Welcome to the Week 12 NFC Target Watch. Below I’ve given you each individual’s game by game targets for weeks 6 through 12 and then their average targets per game during that span in parentheses and then each player’s total red zone targets for weeks 8 through 12.

 

 

 

Arizona Cardinals

 

John Brown: 6-5-10-5-9-9- 5 (7), Larry Fitzgerald: 6-5-10-6-10-4- dnp (6.8), Andre Ellington: 9-9-6-4-5-4- 8 (6.4), John Carlson: 6-4-6-8-4-3- 4 (5), Michael Floyd: 7-3-4-5-4-5- 2 (4.3), Jaron Brown: 1-1-1-2-3-2- 6 (2.3), Rob Housler: 3-1-1-0-2-1- 1 (1.3), Troy Niklas: dnp-dnp-dnp-0-1-2- dnp (1), Stepfan Taylor: 2-2-0-dnp-dnp-1- 0 (1), Ted Ginn: 1-1-0-2-2-0- 0 (0.9), Robert Hughes: 1-0-2-2-0-1- 0 (0.9), Marion Grice: dnp-dnp-0-0-1-0- 0 (0.2)

 

There wasn’t much offense in this game as the kickers and defenses were the main fantasy leaders. The Cardinals’ fantasy leader was their defense with 11 fantasy points; the next best was John Brown with six. So our bar for the Cardinals this week is extremely low, as it might have to be with Drew Stanton at the helm for the rest of the season.

 

Andre Ellington led the way in targets and receptions with eight and five and also added 10 rushing attempts, but only totaled 63 yards. So Ellington had 37% of the team’s looks and 31% of the total yards.

 

With Larry Fitzgerald out, Jaron and John Brown led the team with six and five targets, but John Brown was more productive with his targets while Jaron dropped a no doubt touchdown and showed why he is not starting, but not why he led the wide receivers in targets.

 

For those of you who thought maybe, just maybe, Michael Floyd would be able to build on his two touchdowns from the week before, you were sorely disappointed because instead he had two targets and zero receptions.

 

Red Zone Targets+Touches: John Carlson: Run 0/ Tar 7, Larry Fitzgerald: Run 0/ Tar 4, Jaron Brown: Run 0/ Tar 3, John Brown: Run 0/ Tar 2, Rob Housler: Run 0/ Tar 1, Robert Hughes: Run 0/ Tar 1, Marion Grice: Run 3/ Tar 1, Michael Floyd: Run 0/ Tar 1, Andre Ellington: Run 10/ Tar 1, Troy Niklas: Run 0/ Tar 1

 

The Cardinals didn’t spend much time in the red zone with Jarron seeing two targets (including that horrid drop) and John Carlson seeing one, who has dropped 19% of his catchable targets this season.

 

 

Atlanta Falcons

 

Julio Jones: 12-8-6-BYE-11-11- 13 (10.2), Roddy White: 6-15-6-BYE-6-12- 10 (9.2), Harry Douglas: dnp-dnp-5-BYE-2-4- 4 (3.8), Levine Toilolo: 6-5-2-BYE-0-4- 3 (3.3), Devin Hester: 1-5-0-BYE-4-3- 6 (3.2), Jacquizz Rodgers: 1-1-3-BYE-2-4- 3 (2.3), Devonta Freeman: 3-5-1-BYE-1-0- 1 (1.8), Steven Jackson: 2-1-0-BYE-2-3- 3 (1.8), Antone Smith: 4-2-0-BYE-0-1- dnp (1.4), Patrick DiMarco: 0-0-2-BYE-2-2- 0 (1), Eric Weems: 1-1-0-BYE-0-0- 0 (0.3), Bear Pascoe: 0-0-1-BYE-0-0- 0 (0.2)

 

Roddy White ran short, high percentage routes and caught nine of 10 targets for 96 yards, while Julio Jones caught five of 13 targets for 68 yards and a touchdown. Devin Hester had one of his better games in a while, catching four of six targets for 50 yards. That appears to be his ceiling now, so he continues to be off most league’s radar.

 

The running back situation didn’t change any with Atone Smith done for the season. Steven Jackson remained the lead back while Jacquizz Rodgers saw more snaps than Devonta Freeman in relief.

 

Red Zone Targets+Touches: Roddy White: Run 0/ Tar 5, Julio Jones: Run 0/ Tar 4, Devonta Freeman: Run 0/ Tar 2, Jacquizz Rodgers: Run 0/ Tar 2, Bear Pascoe: Run 0/ Tar 1, Patrick DiMarco: Run 0/ Tar 1, Steven Jackson: Run 12/ Tar 1, Devin Hester: Run 0/ Tar 1

 

Roddy White and Julio Jones split red zone looks with two each while Steven Jackson had one red zone touch at the one-yard line and scored.

 

 

Carolina Panthers 

 

Kelvin Benjamin: 8-6-7-10-7-13- BYE (8.5), Greg Olsen: 11-8-3-4-7-11- BYE (7.3), Jerricho Cotchery: 10-8-5-5-7-4- BYE (6.5), Jason Avant: 7-5-1-4-2-0- BYE (3.2), Jonathan Stewart: dnp-2-5-0-4-3- BYE (2.8), Brenton Bersin: 3-5-0-1-3-0- BYE (2), Fozzy Whittaker: 2-dnp-dnp-dnp-2-1- BYE (1.7), DeAngelo Williams: dnp-dnp-dnp-1-3-1- BYE (1.7), Ed Dickson: 1-1-1-2-1-2- BYE (1.3), Brandon Williams: 1-3-0-1-1-0- BYE (1), Philly Brown: 1-0-dnp-dnp-dnp-2- BYE (1), Darrin Reaves: 1-0-0-dnp-dnp-dnp- BYE (0.3), Chris Ogbonnaya: 0-1-0-0-dnp-dnp- BYE (0.2)

 

In another NFC South game in which it seemed the team backed into the win, the Panthers were the ones backed into. Cam Newton was able to lead his team back after some early gaffes, but in the end a missed field goal doomed them.

 

Once again Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen led the way in targets and production. Benjamin had 13 targets to Olsen’s 11. Benjamin continues his up and down play, but has now caught eight touchdowns and in this game had his season/career high of nine receptions. He’ll continue to be prone to down games, but he’ll also continue to be used in the red zone and have plenty of touchdown opportunities.

 

The running back touches were again split between DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart and neither was able to do much with their chances. As usual, one of these players needs to be sidelined for the other to have any real relevancy.

 

Red Zone Targets+Touches: Kelvin Benjamin: Run 0/ Tar 6, Brandon Williams: Run 0/ Tar 2, Jerricho Cotchery: Run 0/ Tar 1, Greg Olsen: Run 0/ Tar 1, Cam Newton: Run 8/ Tar 0, DeAngelo Williams: Run 2/ Tar 0, Jonathan Stewart: Run 7/ Tar 0

 

Interestingly, over the last four games Greg Olsen has only been targeted once in the red zone to six times for Benjamin. That helps to explain his recent touchdown drought. I doubt that keeps up, but we can see who the preferred target is.

 

 

Chicago Bears

 

Alshon Jeffery: 7-7-8-BYE-12-17- 4 (9.2), Brandon Marshall: 9-10-10-BYE-10-10- 5 (9), Matt Forte: 13-7-8-BYE-7-6- 6 (7.8), Martellus Bennett: 8-8-7-BYE-6-4- 7 (6.7), Marquess Wilson: dnp-dnp-dnp-BYE-dnp-4- 3 (3.5), Dante Rosario: 0-2-2-BYE-1-2- 1 (1.3), Josh Morgan: 1-0-0-BYE-2-dnp- 0 (0.6), KaDeem Carey: 0-0-0-BYE-1-0- 1 (0.3), Santonio Holmes: 0-0-0-BYE-1-dnp- dnp (0.2)

 

Alshon Jeffery went from a whopping 17 targets the week before to just four this week, but fortunately for his fantasy owners, was able to get a touchdown reception, which shouldn’t be too surprising after looking at the recent red zone targets below here.  His low target number probably had a bit to do with the rain in this game as Cutler also targeted Brandon Marshall just five times with Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte ahead of both with seven and six targets respectively. Cutler played this game as safe as he could and attempted only three passes over 10 yards.

 

Matt Forte continued his great play as he totaled 112 yards and two touchdowns. He had five receptions on six targets in this one and is averaging 6.5 receptions per game and is currently on pace for 105 total.

 

Red Zone Targets+Touches: Alshon Jeffery: Run 0/ Tar 8, Brandon Marshall: Run 0/ Tar 3, Martellus Bennett: Run 0/ Tar 2, Marquess Wilson: Run 0/ Tar 1, Matt Forte: Run 15/ Tar 1

 

Jeffery was the only non-Forte to see the ball in the red zone as he caught a two-yard touchdown. He now has eight red zone targets in the last four games.

 

 

Dallas Cowboys

 

Dez Bryant: 10-12-7-10-8-BYE- 9 (9.3), Jason Witten: 5-2-8-7-7-BYE- 6 (5.8), DeMarco Murray: 6-1-4-4-7-BYE- 3 (4.2), Terrance Williams: 2-3-7-7-2-BYE- 2 (3.8), Lance Dunbar: 4-0-2-2-2-BYE- 1 (1.8), Cole Beasley: 2-0-2-2-1-BYE- 2 (1.5), Gavin Escobar: 2-3-0-0-1-BYE- 1 (1.2), Dwayne Harris: 0-0-1-1-0-BYE- 0 (0.3), James Hanna: 0-0-1-0-0-BYE- 1 (0.3), Joseph Randle: 0-1-0-0-0-BYE- 0 (0.2), Devin Street: 0-0-1-0-0-BYE- 0 (0.2), Tyler Clutts: 1-0-0-0-0-BYE- 0 (0.2)

 

It was the usual suspects for the Cowboys this week with Dez Bryant leading the way with nine targets, catching seven for 86 yards and two touchdowns and Jason Witten with six targets, catching four for 30 yards and a touchdown. After Witten the highest targeted player was DeMarco Murray with three. That doesn’t lend itself to much fantasy production, which has been the way of Terrance Williams of late, who hasn’t had a touchdown in the last four games and has only nine receptions for 107 yards in that span.

 

DeMarco Murray had another nice game with 25 touches for 143 total yards, but once again was held out of the end zone, his fourth straight game.

 

Red Zone Targets+Touches: Dez Bryant: Run 0/ Tar 7, Jason Witten: Run 0/ Tar 4, Terrance Williams: Run 0/ Tar 1, Lance Dunbar: Run 0/ Tar 1, DeMarco Murray: Run 5/ Tar 0

 

From Week 1 through 7 DeMarco Murray had 25 red zone looks for six touchdowns and Dez Bryant had five looks for three touchdowns. From Week 8 through 12 Murray had five looks for zero touchdowns while Bryant has had seven for three more touchdowns.  

 

 

Detroit Lions

 

Calvin Johnson: dnp-dnp-dnp-BYE-15-12-10 (12.3), Golden Tate: 12-13-15-BYE-13-2- 11 (11), Theo Riddick: 6-dnp-12-BYE-3-6- 6 (6.6), Eric Ebron: 4-dnp-dnp-BYE-dnp-4- 7 (5), Joique Bell: 3-5-3-BYE-3-5- 2 (3.5), Reggie Bush: dnp-6-dnp-BYE-1-dnp- dnp (3.5), Jeremy Ross: 3-4-3-BYE-2-1- 5 (3), Corey Fuller: 5-5-6-BYE-0-0- 2 (3), Brandon Pettigrew: 0-6-dnp-BYE-0-dnp- 0 (1.5), Kellen Davis: dnp-dnp-2-BYE-1-0- dnp (1), Joseph Fauria: dnp-dnp-dnp-BYE-dnp-0- 2 (1), Ryan Broyles: 0-0-2-BYE-dnp-dnp- dnp (0.7), Jed Collins: 0-0-0-BYE-2-0- 0 (0.3), George Winn: 0-0-1-BYE-0-0- 0 (0.2)

 

There were plenty of targets to go around in this one, but very few receptions. Not every incompletion was on Matthew Stafford, but enough of them as he completed just 18 of 46 passes for 264 yards, no touchdowns and one interception.

 

Golden Tate led the way with 11 targets and Calvin Johnson had 10. Both caught four passes, with Tate accumulating 97 yards to Johnson’s 58.  After these two it was rookie tight end Eric Ebron with seven targets, but he had a poor all around game as he caught just two for 23 yards.

 

The Patriots’ defense continued to play well with a lead and were able to contain Joique Bell on 20 touches to just 46 yards. The idea that the Patriots run defense is a little soft is quickly being dispelled.

 

Red Zone Targets+Touches: Theo Riddick: Run 2/ Tar 5, Joique Bell: Run 7/ Tar 2, Calvin Johnson: Run 0/ Tar 2, Golden Tate: Run 0/ Tar 2, Eric Ebron: Run 0/ Tar 1, Joseph Fauria: Run 0/ Tar 1, Ryan Broyles: Run 0/ Tar 1, Jed Collins: Run 1/ Tar 0, Reggie Bush: Run 2/ Tar 0

 

The Lions only ran three plays inside the red zone and gained one yard.

 

 

 

Green Bay Packers

 

Jordy Nelson: 16-5-5-BYE-6-10- 12 (9), Randall Cobb: 7-7-7-BYE-6-13- 5 (7.5), Davante Adams: 8-1-9-BYE-2-2- 4 (4.3), Eddie Lacy: 0-3-9-BYE-6-4- 2 (4), Andrew Quarless: 5-1-3-BYE-5-2- 3 (3.2), Richard Rodgers: 0-2-5-BYE-3-2- 1 (2.2), James Starks: 5-1-1-BYE-1-2- 1 (1.8), Brandon Bostick: 0-2-0-BYE-2-dnp- dnp (1), Kevin Dorsey: 0-2-0-BYE-dnp-dnp- dnp (0.7), Jarrett Boykin: dnp-0-0-BYE-1-1- 0 (0.4), John Kuhn: 0-0-0-BYE-0-0- 1 (0.2)

 

Minnesota’s defense was much better than the last time these two met, but Aaron Rodgers and company were able to take this game, but without their usual fourth quarter nap time.

 

Jordy Nelson was once again a main target as he saw 12 and caught eight, but for just 68 yards as the Vikings wouldn’t give him his usual big play. The Vikings did well to slow down the Packers’ potent passing attack, but the Packers are too well rounded with Eddie Lacy as their back and they leaned on him for much of their offense as he rushed 25 times for 125 yards and a touchdown and also caught two passes for 13 yards and another touchdown. So he accounted for two of their three touchdowns and 38% of their total yards. And according to Pro Football Focus, 58% of Lacy’s yards came after contact as well. He’s beasting.

 

Red Zone Targets+Touches: Andrew Quarless: Run 0/ Tar 6, Randall Cobb: Run 0/ Tar 5, Jordy Nelson: Run 0/ Tar 4, Eddie Lacy: Run 10/ Tar 3, Richard Rodgers: Run 0/ Tar 2, Brandon Bostick: Run 0/ Tar 1, Davante Adams: Run 0/ Tar 1, DuJuan Harris: Run 1/ Tar 0, Aaron Rodgers: Run 2/ Tar 0, James Starks: Run 2/ Tar 0, John Kuhn: Run 4/ Tar 0,

 

Lacy had two rushing attempts and one shovel pass in the red zone and scored twice while Richard Rodgers was the only non Lacy to get a look, which he scored on.

 

 

Minnesota Vikings

 

Greg Jennings: 6-7-6-10-BYE-2- 6 (6.2), Cordarrelle Patterson: 8-4-12-7-BYE-3- 2 (6), Charles Johnson: 3-dnp-5-1-BYE-7- 11 (5.4), Jerick McKinnon: 6-4-1-4-BYE-7- 3 (4.2), Chase Ford: 5-3-6-7-BYE-2- 1 (4), Matt Asiata: 2-2-5-5-BYE-5- dnp (3.8), Jarius Wright: 6-4-3-4-BYE-1- 1 (3.2), Kyle Rudolph: dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-BYE-0- 5 (2.5), Rhett Ellison: 1-1-1-4-BYE-1- 4 (2), Joe Banyard: 0-0-0-0-BYE-0- 3 (0.5), Adam Thielen: 0-1-1-0-BYE-0- 0 (0.3), Jerome Felton: 0-0-1-0-BYE-0- 0 (0.2)

 

Your Vikings’ target leader for the second week in a row was Charles Johnson, this time with 11. This was a surprise with Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson and Jarius Wright all active, but Johnson leaped over Wright and Patterson in just one week as he played the most snaps out of all them including Greg Jennings as he ran three more routes than the veteran. This kind of leap doesn’t happen very often and is interesting to see, especially with Johnson’s ability.

 

Johnson unfortunately caught only two of those 11 targets, but one for a touchdown, although he had one drop. It looks like they are going to see where they stand with all these youngsters. We’ve seen Jerick McKinnon shoot up to starter and this last game with Matt Asiata out we saw more of Joe Banyard this week who played 30 snaps to McKinnon’s 39. Banyard ended up with eight looks to McKinnon’s 18, but graded out better than McKinnon on PFF.  It doesn’t seem like Ben Tate is going to crack into the lineup much even when he gets on board with the playbook if Banyard can keep his level of play up, but we shall see.

 

Red Zone Targets+Touches: Greg Jennings: Run 0/ Tar 3, Chase Ford: Run 0/ Tar 2, Rhett Ellison: Run 0/ Tar 1, Matt Asiata: Run 5/ Tar 1

 

The Vikings only ran two plays inside the red zone; one was a TD pass to Greg Jennings, the other a four-yard scramble by Teddy Bridgewater.

 

~

 

New Orleans Saints

 

Jimmy Graham: BYE-2-6-7-13-3- 10 (7), Pierre Thomas: BYE-4-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp- 8 (6.8), Kenny Stills: BYE-5-4-8-6-4- 9 (6.4), Marques Colston: BYE-10-5-3-4-8- 4 (5), Brandin Cooks: BYE-3-7-3-8-7- dnp (4.3), Travaris Cadet: BYE-9-5-5-5-5- 2 (2.3), Mark Ingram: BYE-3-2-2-5-7- 2 (1.3), Nick Toon: BYE-dnp-dnp-dnp-0-dnp- 5 (1), Robert Meachem: BYE-3-0-2-dnp-dnp- dnp (1), Erik Lorig: BYE-dnp-1-1-1-4- 0 (0.9), Ben Watson: BYE-3-0-1-3-0- 1 (0.9), Josh Hill: BYE-1-1-2-0-1- 2 (0.2), Joe Morgan: BYE-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-1- 1 (10.2), Brian Leonard: BYE-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-1- dnp (9.2)

 

Your reception leader for the Saints this week was Kenny Stills, who had a season high 9 targets and caught eight for 98 yards. It very much appears as though he is taking over Brandin Cooks’ role as he caught a couple of those passes behind the line of scrimmage and wasn’t just a deep threat. That is good news for his value, especially in PPR.

 

Jimmy Graham had to fight some tough coverage, but was able to turn his team high 10 targets into six receptions for 47 yards and two touchdowns. He does what he does.

 

Pierre Thomas returned from injury this week and saw plenty of work with five carries and eight targets. He didn’t do a ton with those looks as he totaled 56 yards, but his six receptions were nice to see in PPR leagues. He also saw his highest percentage of snaps on the season with 53% while Mark Ingram fell back down to 35% from 75% just last week. But much like the Patriots, their running back usage depends a lot on game plan. The Ravens defense is easier to pass against than run. This situation will remain tough to predict.

 

Red Zone Targets+Touches: Jimmy Graham: Run 0/ Tar 9, Mark Ingram: Run 26/ Tar 3, Kenny Stills: Run 0/ Tar 3, Erik Lorig: Run 2/ Tar 3, Marques Colston: Run 0/ Tar 2, Josh Hill: Run 0/ Tar 2, Ben Watson: Run 0/ Tar 1, Brandin Cooks: Run 2/ Tar 1, Travaris Cadet: Run 0/ Tar 1, Drew Brees: Run 3/ Tar 0

 

Graham and Ingram were the main red zone players, but Graham was much more productive with two touchdown receptions on four red zone targets, whereas Ingram ran the ball four times and caught one target, but totaled negative one yard against the Ravens tough defense.

 

 

New York Giants

 

Rueben Randle: 9-9-BYE-11-10-15- 3 (9.5), Odell Beckham Jr: 4-6-BYE-11-9-13- 11 (9), Rashad Jennings: dnp-dnp-BYE-dnp-dnp-7- 10 (8.5), Larry Donnell: 2-7-BYE-8-6-6- 4 (5.5), Peyton Hillis: 5-3-BYE-6-2-dnp- dnp (4), Preston Parker: 1-3-BYE-6-7-2- 3 (3.7), Victor Cruz: 3-dnp-BYE-dnp-dnp-dnp- dnp (3), Andre Williams: 0-3-BYE-1-5-2- 2 (2.2), Corey Washington: dnp-dnp-BYE-6-0-0- 0 (1.5), Daniel Fells: 2-1-BYE-0-1-0- 4 (1.3), Michael Cox: 0-0-BYE-0-3-dnp- dnp (0.8), Kevin Ogletree: dnp-0-BYE-1-dnp-dnp- dnp (0.5), Adrien Robinson: 2-0-BYE-0-0-0- 1 (0.5)

 

This was rookie Odell Beckham Jr.’s show as he caught 10 of 11 targets for 146 yards and two touchdowns and I’m sure you’ve all seen his amazing one-handed touchdown grab a few hundred times by now. He’s had some big games since his Week 5 debut, but this one was the first where he had both big yardage and touchdowns together. Add that to the primetime audience and his highlight reel catch and I think we can call this his true breakout game. The rookie wide receivers are tearing up the league this year and Beckham is firmly entrenched as one of, if not the best, of the group.

 

Rashad Jennings was second in targets for the team with 10 of which he caught eight for 68 yards. He wasn’t able to do much on the ground with 19 carries for 52 yards, but made up for it through the air. His work in the passing game is what has kept him a good fantasy play week in and week out when he is healthy. He is averaging 99 total yards per game this season. The only problem might be Andre Williams, who stole a goal line look from him and scored a touchdown. It was just one and Jennings also had a carry near the goal line, but it would be nice to see more touchdowns from Jennings.

 

Red Zone Targets+Touches: Rueben Randle: Run 0/ Tar 5, Preston Parker: Run 0/ Tar 4, Odell Beckham Jr: Run 0/ Tar 4, Larry Donnell: Run 0/ Tar 4, Corey Washington: Run 0/ Tar 2, Rashad Jennings: Run 3/ Tar 1, Daniel Fells: Run 0/ Tar 1, Adrien Robinson: Run 0/ Tar 1, Henry Hynoski: Run 1/ Tar 0, Andre Williams: Run 7/ Tar 0

 

Jennings and Williams had their goal line looks, but so did Adrien Robinson and Beckham, who both scored a touchdown from near the goal line. That’s good to see Beckham getting a Dez Bryant type goal line look. With his strong hands and ability to compete for a jump ball, he could really pile up the touchdowns close to the goal line.

 

 

Philadelphia Eagles

 

Jeremy Maclin: 3-BYE-16-7-7-11- 8 (8.7), Jordan Matthews: 6-BYE-11-4-9-8- 8 (7.7), Riley Cooper: 7-BYE-9-6-4-6- 6 (6.3), Zach Ertz: 5-BYE-8-2-3-6- 6 (5), Brent Celek: 5-BYE-4-2-6-3- 7 (4.5), Darren Sproles: 4-BYE-dnp-5-2-6- 4 (4.2), LeSean McCoy: 2-BYE-5-2-3-1- 1 (2.3), Josh Huff: 1-BYE-4-4-2-2- 0 (2.2), Jeff Maehl: 0-BYE-1-3-dnp-dnp- dnp (1.3), Chris Polk: dnp-BYE-1-0-0-0- 1 (0.4), Brad Smith: dnp-BYE-dnp-dnp-0-1- 0 (0.3), James Casey: 1-BYE-0-0-0-0- 1 (0.3)

 

Mark Sanchez continues to put up good yardage numbers, but play poorly. Chip Kelly’s offense would sure be interesting to watch with a top flight quarterback, but as it is he seems to be able to turn just about anyone into somewhat of a fantasy asset.

 

This week we saw LeSean McCoy put in his best game of the season with 21 rushing attempts for 130 yards and a touchdown.  This is his first game this year where he has rushed for over 100 yards while also scoring a touchdown. If I told you before the season that McCoy wouldn’t be injured and Week 12 would be the first game that happened, I think you’d call me a liar.

 

Jeremy Maclin and Jordan Matthews led the way in targets with eight each and they have easily been the #1a and #1b in this receiving core since Sanchez took over. Now with four strong games in a row for Matthews I think we can feel safe calling him a top fantasy play.

 

Red Zone Targets+Touches: Jordan Matthews: Run 0/ Tar 9, Jeremy Maclin: Run 0/ Tar 4, Brent Celek: Run 0/ Tar 4, Riley Cooper: Run 0/ Tar 2, Zach Ertz: Run 0/ Tar 2, Josh Huff: Run 0/ Tar 1, James Casey: Run 0/ Tar 1, Darren Sproles: Run 2/ Tar 1, LeSean McCoy: Run 17/ Tar 1, Brad Smith: Run 0/ Tar 1, Chris Polk: Run 8/ Tar 0

 

Matthews has been Sanchez’s favorite red zone receiver and even though he wasn’t able to score a touchdown after scoring four in his last three, he did see two more targets while Maclin had none.

 

 

San Francisco 49ers

 

Anquan Boldin: 9-10-BYE-7-15-6- 12 (9.8), Michael Crabtree: 8-7-BYE-9-8-8- 7 (7.8), Vernon Davis: 6-5-BYE-3-4-5- 5 (4.7), Steve Johnson: 6-7-BYE-5-3-1- 1 (3.8), Brandon Lloyd: 1-6-BYE-1-0-2- 1 (1.8), Frank Gore: 1-1-BYE-3-1-3- 0 (1.5), Bruce Miller: 1-0-BYE-1-1-2- 3 (1.3), Bruce Ellington: 0-4-BYE-1-0-dnp- dnp (1.2), Carlos Hyde: 1-2-BYE-2-0-1- 0 (1), Vance McDonald: 2-0-BYE-0-0-2- dnp (0.8), Derek Carrier: 0-3-BYE-1-0-0- 0 (0.7), Kassim Osgood: 0-1-BYE-0-0-0- 0 (0.2)

 

The ageless one strikes again. Whenever you think Anquan Boldin has hit his old age ceiling he just breaks right through again. Not that he has shown signs of slowing down lately. He didn’t catch his first touchdown until Week 6, but from then on he has four touchdowns in six games while averaging 6.7 receptions and 87 yards receiving. He led the team with 12 targets this week, catching nine for 137 yards and a touchdown.

 

Michael Crabtree caught five of seven targets for 58 yards and after a strong game the week before, dropped back down to second fiddle. He now has failed to reach 86 yards in any game this season.

 

Vernon Davis looks to have given up on football.

 

Red Zone Targets+Touches: Anquan Boldin: Run 0/ Tar 3, Michael Crabtree: Run 0/ Tar 1, Frank Gore: Run 6/ Tar 1, Colin Kaepernick: Run 4/ Tar 0, Carlos Hyde: Run 4/ Tar 0

 

Lately we’ve seen more Frank Gore in the red zone, but this week the only running back touches were from Carlos Hyde who ran the ball twice and scored a touchdown. This also came after Hyde had fumbled earlier in the game, so they must have really wanted his skill set in there close to the goal line.

 

 

Seattle Seahawks

 

Doug Baldwin: 3-11-8-6-6-9- 2 (6.4), Jermaine Kearse: 7-7-2-7-4-9- 2 (5.4), Paul Richardson: dnp-5-3-6-2-4- 0 (3.3), Luke Willson: 6-dnp-4-5-0-3- 1 (3.2), Marshawn Lynch: 2-2-4-5-1-3- 4 (3), Cooper Helfet: 1-6-4-0-2-3- 2 (2.6), Tony Moeaki: dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-1- 4 (2.5), Robert Turbin: 0-4-3-2-0-0- 3 (1.7), Kevin Norwood: dnp-1-2-1-0-0- 2 (1), Ricardo Lockette: 1-0-2-1-2-0- 1 (1), Bryan Walters: 3-0-dnp-dnp-0-0- 0 (0.6)

 

Steven Hauschka was your offensive MVP of this game as he kicked four field goals to give his team the lead at 12-3 and the only touchdown came with .52 seconds left when Russell Wilson hit tight end Cooper Helfet to put them up 19-3.

 

At this point there really is no reason to even roster a Seahawks’ receiver in 12 team leagues. Doug Baldwin has averaged 6.4 targets over the last 7 weeks and had a season low two targets against the Cardinals. Since his post-Percy Harvin trade breakout, he is averaging 36 yards receiving per game.

 

The only two effective offensive players right now are Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson when running the ball.  Lynch ranks fifth in the league in rushing yards and Wilson ranks 15th.

 

Red Zone Targets+Touches: Doug Baldwin: Run 0/ Tar 6, Marshawn Lynch: Run 25/ Tar 5, Jermaine Kearse: Run 0/ Tar 4, Luke Willson: Run 0/ Tar 4, Cooper Helfet: Run 0/ Tar 4, Paul Richardson: Run 0/ Tar 2, Robert Turbin: Run 2/ Tar 1, Tony Moeaki: Run 0/ Tar 1, Russell Wilson: Run 10/ Tar 0, Christine Michael: Run 1/ Tar 0

 

Lynch had five looks in the red zone even though he missed two series to an upset stomach or maybe a horrible back injury, one or the other. Cooper Helfet was the only receiver to see a target in the red zone as he had two and caught one for a touchdown.

 

 

St. Louis Rams

 

Jared Cook: 11-3-3-5-3-5- 9 (5.6), Kenny Britt: 6-3-5-4-5-7- 6 (5.1), Austin Pettis: 4-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp- dnp (4), Tavon Austin: 5-4-2-3-3-4- 3 (3.4), Benny Cunningham: 2-5-1-3-4-4- 4 (3.3), Stedman Bailey: 2-0-3-1-2-3- 9 (2.9), Brian Quick: 4-2-2-dnp-dnp-dnp- dnp (2.7), Lance Kendricks: 2-3-1-2-2-3- 2 (2.1), Tre Mason: 1-0-1-2-6-2- 2 (2), Chris Givens: dnp-1-2-2-4-0- 0 (1.5), Zac Stacy: 3-0-4-dnp-0-dnp- 0 (1.4), Damian Williams: 1-dnp-dnp-0-0-dnp- dnp (0.3), Cory Harkey: 0-1-0-1-0-0- 0 (0.3), Trey Watts: 0-0-0-1-dnp-0- 0 (0.2)

 

Jared Cook and Stedman Bailey led the team with nine targets each, but Bailey was by far the better and more productive player as he caught seven for 89 yards and a touchdown. Bailey actually had an amazing touchdown catch wiped out by Cook’s illegal hands to the face penalty. Thankfully for Bailey he was able to score on the next play, but Cook made other mental errors in this game and continues to be unable to turn his ability into on-field results. But he continues to see the targets.

 

Tavon Austin continues to see rushing attempts and this week they finally paid off, as he was able to score. He also had a return touchdown called back on a pitifully bad holding call. He’s not going to be a regular fantasy star, but he could become an Eric Metcalf type player, which would be great for the Rams.

 

Tre Mason continues to be the early down back and show flashes of big play ability, but he also continues to lose passing downs to Benny Cunningham. Until he can win that job he’ll have trouble being consistent.

 

Red Zone Targets+Touches: Stedman Bailey: Run 0/ Tar 2, Benny Cunningham: Run 4/ Tar 2, Lance Kendricks: Run 0/ Tar 2, Kenny Britt: Run 0/ Tar 2, Jared Cook: Run 0/ Tar 1, Zac Stacy: Run 0/ Tar 1, Shaun Hill: Run 0/ Tar 1, Chris Givens: Run 0/ Tar 1, Tavon Austin: Run 6/ Tar 0, Austin Davis: Run 1/ Tar 0, Tre Mason: Run 7/ Tar 0

 

The Rams red zone looks are all over the page. Bailey looks to be a strong contender for more looks near the goal line as he is the most physical and strong-handed receiver on the team despite his smaller stature.

 

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 

Vincent Jackson: 13-BYE-5-12-13-4- 9 (9.3), Mike Evans: 8-BYE-7-11-9-9- 11 (9.2), Louis Murphy: 9-BYE-2-4-2-3- 8 (4.7), Austin Seferian-Jenkins: 5-BYE-4-3-9-1- 4 (4.3), Bobby Rainey: 3-BYE-6-3-5-1- 6 (4), Charles Sims: dnp-BYE-dnp-dnp-2-4- 4 (3.3), Doug Martin: 2-BYE-2-dnp-dnp-dnp- 3 (2.3), Brandon Myers: 2-BYE-2-0-0-1- 1 (1), Robert Herron: 2-BYE-0-0-dnp-dnp- dnp (0.7), Luke Stocker: 0-BYE-0-0-dnp-dnp- 2 (0.5), Marcus Thigpen: dnp-BYE-dnp-0-1-0- 0 (0.2)

 

The Bucs running game is going absolutely nowhere with some middling talent on the offensive line and running back. Doug Martin got the start and rushed 11 times for 27 yards and Charles Sims rushed six times for 22 yards while catching two of four targets for 11 yards. Bobby Rainey was used mostly in the passing game as he caught four of six targets for 18 yards. At this point in the season I just don’t see any one running back making a strong enough push to get the majority of the work and have the support to put up fantasy playoff winning numbers.

 

Mike Evans led the team with 11 targets, but only caught three for 47 yards, thankfully for his owners he caught yet another touchdown, his sixth in the last four games.

 

Vincent Jackson was second on the team with nine targets, catching five for 117 yards. He’s had a disappointing season, but he continues to see enough targets to make him hard to sit.

 

Louis Murphy hit 113 yards receiving on six receptions, but I think we can overlook this performance because Evans and Jackson aren’t going away and there’s no way McCown can reliably feed three wide receivers.

 

Red Zone Targets+Touches: Mike Evans: Run 0/ Tar 4, Vincent Jackson: Run 0/ Tar 3, Bobby Rainey: Run 6/ Tar 2, Austin Seferian-Jenkins: Run 0/ Tar 2, Brandon Myers: Run 0/ Tar 1, Louis Murphy: Run 0/ Tar 1, Mike James: Run 3/ Tar 0, Josh McCown: Run 1/ Tar 0, Mike Glennon: Run 1/ Tar 0

 

Evans had two red zone targets and caught one for a touchdown. Usually he’s catching longer touchdown passes, so it’s good to see him getting red zone targets for games like this one where the deep ball isn’t working.

 

 

Washington

 

DeSean Jackson: 5-5-7-7-BYE-6- 5 (5.8), Jordan Reed: 11-6-7-1-BYE-3- dnp (5.6), Andre Roberts: 9-4-5-5-BYE-2- 4 (4.8), Pierre Garcon: 6-6-4-5-BYE-2- 4 (4.5), Roy Helu: 2-3-2-5-BYE-6- 2 (3.3), Niles Paul: 2-2-3-2-BYE-5- 2 (2.7), Alfred Morris: 3-0-1-3-BYE-3- 1 (1.8), Leonard Hankerson: dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-BYE-1- dnp (1), Darrel Young: 0-1-1-0-BYE-1- 1 (0.7), Silas Redd: 0-0-0-dnp-BYE-3- 0 (0.6), Logan Paulsen: 0-1-0-0-BYE-0- 1 (0.3)

 

Robert Griffin III doesn’t look prepared out there. He’s not getting rid of the ball quickly, even when he has receivers open and when he does throw it he is often off target. I personally don’t think Kirk Cousins is the answer, so keeping RG III’s feet to the fire might be the best course, but he sure isn’t getting the job done. On his 19 attempts he was only able to complete two where his receiver was over 10 yards down field and he ended up totaling 109 yards passing.

 

With RG III playing poorly they had to rely on Alfred Morris and he did yeoman’s work, rushing 21 times for 125 yards and a touchdown against a strong 49ers defense who also knew that they didn’t have to overly worry about the pass.

 

Red Zone Targets+Touches: DeSean Jackson: Run 0/ Tar 4, Roy Helu: Run 1/ Tar 3, Alfred Morris: Run 11/ Tar 1, Niles Paul: Run 0/ Tar 1, Andre Roberts: Run 0/ Tar 1, Robert Griffin III: Run 2/ Tar 0, Darrel Young: Run 2/ Tar 0

 

For some reason Darrell Young saw two goal line carries, but was stopped, and then Morris came in and got the touchdown. I have no clue why they even contemplate putting Young in over Morris. What’s the upside?

Source Article from http://rotoworld.com/articles/nfl/50336/283/week-12-target-watch-nfc