starting him ahead of Nicks) but don’t go into each week counting on a score. With Shane Vereen drawing 10 of Tom Brady’s pass targets, the ball was otherwise fairly well distributed among the WRs. Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson and Rob Gronkowski each had seven targets. Carolina’s defense, as it is wont to do, held each receiver under 60 yards, though. This is a good unit… I’d been giving them credit in both phases for most of the season. I just had a momentary lapse in concentration during our Week 11 Inside the Locker Room broadcast. LaFell has had eight targets in each of the last three games and is quickly emerging as the WR to use – over Smith, let alone Ted Ginn – for the Panthers. Greg Olsen also had eight targets and scored for the third time in four weeks. The post Touches and Targets Week 11: Wide Receivers and Tight Ends appeared first on Fantasy Sports Locker Room.


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