Chasing the Targets: Week Nine

Bobby Koch

You guys will never believe what happened the other night. I was sitting around with all the Christmas lights I put up in my apartment because nothing says normal like putting up Christmas lights out of season. Anyway, the lights started going crazy and spelled out “C.H.A.S.E. T.H.E. T.A.R.G.E.T.S”. If there is anything I’ve learned from television when your wall starts giving you advice you better heed it.

Let’s look at some of the stranger things that happened in the NFL this past week.

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Leonte Carroo, WR MIA

Age: 23

Targets: 8

Target change from previous week: +7

Snap Share: 75.8%

Snap Share change from the previous week: +7.3%

It’s not surprising that Leonte Carroo’s name rhymes with Boo. Just like the famous Mario ghost, his performance on Thursday Night Football snuck up on us. In fact, it seemed like he and Jarvis Landry must have wished to be each other because he put up a very Landry-like line.

Don’t rely on this to keep up for much longer. Just like the mom and daughter in Freaky Friday, they will switch back sooner rather than later. DeVante Parker will be back next week, which means it’ll be exceedingly difficult for Carroo to see the field going forward. Plus, the idea that Matt Moore could make four receivers fantasy relevant is a scary proposition.

Does that mean you should flat out ignore Carroo? Not so fast. Landry is a free agent next season and the team has shown no indication that they intend to re-sign him. Carroo could be the future slot man for the Dolphins.

Verdict: Pick up off waivers if you’re a rebuilding team

DeAndre Washington, RB OAK

Age: 24

Targets: 10

Target change from previous week: +6

Snap Share: 49.2%

Snap Share change from the previous week: +18.7%

Both DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard saw increased snaps because of the suspension for Marshawn Lynch.  This week saw Washington both out snap and out target Jalen Richard. It’s hard to say which of these guys you want to own as the “future of the backfield”, but my money is on Washington.

It doesn’t hurt that for the second week in a row Washington managed to score a touchdown. In fact, on the week in .5 PPR formats, Washington was the RB7. The week prior he was the RB14. Marshawn Lynch’s best finish to date has been RB16 back in week five.

For Lynch owners, this may be a true nightmare on narrative street. If the suspension opens more touches for Washington, it could mean even more limited looks for Lynch. He’s not seeing enough volume as is to sustain his value in dynasty formats.

Verdict: Offer a 2018 third in case he ends up the lead back in the future

Zay Jones, WR BUF

Age: 22

Targets: 5

Target change from the previous week: -4

Snap Share: 79.7%

Snap Share change from the previous week: -1.2

It was a dark and stormy night. The mists crept out over the football field. It made no difference to Zay Jones. He couldn’t catch regardless. Fantasy owners who spent a high draft pick on him would never recoup their value. Suddenly, a disenfranchised voice said, “trust the process”.

The scene I just painted is truly haunting. You may notice that I’m writing about Jones, even though he’s actually losing targets and snap share. So why? Well, he had his best game of the season. That’s right folks. He caught three of five targets for 32 yards! If those numbers don’t have you under his spell, nothing will.

I know people are giving up on him, but let’s not forget that in his last season in college he had 158 receptions and 1,746 yards. Additionally, Jordan Matthews is a free agent next season, leaving Jones as the primary slot option for the Bills. Be patient here (even though this may be the scariest phrase you can utter to a dynasty owner).

Verdict: Buy for a late second

Marlon Mack, RB IND

Age: 21

Targets: 5

Target change from previous week: -1

Snap Share: 52.7%

Snap Share change from the previous week: +4.9%

The fantasy Frankenstein that is Frank Gore just never seems to stop. However, there may be a new “monster” in town. That’s right. Marlon Mack has out-targeted Frank Gore the past two weeks. Even more encouraging is that Mack saw a target in the red zone this week, and he converted it for a touchdown. If that isn’t a recipe for seeing more red zone targets, I’m not quite sure what is.

It’s not all good news for Mack owners though. There are reports that Andrew Luck is still experiencing shoulder pain, and may need surgery. I know Mack has played the whole season without Luck, but this offense doesn’t offer as many scoring opportunities without Luck around.

Still, Gore is a free agent next season, and someone has to take over this backfield. Just remember this is the Colts we are talking about. If you aren’t waking up in a night in a cold sweat after having nightmares that they’ll do something dumb with their top draft pick, then you clearly haven’t paid attention the past few years.

Verdict:  Buy for a 2018 second and a third

T.J. Jones, WR DET

Age: 25

Targets: 8

Target change from previous week: -1

Snap Share: 73.2%

Snap Share change from the previous week: +1.6%

This off-season Dracula visited the homes of many unsuspecting fantasy owners. He used his powers of hypnosis to make fantasy owners think Kenny Golladay was the second coming of Calvin Johnson. Don’t get me wrong, I like Kenny Golladay but the fact that he was already being traded for first round picks in the off-season was ridiculous.

This isn’t about him though. This is about T.J. Jones.  You may not be familiar with the sixth-round pick from 2015, and why should you be? His best season to date was his rookie season in which he posted a 10-132 line.

Yet, over the last two weeks, Jones has seen 17 targets which he has managed to turn into 111 yards. Most of those yards came this past week against Pittsburgh when he caught four of eight targets for 88 yards. He also saw a red zone target, but in case you didn’t hear, Matthew Stafford is busy terrorizing his owners by throwing for over 400 yards but refusing to pass for a touchdown. Jones is worth a flier, especially if the Golladay hype train has trouble getting going again this season.

Verdict: Pick up off waivers especially in best ball formats

The end? … No, really that’s all for this week folks. I hope you had a happy and safe Halloween. Feel free to message me on twitter @RekedFantasy with any questions. Until next time!