(Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire)
This week in “On Target,” I decided to split things up between running back, wide receiver, and tight end. We can look at each position and see who stood out, as well as who disappeared. We will examine some of the crazy numbers (I’m looking at you Saquon Barkley) and see if they are sustainable. We will also look at some of the down weeks and try to figure out if we should worry. With 2 weeks in the book, hopefully we can start to figure out who we should be going after and who can be ignored.
|Player||Week 2 Targets||Week 2 Catches||Yards|
Looking at the running backs, the top of the list is no surprise. We see Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, Chris Thompson, and Theo Riddick leading the way. Each had at least 12 targets (crazy) and each was a strong start in PPR–regardless of what they did rushing the ball. I feel very confident in the continued workload for the first 3, though I realize Chris Thompson has some injury risk. I’m less convinced about Theo Riddick maintaining as we also see Kerryon Johnson with 6 targets of his own. If we factor in the under-performing Lions passing game and two capable running backs both catching passes, who knows how long Theo Riddick keeps the lead. James White is next on the list with 8 targets, and I love him in PPR. The Patriots are still wide receiver starved, and White has proven reliable out of the backfield, even against the mighty Jaguars defense.
Moving down the list, I am interested in discussing Javorius Allen, Giovani Bernard and Corey Clement. Each of these players has the potential for more work moving forward, and each could be out there on waivers right now. First, let’s look at Javorius Allen. He is part of the Ravens two-headed monster, along with Alex Collins. For whatever reason, the Ravens aren’t sold on Collins as their lead dog. As a result, Allen had 7 targets in week 2 and has 13 on the year. Meanwhile, Collins only has 5 targets so far. If the Ravens sour further on Collins, I would be very high on Allen. For Giovani Bernard, the value is already here. Joe Mixon is out for 2-4 weeks, and Bernard will be the lead dog in the interim. Feel confident starting him as the Bengals have proven confident in him. Finally, we look at Corey Clement. Clement already has some PPR value, and could have more if anything happens to Jay Ajayi. As it is, there is a good chance Ajayi sits week 3 to recover. I would be happy to invest in all 3 now if you are RB needy.
|Player||Week 2 Targets||Week 2 Catches||Week 2 Yards|
At wide receiver, we again see mostly usual suspects at the top. Juju Smith-Schuster and Antonio Brown were peppered with targets thanks to a back and forth Chiefs-Steelers game. Mitch Trubisky was most comfortable with Allen Robinson, and this led to 14 targets for him. Then, we see the twin Vikings weapons–Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen–with 13 targets each. Jumping down to the first “non-stud” names, we see Nelson Agholor and Quincy Enunwa with 12 and 11 targets. Both are the favorites in their respective offenses, and both can safely be started right now. Agholor benefits from Alshon Jeffery still being out as well as the return of Carson Wentz. Quincy Enunwa has proven to be the favorite weapon for the Jets while Robby Anderson has hardly made a peep (4 catches in 2 games). I’d be happy to roll with Enunwa in my lineup in PPR.
Other names worth mentioning are John Brown, Amari Cooper, Will Fuller, and Kenny Golladay. John Brown seems to be the favorite in Baltimore, and he has the potential to break games open with one catch. Amari Cooper bounced back to see 10 targets, catching all 10 of them. I am still worried about the workload though–if we factor in Cooper’s career catch rate, his 10 targets would have been 5-6 catches. That’s not good for a guy who was supposed to be “the guy”. Will Fuller saw a bunch of volume in his first week playing, and this is promising. Fuller often went deep last year, and his production was historically unsustainable. It is nice to see a more balanced workload. Finally, we look at Kenny Golladay. Golladay has 21 targets on the young season, making him second only to Golden Tate. What’s interesting is how he seems more reliable, at least for now, than Marvin Jones. If you own Jones, I would consider a hedge by grabbing Golladay. If the Lions passing offense could bounce back, I would love the upside of Golladay. I am still rostering him due to what he’s already shown, and I think he makes for a great flex option.
|Player||Week 2 Targets||Week 2 Catches||Week 2 Yards|
|Ricky Seals Jones||6||4||17|
We finish up our week 2 target review with the tight end position. Once again, we see some familiar names at the top with Zach Ertz, Travis Kelce, Jimmy Graham, Kyle Rudolph, and Jordan Reed. Each had 8+ looks, and each can safely be started on a weekly basis this year. After the top, we see a mix of familiar names, and random one-offs who popped up this week. This is a great reminder of just how thin the tight end position is. I don’t trust Joshua Perkins because of Dallas Goedert waiting in the wings. Jake Butt has only showed up for one week, so I’m waiting to see if this repeats. Ricky Seals-Jones is a bit more interesting to me. He has seen 6 targets each of the last 2 weeks, and now Larry Fitzgerald is fighting injury. If Fitzgerald misses time, I think there is a chance Seals-Jones becomes a target hog moving forward. Jesse James is another name to watch, and probably add if you need a tight end. He has 5 targets in each of the last two games, and he looks like a safe bet. It doesn’t hurt that the Steelers have been throwing a lot and they are not desperate–heading into week 3 without a win on the season. Finishing up, let’s talk about Will Dissly. Dissly has seen 5 targets in each of his two games, as well as catching a touchdown in each game. This is valuable on an undermanned Seahawks offense without Doug Baldwin. Dissly is a safe start for now, though I want to see one more week of action as proof.