Fantasy Football Target Trends for Week 2
We made it through Week 1! By now, you’re probably looking ahead and starting to set your Week 2 lineup. As part of that process, I urge you to check out the most recent target trends, which I’ll cover each and every week in this article. Targets are arguably the best indicator of opportunity, which, in turn, is one of the best predictors of fantasy points. I aim to make this article the go-to place for checking in on target trends every week.
A quick overview of this weekly article. It isn’t a simple list of numbers ranking the most-targeted players of the week. While they’ll certainly be included, it’s always important to consider the context behind the numbers. That’s the goal behind this weekly article, and I hope you find it beneficial as you make your week-to-week fantasy decisions.
It’s tough to identify trends after just one week of data, but we need to consider what we saw, both on the field and in the box scores, during the debut of the 2023 season. Let’s dive into the target trends as we turn the corner to Week 2.
Tyreek Hill: 15 targets, 11 rec
Hill put up more fantasy points than any other player in Week 1. Last year, he set a career-high with 170 targets in his first season with Miami, and he picked up right where he left off. Now in his eighth season, this was his seventh career game with 15+ targets. He saw three times as many targets as Jaylen Waddle and more than twice as many as Miami’s second-most-targeted pass catcher (checks notes) Durham Smythe, who had seven.
Puka Nacua: 15 targets, 10 rec
No Cooper Kupp, no problem. The Rams rookie out of BYU set a record for the most targets ever seen by a rookie in Week 1. That accounted for a ridiculous 41% target share as the Rams stunned the Seahawks. Teammate Tutu Atwell also had a surprisingly strong game, putting up 119 yards on eight targets. With Kupp on IR, both wideouts will be popular waiver wire adds headed into Week 2.
Stefon Diggs: 13 targets, 10 rec
Diggs has seen 150+ targets in three consecutive seasons and appears to be on pace for a fourth. One-third of Josh Allen‘s passes went his way Monday night, while James Cook saw the second-most on the team with six. Diggs is unsurprisingly set to be the alpha yet again in Buffalo.
DeAndre Hopkins: 13 targets, 7 rec
New team, same target hog. Hopkins looked as good as ever in his debut with Tennessee. His quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, was a bit more questionable. As usual, it appears that Hopkins will demand the most targets on his team, but Tannehill will have to pull it together for those targets to turn into significant fantasy points.
Justin Jefferson: 12 targets, 9 rec
Last season’s target leader came out of the gates on fire to start the season. He put up 138 yards on ten targets in the first half but inexplicably saw just two targets in the second half. Tight end T.J. Hockenson was targeted nine times, while rookie Jordan Addison saw six targets. Jefferson is a candidate to lead the league in targets again despite the disappointing second half in the opener.
Calvin Ridley: 11 targets, 8 rec
Ridley stepped on an NFL game field for the first time in nearly two years and simply dominated. His 11 targets equated to an elite 34% target share. Meanwhile, his teammate Christian Kirk was only targeted three times. Kirk saw a career-high 133 targets last season but appears to be knocked down a few pegs with Ridley in town.
Kendrick Bourne: 11 targets, 6 rec
This was the third time in his career that Bourne saw double-digit targets and his first time doing so with New England. If this keeps up, he’s well on his way to surpassing his career-high of 74 targets in a season. It’s tough to trust Mac Jones, who set a new career-high with 54 pass attempts, to keep this up all season long, but Bourne is worth a speculative add if you need a receiver.
Michael Pittman: 11 targets, 8 rec
We’ve seen Pittman as an alpha before; he’s seen double-digit targets in ten of his 47 career games. There were certainly questions surrounding his situation with rookie Anthony Richardson headed into the season, but the Week 1 output seems to have put those worries to rest. While Andy and Jason wanted off of the Pitty City graphic drop, Mike and the rest of us true believers held strong.
Collins and Woods combined for nearly 50% of the 44 targets distributed by rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud. Houston’s new-look offense is going to be intriguing to track this season under Stoud. The younger Collins projects to have more season-long upside, while 11-year veteran Woods could work as a PPR option.
Zay Flowers: 10 targets, 9 rec
Rashond Bateman? Odell Beckham Jr.? Nope, the rookie Flowers dominated targets in Baltimore’s first game under new offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Flowers saw an absurd 48% target share in Week 1. That’s an unsustainable number and will undoubtedly dip when Mark Andrews returns, but Flowers cannot be ignored.
Zach Ertz: 10 targets, 6 rec
I really didn’t want to include Ertz in this article, but he was the only tight end to see double-digit targets in Week 1. Ertz set the record for the most tight end targets with 156 in 2018. While that isn’t a likely outcome in present-day 2023, it appears that the veteran could be capable enough to hold off Trey McBride as the TE1 in Arizona.
These two tied as the most targeted running backs in Week 1, but before you get too excited, take a look at the context. Zeke’s targets were a product of New England playing in comeback mode as Mac Jones attempted 54 passes. Roschon found his pass-catching role as the Bears desperately tried to dig out of the hole they found themselves in against Green Bay. Don’t expect these two to be among the running back target leaders at the end of the season.
Desmond Ridder threw just 18 passes in Week 1. The good news? Robinson’s six targets equated to a 33% target share. The bad news? Pitts and London combined for just a 22% share. Pitts and London are bound to have their days, but it looks like they will be frustratingly difficult to forecast.
D.J. Moore: 2 targets, 2 rec
Simply put, D.J. Moore deserves better. I still believe that my former “My Guy” is one of the most talented wide receivers in the league, but he just can’t catch a break. Hopefully, the Chicago coaching staff will find ways to get Moore the ball instead of allowing him to be the sixth-most targeted player on the team.