Week 9: Snaps and Targets
Wilson posted modest numbers in a Week 8 win over the Rams: 139 passing yards and 16 rushing yards. But that was due in part to Seattle using just 44 plays, a low total unlikely to be repeated. It was the second-fewest plays used by a team all season. Adjust Wilson's yardage to the Seahawks' season average of 64 plays per game, 203 passing yards and 23 rushing yards — not to mention, two passing touchdowns turned into three — and Wilson's performance doesn't seem as worrisome.
Douglas, who averaged fewer than six targets per week prior, led the NFL with 18 targets in Week 8. He turned those into an impressive 12 catches for 121 yards. But considering Matt Ryan threw an unsustainably high 61 passes in Week 8, Douglas didn't perform much better than Week 7. In Week 8, Ryan targeted Douglas on 30 percent of his passes, just up from 27 percent the week before. A second straight high-target week solidifies Douglas as a quality fantasy option, but in context, it doesn't increase his upside.
Stills followed a three-catch, 64-yard, one-touchdown performance with even better numbers in Week 8: three catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns. But Stills, like all New Orleans skill-position players, can't be trusted week to week, because Drew Brees spreads the ball around so well. In Week 8, seven Saints had three or four targets, including Stills. Only Marques Colston, who turned six targets into just three receptions for 18 yards, had more. New Orleans' leading receiver, Darren Sproles with four catches, had zero yards. This offense doesn't produce reliable fantasy options other than Brees – no matter how good Stills looks right now.
McCluster led the Chiefs last week in targets (10), catches (seven), receiving yards (67) and touchdowns (one). Yet, he remains just an OK fantasy option for the same reason his fantasy potential is high. McCluster doesn't get on the field as much as other receivers of his caliber. McCluster played on just 55 percent of Kansas City's snaps last week, actually a percentage point lower than his season average. Maybe at 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds, McCluster has reached his limit for snaps. But if he can find his way onto the field more, he'd be that much more valuable.
Nelson had 12 targets last week, the most by a Jet this season. He turned those into his second straight 80-yard game. Signed mid-season, Nelson might have just needed a little time to adjust. Until Santonio Holmes returns, Nelson is an intriguing option.