Target Practice, Week 8: Wayne's world

Following Sunday's 147-yard performance, Reggie Wayne(notes) leads all wide receivers in public league fantasy scoring. He's averaging 15.0 points per week. Wayne, like his quarterback, has delivered useful fantasy lines with robotic consistency.

Check the weekly point totals:

Week 1 - 22.0 (1st among WRs)
Week 2 - 3.7 (54th)
Week 3 - 18.6 (3rd)
Week 4 - 13.4 (10th)
Week 5 - 12.0 (16th)
Week 6 - bye
Week 7 - 14.3 (8th)
Week 8 - 20.7 (1st)

That's just ridiculous. There are cases where one or two exceptional games can overstate a player's true fantasy usefulness, but that's not the story with Wayne at all. He's finished among the top 10 scorers at his position five times in seven games. Wayne wins his matchup at WR1 basically every week. He clearly belongs in the Fantasy MVP discussion.

Wayne also led all players in targets in Week 8, posting the highest total we've seen so far this year…

Again, ridiculous. Twenty is a silly number.

You'll recall that Peyton Manning(notes) was responsible for only 19 of those targets and 11 of the receptions. Joseph Addai(notes) found Wayne uncovered in the end zone for a 22-yard touchdown to begin the fourth quarter, on what may have been the playcall of the day. (Greg Cosell made an excellent point about that pass: "It exposed one of the biggest myths in the NFL: You do not need to establish the run to either utilize play action passing or deception off the run game." Addai had been purely decorative until that point, carrying just 12 times for 38 yards).

If we were to redraft today, Wayne could reasonably the first wide receiver off the board. The Week 16 matchup with Jets corner Darrelle Revis(notes) is the only thing left to fear.

Here are the rest of the Week 8 target leaders…

Dustin Keller(notes) had his best game of the year in the loss to Miami (8-76-1) and his 16-yard TD reception was of the highest quality. If you're looking to the waiver wire to replace Owen Daniels(notes) (ACL), note that Keller is available in a majority of Yahoo! leagues. Kevin Boss(notes) is arguably the best short-term solution for Daniels owners, though. He gets San Diego in Week 9, a team that's notoriously generous to opposing tight ends. … One more piece of Daniels fallout: The Texans (and Matt Schaub(notes) owners) need Kevin Walter(notes) to be great in the second half. This odd streak of 29-yard performances must end. John McClain of the Houston Chronicle believes that Walter is the player who will statistically benefit most from Daniels' absence.

On Monday, Anquan Boldin(notes) declared, "If I'm able to run, I'm going to play football." However, he's not close to full speed after aggravating his ankle injury in Week 8. If you own Boldin, you almost have to hope that he'll sit against Chicago. You'll want him healthy for the series of friendly matchups that begins in Week 10. The Cards get seven consecutive games against defenses that rank in the bottom half of the league versus the pass, and they face the Lions and Rams during the fantasy playoffs (Weeks 15 and 16). … Miles Austin(notes), this is easily the worst attempt at a crossbar dunk in NFL history. If the football thing doesn't work out, take that vertical straight to the WNBA, Skywalker. … Tim Hightower(notes) reclaimed the lead in year-to-date targets (49) and receptions (39) among running backs, although Ray Rice(notes) is just one behind in each category. And obviously Rice has all the yards. … When reporters use the words like "animated" and "demonstrative" to describe a player's sideline behavior, then you can safely assume the dude was crazy. TJ Houshmandzadeh(notes) did not appear pleased during Seattle's loss to Dallas. He's reportedly not thrilled with his workload, although you'll notice that he's near the top of the year-to-date target leader board…


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