2015 Top Positional Target Report AFC WEST and 2016 Predictions
Figure 1. Summary of 2015 League Team Targets vs Usage By Positions (Color Coded League Rankings)
Legend for the Color Coding in Figures 2 to 5
- Green is the Positions Number 1,
- Orange is the Position’s Number 2,
- Yellow is the Position’s number 3 and
- Blue is the Position’s fourth or greater targeted player.
DEN 2015 Target Analysis
In the 2015 Team Data as shown in Figure 1, DEN was in the top group of teams that targeted their WRs. This allowed DEN to achieve their success. The RB and TE however, were under-used. The RB position was targeted at the league’s lowest levels and their TEs were target at an average target load. A new QB could mean a regression in the WRs and no other changes are predicted in the RBs and TE. 2016 Prediction (RB–), TE(-/0), and WR (+)
Figure 2 DEN 2015 WEEK by WEEK TOP Target Records by Position.
Deeper analysis in the RB position’s top weekly targets reveal a split backfield of C J Andersen and Ronnie Hillman who were both co-top targeted RBs. The Rookie Devante Booker should have an impact but will not be a Hillman’s level. No change is suggested, at least in the early part of the season for DEN. The TE position has turned over but Virgil Green remains and needs to step up. Some TE targeting regression is predicted. The WRs were heavily targeted and it was at 75% of the 16 weeks for Demaryius Thomas and 25% of the weeks was when Emmanuel Sanders was the top of the WR targets. Some regression for Sanders can be predicted.
KC 2015 Target Analysis
KC in 2015 was a strong passing team but they loved their TE. That position was targeted in the top group of the league’s TEs. That was their strong suit in terms of targeting. The RB and WR on average were below the league averages in targeting. No major change is predicted but if Jamal Charles can stay healthy the RB target could move up. 2016 Prediction (RB-/0), TE (++), and WR (-)
Figure 3 KC 2015 WEEK by WEEK TOP Target Records by Position.
In 2015 injury to Charles opened the targeting door to Chris West. Charles was the top in all weeks he played injury free (5/16) while West was top targeted 9/16 weeks. Expect Charles to ride the top target train till it crashes. If he makes it to season’s end, he will have moved the KC team RBs up the food chain. A possible improvement but depends on Charles’ health. The TE position was all Travis Kelce all the time. A continued strong targeting of the KC TEs. The WR position in 2015 was dominated by Jeremy Maclin who was the boss targeted WR for 13/16 weeks. That targeting distribution should remain as the KC game plan.
OAK 2015 Target Analysis
In 2015 the OAK team improved to average at targeting of its RBs and WRs. The TE position targeting was below average but could improve as Clive Walford was coming on and improving. Common expectations are that OAK is am improving team. I remind unimpressed. 2016 predictions (RB 0), (TE -/0), and (WR (0/+)
Figure 4 OAK 2015 WEEK by WEEK TOP Target Records by Position.
The top targeted RB for OAK was Latavius Murray but he was splitting top target weeks with Marcel Reece. Murray was at 10 out of 16 and the fullback Reese was top targeted 6 out of 16 weeks. The ADP of Murray seems to not consider this split that occurred. I will drop him a few slots on the draft board in PPR. The TE position in 2015 under-preformed but Walford was coming on late and took over as the top targeted TE after week 10. Mychal Rivera was the top TE 5 of the first 10 weeks. He should be considered an injury replacement TE only. The OAK team had an average WR group in 2015 in terms of WR targeting numbers. They used a split WR group of Amari Cooper and Micheal Crabtree. Cooper was top target 9 of 16 week while Crabtree took the other 7 weeks as the top WR target. I do not think this changes and the 2 players could be closer than the ADP says. I am drafting Crabtree in my PPR drafts. I expect improvement but not to the elite levels of the league.
SDC 2015 Target Analysis
The SDC team was strong in targeting its RBs and TEs. Danny Woodhead and Antonio Gates are PPR darlings. They are targets for me in PPR drafts especially Gates as a late TE grab. Injury to Kennan Allen hurt this team in 2015. The WRs were targeted at the bottom of the league. Expect an improving WR groups with a healthy Allen and newly acquired Travis Benjamin. Benjamin is a late round target for my drafts! 2016 prediction, RB (++), TE (+) and WR (++). It should be an outstanding year for the SDC team.
Figure 5 SDC 2015 WEEK by WEEK TOP Target Records by Position.
The TOP targeting story for the SDC RBs was Woodhead who was the top target 14 weeks. Melvin Gordon took the prize in the other 2 weeks. Expect more of the same.in PPR draft Woodhead as much as possible. The TE group was dominated as usual by Gates and once he starting playing in week 5 he was the top target 10 weeks. Ladarius Green was the top in the remaining 5 weeks. Green is out and Henry Hunter the rookie is in. Expect Hunter to be the long term replacement as rookie TEs rarely hit 30% of the normal NFL production in their first year. In 2015 Allen was injured and the SDC lost Steve Johnson as a WR this year. In 2015 note the 4 different players sharing the spotlight of the weekly WR top targets. Expect that to change. The WRs of the SDC will be a two WR show with Allen and Benjamin predicted to dominate. Draft both for 2016!