Rotoprofessor’s Target Practice: Week 5

Oct 17, 2009

RP4

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 5 (clickhere 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.

Eddie Royal was targeted 15 times.
This was the type of performance that fantasy owners have been waiting for.  With just six catches heading into the day, he went off for 10 catches and 90 yards.  He still has yet to find the end zone, but it should certainly come in time.  Along with Brandon Marshall (11 targets), they have the potential to be one of the most electric receiver duos in the league.  If someone in your league gave up on Royal, don’t hesitate with that waiver claim.

Braylon Edwards was targeted 9 times.
Even with less than a week to get into the groove of the offense and work with Mark Sanchez, the Jets were willing to go to him early and often.  Of course, a healthy Jericho Cotchery (targeted just twice) will likely cut into his looks going forward, but still.  If this first game is any indication, he’s in store for a big few weeks in New York.

Mushin Muhammad was targeted 10 times.
He and Steve Smith (6 targets) were the only players on the team who were targeted more than twice.  That tells you the state of the Panthers offense, but also screams that Muhammad could be a viable option for deeper formats if you are in need of a wide receiver.  With Tampa Bay next on the schedule, now is as good a time as ever to take the gamble.

Todd Heap was targeted 9 times.
With Derrick Mason essentially taken out of the game (he was targeted just once), the Ravens were forced to go to check down options.  Enter Heap (7 catches for 41 yards), who has the potential to put up a solid game in any given week (though, you can say that about a lot of tight ends, can’t you).  He was the fifth most targeted tight end this past week, but that’s not likely to happen very often.  He is putting up significantly better statistics than 2008, but he’s still just a bye week replacement and nothing more.

Terrell Owens was targeted 7 times.
That tied for the team lead, so at least they tried to get him the ball and it led to 4 catches for 44 yards.  Unbelievably, that’s the most catches he has had in a game to date.  There have been rumblings that he could actually get traded, but I’m not holding my breath on that.  As the weather worsens, it is going to be tougher for him to put up big numbers in Buffalo, but then again, it can’t get much worse, can it?

Jamal Charles was targeted 7 times.
With Larry Johnson struggling, it is only a matter of time that Charles becomes a bigger focus in the offense.  The fact that he was targeted this many times in the passing game could simply be the sign of things to come.

Chad Ochocinco was targeted 10 times.
That’s 21 targets over the past two weeks, and it surely has helped him deliver.  He had seven catches for 94 yards, the most yards he has had in a game since December 30, 2007 against the Miami Dolphins.  He is proving to be the main target in Cincinnati and appears to once again be a solid play in all formats.

Miles Austin was targeted 15 times.
He’s the talk of waiver wires this week, isn’t he?  I discussed him in my Waiver Worthy column (click here to view), so I won’t go into detail on him again here.  The bottom line is that this very well could have been his coming out party and he could prove to be a viable fantasy receiver the rest of the way.

Dennis Northcutt was targeted 8 times.
He was only a frequent target due to Calvin Johnson’s early exit.  With Johnson’s injury thought to be minor at this point, don’t look for Northcutt to continue to get many looks in the coming weeks.

Austin Collie was targeted 9 times.
It’s amazing how Peyton Manning can spread the ball, isn’t it?  Collie was among four Colts who were targeted 8 or more times this week.  Of course, as I said in the Waiver Worthy column, once Anthony Gonzalez returns to the mix there may not be enough balls to go around to keep Collie as much in the mix.  That’s worth keeping in mind before pouncing on him.

Jerheme Urban was targeted 5 times.
Are there really that many balls to go around?  With so many other weapons, it is amazing that the Arizona Cardinals managed to even attempt to get him the ball five times in this game.  It led to 4 catches for 41 yards, but that’s nothing to get very excited about.  Of course, once the Cardinals decide to start utilizing a ground game, he’ll likely fall into obscurity.

Torry Holt was targeted 11 times.
With Michael Sims-Walker suspended, the throws had to go somewhere.  He made the most of it, with 7 catches for 95 yards.  He certainly has the potential to keep the good times rolling as he gets to take on his former team, the St. Louis Rams, in Week 6.  He’s going to be motivated to produce, so as a bye week alternative, I’d certainly consider grabbing him even if Sims-Walker is back in the mix.  He’s coming off a game with his most catches since December 30, 2007 and most yards since December 2, 2007.

Wes Welker was targeted 15 times.
If there was any question as to who the go to receiver is in New England, just look at the past two weeks.  While Welker was targeted 25 times, Randy Moss was targeted just 9.

Vernon Davis was targeted 12 times.
The signing of Michael Crabtree could influence Davis’ value moving forward, but he has proven over these past few weeks that the talent we have all heard about is finally being shown.  He’s worth using in all formats at this point, coming off a week where he was tied for the most targeted tight end in the league (with Tampa Bay’s Kellen Winslow).

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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