Advanced Targets – Week 1 Wrap

Shawn Siegele takes you behind the scenes with PFF's unique target article that includes snaps and pass route data after Week 1's game action.

| 3 years ago
AJ Green

Advanced Targets – Week 1 Wrap


AJ GreenWelcome back to Advanced Targets, the only place on the Internet that goes behind the scenes and provides snap and pass route splits in addition to target numbers. Yards per route (YPRR), targets per snap (TA/SN), and targets per route (TA/PR) are exclusive PFF metrics that will help inform your start/sit, waiver wire, and trade decisions in a way no other service can.

While Andre Johnson, Brandon Marshall, and many of the traditional target hogs placed high on the Week 1 leaderboard, there were a few notable absences. We’ll start with the players who helped get their squads off to a fast start.

 

Week 1 Stars

Name Snaps Targets Routes TA/SN TA/PR YPRR
 Anquan Boldin 64 16 41 0.25 0.39 5.07
 A.J. Green 55 13 34 0.24 0.38 4.76
 Vincent Jackson 67 13 34 0.19 0.38 4.53
 Demaryius Thomas 71 10 43 0.14 0.23 3.74
 Andre Johnson 74 15 43 0.20 0.35 3.40
 Jordy Nelson 63 10 40 0.16 0.25 3.25
 Brandon Marshall 63 10 34 0.16 0.29 3.06
 Danny Amendola 59 14 38 0.24 0.37 2.74
 Brian Hartline 58 14 42 0.24 0.33 2.71

 

All of these players saw at least 10 targets and averaged 2.5 or more yards per route. Demaryius Thomas was utterly dominant a year ago, but his targets per snap rate was disappointing. Although he scored 33 points in points-per-reception (PPR) leagues, his 14 percent target rate continues to cap an otherwise astronomical upside.

A.J. Green and Anquan Boldin were the two biggest stars of Week 1. Their target rates on a per-snap and per-route basis help to underscore the explosiveness of their raw numbers. This might be a good time to sell on Green. Only Calvin Johnson possesses more trade value at wide receiver, and the Bears consistently yield strong fantasy performances to opposing stars. Green was also largely responsible for both of Andy Dalton’s interceptions.

Danny Amendola’s sterling performance was somewhat lost in the headlines generated by Wes Welker’s explosion in Denver and the two touchdowns scored by running mate Julian Edelman. Amendola was spectacular in his own right, getting open at will and pulling in the kinds of passes Welker has dropped the last several seasons.

 

Week 1 Most Efficient Receivers

Name Snaps Targets Routes TA/SN TA/PR YPRR
 Jerome Simpson 42 8 30 0.19 0.27 4.67
 Kenny Stills 36 5 24 0.14 0.21 3.58
 Doug Baldwin 37 8 26 0.22 0.31 3.50
 DeSean Jackson 80 9 30 0.11 0.30 3.47
 Reggie Wayne 57 8 31 0.14 0.26 3.10
 Andre Roberts 51 9 32 0.18 0.28 3.03
 Hakeem Nicks 52 8 38 0.15 0.21 3.00
 Nate Burleson 54 6 27 0.11 0.22 2.89
 Rueben Randle 41 6 36 0.15 0.17 2.81
 Randall Cobb 54 7 39 0.13 0.18 2.77
 Victor Cruz 55 7 45 0.13 0.16 2.62
 Harry Douglas 45 6 37 0.13 0.16 2.51

 

Jerome Simpson is the most surprising player from this group. Nothing about his line screams unsustainability other than his own past history. He was the only Vikings player consistently gaining separation on Sunday and should be added in all but the shallowest leagues.

During their rookie years in 2011, Doug Baldwin averaged more yards per route run than either A.J. Green or Julio Jones. With Percy Harvin out at least temporarily, it shouldn’t be a surprise if Baldwin outscores the trendier Golden Tate.

The target and route splits paint an interesting snapshot of the Giants’ wide receiver situation. Victor Cruz saw the most routes and obviously splashed with three touchdowns, but Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle both received more targets and were more efficient on a per-route basis. Randle recorded 11 fewer snaps than Nicks but only two fewer routes, suggesting he’s a fine fantasy play in his own right.

 

Week 1 Route Leaders – Minimum 45 Routes

Name Snaps Targets Routes TA/SN TA/PR YPRR
 Torrey Smith 89 9 65 0.10 0.14 1.42
 Greg Little 81 8 59 0.10 0.14 0.44
 Kenbrell Thompkins 91 13 55 0.14 0.24 0.76
 Marlon Brown 68 6 52 0.09 0.12 1.25
 Julian Edelman 84 9 51 0.11 0.18 1.55
 Cecil Shorts 74 10 51 0.14 0.20 0.78
 Brandon Stokley 58 8 49 0.14 0.16 0.69
 Stephen Hill 72 6 48 0.08 0.13 0.81
 Dez Bryant 74 8 48 0.11 0.17 0.46
 Miles Austin 72 11 47 0.15 0.23 1.53
 Ace Sanders 65 7 47 0.11 0.15 0.30

 

Routes can be less consistent than targets since they are heavily influenced by game situation, but it never hurts to know who’s seeing opportunities. Some teams trail consistently and certain receivers can be fantasy assets even without strong efficiency numbers.

The pass route leaderboard sports three Ravens, two Cowboys, and two Jaguars. The Dallas receivers may be the most notable since they played with a lead. In the aftermath, Jason Garrett suggested the team needs to be more balanced, but Bill Callahan is a pass-oriented playcaller and the team’s strength is clearly in the passing game.

Contrast the target rates of Marlon Brown and Brandon Stokley and you can see why both players could be difficult to utilize. Meanwhile, Cecil Shorts and Ace Sanders combined for 17 targets but only 54 yards. With Chad Henne sliding under center for Week 2, this could actually be positive news. Shorts is a threat to lead the league in routes and finish among the leaders in targets.

 

Week 1 Least Efficient Players

Name Snaps Targets Routes TA/SN TA/PR YPRR
 Donnie Avery 58 5 37 0.09 0.14 0.30
 Mike Wallace 61 5 39 0.08 0.13 0.38
 Vincent Brown 50 4 31 0.08 0.13 0.42
 Riley Cooper 83 6 31 0.07 0.19 0.45
 Dez Bryant 74 8 48 0.11 0.17 0.46
 Austin Pettis 58 6 33 0.10 0.18 0.48
 Mohamed Sanu 48 5 31 0.10 0.16 0.61
 Eric Decker 67 7 44 0.10 0.16 0.73
 Lance Moore 52 4 30 0.08 0.13 0.77
 Dwayne Bowe 55 6 36 0.11 0.17 0.83
 Calvin Johnson 83 8 44 0.10 0.18 0.84

 

The biggest concerns here are Mike Wallace, Eric Decker, and Vincent Brown. Wallace averaged fewer yards per reception in 2012 than new teammate Brian Hartline, and his Dolphins debut suggests he could be in for more of the same. A consistently overrated player, Wallace will bounce back but was probably overdrafted in your league. Had Eric Decker not dropped a touchdown, his fantasy numbers would have looked better but not necessarily his advanced splits. Constantly promoted in the offseason, Brown slipped in for a short touchdown but otherwise wasn’t a factor.

Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant, and Dwayne Bowe have all proven the ability to dominate double teams in the past and should have little trouble putting Week 1 behind them. If there’s a concern, it’s probably Bowe. He and teammate Donnie Avery both averaged less than 1 yard per route. Alex Smith flashed the ability to get his receivers involved during a preseason shredding of the Steelers, but questions remain after a checkdown fest against the Jaguars.

 

The Rest – Sorted By Targets

Name Snaps Targets Routes TA/SN TA/PR YPRR
 Larry Fitzgerald 71 14 44 0.20 0.32 1.82
 Emmanuel Sanders 46 12 37 0.26 0.32 1.54
 Pierre Garcon 58 11 40 0.19 0.28 1.6
 Wes Welker 59 11 41 0.19 0.27 1.63
 Brandon Gibson 42 10 33 0.24 0.30 2.33
 Davone Bess 47 9 39 0.19 0.23 1.21
 Santana Moss 47 9 41 0.19 0.22 1.32
 Julian Edelman 84 9 51 0.11 0.18 1.55
 DeSean Jackson 80 9 30 0.11 0.30 3.47
 Travis Benjamin 59 8 43 0.14 0.19 1.02
 Mike A. Williams 64 8 32 0.13 0.25 1.63
 Julio Jones 55 8 42 0.15 0.19 1.81
 Rod Streater 46 8 33 0.17 0.24 2.12
 Jerricho Cotchery 39 7 31 0.18 0.23 1.1
Name Snaps Targets Routes TA/SN TA/PR YPRR
 Alshon Jeffery 56 7 33 0.13 0.21 1.27
 Denarius Moore 53 7 31 0.13 0.23 1.39
 Tavon Austin 45 7 25 0.16 0.28 1.64
 Steve L. Smith 46 7 24 0.15 0.29 2.13
 Victor Cruz 55 7 45 0.13 0.16 2.62
 Randall Cobb 54 7 39 0.13 0.18 2.77
 Kyle Williams 58 6 37 0.10 0.16 0.97
 Greg Jennings 48 6 31 0.13 0.19 1.06
 Eddie Royal 31 6 21 0.19 0.29 1.14
 Steve Johnson 63 6 30 0.10 0.20 1.3
 DeAndre Hopkins 65 6 40 0.09 0.15 1.65
 Golden Tate 48 6 29 0.13 0.21 1.76
Name Snaps Targets Routes TA/SN TA/PR YPRR
 Antonio Brown 47 6 37 0.13 0.16 1.92
 Michael Floyd 67 6 42 0.09 0.14 1.95
 Leonard Hankerson 46 6 35 0.13 0.17 2.29
 Marques Colston 51 6 29 0.12 0.21 2.34
 Harry Douglas 45 6 37 0.13 0.16 2.51
 Nate Burleson 54 6 27 0.11 0.22 2.89
 T.Y. Hilton 26 5 20 0.19 0.25 1
 Malcom Floyd 54 5 32 0.09 0.16 1.47
 Dexter McCluster 35 5 24 0.14 0.21 1.79
 Josh Morgan 31 5 22 0.16 0.23 2.32
 Nate Washington 39 5 19 0.13 0.26 2.42
 Clyde Gates 30 4 20 0.13 0.20 0.85
 Terrance Williams 37 4 29 0.11 0.14 1.1
 Darrius Heyward-Bey 36 4 22 0.11 0.18 1.5
 Jeremy Kerley 41 4 27 0.10 0.15 1.67

 

Notable players with fewer than four targets: Sidney Rice (3), Chris Givens (2), Roddy White (2), Kenny Britt (1).

Shawn Siegele is a lead writer for PFF Fantasy and creator of Money in the Banana Stand. He also contributes to RotoViz and FanSided. You can follow him on twitter @FF_Contrarian.

 

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