NFL Playoffs: Saturday Fantasy Football Target Breakdown January 4, 2013  |  Chet

Welcome to Wildcard Weekend! Today we have the Bengals vs. the Texans and the Vikings vs. the Packers.  Let’s take a look at their targets for the season and then think about them a little bit and then talk about them using our inside the head voices.

Here are our Wild Card Rankings and you should join our The Fake Football Playoff League so you can win stuff for FREE. That’s right, no money down, no money ever, no money, no money, NO MONEY!


Cincinnati Bengals

A.J. Green: 9-13-8-10-18-2 (165), Jermaine Gresham: 4-6-7-9-4-1 (95), Andrew Hawkins: dnp-8-8-1-7-3 (80), Marvin Jones: 2-3-4-4-7-8 (32), BenJarvus Green-Ellis: 1-5-4-0-1-0 (30), Mohamed Sanu: 9-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp (25), Brandon Tate: 1-0-0-0-1-5 (24), Brian Leonard: 0-1-0-2-0-2 (15), Ryan Whalen: 0-1-0-0-2-1 (12), Orson Charles: 2-0-1-0-0-1 (10), Cedric Peerman: 0-0-dnp-dnp-0-0 (9), Chris Pressley: 0-0-1-0-dnp-dnp (3), John Conner: dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-0-1 (2), Daniel Herron: dnp-dnp-0-0-dnp-1 (1)

Red Zone Targets:

A.J. Green: (24), Andrew Hawkins: (13), Jermaine Gresham: (13), Mohamed Sanu: (7), Armon Binns: (6), Marvin Jones: (4), BenJarvus Green-Ellis: (3), Brian Leonard: (2), Cedric Peerman: (1), Daniel Herron: (1), Orson Charles: (1), Chris Pressley: (1), Brandon Tate: (1)

Andy Dalton relied heavily on A.J. Green early in the season, but as teams focused on stopping him we saw more distribution and a slump in Green’s numbers. But his slump was in relation to a huge start, so if you put it in perspective, he was just a little less awesome. He finished the season with 24 red zone targets, which was just one under the leader for the season, Eric Decker. Green will face off against the Texans pass defense, which has seen a huge decrease in ability/numbers this season. In the second half of the season they have given up 187 yards a game to opposing wide receivers.

The other receivers on the team have seen a varied and unsteady (are those the same thing?) number of targets. Jermaine Gresham, Andrew Hawkins and Marvin Jones are the guys not named Green who will see the targets, but deciphering the production is difficult. But the way Houston has been playing, there is a decent chance one or two of them will put up decent numbers, especially since I believe the Texans will shut down the Bengals running game.  I think this will be the best game of the two today.


Houston Texans

Andre Johnson: 15-7-10-13-10-17 (162), Owen Daniels: 8-10-3-7-7-4 (104), Kevin Walter: 6-5-3-2-3-5 (69), Arian Foster: 5-5-6-2-3-3 (58), James Casey: 5-3-1-1-1-3 (45), Garrett Graham: 5-1-dnp-2-2-1 (39), Keshawn Martin: 3-2-3-0-0-0 (28), DeVier Posey: dnp-0-2-3-6-2 (14), Lestar Jean: 0-1-5-1-0-1 (12), Ben Tate: dnp-0-1-0-1-0 (11), Justin Forsett: 1-0-1-0-0-0 (5), Jonathan Grimes: 0-0-0-dnp-dnp-dnp (2)

Red Zone Targets:

Owen Daniels: (12), Arian Foster: (9), Keshawn Martin: (8), Andre Johnson: (7), Garrett Graham: (6), James Casey: (5), Kevin Walter: (3), Justin Forsett: (1), DeVier Posey: (1)

Andre Johnson put together a big year, his biggest year actually, at least in yardage. But for some reason a 6′ 3″, 230 pound lean wide receiver machine was fourth in red zone targets. Not fourth in the league as you would hope, but fourth on his own friggin team! No wonder he finished with only four touchdowns.

Owen Daniels started off strong this season, but some nagging injuries have dampened his production of late. He’ll need a touchdown to have fantasy worth, while Johnson can go for 10 receptions for 150 yards. After Johnson there really is nobody worth a sneaky start.

Arian Foster has been staying fantasy relevant by scoring touchdowns and that’s what he’ll need to do in this game as well. The Bengals have only allowed one 100+ yard rusher this season and Foster has had trouble over the last four weeks with defenses not from Indianapolis.


Minnesota Vikings

Kyle Rudolph: 9-8-2-4-6-6 (93), Percy Harvin: dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp (85), Michael Jenkins: 4-3-5-2-3-5 (72), Jerome Simpson: 5-7-1-6-5-6 (52), Adrian Peterson: 7-2-2-0-2-2 (51), Jarius Wright: 10-1-4-2-9-5 (36), Toby Gerhart: 0-1-1-3-2-2 (27), Devin Aromashodu: 3-1-1-0-1-0 (22), John Carlson: 2-0-0-3-2-0 (14), Stephen Burton: 1-1-0-4-dnp-dnp (11), Rhett Ellison: 1-0-1-0-0-1 (9), Jerome Felton: 0-1-0-0-0-1 (4), Allen Reisner: dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp (2), Matt Asiata: 0-0-0-0-0-0 (1)

Red Zone Targets:

Kyle Rudolph: (17), Percy Harvin: (13), Michael Jenkins: (12), Adrian Peterson: (7), Stephen Burton: (5), Toby Gerhart: (5), Jarius Wright: (5), Devin Aromashodu: (3), Rhett Ellison: (2), John Carlson: (2), Allen Reisner: (1), Matt Asiata: (1), Jerome Simpson: (1)

The Vikings passing game has been crapworthy at best this season. There have been signs of hope over the last two weeks, but Adrian Peterson is still the motor and the body and most of the working parts of the Vikings. I think Christian Ponder may be the Johnson Rod. After Percy Harvin went down there really wasn’t anyone to pick up the slack. You would think Kyle Rudolph would have seen a huge uptick in targets, but like most tight ends this season his work was spotty. The good news with him is he sees a goodly amount of targets in the red zone. There is always a decent chance he will catch a touchdown, but his yards will be smallish.

If I’m taking a risk on any non Peterson or Rudolph, it would be on Jarius Wright. His upside is still much higher than his actual production has been, but I rather bet on him than Jenkins or Simpson.

Adrian Peterson has rushed for 409 yards and two touchdowns, along with a receiving touchdown against the Packers this season. That’s just nuts. To think that one running back could rush for 500-600 yards against one team in a season is also nuts, but Peterson will get his. I just don’t think it will be enough this time around. If you are in a league who only allows you to use a player once, I’d use Peterson today.


Green Bay Packers

Randall Cobb: 7-6-7-8-5-dnp (104), James Jones: 0-2-5-7-10-7 (98), Jermichael Finley: 5-7-3-6-8-9 (86), Jordy Nelson: 4-1-dnp-dnp-dnp-5 (73), Greg Jennings: dnp-8-4-7-9-12 (62), Alex Green: 4-1-2-5-dnp-dnp (30), John Kuhn: 3-4-1-0-1-0 (18), Cedric Benson: dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp (15), D.J. Williams: 1-0-0-dnp-3-2 (14), Donald Driver: 0-dnp-0-dnp-1-dnp (13), Tom Crabtree: 0-2-1-0-dnp-0 (11), James Starks: 1-2-dnp-dnp-dnp-dnp (6), Jarrett Boykin: 0-1-1-0-0-1 (6), Ryan Grant: dnp-dnp-0-0-2-0 (2), DuJuan Harris: dnp-dnp-0-0-0-2 (2), Ryan Taylor: 0-0-0-0-1-0 (1)

Red Zone Targets:

James Jones: (20), Jordy Nelson: (12), Jermichael Finley: (11), Greg Jennings: (10), Randall Cobb: (8), Alex Green: (6), Donald Driver: (3), Cedric Benson: (2), Tom Crabtree: (1), John Kuhn: (1)

The Packers have all their receivers back for the first time since week one. That is great news for Aaron Rodgers, but makes it tough to decipher who will get the ball on a team where it was already tough to figure that out. The good news is that Randall Cobb pushed himself in practice Thursday and it looks like he is ready to go. Cobb has been the main target this season, which has a lot to do with the injury issues around him, but also with Rodgers’ comfort level with him. I’m still betting on him seeing a nice amount of targets.

Jordy Nelson looks like he can be trusted sorda kinda now. Greg Jennings is finally back fully. Jermichael Finley has been playing better than he has all season and James Jones leads the team in red zone targets. The good news is that the Vikings are probably the worst pass defense in this wild card round and Rodgers should be able to put up similar numbers to those he had last week against the Vikings. He can give most of his receivers good to great fantasy numbers, so play them at will. Well, maybe not James Jones who should get the short end of the playing time stick with everyone back, but you know he’ll find a way to score 5 touchdowns.

The running back job was DeJuan Harris’ last week and he played well. The Green Bay running backs always have trouble scoring touchdowns, but Harris has looked good enough and has been getting enough playing time to be a decent start in playoff leagues.


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