AFC Team By Team Notes: Position Breakdown
I will be attempting a new format this week. Instead of the normal paragraph form, I will go position-by-position for each team in order to better organize the information. Everything will be pretty straightforward with one exception: The percentages in parentheses after the name of each RB/WR/TE. For WR and TE, the number is the % of the team’s targets that went to that player so far this season. For RB, the first number is the % of the team’s carries that the player has received and the second number, like with WR and TE, is the % of the team’s targets that went to that player.
QB1: Trent Edwards – Below average in yards-per-completion, touchdowns-per-completion and has a poor 5:6 TD:INT ratio
RB1: Marshawn Lynch (20%, 9%) – Lynch is back and appears to be returning to his position at the top of the depth chart. Since Lynch’s return, he leads Jackson in looks by a margin of 38 to 30, which includes a 25-22 advantage in rush attempts.
RB2: Fred Jackson (65%, 19%) – Won’t be near the top of the league in looks anymore with Lynch back, but will see more action than he did the past few years.
RB3: Xavier Omon (4%, 1%)
WR1: Terrell Owens (18%) – Has actually been targeted less than Evans, but has 43 more yards on the same amount of receptions (12)
WR2: Lee Evans (19%) – You won’t find another player getting targeted as consistently as Evans has been the first 5 weeks: 6, 5, 6, 6, 5
WR3: Josh Reed (10%) – Has caught 11 of the 14 passes thrown his way.
WR4: Roscoe Parrish (1%)
TE1: Derek Fine (8%) – Earlier this season, it seemed that TE2 Derek Fine wouldn’t see many looks out of the tight end position. However, an injury to starter Derek Schouman has opened the door for Fine
TE2: Shawn Nelson (6%) – Should see a few looks a game with Schouman done for the season
QB1: Chad Henne – Chad Pennington’s injury has opened the door for Henne, who has played well so far. He’s racking up more yards per completion than Pennington (albeit still below league average) and his 3:1 TD:INT ratio is an improvement to the disappointing 1:2 mark Pennington had before going down.
QB2: Pat White – In on Wildcat formations, he has carried on 2% of the team’s run plays this season, but has yet to throw a pass
RB1: Ronnie Brown (51%, 9%) – Is only getting 51% of the carries as the team’s feature back, but when you’re the top back on the league’s run heaviest team, the yards and scores will come. Brown is averaging almost 5 yards per carry and is 2nd in the NFL with 6 rushing TDs.
RB2: Ricky Williams (33%, 10%) – Averaging 5.2 YPC as the backup and seeing plenty of work
RB3: Lousaka Polite (5%, 4%) – Normally, I would’ve put Patrick Cobbs here, but he is out for the season. Kory Sheets was snagged from San Francisco and either he or Lex Hilliard will take over Cobbs’ limited role. Meanwhile, Polite will continue to see a few touches a game.
WR1: Ted Ginn Jr. (23%) – Ginn has been hit or miss and his numbers are inflated by a 16-target week 2.
WR2: Davone Bess (19%) – Technically the number two, but has seen the same amount of targets as Camarillo since Henne has taken over the quarterback job.
WR3: Greg Camarillo (11%) – Seeing more balls since Pennington went down
WR4: Brian Hartline (6%) – Coaches are bringing him on slowly, targeting him about twice a game
TE1: Anthony Fasano (12%) – Actually the team’s third most targeted player, but needs to improve on 50% catch rate
TE2: Joey Haynos (3%)
QB1: Tom Brady – Throwing a ton of passes, but not getting the yardage and touchdowns he should be. 6:2 TD:INT ratio, however, is nice.
RB1: Sammy Morris (22%, 7%) – Fred Taylor is likely done for the rest of the fantasy season and it appears Morris will take over as the lead back in what is a big timeshare anyways.
RB2: Laurence Maroney (23%, 2%) – Will see more work with Taylor out, but appears to be the second option behind Morris.
RB3: Kevin Faulk (14%, 8%) – Morris is stealing some receptions from Faulk, which is where most of his limited value comes from.
WR1: Randy Moss (24%) – Second most targeted WR in the NFL
WR2: Wes Welker (20%) – Missed 2 games, but the target numbers in the 3 games he was active are not surprising: 16, 10, and 15
WR3: Julian Edelman (12%) – Still unowned in most leagues and has great sleeper potential for later this season
WR4: Sam Aiken (3%) – With Galloway out the last two weeks, he’s seen a few looks
WR5: Joey Galloway (9%) – Healthy scratch the last 2 weeks.
TE1: Ben Watson (9%) – Baker was expected to be the receiving threat, but Watson has retaken that role, which is highlighted by 3 touchdowns in 5 games.
TE2: Chris Baker (4%)
QB1: Mark Sanchez – Racking up above average yards on his completions, but not getting the touchdowns and interceptions are too high (5:5 TD:INT)
RB1: Thomas Jones (46%, 4%) – Already has 5 rushing scores and is still the NYJ runningback you want in standard leagues.
RB2: Leon Washington (34%, 14%) – Was expected to be a big part of the offense, but is not getting enough balls thrown his way despite his skills in the open field.
RB3: Shonn Greene (4%, 0%) – Expected to see more as the season goes on
WR1: Jericho Cotchery (27%) – Only 2 targets in Edwards’ debut Monday, which is scary, but he will continue to see plenty of looks down the road
WR2: Braylon Edwards (7%) – 7% is misleading considering he’s played in only 1 game for the Jets. In that game, he was targeted a team-high 9 times. Consider that the man he replaced (Chansi Stuckey) was seeing about 5 targets a game before the trade. Edwards should see no less than that going forward.
WR3: David Clowney (4%) – Was ineffective all season until week 5 when he made his first 4 catches of the season
WR4: Brad Smith (6%) – Making more of an impact in gadget plays (5 carries, 54 yards)
TE1: Dustin Keller (17%) – Only 1 target in Edwards’ debut, but was seeing a decent amount of looks prior to that
TE2: Ben Hartsock (2%)
QB1: Matt Schaub – Racking up tons of yards on his completions, is 2% above average in touchdowns per completion, and is better than average in interceptions-per-attempt.
RB1: Steve Slaton (57%, 12%) – Still seeing plenty of looks (13th most in NFL) despite struggles
RB2: Chris Brown (18%, 2%) – Was declared the goal line back, but has scored only once so far.
RB3: Ryan Moats (12%, 0%)
WR1: Andre Johnson (29%) – The NFL’s most targeted WR already has 5 TDs
WR2: Kevin Walter (9%) – Missed 2 games and has 16 targets in 3 games since his return
WR3: Andre Davis (3%) – Missed 3 games after the opener and was targeted only once in his week 5 return
WR4: David Anderson (8%) – Making push for WR3 spot with 10 targets the last 3 weeks
WR5: Jacoby Jones (6%)
TE1: Owen Daniels (21%) – The fourth most targeted tight end in the NFL continues to flourish in a pass-heavy offense
TE2: Joel Dreesen (4%)
QB1: Peyton Manning – The NFL’s best QB so far this season is racking up yards and scores with the league’s best and is keeping his interceptions down. 12:4 TD:INT ratio is extremely impressive for 5 games.
RB1: Joseph Addai (53%, 37%) – Continues to see a majority of the workload and that is unlikely to change going forward as long as he’s healthy. 3.4 YPC is poor, but Brown’s is only 3.5. Addai has caught 26 of the 28 passes thrown his way, which boosts his PPR value.
RB2: Donald Brown (37%, 5%) – Aforementioned 3.5 YPC is poor and he will continue to play second fiddle to Addai.
WR1: Reggie Wayne (27%) – Wayne is racking up yards and scores a torrid pace, already with 32 receptions, and is scoring TDs on 12.5% of those catches (4 total).
WR2: Pierre Garcon (12%) – Will drop to the WR4 role when Gonzalez is healthy, but in the meantime, he is averaging almost 20 yards per reception
WR3: Austin Collie (15%) – Doing a fantastic job in the slot, catching 71% of the balls thrown his way, and has 3 TDs.
WR4: Anthony Gonzalez (0%) – Still injured and not expected back for a few weeks, but will return to WR2 role upon return.
TE1: Dallas Clark
TE2: Gijon Robinson
QB1: David Garrard – The numbers aren’t far off what was expected from Garrard: Interceptions are low (1), touchdowns rate is low (5% TD/Completion), and he’s running more than any other quarterback (22 carries).
RB1: Maurice Jones-Drew (61%, 18%) – Combined for only 26 looks the last 2 weeks, which is well lower than expected. Both games were blowouts in which he was rested at the end and that is unlikely to be a recurring theme
RB2: Rashad Jennings (11%, 1%) – Has taken advantage of the opportunity to play late in one-sided games to showcase his skills.
RB3: Greg Jones (2%, 3%) – Not seeing as many carries as anticipated
WR1: Mike Sims-Walker (18%) – Suspended in week 5, but will be back in week 6. Excluding the season opener, Sims-Walker has been targeted 30 times in 3 games and has 3 scores. He’s quickly joining the ranks of the top WRs in the league.
WR2: Torry Holt (23%) – Flying under the radar, but still seeing 5-7 targets a game despite the success of Sims-Walker.
WR3: Mike Thomas (5%) – Contributing only a few looks a game
WR4: Jarett Dillard (2%)
TE1: Marcedes Lewis (15%) – The explosion of fantasy relevant tight ends this season has left Lewis as only a bye week fill in.
TE2: Zach Miller (3%) – Finally healthy, but has only seen 5 targets total the last 2 weeks.
TE3: Ernest Wilford (3%)
QB1: Kerry Collins – Not getting the yardage or touchdowns he should be getting out of his throws and his 3.8% interception rate is way too high.
QB2: Vince Young – Saw some action in week 5, but Coach Jeff Fisher says Collins’ job is safe.
RB1: Chris Johnson (64%, 13%) – Averaging 6 yards per carry and still seeing a significant portion of the workload
RB2: LenDale White (27%, 2%) – Still running it effectively, but not getting the carries he’s used to. Not worth owning right now
RB3: Javon Ringer (0%, 1%) – An injury to Johnson would make Ringer a must own and likely a must start
WR1: Nate Washington (20%) – The three receivers have pretty much shared the targets, but Washington paces the way with 3 scores on just 17 catches
WR2: Justin Gage (20%) – Has been quiet since a huge week 1, but still has seen 37 targets
WR3: Kenny Britt (16%) – Could he be the Tennessee WR to own? Leads the team with 19 receptions and 289 receiving yards.
TE1: Bo Scaife (9%) – Missed 2+ games due to injury, but is the man when he’s active
TE2: Alge Crumpler (10%) – Has seen 3-4 targets in every game that Scaife is active. He’s not worth owning, but isn’t the worst bye week fill-in in the deepest of leagues
TE3: Jared Cook (5%) – The rookie is still third in line, but has 7 targets the last 2 games
QB1: Joe Flacco – The Ravens continue to throw the ball a lot more than we expected and it is benefiting Flacco’s fantasy value. He’s above average in touchdown rate and about average in yards. His interception rate is slightly higher than the norm, which is something that needs improvement.
RB1: Ray Rice (46%, 17%) – Rice’s fantasy value is taking a hit due to Willis McGahee’s success near the goal line, but he’s still been responsible for a significant portion of the touches.
RB2: Willis McGahee (28%, 7%) – On the short end of the platoon and it’s only getting worse in terms of playing time. In week 5, Rice saw 22 looks compared to just 2 for McGahee
RB3: Le’Ron McClain (10%, 8%) – Continues to chip in with a handful of touches each game
WR1: Derrick Mason (18%) – Held without a catch in week 5, but that is a trend that will not continue. He’s still the best WR on the roster.
WR2: Mark Clayton (20%) – Actually has been targeted more than Mason, but has less catches, yards, and touchdowns
WR3: Kelley Washington (11%) – Continues to work his way up the depth chart. Could he be the team’s second option at WR soon?
TE1: Todd Heap (17%) – Nevermind the signing of Smith, Heap is seeing tons of looks every week and has responded with 21 catches and 2 scores.
TE2: LJ Smith (1%) – Has not made an impact
QB1: Carson Palmer – Racking up yards and touchdown passes at an above average pace, but his 3.6% interception rate is awfully high.
RB1: Cedric Benson (77%, 7%) – Benson has been the surprise of the season so far and he should continue to shine as long as he’s getting >75% of the team’s carries. His 487 rushing yards lead the NFL.
RB2: Bernard Scott (7%, 0%) – Was a sleeper candidate, but Benson has stolen the show. Add him if Benson goes down.
RB3: Brian Leonard (3%, 10%) – Not getting many carries, but he’s been the man for receptions out of the backfield with 16 targets going his way.
WR1: Chad OchoCinco (28%) – Already at 46 targets this season, Palmer has been using his best WR a ton. OchoCinco has responded with 24 catches and 3 TDs.
WR2: Andre Caldwell (15%) – Many suggested that Henry would sneak into the WR2 role, but it’s actually been Caldwell who has become Palmer’s second favorite target.
WR3: Laveranues Coles (13%) – Coles isn’t too far behind Caldwell in looks and it’s fair to say their fantasy value is even going forward.
WR4: Chris Henry (10%) – Not making the impact some expected and despite his big week 5 game, he was only targeted 5 times and shouldn’t be counted on going forward.
TE1: Daniel Coats (10%) – Not a player you want on your fantasy team, but he’s been the man for Cincinnati.
TE2: John Paul Foschi (4%)
QB1: Derek Anderson – He is the quarterback for now, but he’s been nothing short of terrible on a bad team. His 2-for-17 day in week 5 is the lowlight so far, but it may not get any better if he cant figure out how to complete passes and avoid interceptions.
QB2: Brady Quinn – Interception rate being the obvious exception, he was actually worse than Anderson in several departments
RB1: Jamal Lewis (41%, 3%) – Missed 2 games, but bounced back in week 5 with a 31 carry effort. 3.8 YPC is below average, but it’s better than a 53% completion rate passing game.
RB2: Jerome Harrison (41%, 13%) – Some thought he’d pick up some of the workload after a big week 4, but that was not the case. He touched the ball just 8 times in week 5.
WR1: Mohamed Massaquoi (16%) – 13 targets in week 4 translated to 8 receptions. 6 targets in week 5 translated to 1. Massaquoi is the team’s top WR, but this passing offense is a mess and so he’s more likely to be a miss than a hit.
WR2: Chansi Stuckey (1%) – Was only targeted twice in his debut for Cleveland and it might be some time before he can build some chemistry in this dysfunctional offense.
WR3: Mike Furrey (16%) – Quietly has been targeted 25 times and leads all WRs with 13 catches.
WR4: Josh Cribbs (10%) – Five Browns players have more than the 16 targets Cribbs has seen so far this season. He does also have 6 carries or 4% of the team’s rushing workload.
TE1: Robert Royal (12%) – Has seen a decent workload despite a platoon with Heiden
TE2: Steve Heiden (8%) – Of no value in fantasy, but seeing a few looks a game
QB1: Ben Roethlisberger – Racking up the yards and touchdowns (and interceptions), but will the Steelers continue to throw at such a high rate? They continue to move more towards league average in that department each week. Roethlisberger’s value is the highest now that it will be all season.
RB1: Willie Parker (40%, 2%) – Was ineffective as the starter in weeks 1-3 and now is out with an injury. The job might not be his when he gets back because of…
RB2: Rashard Mendenhall (39%, 3%) – …Mendenhall, who’s been lights out the last two weeks. Averaging 5.6 YPC, he could be the answer to the team’s rushing woes.
RB3: Mewelde Moore (9%, 10%) – Moore has seen a few carries, but continues to do his business on third down, catching 14 of the 17 passes thrown his way.
WR1: Hines Ward (23%) – Ward gets the WR1 nod here, but really the passes are getting distributed to them evenly. It should be noted that Ward has caught a ridiculous 83% of his targets for 440 yards…
WR2: Santonio Holmes (24%) – …compared to a 56% catch rate and 246 yards for Holmes
WR3: Mike Wallace (14%) – The rookie Wallace has overtaken Sweed as the WR3 and has been impressive, snagging 16 balls on 25 targets
WR4: Limas Sweed (2%) – A disappointing non-factor
TE1: Heath Miller (19%) – One of fantasy’s top TEs so far, he’s caught 29 of 33 passes thrown to him
TE2: Mark Spaeth (3%)
QB1: Kyle Orton – In terms of yardage, he’s been a little better than league average. He’s been right on league average in the touchdowns department, and his 0.6% INT rate is one of the league’s best marks.
RB1: Knowshon Moreno (53%, 5%) – Moreno has been progressing each week and has racked up a significant portion of the workload in the backfield.
RB2: Correll Buckhalter (24%, 7%) – Buckhalter leads the AFC in yards-per-carry, but missed week 5 with an injury and will continue as the second option behind Moreno
RB3: LaMont Jordan (13%, 1%) – Seeing a few carries a game as a byproduct of the run-heavy offense
WR1: Brandon Marshall (23%) – It was a slow start to the season for Marshall, but he’s been outstanding the last 3 weeks, racking up 17 receptions and 4 scores on 24 targets.
WR2: Eddie Royal (23%) – Royal has struggled to produce this season, but consider this: he has the same amount of targets as Marshall, only 6 less catches, and is coming off a 10 catch, 15 target effort in week 5. He’s a good buy low right now.
WR3: Jabar Gaffney (16%) – Orton has plenty of good underneath toys to work with and Gaffney is one of them. He quietly has been targeted 27 times.
WR4: Brandon Stokley (7%) – Take away the “lucky” 87 yard touchdown in week 1 and he’s been all but irrelevant
TE1: Tony Scheffler (8%) – Denver’s tight ends have split 26 targets exactly down the middle. Scheffler has the only TE, but…
TE2: Daniel Graham (8%) – …Graham has racked up 2 more catches and 30 more yards
QB1: Matt Cassel – Cassel is struggling to get decent yardage out of completions, but his impressive 7:2 TD:INT ratio in 4 games puts him well above average in both departments.
RB1: Larry Johnson (67%, 8%) – LJ is getting a ton of work despite a disgusting 2.4 YPC mark. One would have to imagine that he will eventually lose some playing time to…
RB2: Jamaal Charles (11%, 10%) …Charles, who has done a nice job in the pass game and is averaging 5.1 YPC, albeit on just 15 carries
RB3: Jackie Battle (5%, 1%)
RB4: Dantrell Savage (2%, 6%)
WR1: Dwayne Bowe (15%) – Owners should be concerned at least slightly about him seeing an average of 6 targets a game, but he did see 10 in week 5, which is more like it for a top WR.
WR2: Mark Bradley (15%) – Bradley’s stock has been as volatile as can be over the last year or so, but he’s continuing to get balls thrown his way in an offense that’s going to be playing from behind a lot.
WR3: Bobby Wade (17%) – Wade has been a nice commodity since being signed after week 1. His 26 targets lead the team.
WR4: Bobby Engram (6%) – Engram has been targeted just 10 times including 0 in two of the team’s last three games.
TE1: Sean Ryan (14%) – Only 3 tight ends have more targets and touchdowns than Ryan does this year. He’s no Tony Gonzalez, but Cassel is clearly not afraid to look his way.
TE2: Leonard Pope (1%)
QB1: JaMarcus Russell – Russell has completed just 42% of his passes, which is worse than really bad. His interception and touchdown rates are both well below average, but on the plus side, his yards-per-completion mark is actually respectable.
RB1: Darren McFadden (37%, 11%) – McFadden is expected to be out another few weeks, but will be the #1 again upon his return. None of the Oakland RBs are faring very well, but McFadden has a ton of talent and will get opportunities despite a 3.1 YPC.
RB2: Michael Bush (33%, 7%) – Bush was on the short end of the platoon with McFadden before he went down and is splitting time with Fargas in the meantime.
RB3: Justin Fargas (18%, 3%) – Fargas was inactive weeks 1 and 2, but is getting plenty of work while McFadden is down. His 2.2 YPC is the worst of the three.
WR1: Louis Murphy (27%) – Murphy is seeing a majority of the team’s pass attempts go his way, but unfortunately for him, Russell has been unable to complete more than 12 of them.
WR2: Darrius Heyward-Bey (17%) – Heyward-Bey has been targeted 20 times, which is a solid number, but only two have been completions. Things can only get better, but not much better.
WR3: Todd Watkins (7%) – Watkins has quietly worked his way into the WR3 role, but that is only until Schilens is healthy.
WR4: Chaz Schilens (0%) – Schilens has yet to take a snap this season, but that should change over the next few weeks. He is expected to return to the WR1 role.
TE1: Zach Miller (20%) – Russell likes to rely on Miller and the 20% mark shows that the trend is continuing.
TE2: Tony Stewart (2%)
QB1: Philip Rivers – Rivers’14.1 yards-per-completion mark is one of the highest in the NFL. He’s right at league average in touchdown efficiency and slightly better than average in the interceptions department.
RB1: LaDainian Tomlinson (25%, 5%) – Injuries have limited LT to just 20 carries so far this season and he averaged just 3.5 YPC.
RB2: Darren Sproles (46%, 15%) – Sproles has picked up a majority of the workload while LT has been out, but is averaging just 2.4 YPC. His main contribution comes via the passing game where he has 22 targets and 197 yards.
RB3: Michael Bennett (15%, 2%) – Has seen a few carries with LT out.
WR1: Vincent Jackson (20%) – Jackson has hauled in 69% of the 29 targets he’s seen thus far and is averaging just under 19 yards per catch.
WR2: Chris Chambers (15%) – In 4 games, Chambers has been targeted less than twice on 2 occasions and more than 8 times twice. It’s a big play offense, but he’s been extremely inconsistent.
WR3: Legedu Naanee (11%) – Has seen 16 targets in the WR3 role ahead of Floyd
WR4: Malcom Floyd (5%)
TE1: Antonio Gates (24%) – Gates has been thrown to a team-high 35 times and has answered with 349 yards and 2 scores.
TE2: Brandon Manumaleuna (1%)
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