Target Practice: Week 12

By Adam Reid (@TheReidOption)

Welcome to Week 12!  This week I continue my analysis of which wide receivers are making the most of their chances in the passing game.  By using ProFootballFocus’ Points-Per-Opportunity (PPO) metric and my own Points-Per-Target (PPT) metric, I will highlight the best and the worst of four wide receiver tier groupings. For reference, PPO,= Fantasy Points / (Receptions + Routes Run), while PPT = Fantasy Points / Targets.  The goal of this analysis is to highlight players who may be over or under performing in their current standing.  I’ll be using Boris Chen’s Week 12 Wide Receiver ECR Tier Analysis to create four wide receiver analysis groupings.


Week 12 – Tier 1:

Target Practice Week 12 Table1

Calvin Johnson (0.46 PPO, 1.69 PPT) is pulling away from the pack, and for an unprecedented 3rd straight year has been the most dominant wide receiver in football.  Truthfully, he belongs in a tier all to himself.  If you drafted Megatron in the late first/early second round this past August and avoided the minefield of RB busts, go ahead and give yourself a solid pat on the back.  Johnson is the picture of reliable elite-level fantasy production week after week, and is winning leagues for his owners because of it.  Demaryius Thomas (0.35 PPO, 1.65 PPT), Brandon Marshall (0.35 PPO, 1.31 PPT) and Jordy Nelson (0.34 PPO, 1.68 PPT) round out the best-of-the-best list for Week 12, and continue to put up solid fantasy numbers across the board.  Victor Cruz (0.28 PPO, 1.13 PPT) and (somewhat surprisingly) Vincent Jackson (0.31 PPO, 1.01 PPT) check in as the top-tier players with the lowest PPO & PPT numbers this week, though I expect both players to have very solid weeks against the Cowboys and Lions, respectively.


Week 12 – Tiers 2 & 3:

Target Practice Week 12 Table2

The good news for Wes Welker owners is that he is working through concussion protocols and was back on the practice field Thursday.  All signs point to him suiting up for a huge match-up against his old team, the Patriots, on Sunday.  Wes has slipped into Tier 2 for the first time this season, but still leads this group with a PPO of 0.32 and PPT 1.37; I expect to see him back in Tier 1 shortly.  Antonio Brown (0.31 1.25) has been on fire of late in Standard scoring, averaging over 16 fantasy points per game over the last three games. That said, excited owners need to keep expectations in check this week as Brown is facing off against notoriously stingy Cornerback Joe Haden of the Cleveland Browns.  Other players in this tier making the most of their targets and opportunities include T.Y. Hilton (0.31 PPO, 1.27 PPT) and Josh Gordon (0.29 PPO, 1.35 PPT). On the other hand, while Kendall Wright (0.22 PPO, 0.87 PPT) has been very solid in PPR, he is the lowest hanging fruit among this tier.  Similarly, Marques Colston (0.21 PPO, 1.20 PPT) has been having a decent resurgence of late after a very disappointing start to the season, but will continue to frustrate owners with his swings in production.


Week 12 – Tier 4:

Target Practice Week 12 Table3

Tier 4 starts to get a little dicey, but there are still some solid producers in this grouping.  Leading the way in points-per-opportunity are Anquan Bolidn (0.29 PPO, 1.13 PPT), group TD leader Aaron Dobson (0.27 PPO, 1.12 PPT) and Jarrett Boykin (0.26 PPO, 1.32 PPT) who as been preforming admirably in the Randall Cobb role.  Points-per-target leaders include Keenan Allen (0.25 PPO, 1.43 PPT) and Michael Floyd (0.24 PPO, 1.25 PPT), who is hot off a big performance in Week 11.  The worst of this tier can be summed up as “disappointing 2013 fantasy veterans”, and include: Roddy White (0.09 PPO, 0.71 PPT), Dwayne Bowe (0.15 PPO, 0.88 PPT) and Hakeem Nicks (0.17 PPO, 0.85 PPT) who has yet to record a touchdown in 2013.  Start these guys at your own risk.


Week 12 – Tiers 5 & 6:

Target Practice Week 12 Table4

Going deeper, there are still a few decent options in the lower tiers.  Stand-outs in this grouping include Ruben Randle (0.30 PPO, 1.61 PPT), Rishard Matthews (0.27 PPT, 1.17 PPT) and Terrance Wiliams (0.26 PPO, 1.59 PPT).  All three should make for decent WR3/Flex plays in Week 12.  On the flip side, while Matthews has been coming on of late, it seems Mike Wallace (0.15 PPO, 0.74 PPT) and Brian Hartline (0.18 PPO, 0.92 PPT) continue to regress, and should be avoided in Standard scoring formats at this point.

Keep on the look-out for Friday updates to this article as I continue to track the progress of these players through the season.  As always, stay frosty and best of luck in Week 12!

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