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
2015 Draft Prep Guide
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
Zimmer happy with progress of Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:32 pm ET) Mike Zimmer has expressed optimism that underachieving Vikings wideout Cordarrelle Patterson is gaining a better understanding of route-running and the nuances of playing the position in the NFL, which would allow his talent to result in greater productivity.

Patterson took a step back in 2014 after a mediocre rookie year. He played in every game, but managed just 33 receptions for 384 yards and one touchdown. He has since stated that 2015 is his make-or-break year and is apparently acting like it in the offseason.

"He's done real well," Zimmer told Fox Sports North. "He's running routes good. He's working hard. So we just need him to continue to do those things and continue to keep getting consistent and keep improving. I've been impressed."


GM: Dolphins LT Branden Albert should be fine for Week 1
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:22 pm ET) Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey has expressed optimism that left tackle Branden Albert will be ready to roll by the regular season opener.

Albert has been rehabbing from a torn ACL and MCL sustained last November against Detroit. He had signed a five-year, $46 million contract the previous March and had been performing particularly well before going down.

"It's been a long rehab and he's really attacked it every day," Hickey told SiriusXM NFL Radio, adding that there was a "reasonable explanation" that he would be ready for Week 1. "We really like his progress. He's out there with his team working out. We're really encouraged by what we're seeing with him."

Ja'Wuan Williams was forced to move to left tackle following the Albert injury in 2014. But he struggled at that position and is expected to move to his more familiar right tackle spot this year.


Report: Bills still want to extend Marcell Dareus
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(1:15 pm ET) The Bills still want to extend the contract of defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, according to a report by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

Despite the one-game suspension levied by the league against Dareus on Thursday, the team still hopes to have an extension wrapped up before the start of training camp. 

2015 is scheduled to be the last season of Dareus' current contract. He'll make $8.06 million.


Shanahan: Struggles of Robert Griffin III unrelated to injury
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:13 pm ET) Former Redskins coach Mike Shanahan does not believe injuries have prevented quarterback Robert Griffin III from maximizing his potential in the NFL. Rather, he feels it was the team not creating an offensive system that best fits his talents and his own belief that he could play a traditional role at that position.

Griffin sustained a serious knee injury in the 2012 playoffs. He then struggled in 2013 in an offense designed to transform him into a drop-back quarterback rather than one that took advantage of his mobility. He suffered another knee injury last year and did not perform well in the offense of new coach Jay Gruden.

"I don't think getting hurt has anything to do with it," Shanahan told 106.7 The Fan. "In college he didn't have a route tree, didn't have a playbook. That does take some time. ... If you take a quarterback like that you must run the kind of system that allows him to be successful. ... I really believe Robert thought he was more of a drop-back quarterback. He hasn't done things the NFL asks you to do. It does take some growing pains. You better really work on it inside and out."

Some have wondered why the Redskins went so hard after Griffin if they weren't willing to create an offense that maximizes his skill set.


Sheldon Richardson not at Jets' OTAs because 'I have a life'
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(1:05 pm ET) Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson is skipping the team's OTAs this week, a decision that earned him criticism from fans and media. 

Richardson's explanation isn't likely to win anyone over. 

Richardson went on Twitter and told fans he missed the workouts because, "I have a life outside of football."

"I chose to enjoy my family a little longer," he continued. "So to (you) fans that know everything, please worry 'bout yourself."

Richardson pointed out in another tweet that he "jus' wasn't at practice," but that he was still "putting in work tho'"


Jaguars relying on young WRs Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(12:54 pm ET) The Jaguars will be young at wide receiver this year, but that doesn't concern the team. 

The Jaguars don't have a receiver with more than 59 career receptions on the roster. The team is relying heavily on a trio of second-year players in Allen Hurns, Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson

"Those guys all had 40-some catches," general manager David Caldwell said, per ESPN. "It’s not like they didn’t produce at all or missed a whole year. They did some good things ... They’re no longer young guys. They have to be our veterans."


Raiders sign draft pick Neiron Ball
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(12:46 pm ET) The Raiders signed their fifth-round draft pick, Neiron Ball , the team announced

Ball is a linebacker out of Florida. With his signing, the Raiders have seven of their 10 picks from the 2015 draft under contract. 


Eagles DB Maxwell: 'We're going to do big things here'
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(12:45 pm ET) Byron Maxwell knows what it takes to win big. He won a Super Bowl ring with the Seahawks two seasons ago and was one play away from winning a second last year.

Maxwell wants to continue his tradition of winning with the Eagles. The Eagles signed Maxwell to a six-year, $60 million contract this offseason in hopes he can help get them to the playoffs.

"I'm starting to get adjusted to Philadelphia. I love this city. I love the people around here. It's cool," Maxwell said. "I think we're going to do big things around here." "I'm starting to get adjusted to Philadelphia. I love this city. I love the people around here. It's cool," Maxwell said. "I think we're going to do big things around here."

Maxwell recorded 39 tackles and two interceptions in 13 games played last season. And though he just got a huge contract, he still motivated to getting that second Super Bowl ring.

"I'm more addicted to that feeling of getting another one. Winning is addicting. The fun is in the winning. I'm chasing after that," Maxwell said. "I'm excited about the season."


Colts' Phillip Dorsett has impressed at team OTA's
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(12:28 pm ET) Rookie wide receiver Phillip Dorsett is not experiencing any rookie blues early on with the Colts, per ESPN.com.

The first-round pick out of the University of Miami wrapped up an impressive week of organized team activities, leaving a good impression on his veteran teammates.

"It's definitely not too big for him," quarterback Andrew Luck said about the receiver. "He fits in very, very well."

Dorsett averaged more than 24 yards per catch during his last season as a Hurricane, a stat that if he maintains as a Colt will get him on the field despite a talented group of receivers.

"I feel like I'm getting it pretty well," he said. "I came from a pro-style offense with a lot of concepts in college. It's basically the same concepts just different names. There's a lot more verbiage and differently terminology. So it's something that you just have to learn and get used to it."


After emergency surgery, Jets' Rontez Miles optimistic for another shot
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(12:15 pm ET) Jets safety Rontez Miles is lucky to have another chance in the NFL. A freak injury last season almost took this opportunity away, per ESPN.com.

Just before Miles was to make his 2014 debut last December, he suffered what appeared to be a basic calf bruise after a collision with teammate Marcus Williams. He soon realized this was no regular injury. Miles developed compartment syndrome, meaning the blood flow to his calf was restricted because of a buildup of pressure.

Miles was rushed to a hospital and underwent emergency surgery.

"It could've been amputated or the muscle could've been destroyed," Miles said after Wednesday's organized team activities. "It could've been a couple of months or a year or so of recovery, and it would've been hard to come back from that."

Miles has been fighting for a spot on the Jets' roster for the better part of two years. He played in one game in 2013 and was ready for another chance last season before his freak injury. His goal will be even harder now because the safety position is now very crowded, but that won't deter Miles.

"Hey, I can't complain," Miles said. "I'm here and I'm playing football."


 
 
 
Rankings