Targets and red-zone looks imperative to WR success

Success on the field and in fantasy football is based on opportunities. The more times a player touches the football, the better chance he has to rack up statistics and produce for your fantasy team. In the current NFL, which has evolved into a passing league, it's more important than ever to know which wideouts are seeing the most chances to fill the stats sheets. With that said, here's NFL.com's look at which wideouts saw the greatest number of his team's targets last season, which saw the most opportunities in the red zone, and what fantasy owners can expect in 2011.

Our research is limited to wide receivers with a minimum of 100 targets.

Other categories: Running back carries/red-zone carries | Running back touches | Tight end targets

Percentage of total team targets

1. Roddy White, Falcons (31.0 percent): White, one of the elite wide receivers in fantasy football, saw the highest number of his team's targets last season. He also caught 64.2 percent of the passes thrown in his direction. Although the addition of rookie Julio Jones could affect his target totals, there's no reason to believe White won't to continue to produce huge fantasy totals this season.

2. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals (30.8 percent): Fitzgerald might have seen his fantasy production slide a bit last season, but that had more to do with the quarterbacks in Arizona than a decline in his skills. He caught just 52 percent of the passes thrown to him, but Fitzgerald also had to deal with a lot of poor passes from the trio of Derek Anderson, John Skelton and Max Hall.

3. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs (27.7 percent): The second-highest scoring wideout in fantasy football in 2010, Bowe saw the majority of his team's pass attempts and in turn recorded a career season. Of course, Bowe also caught a mediocre 54.5 percent of the passes thrown in his directions. Although he's now worth a second- or third-round pick, Bowe seems likely to see his totals slide in 2011.

4. Steve Johnson, Bills (27.3 percent): Despite the fact that he's remembered in part for his touchdown drop against the Steelers, Johnson actually hauled in close to 60 percent of the passes thrown in his direction last season. Overall, he was the seventh-most-targeted wideout in the league. Based on his rapport with Ryan Fitzpatrick and a favorable schedule, his success should continue.

T-5. Brandon Lloyd, Broncos (26.3 percent): The fourth-most targeted wideout last year, Lloyd hauled in a little more than 50 percent of the passes thrown in his direction. Unfortunately, his number of opportunities is almost certain to decrease under new coach John Fox. In fact, Lloyd is a prime candidate to disappoint fantasy owners based on his immense of success last season.

T-5. Brandon Marshall, Dolphins (26.3 percent): Although he recorded his worst reception and touchdown totals since his rookie season, Marshall was still one of the most targeted wideouts in the league in 2010. In fact, he saw the fifth-most targets and hauled in close to 60 percent of the pass thrown in his direction. Consider him a high-end No. 2 wideout on draft day.

7. Mike Williams, Buccaneers (25.7 percent): Williams, the top fantasy rookie of 2010, saw a good percentage of Josh Freeman's passes and was in the top 15 among wideouts in total targets. Of course, Williams also caught just 51.1 percent of the passes thrown in his direction. The threat of a sophomore slump looms -- just ask Michael Clayton -- but Williams remains a No. 2 option.

8. Reggie Wayne, Colts (25.6 percent): The second-most-targeted wide receiver in the league last season, Wayne remained a popular option in the pass attack for Peyton Manning. He also caught an impressive 63.7 percent of the passes thrown to him, which is testament to Wayne's hands and Manning's accurate right arm. Although he isn't getting any younger, Wayne is still a nice No. 1 wideout.

9. Santana Moss, Redskins (24.1 percent): Moss is coming off a solid season, recording a career-best 93 receptions for 1,115 yards. Not surprisingly, he was also the sixth-most-targeted wideout in the league and caught a solid 63.6 percent of the passes thrown to him. Whether he can maintain that rate of success is questionable, but Moss will be a high-end No. 3 wideout in drafts.

T-10. Andre Johnson, Texans (24.0 percent): Had he not missed three games because of injury, Johnson would have projected to be the fourth-most-targeted wideout in the league in 2010. He caught more than 62 percent of the passes thrown to him and still finished with 1,216 yards and eight touchdowns. Look for Andre the Giant to be the first wide receiver taken in most 2011 drafts.

Wide receiver 11-20: T-10. Wes Welker, Patriots (24.0 percent); 12. Hakeem Nicks, Giants (23.7 percent); 13. Terrell Owens, Bengals (23.5 percent); 14. Greg Jennings, Packers (23.1 percent); 15. Davone Bess, Dolphins (22.4 percent); 16. Anquan Boldin, Ravens (21.9 percent); T-17. Percy Harvin, Vikings (21.7 percent); T-17. Mike Thomas, Jaguars (21.7 percent); 19. Calvin Johnson, Lions (21.6 percent); 20. Johnny Knox, Bears (21.4 percent).

Total number of red-zone targets

T-1. Danny Amendola, Rams (24 targets): Surprised? It's strange but true -- Amendola was tied for the most red-zone targets among wideouts last season. He scored just three times the entire year, though, so most of his opportunities didn't equate to end-zone success. In fact, he scored on just 12.5 percent of those targets.

T-1. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals (24 targets): It's not a shock to see Fitzgerald rated among the top red-zone wideouts in the league, but it is a surprise to see him score just six times. Of his 24 targets, the veteran scored 20.8 percent of the time. If the Cardinals improve at quarterback, Fitzgerald's touchdowns will rise.

3. Lance Moore, Saints (22 targets): The fact that Moore is in the top three in red-zone targets at his position is a bit of a surprise, but it shows that Drew Brees looks for him when the Saints get deep into opposing territory. Overall, Moore scored on 22.7 percent of his red-zone targets. That's something to remember on draft day.

T-4. Wes Welker, Patriots (21 targets): Despite the fact that he posted his lowest reception and yardage totals since joining the Patriots, Welker was the team's most targeted wideout in the red zone. He cashed in on 28.5 percent of those opportunities. That bodes well for someone who hasn't been a major touchdown threat.

T-4. Roddy White, Falcons (21 targets): Not only did White see the greatest percentage of targets on his team, but he was also tied for the fourth-most red-zone targets. Overall, he scored on 23.8 percent of those targets. White has scored double-digit touchdowns in each of the last two years -- that trend should continue in 2011.

T-6. Marques Colston, Saints (20 targets): Colston recorded 84 catches and seven touchdowns last season, but he still finished out of the top 15 in fantasy points at his position. However, he did score in 25 percent of his red-zone targets. And while he'll continue to see looks, his mounting knee surgeries are a cause for some concern.

T-6. Brandon Lloyd, Broncos (20 targets): Lloyd was highly targeted overall and in the red zone, which was a major part of the reason he scored a career-high 11 touchdowns through the air in 2010. Of his 20 targets, he scored six times. But again, the loss of coach Josh McDaniels and his pass-laden offense will hurt.

T-6. Terrell Owens, Bengals (20 targets): Owens was surprisingly productive considering his age last year, as Carson Palmer looked to him as one of his favorite options inside the opponent's 20-yard line. In fact, he scored on 25 percent of his red-zone targets. What T.O.'s value holds for 2011 won't be known until he signs with a new team.

9. Santana Moss, Redskins (19 targets): Despite the fact that he was one of the 10 more targeted wideouts in the red zone last season, Moss still scored just six times in 2010 (21.0 percent of his red-zone targets). What's more, he's averaged just 4.5 touchdowns in the last four years. That hurts his value across the board.

10. Pierre Garcon, Colts (18 targets): Garcon missed two games due to injury in 2010, so his number of red-zone targets could have been better. Still, the fact that he was 10th in that category proves that Manning looks to him enough in the red zone to improve his stock. He scored on 22.2 percent of those looks overall.

Wide receivers 11-20: T-11. Miles Austin, Cowboys (17 targets); T-11. Jason Avant, Eagles (17 targets); T-11. Greg Jennings, Packers (17 targets); T-11. Steve Johnson, Bills (17 targets); T-11. Reggie Wayne, Colts (17 targets); T-16. Earl Bennett, Bears (16 targets); T-16. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs (16 targets); T-16. Malcom Floyd, Chargers (16 targets); T-16. James Jones, Packers (16 targets); T-16. Jeremy Maclin, Eagles (16 targets); T-16. Mike Williams, Seahawks (16 targets).

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com. Have a burning question for Michael on anything fantasy football related? Send it to AskFabiano@nfl.com or tweet it at Michael_Fabiano!

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