Rotoprofessor’s Target Practice: Week 2

Sep 25, 2009

Written by Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor

Week two’s games brought some interesting storylines over who was targeted and who wasn’t.  Bernard Berrian, thought by many to be a great sleeper option, only had six passes thrown his way, half as many as Joey Galloway.  Johnny Knox, Laurent Robinson and other young receivers were given ample opportunity and took advantage of them.  Let’s look at these stories and all the rest.

Kellen Winslow was targeted 10 times
Last week it was nine times, so it should be clear now that he is going to play a major role in the Buccaneers passing game.  This could finally be his opportunity to make a splash, as he had 7 catches for 90 yards and 1 TD in week two.  We’ve all heard about his tremendous potential, now seems to be the time we are finally seeing it.

Laurent Robinson was targeted 9 times
That led the Rams as he continues his impressive start to 2009.  The third-year receiver seems to have claimed the number one role in a weak St. Louis offense, which could mean a big season.  I’ve been in favor of scooping him off the waiver wire since week one, but if he’s still dangling out there I certainly wouldn’t hesitate now.

Laverneous Coles was targeted 3 times
Hmmm…  He was supposed to join Cincinnati to be the #2 receiver, but thus far has managed just three catches and isn’t getting looked at very often.  Then again, Carson Palmer only threw the ball 23 times last week and the only player with more than four targets was Chad Ochocinco.  Once Palmer gets settled back into QBing in the NFL, I would expect Coles to make a bigger impact, so don’t panic quite yet.

Bernard Berrian was targeted 6 times
Granted, each time Brett Favre targeted him ended in a completion, but it’s obviously unfair to expect anything like that to continue.  With Adrian Peterson hurting, maybe they turn to the air a little bit more, otherwise Berrian is going to be nothing more than a WR3 in most formats.  It’s becoming obvious that the Vikings are going to stick to the ground game as much as possible.

Justin Gage was targeted 4 times
He went from a huge first week of the season to not being the most targeted receiver on his own team, behind a now healthy Nate Washington.  It is just one week, but it’s worth monitoring.

Joey Galloway was targeted 12 times
Amazingly, that wasn’t even the high on the team.  I know your assumption would be that Tom Brady looked for Randy Moss more, but it was Julian Edelman who led the way with 16 targets.  It speaks volume of the role that Wes Welker plays on this team.  You also have to take into account that Brady is not going to be throwing the ball 47 times every week.  A healthy Welker and decreased throws likely means far less targets for Galloway.

Brent Celek was targeted 11 times
It’s a huge game for the tight end (8 catches for 104 yards), but a lot of factors contributed to it.  First of all, it was Kevin Kolb behind center, not Donovan McNabb, so he was more apt to use the “safe” option.  Second, Kolb was forced to throw the ball 51 times in the shootout.  The Eagles aren’t going to throw the ball that much very often, and Kolb also won’t be behind center long.  The moral of the story is that I wouldn’t expect this type of performance from Celek very often.

Mike Sims-Walker was targeted 9 times
Welcome to the #2 receivers role in Jacksonville.  While David Garrard isn’t going to be throwing the ball 43 times in a game very often, Sims-Walker should be given plenty of chances to make plays given his new role.

Johnny Knox was targeted 9 times
Welcome to the big show.  He had six catches for 70 yards and a touchdown, after making two catches for 82 yards the first week of the season.  The rookie is a burner, but showed last week that he is not a one trick pony.  It’s still a little bit early to dub him a solid option in all formats, but another strong week and the continuing rapport with Jay Cutler would go a long ways.

Chris Chambers was targeted 10 times
It appears that I was correct last week when I said Chambers would be targeted more often, unfortunately those extra looks led to just two catches and 30 yards.  It certainly would appear like he isn’t much of an option at this point.

Mario Manningham & Steve Smith each was targeted 13 times
We’ve heard a lot about these two since the Sunday night game.  It’s unlikely that they continue to see so many chances, especially once Dominick Hixon and Hakeem Nicks return to the field.  Still, this game shows their ability to come through in the clutch.  At this point it appears that they are going to be the main targets in New York, though that obviously could change at a moments notice.  For now, they both are worth owning.

What are your thoughts?  Which player who was targeted do you think is worth stashing?  Who do you think is going to continue to be ignored?

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