September 29, 2009
Randy Moss(notes) led all players in Week 3 targets (16) and he tied Santana Moss(notes) for the lead in receptions (10). If he would have just found the end zone, then Randy, Santana and Sinorice could have all scored touchdowns on the same day for the first time in the NFL's three-Moss era. Alas.
After three weeks, only 12 players have as many targets as Randy has catches (26). He's been the league's busiest receiver by a significant margin.
Of course there's not really much you can do with that information, since Randy can't be acquired at a discount in serious leagues. But if you scan the names on the year-to-date target leaderboard, you'll note that at least two of the top 10 are still available in many free agent pools…
Nate Burleson(notes) needs to be owned in basically any format. It's scandalous that he's unattached in 46 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Burleson has received double-digit targets every week and he's about to face a heavily damaged Colts defense. Own him. Play him. Consider it a tribute to those who bought the Burleson hype last year.
Philly tight end Brent Celek(notes) deserves a pick-up, too, even though he's on a bye in the week ahead. He's tied with Kellen Winslow(notes) for the most targets among the tight ends (27) and he leads the position in receptions (22). Celek is also second in receiving yardage (245), behind only Dallas Clark(notes). Don't write him off as Kevin Kolb's(notes) pet. Celek had six catches and a touchdown in Week 1.
Also note the presence of the widely available Vernon Davis(notes) and Justin Gage(notes) above and below. Those two have emerged as preferred targets for a pair of sketchy quarterbacks, Shaun Hill(notes) and Kerry Collins(notes). The match-ups are friendly in Week 4 – Davis gets St. Louis, Gage gets Jacksonville – so they receive a full endorsement if you're inconvenienced by the bye week. (And it's a particularly brutal bye for the receiver pool: Roddy White(notes), DeSean Jackson(notes), Larry Fitzgerald(notes), Anquan Boldin(notes) and Steve Smith are unavailable).
Here are your Week 3 target leaders, followed by the usual collection of bullets…
• Blog favorite Laurent Robinson(notes) makes his final '09 Target Practice appearance. He's done for the season due to a fractured fibula and high ankle sprain. If possible, don't look to the Rams receiving corps for fantasy replacements.
• Davone Bess(notes) now has 17 catches on 19 targets, which tells you something about the man's hands and perhaps the depth of his routes (and the accuracy of Chad Pennington(notes), the guy who used to be his quarterback).
• Mike Wallace(notes) demonstrated that he was legit back in Week 1 when Ben Roethlisberger(notes) connected with him in overtime for a 22-yard gain (on an improvised route), setting up the game-winning kick. The obvious problem is that he's a third receiver, so he'll need to maximize his opportunities – and he can't expect eight of them each game.
• The sidebar in the Wallace story is that Limas Sweed(notes) is buried under a pile of much more reliable receivers. These were Mike Tomlin's comments when asked about Sweed's end zone drop in the Cincinnati game: "Quite frankly, he’s not catching the football when he’s deep down the field. He’s got some tape that shows that. … If and when he’s given his next opportunity to make a similar play, he better make it." Sweed could be looking at a protracted period of inactivity.
• With Jamal Lewis(notes) (hamstring) inactive, Jerome Harrison(notes) has a surprisingly solid day against the Ravens, finishing with 85 total yards. But here's the problem: Cleveland's offense has scored exactly one touchdown in its last 36 quarters. So that kinda limits the ceiling for all Browns, except Phil Dawson(notes).
• Marques Colston(notes) gets a nasty match-up in Week 4, considering what the Jets have already done to Andre Johnson(notes) (4-35-0) and Randy Moss (4-24-0). Drew Brees(notes) is nothing if not a redistributionist; he'll look elsewhere as needed.
• Roy Williams had both hands on a short TD toss on Monday night, but he couldn't quite hold on. Shame. It's tempting to say, "He's no Terrell Owens(notes)," but it's not as if T.O. has never dropped a short pass in the end zone.
Photo via US Presswire