Fantasy Football Trending Targets: Week 1 Aftermath

Eric StashinSenior Writer ISeptember 14, 2011

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 11:  Tight end Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers carries the ball against the Minnesota Vikings at Qualcomm Stadium on September 11, 2011 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Let’s take a look at some of the target trends from the first week of the season.  Who was targeted most?  Which teams targeted their tight end most?  Who threw the ball to their wide receiver least?  Here’s all the information you need: Players Targeted 10+ Times


  • Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons: 13
  • Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers: 13
  • Brandon Marshall, Miami Dolphins: 13
  • DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles: 12
  • Wes Welker, New England Patriots: 12
  • Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers: 11
  • Andre Johnson, Houston Texan: 11
  • Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts: 11
  • Mike Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars: 11
  • Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants: 11
  • Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers: 11
  • Brandon Lloyd, Denver Broncos: 11
  • Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions: 10
  • Santonio Holmes, New York Jets: 10
  • Carnell Williams, St. Louis Rams: 10
  • Mike Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 10
  • Kenny Britt, Tennessee Titans: 10
  • Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots: 10
  • Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins: 10

While the majority of the names included here are not very surprising, there are a few worth noting. Obviously Carnell Williams’ inclusion has a lot to do with the injury to Steven Jackson, but the fact that he played such a big role in the passing game gives us reason to believe that he may play a major role all year long.  In PPR formats he could become a nice find.

Mike Thomas was thought of as a nice sleeper prior to the season and it has become quite clear that he is the Jaguars’ go-to receiver.  That does wonders for his perceived value going forward (despite matching up with the Jets in Week 2).

Isn’t Mike Wallace supposed to be just a big play receiver?  If you are targeted 11 times, you are a whole lot more than that.

The Chargers clearly targeted Antonio Gates early and often in Week 1, and he should continue to be a vital piece to their offense.  However, with Vincent Jackson on the outside, don’t consider him a lock to get quite this many looks every week.

The Miami Dolphins have said they want to get Reggie Bush the ball and they delivered on it in Week 1.  He converted 9 of his 10 targets for receptions (56 yards and 1 TD), and also had 11 carries for 38 yards.  If he keeps getting that many touches, he is going to be a good play in all formats (and especially in PPR formats). 


Teams Who Targeted Their WR The Most

  • Pittsburgh Steelers: 33
  • Miami Dolphins: 32
  • New Orleans Saints: 31
  • New England Patriots: 28
  • Green Bay Packers: 26
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 25
  • New York Jets: 25

Don’t read too much into the Steelers topping this list.  They got them selves into a hole and had to try and get themselves out of it.  That’s not to say that I would write off their wide receivers, but don’t expect quite this many targets moving forward.

The same type of thing can be said for the Jets.  Not only did Holmes have 10 targets, but Plaxico Burress had 9 and Derrick Mason had 6 (as well as Dustin Keller getting 8).  Holmes should remain valuable, but I would expect them to be more run-oriented moving forward, with the latter two not getting quite as many looks. 


Teams Who Targeted Their WR The Least

  • Minnesota Vikings: 9
  • San Francisco 49ers: 9
  • Baltimore Ravens: 12
  • San Diego Chargers: 13
  • Arizona Cardinals: 15

When it comes to the Ravens, Chargers & Cardinals, I would consider this opening week a bit of an anomaly.  With top receivers like Anquan Boldin, Vincent Jackson and Larry Fitzgerald, all three teams will be going to their wide outs in most weeks.

How bad did Donovan McNabb look in Week 1?  While you would expect him to improve, those who drafted Percy Harvin have got to be cringing right about now.  Harvin actually led the Vikings in targets with a “huge” total of 4. 


Teams Who Targeted Their TE The Most

  • New England Patriots: 17
  • San Diego Chargers: 16
  • Cleveland Browns: 13
  • Dallas Cowboys: 11
  • New York Jets: 10
  • Washington Redskins: 10

The Cleveland Browns don’t have elite wide receivers, so it makes sense for them to look towards other options to make plays.  They got both Benjamin Watson (7 targets) and Evan Moore (6 targets) into the mix, which is going to hurt both of their values.  Neither is recommendable at this point, as it would be better if they had one go-to tight end option.

With Chris Cooley hurting, Fred Davis picked up the slack.  He was targeted six times, picking up 5 receptions for 105 yards.  Could the torch have been passed?  Davis is certainly an intriguing option going forward.

Is it possible that both Aaron Hernandez (7 receptions for 103 yards and 1 TD) & Rob Gronkowski (8 receptions for 86 yards and 1 TD) could both be viable options all season long?  If Tom Brady keeps throwing the ball their way, as he did in Week 1, they certainly could be.  This easily could be just the start of things to come. 


Teams Who Targeted Their TE The Least

  • Minnesota Vikings: 2
  • Houston Texans: 3
  • Jacksonville Jaguars: 3
  • Philadelphia Eagles: 3
  • New York Giants: 3

Didn’t Michael Vick talk about getting Brent Celek more involved in the offense?  So much for that!  It could change in the coming weeks, but thus far it really appeared to be all talk and nothing more.

As I said all off season, Mercedes Lewis’ value comes strictly from his ability in the red zone.  He lacked opportunities in Week 1, managing just 2 receptions for 28 yards and 0 TD.

Make sure to check out the rest of Rotoprofessor's Week 2 information: