Fantasy Football on Target - Week 3
Opportunity in the NFL world can translate into success in the fantasy football world. This is where targets come into play. While a wide receiver may have caught only four passes in a given week, his target total might have been double or triple that. Those targets may not have translated into catches one week, but they may in the future.
The following players gained attention because of the number of targets they received in the first two weeks. Are these numbers a trend in the making or simply an aberration?
Fantasy Football on Target
New York Giants wideouts Mario Manningham and Steven Smith have stepped up; both are quickly bringing an end to the thought process the Giants need a high-profile, "name" receiver. Smith, who is excelling in point-per-reception leagues (16 receptions in two weeks), was the target of 15 passes in Week 2 - almost double that of his eight looks in Week 1. Manningham, meanwhile, saw his targets jump from four in Week 1 to 13 in Week 2. Even better: Manningham, a big-play threat, has caught 13 of the 17 passes intended for him, and has found the end zone each of the last two weeks. These two need to be on your fantasy teams... now!
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings saw five targets, yet failed to catch any of them and had a horrible drop during their opening drive. Ouch. Yes, I would like some cheese to go with my whine.
I'm quickly developing some serious man love for St. Louis Rams wide receiver Laurent Robinson, who was mentioned in this space last week. In two weeks, he has seen no less than nine targets per game and has seen an average of two looks in the red zone. Keep in mind the Rams don't get into the red zone a lot, so that's saying something. The Rams are only connecting with Robinson on 58 percent of his targets, so there is room for production growth!
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Bobby Wade isn't someone I saw myself writing about this year, but he needs an eye kept on him - at least in point-per-reception leagues. He was the target of nine balls in Week 2, which he turned into six receptions for 72 yards. He may be able to become Kansas City's version of Wes Welker.
You don't need me to tell you the Chiefs are not a very good team. However, you think they'd pass more often. They are averaging 31.5 passing attempts per game, yet receiver Dwayne Bowe - the team's most talented receiver - has been targeted just 10 times in two weeks. That's disappointing, considering many other top receivers see double-digit targets in one game. The only saving grace is 30 percent of his looks have come in the red zone.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry found the end zone in Week 2, but through two games he has been the target of just five passes. That's simply not good enough nor enough looks to give him strong consideration for your starting lineup right now.
The Denver Broncos are slowly integrating rookie running back Knowshon Moreno into their offense more and more. He was utilized eight times in Week 1, but saw that number jump to a more respectable 19 in Week 2, including two looks in the red zone. Correll Buckhalter, in comparison, was utilized 10 times in Week 1 and 12 times in Week 2, so he is not seeing less (yet) with the growth of Moreno.
Chicago Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett had 15 looks in Week 1, only to irritate fantasy players in Week 2 when he saw a whopping two targets. Yuck. Don't be shocked to see continued inconsistency out of the passing game, as the Bears look to figure out what works best with new quarterback Jay Cutler.
Speaking of Chicago wideouts, Johnny Knox had 10 targets in Week 2, including one in the red zone, after just seeing four looks in Week 1. He and Cutler hooked up six times for 70 yards and a score. A sign of things to come?
New York Jets wide receiver Chansi Stuckey saw his targets in Week 2 (seven) drop by one, but he saw three looks inside the red zone. He has averaged four receptions, 50.5 receiving yards and 0.5 receiving touchdowns so far, which is ho-hummish production. However, he has seen no less than seven looks each of the first two weeks, and that's important.
With wide receiver Wes Welker (hamstring) out of action in Week 2, New England Patriots receivers Joey Galloway (13 targets) and Julian Edelman (16) targets saw a ton of looks. Galloway had just two looks in Week 1, while this was Edelman's first action of the year. Welker had 16 looks in Week 1, so clearly there were a lot of extra tosses from quarterback Tom Brady to be shared between the two. Edelman (eight catches, 98 yards) did a nice Welker impersonation, while Galloway (five receptions, 53 yards) helped pick up some slack. Don't look for their high looks to continue upon Welker's return; but, in the meantime, both could see substantial looks.
San Diego Chargers wide receiver Chris Chambers was a forgotten man in Week 1, seeing just one target. In Week 2, he saw that skyrocket to 11 looks. Don't read into this, the Chargers abandoned the run versus the Baltimore Ravens, as quarterback Philip Rivers went to the air early and often.
New Orleans Saints receiver Lance Moore (hamstring) was lightning in a bottle last year, but has yet to make much of an impact. While he left early in Week 2 due to a hammy injury, he has just three looks in two games. The Saints have a lot of mouths to feed, so Moore - even when healthy - might just be seeing scraps.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Josh Morgan was a sleeper of many, myself included, but so far he's snoring logs. He has just five targets in two games, which pales in comparison to Isaac Bruce's 16 targets. I'm not jumping ship yet, but starting to consider it.
Remember: Opportunity can lead to success. Find out which of these players we recommend adding in this week's Fantasy Football Waiver Wire.
Until next time, may all of the passes to your players be on target!
About Ryan R. Bonini
Founding KFFL in 1996, Bonini serves as VP of technology for KFFL's parent company, USA TODAY SPORTS. Bonini was named the 2009 Fantasy Football Writer of the Year by the FSWA and received honors with the Best Fantasy Football Series in '10.
His work has been found in USA TODAY Sports, Yahoo! Sports, FOX Sports, CBS Sports, NFL.com, and many others. He has also been featured on numerous radio programs around the country. Bonini is a member of the PFWA, FSWA and FSTA. Follow @RyanBonini
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