Almost two months into the season, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at a breakdown of targets over the past month. NFL teams tend to scout an upcoming opponent in the four previous games they’ve played before they face them. It’s a good way to track what’s going on, numbers wise, for your potential fantasy options.
Larry Fitzgerald Top Dog In Targets Over Past Month
One would think John Skelton returning to the starting lineup would be a good thing for Larry Fitzgerald, but against the Vikings that wasn’t the case. No receiver has more targets over the past four weeks than Fitzgerald, but most of those targets came before last week. He posted an average of 14 targets in those games, but only seven last week.
The result: Fantasy owners were disappointed with a four-catch, 29-yard effort and he failed to find the end zone.
The last time San Francisco went into Arizona, Skelton led his team to a comeback victory with Fitzgerald posting one of his better performances of the season with seven receptions for 149 yards and a score. Perhaps it would be overly optimistic to expect those numbers with the Cardinals tackles struggling as bad as they are.
Instead I point to Fitzgerald’s numbers against the 49ers in San Francisco a few weeks before that game when he posted three receptions for 41 yards and score in a blowout that was closer to expectations. In the end, he should be somewhere around four to seven receptions for around 75 yards and a trip to the end zone.
Steve Smith Fighting Through Newton’s Struggles
While Smith only has 32 targets in the past four games played, 22 of them have come in the past two games. Smith has turned only half of those targets into catches on those 22 targets and has yet to find the end zone this season.
In fact, if we chart Smith’s last 12 games played, he only has two touchdowns in that time. Clearly, teams have caught up to the fact that Smith still has the skills to be a Pro Bowl receiver in this league. Unless we see other options like Greg Olsen and Brandon LaFell step up, it could mean more struggles for Smith this season.
What we should like from Smith is that he’s still a big part of the Panthers game plan. Before he played against good man coverage corners against the Seahawks and Cowboys, Smith was averaging over 20 yards per catch through the first four games.
Consider him a WR3 to flex play going forward and he should give you a decent return at that value.
|1||Victor Cruz||@ Cowboys|
|7||Vincent Jackson||@ Vikings|
|8||Roddy White||@ Eagles|
|9||Reggie Wayne||@ Titans|
|10||Wes Welker||@ Rams|
|11||Julio Jones||@ Eagles|
|14||Marques Colston||@ Broncos|
|20||Denarius Moore||@ Chiefs|
|21||Hakeem Nicks||@ Cowboys|
|23||Steve Smith||@ Bears|
|25||Mike Williams||@ Vikings|
|28||Dez Bryant (I)||Giants|
|31||Sidney Rice||@ Lions|
|33||Brandon Lloyd||@ Rams|
|34||Santana Moss||@ Steelers|
|35||Michael Crabtree||@ Cardinals|
|36||Malcom Floyd||@ Browns|
|39||Brian Hartline||@ Jets|
|40||Devery Henderson||@ Broncos|