2015 Top Positional Target Report NFC SOUTH 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.
TB 2015 Target Analysis
The data on Tampa Bay from last year shows us their targets are generally average across the board. RB above average, TE below average and WR average. This year with Winston in his 2nd season, I’m predicting an increase across the board (Even with TB being a rush heavy offense) 2016 (RB +) (WR +) and (TE +)
Figure 2 TB 2015 WEEK by WEEK TOP Target Records by Position.
Sims was the main man on passing downs last year and you can expect that to remain the same this year. Doug Martin still got his targets evidence by the 44 he received last year, but Sims is the Bucs 3rd down back and should see a lot of work this season.
Seferian-Jenkins lead the TE’s with 39 targets last year and was on many experts boards as a sleeper for 2016. Not so fast – I’m expecting Brate to be the lead dog in Tampa this year and take over the starting job. He’s already looked much better than Seferian-Jenkins in practice and preseason. You can bet that will role over into the regular season.
This is Mike Evans year to really break out. 148 targets last year was great and he should hover around the same this year. It’s Vincent Jackson who will see the increase this season.
ATL 2015 Target Analysis
Looking at the Atlanta Falcons from last season and we can see RB’s above average, TE’s lowest and WR’s above average. This year I’m expecting more of the same. 2016 ( RB 0) (WR 0) and (TE 0)
Figure 3 ATL 2015 WEEK by WEEK TOP Target Records by Position.
Freeman absolutely dominated early in the season last year with 97 targets! He should still be in for a heavy workload in 2016, but Coleman should compete for some of those looks.
Jacob Tamme with 80 targets seems like a lot, but who else do the Falcons have to throw to? No one so Tamme will retain this lead by default.
In the WR department the Falcons fed Julio Jones to a tune of 203 targets! I fully expect Julio to be #1 on the team again this year, although a little less than 203. Justin Hardy will have his targets increased and be the Falcons #2 option at WR.
NO 2015 Target Analysis
The Saints last year were the highest for RB targets, average for TE’s and the lowest for WR’s. Prediction for 2016, (RB 0) (TE +) and (WR 0)
Figure 4 NO 2015 WEEK by WEEK TOP Target Records by Position.
I think the combo of Ingram and Spiller are one of the best in the league. 120 targets between the 2 seem like a safe bet.
Exit TE Ben Watson to Baltimore and enter TE Coby Fleener for 2016. Coby is still an unproven player in the league as he never took off while with the Colts. But he brings huge upside to a New Orleans team that loves to target the TE. He should be in for a triple digit target season just like Watson had last year.
Cooks and Snead are the clear cut 1 and 2 of the Saints offense. Brandin Cooks really came on late last season and will be looking to build on that with a strong start this season. I’m predicting Cooks to lead the team and end with over 150 targets in 2016.
CAR 2015 Target Analysis
Carolina had a great year last year making it all the way to the super bowl, losing the the Denver Broncos. Let’s take a look at their target totals. RB lowest, TE highest and WR average. This season with Kelvin Benjamin returning, I see a decrease in TE and an increase in WR targets. 2016 (RB 0) (WR +) and (TE -)
Figure 5 CAR 2015 WEEK by WEEK TOP Target Records by Position.
Fullback Mike Tolbert was the teams leading back in terms of targets, but Carolina doesn’t pass much to their backs. There isn’t much meat here and I’m expecting low numbers again next year. Pick up Carolina’s lead back Jonathan Stewart for his rushing attempts, not his pass game targets.
Last season was a great one for TE Greg Olsen as he was targeted 124 times. I still expect him to be a stud this year, but he’ll take a slight hit with the return of WR Kelvin Benjamin.
This is the area where things will be shaken up in 2016. I can’t see Ted Ginn repeating on his 97 targets from last year. Kelvin Benjamin returns and will be the teams #1 WR. Benjamin 108 targets and Funchess 89.
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