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 11

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

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

Targets

• Do you remember back in Week 5 when we were complaining about Andre Johnson's lack of involvement in the Houston passing game? It was for good reason. In the first five games of 2012, Johnson saw a grand total of 30 targets and caught 17 of them for 283 yards and two touchdowns. To put that into perspective, Johnson saw 19 targets and caught 14 of them for 273 yards and a touchdown in Week 11! From Week 6 to Week 11, Johnson has been the target of 60 passes and has 43 catches for 587 yards and one score. In other words, his workload has doubled and his production has more than doubled. Johnson has not seen fewer than nine targets in any of his last five games and looks poised to finish the year out as one of the top Fantasy wide receivers.

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!

• If you were to ignore the two games where Dez Bryant played at less than 100 percent and produced a grand total of 29 yards receiving, you would certainly have to put his name on the list of the most dominating receivers in the NFL right now. Since Week 4, Bryant has not been held below 87 yards other than the two hiccups, has three 100-yard games and has scored four total touchdowns in five games. In those five games, Bryant has been targeted 59 times and has caught 41 of them for 542 yards and four touchdowns. Bryant has seen at least 11 targets in four of the five games and is delivering superstar efficiency. He is catching 69 percent of his passes, averaging 9.2 yards and 1.3 points per target while posting a very solid 15.64 points per game. He is becoming the go-to-guy for Tony Romo and Bryant looks like he may finally be realizing his unlimited potential.

T.Y. Hilton is back on the map after a six catch, 100-yard and two-touchdown game against the Patriots in Week 11. Hilton has topped 100 yards with a touchdown in two of his last three games and with Donnie Avery battling a concussion, he could get the start in Week 12. The last time we were in this situation, Hilton did not catch a single pass following his big game, but Avery was active. If Avery misses Week 12 against Buffalo, Hilton has to be considered a viable option for your teams. After all, Hilton has been targeted eight or more times in four games for his career. In three of those games, he has produced 100 yards receiving and a touchdown, so clearly this is a guy who can produce when given the chance. He will be a star in 2013 and could really help you down the stretch in 2012 if he can move into a bigger weekly role, because all he does is produce.

Justin Blackmon just caught seven of his 13 targets against the Texans for 236 yards and a touchdown in Week 11. That is not a misprint. Blackmon produced just 14 yards fewer in Week 11 than he had in his first nine games total. He has a touchdown in two of his last three games and seemed to click very well with Chad Henne, which is something to keep an eye on.

Wes Welker has been battling an ankle injury and it certainly seems like it is hurting his production. Despite seeing 10 targets and catching at least six passes per game over the last four weeks, Welker has not topped 80 yards in any contest and has not found the end zone during that span. That is a stark contrast to the first six weeks of the year, where Welker saw 11 targets per game and produced at least 95 yards five times, 100 yards four times and scored two touchdowns. In the first six games of the season, Welker caught 73 percent of his targets and averaged 9.4 yards and 1.2 points per target, which are elite numbers. In the last four games, Welker is catching 64 percent of his targets and is averaging just 6.8 yards and 0.68 points per target. With Rob Gronkowski out, Welker will need to play a bigger role and I am not sure he will be up to the task of battling an injury and increased defensive attention.

Randall Cobb has scored a touchdown or topped 100 yards receiving in six straight games for the Packers and has been a darling of this column for weeks. The kid can flat out play the game and is well on his way to superstardom whether or not Greg Jennings comes back. Cobb has six scores in his last four games alone and in his six-game run, he is averaging a ridiculous 1.8 Fantasy points per target. He was off the charts with his efficiency as a rookie and now with a bigger workload he is producing even more. Cobb has also added 67 yards rushing during his run to the top of the Fantasy charts and as I said one month ago, we are looking at a Top 12 Fantasy receiver on Draft Day in 2013.

Julio Jones needs more targets. The talented receiver for the Falcons is not even averaging six targets per game over the last four weeks and despite that pathetic level of opportunity he is still producing. Jones has caught 17 of those 23 targets for 360 yards (90 yards per game and a solid 15.7 yards per target), but has not scored over the last four weeks. He needs more chances to produce and when you consider that Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez have seen 40 and 33 targets respectively over the last four games, it is clear that there is room for more work for Jones. Don't blame the ankle either, because Jones saw seven targets in Week 11, his highest total of the last four weeks.

• Last week I wrote that "I think we have to pay attention to Danario Alexander," and after a monster Week 11 performance of 96 yards and two touchdowns against the Broncos, I would say he is demanding our attention. Against Denver, Alexander caught seven of his 11 targets for 96 yards and the two scores, giving him a grand total of 15 catches for 291 yards and three scores on just 21 targets since playing for San Diego. Alexander is averaging 13.6 yards and 2.23 points per target. He is the new No. 1 receiver in San Diego and as long as he stays healthy, I expect him to produce given his similar size, speed combination of one Vincent Jackson.

• Add Marques Colston to the list of receivers who need to see a few more targets as well. Colston thankfully has scored in two of his last three games because he has only seen 16 targets total. Those 16 targets have led to 11 catches for only 141 yards, so Colston is not even averaging 50 yards per game over the last three. When you consider that he is still posting a solid 8.8 yards per target average, it is clear that a lack of chances is to blame. Hey Drew, throw my man Colston the ball!

Jermichael Finley only saw three targets against the Lions in Week 11, but he sure made the most of them as they resulted in three catches for 66 yards and a touchdown. Finley finally had an efficient game and if he can keep this up, he has the chance to be a Fantasy starter down the stretch. Hopefully, this is just the first of many solid games for Finley, who battled the drops and terrible efficiency early in the season.

Dallas Clark has scored in back-to-back games and has a touchdown in three of his last five games as Josh Freeman continues to light up the scoreboard. Clark is coming off of his best game of the year, as he saw 11 targets and caught seven of them for 58 yards and a touchdown in the team's overtime win against the Panthers. Clark should always have advantageous matchups with teams focusing on Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams and Doug Martin, so he is someone to consider if your waiver wire is bare and you just lost Rob Gronkowski.

Brandon Myers is the only tight end in the NFL to have 10 or more targets in three of his last five games. Over the last five weeks, Myers is averaging nearly nine targets, six catches, 53 yards and 0.6 touchdowns per game. That translates to just about nine Fantasy points per week and it should not surprise you to learn that Myers has been a Top 5 point scorer among tight ends in both standard and PPR leagues. With a terrible Oakland defense forcing the Raiders to throw it 45 times per game, Myers will remain a stud for your teams.

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.

Trent Richardson is a great young runner, but he is also very solid in the pass game, which only increases his overall value. In his last two games, Richardson has been targeted 17 times and has caught 12 of them for 80 yards. Those are a nice bonus for his Fantasy owners and it should be noted that T-Rich has caught at least four passes in six games this year and has eclipsed the 30-yard receiving mark five times. T-Rich is a full-time featured back who can do it all and that's why he is a Top 10 back the rest of the way in 2012 and will be a solid first round pick again in 2013.

Target Leaders by position for Week 11: Wide receiver: Andre Johnson (19), Reggie Wayne (18), Dez, Bryant (15), Justin Blackmon (13) and Roddy White (13); Tight end: Dwayne Allen (11), Dallas Clark (11), Brandon Myers (10) and Tony Scheffler (10); Running back: Trent Richardson (eight) and LeSean McCoy (seven)

Red Zone

Josh Freeman has become the most efficient quarterback in the red zone in 2012, which is a huge reason why he thrown for multiple passing touchdowns in six straight games. Freeman is tied for fifth among all quarterbacks with 16 touchdown passes inside the opponent's 20-yard line, which is impressive in its own right. It is even better when you realize that no quarterback in the entire league has turned a higher percentage of their red zone passes into touchdowns than Freeman, who is tops with a 35.6 percent touchdown rate.

Cam Newton's touchdowns have been utterly disappointing and his efficiency, or should I say lack thereof, in the red zone is the main culprit. Among the 24 busiest quarterbacks inside the 20, Newton is worst in the NFL with a 44 percent completion rate. His 16.7 percent red zone scoring rate is the third worst and that is why Newton has really struggled to deliver the Fantasy points we had hoped for back in August.

• In case you were wondering, Eli Manning currently has the worst red zone scoring rate among all quarterbacks at 14.0 percent, which is just another reason he has not thrown a touchdown in three straight weeks.

• When you drafted Stevan Ridley you could not have hoped for more involvement from the second year runner in the red zone. Ridley is second in the NFL with 44 rushes inside of the 20-yard line and is also tied for second with seven red zone rushing scores. He will easily hit double-digit touchdowns this season for his Fantasy owners and has turned out to be one of Draft Day's best values. With that kind of workload in scoring situations, Ridley will remain a Fantasy stud. After all, he has only four fewer red zone carries than Frank Gore, Chris Johnson and Matt Forte combined!

Jonathan Dwyer may run like Jerome Bettis, but he doesn't score touchdowns like The Bus. Dwyer is one of only two running backs with 10 red zone carries and no scores this year. Dwyer and his 17 carries are far and away the leader over Curtis Brinkley, who saw 11 red zone carries early in the year and also failed to score for the Chargers.

• Here is another Julio Jones workload gripe from yours truly: In the first six games of 2012, Jones saw 10 red zone targets and produced four red zone touchdowns. In his last four games, Jones has only been the target of one red zone pass and it should not surprise you to learn that he does not have a single score during that span. Throw this man the ball!

Goal Line

Aaron Rodgers (75 percent and six passing scores), Carson Palmer (70 percent and seven) and Josh Freeman (70 percent and seven) are the leaders in goal line touchdown rate through the first 10 weeks of the season. Our poor friend Eli Manning is actually dead last in this department as well with only one passing touchdown on nine passing attempts, which is absolutely horrendous.

Steven Jackson is starting to produce for his Fantasy owners and that is a very good thing. If he can get better at the goal line it will be a great thing, because Jackson's touchdowns would come much more regularly. Despite taking five goal line carries this year, Jackson has yet to score a goal line rushing touchdown. No other runner has taken as many carries as Jackson without a goal line rushing touchdown this year, so old man river needs to step it up!

• There are four running backs who are averaging negative yards per carry on their rushes inside of the five yard line. They are Chris Johnson at -0.33 yards per carry, Trent Richardson at -0.25 yards per carry and LeSean McCoy at -0.13 yards per carry. It also probably does not surprise you to learn that they have combined for just three goal line touchdowns on 15 carries for a poor 20 percent scoring rate. The fourth member of this infamous quartet may surprise you however as it is Stevan Ridley, who is averaging -0.21 yards per carry, but has five goal line scores, third most in the NFL. Somehow Ridley manages to go forward for his Fantasy owners while going backwards, which is mighty impressive if you ask me.

• Is there anything that A.J. Green can't do? Green is the only player (non-quarterback) in the NFL to score a touchdown in each of the last nine games. That's a perfect 100 percent scoring rate for Green since Week 2 and it should not surprise you to learn that he has also turned all three of his goal line targets into scores in 2012. He may very well be the best receiver in the NFL and the consistency of his performance despite not having any other real help in the passing game has been nothing short of remarkable.

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
Report: Titans S Bernard Pollard wants to be released
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:52 am ET) Titans safety Bernard Pollard has requested a release from his contract, The Tennessean reports. He is scheduled to make $3.1 million in the final season of his two-year deal in 2015.

Pollard submitted his request to general manager Ruston Webster at the end of the regular season, per the report. He is recovering from a ruptured Achilles and wants to play in 2015, but said on The Tennessean's Bernard Pollard Show earlier this month that he was unsure of his future with the Titans.

"I am not getting any younger, so I want to win, I really do. I want to win,'' Pollard said. "Looking at how things took place this year, looking at where (the Titans) need to be for next year, that is a tough, tough question, and I don't even know if they can give me the answer. I have one year on my deal, but it is going to take some time."

Pollard has been out of his walking boot for a month and is making progress in rehab. He suffered his Achilles injury in Week 5 and was placed on injured reserve.


Patriots fairly healthy heading into Super Bowl Sunday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) The Patriots will be at nearly full strength for Sunday’s Super Bowl as the following players have been listed as probable: Tom Brady (ankle), Dont’a Hightower (shoulder), Chris Jones (elbow), Akeem Ayers (knee), Darrelle Revis (non-injury-related) and Sealver Siliga (foot).

All except Brady were limited participants in practice Friday. The only question mark is center Bryan Stork, who is questionable with a knee injury and was limited in practice Friday.

The Patriots are currently 1-point favorites against Seattle.


Seahawks unveil final injury report in preparation for Super Bowl
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) The Seahawks have listed the following players as probable for the Super Bowl on Sunday: J.R. Sweezy (ankle), Justin Britt (knee), Marshawn Lynch (back), Earl Thomas (shoulder), Richard Sherman (elbow) and Kam Chancellor (knee).

Chancellor was a late addition to the injury report, when he fell on the next-to-last play of practice and missed the last play. He was not limping on his way off. All other players were full participants in practice Friday.

The Seahawks are currently 1-point underdogs against New England.


Saints tight end Jimmy Graham to avoid surgery on shoulder
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he will avoid surgery on his shoulder after testing it at the Pro Bowl. 

"I’ve been doing rehab and I’m going to start back on my rehab Monday and really there’s going to be no surgery," Graham told SiriusXM radio. "I’m just going to do rehab, strengthen the area. That’s what’s best — not having to take six months off and try to heal up with a surgery, but now have those six months to work on all things I need to to try and hopefully get to a place like (the Super Bowl) next year."

Graham, who had 85 catches for 889 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2014, fought off the injury for most of the season. He was still unsure about having surgery before the Pro Bowl last week.

"It was something that really needed some rest and unfortunately it wasn’t able to get that during the season," he said. "It happened early and then you have about 10 straight weeks of trying to make it to the game. Now after having about three or four weeks and last week kind of testing it at the Pro Bowl, it feels great."


Vikings' Greg Jennings: We all want Adrian Peterson back
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) Vikings veteran wideout Greg Jennings said during a SiriusXM NFL Radio interview on Friday that embattled running back Adrian Peterson is wanted back by everyone in the organization, per ESPN.

"I don't know if he'll be back. I can't answer that question," Jennings said. "But what I do know is that if he does come back, he'd be accepted with open arms. As an organization from the Wilfs on down, we all want him back. So, I mean, it's a touchy subject and he's been the franchise player -- face of that team -- for eight years. So it will be a loss, a huge loss, if we can't get him back, and that's the nature of this business."

In November, Peterson was suspended by the league without pay for the rest of the season, making him ineligible for reinstatement until at least April 15. The move came after Peterson pleaded no contest to recklessly injuring his 4-year-old son last May. He is under contract with the Vikings for next season, and is set to earn $12.75 million.

It's unclear at this point if Jennings has talked to Zygi and Mark Wilf about the Peterson situation. What is clear is that the team is not allowed to communicate with Peterson during his suspension.


Eagles' Maclin believes contract will take care of itself
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin believes he will be back in Philadelphia in next season. His representatives and the Eagles are in the process of negotiating a new contract for the 27-year-old, who will become a free agent in March unless he is re-signed.

"I'm excited about what the future holds," Maclin said on Friday. "Once again, both sides have made it known what we want to do. I think it will take care of itself."

He could be franchise tagged if a deal is not signed. The tag number for wide receivers is yet to be determined.

Maclin had 85 catches in 2014 for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns in Philadelphia.


Bears sign LB DeDe Lattimore to two-year contract extension
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) The Bears have signed linebacker DeDe Lattimore to a two-year contract extension. He appeared in 10 games as a rookie in 2014, recording five special teams tackles.

Jaguars' Khan 'very optimistic' about WR Blackmon being reinstated
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) Jaguars owner Shahid Khan said Friday he is "very optimistic" about wide receiver Justin Blackmon, who missed the 2014 season after being suspended indefinitely for a third violation of the league's substance abuse policy, being reinstated to the NFL.

"I think he's paid his dues and I think he's got his life together," Khan said, per The Florida Times-Union.


NFLPA president Eric Winston: New conduct policy 'violates CBA'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) After the union field a grievance last week against the NFL over changes to the NFL personal conduct policy, Players Association president Eric Winston said Thursday the new policy "violates the CBA in several ways and we're going to be grieving this as far as we can."

NFL owners unanimously approved the changes in December.

"We have an agreement with the league and they have an agreement with us," Winston said, per the Associated Press. "We're going to hold them to that agreement. Many aspects of this policy fall outside of the CBA and we're going to continue fighting it going forward."

Following former Ravens running back Ray Rice's domestic violence case and Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's child abuse case, a more extensive list of prohibited conduct was included in the policy, as well as criteria for paid leave for anyone charged with a violent crime. A suspension of six games without pay for violations involving assault, sexual assault, battery, domestic violence, child abuse and other forms of family violence will be in effect.

"The league's revised conduct policy was the product of a tremendous amount of analysis and work and is based on input from a broad and diverse group of experts within and outside of football, including current players, former players, and the NFL Players Association," the league said in a statement last week.

"We and the public firmly believe that all NFL personnel should be held accountable to a stronger, more effective conduct policy. Clearly, the union does not share that belief."


Eric Decker 'pushing' for Demaryius Thomas to sign with Jets
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas is set to become a free agent in March, unless he agrees to a contract extension or Denver uses the franchise tag on him. If he does become a free agent, former teammate Eric Decker hopes Thomas would consider joining him on the Jets roster.

Decker spent a few days in Arizona this week with Thomas filming a commercial.

“I’ve been pushing for the entire year now,” Decker said in a telephone interview with The New York Post. “It was just another opportunity to talk to him about it. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens. I think it would be tough for Denver to let him go. So whether they franchise-tag him here in the next month or give him a long-term deal, he’s just one of those premier players in this league.

"If he happens to make it to free agency, I would love to sign him because playing alongside him for four years and especially the last two years made it a lot of fun and made it a lot easier. He’s just one of the great players in this league.”

Thomas recorded a career-best 1,619 receiving yards in 2014. It was his third straight season of 1,000-plus receiving yards. He also had at least 10 touchdowns for a third straight season.


 
 
 
Rankings