If you would have told me that seven weeks into the season, teams would be relying on Peyton Hillis, Mike James, Jarrett Boykin, Harry Douglas, and many other backups with glorified playing opportunity, I would have called you crazy. The realization is that the NFL determines the outcome of our fantasy world, and the twists and outcomes are sometimes more surprising than scripted movies.
Welcome to Week 7 of Target Town, and I hope everyone has been avoiding or making up for the plethora of injuries that have been ravaging fantasy teams across the country. Good luck to all of the owners battling these injuries and bye weeks.
Vincent Jackson not only led the NFL in targets in Week 7, he dominated them. VJax finished with a whopping 22 targets, and was able to turn those into 10 receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns. The next closest person was five targets away, and this trend may not slow down any time soon. With Doug Martin out with a torn labrum, and the Buccaneers already playing from behind even when he was healthy, I can easily see VJax getting double-digit targets each and every week. Mike Glennon looks like he has found his new best friend, and it could be a beautiful thing for fantasy owners.
I had Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant ranked one and two in my wide receiver rankings entering the season, and it looks like they might start fulfilling my projections. Many doubted Megatron this week after a gimpy Week 6, but he showed exactly why you should never bench your studs if they’re active. Mega went off for nine catches, 155 yards, and two touchdowns. He caught what looked like a 50-yard hail mary in between three defenders for his second score. Mega is definitely still the overall WR1 and should be treated like so the rest of the way. It looks as if the Cowboys are finally shutting down Miles Austin, and it is about time. I really like the emergence of Terrance Williams, but he isn’t going to do anything but help the potential of Dez. DeMarco Murray is still battling his ligament sprain, so look for the Cowboys to lean on the passing game and for Tony Romo to continue to target Dez early and often.
The only trouble Wes Welker and Eric Decker have been causing is for opponents playing against them this season. The Broncos receiving corps is one of the most consistent groups in fantasy football history so far this season, and Peyton Manning isn’t letting this fade away any time soon. Welker has been a touchdown machine this season, but it was Decker who was able to put up the monster 150 yard game with the addition of finding pay dirt. Between the quadruple-headed monster catching passes in Denver, there is going to be a lot of rotating between top targets each and every week. I’d be starting my Broncos asset(s) without hesitation and just be grateful I have a piece of the pie.
Kendall Wright was a guy I praised heavily during the offseason, and I expected him to have a breakout season after consistent production during his rookie tenure. Unfortunately the Titans haven’t quite found their identity, and the loss of Jake Locker for multiple weeks impeded their progression. I assumed that Kenny Britt wouldn’t be in Tennessee too much longer, and it was no surprise to basically see them put him on the shelf. Locker is finally healthy again, and it looks like Wright is finally the top target I expected him to be. I wouldn’t expect an abundance of touchdowns, but Wright could see consistent 10-plus targets each and every week. I would be happy to have this guy stashed as my WR4/5.
No offense to Jason Avant, but I’m basically disregarding his 12 targets this past weekend. Nick Foles shouldn’t see the field again for the Eagles this season, and Matt Barkley won’t be starting any time soon either. Once Michael Vick is back this week, DeSean Jackson should resume his role as the top target in Philadelphia. Don’t look into this too much, because the Eagles were an absolute mess on Sunday. He only turned his 12 targets into three catches as well.
Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon are going to go back and forth as Top 10 target receivers this season, and you may even see them both listed during some weeks. The Jaguars offense doesn’t look to be getting any better, and Chad Henne is forced to throw the ball at a ridiculous pace. Shorts was this weeks winner due to the fact Blackmon had went straight beast mode the past two weeks. Blackmon is going to attract a lot of attention if he continues playing like he has since his return from the suspension, and this should hopefully benefit Shorts. I wouldn’t count on him for many touchdowns on such an erratic offense, but he will garner targets that will turn into catches and yards every single week.
The long awaited suspense is finally over, and Rob Gronkowski didn’t disappoint in his season debut on Sunday. Gronk nearly doubled any other tight ends targets for the week, and he was rumored to be on limited snaps before the game. His eight receptions for 114 yards is just beastly if you consider that he will only get better as time progresses. Just imagine that type of stat line once he starts getting back in the end zone. He may catch up to Jimmy Graham much faster than anyone expects. If you stashed this monster on your bench you are commended with a round of applause.
Jordan Reed has quickly emerged as the next coming of Aaron Hernandez. It is quite ironic that Reed happens to come from the University of Florida, where he also played tight end. I had a lot of praise and belief in Reeds talent before the NFL Draft, and it is great to see him getting an opportunity so quickly. He has quickly become the second favorite target of Robert Griffin III, and the rapport should only get better. Reed has the versatility to lineup inside or on the outside, and is a mismatch nightmare for opposing linebackers and smaller corners. Get this guy on your rosters immediately if you haven’t already done so.
Jordan Cameron and Vernon Davis have found themselves on this list numerous times this season. Cameron has had the unfortunate luck of having to receive passes from Brandon Weeden, and attempt to flourish within the ineptitude of the Browns offense. The positive is that he continues to garner targets from whatever quarterback is under center, and hopefully he continues to be relied upon. Vernon has been great this season; when Colin Kaepernick and the offensive game plan decide to involve him. It is difficult to see the monstrous outburst of fantasy points followed up by a mediocre game, but that is the story of Vernon Davis. We almost have no choice but to keep him in our lineups and hope for the stellar performances.
I am not going to be buying into Kyle Rudolph any time soon. It was hard enough to even watch Adrian Peterson on Monday Night, let alone trust an inconsistent tight end on one of the most excruciating teams to watch in the entire NFL. Josh Freeman looked absolutely miserable, and you can’t trust the Vikings passing game one bit at this point in the season. I suggest you look elsewhere for tight end help.