Fantasy Football Target Trends for Week 17

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Welcome to the target trends article for Week 17! If you’re reading this, you’re either prepping for a #FootClanTitle or looking ahead to the next season. Either way, congrats on the dedication, as target trends continue to give us insight as we near the season’s end. As usual, let’s start by checking in on the overall target landscape in the league.

Justin Jefferson is pulling away from the pack. His 174 targets on the season are well in front of the next closest player, Davante Adams, at 160. Travis Kelce continues to dominate targets at tight end. His 135 on the season are fifth-most among all players and 19 more than the next closest at the position, T.J. Hockenson. Austin Ekeler has 120 targets on the season, which is 25 more than the next closest at the position, Christian McCaffrey. Ekeler needs 23 targets over the last two weeks to top CMC’s running back record of 142 set in 2019.

This article has been led off with season-long target leaders all season, but now let’s check out this week’s target trends heading into Week 17.

Justin Jefferson: 16 targets, 12 rec
T.J. Hockenson: 16 targets, 13 rec

Jefferson’s stat line has been wildly similar over the past two weeks with the same number of targets, receptions, touchdowns, and just a ten-yard difference in yardage. His 11.6 targets/game put him on pace for 197 targets on the season, which would be the most by any wideout since Julio Jones was targeted 203 times back in 2015. Meanwhile, Hockenson set a new career high with 16 targets, shattering his previous high of 12 that he set back in Week 4 when he was still a member of the Detroit Lions. He’s averaged an impressive 9.1 targets/game and a 22% target share since joining the Vikings in Week 9.

Keenan Allen: 14 targets, 11 rec

Allen has been a target monster lately, seeing exactly 14 targets in three of the last four weeks. His 58 total targets over that span are second only to Justin Jefferson. It was a rough go for Allen managers when he missed the better part of ten games to start the season but if they survived, he could be a part of many #FootClanTitles. 

Amon-Ra St. Brown: 13 targets, 7 rec

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St. Brown is seeing consistent targets, but the production hasn’t been there lately. Despite setting a new career high in Week 16 and averaging 10.7 targets/game over the last three games, he’s failed to top 100 yards or finish inside the top 25 fantasy wideouts over that span. The Sun God likely helped carry plenty of teams to the fantasy playoffs, but he hasn’t done them many favors since, despite the consistent targets. 

DeVonta Smith: 12 targets, 8 rec

Smith has played second-fiddle to A.J. Brown most of the season, even though he’s seen just 11 fewer targets. He blew up in Week 16, seeing double-digit targets for the first time since Week 5. He has a strong 26.0% team target share on the season, narrowly trailing AJB and his 28.7% share. 

Richie James: 12 targets, 8 rec
Isaiah Hodgins: 11 targets 8 rec
Saquon Barkley: 10 targets, 8 rec

Daniel Jones attempted 42 pass attempts Sunday, leading to career-high target totals from both James and Hodgins. It also led to double-digit targets for Barkley for the first time since Week 8 of the 2019 season. He’s now seen 18 targets over the past two weeks. Meanwhile, Kenny Golladay, the highest-paid player on the team, was not targeted on the lone route he ran.

Ja’Marr Chase: 11 targets, 8 rec 

Chase has been a target hog all season long when healthy. He’s seen double-digit targets in eight of his 11 games played this season. His 11.0 targets/game are second only to Justin Jefferson. He leads the Bengals with 121 targets on the season, despite playing in just 11 games.

Allen Lazard: 11 targets, 5 rec

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Lazard’s 11 targets tied the career high that he set back in Week 11. He easily leads the Packers with 88 targets on the season, though his 20.8% team target share isn’t exactly elite. He could see some additional targets if Christian Watson is sidelined with the hip injury that knocked him out in Week 16.

Tyler Higbee: 11 targets, 9 rec

Tight end is a fickle position. Higbee had seen 81 scoreless targets over his first 13 games of the season, then scored three touchdowns on 16 targets over his last two games. Congratulations if you had the foresight to start Higbee in the fantasy playoffs against the Broncos, where he saw a season-high 39% target share. 

DeAndre Hopkins: 10 targets, 1 rec

Hopkins continues to be a target hog, but the last three weeks have unequivocally proven that not all targets are created equal. Since Kyler Murray’s season-ending ACL injury, Hopkins has averaged 10.7 targets/game but just 5.0 receptions/game and zero touchdowns over three games. 

Kendrick Bourne: 9 targets, 6 rec

It seems like an eternity ago, but Bourne did get some early off-season hype out of New England. That hype faded quickly as he never saw more than five targets before Week 16, which included seeing two or fewer targets in seven games. His 30% target share on Sunday makes him worth consideration if you’re in desperate need of a wideout in your fantasy championship.

Jahan Dotson: 9 targets, 6 rec

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Dotson started his rookie campaign on fire before suffering a hamstring injury that cost him five games in the middle of the season. He’s come on strong recently, averaging 8.0 targets and catching three touchdowns over his last three games. The future appears bright for Dotson, especially if Washington can find a reliable quarterback.

Drake London: 9 targets, 7 rec

London is putting up a strong finish to his rookie season. He’s averaged 10.7 targets and a 40% target share over the past three games. It helped that Desmond Ridder attempted 33 passes in Week 16, the most by a Falcon quarterback since Marcus Mariota way back in Week 1. London is yet another talented young wideout that could be dominant if his franchise finds a reliable quarterback anytime soon.

Najee Harris: 9 targets, 6 rec

Nejee’s season-high target total in Week 16 was reminiscent of his rookie campaign. He saw 5.5 targets/game as a rookie, which has dropped to 3.3 targets/game this season. His pass-catching prospects will be a key narrative to monitor heading into next season.

Zay Jones: 4 targets, 1 rec

Considering the awful weather conditions and the tough matchup with the Jets, it should come as no surprise that Jones struggled in Week 16. Still, it was disappointing to see Jones targeted for the fewest times since Week 8. It’s been a career year for Jones, but he may not be on many fantasy championship rosters after his Week 16 dud.

Stefon Diggs: 2 targets, 2 rec

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Speaking of duds, Diggs saw his fewest targets since Week 1 of the 2019 season, his last with the Minnesota Vikings. He’s the fourth most targeted player in the league this season but has seen five or fewer targets in two of the last three weeks. He’s the WR4 on the season despite disappearing lately, finishing outside of the top 40 fantasy wideouts for three consecutive weeks.

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