Target Practice, Week 4: Rearranging the Steve Smiths

It would be an exaggeration to say that New York receiver Steve Smith is catching everything. In fact, he's only catching 77 percent of everything (34 receptions, 44 targets).

With a quarter of the '09 season complete, Smith leads the NFL in catches and yardage. He's averaging 8.5 receptions, 102.8 yards and one TD per game. Not surprisingly, Smith is also near the top of the year-to-date target leaderboard. He's out-producing the other Steve Smith to such an extent that we've agreed to drop the "(NYG)" that usually follows his name. Going forward, this blog will distinguish between the Smiths in our rankings in the following manner:

8. Steve Smith, vs. OAK

13. Steve Smith (CAR), vs. WAS

As long as Eli Manning(notes) (plantar fascia) remains upright and David Carr(notes) remains benched, we're sticking with the Smith flip. We challenge you to make us regret it, Delhomme.

Let's hit the Week 4 targets…

Nate Washington(notes) really deserves a much higher ownership percentage. He's found the end zone in three straight games and he's in the top-20 in the league in total targets. … You're free to enjoy a one-week Browns indulgence, since they're facing Buffalo's heavily damaged defense. Rookie Mohamed Massaquoi(notes) is in play for one game, but Pittsburgh awaits in Week 6. … Chad Ochocinco(notes) had double-digit targets and two touchdowns, yet still somehow managed to finish with only 14 fantasy points. He'll get the Ravens in Week 5, a team allowing 232.3 passing yards per game. Gotta say, this week's planned TD celebration is rather promising. … If you've been following the weekly targets, then the solid game from Bernard Berrian(notes) wasn't too shocking. He's had 25 looks over the past three weeks.

For those counting, Joseph Addai(notes) has 16 catches on 18 targets and Donald Brown(notes) has five on six. … Terrell Owens(notes) has only 20 targets so far this year, and seven of them came his way in Week 4. Those 60 yards on Sunday were a season high for T.O. … The breakout game for Jermichael Finley(notes) may have actually occurred during Week 3 of the preseason, but he had a re-breakout on Monday night in Favre Bowl I. Donald Lee(notes)'s end zone drop won't hurt Finley's cause. … Colts rookie Austin Collie(notes) gets Tennessee in Week 5, the team giving up the most per-game fantasy points to wide receivers. … Mike Sims-Walker(notes) still is not as heavily owned as Patrick Crayton(notes), but he has 79 more yards and two more TDs. The schedule ahead for the Jaguars is excellent: at SEA, STL, bye, at TEN, KC. Make a small short-term investment in that team if possible. … Just missing the list: Minnesota's Sidney Rice(notes). He had five receptions on six looks, and they led to 70 yards and a score. Rice now has touchdown catches in consecutive weeks.

Below you'll find the '09 leaders in total targets. For additional Week 4 details including red zone activity, we refer you to John Hansen's delightfully bulleted Inside the Box Score.


Photo via AP Images

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