Rotoprofessor’s Target Practice: Week 6

Oct 24, 2009


Written by Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor

Earlier in the week we took a look some of the trends in players who were targeted by their team’s in Week 6 (click here to view).  Now, let’s dive into some of the performances to try and determine who is for real and who may have been a one week wonder.

Ray Rice was targeted 11 times.
He’s been on a three-week upswing in targets (7 to 8 to 11), while Willis McGahee has been on a three-week downswing (3 to 1 to 0).  Rice has also carried the ball 35 times over the past three weeks, to McGahee’s 13.  Needless to say, it has become apparent that this is Rice’s team, with McGahee’s early season success more of a mirage.  If you have an opportunity to move on from McGahee, I wouldn’t hesitate.

Owen Daniels was targeted 9 times.
Daniels has become one of the most targeted tight ends, getting the second most looks on the Texans (to Andre Johnson) each of the past three weeks.  When you are talking about a tight end position where you never really know where the next big game is going to come from, what more can you ask for?

Lee Evans was targeted 11 times.
That matches the number of targets he had had the previous two games combined.  Of course, a lot of Buffalo’s problems rest on the shoulders of Trent Edwards, who is out this week due to a concussion.  If Ryan Fitzpatrick shows signs of life, a permanent change could be in order.  He does suffer from a weaker throwing arm, which isn’t going to help take advantage of Evans’ speed.

Steve Smith (CAR) was targeted 5 times.
The Panthers just can’t seem to get him the ball, can they?  He has just 21 catches over the season’s first five games, including just one catch for four yards in week six.  Unfortunately he draws a Bills defense ranked fourth best against the pass, allowing just 170.7 yards per game.  It doesn’t seem like the best week for him to break out of his funk, but I guess you never know.

Greg Olsen was targeted 10 times.
Many people expected Jay Cutler’s presence to allow Olsen to finally breakout, so it certainly is nice to see him getting the opportunity.  He had five catches for 57 yards last week and has caught a touchdown in each of the past three games (though one was his only catch of the game).

Andre Caldwell was targeted 9 times.
He’s sprinkled in a few good games, recording six catches three separate times already this season.  Unfortunately, he has not racked up more than 57 yards and has scored just two touchdowns, so it’s not like you can depend on that on a week-to-week basis.  If he is given significant opportunity against the Bears this week maybe he’ll have potential value, but right now he’s too much of a crapshoot.

Mohammad Massaquoi was targeted 10 times.
He’s the best receiver on a really poor offensive team, so of course that is going to lead to opportunities.  The real question is, does it also lead to fantasy value?  It certainly doesn’t hurt, but if he’s never gone to find the end zone (he has yet to score a touchdown), it’s going to take a lot to make him usable.  How often is he really going to catch eight passes for 148 yards?

Eddie Royal was targeted 4 times.
It came one week after being targeted 15 times, though having returned both a kickoff and a punt for a touchdown, he was given time off to recover.  That’s not exactly what fantasy owners want to hear, but at least he still had value.  I’d certainly expect his opportunities to increase this week.

Jermichael Finley was targeted 5 times.
That’s nothing special, but it was third most on the Packers and all five targets led to receptions (for 54 yards).  He has 11 catches for 182 yards and a touchdown over his last two games and could continue to roll against the Browns this week.  If you are in need of a tight end, he is worth rolling the dice on.

Michael Sims-Walker was targeted 11 times.
If he only hadn’t been suspended for week five, huh?  He’s the best receiver on the Jaguars, so it should not be a surprise that he continues to produce.

Bernard Berrian was targeted 5 times.
Well that’s not what fantasy owners had been expecting, is it?  The Vikings continue to be a running team, but when they turn to the air Brett Favre has done a good job of spreading the ball around.  No receiver has had more than seven targets in each of the past two weeks.  That doesn’t mean that you should avoid Vikings receivers, because they certainly can still contribute (as evidenced by Sidney Rice’s six reception, 176 yard performance in week six).

Wes Welker was targeted 11 times.
He’s the only receiver in the league to have double-digit targets the past three weeks and with Julian Edelman out and Joey Galloway released, it’s safe to assume that the trend will continue.

Steve Smith (NYG) was targeted 6 times.
After 16 targets in week four, he’s had just 10 targets total the past two weeks.  Over that time Hakeem Nicks was targeted 14 times and Mario Manningham 12 (as well as Domenik Hixon returning last week and being targeted seven times).  Could the Giants be moving back to spreading the ball around a bit more?

Dustin Keller was targeted 10 times.
That comes with Jerricho Cotchery out of the line-up, which will once again be the case in the coming week.  That could mean a lot more looks for Keller, but will it translate into a better performance (he caught just two passes for 16 yards last week)?  Against the Raiders, I’d bet that it would.

Zach Miller was targeted 11 times.
He’s a Raider, so does anyone really care?  The chances of him repeating last week’s performance is slim to none.

Chris Chambers was targeted 4 times.
Malcolm Floyd saw his targets go from one in week four to five last week.  It’s worth keeping an eye on, as Floyd could easily replace Chambers as the number two receiver and potentially become fantasy viable.

No Titans receiver was targeted more than 4 times.
It was a bad game for Tennessee, attempting only 14 passes and netting negative yardage.  While things can only get better, it’s tough to gauge who is going to be the go to guy in any given week.  That makes it tough to depend on any of them.

Chris Cooley was targeted 9 times.
After not getting the ball thrown his way a single time in week five, it was certainly nice to see him back in the mix.  He’s way too good to expect anything less and should continue to be one of the best tight ends in the league.

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?

Need more help in trying to decide who to start this week, check out our weekly rankings by clicking here.

Make sure to check out our baseball site by clicking here.

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.

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One Response so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Jungle Ceiling Fan
    October 24th, 2009 at 1:10 pm #

    I sent this post by email to a bunch of people. Hope that helps.

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