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Welcome to the AFC version of Target Watch. You will find all of the AFC teams below, with all of their passing targets, plus some snap count data and words I came up with in a dream. If you click here you’ll find the NFC version of this article and if you click here you will be transported into a magical world called my Twitter.
Torrey Smith: 8-13-9 (30), Dallas Clark: 12-1-7 (20), Brandon Stokley: 10-5-1 (16), Marlon Brown: 6-6-3 (15), Ray Rice: 11-3-dnp (14), Vonta Leach: 4-2-2 (8), Ed Dickson: 5-1-0 (6), Jacoby Jones: 4-dnp-dnp (4), Bernard Pierce: 1-1-2 (4), Billy Bajema: 0-1-0 (1)
The Ravens want to run the ball and play good defense. It’s what their personnel calls for. Last week that’s what happened against Houston. Joe Flacco only threw the ball 24 times, completing 16 of those for 171 yards and over half of those yards went to their best receiver Torrey Smith. After that insane opening game against Peyton Manning their defense hasn’t allowed a passing touchdown. Of course they allowed seven to Manning and that’s the second worst number in the league! But they seem to be back on track now.
Torrey Smith is ranked 11th overall in targets and that isn’t a number inflated from week one since he was the fourth most targeted Ravens player against the Broncos. They will try their best to get Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce going along with the defense and picking their spots on play action to Smith. Those are their three keys to winning for the Ravens and against equal to lesser opponents it should work. Smith has zero touchdowns this season, but in his previous two seasons he’s averaged a touchdown for every 6.6 receptions. He’s at 16 receptions now and on pace for a career high 85. The touchdowns will come.
Ed Dickson has been relegated to blocking duties and Dallas Clark is just too old, so the tight ends are non-factors. Marlon Brown came back to earth with just three targets. He’s still the #2 guy and should be owned in deeper leagues, but if that pattern of run game, defense and Smith are working, Brown will be under targeted.
Steve Johnson: 6-10-13 (29), Scott Chandler: 6-6-6 (18), Robert Woods: 2-6-10 (18), Fred Jackson: 5-6-5 (16), C.J. Spiller: 6-5-1 (12), T.J. Graham: 1-3-5 (9), Tashard Choice: 0-1-1 (2), Frank Summers: 0-2-0 (2), Marquise Goodwin: 1-dnp-dnp (1)
E.J. Manuel continues to keep Steve Johnson relevant with double-digit targets, but his accuracy leaves something to be desired. Scott Chandler has the targets from hell with six in each game. He did something with them last week and had a big game, but he’ll remain inconsistent as long as the offense is run through Spiller, Jackson and Johnson.
Robert Woods saw his season high with 10 targets, but could only wrangle in two of them. According to Pro Football Focus only eight of his 18 targets have been catchable this season and he dropped one of those.
Spiller was shut down and Jackson broke out for one long run, but overall the Jets kept them in check. Spiller left the game with a quad injury, but looks to be ok for this week. They’ll need to get him more looks in space going forward, i.e. more passing targets.
A.J. Green: 13-14-8 (35), Jermaine Gresham: 5-9-5 (19), Mohamed Sanu: 5-8-5 (18), Tyler Eifert: 5-5-2 (12), Marvin Jones: 2-4-4 (10), Giovani Bernard: 2-2-4 (8), BenJarvus Green-Ellis: 1-1-0 (2), Alex Smith: 0-1-0 (1),
The Bengals/Packers game was a turnover festival and made the game and its stats a little odd. The most telling stat is Aaron Rodgers throwing just one touchdown to two interceptions. And that came after starting each drive at the 41-yard line on average, the best for any team this season. The Bengals defense is real and it is spectacular.
The Packers tried their best to shut down AJ Green and did so for much of the game, but he still got a touchdown, which is what he does. Mohamed Sanu looks like a player on the verge of busting out, but will need more than six targets a game to do so.
The fake football scribes and prophets got the changing of the guard at running back correct. Giovani Bernard had 14 touches and 30 snaps compared to BenJarvus Green-Ellis’ 10 touches and 23 snaps. The writing has been on the wall ever since you saw Bernard and Green-Ellis touch the ball during the same game. Bernard out played him on each touch once again accumulating 99 yards and a touchdown while BJGE accumulated 29 yards, a touchdown and a fumble.
For the season Green-Ellis has 48 touches for 138 yards and two touchdowns while Bernard has 28 touches for 194 yards and three touchdowns. For those scoring at home that’s 2.875 yards per touch for Green-Ellis and 6.928 yards per touch for young Mr. Bernard.
Jordan Cameron: 13-7-11 (31), Greg Little: 10-12-8 (30), Davone Bess: 10-8-10 (28), Josh Gordon: dnp-dnp-19 (19), Chris Ogbonnaya: 3-3-5 (11), Travis Benjamin: 8-1-0 (9), Tori Gurley: 2-1-dnp (3), Bobby Rainey: 0-0-1 (1), Gary Barnidge: 1-0-0 (1)
The Browns have thrown the ball on 74% of their plays this season, which is the most in the league and correlates to their league high 47 attempts per game. Nineteen of those pass attempts went to Josh Gordon last week in his first game back from suspension. He caught 10 of those 19 targets for 146 yards and a touchdown.
With no true go-to running back this passing rate should continue and their best two receivers are Gordon and Jordan Cameron. And with Gordon back, Cameron didn’t miss a beat and actually had a bigger fantasy game with three touchdowns. Of course we can’t expect such huge numbers every week, but if they continue with these pass happy ways I wouldn’t worry too much about a big fall off.
Willis McGahee was just signed so the snap numbers may be a bit skewed. Chris Ogbonnaya led the way with 47 snaps and had nine touches, Bobby Rainey was next with 22 snaps and five touches, while McGahee had 14 snaps and nine touches. The percentage of touches to snaps McGahee had shows that they want to get him involved. We’ll just have to see how quickly he can get acclimated. If he just can’t be productive it looks like Ogbonnaya would be your lead back.
Eric Decker: 7-13-8 (28), Demaryius Thomas: 11-6-11 (28), Wes Welker: 11-8-8 (27), Julius Thomas: 7-9-4 (20), Knowshon Moreno: 3-3-2 (8), Ronnie Hillman: 2-0-1 (3), Virgil Green: 0-1-2 (3), Andre Caldwell: 1-1-0 (2), Montee Ball: 0-2-0 (2), Jacob Tamme: 0-0-1 (1)
The even distribution of targets between the Broncos top three receivers is pretty amazing. It’s like Peyton Manning checks the numbers each week and targets accordingly. Of course that kind of distribution makes it impossible to shut down the “top” receiver since there is no top receiver based on targets.
According to Pro Football Focus the Broncos receivers have the most drops in the league with 10. 68 of the 83 targets have been catchable, but only 58 have been caught. But I’m not going to worry too much! They rank seventh, 10th and 19th in wide receiver fantasy points and you know where Manning ranks.
The running back situation is a bit of a mess still. Knowshon Moreno led in time on the field again, but was outproduced by Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman. This is a situation to avoid if at all possible for now, but Ball still seems like the most talented runner of the group.
Andre Johnson: 16-13-6 (35), DeAndre Hopkins: 6-13-7 (26), Owen Daniels: 7-5-9 (21), Arian Foster: 8-4-2 (14), Garrett Graham: 5-5-0 (10), Ben Tate: 2-4-4 (10), Keshawn Martin: 0-2-3 (5), DeVier Posey: 0-0-4 (4), Lestar Jean: 0-1-dnp (1)
There aren't a ton of positives to take away from the Texans loss to the Ravens last week. Arian Foster and Ben Tate split time fairly closely with Foster getting 13 touches and 39 snaps to Tate’s 12 touches on 26 snaps.
Owen Daniels had his most targets for the year and DeAndre Hopkins had a good game, catching six of seven targets for 60 yards with Andre Johnson hurting, but the Ravens kept the offense in check in this one.
Reggie Wayne: 8-8-7 (23), T.Y. Hilton: 5-12-4 (21), Trent Richardson: 6-5-3 (14), Darrius Heyward-Bey: 4-5-5 (14), Coby Fleener: 1-8-2 (11), Ahmad Bradshaw: 1-3-4 (8), Griff Whalen: 0-3-0 (3), Stanley Havili: 0-2-1 (3), Dominique Jones: 0-2-0 (2), Dwayne Allen: 2-dnp-dnp (2), Vick Ballard: 2-dnp-dnp (2), Donald Brown: 0-0-1 (1)
The Colts rank seventh in the run to pass ratio; 49.7% of their plays are runs while 50.3% are passes. The running model worked against San Francisco in San Francisco so it’s hard to knock it, but I sure wouldn’t mind putting the game in Andrew Luck’s hands more often.
Luck completed 18 passes for 164 yards in this one, while Ahmad Bradshaw did most of the heavy lifting. T.Y. Hilton didn’t get much work as he managed his groin injury and Darrius Heyward-Bey remained the #2 receiver. As long as they continue to run the ball at this rate, which it looks like they will with Trent Richardson in the fold now, it’s going to be difficult for Hilton to be an every week fantasy starter as the #3 receiver.
Bradshaw had 38 snaps to Richardson’s 29 last week and out played him statistically. Supposedly we’re to see them split snaps again this week as Richardson learns the offense. I’d like to see Richardson at least get the edge in snaps against Jacksonville to feel like there’s a progression to him becoming the lead back.
Cecil Shorts: 11-14-15 (40), Ace Sanders: 9-7-3 (19), Stephen Burton: 0-3-9 (12), Maurice Jones-Drew: 2-1-5 (8), Allen Reisner: 5-2-1 (8), Clay Harbor: 1-4-1 (6), Justin Forsett: 5-1-0 (6), Jordan Todman: 4-2-0 (6), Will Ta'ufo'ou: 1-2-1 (4), Mike Brown: 3-dnp-dnp (3)
Cecil Shorts had some garbage time targets and production that helped him put together another decent game of eight receptions for 143 yards on 15 targets, but that’s about all the positive you can take from this one. The Jaguars can’t really sustain much fantasy production at this point.
Maurice Jones-Drew was shut down for the most part just averaging 2.26 yards per carry, but he did get into the end zone and this was before Seattle rested their starters. So that’s kind of like winning the game right?
Kansas City Chiefs
Jamaal Charles: 6-10-8 (24), Dwayne Bowe: 6-8-3 (17), Donnie Avery: 5-4-7 (16), Dexter McCluster: 5-4-4 (13), Sean McGrath: 0-4-4 (8), Anthony Fasano: 5-2-dnp (7), Anthony Sherman: 4-0-2 (6), Junior Hemingway: 1-1-1 (3), Cyrus Gray: 1-1-0 (2), A.J. Jenkins: 0-0-2 (2), Knile Davis: 1-0-0 (1), Chad Hall: dnp-dnp-1 (1), Kevin Brock: dnp-dnp-1 (1)
Wow, Alex Smith has noodle armed footballs to a lot of players this year. Thankfully for the Chiefs it’s working just fine. They’re defense, Smith’s zero turnovers and Jamaal Charles are all they’ve needed so far.
Charles is living up to the billing as a top receiving running back under Andy Reid (that can’t be comfortable). He has 18 receptions through three games. That’s a nice six receptions per game. For his career, before this season, he had 2.3 receptions per game. His ability needed this dynamic added.
Dwayne Bowe is having trouble getting targets down the field. Alex Smith has only thrown four passes over 20 yards, the worst in the league. They’ll need to start working harder at getting Bowe the ball for him to get out of his Alex Smith induced coma.
Brian Hartline: 15-8-6 (29), Mike Wallace: 5-11-5 (21), Brandon Gibson: 10-2-8 (20), Charles Clay: 6-7-6 (19), Lamar Miller: 1-2-3 (6), Rishard Matthews: 0-0-4 (4), Daniel Thomas: 1-1-1 (3), Michael Egnew: 0-0-1 (1), Tyler Clutts: 0-1-0 (1), Dion Sims: 0-0-1 (1)
Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas continue to split snaps pretty evenly, but Thomas has 21 carries for 65 yards at 3.1 yards per carry and Miller has 32 carries for 134 yards for a 4.2 yard per carry pace. Miller looks like the better player, but he’s not doing enough to separate himself. His 49-yard run last week showed his burst, but he’s just not given enough looks to get into a rhythm.
The targets were spread out pretty evenly with Brandon Gibson getting eight, which seems a little high based on his ability. Tannehill is playing well and taking what is given to him, but at some point he’s going to have to let his playmakers make plays.
New England Patriots
Julian Edelman: 9-18-7 (34), Kenbrell Thompkins: 14-7-7 (28), Aaron Dobson: dnp-10-10 (20), Danny Amendola: 14-dnp-dnp (14), Shane Vereen: 10-dnp-dnp (10), Brandon Bolden: dnp-dnp-6 (6), Michael Hoomanawanui: 2-1-2 (5), Zach Sudfeld: 1-dnp-2 (3), Josh Boyce: 2-dnp-1 (3), James Develin: 0-1-0 (1), LeGarrette Blount: 0-1-0 (1), Leon Washington: dnp-1-dnp (1), Stevan Ridley: 0-0-1 (1)
The Patriots offense still isn’t running smoothly, but there are signs that some of the young guys are catching on. Aaron Dobson looked horrid against the Jets two weeks ago, but turned things around and caught seven of ten targets for 52 yards in this one.
Brandon Bolden is healthy again and played well in the Shane Vereen role, catching five of his six targets for 49 yards. Stevan Ridley’s usage was the most disappointing to fantasy players. He was out touched by LeGarrette Blount who took on the clock-killing role and carried the ball 14 times for 65 yards.
Kenbrell Thompkins was the “#1” receiver as far as snaps go, but was outplayed by Julian Edelman and Dobson on the whole, but got all the fantasy points with two short touchdowns. It will be interesting to see if the touchdowns saved him from losing snaps.
New York Jets
Stephen Hill: 9-8-6 (23), Santonio Holmes: 3-6-10 (19), Kellen Winslow Jr: 8-6-0 (14), Clyde Gates: 4-8-1 (13), Bilal Powell: 5-5-3 (13), Jeremy Kerley: 4-dnp-5 (9), Tommy Bohanon: 2-1-1 (4), Jeff Cumberland: 0-0-3 (3), Chris Ivory: 2-0-0 (2), Konrad Reuland: 1-0-0 (1)
Stephen Hill and Santonio Holmes both topped 100 yards, which is a pretty amazing feat, especially with a rookie quarterback throwing it their way. Unlike Alex Smith, Geno Smith likes throwing the ball a long way down the field, which is Hill’s bread and butter right now.
The Jets are still a run first team with Bilal Powell taking over completely with Chris Ivory out with a hamstring injury and having a big game while doing so. So far this season they are just one of five teams to run the ball more than throw it.
Denarius Moore: 7-2-11 (20), Rod Streater: 8-4-4 (16), Darren McFadden: 5-4-1 (10), Mychal Rivera: 3-3-3 (9), Brice Butler: 1-3-4 (8), Marcel Reece: 2-1-5 (8), Jacoby Ford: 2-2-1 (5), Rashad Jennings: 0-1-2 (3), Jeron Mastrud: 1-1-0 (2)
Terrelle Pryor put together a nice passing game on Monday night. People expected him to run the ball, but he only ran four times and passed it for 281 yards and one touchdown. Many of those yards went to Denarius Moore who continues to madden fantasy owners by putting up big numbers every once in a while. Pryor is improving as a passer, but it will continue to be tough predicting good receiving games from any one of the Raiders’ receivers.
Darren McFadden was the only running back to see a carry, but he was shut down for most of the night gaining just nine yards on 12 rushing attempts, but he ended up passing for a touchdown to Marcel Reece and getting in on a one-yard goal line run. McFadden owners should count their blessings.
Emmanuel Sanders: 12-10-8 (30), Antonio Brown: 7-9-13 (29), Jerricho Cotchery: 7-9-4 (20), David Paulson: 0-4-2 (6), Isaac Redman: 3-2-0 (5), David Johnson: 1-1-3 (5), Heath Miller: dnp-dnp-4 (4), Jonathan Dwyer: dnp-0-3 (3), Felix Jones: 0-0-2 (2), Will Johnson: 0-0-1 (1), Markus Wheaton: 0-0-1 (1)
Ben Roethlisberger threw for over 400 yards in the loss to Chicago. 196 of those yards went to squeaky wheel Antonio Brown. Roethlisberger targeted him deep in the middle of the field often. For the season Roethlisberger leads the league in passes over 20 yards with 24. Compare that to Matt Ryan’s five and Alex Smith’s four and you’ll see that it’s a higher number.
There was a little life in the running game at least compared to the first couple weeks, but it was still uneventful. Felix Jones started off okay, but fumbled and Jonathan Dwyer took over. They are hoping that Le’Veon Bell will be able to play this week and make all those backs expendable.
Heath Miller returned and played in a little over half of the snaps. That number will definitely rise next week. He had four targets and caught three of them. If he plays a full complement of snaps his target numbers should rise a bit as well.
San Diego Chargers
Antonio Gates: 4-10-7 (21), Danny Woodhead: 3-9-8 (20), Eddie Royal: 6-8-2 (16), Vincent Brown: 4-7-3 (14), Malcom Floyd: 5-6-dnp (11), Keenan Allen: dnp-3-1 (4), Ronnie Brown: 2-1-0 (3), Ryan Mathews: 2-1-0 (3), Ladarius Green: 0-0-2 (2), Le'Ron McClain: 0-0-1 (1), John Phillips: 1-0-0 (1)
Danny Woodhead is sitting on 20 targets, which he has caught 17 of. And this is after a game one where he barely played. So in the last two weeks he’s had 15 receptions. Touchdowns and yardage are going to be hard to come by, but he’s seeing the majority of the snaps with the Chargers defense always keeping the opponent scoring and the Chargers playing from behind.
Eddie Royal crashed back down with just two targets. He did have a touchdown called back, so he’s still getting end zone targets, but he’ll be inconsistent. Philip Rivers is making most of his connections on shorter routes to Antonio Gates and Danny Woodhead. They’ll need to spread the defense out at some point to keep from getting bogged down and blown out.
Nate Washington: 7-5-10 (22), Kendall Wright: 4-11-6 (21), Kenny Britt: 2-9-5 (16), Delanie Walker: 4-2-8 (14), Damian Williams: 2-dnp-2 (4), Chris Johnson: 0-1-2 (3), Justin Hunter: dnp-0-2 (2), Craig Stevens: 1-1-0 (2), Collin Mooney: 0-1-0 (1), Michael Preston: dnp-0-1 (1)
Nate Washington has never been a fantasy player, but he will put up a big game now and then. With Kenny Britt seeing 39 snaps compared to 46 for Kendall Wright and 60 for Washington, it looks like Washington is the true #1 receiver at the moment.
Chris Johnson once again saw very few targets. He’s getting plenty of attempts and making decent yardage, but no receptions or touchdowns is killing his fantasy owners right now.
Because Britt is struggling, Delanie Walker saw an uptick in targets. Eight is a good number if it can become consistent, but we’ll have to take a wait and see approach from a team that runs more than passes.