Targets, Touches and TDs: Week 7

Targets, Touches and TDs: Week 7

Statistical Analysis

Targets, Touches and TDs: Week 7

Counting down the significant stats, notable numbers and illuminating integers emerging from the first six weeks of the 2016 season:

75 – Total touches this season for the Packers’ Eddie Lacy, which now is the most among players who have yet to score a touchdown. Of course, the Texans’ Lamar Miller had been atop this list virtually since Week 1 and entered this past weekend with 115 touches and no scores before breaking out in a big way Sunday night with a pair of TDs in Houston’s comeback win over the Colts. But now that leaves the ignominious title to Lacy, who has 71 rushing attempts, four receptions and 388 yards from scrimmage but has yet to find his way into the end zone. And close behind is Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell, who has racked up 68 touches, 440 yards and no TDs in the three games since returning from his season-opening three-game suspension.

33 – Targets so far for Patriots RB James White – a total which trailed only the Bengals’ Giovani Bernard (35) and the Browns’ Duke Johnson Jr. (34) among league backs through games on Sunday. White has caught 25 of those targets – also third among RBs – for 212 yards and a pair of TDs. Both of those scores came in Sunday’s 35-17 home win over the Bengals has he reeled in eight of his nine targets – both team highs – for 47 yards.  White, meanwhile, only has 92 yards on 24 rushes and almost completely has been overshadowed by fellow Pats back LeGarrette Blount (463 total yards, league-high-matching six rushing TDs), but since Week 11 of last season, no NFL running back has caught more passes than White’s 53 for 527 yards and five TDs on 68 targets. And that figures to continue now that the Patriots have their “passing” quarterback, Tom Brady, back under center.

32.6 – Point-per-reception league fantasy points Sunday for Rams wide receiver Kenny Britt, who caught seven of his team-high-matching eight targets for 136 yards and two TDs in the team’s 31-28 loss in Detroit. That PPR total trailed only the break-out 40.2 posted by Odell Beckham Jr. on Sunday. It also was a breakout of sorts for Britt who had totaled at least 67 receiving yards and double-digit PPR fantasy points in four of his first five games this year but had yet to snare a TD pass. Going to back to last season, the underrated Britt now has accumulated at least 10.7 PPR points in eight of his last nine games, establishing him as the No. 1 target on an overlooked offense still renowned as a run-first attack. Britt also been uber-efficient as well as he ranks No. 1 in catch percentage at 75 percent (30 receptions among 40 targets) among the 38 league pass-catchers who had 40 or more targets on the season through play on Sunday.

14 – Straight games, including the 2015 postseason, without a 300-yard passing outing for Aaron Rodgers after his 31-of-42, 294-yard, one-TD, one-interception Sunday afternoon against the Cowboys. And that brings us to our stat of the week: Since Week 11 of last season, NFL QBs have totaled 189 300-yard passing games, but – unbelievably – Aaron Rodgers hasn’t accounted for any of them as his mystifying slump continues. Since the start of the 2015 season, Rodgers only has posted three 300-yard games after totaling 40 over his previous seven seasons – an average of nearly six per year. It’s a big reason why Fantasy Nation woke up Monday and found Rodgers ranked 14th among fantasy QBs with 119 points – trailing the likes of Marcus Mariota (134 points), Andy Dalton (127), Dak Prescott (127), Kirk Cousins (124) and Eli Manning (121). Rodgers is completing only 60.2 percent of his passes – way down from his 65.8 completion percentage from 2008-14 – and with four interceptions and two lost fumbles, Rodgers is on pace for 13 picks and 19 total turnovers. Both would be career highs. In 12-team and deeper leagues, you’re likely still rolling with Rodgers, but he’s certainly fair game for the fantasy bench as his confounding slump has now morphed into an extended slide with no certain end in sight.

10.7 – Standard-scoring fantasy points (47 yards and a TD) wiped out by penalties last Thursday night for Broncos RB C.J. Anderson. That only further amped the angst of Anderson’s fantasy owners as they’ve seen the back finish with seven or fewer fantasy points in three of the last four games after totaling 41 in his first two outings of the season. Anderson also has had 15 or fewer touches in three of the last four games after totaling 24 and 23, respectively, in the first two weeks. Rookie Devontae Booker’s increased usage has been a big reason why as he’s totaled 17 touches and 112 total yards over the last two games to Anderson’s 28 and 133. And being unable to include Anderson’s penalty-negated stats, Booker easily was the more efficient back last Thursday. For the time being, Anderson is the lead back in the Mile High City, but it’s now gone from a near-monopoly to a 60-40 timeshare over the last month.

3 – Straight games with a scoring reception for Chargers tight end Hunter Henry. The rookie second-round pick out of Arkansas is coming off a career game, catching six-of-eight targets for 83 yards and a TD in Thursday’s 21-13 win over the visiting Broncos, and don’t look now, but he ranks third among all tight ends with 49 points (310 yards and three TDs on 19 receptions). Only Greg Olsen (73 fantasy points) and Martellus Bennett (61) have done better. Also, only Bennett, with four, has more receiving TDs than Henry among tight ends through Sunday. Henry is on pace to finish the season with 130.7 fantasy points – a total which would not only break Rob Gronkowski’s 2011 rookie-tight end standard of 113.7, but it also would be only the third 100-point-plus season for a rookie tight end in the last 20 years. The Saints’ Cam Cleeland – how could you forget? – with 103.4 fantasy points in 1998 has been the only other. Future Hall-of-Famer/36-year-old Antonio Gates also has played in the Chargers’ last two games, but it’s been the rook who’s been the Bolts’ best tight end of late. And speaking of Gates, he finished his rookie season of 2003 with 24 catches, 389 yards and two TDs for 49.9 fantasy points in 15 games. Through six games this year, Hunter already is at 49.1.

0 – Touchdown receptions so far for Patriots wideout Julian Edelman, who has totaled a modest 261 yards on 28 receptions and 44 targets. Both of the latter figures currently are pacing the Patriots, but his yardage total ranks fourth among New England pass-catchers as he trails Bennett (362), Gronkowski (282) and even fellow wideout Chris Hogan (275). Edelman started the season strong with Jimmy Garoppolo throwing passes, catching 14-of-17 targets for 142 yards in his first two games, but he’s only tacked on an additional 14 receptions and 119 yards over his last four outings – the last two of which Brady has been at the helm. And of the 33 wide receivers in the league with 40 or more targets through Sunday, Edelman and the Bears’ Alshon Jeffery (44 targets apiece) were the only two without a TD grab. Now, hey, we’re all well versed the unpredictable, shifting nature of the Patriots’ offensive game plans – meaning Edelman could come out and post a 10-120-3 stat line this coming Sunday in Pittsburgh – but his current TD-less run is frustrating for his fantasy owners, especially coming off his 2015 season in which he had a career-most seven scoring grabs.

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