Welcome to Target Practice, where each week we'll keep you updated on some of the outliers in the past weeks target numbers and what they mean going forward.
He Was Targeted How Many Times?
Reggie Wayne, WR, IND - ( 18 TARGETS) The man at the top of this list could only be the Week one target leader (tie) with 18 total targets and a 50 percent conversion rate for nine receptions. It's obvious that Andrew Luck has talent but he's going to struggle this year and any rookie QB needs a safety net. After just one week it's safe to assume that the veteran Reggie Wayne is that safety net. He was being drafted too low all preseason and it's safe to say that he's going to have an impact due to volume of targets. But don't be surprised to see a few weeks where Luck simply doesn't find a rhythm and Wayne struggles as a result.
Darren McFadden, RB, OAK - ( 18 TARGETS ) 13 receptions from the RB position is an impressive feat and obviously it came along with an equally high target total in 18. The Raiders were without Denarius Moore though for their monday night bout with the Chargers, so don't be surprised to see McFadden see a steady decrease in targets in the coming weeks.
Jeremy Maclin / Desean Jackson, WR, PHI - ( 14 and 11 TARGETS) They received 14 and 11 targets respectively. Don't be surprised to see both of them maintain double digit targets on a week-to-week basis, unlike most other WR tandems. Vick has two weapons on offense besides Shady McCoy and he's going to employ them.
Kevin Ogletree, WR, DAL - (11 TARGETS) This is the typical case of a 3rd wide receiver playing from the slot and gobbling up targets when the main WR talent on the team take all the heat off of them. Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten will certainly not spend all season being targeted less than Kevin Ogletree. It's safe to snatch him off of the wire but don't pretend that the week 1 performance is here to stay.
Dexter McCluster, WR, KC - ( 10 TARGETS) McCluster has always been dangerous with the ball in his hands so it isn't a surprise to see the Chiefs trying to turn him into their true slot receiver. It appeared that QB Matt Cassel is building a rapport with McCluster and with Dwayne Bowe pulling the double coverage McCluster could be in line to have a good season. But at the same time be aware that Jamaal Charles could gobble up these targets any given week.
Wait, Did I Read that Right, That's All?
Wes Welker, WR, NE - ( 5 TARGETS) Please everyone stop asking if Welker is being phased out of the offense and losing touches in favor of the two tight end system in New England. They may have added Brandon Lloyd over the offseason and Steven Ridley may actually be talented enough to warrant 20 carry games but this is still Wes Welker we're talking about. When the Patriots finally are in some competitive games and Brady is forced to throw and throw often, Welker will be back up there seeing double digit targets.
Dez Bryant and Miles Austin, WR, DAL - (5 and 4 TARGETS) Respectively they each saw 5 and 4 balls thrown their way, they also each caught four balls. Any time there's a conversion rate like that there's nothing to worry about. Not to mention these are two pro bowl caliber guys, Ogletree was a mirage and these two will be back to double digit or close to it target weeks come Sunday.
Titus Young, WR, TEN - (3 TARGETS) Call it a hunch but I just think this kid has too much talent to see only three balls a game. Nate Burleson did look good as the second receiver next to Megatron but don't be surprised when the Lions throw up over 40 points some weeks and Matt Stafford is finding Titus for touchdowns.
Robert Meachem, WR, SD - (2 TARGETS) This one has nothing to do with Meachem himself and everything to do with the rest of the Chargers personnel in their Week 1 one. They were without some of their offensive line mainstays and were forced to start an undrafted free agent. As a result they employed a strategy to short more often (16 of 24 Rivers' completions). It's long been known that Meachem is a burner and in future weeks with a healthy team he will have the opportunity to catch up to Phillip River's long tosses.
Dustin Keller, WR, NYJ - (1 TARGET) One measly target for what many consider to be a budding premiere tight end. It's well known that Keller has the talent but QB Mark Sanchez has simply never exploited that talent. That wasn't exactly the case in the Jets Week 1 blowout over the Bills as they got out to an early lead and began to run the clock down. In weeks where the Jets need to sweat it out and are looking for more short yardage completions expect to see Keller with more targets. With the way everything was clicking on all cylinders for the Jets passing game on Sunday, Mark Sanchez didn't find himself in need of a security blanket all that much.
Written by Mike Naclerio exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com
Follow Mike on twitter @MikeNaclerio.