Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Tricks of the trends after Week 15

  •  

Thanks to Matthew Stafford for reading last week's column and getting my man Calvin Johnson the targets he deserves.

Megatron saw 14 targets against the Raiders and delivered a career day with nine catches for 214 yards and two touchdowns. It was only the first time since Week 10 that he had received 10 or more targets and I am here to plead for 10-plus targets for Megatron every week. This year, Calvin has seen 10-plus targets in six games and in those six games he has caught 42 passes for 702 yards and nine touchdowns! That translates to roughly 22.1 points per game, which can lead us to only one conclusion: Throw him the damn ball!

Target observations after Week 15 ...

• Maybe Mike Williams was not able to get open against the Cowboys in Week 15, but a wide receiver cannot be expected to produce without receiving any chances, literally. Williams did not see a single target in the blowout loss to the Cowboys last Saturday and left his owners with a disappointing zero. How could he not receive a single target? That's the real question and it certainly makes it even tougher to contemplate starting Williams in Week 16 against the Panthers. After all, Williams had seen seven or more targets in 10 of his last 11 games before Week 15 and then did not get a single pass. It's tough enough when you have been as inefficient as Williams this year -- who is averaging just six yards per target -- but it is another issue when you do not even get a chance to produce. Williams had five catches for 93 yards in his last game against Carolina, but that was with Josh Johnson at quarterback. Josh Freeman's shoulder is clearly an issue and there are many receivers I would rather start than Williams in this critical week.

Jabar Gaffney has been an unsung hero of the playoff run, especially in point-per-reception leagues. Over the last two games, Gaffney has seen 17 targets and has caught 12 passes for 177 yards and a touchdown. He is averaging 11.5 points per game in standard scoring leagues in those two games and is at a whopping 17.5 points per game in point-per-reception leagues. With the awful secondary of the Vikings (28 points per game to wide receivers over the last four games), look for Gaffney to continue to be an important part of winning Fantasy Football teams as a quality wide receiver who is still available in 33 percent of leagues.

Demaryius Thomas continued his excellent play in Week 15 with another big-time performance. He now has 100 yards or a touchdown in three straight games and is taking full advantage of being targeted like a star receiver. Thomas saw 13 more targets in Week 15 and caught seven on them for 116 yards. He has 18 catches for 338 yards and three scores over the last three weeks and should be in your lineups again in Week 16 against the Bills.

For more from Nathan check out his website at thefantasyconsultant.com

• Please start Jake Locker in Tennessee! Locker played another half of a quarter and threw a touchdown to his main man Nate Washington. Washington has four touchdowns and 202 receiving yards with Locker in four and half quarters of play. With the Jaguars up next (who have given up a league high nine touchdowns to the opposing top target and 34 touchdowns to opposing number one receivers in their last 46 games), Washington could lead the charge for a Fantasy Bowl title if he can get Locker as his quarterback.

• I wish I could tell you that Percy Harvin just did not get any opportunities to make plays in Week 15, but the fact is that he saw seven targets against the Saints. Those seven targets produced three catches and only eight yards for Harvin, who had scored in four straight games and who had been the top receiver in all of Fantasy over the last five weeks. He has seen at least seven targets in six straight games and I would expect Harvin to bounce back against the Redskins.

• Tip your cap to the Chiefs secondary who completely shut down the Packers receivers in Week 15. Green Bay's receivers saw 16 targets in that game and combined for a grand total of 10 catches for 106 yards and one touchdown. They averaged just 7.1 yards per target as a group including Randall Cobb, but Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Donald Driver were held to just 4.4 yards per target as the team's starters. Jones and Nelson entered the game averaging over 12 yards per target each and were reduced to nothing on Sunday. That was a bad time for the most efficient receivers in the NFL to suddenly become below average.

• Is anyone playing better than Marques Colston right now? Colston has caught 15 of his last 16 targets for 196 yards and two touchdowns. When you consider that his teammate Lance Moore has also caught nine of his last 12 targets for 111 yards and two touchdowns, maybe the question should be is anyone playing better than Drew Brees?

Malcom Floyd is a huge reason for Philip Rivers' recent success. Floyd is averaging 13.2 yards per target, second only to Jordy Nelson among the 80 most targeted receivers in the league. Floyd is another big-time playmaker for defenses to contend with and when he is healthy along with Antonio Gates, Vincent Jackson and Ryan Mathews, the Chargers are as dynamic as any offense in the league.

• Another game and another scoreless Sunday for Austin Collie, who still holds the infamous honor of leading the league with 79 targets and no touchdowns. Collie is the only receiver with more than 50 targets who has not yet scored a touchdown. Wow. In other news, Chad Ochocinco finally scored his first touchdown of 2011. Hooray!

Jermaine Gresham has been getting plenty of chances to make plays over the last three weeks, but his efficiency has been non-existent. Gresham has seen 19 targets in his last three games, but he has caught only nine of them for 98 yards. He has caught just 47 percent of his targets and has been averaging just five yards per target during that span, which is atrocious for a tight end. Unless he gets those metrics fixed in practice this week, it is tough to trust Gresham in your Super Bowl.

Kahlil Bell has taken over in the receiving department for Matt Forte. In the last two games, Bell has seen 11 targets and has 10 catches for 67 yards and a touchdown. Look for Bell to catch another five or more passes in Week 16 against the Packers, making him a solid flex in all formats and a sleeper second running back in point-per-reception leagues.

Target Leaders by position for Week 15: Wide receiver: Roddy White (16) and Calvin Johnson (14); Tight end: Aaron Hernandez, Brandon Pettigrew and Jared Cook (11); Running back: Chris Johnson and Ray Rice (11)

Yards Per Target Leaders among qualifying players by position after Week 15: Wide receiver: Jordy Nelson (13.5) and Malcom Floyd (13.2); Tight end: Rob Gronkowski (10.9) and Jake Ballard (9.9); Running back: Michael Bush (9.3) and Fred Jackson (9.0)

Worst Yards Per Target among qualifying players by position after Week 15: Wide receiver: Andre Caldwell (4.7) and Austin Collie (4.7); Tight end: Chris Cooley (5.0) and Marcedes Lewis, Dallas Clark (5.3); Running back: Sammy Morris (0.0) and Willis McGahee (2.8)

Red Zone

• One reason David Akers is having such a good year is the complete ineptitude of the 49ers in the red zone. Quarterback Alex Smith's 14.8 percent red zone scoring rate is the worst among the 25 quarterbacks with at least 40 red zone chances. With all of those drives stalling up close, it is no surprise that Akers leads the NFL with 12 multiple field goal games in 2011.

LeSean McCoy is a touchdown machine. McCoy leads all non-quarterbacks with 17 red zone touchdowns in 2011 and his 26.2 percent red zone scoring rate is the best among the 14 busiest runners inside the 20. In fact, he is having such a great year that he trails the next three busiest running backs inside the 20 by only two touchdowns. McCoy's 17 scores have come on 65 targets plus carries, while Arian Foster, Frank Gore and Cedric Benson have a combined 19 red zone scores on 169 opportunities.

Roddy White, Calvin Johnson, Laurent Robinson and Plaxico Burress lead all receivers with seven red zone scores. White has really come on strong of late and is becoming a monster touchdown machine when you need it the most, while Robinson is the most efficient of the bunch with a 70 percent red zone scoring rate. Trailing that quartet are two undersized slot receivers in Wes Welker and Lance Moore, who both play with some great quarterbacks and who have each caught six touchdowns inside the 20.

Rob Gronkowski (11) and Aaron Hernandez (six) have combined for 17 red zone scores this year, which is amazing for two tight ends on the same team. It is even more amazing when you consider that they have more touchdowns inside the 20 combined than Vernon Davis (four), Dallas Clark (two), Jermichael Finley (six), Jason Witten (three) and Marcedes Lewis (zero) combined.

Goal Line

Ryan Mathews has scored on four of his five goal line chances this year, which is a league best 80 percent goal line touchdown rate among the backs with at least five chances. His teammate, Mike Tolbert, has four goal line scores on 16 chances. Give the ball to Mathews Norvall! That also bodes very well for Mathews in 2012 should Tolbert leave via free agency, because if he becomes a full time and goal line back, Mathews will have top five potential.

• Since BenJarvus Green-Ellis barely receives 10 carries in his games, it is a good thing he has remained a stud at the goal line. The Law Firm has been the most efficient goal line runner among the 10 busiest goal line backs this season as has scored eight times on 16 carries, good for a 50 percent scoring rate. The worst among the top 10 in chances has been Frank Gore, who has just a 23.8 percent scoring rate, which is another reason that David Akers is the main point scorer in San Francisco.

• For as dominant as A.J. Green has been in other aspects of his game, he has to get better in scoring situations if he wants to be a top five Fantasy receiver. Green has just one touchdown on six targets inside the five yard line, which is the second worst scoring rate among the most targeted receivers.

• In a battle of Brandon's, who do you think leads this trio in terms of goal line touchdowns in 2011: Brandon Marshall, Brandon Lloyd or Brandon Lafell? We can cross Lafell off of that list right? Wrong! Marshall and Lloyd have yet to score a goal line touchdown this year despite seeing 11 targets combined (seven for Marshall and four for Lloyd). Lafell meanwhile has converted both of his targets inside the five yard line into touchdowns. That's another clear example of what a wacky league the NFL can be at times.

Glossary
Target Conversion Rate or Catch Rate (TCR): The percentage of a player's targets (passes thrown to them) that are converted into receptions. Over 60 percent is excellent, 66 percent is elite and under 52.5 percent is worrisome.
Yards per Target (YPT): A player's receiving yards divided by his targets. In other words, the numbers of yards a team gains on average every time they attempt a pass to a certain player. Over 10 is exceptional, over 8 is solid and 6 or lower is horrendous.
Red Zone Opportunities: A player's total number of pass+rush+targets inside the opponent's 20 yard line
Red Zone TD Rate: The percentage of a player's Red Zone opportunities that result in a TD
Goal Line Opportunities: A player's total number of pass+rush+targets inside the opponent's 5 yard line
Goal Line TD Rate: The percentage of a player's Goal Line opportunities that result in a TD
Consistency Rate: The percentage of quality starts a player gives you out of 16 games. For QBs that is a game with 300+ yards passing OR multiple TDs. For RBs/WRs: A game with 100+ yards rush/rec or a game with a TD. For TEs: A game with 60+ yards receiving or a TD. For a Kicker: A game with multiple FGs.
Big Game Rate: The percentage of dominant starts a player gives you out of 16 games (games missed with injury count as a bad game since they do not help your Fantasy teams). For a QB that is a game with 300+ yards and 2+ TDs or 200+ yards and 3+ TDs. For a RB/WR that is a game with 100+ combined rush/rec yards and a TD or a game with multiple TDs. For a TE that is a game of 60+ yards and a TD, 100+ yards or a game with multiple TDs.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Nathan at @NathanZeguraTFC .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Eagles' Chris Polk gets first-team reps in practice
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) Eagles running back Chris Polk received first-team reps in practice on Wednesday, according to CSNPhilly.com.

Polk opened practice with the starters and ran a couple of plays. LeSean McCoy watched the plays from the sideline. Following practice, McCoy stressed that it wasn't a big deal. "We rotate all the time," he said. "[Running back coach Duce Staley] pulled me out. [Darren] Sproles wasn't in either." Polk is coming off a three touchdown performance in Week 15. It's possible he could find his way into more playing time given the practice situation. 


Seahawks without three offensive lineman on Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) The Seahawks did not have three of their offensive linemen at practice on Wednesday, according to ESPN.

Max Unger, Russell Okung and J.R. Sweezy were all held out. Unger has missed the past four games due to an ankle and knee issue. He was able to practice last Friday, but did not play on Sunday. Okung is dealing with a bruised lung, but there's a chance he'll recover in time for Sunday's game. "[Okung is] going to have some stuff done [Thursday] that will let us know where he sits and all that," head coach Pete Carrol said. "He’s not out of the plan yet."

Sweezy is dealing with an ankle injury. His appearance on the injury report comes as somewhat of a surprise. 


Lions pick up CB Josh Thomas
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) The Lions have claimed cornerback Josh Thomas on waivers, according to the New York Post

Thomas was cut by the Jets on Tuesday, but found a new job quickly. He's played in three games this season, registering two tackles. 


Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch sits out on Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch did not practice on Wednesday.

Lynch has been using Wednesday as a veteran's day all season, so the move isn't a big surprise. He's been battling a back injury throughout most of the season, but has been able to play through it. Lynch has 1133 rushing yards, with 10 touchdowns, this year. 


Texans' DeAndre Hopkins unable to practice on Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) Texans wideout DeAndre Hopkins did not practice on Wednesday.

Hopkins is dealing with an ankle injury, and was unable to go. Hopkins has played in all 14 games this season. He has 1167 yards on 69 receptions. Hopkins has caught six touchdowns. His status will likely be determined based on how much he is able to practice on Thursday and Friday. 


49ers WR Michael Crabtree misses practice Wednesday
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) 49ers wideout Michael Crabtree did not practice Wednesday due to a knee injury, reports CSNBayArea.com. Crabtree, who has not cleared 60 receiving yards since Week 11, isn't believed to be seriously hurt.

He's scheduled to play the Chargers on Saturday night. If Crabtree can't go, it could mean increased targets for fellow starter Anquan Boldin.


Raiders QB Derek Carr limited by thumb injury
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was limited in Wednesday's practice with a thumb injury, but coach Tony Sparano isn't too concerned, reports CSNBayArea.com. Carr has thrown one or zero touchdown passes in four of his past five games entering Sunday's contest against Buffalo.

Report: Jay Cutler to be benched Week 16
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) The Bears will bench starting quarterback Jay Cutler Week 16 against the Lions, according to ESPN.

The move comes as a big surprise given the seven-year, $126 million contract Cutler signed in January. Cutler has had a big problem with turnovers this season, throwing 18 interceptions and fumbling 12 times. The move could mark the end of Cutler's season as the starter, and puts his future in Chicago in jeopardy. 

The team will turn to Jimmy Clausen to replace Cutler.


Texans RB Arian Foster held out Wednesday
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) Texans running back Arian Foster did not practice Wednesday with what the team called a hip injury. Foster was listed on the injury report last week with a groin injury, then racked up 117 yards from scrimmage on 29 touches at Indy.

Foster, who might just be getting a veteran's rest day, is expected to start Sunday against the Ravens. Houston is a 5.5-point underdog at Caesars Palace Race and Sports Book.


Report: Bears to start Jimmy Clausen Week 16
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) The Bears will start Jimmy Clausen Week 16 against the Lions, according to ESPN.

The move comes as a major surprise. While Jay Cutler has faced scrutiny for his body language and demeanor, the team handed him a seven-year, $126 million contract last season. The move seems to indicate that Cutler is done for the season, and puts his career with the Bears in jeopardy.

Clausen has seen time in three games this season, completing three passes in nine attempts. His last start came back in 2010, his rookie season. That year, Clausen threw for 1,558 yards, with three touchdowns against nine interceptions. 

The Lions are currently 7-point favorites, according to VegasInsider.com.


 
 
 
Rankings