2011 Fantasy Football RB Targets Stats
The target statistic is far more significant for the wide receiver position. When it comes to deciding where to draft a running back, targets take a back seat to carries. Yet, when you have two or three guys ranked evenly, those extra points from receptions or receiving yards is without a doubt the difference in a close comparison.
Often a young quarterback’s best friend is a sure-handed Tight End to dump passes off to, but a good running back out of the backfield can sometimes be just as good. With the passing game getting more and more attention throughout the NFL, a combination back might be more important in today’s game than the quickly disappearing workhorse back.
Last season there were two guys who dominated the top of the list. Darren Sproles and Ray Rice were targeted twenty more times than Chris Johnson – who was third on the list. With that many targets, the top two were able to add a combined ten touchdowns and 1400 yards to their stats. Rice was obviously a top five pick last year, but Sproles helped himself immensely with his all-around game. Even with the mess that is New Orleans right now, Sproles should get some notice when you are looking for that second runner.
Targets are also a good gauge when trying to decide who to go with in a committee situation. For me, Carolina immediately came to mind. DeAngelo Williams had a few more rushing yards and a couple more touchdowns than running mate Jonathan Stewart, but Stewart was targeted a whopping 36 more times in the passing game. That difference actually gave Stewart more yards from scrimmage for the year, making them much more comparable when it comes to fantasy production.
Many of the usual fantasy suspects were in the top twenty in targets, although Adrian Peterson’s name was nowhere to be found. Obviously he missed the last four games of the season, but “All Day” was targeted just 23 times in twelve games. That was less than backup Toby Gerhart. Historically AP has been a little more involved in the passing game. Peterson has been a consensus top five pick the last few years, but coming off a knee injury along with his lack of involvement in the passing game will move him way down the board in PPR leagues and make him a huge risk player for 2012. Currently Adrian Peterson’s ADP is 11th overall in Mock Drafts.
Targets are by no means a huge ranking factor in standard fantasy leagues, but in PPR leagues the pass-catching RB is very valuable. Darren Sproles is without a doubt a lethal target. He may not get as many carries as most top running backs in the NFL, but as a constant threat in all areas of of the game, Sproles is looking like 2012’s most acceptable “fantasy reach” player. His current ADP is near the top of the 3rd round in a 12 man league, yet with 86 receptions a year ago, nobody would blame you to draft him in the second round.
Written by: Brian Jerzak & Mike Rodriguez