Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers – (19% owned)
Brown is the 23rd most targeted player in the NFL averaging 7.67 per contest. He’s the only player in the top 25 in targets without a touchdown and it only seems a matter of time before QB Ben Roethlisberger tosses him one. Brown is also tending to kickoff and punt returning duties which bodes well for those in leagues that reward return yards. If RB Rashard Mendenhall can improve on his 3.0 yard per carry average, Brown should see an increase in targets, yards, and touchdowns.
Pierre Garcon, Indianapolis Colts – (51% owned)
Watching Sunday night’s game, it appeared that Pierre Garcon cared about the game a lot more than Reggie Wayne. Wayne appears to be comparing Kerry Collins to Peyton Manning after every overthrown ball. When Curtis Painter took over in the 2nd half, Wayne was virtually invisible; however, Painter and Garcon seemed to have instant chemistry. Garcon saw double digit targets for the first time all season. In the 4th quarter, Painter sailed a ball over Garcon’s head that would have been a sure touchdown. If the Colts decide to go with Painter over Collins, Garcon stands to gain the most.
Arian Foster, Houston Texans – (100% owned)
I add Foster here to more so emphasize that this will be the last week for owners to buy low on him. It appears Foster is a go for the time to come. It may still be possible to get Foster from an impatient owner or one that has already “forgotten” what he did last season. WARNING: Don’t pay too much for Foster for two reasons: (1) Foster has been nursing a hamstring injury. Hamstring injuries have been known to linger the entire season. (2) Ben Tate is now in the picture and coach Gary Kubiak is big on both players. A RBBC could be on the scene in Houston.
Mike Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars – (66% owned)
Mike Thomas has seen the 8th most targets on the season. It appears QB Blaine Gabbert is already a huge upgrade over Luke McCown. Gabbert rifled a ball to Thomas in the middle of a monsoon at the end of the second half for Thomas’s first score of the year. It also seems that Gabbert prefers receivers over tight ends, which was eating into Thomas’s targets all of last season. Marcedes Lewis saw just tw balls in Gabbert’s debut.
Todd Heap, Arizona Cardinals – (24% owned)
Heap saw more targets than teammate Jeff King for the first time all season on Sunday. In fact, it was a lot more. Heap saw 10 targets with 6 receptions for 61 yards. Two years ago, Brent Celek saw a breakout season thanks to QB Kevin Kolb’s heavy reliance on the tight end position. It was only one game, but if this trend continues, Heap could be a must own by week 6.