Target Practice, Week 2: Edelman, Johnsons, Giant opportunities

Andy Behrens
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You'll find our weekly review the NFL's most heavily targeted receivers below, presented in the traditional Arcade colors. This feature is the perfect complement to Inside the Box Score, John Hansen's detailed game-by-game sweep. Use them in tandem. (Or don't use them at all and simply go with your gut like a man. Information is for the weak!)

Before we dazzle you with spreadsheets, here are a few notes to consider:

It's not surprising to see Andre Johnson(notes) atop the most-targeted list, nor was it a surprise when he led all receivers in Week 2 scoring. For me, the interesting detail is that Tennessee's defense – a unit that allowed fewer than 200 passing yards per game last year – has now given up back-to-back 350-yard performances to opposing quarterbacks. Six different players have reached 60 receiving yards against them in just two games.

The similarities between Wes Welker(notes) and Julian Edelman(notes) begin and end with their year-to-date targets. Edelman is not a Welker clone. Stop it. Does Randy Moss(notes) ever have to physically move Wes Welker to the right spot on the field, pre-snap? No. Edelman will not fully replace Welker's contributions. That said, if you're in a PPR league, he's an acceptable speculative add. The Patriots aren't going to tell us anything meaningful about the state of Welker's knee. We know that he warmed up before the Jets game, then couldn't go. "He was inactive because he wasn’t able to play," said Bill Belichick.

One more interesting fact about Edelman: He qualifies at QB in Yahoo! leagues, because that's where he played at Kent State last year. This gives him sneaky usefulness in two-quarterback leagues.

Both Mario Manningham(notes) and Steve Smith (the New York version) are widely available. The Giants will face the Bucs in Week 3, and Tampa Bay's defense has already allowed five touchdown receptions of 30 yards or more.

It's nice to see that Eddie Royal(notes) was among the busier receivers in Week 2, even if the targets didn't translate into fantasy points. Don't make the vengeful drop. You'll regret it. PFW has my back on this one. Royal is an excellent fit for the quarterback stylings of Kyle Orton(notes).

The Jaguars trailed the Cardinals 24-3 at the half in Week 2, so they took to the air. Don't expect another 43 (or 33) pass attempts from David Garrard(notes) in Week 3 at Houston. Still, with Troy Williamson(notes) (shoulder) out for the year, Mike Sims-Walker(notes) is the clear No. 2.
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Check the stats on Chris Chambers(notes): 10 targets, two catches, 30 yards. That line could have been taken straight from his disastrous '06 campaign. Legedu Naanee(notes) certainly appears livelier than Chambers, as does Malcom Floyd(notes).

Laurent Robinson(notes) is no fluke. He's still a member of the Rams, obviously, and Marc Bulger(notes) is still his quarterback, so the ceiling can only be so high. But Robinson is in the top 15 in the league in total targets (19) after two games.

Note that Packers tight end Jermichael Finley(notes) makes the list after a quiet opening week (one reception, six yards). The preseason star will find the end zone before long.

In Week 2, Jay Cutler(notes) seemed awfully fond of Johnny Knox(notes). In Week 1, it was his former college teammate Earl Bennett(notes). The Bears receiving corps could become an add/drop vortex. Don't expect anyone to leapfrog Devin Hester(notes) and Greg Olsen(notes) in terms of fantasy usefulness.

Fred Jackson(notes) cannot be benched in Week 3 against New Orleans. No, he cannot. Bills tight end Derek Schouman(notes) suffered a knee injury after catching six balls against the Bucs, which should mean more Shawn Nelson(notes) against the Saints.

Marques Colston(notes) certainly maximized his opportunities against the Eagles: eight targets, eight catches, two TDs.

Patrick Crayton(notes) clearly did not maximize opportunities: seven looks, one catch, four yards.

Interesting lines that didn't quite make the list: Bernard Berrian(notes) (six targets, six catches), Darrius Heyward-Bey(notes) (six targets, one catch), Dwayne Bowe(notes) (five for five, one TD), Greg Jennings(notes) (five looks, nothin'), Zach Miller (three targets, nothin'), Justin Forsett(notes) (six for six, 57 yards, six percent-owned), Matt Forte(notes) (six targets, five catches), Adrian Peterson (four for four), LeSean McCoy(notes) (five targets, four receptions), Tim Hightower(notes) (three for three, 11 fewer targets than he had in the opener).
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Here are your year-to-date target leaders (delightfully analysis-free, but with catch percentage):
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Photo via US Presswire