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 8

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Here is a deep dive behind some of the key statistics (targets, red zone and goal line) for Fantasy success to help give you a little edge in your weekly quest for victory.

Targets

Jason Witten saw a ridiculous 22 targets in Week 8 and caught an NFL tight end record 18 of them for 167 yards. He led the NFL in all three categories this past week and no one else in the league had 18 targets, let alone 18 catches! After a slow start to the season due to a spleen injury, Witten has come on like gangbusters the last four weeks and has been the favorite target of his quarterback, Tony Romo. In the last four games, Witten has seen 51 targets (12.75 per game) and has hauled in 43 of them for 411 yards and a touchdown. That's right, only eight of those 51 targets have even hit the ground and Witten has at least six catches in every game. He is a must start and is dominating the position of late in PPR leagues. One other thing, to put the 51 targets and 43 catches over the last four games in perspective, think about the fact that Andre Johnson has seen 52 targets for the entire season and has caught 34 of them.

• After seeing at least eight targets and producing at least 60 receiving yards in each of his first three games as a member of the Patriots, Brandon Lloyd has seen his utilization and production decrease significantly. Over the last five games, Lloyd has hit the eight-target mark only twice and has been held to 50 or fewer receiving yards four times! In fact, his receiving totals in the last five games are as follows: 50, 34, 80, six and 28. Not only have his targets decreased, but he has had a total efficiency meltdown as well. Over the first three weeks of the season, Lloyd caught 67 percent of his targets and averaged 7.3 receptions and 79 yards receiving per game. Since then, Lloyd has caught only 41.7 percent of his targets and is averaging just 5.5 yards per target. On a per game basis during this bad stretch, Lloyd is averaging three catches and just 39.6 yards receiving per game. Had he not caught a couple of touchdowns, he would have been a complete bust.

• Speaking of another top wide receiver in a "good" offense who is struggling, how about Malcom Floyd? Let's look at his last 10 games dating back to 2011 and see what is going on. From Week 15 of 2011 through Week 2 of 2012, Floyd produced at least 10 Fantasy points in every game and had 90-plus yards in four games along with four total scores. In those five games, Floyd saw 42 targets and averaged 5.6 catches and 98.6 yards per game thanks to a very solid 66.7 percent target conversion rate and an elite 11.6 yards per target average. In his last five games, however, things have changed dramatically as Floyd has just one 10-point Fantasy game and has just one game with more than 60 receiving yards. In those five games, Floyd has seen just 32 targets and averaged 3.8 catches and just 57 receiving yards per game. His efficiency has fallen off dramatically as well, as Floyd has caught just 59.3 percent of his targets and averaged 8.9 yards per target. Floyd needs more chances and he needs the old Philip Rivers to return or it will be a painful finish to the 2012 season.

Chris Givens now has a 50-yard catch in five straight games after hauling in 50-yard touchdown against the Patriots in Week 8. For the year, Givens is averaging 25.6 yards per catch and is posting a strong 10.8 yards per target despite catching only 41 percent of his looks. If he can ever get that catch rate above 50 percent, look out! The good news for Givens is that over his last three games he has caught nine of his 16 targets. It should come as no surprise that he's posted 9.3 Fantasy points per game during that span.

• I was sure many would moan and groan about my Cecil Shorts joke last week but was hoping that the message would come through because he was a great 'Bye Week Broski' in Week 8. Shorts had some tall production for the second straight week as he paced the Jags with 12 targets, eight catches and 116 yards receiving. That is back-to-back games with at least 11 points for Shorts, who has made the most of his ascension to the starting lineup in those two games. Shorts is one of only five pass catchers in the NFL to see 10 or more targets in each of the last two games. He has developed into the go-to guy for Blaine Gabbert (who knew such a thing could exist) and is absolutely worth a look on the wire if you need any kind of wide receiver help.

Check out our Fantasy Football podcast!
There is no better source for entertaining Fantasy advice than our Fantasy Football Today podcast. Dave Richard, Jamey Eisenberg and Adam Aizer will help you pass the time as you anticipate Draft Day 2014!
Latest episode | Subscribe today!

Denarius Moore will be a Top 12 Fantasy receiver on Draft Day in 2013 if he keeps up his great play of late. Moore has seen at least eight targets in every game this year and has produced at least 100 yards or a touchdown in four of his last five games. He has not produced fewer than seven Fantasy points in a game during that span and has shown the development to produce even when the deep ball is taken away. During that five-game run, Moore has caught 53.4 percent of his targets and is averaging a solid 8.1 yards per target. That is significant because it shows his maturation as a receiver in just his second season. Last year, Moore caught just 43 percent of his targets and was a boom or bust player who relied solely on the deep ball to produce. The increase in his catch rate and his ability to be productive in games where he does not need a 40-yard catch means that Moore is a consistent producer who can be counted on every single week for your Fantasy teams.

Steve Smith is still looking for his first touchdown of 2012 and now has three scores in his last 15 games, but his last two weeks certainly have been encouraging. Over the last two weeks against the excellent pass defenses of Dallas and Chicago, Smith has seen 25 targets and has caught 14 of them for 201 yards. He is still averaging a very solid 9.3 yards per target this year and if he can score, he will get back to being very productive. With an easy upcoming schedule, now is the time to buy in on Smith, who should finally score a touchdown in Week 9 against the Redskins.

• Of course Mike Williams disappointed us against the Saints in Week 7, but he came back with a vengeance against the Vikings in Week 8, leading the team with six catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. For the year, Williams has produced 100 yards or a touchdown in five games, which is tied for fifth among all receivers. The only players ahead of him in that category are A.J. Green, Percy Harvin and Miles Austin, who may be having the quietest big season in recent memory.

Dwayne Bowe is a man who needs touchdowns to produce and right now, he is in a drought. In his last 18 games, Bowe has found the end zone in just three of them, which is not going to pay the Fantasy bills at all. With Romeo Crennel saying that Brady Quinn will be the team's quarterback when he is healthy, this scoring drought could see a run like he had at the end of 2011, when he went 11 weeks with only one touchdown. Bowe has not hit the 70-yard mark in three straight games, nor has he found the end zone in that span against relatively soft pass defenses in Baltimore, Tampa Bay and Oakland. For his career, Bowe has only produced 10 or more Fantasy points without scoring a touchdown five times. If you can get anything better than a bag of cool ranch Doritos for Bowe, now is the time to sell.

• Is there trouble on the Tony Gonzalez front? In three of his last four games, Gonzo has been held under 60 yards and without a touchdown and a lack of targets seems to be to blame. In his four games with a score, Gonzalez averaged 10.5 targets per game. In the three games with five or fewer Fantasy points, Gonzo has seen just 5.7 targets per game. He is a volume player and we will have to hope that the volume goes back up for the stretch run.

• I don't care if Dustin Keller is on a bye this week because if you need a tight end, he could be your savior. In the last two weeks, Keller has seen 18 targets and has 14 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown. He has seven catches in each of the two games and is back as the main man for quarterback Mark Sanchez. The Jets are bad and will need to throw it a lot, so Keller is going to be very busy down the stretch and should easily average five catches per game for your teams.

• One of the big reasons to love Rashad Jennings with Maurice Jones-Drew out is the fact that he excels in the passing game. In his two weeks of full-time action, Jennings has been the target of 17 passes and has caught 13 of them for 104 yards. Those receiving yards are a big reason why Jennings has posted more than 100 total yards in back to back weeks. With that kind of floor for a running back, Jennings is a great start as long as he is the man in Jacksonville.

Follow us, Like us, Join us
Want more? Join the discussion on our Facebook page and Google+ and follow us on Twitter for additional insight while interacting with a community geared toward Fantasy Football.

Target Leaders by position for Week 8: Wide receiver: Steve Smith (16), Miles Austin (16), Brandon Marshall (14), Percy Harvin (12) and Cecil Shorts (12); Tight end: Jason Witten (22), Rob Gronkowski (13), Dustin Keller (11) and Jimmy Graham (10), Running back: Darren Sproles (nine), Rashad Jennings (eight) and Ronnie Brown (eight)

Red Zone

• I had been talking a lot about how Matthew Stafford's yardage was right there with where he was in 2011 but that the touchdowns, and more specifically, red zone touchdowns were really lacking. Well, let's hope that Week 8 was a sign of things to come for Stafford, who produced three red zone scores in the Lions comeback win over the Seahawks. Stafford's three scores came on a season-high 11 red zone chances. The three scores on 11 attempts is the 27 percent red zone scoring rate that Stafford also enjoyed in his 2011 breakout season. Hopefully this is a sign of big things to come.

• Of the 30 quarterbacks with at least 20 red zone pass attempts, here is a look at the leaders in touchdown percentage: Ryan Fitzpatrick (eight scores, 40 percent scoring rate), Aaron Rodgers (15, 37 percent), Matt Ryan (14, 35 percent), Peyton Manning (12, 32 percent) and Drew Brees (15, 30 percent). Now, one of these guys is not like the others, but clearly there is a correlation between red zone success and Fantasy points.

Stevan Ridley can be maddening to own on a weekly basis as his Fantasy point totals are either boom or bust. He has four games with at least 18 Fantasy points, but three with six or fewer. One thing that cannot be denied is his workload in the red zone. Ridley will enter his bye week with 34 red zone carries and five red zone rushing scores, both second most at his position. If he can smooth out the week in which he does not score to the eight to 10 point level, we will have a Fantasy superstar on our hands.

Jamaal Charles did not score in Week 8 (he had only eight touches all game long, which is absurd), but Jonathan Dwyer overtook him to hold the dubious distinction of the most carries inside the red zone without a touchdown at 14. Now Dwyer is coming off of back-to-back 100-yard rushing games, but some touchdowns would really make his production jump. The more pressing question however, is what will the Steelers do with Dwyer when Rashard Mendenhall returns to action from his injury?

Darren McFadden has touched the ball a very healthy 26 times inside the red zone this year (his 24 carries rank eighth), but he has only one red zone touchdown all year. If he can get into the end zone, he might just salvage his Fantasy value with his easy schedule to finish out the year.

• Do you need more evidence that Denarius Moore is making a big leap as a complete receiver in his sophomore season? Well, how about the fact that Moore has scored three touchdowns (of his four total) on his 11 red zone targets, which is a very solid 27.2 percent red zone scoring rate. It should also be an eye-opening number for you when you remember that as a rookie, Moore had only one red zone touchdown out of six total scores. He is developing into a true threat and is a must start option right now.

Rob Gronkowski scored four red zone touchdowns in the last two weeks alone to get in a tie atop the tight end red zone touchdown leaders with six scores. He is tied of course with Heath Miller, who has also scored in each of the last two weeks. Gronk may be the bigger star of the two, but if Heath keeps scoring he has a good shot at landing a nice Miller time endorsement.

Goal Line

• Thanks to the aforementioned Heath Miller, Ben Roethlisberger leads all quarterbacks with seven passing touchdowns from inside the five-yard line this year. Aaron Rodgers and goal line audible ace Peyton Manning are tied for second with six each.

• The Giants know how to block up front because over the last two weeks, Andre Brown has scored on both of his goal line carries and Ahmad Bradshaw converted his only carry as well. More interesting may be the fact that Brown has taken two goal line carries to one for Bradshaw during that span and now trails only Arian Foster with five goal line rushing scores.

Peyton Manning has done wonders for Willis McGahee in the touchdown department as the running back is second in the NFL with 11 goal line carries and is third with four scores. That becomes even more impressive when you consider that Willis had only four rushing scores in all of 2011.

• There are six wide receivers with multiple goal line receiving scores and it is an interesting mix of talent. Eric Decker, Jordy Nelson, Roddy White and A.J. Green are outside receivers who can win on slants or fade routes. Randall Cobb and Santana Moss are quick, slot receivers who do not usually produce this close to the goal line. Clearly both Randall and Santana are becoming favorites of their respective quarterbacks, which is great news for the budding superstar in Cobb and the ageless veteran in Moss.

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

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
Bears sign CB Alan Ball to one-year deal
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:44 pm ET) The Bears have signed cornerback Alan Ball to a one-year contract on Friday, per the team's official website.

Ball, 29, spent the last two seasons with the Jaguars, but was limited to only seven games in 2014 due to a biceps injury. He racked up 59 total tackles, 17 passes deflected and three interceptions over that span. He has played eight NFL seasons with the Cowboys, Texans and Jags.


Titans sign CB Brandon Harris to one-year deal
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:09 pm ET) The Titans have signed cornerback Brandon Harris to a one-year contract on Friday, per the team's official website. Harris played 11 games in 2014, his first season with the Titans. He finished with 11 combined tackles and three pass deflections last season.

Redskins' Thompson, Redd to compete for third-down back role
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:24 am ET) Redskins coach Jay Gruden said this week at the NFL owners' meetings running back Chris Thompson will get the first chance to secure third-down responsibilities, according to The Washington Post. Silas Redd will also get consideration for the role of third-down back.

“Chris [Thompson] came in last year at the end and did some things, and we’re hoping that he can come back and stay healthy in the offseason and give us a little jolt back there,” Gruden said. “And Silas Redd will get every chance to do some things also.”

Although, the Redskins could look to bring in some competition before training camp begins.

“I also think that at the running back position in the draft, there’s a ton of them,” Gruden said. “It’s a very deep running back draft in my opinion, and we’re excited to add another piece at some point, hopefully. We have seven picks. Hopefully one of them will be a running back, or a free agent to compete. There are some good free agents that haven’t been signed yet. But, giving Chris an opportunity, Silas, Alfred (Morris), that’s where it starts. And we’ll add some more later on for competition.”


Falcons could bring in Matt Schaub to vie for backup QB role
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:10 am ET) Falcons coach Dan Quinn is not ruling out bringing back former Atlanta quarterback Matt Schaub to compete for the backup role behind starter Matt Ryan, per ESPN.

"Schaub is certainly somebody that we could [add]," Quinn said. "As we get through it, we'll let you know if we go down that road."

The 34-year-old Schaub was released by the Raiders in mid-March. T.J. Yates and Sean Renfree are the other quarterbacks on the Falcons' roster.


Panthers' Rivera expecting Stephen Hill to contribute in 2015
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:45 am ET) Panthers coach Ron Rivera believes wide receiver Stephen Hill is ready to make an impact in 2015 after spending the 2014 season on the practice squad, per ESPN.

“Very much so," Rivera said Wednesday during the NFL owners meeting in Phoenix. “He’s a guy we feel has an opportunity. We’re very excited about [seeing] Stephen during OTAs and minicamp.

“With his size (6-4, 215) and speed and his ability to get vertical, if he can assimilate to what we do -- and I think he will; he seems to be a very smart man -- he might be a guy that has an opportunity to contribute for us."

Rivera felt Hill's year on the practice squad was beneficial after the 2012 second-round pick failed to live up to expectations during his tenure with the Jets. 

“I thought it was a good opportunity to take a step back and take a break," Rivera said. “The thing I liked about Stephen was how he contributed to our football team’s success. He came in. He had been a second-round pick. He had no assumptions, no entitlement.

“He ran all the scout teams for us. He ran them hard. Gave us great looks, which is what makes us excited 'cause you watch a guy perform who could very easily dog it, and he didn’t. And you saw him grow. You saw him make catches. You saw him get comfortable in his own skin again."


Terence Newman reunites with Mike Zimmer in Minnesota
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:16 am ET) The Vikings announced Friday they signed cornerback Terence Newman, who played for coach Mike Zimmer in Dallas and Cincinnati.

“That’s the biggest thing. He can still play. He came in the league later. I think he was 25 when he came in,” Zimmer said, per the team's official website. “He struggled a little bit in Dallas and then played great in Cincinnati. Last year, he didn’t play quite as good, so seemingly with me, we get things fixed a little bit. I really respect him, and I think he really respects me.”

Although terms of the deal were not officially released, NFL.com reported earlier this week the veteran cornerback's deal is a one-year, $2.5 million contract.


Gruden: Redskins 'keeping a close eye' on Santana Moss
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:55 am ET) With wide receiver Santana Moss still looking to continue his NFL career, Washington coach Jay Gruden said there is a chance the Redskins might re-sign the veteran receiver, who had just 10 catches in 2014.

"We're keeping a close eye on Santana," Gruden said at the NFL owners' meetings in Phoenix, per ESPN. "You know, that's something that we know where Santana is and he knows where we are, and something may work out down the road.

"I could always play with Santana. Santana's a great person. He's great in the locker room for us. He knows all the positions. I know he's going to be in great shape, and I would not hesitate one bit to call him."


Jaguars' Thomas won't try to measure up to Broncos' numbers
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:11 am ET) New Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas told SI.com he has already begun working with quarterback Blake Bortles.

"It’s exciting, that first time you get to work out with your new quarterback," he said. "We’ve got a couple thousand more reps to go, but I’m really looking forward to that chemistry and growing with that entire offense."

The expectations will be elevated for Thomas, who is coming off two great seasons with the Broncos. However, Thomas isn't out to prove he can have the same production without Peyton Manning throwing him passes.

"I think I’ve got to be a little bit cautious on trying to prove so much," he said. "I think I’ve just got to go out there and work my hardest, and do everything I can to win every route, and see what happens. I don’t want to set a goal of 'I gotta have these numbers.' I’m just going to work my hardest every day, do everything I can to become a better player, and do everything I can to help out my team and this offense."

Thomas is also confident he will be able to coexist on offense with veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis, who has been with the team since 2006.

"I don’t think we’ll have any problem playing together," he said. "I was actually talking to him this weekend. I ran into him; we both live in L.A. He’s a really good guy. I’ve met him a couple times before. We both have the same marketing company, so we know the same people, and people that I respect speak very highly of him. I think we complement each other very well. There are going to be things that he can teach me, and I can learn from him."


Former Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin: I still believe in Chip Kelly
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(8:59 am ET) Former Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin apparently has no ill-will toward Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly. Although the Eagles could not match the Chiefs' five-year, $55 million contract offer, which Maclin signed in mid-March, Maclin is still a fan of Kelly, who has overhauled the Eagles' roster this offseason.

"I still believe in Chip," Maclin said, per The Philadelphia Inquirer. "I think Chip's going to do great things here. I have the utmost respect for him. Unfortunately, we couldn't get something worked out. But at the end of the day I'm very excited about playing for Kansas City and playing for Big Red."

As well as Maclin not being brought back, the Eagles traded LeSean McCoy and quarterback Nick Foles. They also released defensive end Trent Cole and offensive lineman Todd Herremans.

Maclin missed the 2013 season -- Kelly's first in the NFL -- due to a torn ACL. However, he returned in 2014 to post career highs in targets (143), catches (85) and receiving yards (1,318), while tying a career high with 10 touchdowns.


Lions' Caldwell: Don't expect Stafford's numbers to change much
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(8:36 am ET) Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is just one of five quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards. However, since he accomplished the feat in 2011, his passing yards have declined each season.

Stafford passed for 4,257 yards and attempted 602 passes in 2014 -- his first year under coach Jim Caldwell. While at the NFL owners' meetings in Phoenix this week, Caldwell said it's probably safe not to expect Stafford's numbers to change much in 2015.

"Here's the thing I want to make certain you guys understand, and see what I see just in terms of my vision," Caldwell said, per MLive.com. "When I tell you we're not going to throw the ball anymore than we threw it, that's a fact. We're probably not going to throw it (more).

"If we do throw it more, that means we're struggling, we're not winning, we're not a very good football team. OK? Plain and simple. Maybe that ball's got to be distributed a little bit differently, but I don't anticipate those numbers changing, overall, a significant amount."


 
 
 
Rankings