Wide Receiver

Best Target to Catch Ratios from Week Two

Monday, 16 September, 2013

Best Target to Catch Ratios from Week Two

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Paying attention to stats and not your fantasy points is how you can dive into your roster and decide to make necessary improvement. Each week I give a breakdown of a key category in best targets to catch results ratios from NFL players. Here is a look at who put up stellar numbers and others that did not.

Julio Jones
Jones ripped apart a St. Louis secondary considered strong. His biggest play came when he was lined up in the slot and the Rams failed to give the nickel back corner any help. That resulted in an eighty one yard play. Jones completed the game with eleven catches on fourteen targets.

Stevie Johnson
Stevie Johnson is used to playing with a different quarterback constantly. EJ Manuel may end up ending that trend for Johnson. That will allow Johnson to garner extra respect in fantasy leagues. He finished Sunday with eight catches on ten targets, including a game winning touchdown with two seconds left.

Greg Jennings
Jennings was in my personal dog house, but crept out momentarily after Sunday’s game. The Bears secondary is not the best at halting catches, their strong area is creating turnovers. Jennings was brought in to give Christian Ponder some confidence and comfort ability in finding a receiver to throw to. Sunday Jennings had five catches on six targets, and made the tough grabs over the middle you’d expect from the veteran.

James Jones and Randall Cobb
If Aaron Rodgers keeps slinging the football the way he is you might as well hand him the MVP. It’s only two games in but Rodgers nearly pulled off the upset at San Francisco, and torched the Redskins week two. James Jones enjoyed a monster game with eleven catches on twelve targets, and Randall Cobb finished the day with nine catches on ten targets.

Mike Wallace
Miami satisfied their well paid receiver with nine catches on eleven targets Sunday. They intermixed designed quick hot routes with also finding him on normal pass patterns. It seems that Wallace feeds off just getting the ball in any fashion possible to propel him. That’s a good sign for a Miami team starting to show strong signs.

Others that did well: Greg Olsen 7 catches/8 targets, Dez Bryant 9 catches/13 targets, Eddie Royal 7 catches/8 targets, DesSean Jackson 9 catches/15 targets, Antonio Gates 8 catches/10 targets, Nate Burelson 7 catches/8 targets, Jimmy Graham 10 catches/16 targets, Cecil Shorts 8 catches/14 targets, Eric Decker 9 catches/13 targets, Julian Edelman 13 catches/18 targets

Not so Good

Tavon Austin 6 catches/12 targets, TY Hilton 6 catches/12 targets, Dwayne Bowe 4 catches/8 targets, Torrey Smith 7 catches/13 targets, DeAndre Hopkins 7 catches/13 targets, Vincent Jackson 5 catches/11 targets, Wes Welker 3 catches/8 targets, Brandon Myers 6 catches/10 targets, Anquan Boldin 1 catch/4 targets, Aaron Dobson 3 catches/10 targets, Kembrell Thompkins 2 catches/7 targets

Stretching the Field

Tuesday, 10 September, 2013

Stretching the Field

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If you’re in a formatted league that gives points based on big plays, then you’re happy to have quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers that have great averages per throw, run, or catch. The impact on receivers that have high yards per catch alleviates the risk some if a player is limited to under five catches. Let’s look at some players that exceeded their positions in averages per pass attempt and per catch on Sunday.

Key Stat Filler Game of the Week: Packers vs 49ers

Both Aaron Rodgers and Colin Kaepernick put on a show Sunday. Kaepernick completed almost 70 percent of his passes. Some were blown coverages by the Packers and others were darts in tight windows. Kaepernick seems to not mind being a drop back passer if he needs to be. His yards per attempt was almost eleven, while Rodgers was near ten. Boldin and Vernon Davis had receiving averages of over sixteen yards a catch. For Green Bay, Rodgers had a nine yard average per attempt while Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb put up stellar yards per catch with Nelson over 18, and Cobb over 15.

Quarterbacks

Peyton Manning
I won’t list all the Broncos receivers that Manning’s eleven yards per completion had to do with their monster yards per catch. Manning’s night went from basic to unreal in a matter of just an intermission. A special night all around, and one of the freakish fantasy games of all time.

Russ Wilson
Wilson was the sole reason that the Seahawks were able to do anything offensively, as the Panthers negated the Seahawks ground game. He only had eight incompletions on thirty three attempts, and averaged a few tenths beneath ten yards a completion. One of his best games to date.

Ryan Tannehill
Tannehill will always be in the shadow of Wilson, Luck, and RG3. His play though has Miami thinking they’re in good shape to over take the Patriots sooner than later. He averaged over seven yards a completion Sunday and this was with only one completion to Mike Wallace.

Matt Stafford
Detroit has been looking for a back since Jahvid Best had issues with concussions. They have found one in Reggie Bush, who did not waste anytime running wild Sunday. His 100 yards receiving helped pad Stafford’s yards per attempt at 8.3.

Andy Dalton
AJ Green put on a show on Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings and the entire Bears secondary Sunday. Dalton continues to elevate his game based on having AJ Green on the field. The big plays will not stop with the duo, and if Mohammed Sanu can become a suitable second receiver watch for Dalton’s numbers to continue to remain strong.

Wide Receivers

Trio of Giants Receivers: All three Giants receivers reaped the dividends of a frustrating evening of playing from behind. Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, and Reuben Randle all had averages of over twenty yards a catch. Those numbers surely will come down. With the Giants rushing woes it won’t be surprising to see Eli gunning the football through the air on a weekly basis.

Michael Floyd
Arizona provided Larry Fitzgerald with half of the touchdowns he had all season in one game Sunday. Floyd though had the best catch of week one, with an amazing one handed grab with a cornerback draped on his back. Floyd hauled in four catches for over eighty yards for a twenty yard average.

Antonio Brown
Brown had an average of just over fourteen yards a catch against the Titans. It looks like Brown will be used to try and fill the void left of big play potential without Mike Wallace. There are a lot of concerns with the Steelers offensive line and running game, which may hinder Brown’s overall value.

Torrey Smith
By now we have seen enough from the connection of Joe Flacco and Smith to know that these two are lethal on deep plays. Smith averaged over twenty yards a catch against the Broncos. That was on just four catches but his total was just over 90 yards.

Jerome Simpson
Simpson flourished with big plays two years ago as a Bengal. His summersault flip for a touchdown still makes people hit the replay button. With Christian Ponder’s struggles it will likely be an up and down battle for Simpson and Greg Jennings to have consistent numbers. Simpson did have an average of over 20 yards a catch Sunday.

Marques Colston
Colston is sort of like a tight end that complements Jimmy Graham. He is always in the stats sheets and he makes the over the middle type of catches that you’d expect from a tight end. He had five catches for nearly 70 yards near fourteen yards a catch.

Vincent Jackson
Jackson continues to shine as a Buccaneer, as he had his way with Antonio Cromartie Sunday. If you watched the game though it appeared more damage could have been done. On paper though Jackson had an average of 22 yards a catch week one. He’ll remain a top ten to twelve fantasy receiver all season.

Go For The Fade

Friday, 30 August, 2013

Go For The Fade

When it’s red zone time most people want to gravitate to the coaches inserting their power back in I formation. With the rise of quarterbacks statistically throwing the football more, there are other key red zone stats to look out for. Big tall targets are a quarterbacks best friend inside the five yard line. Knowing the tallest receivers in the NFL that are likely to be thrown a fade route, is yet another key stat you should know going into your fantasy football drafts.

The fade route is one of the most common throws on the goal line. Seemingly every team knows it’s coming, but teams just can’t stop it. The reason why is because of the height advantage and leaping ability with a wide receiver over the smaller defensive back. That and the quarterback and receiver have worked on the route countless times. It’s a timing route that the receiver and quarterback have a spot in mind before the ball is even snapped. All the receiver has to do is go up and get it.

Here are some guys you should keep in mind for the fade route. Obvious names such as Calvin Johnson, Fitz, Bryant, Colston, Jackson, and Dwayne Bowe I’ll keep off this list.

Mohammed Sanu
Sanu had his ups and downs as a rookie a year ago for the Bengals. It looks like he has overcome some of his struggles and will be the second receiver for the Bengals this year. He is a tall target and has already had a nice fade route touchdown catch with Andy Dalton in the preseason. Attention is coming AJ Green’s way for the third straight season, and will keep things open for Sanu in the red zone.

Mike Williams
Mike is not necessarily the tallest receiver, but he is a touchdown gobbler in red zone. He could be having a horrific game, and then have his one catch for six yards and a touchdown. That’s what makes Williams a different type of tier two wide receiver. He has done it many of times where his catches and yards may not be there in a certain game, but he makes up for it with a meaningful six point touchdown catch for you.

Justin Blackmon
When he returns from suspension Blackmon should and will be a commodity for fantasy owners. His physique and abilities is what made him a top draft pick a year ago out of Oklahoma State. I actually think he’ll still come close to his numbers from a year ago even with a four game suspension.

Golden Tate
A fade throw might not be how Russ Wilson looks for Tate, but the two have a knack for connecting in the red zone. Tate had seven touchdowns last year, including a couple of big game winners. A deep ball catch against the Patriots and the replacement referee’s jump ball notoriety catch. At 5’10 the Seahawks work and look for Tate as if he was 6’3.

Malcolm Floyd
The red zone is still Antonio Gates’ but age and loss of speed mean that others can and will have a chance to still Gates thunder. Floyd has filled that role somewhat over the past few years, but the Chargers are still looking for that Vincent Jackson type. If healthy Floyd, at 6’4, is still the primary receiver to have the best opportunity.

Jon Baldwin
His role in San Francisco and how he develops is the key here. The Chiefs obviously did not like his development so sent him for another receiver in AJ Jenkins. With Michael Crabtree out and Anquan Boldin aging, Baldwin may get a chance to replant his NFL steps and take ahold of an opportunity. In college he was dominant at Pittsburgh, and has the size at 6’4 is a quarterback’s best friend.

Alshon Jeffrey
Knowing the lingering effects of Brandon Marshall’s hip injury will be a high indicator of what Jeffrey’s season will look like. If Marshall is hindered by the injury mentally and physically on the field, it will give Jeffrey’s a prime chance to have a breakout season. Trestman’s new offense is expected to be fantasy friendly, and Cutler should look Jeffrey’s way plenty of times.

WR Rankings August 23rd

Friday, 23 August, 2013

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What type of fantasy owner are you when it comes to receivers? Three roster starting spots are vital on a given week, and you need to plan accordingly. But do not be one of those owners that has drafts to have limitless options. You do not want to have six or seven receivers on your fantasy roster. Draft to fulfill needs and draft strong but try to keep your wide receiver depth at five. That way you are not being burden with too many tough decisions for your third receiver starting spot on Sunday. If you have to pick out of four receivers to select for your third starting spot on Sunday, that’s just a 25 percent chance of picking the right guy.

I’d rather have to make that decision between three guys. You can analyze the matchups better and should make more of an appropriate decision. Nothing is worse than having one of your bench wide receivers go off on a given weekend. It just creates more of an indecisive move for you the following week. Automatically inserting that receiver the next week causes a tailspin of inputting the wrong receiver as he puts up a dud performance. Stick with your guns and limit your options. You’ll get a better result and if worse comes to worse, do a proper trade to upgrade instead of working with poor depth.
Here are updated wide receiver rankings for August 23rd.

1. Calvin Johnson
2. AJ Green
3. Dez Bryant
4. Larry Fitzgerald
5. Julio Jones
6. Brandon Marshall
7. DeMaryius Thomas
8. Andre Johnson
9. Randall Cobb
10. Reggie Wayne
11. Victor Cruz
12. Roddy White
13. Mike Wallace
14. Torrey Smith
15. Hakeem Nicks
16. Danny Amendola
17. Dwayne Bowe
18. Eric Decker
19. DeSean Jackson
20. Jordy Nelson
21. Marques Colston
22. Steve Smith
23. Antonio Brown
24. Pierre Garcon
25. Mike Wallace
26. Wes Welker
27. Greg Jennings
28. TY Hilton
29. Cecil Shorts
30. Golden Tate
31. James Jones
32. Stevie Johnson
33. Michael Floyd
34. Miles Austin
35. Tavon Austin
36. Lance Moore
37. Chris Givens
38. Josh Gordon
39. Sidney Rice
40. Anquan Boldin
41. Emmanuel Sanders
42. Alshon Jeffrey
43. Mohamed Sanu
44. Kenny Britt
45. Brian Hartline
46. Rod Streater
47. Reuben Randle
48. Santonio Holmes
49. Brandon Gibson
50. Jacoby Jones
51. Justin Blackmon
52. Andre Roberts
53. Malcolm Floyd
54. Darrius Heyward-Bey
55. Brandon LaFell
56. Denarius Moore
57. Riley Cooper
58. Ryan Broyles
59. Kenbrell Thompkins
60. Aaron Dobson
61. Cordarrelle Paterson
62. Robert Woods
63. Greg Little
64. Kendall Wright
65. Keenan Allen

TIGHT END INJURY CONCERNS

Thursday, 22 August, 2013

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To start off the tight end position in fantasy football has never been deep. This off-season and extending into the preseason we are seeing an inordinate amount of first string tight ends take a seat due to injury. That brings up a new dilemma that fantasy owners are not use to. A tight end is supposed to be durable and typically we’ll see maybe one or two dot the injury list that has any fantasy relevance.

When injuries mount that leave the opportunity for someone to step in. Don’t look now but the tight end position continues to be filled with youth. Due to the brute nature of the position, some of these tight ends currently on the injury report might be limited once on the field. After all they’re non fantasy impact is to also block edge rushers in running formations, and pass protect if called upon too.

Here are some tight ends with injury bugs that you need to be on high alert of.

Age Concerns/Risks
Jason Witten- Witten is a bruiser for punishing would be tacklers in the open field. His sure hands and route running have been outstanding with quarterback Tony Romo. Often tight ends can play through injuries and keep their presence on the football field. Witten did that last year, but one has to wonder how the return year from those nagging injuries will affect him. He is 31 and a down year could be looming. The Cowboys drafted Terrence Williams out of Baylor and are loaded at wide receiver this season. Dallas also drafted Gavin Escobar with a high second round pick in this year’s past draft.

Antonio Gates- Fantasy owners now sort of expect what type of stats they’re going to get out of Gates nowadays. He is right there on the bottom part of the top ten fantasy tight ends, and is on the lower end of ten to twelve team leagues for a starter. The Chargers offensive woes have not helped, and they still have done little to surround Gates with viable receiver options.

Tony Gonzalez- His phenomenal season was out of the ordinary, as fantasy owners were waiting for the string of weeks of Gonzalez to come back to Earth to happen. They didn’t, and may not this year either with how explosive Julio Jones and Roddy White are opposite each other. Teams have to pick their poison, and right now it’s with Gonzalez.

Heath Miller- The injury woes of the Steelers have put their 2013 season in jeopardy before it even starts. Plagued by tailback, wide receiver, and tight end injuries, Big Ben, is going to have a heck of a time maintaining his own health. Miller’s return is unknown, but for now Matt Spaeth will be Big Ben’s primary target.

Dennis Pitta- Pitta’s injury was one of the first high profiled injuries of training camp and dealt a big blow for the Ravens offense. Anquan Boldin became a beneficiary of Joe Flacco as the season wore on, but if it were not for the zone Flacco was in, Boldin would have been near useless. A large majority of catches by Boldin were from precision passes from Flacco, while Pitta had the ability to get open and was Flacco’s main primary target during the entire season. Now the Ravens will look at Ed Dickson and newly signed Visanthe Shiancoe to fill Pitta’s shoes.

Fred Davis- The Redskins are one of the few teams that have an arsenal at their disposal and do not need an elite tight end. Davis has never lived up to his billing and now is more of a situational fantasy worthy tight end. Even though he is coming off injury, Washington’s offense is not going to garner him more attention. They’ll keep things the way they were running it last year. A lot of running plays and pistol formations for RG3.

Scott Chandler- Chandler was the Bills old quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick’s main threat besides Stevie Johnson. After Chandler returns from injury will have to see who either EJ Manuel or Kevin Kolb figures to target the most in the Bills offense and at tight end. Right now any Bills tight end should be on the waiver wire until further notice.

Rob Gronkowski- The Patriots are know that they have to position Gronk back slowly this go around, as another blow to his arm is going to be even harder to return from. The time table for his return has not been announced, which makes the drafting of him in high rounds risky. He should be back at some point in September, and his replacement Zach Sudfeld should be a representable fill-in minus the touchdowns for those weeks.

Dustin Keller- Keller’s blown out knee was a major blow to the Dolphins. In action in preseason, Ryan Tannehill had already hooked up with Keller on a nice touchdown pass a week prior. Someone is going to have to fill that void, and Miami may have to platoon the position until someone stands out. Charles Clay or last year’s third round pick, Michael Egnew, figure to try and snare a few passes in absence of Keller.

August 21st Tight End Rankings

Thursday, 22 August, 2013

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An ever-growing vital position is at tight end for fantasy football owners. The cream of the crop is a dandy with high caliber players that would even complement a wide receiver one statistically. After that it becomes a notorious crap shoot. Do you settle for a primary red-zone target or one that heeds yards but is non-existent in the red zone. It’s a gamble some take if they see higher value in a wide receiver two or key depth at other positions.

But if you look at the teams that succeed for fantasy playoffs it’s becoming more and more evident that they’re securing the twelve to sixteen lock points every week with a non roller-coaster tight end. Sure they’re paying the draft pick price for it. But when you scan a waiver wire for tight end value it’s just as pitiful at any point of the year.

The tight end position is invaluable, and here are updated tight end rankings after week two of the preseason.

1. Jimmy Graham
2. Rob Gronkowski
3. Jason Witten
4. Tony Gonzalez
5. Kyle Rudolph- Expect Rudolph to expound on last year’s statistics. He will assuredly be a top fantasy tight end surpassing the old veterans Witten and Gonzalez.
6. Vernon Davis
7. Owen Daniels
8. Antonio Gates
9. Jermaine Gresham- The wake up call has come for Gresham, and I think he will respond even with the drafting of Tyler Eifert. Before another tight end being brought it was a detractor for players currently on the roster. Teams are mixing it up more with two tight ends that are versatile. Gresham should continue to be fine and is still young enough to blossom into an even better fantasy tight end.
10. Greg Olsen
11. Jermichael Finley
12. Ed Dickson – Familiarity is often a quarterback’s best friend. Gone is Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta to injury. Insert Dickson who lacks the skillset of Pitta but has been and will be a viable option for Flacco once again.
13. Brandon Myers
14. Jordan Cameron- While the preseason hype is on Sudfeld, I believe it has more to do with the Patriots lore than anything else. Cameron has been the big surprise. The display and show he has put on is not going to end once the regular season comes. He’ll continue to do damage and be a safe keep as your TE2 or legitimate depth there as well.
15. Martellus Bennett – With the injuries plaguing and surround the tight end position, Bennett has climbed up the middle tier tight end position rankings. Now he needs to showcase that last season was not a one year wonder.
16. Brandon Pettigrew
17. Dwayne Allen
18. Zach Sudfeld
19. Jared Cook
20. Charles Clay
21. Marcedes Lewis
22. Rob Housler
23. Delanie Walker
24. Heath Miller
25. Scott Chandler
26. Fred Davis
27. Zach Miller
28. Jacob Tamme
29. Jeff Cumberland
30. Brent Celek
31. Tyler Eifert
32. Anthony Fasano
33. Zach Ertz
34. Jordan Reed
35. Tony Scheffler