Fantasy Football Target Practice: Owens, Marshall & More

Eric StashinSenior Writer ISeptember 17, 2009

CANTON, OH - AUGUST 9: Terrell Owens #81 of the Buffalo Bills runs with the football against the Tennessee Titans during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game at Fawcett Stadium on August 9, 2009 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

It’s easy to simply look at a receivers numbers and determine if they were useful or not in any given week, but that’s only telling half the story.  How many times were they given the opportunity to make a play?  That’s just as important.  Let’s take a look at some of the storylines coming out of Week One’s Games:

Justin Gage led the Titans by being targeted 11 times
We talked about him in detail after the game (click here for the article).  We’ll have to see what happens this week, with word coming out that Nate Washington will play the slate of a normal starter, but if he’s going to be a consistent target in Tennessee, he’s going to prove worthy of a roster spot.

Kellen Winslow was targeted 9 times
We all know he has talent, all he needs is the opportunity to show it.  While his chances are likely to diminish if and when Antonio Bryant gets healthy (he was only targeted six times), this quickly shows that Winslow is going to be a major part of the Tampa Bay offense.  While he only had 30 yards receiving, he did have a touchdown and the yardage should increase.  He could continue to be among the leaders in tight ends in times targeted, meaning this could finally be his big breakout campaign.  Now may be the time to try to buy low on him if possible

Terrell Owens was targeted 3 times
This is a real shocking one, as Owens was brought in to be the man in Buffalo, yet saw more balls thrown in the direction of tight ends Derek Schouman (4) and Shawn Nelson (4).  There is no way this continues, as we all know Owens will quickly become a huge distraction if it does.  Look for him to return to his elite status soon enough, as he continues to be worked into the offense and Trent Edwards begins taking a few more shots.

Laurent Robinson was targeted 10 times
Donnie Avery received much of the preseason attention, but it was Robinson who got more passes thrown in his direction.  We all know that this team is a mess offensively, so just because he got the attention in Week 1 does not mean it is going to continue.  Still, someone has to be put into the position to make plays, right?  Given the attention he got in Week 1, stashing him off the waiver wire makes sense.

Chris Chambers was targeted 1 time
Really?  Just once?  That’s certainly unlikely to happen again.  While he’s not the player he once was, he’s not a forgettable receiver either.  He should become more of a factor in the offense as we proceed.

Dwayne Bowe was targeted 5 times
He really is the one true viable option that the Chiefs have in the passing game now that Tony Gonzalez is in Atlanta.  I know, Mark Bradley is going to be a factor, but Bowe is going to be the man and should be targeted more once Mat Cassell returns from injury.  If you own him, don’t pull the plug and sell low.

Brandon Marshall was targeted 7 times
For all the hoopla of his indiscretion during the preseason, he was the most targeted receiver for the Broncos, with no other player being targeted more than four times.  That speaks volumes to me.  Don’t downgrade his value at this point.

DeSean Jackson was targeted 7 times
So his down week, catching just two passes for nine yards, was not as bad as it seemed.  He tied for the team lead in targets, and I would look for him to get better productivity out of those opportunities as the season progresses.  Writing him off right now would be a big mistake.

Chansi Stuckey was targeted 8 times
That was actually the high for the team.  That’s not likely to continue, but he should continue to be productive.  I’d certainly keep an eye on him, because if he’s going to  get an opportunity, he’s going to make the most of it.

Antwaan Randle-El was targeted 9 times, while Santana Moss was targeted 5 times
This speaks more to the Giants defensive job against Moss then anything.  Moss is going to be the top receiver in Washington, so don’t be deceived by the first week.

Tim Hightower was targeted 14 times
I can’t get too worked about this, with Anquan Boldin hurting and Steve Breaston out.  This isn’t likely to continue with the trio of receivers the Cardinals have.

What are your thoughts?  Which player who was targeted do you think is worth stashing?  Who do you think is going to continue to be ignored?

This article is also featured on www.rotoprofessor.com/football


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