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On Target: More Than Just The Looks

Howard Bender

Howard Bender

Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over a decade on a variety of web sites. For more from him, you can find his personal musings on his blog RotobuzzGuy.com or follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy. For questions, thoughts or comments you can email him at rotobuzzguy@gmail.com.

It was another strong passing week in the NFL here in Week 11, but it was more of a feast or famine distribution as only six receivers cleared the century mark, tying Week 7 for the lowest number of 100-yard receivers this season. Sure, we had a number of the usual suspects pony up some killer fantasy points, but between injuries, ineffective ground games and under-performing quarterbacks, several players on whom we count each week failed to provide us with the necessary production to keep our fantasy teams in the win column.

Let’s have a look at who did what…

Top Targets for Week 11

Player Name Pos Team Yards TD Pass Att Targets Recpt RZTgts RZTgt% Catch % Target %
Andre Johnson WR HOU 273 1 55 19 14 2 22.2% 73.7% 34.5%
Reggie Wayne WR IND 72 0 50 18 7 0 0.0% 38.9% 36.0%
Dez Bryant WR DAL 145 1 50 15 12 1 20.0% 80.0% 30.0%
Roddy White WR ATL 123 0 46 13 8 2 28.6% 61.5% 28.3%
Justin Blackmon WR JAX 237 1 35 13 7 1 14.3% 53.8% 37.1%
Randall Cobb WR GB 74 1 37 12 9 0 0.0% 75.0% 32.4%
Anquan Boldin WR BAL 79 0 32 12 8 0 0.0% 66.7% 37.5%
A.J. Green WR CIN 91 1 29 12 6 1 50.0% 50.0% 41.4%
Miles Austin WR DAL 58 0 50 12 6 1 20.0% 50.0% 24.0%
Danario Alexander WR SD 96 2 40 11 7 1 50.0% 63.6% 27.5%
Wes Welker WR NE 80 0 35 11 7 2 50.0% 63.6% 31.4%
Dallas Clark TE TB 58 1 46 11 7 2 33.3% 63.6% 23.9%
Danny Amendola WR STL 41 0 44 11 7 2 33.3% 63.6% 25.0%
Vincent Jackson WR TB 94 1 46 11 6 1 16.7% 54.5% 23.9%
Dwayne Allen TE IND 69 0 50 11 6 0 0.0% 54.5% 22.0%
Davone Bess WR MIA 50 1 28 11 6 1 100.0% 54.5% 39.3%
Calvin Johnson WR DET 143 1 39 11 5 1 33.3% 45.5% 28.2%
Brandon Myers TE OAK 55 1 40 10 6 3 50.0% 60.0% 25.0%
Tony Scheffler TE DET 22 0 39 10 2 1 33.3% 20.0% 25.6%
Garrett Graham TE HOU 82 2 55 9 8 2 22.2% 88.9% 16.4%
T.Y. Hilton WR IND 100 2 50 9 6 1 50.0% 66.7% 18.0%
Steve Johnson WR BUF 79 0 27 9 6 1 20.0% 66.7% 33.3%
Owen Daniels TE HOU 57 0 55 9 6 2 22.2% 66.7% 16.4%
Demaryius Thomas WR DEN 42 1 42 9 3 3 60.0% 33.3% 21.4%
Mike Williams WR TB 29 0 46 9 3 0 0.0% 33.3% 19.6%
DeSean Jackson WR PHI 5 0 46 9 2 1 100.0% 22.2% 19.6%

With the help of an overtime period, a red hot Matt Schaub and a Jacksonville pass defense that looked like something out of a high school game, Andre Johnson turned in a beast of a performance this week, leading the NFL in targets, receptions and receiving yards for the week. It was his highest fantasy point total since Week 1 and his numbers were staggering in PPR play. You couldn’t ask for much more, and with upcoming match-ups against Detroit, Tennessee and New England could just be scratching the surface here.

After what seemed like the slowest start of his career, Calvin Johnson has now passed the century mark in yardage in each of his last three games and has found the end zone in his last two. Perhaps it has something to do with his 75-percent catch rate over the last three weeks, a number he has most certainly improved upon here. Through his first seven games, he had a catch rate of just 54.7-percent, and while this was a tough week for him catch-wise, he has definitely gotten back to the Megatron we all loved and revered.

We could go on and on about some of the staples here, but let’s take a look at some of the potential outliers…

Justin Blackmon finally found a quarterback he could jell with and his performance and the team’s investment in him could spark an interesting debate if Blaine Gabbert is healthy enough to play in Week 12. We’ve always known the potential was there, but he had been a disaster up until now. Maybe Gabbert is their choice for the future, but If Chad Henne is truly the answer, then the Jags really have no choice but to make the switch. It’s not like Gabbert has done anything special to date, has he? The biggest loser in this could be Laurent Robinson who failed to catch a pass all day and saw just two looks the entire game.

It looks like Danario Alexander is turning into the top guy in San Diego lately and should be treated as such after these last two weeks. Since the benching of Robert Meachem, Alexander has 18 targets with 12 catches for 230 yards and three touchdowns which actually surpass the two-week production of both Malcom Floyd and Antonio Gates combined.

Until we get a full report on the concussion situation for Donnie Avery, I wouldn’t get too excited about T.Y. Hilton’s performance just yet. He’s been spectacular in two of the last three weeks so that is certainly working in his favor, but in order to be counted on each and every week, Avery needs to take a back seat. His targets have been a little on the inconsistent side.

With Brandon Pettigrew and Owen Daniels still active in their respective houses, endorsing a pick-up of either Tony Scheffler or Garrett Graham isn’t quite in the cards just yet. First of all, Scheffler’s catch rate for the day doesn’t exactly have anyone brimming with confidence, including Matthew Stafford, and Daniels was banged up and in coverage which allowed Graham to break out. We’ll see how it plays out, but with it being Week 11 and these being season-highs in targets for both, the outlook is murky, at best.

Welcome back to the NFL, Dallas Clark. The 11 targets was a season high and he’s now found the end zone in two straight games. Josh Freeman is suddenly expanding his target selection, so if the match-up is right, like it is in Weeks 14 and 15, you may want to give him a look.

And finally, another tight end emerging is Dwayne Allen who saw a season-high 11 targets and looks like he’s on Andrew Luck’s radar a lot more than Coby Fleener was. Maybe Luck and Fleener didn’t get along in college as well as we thought they did.

Now let’s check the aggregate…

Target Percentage Leaderboard

Player Name Pos Team Yards TD Pass Att Targets Recpt RZTgts RZTgt% Catch % Target %
Brandon Marshall WR CHI 925 8 297 107 69 15 48.4% 64.5% 36.0%
Reggie Wayne WR IND 1003 3 412 130 76 10 27.0% 58.5% 31.6%
A.J. Green WR CIN 911 10 345 104 64 16 37.2% 61.5% 30.1%
Dwayne Bowe WR KC 626 3 336 93 49 4 22.2% 52.7% 27.7%
Victor Cruz WR NYG 743 7 376 104 60 13 23.2% 57.7% 27.7%
Steve Smith WR CAR 710 1 304 84 44 8 19.0% 52.4% 27.6%
Vincent Jackson WR TB 863 7 319 88 42 15 31.9% 47.7% 27.6%
Larry Fitzgerald WR ARI 596 4 382 104 52 15 25.4% 50.0% 27.2%
Brian Hartline WR MIA 790 1 327 88 53 10 25.0% 60.2% 26.9%
Percy Harvin WR MIN 677 3 316 85 62 5 11.4% 72.9% 26.9%
Andre Johnson WR HOU 870 3 335 90 60 5 16.1% 66.7% 26.9%
Wes Welker WR NE 890 2 396 105 73 10 16.9% 69.5% 26.5%
Davone Bess WR MIA 586 1 327 82 48 4 10.0% 58.5% 25.1%
Michael Crabtree WR SF 541 5 266 66 47 5 18.5% 71.2% 24.8%
Calvin Johnson WR DET 1117 3 440 107 65 11 15.7% 60.7% 24.3%
Jason Wittten TE DAL 636 1 404 97 73 10 21.7% 75.3% 24.0%
Roddy White WR ATL 946 4 397 93 62 13 23.2% 66.7% 23.4%
Demaryius Thomas WR DEN 933 5 372 85 57 9 15.8% 67.1% 22.8%
Greg Olsen TE CAR 539 3 304 69 45 10 23.8% 65.2% 22.7%
Sidney Rice WR SEA 475 6 255 57 34 8 21.1% 59.6% 22.4%
DeSean Jackson WR PHI 691 2 394 87 44 8 21.6% 50.6% 22.1%
Anquan Boldin WR BAL 627 1 345 76 48 5 16.1% 63.2% 22.0%
Tony Gonzalez TE ATL 650 6 397 87 64 11 19.6% 73.6% 21.9%
Danny Amendola WR STL 538 2 337 72 50 10 27.8% 69.4% 21.4%
Mike Williams WR TB 597 5 319 68 34 9 19.1% 50.0% 21.3%
Dez Bryant WR DAL 735 4 404 86 57 8 17.4% 66.3% 21.3%
Eric Decker WR DEN 621 8 372 79 50 17 29.8% 63.3% 21.2%
Marques Colston WR NO 721 7 406 86 51 18 28.1% 59.3% 21.2%
Mike Wallace WR PIT 565 6 369 78 46 13 24.5% 59.0% 21.1%
Miles Austin WR DAL 727 4 404 84 49 9 19.6% 58.3% 20.8%
Brandon Lloyd WR NE 525 3 396 82 46 12 20.3% 56.1% 20.7%
Justin Blackmon WR JAX 486 2 349 72 33 4 8.3% 45.8% 20.6%
Torrey Smith WR BAL 555 7 345 71 32 6 19.4% 45.1% 20.6%
Randall Cobb WR GB 574 7 357 71 54 7 15.2% 76.1% 19.9%
Kendall Wright WR TEN 390 4 353 70 43 11 25.6% 61.4% 19.8%
Owen Daniels TE HOU 535 5 335 65 43 6 19.4% 66.2% 19.4%
Julio Jones WR ATL 736 5 397 77 47 11 19.6% 61.0% 19.4%
Jeremy Kerley WR NYJ 578 2 321 62 38 7 18.4% 61.3% 19.3%
Rob Gronkowski TE NE 748 10 396 76 53 17 28.8% 69.7% 19.2%
Andre Roberts WR ARI 547 5 382 73 41 5 8.5% 56.2% 19.1%
Jimmy Graham TE NO 562 8 406 77 51 11 17.2% 66.2% 19.0%
Donnie Avery WR IND 553 1 412 78 41 6 16.2% 52.6% 18.9%
James Jones WR GB 495 8 357 67 42 13 28.3% 62.7% 18.8%
Malcom Floyd WR SD 639 3 340 63 43 0 0.0% 68.3% 18.5%
Vernon Davis TE SF 487 5 266 49 35 4 14.8% 71.4% 18.4%
Kyle Rudolph TE MIN 306 6 316 58 34 10 22.7% 58.6% 18.4%
Cecil Shorts WR JAX 642 5 349 64 32 8 16.7% 50.0% 18.3%
Jermaine Gresham TE CIN 517 3 345 63 43 7 16.3% 68.3% 18.3%
Denarius Moore WR OAK 584 5 417 75 35 12 21.4% 46.7% 18.0%
Antonio Brown WR PIT 499 1 369 66 42 0 0.0% 63.6% 17.9%
Jordy Nelson WR GB 577 5 357 63 43 9 19.6% 68.3% 17.6%
Donald Jones WR BUF 391 4 324 56 34 10 25.0% 60.7% 17.3%
Brent Celek TE PHI 509 1 394 68 41 9 24.3% 60.3% 17.3%
Dennis Pitta TE BAL 381 3 345 59 38 9 29.0% 64.4% 17.1%
Heath Miller TE PIT 453 6 369 62 45 17 32.1% 72.6% 16.8%
Brandon LaFell WR CAR 489 3 304 51 29 5 11.9% 56.9% 16.8%
Lance Moore WR NO 638 4 406 67 42 7 10.9% 62.7% 16.5%
Jeremy Maclin WR PHI 449 4 394 65 36 8 21.6% 55.4% 16.5%
Golden Tate WR SEA 334 6 255 42 26 8 21.1% 61.9% 16.5%
Scott Chandler TE BUF 380 5 324 53 29 8 20.0% 54.7% 16.4%

Ask any Wes Welker owner if the production has matched the draft position and even the happiest of owners in PPR leagues will tell you no. However, things could change now that Rob Gronkowski is out with a broken arm and Brandon Lloyd has been demoted out of two-receiver sets. Sure, Julian Edelman will steal some looks, but Tom Brady should start leaning on his go-to guy a little more often in the coming weeks.

While it’s too soon to tell, it would appear that Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill is starting to distribute the ball a little more evenly to his receivers as Brian Hartline and Davone Bess are seeing the gap between their target percentages start to close. Bess found the endzone for the first time this season and if he can start garnering some additional red zone looks over the next few weeks, he could really increase his overall value.

Suddenly the gap between Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker is starting to widen again. Decker is still getting his red zone targets and finding the endzone, but he’s only seen nine targets over his last two games as opposed to 20 for Thomas in the same span. I wouldn’t say Decker should be downgraded to a WR3 just yet, but he’s going to need to rack up some more yardage to maintain his WR2 status.

Julio Jones’ ankle issue is obviously hampering his overall value, but Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez owners are more than happy to reap the benefits. Remember when these three were right on top of each other in target percentage? Now if we can only get Matt Ryan to never play like he did in Week 11 ever again…

With 23 targets, 18 catches and 143 yards over his last two games, it is safe to say that Danny Amendola is officially back and Sam Bradford is one happy quarterback. He should continue to climb back up the TPL in no time.

Carolina’s Brandon LaFell has finally found his way back to the TPL this week and should continue to stay here with some favorable match-ups coming. Starts against Philadelphia, Kansas City and Atlanta should be productive as the first two seem to have a bit of trouble with opposing number two receivers while the Atlanta match-up could be a strong passing day if the Panthers need to play catch-up.

And finally, beware of receivers on teams with shaky quarterback situations right now. Pittsburgh, Arizona, Philadelphia and San Francisco for right now with Jacksonville, Kansas City, and Chicago also looking potentially suspect.

Just missing the cut this week: Hakeem Nicks (16.2%), Brandon Myers (16.1%), Josh Morgan (16.0%), Mario Manningham (15.8%), Dexter McCluster (15.8%), Brandon Gibson (15.7%)

TPL Risers to Monitor: Golden Tate, Scott Chandler, Vernon Davis
TPL Fallers to Monitor: Jeremy Maclin, Dwayne Bowe, Brandon Lloyd

Week 12 Match-up to Watch: Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars – A lot could unfold in this match-up of two AFC bottom-feeders, both of who have suspect pass defenses. Jake Locker returns from a bye week having now spent two weeks studying how to expose a Jags defense that allows 277 passing yards per game with 14 passing touchdowns. Look for Kendall Wright and Nate Washington to excel. On the other side, you’ve got a definite QB controversy here with a whole lot of potential. The Titans pass D allows an average of 266 yards per game through the air while they’ve also coughed up 20 passing touchdowns. Cecil Shorts could have big days regardless of who is under center while Justin Blackmon and Marcedes Lewis could be in for another strong week with Chad Henne at the helm.

Potential Week 12 Breakouts: Sidney Rice, Dustin Keller, Michael Crabtree
Potential Week 12 Busts: Kyle Rudolph, James Jones, Vincent Jackson

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Have a question or need some advice from Howard Bender? Follow @rotobuzzguy on Twitter, or feel free to e-mail him at rotobuzzguy@gmail.com