Rotoprofessor’s Target Practice: Week 3

Oct 3, 2009

Written by Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor

With three weeks in the books, we are starting to see some distinctive trends as to who is being targeted by their quarterbacks and who is not.  Let’s take a look at some of the major storylines coming out of last weekend’s games and what conclusions we can draw from them:

Steven Jackson led the Rams being targeted 8 times
It speaks volumes about the Rams passing game with Laurent Robinson injured, doesn’t it?  Donnie Avery was second on the team with seven and could emerge as the go to guy on the outside, but the truth of the matter is that Steven Jackson is the team’s entire offense at this point.  He’s the only Ram worth having in your starting line-up.

Terrell Owens was targeted 5 times
That put him fourth on the team and led to no catches.  He’s not going to stay quiet long, is he?  I’d expect him to almost force Trent Edwards to throw him the ball in the coming weeks, meaning he could be in store for some big games.

Ray Rice was targeted 7 times
It was second most on the team, behind just Derrick Mason (8).  It goes to show that even if he isn’t getting all of the carries (he had 11 last week while Willis McGahee had 7), he’s going to be given a chance to contribute in the passing game as well.  That certainly helps keep him valuable, despite McGahee getting the bulk of the scoring chances in the early going.

Vernon Davis was targeted 10 times
After being buried in the Mike Singleton’s doghouse last season, he clearly has emerged as a significant part of the 49ers offense.  He also could be on the precipice of realizing all that potential we’ve heard about.  He had 7 catches for 96 yards and 2 TD, giving him 14 catches on the young season.  If he’s on the waiver wire and you are using anyone outside of the top few tight ends, he’s worth grabbing.

Randy Moss was targeted 16 times
Does it really surprise you?  It was only a matter of time before he and Tom Brady got onto the same page.

Justin Gage was targeted 10 times
Despite it leading to just 4 catches for 47 yards, it is nice to see that he is one of the prime options for the Titans.  It’s the second time in three weeks that he lead the Titans in targets, saying a lot on how he fits into the offense.

Brett Celek was targeted 9 times
Donovan McNabb can just stay away a little longer, right?  With McNabb injured and Kevin Kolb manning the QB position, Celek has emerged with 16 catches, 208 yards and 1 TD in two games.  Granted, he did have 6 catches and one TD in Week 1, but these last two weeks have been unbelievably productive.

Michael Sims-Walker was targeted 10 times
Welcome to a major role in the Jaguars offense Mr. Sims-Walker.  He led the way (Torry Holt & Maurice Jones-Drew each had seven) and that is something that could continue.  He’s a must own in all formats if he’s still sitting available for some reason.

Santana Moss was targeted 14 times
The talk of his downfall may have been slightly overblown, huh?  He made the most of his opportunities, catching 10 passes for 178 yards and 1 TD.  Obviously, he’s not going to continue at that type of pace each week but he has a lot more to offer then he showed in the early going.

No Bear receiver was targeted more than 6 times
Jay Cutler doesn’t have one elite option, therefore he’s likely going to continually spread the ball around.  That means any option could have a big week at any time, or could have minimal impact, making it tough to count on any of them.

Mike Wallace was targeted 8 times
That led the way for the Steelers, but with Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes and Heath Miller in the mix, I wouldn’t expect his big day (7 catches for 102 yards) to come very often.

Eddie Royal was targeted 3 times
Not many looks and not many catches (1 reception for 4 yards).  He certainly is feeling the absence of Jay Cutler in the first few weeks, catching just 6 passes for 42 yards.  He should get a good rapport with Kyle Orton before long, so if someone is willing to sell him for pennies on the dollar, do not hesitate.  He’s better than what he’s shown.

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?

. .

No Responses so far | Have Your Say!

Leave a Comment

Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties