Targets, Touches & TDs: Week 6

Targets, Touches & TDs: Week 6

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Targets, Touches & TDs: Week 6

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Counting down the fantasy numbers of note entering the sixth week of the NFL season:

354 – Receiving yards this season for Texans’ WR DeAndre Hopkins, which leads all Houston pass-catchers. It’s 34 more than Andre Johnson on three fewer catches (27-24). There still are 11 more games to go, of course, but it could be signaling a changing of the WR guard in Houston. In 10 of his 11 seasons with the franchise, Johnson has led the team’s wideouts in receiving yards, only falling short in 2011 when he played only seven games and still only finished 20 yards (512-492) behind Jacoby Jones.

155 – Targets for Bucs’ wide receiver Vincent Jackson in the 16 games he has played with second-year quarterback Mike Glennon over the last two seasons. Jackson was targeted a game-high 12 times Sunday and had eight catches for 144 yards in the 37-31 overtime loss to the Saints. Overall, Jackson has accounted for 31.2 percent of Glennon’s 497 career targets, 25 percent (76) of his 304 completions, 35.1 percent (1,150) of his 3,280 passing yards and 37.5 percent (9) of his 24 touchdown passes. A distant second on that list in all four categories is current Patriots tight end Timothy Wright who caught 53 of his 74 targets for 565 yards and five scores from Glennon a season ago.

134– Combined targets this season for WRs T.Y. Hilton (50), Emmanuel Sanders (42) and the Texans’ Johnson (42) who have caught 90 total passes for 1,136 yards and, yet, no TDs, making them much more valuable in PPR leagues than standard-scoring formats. In all, 17 players have at least 40 targets and 25 receptions this season, and only this WR trio has yet to find the end zone.

74.6 – Reception percentage for Broncos’ TE Julius Thomas since the start of the 2013 season. Thomas has caught 85 of the 114 passes thrown his way, including 20 of 24 this season (83.3 percent), to leads all TEs and WRs who have been targeted at least 100 times during that 21-game span. Thomas is also tied with the Saints’ Jimmy Graham for the most TD catches (19) over that same time frame.

23 – Team-high RB touches in Week 5 for the Browns’ Ben Tate, who rushed for 123 yards on 22 carries and caught a pass for minus-2 yards in the team’s come-from-behind 29-28 win over the host Titans. True to coach Mike Pettine’s word, Tate came back from an injury absence, started the game and dominated the backfield touches and snaps (50), with rookies Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell combining for 13 of the former and 28 of the latter Sunday. Tate had been out since injuring his knee in Week 1 but looks to be the Browns’ starter going forward – provided, of course, he can avoid another health setback.

17.2 – Yards per career offensive touch for Falcons’ RB Antone Smith, who had four for 85 Sunday, thanks to a 74-yard scoring reception in the third quarter of the team’s 30-20 loss to the Giants. Smith, a 2009 undrafted free agent out of Florida State, is in his fifth season as a backup RB with the Falcons and has gained an eye-popping 429 yards and scored six TDs – 17-263-4 rushing and 8-166-2 receiving – on 25 touches, including 277 yards and four scores on 11 rushes and six receptions this season. All six of his scoring plays have covered at least 38 yards, including runs of 38 and 48 and receptions of 54 and 74 this season.  Smith, though, has never had more than four touches in any one game – hitting that “high” twice this season – but Atlanta coach Mike Smith may be finally coming around on the 5-foot-9, 190-pound back, saying Monday that the RB’s big-play ability has earned him more touches going forward.

5 – Players since 1960 who have finished a game with at least 200 passing yards, 100 rushing yards and an aerial and ground TD. The latest addition, of course, is the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson who threw for 201 yards and two scores and rushed for a Monday Night Football QB-record 122 yards and another score to lead the defending champs to a 27-17 Week 5 win in Washington. The four others to accomplish this feat are Cam Newton (2012), Michael Vick (2010), Donovan McNabb (2002) and Randall Cunningham (1990). Wilson now leads all QBs in 2014 with 209 rushing yards despite playing in one fewer game than the rest of the top five.

1 – Rank in ease of fantasy QB schedule played so far by the Chargers’ Philip Rivers who, not surprisingly ranks fourth among quarterbacks with 124 total fantasy points through Week 5. According to the strength-of-schedule rankings following Sunday’s action, Rivers has faced three (Jets, Cardinals, Jaguars) of the four defenses surrendering the most fantasy points to opposing QBs and two others (the 17th-place Bills and 12th-place Seahawks) also ranked among the league’s top 17. That itinerary, however, figures to get significantly more strenuous with Rivers and Bolts facing what computes to be the third-toughest fantasy QB schedule over the remainder of the season. Over his last 11 games, Rivers will face five opponents (the Patriots, Ravens, 49ers and Raiders, twice) ranking among the top-eight toughest fantasy QB defenses, six ranked in the league’s middle 16 and none among the eight easiest to throw against.

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