Fantasy Football Target Trends for Week 12
Welcome to the target trends article for Week 12! As we continue to navigate injuries and bye weeks in the heart of the NFL season, target trends are more important than ever. Let’s start, as usual, by checking in on the overall target landscape in the league.
Davante Adams has taken over as the overall target leader for the first time since Week 1. His 112 targets are six more than Tyreek Hill, who was on a bye in Week 11. Travis Kelce leads tight ends with 94 targets, a massive 21 more targets than Tyler Higbee, who is next closest at the position. Kelce is currently the sixth-most targeted pass catcher in the NFL and is on pace to break Zach Ertz’s season-long target record for tight ends. At running back, Austin Ekeler continues to lead the way with 83 targets, but his 17-game pace is now just short of Christian McCaffrey’s record-setting 2019 season. He remains ahead of McCaffrey by nine targets this season.
I’ll continue to lead off this article with season-long target leaders, but for now, let’s check out this week’s target trends heading into Week 12.
Davante Adams: 13 targets, 7 rec
Adams is the league’s new target leader, though this was actually his lowest target total since Week 8. He’s averaging a league-high 32.2% team target share on the season. Adams has been on another level over the last three weeks, averaging 14.7 targets and a 40% share. He’s on a season-long pace for 190 targets, which would be a new career high.
Tee Higgins: 13 targets, 9 rec
Higgins didn’t find the end zone, but his season-high 13 targets turned into season-highs in receptions and yards. That translated to a 35% target share on the game, significantly higher than his 19.3% share over the entire season. Ja’Marr Chase will certainly demand targets when he returns from injury, but Higgins is an absolute alpha until then.
We finally got the Wan’Dale Robinson breakout game, but it had a sad ending when he tore his ACL in the fourth quarter of New York’s loss to Detroit. With Robinson out for the year and Kadarius Toney off the roster, Darius Slayton, who was on the roster bubble back in training camp, becomes the WR1 by default for the Giants. He saw a season-high ten targets and ran twice as many routes as Kenny Golladay, who has been anything but smooth this season.
Hopkins has been an absolute target machine since returning from his early-season suspension. He’s averaging 11.6 targets per game, which would put him on pace for 197 over a full season. Meanwhile, Dortch once again soaked up targets in place of Rondale Moore, who posted negative fantasy points before suffering a groin injury Monday night. If Moore misses time, Dortch becomes a viable PPR option once again.
Amari Cooper: 12 targets, 8 rec
This week we learned that a neutral field is better than a road game for Cooper, at least when considering his home/road splits. Cooper has seen 12 targets in three separate games this season and is averaging 8.1 targets per game. He’s on pace for 138 targets on the season, which would be a career-high. In two weeks those targets will start coming from Deshaun Watson, which should only increase their value.
Pat Freiermuth: 12 targets, 8 rec
Chase Claypool isn’t getting many targets in Chicago, but a lot of his vacated targets in Pittsburgh appear to be going to The Muth. The twelve targets in Week 11 were a career-high for the second-year tight end. His 67 targets on the season are the second-most on the Steelers, behind only Diontae Johnson (86).
Allen Lazard: 11 targets, 5 rec
Christian Watson has exploded in recent weeks, but Lazard is the clear target leader in Green Bay. It’s a relatively new role for him, as he saw double-digit targets for the first time in his career just two weeks ago. The 11 targets he saw in Week 11 equated to a 30% target share, well above his team-high 21.9% share on the season.
Travis Kelce: 10 targets, 6 rec
Kelce continues to add to his Hall of Fame resume. He now has the seventh most targets by a tight end in NFL history, which has translated to a record 72 yards per game over his career. More recently, Kelce is far out in front when it comes to targets on his own team in 2022. He has 30 more targets than his next closest teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster and twice as many as Marquez Valdes-Scantling
Josh Palmer: 10 targets, 8 rec
Keenan Allen and Mike Williams both returned from injuries this week, but Palmer still led the way in snaps (60), routes run (36), and of course, targets (10). He’s seen 9.3 targets per game over the last three weeks and should continue to see volume as Williams’s status remains in flux due to his ankle injury.
Demarcus Robinson: 9 targets, 9 rec
With Rashod Bateman sidelined for the season, Baltimore is in desperate need of a WR1. It appears Robinson may fit the role. He’s averaged 7.0 targets per game over the last three weeks, and he put up his best performance of the season in Week 11. He’s tough to trust, but Robinson should see enough volume to make him worth rostering in fantasy leagues.
Treylon Burks: 8 targets, 7 rec
Burks is another rookie that broke out in Week 11. While the Thursday night game in Green Bay was definitely his best of the season, he’s now seen 14 targets over the past two weeks since returning from his foot injury. Despite only playing in six games this season, he’s seen the second-most targets for the Titans, trailing only veteran Robert Woods.
Chase Claypool: 3 targets, 2 rec
You would think that if you traded a second-round draft pick for an athletically freaky wideout, you’d find a way to involve him in the offensive game plan. This doesn’t seem to be the case for the Bears, as they’ve given Claypool just 3.7 targets per game since acquiring him. He remains an intriguing bench stash, but you can’t put Claypool in your fantasy lineup until we see him actually involved in Chicago’s offense.
Austin Ekeler: 2 targets, 1 rec
Ekeler had seen an insane amount of targets recently, averaging 12.3 targets per game for Weeks 6-10. While that number dropped dramatically in Week 11, he made up for it by tying his career-high with 19 carries. One way or another, Ekeler will remain a focal point of the offense for the Chargers.