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4 facts you may have missed from Week 7 in the NFL
1:42 | NFL
4 facts you may have missed from Week 7 in the NFL
Wednesday October 22nd, 2014

Target and snap data can help fantasy owners uncover potential trade targets, even this late in the season. Your rival owners may be trying to preserve their depth with six teams going on bye in Weeks 9 and 10, but there is one receiver who could be readily available, even though all target and snap data point to him breaking out soon. You would be wise to check in on Keenan Allen’s price this week.

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Just as he has been for the last month or so, Allen remains a great buy-low option at a time when you’re not going to find too many of those. He’s the league leader in targets among players without a touchdown, even though he still getting the most work in San Diego. He has seen 22.5 percent of the team’s targets, a full four percentage points more than Antonio Gates, who has the next-highest share. He also has four red zone targets, though, obviously, he hasn’t caught any of them. He converted six of 14 such targets last year, though, so as long as Philip Rivers keeps looking in his direction, he’s going to start cashing in at some point. Allen is also on the field for nearly every snap in every game. The touchdowns are coming for him, and when they do, they will come in waves.

And with that, let’s get to the Week 7 Target Report. As always, target numbers include plays negated by penalty.

Arizona Cardinals

Larry Fitzgerald – 45 targets, 8 red zone targets, 90 percent of snaps played this season, 96 percent of snaps played last week

Andre Ellington – 41, 4, 68, 64

Michael Floyd – 40, 3, 89, 95

John Brown – 36, 4, 54, 57

John Carlson – 22, 1, 89, 92

Stepfan Taylor – 9, 3, 15, 29

The passing attack hasn’t really been lights out since Carson Palmer’s return, but it has regained at least a measure of its effectiveness. Palmer has thrown for 503 yards and four touchdowns against just one interception in the last two weeks, with three of the four touchdowns going to his top two receivers, Floyd and Fitzgerald. In those same two games, Floyd has caught two of his three deep targets for 53 yards and two scores. The breakout campaign is back on for the Notre Dame product. You may still be able to buy him at a discount, but he’s a rock-solid WR2 for the rest of the season.

What you missed from Week 7 | Week 8 fantasy projections

Atlanta Falcons

Julio Jones – 78 targets, 4 red zone targets, 90 percent of snaps played this season, 85  percent of snaps played last week

Roddy White – 52, 4, 95, 94

Devin Hester – 29, 1, 44, 56

Levine Toilolo – 25, 2, 89, 97

Devonta Freeman – 23, 3, 19, 24

Harry Douglas – 17, 1, 72, N/A

Steven Jackson – 16, 1, 38, 38

Jacquizz Rodgers – 15, 2, 30, 23

Antone Smith – 14, 1, 15, 15

“Come on, Dirk Koetter,” has become one of my favorite weekly features of the Target Report. If you’re new here, basically the Falcons’ offensive coordinator does something so bizarre every week, usually with respect to Julio Jones, that we wonder what exactly he’s doing. Now for this week’s edition of CODK. The Falcons ran 12 plays in Baltimore territory before that game got totally out of hand last week. Two of those resulted in passes to Jones. Come on, Koetter. After losing backup center Peter Konz to a season-ending knee injury, the Falcons will have to turn to their third center of the season. As crazy as it sounds, they may not have hit rock bottom just yet.

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Baltimore Ravens

Steve Smith – 64 targets, 11 red zone targets, 72 percent of snaps played this season, 81 percent of snaps played last week

Torrey Smith – 44, 5, 78, 87

Owen Daniels – 34, 8, 70, 66

Justin Forsett – 30, 3, 58, 63

Bernard Pierce – 4, 0, 26, 25

Lorenzo Taliaferro – 3, 0, 17, 6

There are a lot of ways to quantify just how impressive Steve Smith has been this year, but my favorite is his 11.1 yards per target, third to only DeSean Jackson and DeAndre Hopkins among receivers with at least 30 targets. His dominance this year has already been well-chronicled, though. His running mate, Torrey Smith, however, has come on of late after being written off through the first month of the season. He has seven catches for 132 yards and three touchdowns in his last two games, and all of a sudden is 27th among receivers in fantasy points this year, right about where he was expected to be. He is once again trustworthy as a WR3. Remember, that’s how quickly fortunes can change for a player with a track record who is still in or near the prime of his career.

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Buffalo Bills

Sammy Watkins – 62 targets, 7 red zone targets, 97 percent of snaps played this season, 100 percent of snaps played last week

Robert Woods – 50, 3, 91, 91

Fred Jackson – 41, 4, 53, 14

Scott Chandler – 33, 5, 70, 59

C.J. Spiller – 18, 2, 34, 13

Mike Williams – 16, 5, 43, 7

Anthony Dixon – 4, 0, 14, 70

Watkins has played just as much as any other receiver this season, getting on the field for 97 percent of Buffalo’s snaps. Now that the steady hand of Kyle Orton is in charge of the Buffalo offense, it is starting to pay off. In the three games with Orton as the starter, Watkins has 18 catches for 236 yards and two touchdowns. In four games with EJ Manuel, he caught 17 balls for 197 yards and two scores. Watkins doesn’t need an elite quarterback at the helm to put up WR2 numbers. All he needs is someone who can get him the ball with consistency. Orton has proven capable of being that guy. There are going to be more dud games from him this season, but he’s settling into a role as a top-25 receiver. We’ll discuss the running back tumult more in the committee watch later this week, but Bryce Brown looks like the better bet to take over as something resembling a workhorse.

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Carolina Panthers

Kelvin Benjamin – 66 targets, 8 red zone targets, 85 percent of snaps played this season, 75 percent of snaps played last week

Greg Olsen – 62, 10, 93, 78

Jerricho Cotchery – 38, 1, 79, 84

Jason Avant – 35, 4, 57, 65

Jonathan Stewart – 9, 0, 56, 80

Darrin Reaves – 8, 1, 53, N/A

Fozzy Whitaker – 2, 0, 32, N/A

We talk about Olsen a lot in this space, but he seemingly never gets his due. It’s time to put an end to that. He’s second among tight ends in overall fantasy points and points per game, trailing only Julius Thomas. He leads all tight ends with 493 yards, and is tied for the league lead in receptions with Martellus Bennett at 41. Despite running the second-most routes, he’s fifth in yards per route run with 2.09. Julius Thomas is 15th with 1.76. In short, no tight end is playing better overall football than Olsen this season.

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Chicago Bears

Matt Forte – 64 targets, 10 red zone targets, 92 percent of snaps played this season, 100 percent of snaps played last week

Alshon Jeffery – 61, 7, 85, 96

Martellus Bennett – 60, 16, 89, 94

Brandon Marshall – 59, 14, 91, 96

Santonio Holmes, 12, 1, 41, 43

Forte is easily the best player in this offense. The Bears rank first in run blocking, according to Pro Football Focus. Forte got two carries in the first half of Chicago’s loss to Miami. To quote Marshall, that’s unacceptable. You saw this passing attack really struggle as a whole for the first time all season in that game, and it was because the Bears didn’t make the Dolphins respect they run. Marshall had 4.8 yards per target, while Jeffery caught two of his seven targets for a total of nine yards. Fantasy owners should still have plenty of faith in this offense, but it simply has to get focused on Forte to unlock all of its potential.

Cincinnati Bengals

Mohamed Sanu – 57 targets, 6 red zone targets, 94 percent of snaps played this season, 93 percent of snaps played last week

Jermaine Gresham – 33, 4, 93, 89

Giovani Bernard – 31, 1, 72, 71

A.J. Green – 28, 4, 64, N/A

Brandon Tate – 18, 2, 64, 70

Jeremy Hill – 11, 0, 28, 30

The one truly surprising number above is Bernard’s one red-zone target. Matt Forte has 10. Jamaal Charles has five. Bernard is a real weapon in the passing game for the Bengals and, if anything, should have been more featured in the last few weeks with Green inactive. Sanu put up a monster game two weeks ago as the team’s de facto No. 1 receiver, but came up short last week. It goes to show that just because you’re the best receiver on the field, that doesn’t make you a WR1. As poor as the Cincinnati offense looked last week, it could explode when Green and Tyler Eifert (elbow) return from injury. Both could be back in the next two weeks.

Cleveland Browns

Andrew Hawkins – 53 targets, 4 red zone targets, 70 percent of snaps played this season, 74 percent of snaps played last week

Miles Austin – 38, 6, 64, 74

Taylor Gabriel – 32, 5, 56, 57

Jordan Cameron – 28, 4, 80, 95

Travis Benjamin – 17, 3, 36, 46

Terrance West – 5, 2, 38, 14

Ben Tate – 4, 0, 54, 55

Isaiah Crowell – 4, 0, 30, 29

As a whole, the Cleveland offense was a major disappointment at Jacksonville last week. The Browns scored just six points and put up an anemic 266 total yards. Hawkins, however, served notice that he would not be an afterthought with a healthy Cameron. He caught five of his nine targets for 112 yards, his third game this season with at least 80 yards. Hawkins still hasn’t scored this year, but he can be a useful receiver with the heavy bye week slates still on the horizon. In the three games since Tate returned from a knee injury, West’s snap percentage by game has been 14 percent, zero percent and 14 percent. He has no fantasy value.

Dallas Cowboys

Dez Bryant – 68 targets, 4 red zone targets, 84 percent of snaps played this season, 87 percent of snaps played last week

Jason Witten – 34, 2, 100, 100

Terrance Williams – 33, 9, 78, 68

DeMarco Murray – 27, 2, 77, 71

Cole Beasley – 21, 2, 44, 32

Gavin Escobar – 9, 4, 23, 40

Few players are doing as much with as few targets as Williams. He’s tied for 67th in the league in total targets among receivers, and yet is 12th in fantasy points. How is he doing it? Well, he may not be getting many targets, but he’s getting plenty of the most valuable varieties. In addition to his nine red zone targets, he has 10 that have traveled at least 20 yards in the air. He has caught four red zone touchdowns, and has reeled in five of his deep targets for 151 yards and two more scores. The production may seem unsustainable on so few targets, but as long as Tony Romo keeps looking his way deep down the field and in the red zone, he can keep it up.

Denver Broncos

Demaryius Thomas – 69 targets, 12 red zone targets, 90 percent of snaps played this season, 67 percent of snaps played last week

Emmanuel Sanders – 56, 7, 94, 82

Julius Thomas – 36, 12, 91, 80

Wes Welker – 20, 1, 69, 80

Ronnie Hillman – 13, 2, 50, 62

Juwan Thompson – 1, 0, 11, 23

C.J. Anderson – 1, 1, 10, 15

It’s time for your weekly Demaryius Thomas pace update. After inspiring way too many reactionary trades in the first month of the season -- and, remember, that one reactionary trade of a player of his caliber is one too many -- Thomas has 26 catches for 521 yards and five touchdowns in his last three games. He’s now on pace for 104 catches, 1,765 yards and 16 touchdowns. Keep this in mind when one of your studs gets off to a slow start in the 2015 season. The window may still be open to trade Julius Thomas high, and that might be a very good idea. He can’t possibly keep up his touchdown pace all season, and has topped 50 yards just three times. Increase that threshold to 70 yards, and he has been over it just once this year. He gets plenty of red zone targets, but he’s running third, at best, in the pecking order in all other parts of the field.

Detroit Lions

Golden Tate – 70 targets, 5 red zone targets, 82 percent of snaps played this season, 90 percent of snaps played last week

Calvin Johnson – 37, 5, 70, N/A

Reggie Bush – 35, 6, 43, 26

Joique Bell – 24, 2, 56, 74

Eric Ebron – 21, 4, 45, N/A

Corey Fuller – 18, 2, 47, 89

Jeremy Ross – 17, 0, 68, 89

If the Lions make the playoffs, they’re going to look back at the day in the offseason that they signed Tate as one of the most important days of the year. With Calvin Johnson out the last few weeks, Tate has provided Matthew Stafford with at least one reliable downfield weapon. Tate is now ninth in the league with 2.45 yards per route run, and is averaging an incredible 10.3 yards per target. His impact is minimized in the red zone because of his size, but he has, in no short measure, saved this passing attack with Johnson on the shelf.

Green Bay Packers

Jordy Nelson – 77 targets, 16 red zone targets, 93 percent of snaps played this season, 84 percent of snaps played last week

Randall Cobb – 49, 13, 89, 79

Davante Adams – 27, 6, 62, 79

Andrew Quarless – 21, 5, 63, 47

Eddie Lacy – 16, 4, 61, 62

James Starks – 13, 0, 29, 19

The incredible stat here isn’t how many more targets Nelson has than Cobb. It’s that Cobb trails Nelson by that many, and that the margin between him and the third-most targeted player, Adams, is nearly as great. Nelson and Cobb sit second and fifth in points per game, respectively. Dallas is the only other team with two players in the top 20. Adams has been playing more frequently in the last few weeks, but he still doesn’t get enough targets to count on him in fantasy leagues. This is all about Nelson and Cobb, and they both project as high-end WR1s for the rest of the year, given the way Aaron Rodgers is playing right now.

Houston Texans

Andre Johnson – 70 targets, 11 red zone targets, 91 percent of snaps played this season, 98 percent of snaps played last week

DeAndre Hopkins – 45, 4, 95, 92

Arian Foster – 27, 3, 79, 89

Garrett Graham – 18, 1, 72, 94

Alfred Blue – 5, 1, 24, 11

Johnson and Hopkins provide the fantasy community with a wonderful study in the opposite ways to be an effective fantasy receiver. Johnson represents the volume approach. He has ridden his 70 targets this year to 496 yards, which ranks 12th among receivers. Unfortunately, he has just one touchdown, and is 26th in fantasy points. Hopkins has 64.2 percent of the targets Johnson does, but has an impressive 11.6 yards per target, second to only DeSean Jackson among receivers with at least 30 targets. Thanks to that big-play ability, and two more touchdowns than Johnson, he’s 16th among receivers in fantasy points.

Indianapolis Colts

T.Y. Hilton – 70 targets, 5 red zone targets, 72 percent of snaps played this season, 80 percent of snaps played last week

Reggie Wayne – 61, 7, 83, 77

Hakeem Nicks – 35, 7, 50, 24

Dwayne Allen – 33, 7, 71, 70

Coby Fleener – 31, 9, 63, 76

Ahmad Bradshaw – 29, 10, 47, 42

Trent Richardson – 26, 4, 48, 48

Andrew Luck leads the league with 330 dropbacks. Matt Ryan is second at 303. Luck leads the league with 302 pass attempts. Ryan is second with 278. Luck leads the league with 199 completions. Ryan and Drew Brees are tied for second with 178. Luck leads the league with 2,332 passing yards. Ryan is second with 2,078. In short, the Colts really like to pass the ball. Moreover, they’ve run the most plays, by far, in the league this year. All of that is trickling down and increasing the fantasy value of the skill-position players in Indy. Bradshaw has justifiably received plenty of attention, but Hilton has been the most dangerous weapon in the offense. He’s averaging a ridiculous 10.8 yards per target, and is seventh in the league with 2.68 yards per route run.

Jacksonville Jaguars

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Allen Robinson – 51 targets, 5 red zone targets, 73 percent of snaps played this season, 90 percent of snaps played last week

Allen Hurns – 40, 2, 80, 52

Cecil Shorts – 40, 5, 80, 89

Clay Harbor – 24, 2, 90, 84

Marqise Lee – 19, 1, 48, 19

Denard Robinson – 12, 0, 36, 62

Toby Gerhart – 8, 1, 47, N/A

Storm Johnson – 1, 0, 18, 14

In Weeks 4 and 5, games that Shorts missed most or all of, Hurns had snap percentages of 91 and 98 percent. In the last two weeks, he has dipped to 64 and 52 percent. Meanwhile, Allen Robinson has ranged between 82 and 91 percent of snaps played in the last four weeks. Hurns may have a role in this offense, but Robinson and Shorts are the only ones who can be trusted for fantasy purposes. We’ve talked about Denard Robinson in a few different columns this week, so suffice it to say here that he is the clear leader of the Jacksonville backfield. He can be a real weapon for the Jaguars in their screen game.

Kansas City Chiefs

Travis Kelce – 32 targets, 6 red zone targets, 52 percent of snaps played this season, 68 percent of snaps played last week

Dwayne Bowe – 32, 2, 82, 86

Donnie Avery – 22, 4, 72, N/A

Anthony Fasano – 21, 3, 90, 76

Jamaal Charles – 16, 5, 57, 77

A.J. Jenkins – 9, 1, 32, 68

The Chiefs’ usage of Kelce may be frustrating and mind-boggling and borderline criminal, but at this point fantasy owners have to accept it for what it is. The good news is that while he got just four targets last week, he played in a season-high 68 percent of Kansas City’s snaps. Maybe Andy Reid is just waiting for the World Series to end so he can be sure the entire city is paying attention and can appreciate Kelce’s talents? He leads all tight ends with 2.79 yards per route run. Bowe has had at least 80 yards in two of his last three games, and can be a WR3/4 for the rest of the season. You won’t be happy relying on him as a regular starter, but with six teams apiece on bye in Week 9 and Week 10, he can be a nice depth receiver.

Miami Dolphins

Mike Wallace – 54 targets, 10 red zone targets, 73 percent of snaps played this season, 83 percent of snaps played last week

Charles Clay – 33, 6, 76, 79

Brian Hartline – 33, 7, 89, 100

Jarvis Landry – 30, 4, 52, 56

Lamar Miller – 24, 5, 58, 60

Landry has been playing more since the Dolphins returned from London, getting on the field for more than 50 percent of the team’s snaps in each of the last two games. He had done that just once in Miami’s first four games. Landry has more targets than Hartline in each of the last two games, and could slowly but surely be taking over as the second option in the passing game. Hartline is always going to get his snaps, but he ranks as the 13th-worst blocking receiver this year, according to Pro Football Focus. Landry, meanwhile, ranks eighth best. Wallace continues to produce quietly. Believe it or not, he’s 14th among receivers in fantasy points, and has had his two highest snap percentages in Miami’s last two games.

Minnesota Vikings

Greg Jennings – 42 targets, 7 red zone targets, 87 percent of snaps played this season, 78 percent of snaps played last week

Jarius Wright – 35, 4, 56, 56

Cordarrelle Patterson – 35, 2, 78, 78

Jerick McKinnon – 26, 1, 40, 59

Matt Asiata – 24, 4, 49, 41

Chase Ford – 17, 2, 59, 64

Rhett Ellison – 10, 0, 54, 80

Asiata may have played in far more snaps last week than he did two weeks ago, but he got just seven touches. Meanwhile, McKinnon ran for 103 yards on 19 carries against a very strong Bills’ run defense. The Vikings still trust Asiata more in pass protection, and that’s why he played about two-fifths of the snaps last week. There’s no doubt that McKinnon is the Vikings’ lead back. There was fleeting hope that something would click for Patterson with Teddy Bridgewater under center, but it doesn’t seem to matter who the quarterback is. In two games with the rookie at the helm, Patters has caught four of 12 targets for 24 yards, though he did manage a touchdown last week. He’s among the biggest fantasy busts of the 2014 season.

New England Patriots

Julian Edelman – 72 targets, 9 red zone targets, 88 percent of snaps played this season, 95 percent of snaps played last week

Rob Gronkowski – 60, 8, 65, 93

Brandon LaFell – 39, 4, 71, 96

Shane Vereen – 37, 4, 52, 81

Danny Amendola – 18, 3, 40, 39

Tim Wright – 11, 3, 21, 33

Brandon Bolden – 4, 0, 8, 2

Jonas Gray – 0, 0, 19, 19

The 2014 Vereen breakout game was pretty easy to call last week. All the tumblers in the universe magically clicked into place for him. With Stevan Ridley out for the year, his presence was naturally going to increase. He’s better as a receiver, and the Jets have been terrible against the pass all year. It was just too obvious. Don’t assume that will hold for the rest of the year. While he’s undoubtedly a weapon in the passing game, he may not lead the team in carries every week. The Patriots will play the matchups as judiciously as anyone, so don’t be surprised to see Gray more often against a team with a soft run defense. The problems with drafting Edelman as a WR2 have shown up right on schedule. He doesn’t make big plays, evidenced by his 1.75 yards per route run. That means he either needs huge reception or touchdown numbers to be a WR2. Those just haven’t been there for him this season.

New Orleans Saints

Jimmy Graham – 51 targets, 9 red zone targets, 64 percent of snaps played this season, 41 percent of snaps played last week

Brandin Cooks – 45, 5, 77, 88

Marques Colston – 41, 4, 74, 84

Pierre Thomas – 30, 3, 39, 36

Travaris Cadet – 23, 5, 16, 27

Kenny Stills – 21, 1, 56, 64

Mark Ingram – 8, 0, 30, 34

Khiry Robinson – 6, 0, 28, 7

With news breaking that Pierre Thomas will miss 2-to-3 weeks with a shoulder injury, Cadet becomes a very intriguing player, especially in PPR leagues. Just like Robinson stepped right into Ingram’s spot as the primary runner when the latter broke his hand, Cadet will take over Thomas’ role as the pass-catching back for the Saints. That he already has five red-zone targets in limited duty this year should tell the fantasy community how highly the Saints’ coaching staff thinks of Cadet. As we saw last week, an injured Graham means good things for the Saints receivers, but don’t expect it to last too long. The Saints wouldn’t have rolled Graham out there, even in the manner in which they did, if he weren’t well on the road to recovery. Expect him to be back at 100 percent by Week 9 at the latest.

New York Giants

Rueben Randle – 60 targets, 12 red zone targets, 90 percent of snaps played this season, 89 percent of snaps played last week

Larry Donnell – 42, 13, 78, 90

Preston Parker – 20, 1, 38, 81

Odell Beckham – 19, 6, 79, 100

Rashad Jennings – 14, 2, 59, N/A

Andre Williams – 11, 1, 40, 59

It may have been just one game, but I’m willing to admit I whiffed on Beckham. I thought he had some long-term value this year, but did not think it would show up right away after Victor Cruz’s season-ending knee injury. Beckham caught two touchdown passes a week ago and, most importantly, was on the field for every single one of the Giants’ snaps. In my defense, he had just four catches for 34 yards, but he has already racked up six red zone targets this season despite not playing until Week 5. He projects as a WR3 for the rest of the year, right along with Randle.

New York Jets

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Jeremy Kerley – 45 targets, 5 red zone targets, 71 percent of snaps played this season, 59 percent of snaps played last week

Eric Decker – 42, 4, 68, 75

Jace Amaro – 36, 4, 38, 38

Jeff Cumberland – 26, 7, 85, 89

Chris Ivory – 18, 4, 43, 49

Chris Johnson – 17, 2, 37, 40

We can pretty much throw all these numbers out after last week’s big trade. It’s going to be a completely different world for the Jets with Percy Harvin in the fold. The bet here is that Decker ends up being the big winner, as he has been desperate all season for a legitimate threat on the opposite side of the field that could help siphon off some attention. Harvin can definitely be that guy. The projection is early and highly speculative, but consider Decker a WR2 for the rest of the season, assuming his hamstring holds up, and Harvin a WR3. He was horribly miscast in Seattle. The Jets would not have traded for him if they didn’t plan on devising ways to deploy his unique ability.

Oakland Raiders

James Jones – 46 targets, 6 red zone targets, 72 percent of snaps played this season, 63 percent of snaps played last week

Andre Holmes – 36, 2, 59, 67

Darren McFadden – 25, 1, 72, 78

Mychal Rivera – 24, 0, 70, 76

Denarius Moore – 22, 1, 59, 29

Brice Butler – 11, 2, 20, 22

Maurice Jones-Drew – 0, 0, 32, 24

The Raiders laid bare for us the problems with becoming a little too sanguine over the fantasy prospects of players involved in a bad offense. Holmes is no doubt a talented, big wide receiver. However, he has a rookie quarterback throwing him the ball, and that rookie quarterback has an average-at-best line protecting him. It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, then, when Holmes puts up a dud, as he did last week. The real discouraging news here is that he played just 67 percent of the snaps after getting 92 percent in Week 4 and 81 percent in Week 6. That’s a troubling development. He and James Jones can be considered in the right matchup, but only in that circumstance.

Philadelphia Eagles

Jeremy Maclin – 61 targets, 8 red zone targets, 90 percent of snaps played this season, 85 percent of snaps played last week

Riley Cooper – 41, 6, 88, 71

Jordan Matthews – 38, 5, 59, 63

Zach Ertz – 33, 4, 56, 42

Darren Sproles – 25, 3, 32, 33

LeSean McCoy – 22, 3, 70, 58

The Eagles come off their bye to face the Cardinals in Week 8. Their numbers against opposing wide receivers have been a bit misleading after Demaryius Thomas torched them for 226 yards and two touchdowns. Take him out of the equation, and they’ve allowed the 19th-most fantasy points per game to receivers, rather than the fifth most.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Antonio Brown – 79 targets, 12 red zone targets, 94 percent of snaps played this season, 92 percent of snaps played last week

Markus Wheaton – 43, 6, 81, 48

Le’Veon Bell – 42, 6, 78, 75

Heath Miller – 39, 7, 95, 94

Justin Brown – 22, 7, 62, N/A

Lance Moore – 10, 2, 24, 35

LeGarrette Blount – 6, 2, 18, 23

Martavis Bryant – 5, 0, 34, 34

Bryant was active for the first time last week, and caught two passes for 40 yards and a touchdown. The Steelers made Justin Brown inactive to get Bryant in the game, so it’s clear that he’s already the team’s third receiver behind Antonio Brown and Wheaton. Moore is merely a slot guy who gets in on four-wide sets; he had just two targets against the Texans. Meanwhile, Brown and Bell continued to produce, with the former catching nine passes for 90 yards and throwing for a touchdown; the latter racked up eight catches, 145 total yards and a score. There’s no better running back and receiver combo in the league than Pittsburgh’s duo.

San Diego Chargers

Keenan Allen – 53 targets, 7 red zone targets, 96 percent of snaps played this season, 98 percent of snaps played last week

Antonio Gates – 43, 10, 66, 62

Eddie Royal – 38, 3, 59, 62

Malcom Floyd – 37, 6, 80, 94

Donald Brown – 18, 4, 46, N/A

Ladarius Green – 16, 0, 38, 15

Branden Oliver – 15, 4, 49, 75

Let’s take a moment to appreciate what Gates is doing at 34 years old. He’s averaging the third-most fantasy points per game among tight ends at 11.2 points. Travis Kelce, who is 11th in points per game among tight ends, is averaging 8.1 points per game. Gates has hit at least that number in four of his seven games this season. Everyone seemed ready to hand the job to Ladarius Green, and young, hype-filled players like Kelce, Zach Ertz and Jordan Reed flew past Gates on preseason draft boards. Through seven weeks, the wily veteran is one of just three tight ends averaging double-digit fantasy points per game, and is closing in on the all-time receiving yards record for the Chargers’ franchise. Bravo.

San Francisco 49ers

Anquan Boldin – 55 targets, 7 red zone targets, 88 percent of snaps played this season, 84 percent of snaps played last week

Michael Crabtree – 53, 9, 73, 82

Steve Johnson – 32, 6, 30, 34

Vernon Davis – 26, 1, 77, 68

Brandon Lloyd – 22, 1, 45, 58

Carlos Hyde – 10, 4, 33, 31

Frank Gore – 8, 0, 58, 38

The 49ers are not going to be a team that consistently lights it up through the air. We saw why in last week’s loss to the Broncos. They’re just not built to come from behind. If you can put Colin Kaepernick in predictable passing situations, you make this team very easy to defend. That’s exactly what the Broncos did, and it’s why Boldin managed just 50 yards on 10 targets, while Crabtree had 27 yards on seven targets. Crabtree is averaging a paltry 6.9 yards per target this season. His 1.37 yards per route run is the ninth worst among receivers with at least 40 targets. That more than anything is why he’s ranked outside the top-30 receivers in fantasy points scored in standard-scoring leagues.

Seattle Seahawks

Doug Baldwin – 37 targets, 4 red zone targets, 87 percent of snaps played this season, 82 percent of snaps played last week

Jermaine Kearse – 26, 4, 86, 90

Marshawn Lynch – 20, 4, 69, 75

Luke Willson – 10, 0, 53, N/A

Cooper Helfet – 9, 2, 35, 83

Paul Richardson – 6, 1, 25, 59

Baldwin made a statement in Seattle’s first game after dealing Harvin, catching seven of his 11 targets for 123 yards and a touchdown. He also had a 49-yard reception he nearly broke for another score. Baldwin was by far the team leader in targets, with no one else amassing more than six looks from Russell Wilson. He’s the clear No. 1 receiver on Seattle, but what that exactly means remains unclear. Is this team anywhere near as good as it was last year? Will offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell trust Wilson and the passing attack more? It’s hard to diagnose at this point. Baldwin should be considered a WR4. The rest of the receivers on this team can be ignored in all but the deepest of leagues.

St. Louis Rams

Jared Cook – 47 targets, 5 red zone targets, 75 percent of snaps played this season, 73 percent of snaps played last week

Brian Quick – 38, 3, 82, 98

Kenny Britt – 25, 1, 63, 61

Lance Kendricks – 21, 3, 62, 67

Benny Cunningham – 18, 3, 44, 35

Tavon Austin – 15, 0, 33, 45

Zac Stacy – 15, 1, 40, 2

Chris Givens – 10, 0, 21, 10

Tre Mason – 1, 1, 28, 53

The real news with the Rams is the changing of the guard in the backfield, but we’ll get to that in this week’s Running Back Committee Watch. As far as the target report goes, assuming Mason is the man in the backfield for the Rams now, Cunningham should get even more targets going forward. Quick is still a nice depth receiver, but it has been very discouraging to see his target numbers fluctuate so much this season. No receiver is going to do much damage with the two targets Quick got last week. He’s 25th in the league in yards per route run, though he does have an impressive 10.4 yards per target. Outside of Mason, there isn’t a whole lot in St. Louis to catch the eye of the typical fantasy owner.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Vincent Jackson – 59 targets, 7 red zone targets, 96 percent of snaps played this season, 87 percent of snaps played last week

Mike Evans – 37, 4, 76, 79

Louis Murphy – 29, 5, 78, 84

Bobby Rainey – 22, 2, 50, 29

Austin Seferian-Jenkins – 15, 0, 80, 84

Doug Martin – 12, 0, 63, 71

The snap data above is from the Buccaneers’ Week 6 game since they had a bye last week. There are trade rumors surrounding Jackson, but it’s hard to believe the Buccaneers would deal him unless the offer is too good to refuse. They’re likely better off letting him be part of the solution as they try to develop a young quarterback. If they did trade him, Evans would probably be up to his ears in targets.

Tennessee Titans

Delanie Walker – 50 targets, 8 red zone targets, 79 percent of snaps played this season, 88 percent of snaps played last week

Kendall Wright – 48, 6, 80, 73

Justin Hunter – 38, 3, 84, 96

Nate Washington – 29, 3, 84, 70

Dexter McCluster – 16, 5, 28, 11

Bishop Sankey – 6, 0, 35, 63

Shonn Greene – 2, 1, 27, N/A

It seems almost impossible that a player of Hunter’s explosiveness playing more than 90 percent of the snaps for three straight weeks would be as ineffectual as he has been. He may be culpable in some way, but most of the blame lays at Charlie Whitehurst’s feet. The situation is analogous to Michael Floyd’s struggles earlier this year. Bad quarterbacks generally have a hard time throwing the deep ball with any accuracy. That’s what held Floyd back in Arizona, and it’s what’s holding Hunter back, as well. Until Jake Locker gets healthy, Hunter cannot be trusted.

Washington Redskins

Pierre Garcon – 53 targets, 2 red zone targets, 85 percent of snaps played this season, 81 percent of snaps played last week

DeSean Jackson – 51, 6, 72, 83

Andre Roberts – 41, 6, 70, 63

Niles Paul – 33, 4, 58, 35

Roy Helu – 26, 1, 43, 49

Jordan Reed – 18, 2, 44, 65

Alfred Morris – 7, 0, 54, 51

Don’t be fooled by Garcon’s stat line last week. His five catches for 87 yards and a touchdown may look impressive, but he did nearly all his damage on a screen pass he broke 71 yards for a touchdown. That sort of splash play can’t be counted on from week to week. Jackson has clearly been the best receiver in Washington this year, putting up 12.6 yards per target, tops in the league. It was interesting to see Niles Paul on the field so much last week, but Jordan Reed still doubled him up on snaps. Washington could definitely deploy both of them, along with Jackson and Garcon. That would give whoever is playing quarterback four strong receiving options on the field.

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