Fantasy Football Targets and Touches Report From Week 5
We’re back for the Week 5 edition of the weekly Targets and Touches report, the most informative stat column in all of fantasy football. If you read my column weekly, you notice that I never fail to mention that I believe Targets/Touches is the most important piece of advice for fantasy owners.
Why? Targets and Touches gives you a pretty solid idea on a player’s consistency to produce on a weekly basis. For example, it’s better to have a receiver who gets targeted 15 times per game than a guy with just a few looks from his quarterback. I have Reggie Wayne and Mike Wallace. Reggie Wayne averages 13.9 targets per game, while Wallace averages just under 6. Wallace might have loads of big-play capability, but I love the fact that Wayne is constantly called upon by Andrew Luck.
This column tells you how much your fantasy players are being dialed up in their respective offenses. Just wanted to explain the importance of knowing your player’s targets.
Last week, it was a monster performance from Brian Hartline that made him the King of Targets, while BenJarvus Green-Ellis led the NFL in touches for the week. Keep in mind that the NFL leader in targets, Reggie Wayne, was on a bye in Week 4. Did Reggie Wayne return to his dominance in Week 5? Did Week 4 surprises Brandon Bolden and Domenik Hixon stay on the map? Did BenJarvus Green-Ellis touch the ball enough in Week 5 to possibly lead for a second straight week? Let’s take a more in depth look as to who touched the rock the most in Week 5;
Here are the NFL’s Targets and Touches leaders from Week 5;
Wide Receiver Targets
20 : Reggie Wayne IND;
18: Marques Colston NO;
17: Brandon Marshall CHI;
Tied 15: Larry Fitzgerald ARI, Wes Welker NE, and Julio Jones ATL;
Tied 13: Steve Smith CAR, Andrew Hawkins CIN, and A.J. Green CIN;
Tied 11: Demaryius Thomas DEN, Kendall Wright TEN;
Tied 10: Anquan Boldin BAL, Devery Henderson NO, Percy Harvin MIN, Andre Roberts ARI, and Antonio Brown PIT;
Tied 9: DeSean Jackson PHI, Steve Johnson BUF, Jordan Norwood CLE, Jeremy Kerley NYJ, Reuben Randle NYG, and T.Y. Hilton IND;
Tied 8: Malcom Floyd SD, Nate Washington TEN, Domenik Hixon NYG, Dwayne Bowe KC, Donnie Avery IND, Jeremy Maclin PHI, Mike Thomas JAC, Mike Wallace PIT, Eric Decker DEN, Victor Cruz NYG, Justin Blackmon JAC, and Josh Gordon CLE;
Tied 7: James Jones GB, Early Doucet ARI, Pierre Garcon WAS, Michael Crabtree SF, and Emmanuel Sanders PIT;
Tied 6: Andre Johnson HOU, Kevin Walter HOU, Roddy White ATL, Davone Bess MIA, and Armon Binns CIN;
Tight End Targets
14: Tony Gonzalez ATL;
11: Jacob Tamme DEN;
9: Coby Fleener IND;
8: Jared Cook TEN;
Tied 7: Antonio Gates SD, Vernon Davis SF, Marcedes Lewis JAC, and Kyle Rudolph MIN;
Tied 6: Scott Chandler BUF, Fred Davis WAS, Jermaine Gresham CIN, and Rob Housler ARI;
Tied 5: Heath Miller PIT, Owen Daniels HOU, Jermichael Finley GB, James Casey HOU, Rob Gronkowski NE, Charles Clay KC, and Dwayne Allen IND;
Tied 4: Joel Dreessen DEN, Anthony Fasano MIA, Brent Celek PHI, Martellus Bennett NYG, Craig Stevens TEN, Kellen Davis CHI, Dennis Pitta BAL, Jeff Cumberland NYJ, and D.J. Williams GB;
Running Back Targets
8: Ryan Mathews SD;
Tied 7: Darren Sproles NO, Trent Richardson CLE;
Tied 6: Willis McGahee DEN, Ahmad Bradshaw NYG;
Tied 5: Michael Turner ATL, Ronnie Brown SD, LeSean McCoy PHI, and Javon Ringer TEN;
Tied 4: Jonathan Stewart CAR, Rashard Mendenhall PIT, Matt Forte CHI, Arian Foster HOU, Chris Ogbonnaya CLE, Bilal Powell NYJ, and William Powell ARI;
Tied 3: Maurice Jones-Drew JAC, Adrian Peterson MIN, Michael Bush CHI, and Ray Rice BAL;
Running Back Touches
34: Ahmad Bradshaw NYG (30 carries, 4 receptions);
33: Jamaal Charles KC (31 carries, 2 receptions);
30: Arian Foster HOU (29 carries, 1 reception);
28: Stevan Ridley NE (28 carries, 0 receptions);
24: Matt Forte CHI (22 carries, 2 receptions);
Tied 22: Marshawn Lynch SEA (21 carries, 1 reception), Trent Richardson CLE (17 carries, 5 receptions);
21: Reggie Bush MIA (19 carries, 2 receptions);
Tied 20: Michael Turner ATL (18 carries, 2 receptions), Adrian Peterson MIN (17 carries, 3 receptions), and LeSean McCoy PHI (16 carries, 4 receptions);
Tied 19: Alfred Morris WAS (18 carries, 1 reception), Donald Brown IND (17 carries, 2 receptions), Willis McGahee DEN (14 carries, 5 receptions);
Tied 18: Steven Jackson STL (18 carries, 0 receptions), Ray Rice BAL (17 carries, 1 reception), Ryan Mathews SD (12 carries, 6 receptions);
Tied 16: Chris Johnson TEN (15 carries, 1 reception), Rashard Mendenhall PIT (13 carries, 3 receptions);
Tied 15: Ryan Williams ARI (14 carries, 1 reception), Brandon Bolden NE (14 carries, 1 reception);
Our #1 workhorse in Week 5 was the New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw touched the ball 34 times, 30 of them were carries. He ran for 200 yards and also added a touchdown. I really like Bradshaw in fantasy, especially in the RB2 category. This week he is on the road against the swarming San Francisco 49ers run defense. I don’t love this matchup for Ahmad, but unless you have a running back heavy bench, he’s still a go.
Jamaal Charles continues to be the NFL’s hottest fantasy back. He takes 31 carries in Week 5 for 140 yards and added 2 receptions to his production. Even more impressive, Charles did this all against the highly respected Baltimore Ravens defense. Charles looks awesome since Week 3 and I expect him to continue rolling in Week 6 on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Arian Foster is the biggest usual suspect for all of my weekly workhorses. Entering Week 5 with the highest carry per week rate in the NFL, Foster carried the rock another 29 times on Monday Night. He now has 24 or more carries in every game of the 2012 season, and he is proving he was definitely worth that #1 pick. Foster ran 29 times for 152 yards and a touchdown. This week, Foster runs against the putrid Green Bay Packers defense, expect a lot more of the same.
Reggie Wayne is at the top of the target world yet again after racking up 20 targets in Week 5 when the Indianapolis Colts stunned the Green Bay Packers. Wayne now leads the NFL again through Week 5 with 60 targets, and I have a gut feeling that won’t change for a while. Wayne caught 13 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown, and he looks to be more like the younger Wayne rather than an aging receiver with a rookie quarterback. Check this out: Wayne has caught 36 passes for 506 yards and two touchdowns on the young season. Wow, what he an eighth round steal or what? I drafted Wayne thinking that rookie Andrew Luck would use him as his security blanket, but I could have never expected this kind of production. All that being said, 2012 is definitely Wayne’s World.
Finally CHARGED UP
After a disappointing week and a drop on the depth chart, Ryan Mathews has given every reason to his fantasy owners to believe that he will return to his normal production. On Sunday Night, it seemed Norv Turner got the chip off of his shoulder and included Ryan Mathews in his game plan. Mathews carried the ball 12 times for 80 yards while adding a very impressive touchdown run that showed up his athletic ability. Mathews also caught 6 passes in the receiving game, being targeted 8 times. I expect his workload to get even heavier as the Chargers approach a huge Monday Night battle against the division rival Denver Broncos.
Surprises – Jordan Norwood CLE (9), Reuben Randle NYG (9)
Before we’re done, here’s a quick list of the Top 10 2012 Target Leaders through Week 5;
60- Reggie Wayne IND
57: Dwayne Bowe KC
57: Victor Cruz NYG
56: Brandon Marshall CHI
56: A.J. Green CIN
53: Larry Fitzgerald ARI
52: Wes Welker NE
52: Brian Hartline MIA
50: Marques Colston NO
49: Danny Amendola STL
Don’t forget to check out the Week 6 edition of Targets and Touches!
*All statistics according to ESPN standard scoring.