Advanced Targets — Week 12

| 4 years ago
Cecil-Shorts-2

Advanced Targets — Week 12


Week 13 represents the final regular season contest in many fantasy leagues. For some, it’s time to pull out all the stops in a last ditch effort at a wild card spot. For others, it’s an opportunity to re-organize your roster depth to best maximize playoff matchups. Handcuffing wide receivers is a much more daunting proposition than protecting your elite running backs, but this season’s stretch run may present a rare opportunity to do so.

Several of the potential handcuffs arise from an unusual trend. While the usual suspects head the list as we look at Week 12 receivers with double digits targets, they aren’t the most interesting. Instead, direct your attention to . . .

 

The Rise of the Rookie Possession Receiver
  Snaps Targets Routes TA/SN TA/PR PR/SN YPRR
 Calvin Johnson 89 17 65 0.19 0.26 0.73 2.15
 Andre Johnson 73 15 47 0.21 0.32 0.64 4.00
 Brandon Marshall 69 15 34 0.22 0.44 0.49 2.71
 Reggie Wayne 66 14 43 0.21 0.33 0.65 2.37
 Steve Johnson 57 14 35 0.25 0.40 0.61 3.03
 Andre Roberts 67 13 51 0.19 0.25 0.76 1.80
 Cole Beasley 64 13 58 0.20 0.22 0.91 1.17
 Hakeem Nicks 57 12 28 0.21 0.43 0.49 2.75
 Larry Fitzgerald 77 12 54 0.16 0.22 0.70 0.57
 Dez Bryant 79 11 64 0.14 0.17 0.81 2.27
 Ryan Broyles 81 11 59 0.14 0.19 0.73 2.14
 Torrey Smith 87 11 55 0.13 0.20 0.63 2.62
 Jarius Wright 41 10 29 0.24 0.34 0.71 1.69
 Jeremy Kerley 45 10 29 0.22 0.34 0.64 2.97
 Mohamed Sanu 58 10 33 0.17 0.30 0.57 1.03
 Wes Welker 63 10 27 0.16 0.37 0.43 2.63

Calvin Johnson led receivers in routes again last Sunday, but if there were any questions about his running mate, Ryan Broyles answered them by finishing third (59). He hit double digits in targets (11) and averaged more than 2.0 yards per route. The Lions drafted Broyles to fill a Welker/Amendola-type role but didn’t expect much from him as a rookie due to inexperience and the lingering effects of last season’s ACL tear. Many fantasy players are becoming comfortable with the idea that starting multiple players from the same team can actually increase your consistency. In leagues where three and four wide receivers are deployed through flex positions, Broyles becomes a solid WR4 who upgrades to an elite WR3 for Megatron owners.

Mohamed Sanu finished second in the NCAA last year with 115 receptions but averaged only 7.1 yards per target. Therefore it’s no surprise that he’s getting open (10 targets), and yet not accumulating many yards (1.03 yards per route). Over the last three weeks, Sanu has gained 103 yards but scored four touchdowns. The Bengals love Sanu in the red zone, but there is good news even if his touchdown rate proves unsustainable. Sanu’s snaps have been steadily rising since Week 7, and he’s seen the field for more than 85% of the offense’s plays over the last two weeks.

The Vikings have played twice since Percy Harvin’s ankle injury. In those games, Jarius Wright has notched 15 targets, 10 catches, 114 yards, and a touchdown. Although obviously not at Harvin’s level, Wright has been used similarly and shown some potential. Wright’s Week 12 target per snap rate (24%) trailed only Stevie Johnson (min. 30 snaps). With Harvin’s status still up in the air, his owners should do what it takes to acquire Wright.

Owners of the oft-injured Cowboys starters face a weekly conundrum. Neither Kevin Ogletree nor Dwayne Harris has emerged as a reliable No. 3 receiver for Dallas. As he has so many times over the past three seasons, Miles Austin failed to finish a contest and a no-name rookie who once walked out of training camp stepped into the void. Cole Beasley’s 91% route rate led all wide receivers on Sunday, and his 58 routes came in fourth. Beasley is probably only valuable as a handcuff for Austin owners in PPR leagues, but it’s worth mentioning that he’s been targeted on 20% of his routes this season, the exact same number as both Bryant and Austin.

Other Week 12 Stars
  Snaps Targets Routes TA/SN TA/PR PR/SN YPRR
 Tiquan Underwood 29 9 22 0.31 0.41 0.76 3.50
 A.J. Green 60 8 33 0.13 0.24 0.55 3.36
 Davone Bess 53 8 28 0.15 0.29 0.53 4.61
 Demaryius Thomas 62 8 40 0.13 0.20 0.65 2.05
 Julio Jones 51 8 32 0.16 0.25 0.63 4.59
 Cecil Shorts 57 7 33 0.12 0.21 0.58 3.18
 Pierre Garcon 29 7 22 0.24 0.32 0.76 4.23
 Vincent Jackson 52 7 31 0.13 0.23 0.60 3.10
 Chris Givens 52 6 19 0.12 0.32 0.37 6.05
 Julian Edelman 16 3 9 0.19 0.33 0.56 7.11

A.J. Green, Demaryius Thomas, and Julio Jones all stand on the brink of superstardom. Usage is the only thing that might prevent them from delivering fantasy titles in 2012. Green and Jones both ran fewer than 35 routes in Week 12, while Peyton Manning has spoken openly about the need to get Thomas more involved. All three are more than 100 routes behind Calvin Johnson.

Cecil Shorts now has at least 100 yards or a touchdown in five of his last six games. He’s reached at least 70 yards and a touchdown on six different occasions this season. Averaging 20.8 yards per catch, Shorts continues to rank in the top ten in yards per route (2.39), ahead of players like Calvin Johnson.

It’s a tribute to Raiders football coach Larry Kehres that Mount Union placed not one but two players on this list. Pierre Garcon averaged 4.23 yards per route by virtue of breaking free for a long touchdown. He remains a tantalizing but unreliable play. His low route number (22) is a red flag, and, despite the dramatic difference in his fantasy production, Garcon’s snap percentage only increased from 39% to 44% from Week 11 to Week 12.

If he can overcome his character issues, Chris Givens should end up as a better NFL wide receiver than Kendall Wright. Almost identically sized, Givens is faster and accounted for a larger share of his college team’s receiving production in 2011. Givens’ 21.2 yards per reception average provides the perfect counterpoint to Danny Amendola, and the rookie has not seen a snap rate less than 50% in any game for which he was active since Week 4. He’s played on at least 70% of the snaps four times, including last Sunday.

Busts
  Snaps Targets Routes TA/SN TA/PR PR/SN YPRR
 Anquan Boldin 89 7 56 0.08 0.13 0.63 0.75
 Donnie Avery 73 7 43 0.10 0.16 0.59 0.79
 Mike Wallace 60 7 35 0.12 0.20 0.58 0.31
 Randall Cobb 39 7 29 0.18 0.24 0.74 1.34
 Brandon Lloyd 62 6 26 0.10 0.23 0.42 1.00
 Mike A. Williams 47 6 31 0.13 0.19 0.66 0.90
 Brian Hartline 54 5 28 0.09 0.18 0.52 0.61
 Marques Colston 44 5 38 0.11 0.13 0.86 0.95
 Kenny Britt 55 5 37 0.09 0.14 0.67 0.57
 Darrius Heyward-Bey 58 4 37 0.07 0.11 0.64 0.00
 Denarius Moore 57 4 35 0.07 0.11 0.61 0.57
 Michael Crabtree 37 5 21 0.14 0.24 0.57 1.24

A bevy of highly touted receivers averaged less than 1.0 yards per route in Week 12. The Ravens continue to use Anquan Boldin incorrectly with 38 of his 80 targets coming more than 10 yards down the field. As I mentioned in my preseason Possession Receiver Sustainability article, his route depth in Arizona was completely different. Boldin simply can’t get open deep, which helps explain only seven targets on 89 snaps.

Mike Wallace currently ranks 55th in yards per route, behind players like Leonard Hankerson, Jacoby Jones, and Brandon Gibson. His current swoon in Ben Roethlisberger’s absence obscures the fact that he owns five games with three targets or fewer. He also posted PFF grades of -1.9 or worse three times with Big Ben at the helm. Already residing in fantasy purgatory, Wallace is quickly heading for DeSean Jackson territory.

Marques Colston, Kenny Britt, and Denarius Moore salvaged their fantasy performances with touchdowns, but they struggled to create any separation on Sunday. The threesome combined for only 78 yards on 110 routes. Moore only has two receptions on his last 11 targets.

Michael Crabtree ran only 21 routes against New Orleans’ historically leaky defense. He currently ranks 30th among wide receivers in fantasy points but isn’t an option for owners who harbor legitimate title aspirations.

The Rest
  Snaps Targets Routes TA/SN TA/PR PR/SN YPRR
 Dwayne Bowe 65 9 28 0.14 0.32 0.43 1.46
 Nate Washington 59 9 42 0.15 0.21 0.71 1.29
 Danario Alexander 66 8 40 0.12 0.20 0.61 1.85
 Brandon LaFell 60 7 31 0.12 0.23 0.52 2.39
 Brandon Stokley 52 7 33 0.13 0.21 0.63 1.88
 Eric Decker 63 7 39 0.11 0.18 0.62 1.64
 Jeremy Maclin 51 7 23 0.14 0.30 0.45 2.39
 Kendall Wright 40 7 31 0.18 0.23 0.78 1.55
 Roddy White 60 7 34 0.12 0.21 0.57 1.68
 Steve L. Smith 64 7 33 0.11 0.21 0.52 1.82
 Donald Jones 48 6 33 0.13 0.18 0.69 0.58
 Dwayne Harris 73 6 60 0.08 0.10 0.82 1.18
 Emmanuel Sanders 55 6 32 0.11 0.19 0.58 2.28
 Jacoby Jones 47 6 31 0.13 0.19 0.66 1.61
 Josh Gordon 62 6 30 0.10 0.20 0.48 2.00
 Josh Morgan 42 6 23 0.14 0.26 0.55 2.09
 Justin Blackmon 56 6 33 0.11 0.18 0.59 1.88
 Kevin Walter 64 6 42 0.09 0.14 0.66 0.48
 Lance Moore 41 6 32 0.15 0.19 0.78 1.91
 Mike Thomas 59 6 46 0.10 0.13 0.78 0.37
 Victor Cruz 59 6 27 0.10 0.22 0.46 1.33
 Golden Tate 49 5 28 0.10 0.18 0.57 2.00
 Malcom Floyd 69 5 42 0.07 0.12 0.61 1.55
 Mario Manningham 26 5 14 0.19 0.36 0.54 4.93
 Santana Moss 33 5 22 0.15 0.23 0.67 1.91
 Clyde Gates 29 4 17 0.14 0.24 0.59 1.18
 Damian Williams 26 4 14 0.15 0.29 0.54 3.29
 Dexter McCluster 22 4 11 0.18 0.36 0.50 1.91
 Doug Baldwin 19 4 12 0.21 0.33 0.63 1.17
 Earl Bennett 52 4 29 0.08 0.14 0.56 1.55
 Greg Little 56 4 25 0.07 0.16 0.45 0.24
 Jerome Simpson 29 4 21 0.14 0.19 0.72 0.05
 Juron Criner 41 4 28 0.10 0.14 0.68 0.82
 Michael Floyd 54 4 43 0.07 0.09 0.80 0.81
 Michael Jenkins 41 4 33 0.10 0.12 0.80 0.52
 Mohamed Massaquoi 19 4 12 0.21 0.33 0.63 2.25
 Chaz Schilens 40 3 20 0.08 0.15 0.50 1.65
 Devery Henderson 49 3 36 0.06 0.08 0.73 0.17
 Harry Douglas 40 3 24 0.08 0.13 0.60 0.46
 Jamar Newsome 14 3 6 0.21 0.50 0.43 1.67
 Jordy Nelson 56 3 35 0.05 0.09 0.63 2.03
 Sidney Rice 50 3 29 0.06 0.10 0.58 1.69
 T.J. Graham 30 3 22 0.10 0.14 0.73 1.09
 T.Y. Hilton 39 3 29 0.08 0.10 0.74 1.14
 Terrance Copper 23 3 11 0.13 0.27 0.48 1.27
 Austin Pettis 26 2 13 0.08 0.15 0.50 0.00
 Brandon Gibson 45 2 17 0.04 0.12 0.38 0.00
 Damaris Johnson 42 2 19 0.05 0.11 0.45 0.68
 Devin Aromashodu 26 2 20 0.08 0.10 0.77 0.00
 Joe Morgan 30 2 15 0.07 0.13 0.50 2.20
 Keshawn Martin 22 2 14 0.09 0.14 0.64 1.21
 Kevin Elliott 7 2 7 0.29 0.29 1.00 0.00
 Leonard Hankerson 37 2 14 0.05 0.14 0.38 0.86
 Louis Murphy 32 2 20 0.06 0.10 0.63 3.25
 Marvin Jones 10 2 4 0.20 0.50 0.40 0.00
 Miles Austin 11 2 6 0.18 0.33 0.55 0.00
 Plaxico Burress 11 2 8 0.18 0.25 0.73 0.00
 Riley Cooper 38 2 16 0.05 0.13 0.42 0.44
 Rueben Randle 21 2 14 0.10 0.14 0.67 1.86
 Seyi Ajirotutu 22 2 20 0.09 0.10 0.91 0.85
 Stephen Hill 46 2 29 0.04 0.07 0.63 0.55
 Tandon Doss 22 2 17 0.09 0.12 0.77 0.53
 Aldrick Robinson 10 1 4 0.10 0.25 0.40 17.00
 Andre Holmes 9 1 7 0.11 0.14 0.78 0.57
 Brandon Banks 9 1 4 0.11 0.25 0.44 2.00
 Brandon Tate 21 1 15 0.05 0.07 0.71 0.40
 Brian Quick 8 1 2 0.13 0.50 0.25 0.00
 Danny Amendola 9 1 4 0.11 0.25 0.44 9.50
 David Gilreath 23 1 16 0.04 0.06 0.70 0.00
 DeSean Jackson 12 1 7 0.08 0.14 0.58 1.29
 Eric Weems 28 1 14 0.04 0.07 0.50 0.64
 Jermaine Kearse 6 1 3 0.17 0.33 0.50 2.67
 Jonathan Baldwin 29 1 13 0.03 0.08 0.45 0.00
 Jordan Shipley 8 1 6 0.13 0.17 0.75 4.00
 Kyle Williams 11 1 5 0.09 0.20 0.45 0.00
 LaRon Byrd 3 1 3 0.33 0.33 1.00 0.00
 LaVon Brazill 15 1 12 0.07 0.08 0.80 0.92
 Micheal Spurlock 23 1 17 0.04 0.06 0.74 0.00
 Randy Moss 26 1 8 0.04 0.13 0.31 0.00
 Stephen Burton 14 1 10 0.07 0.10 0.71 0.00
 Travis Benjamin 18 1 12 0.06 0.08 0.67 0.00

 

Comments are closed.