In case you missed it, the AFC Targets and Touches column can be found here.
If a player has an asterisk next to a number in their data set that indicates the player was injured during the game. Also, this data will stick to fantasy relevant players meaning that running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends that only see one target or touch per-game will not be included.
Analysis: Larry Fitzgerald is a borderline WR1 in fantasy football this year. He was drafted as a low-end WR3 in August, which may turn out to be one of the top-3 biggest steals in re-draft leagues this year. When Carson Palmer is starting at quarterback for the Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald averages 5.5 receptions, 70.8 receiving yards, and 0.68 touchdowns on 8.16 targets per-game. Fitz not only has a high weekly floor in PPR leagues but he’s locked-in as the Cards’ red zone threat – he’s seen five of Palmer’s 12 attempts inside of the 20-yard-line through three games.
Analysis: Julio Jones just had a record-breaking start to his season. He tied T.J. Houshmandzadeh for the most targets (46) in Weeks 1 through 3 since target tracking began in 1998. Jones also set an NFL record for the most receptions (34) in the first three games of a season, beating previous record holders Tim Brown and Wes Welker (31). We are living in the Year of the Julio.
Without Tevin Coleman (ribs), Devonta Freeman was the Falcons’ workhorse back in Week 3. Terron Ward was the only other Atlanta back active in Dallas. Freeman had his best game as a pro to-date on his 35 touches posting a 30-141-3 rushing line (4.7 yards per carry) and will remain a mid-to-high RB2 for as long as Coleman is inactive.
RB Touches: Jonathan Stewart (22, 18, 14)
Analysis: After seeing just three targets in Week 1, Greg Olsen has seen 36.8% of Cam Newton’s targets in the last two weeks. That target share is bound to regress a bit, but he’s locked in to at least eight targets per-game for the time being. Rob Gronkowski is the only tight end that will consistently see similar weekly volume. Through three weeks, Jonathan Stewart has seen 50% of the Panthers’ carries (Cam Newton has 31.6%) and 46.7% of the red zone carries.
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Analysis: After being shutout by the Seahawks on the road in Week 3, the Bears’ target and touch data is easy to digest. With Alshon Jeffery (hamstring/calf) likely returning in Week 4, his weekly floor is intact even with Jimmy Clausen just on volume alone.
Analysis: Via NFL.com’s Matt Harmon, Joseph Randle’s yardage gained on each of his 14 carries on Sunday: 28, 37, 20, 1, -1, 1, 4, 1, 0, 1, -1, -4, 2, -2. Randle is seeing 62.3% of the Cowboys carries but has only played on 41.4% of Dallas’ snaps. He’s a RB2 based on volume and Dallas’ offensive line, but I am not chasing his three touchdown performance.
Analysis: For whatever reason, the Lions love wasting touches on Joique Bell. Through three games he has 20 carries for 22 yards and one one-yard touchdown score. He’s averaging 1.1 yards per carry and his longest run is seven yards.
On a better note, I’m not overly worried about Calvin Johnson. He’s going to continue to see double-digit targets and the Lions’ schedule has been fairly rough sledding as far as opposing secondaries go. He’ll see Richard Sherman and Seattle on Monday Night Football in Week 4, but after that his next eight matchups really open up some major scoring opportunities. The Lions face: the Cardinals, Bears, Vikings, Chiefs, Packers (twice), Raiders, and the Eagles.
Green Bay Packers
Targets: Randall Cobb (5, 11, 12), Davante Adams (8, 5, 2*), Eddie Lacy (3, 0*, 3), James Jones (4, 3, 8), Richard Rodgers (3, 4, 4), James Starks (0, 4, 1), Ty Montgomery (0, 4, 2), Andrew Quarless (0, 0, 2)
Analysis: Davante Adams re-aggravated or re-injured his left ankle sprain on Monday Night Football and per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Adams is expected to miss “some time”. Stay tuned to Green Bay’s practice reports on Adams’ injury, but James Jones stands to benefit the most if Adams indeed misses time. Regardless of Adams’ ankle injury, James Jones is already pushing for the Packers’ No. 2 wide receiver job.
Analysis: Through three games, the Vikings offense has funneled through Adrian Peterson while Teddy Bridgewater has attempted just 74 passes this year, the 29th most among quarterbacks in the league. It’s an easy fantasy offense to diagnose, although it’s not full of fantasy goodness: Peterson is a top-8 option regardless of the week, Charles Johnson and Mike Wallace are both low-end WR4’s, and Kyle Rudolph is in a cohort of low-TE1’s.
New Orleans Saints
Targets: Brandin Cooks (8, 7, 8), Mark Ingram (9, 3, 5), Marques Colston (7, 5, 6), Brandon Coleman (7, 6, 3), C.J. Spiller (0, 1, 2), Khiry Robinson (6, 1, 2), Ben Watson (5, 4, 4), Willie Snead (3, 6, 7), Josh Hill (0, 4, 1)
Analysis: Just like last week, I still don’t have a great feel on the Saints’ offense. Through three weeks, New Orleans has trailed on 161-of-203 (79.3%) offensive plays. Until Drew Brees (shoulder) returns, the only viable weekly option here is Mark Ingram. C.J. Spiller (knee) has played 9% and 20.8% of the snaps in the last two weeks and Brandin Cooks just doesn’t have the ceiling we thought he did. He’s a WR3 until further notice.
New York Giants
Analysis: The Giants’ running back snap share in Week 3 on Thursday Night Football against Washington was: Andre Williams (23), Shane Vereen (22), and Rashad Jennings (21). That split was mostly game-flow induced as the Giants’ were leading the entire game, but Williams and Jennings will continue to eat away at each other’s weekly floor and ceiling. Rashad Jennings has 33 carries and Andre Williams has 26 through three games. Shane Vereen will have a role that is more impervious to game flow, but he is only a RB3 in fantasy.
Analysis: While the Eagles’ offense has been highly conducive to fantasy production in the last two years, the Birds’ high-flying attack has been slow to get off of the ground in 2015. That changed a bit in Week 3. Ryan Mathews received 25 carries with DeMarco Murray’s (hamstring) absence and turned his workload into 108 rushing yards, another 20 yards receiving, and two scores (one rushing and one receiving). Regardless, I still don’t have a great feel for this offense at all and Mathews solid Week 3 just makes the situation more confusing.
Just seven of Sam Bradford’s 117 pass attempts have traveled 20-plus yards down the field. That is the lowest “deep pass” attempt rate in the league. The offense has no vertical threat after Jeremy Maclin’s exit via free agency leaving Jordan Matthews as the only bank-able piece in the Eagles’ passing game. Philadelphia’s attack is one to watch very closely in Week 4 as they play Washington on the road.
San Francisco 49ers
Analysis: All of our worst fears came true with the 49ers offense in Week 3. San Francisco ran just 50 offensive plays in Week 3 thanks solely to Colin Kaepernick’s four interceptions, including two that were returned for scores. The only viable option on a weekly basis on this team is Carlos Hyde, but his production will be highly game flow dependent. Hyde needs his team to be ahead for him to see 22-25 carries per-game and the ‘Niners simply won’t be ahead often enough for Hyde to get going. He’s a low-end RB2 in fantasy at the moment.
Targets: Doug Baldwin (9, 8, 3), Jimmy Graham (8, 2, 8), Marshawn Lynch (7, 6, 1*), Tyler Lockett (4, 2, 1), Fred Jackson (1, 2, 2), Luke Willson (1, 4, 0), Chris Matthews (1, 2, 1), Jermaine Kearse (10, 2, 6)
Analysis: Marshawn Lynch left the ‘Hawks Week 3 game after tweaking his hamstring and will be re-evaluated later in the week. If he can’t go, Thomas Rawls would likely see the lion’s share of Seattle’s touches again with Fred Jackson serving as the change-of-pace back. After seeing just two targets in Week 2, Jimmy Graham saw a target on 25.8% of his routes in Week 3. We’ll see if he can stay in the 7-10 targets per-game range with consistency.
St. Louis Rams
Targets: Jared Cook (6, 7, 3), Kenny Britt (3, 4, 10), Tre Mason (0, 5, 1), Benny Cunningham (7, 6, 2), Tavon Austin (5, 3, 5), Stedman Bailey (4, 4, 1), Lance Kendricks (2, 2, 5), Todd Gurley (0, 0, 1)
Analysis: Week 3 was an absolute debacle for the Rams’ offense. They were in a great spot to put up big points against a below average Pittsburgh secondary; so Jeff Fisher’s team picked up just 11 first downs, ran three plays in the redzone, and scored six points. In his first pro game, Todd Gurley received 14 snaps while Benny Cunningham had 15, and Tre Mason was on the field for 23 snaps. Those numbers will be changing soon as Gurley continues to get acclimated.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Targets: Mike Evans (0, 0, 17), Vincent Jackson (11, 5, 4), Austin Seferian-Jenkins (7, 3, 0), Charles Sims (5, 3, 2), Louis Murphy (3, 4, 6), Charles Sims (0, 0, 2), Doug Martin (1, 2, 0), Brandon Myers (0, 0, 4)
Analysis: Mike Evans saw 50%(!) of the Buccaneers targets in Week 3. That percentage won’t stick throughout the season, but his hamstring is clearly back to 100%. Outside of Evans, there isn’t much to discuss on the Bucs’ attack. Vincent Jackson is a boom-or-bust WR3 while Doug Martin has quietly split snaps with Charles Sims (99:89) through the first three weeks.
Targets: Jordan Reed (11, 6, 9), Pierre Garcon (8, 7, 12), Matt Jones (0, 3, 0), Alfred Morris (0, 2, 0), Ryan Grant (2, 6, 5), Andre Roberts (4, 1, 3), Jamison Crowder (1, 1, 6), Chris Thompson (1, 1, 11)
Analysis: Washington’s backfield snap-share split in Week 3: Chris Thompson (39), Matt Jones (26), and Alfred Morris (12). Washington was trailing the entire game hence Thompson’s leading snap count but this entire backfield is probably going to be split 40%/40%/20% in terms of touches for the immediate future. It’s probably best to avoid using backs in Washington unless one back comes away with a clear-cut role.
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