Fantasy Football Target Trends for Week 4
Welcome to the target trends article for Week 4! As the season progresses, we get more and more data as we examine target trends. As usual, let’s start by glancing at the season-long leaders.
Keenan Allen was the target leader headed into MNF with 39, but Puka Nacua’s seven targets against the Bengals put him at 42 and moved him just ahead of Allen. Justin Jefferson (38) and Davante Adams (37) aren’t far behind.
T.J. Hockenson leads all tight ends with 28 targets on the season. His 21% target share on the season is almost identical to the 23% he saw from Weeks 9-17 with the Vikings last season, so it doesn’t appear the addition of Jordan Addison has impacted his volume yet. Rookie Sam LaPorta is second at the position with 22 targets.
Miles Sanders leads all running backs with 20 targets through three weeks. He’s well on his way to surpass the 26 targets he saw all of last season and is currently on pace for 113. Kyren Williams is just behind Sanders with 19, while Bijan Robinson and Alexander Mattison are tied for second at the position with 17 targets each.
I’ll continue to lead off this article with season-long target leaders, and now let’s check out this week’s target trends heading into Week 4.
Keenan Allen: 20 targets, 18 rec
Allen has been an elite receiver for years, but this is the first 20-target game of his 11-year career. He also posted career highs in receptions (18) and receiving yards (215), not to mention completing the first pass of his career for a 49-yard touchdown. His elite usage looks safe for the foreseeable future with Austin Ekeler continuing to deal with his injury and Mike Williams unfortunately out for the season.
Aaron Rodgers, Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo. It doesn’t matter who is throwing him the ball; Adams just earns targets. He’s seen a league-high 39.8% target share so far this season. Meanwhile, after returning from his one-game concussion absence, Meyers has seen double-digit targets in each of his two games played.
Ja’Marr Chase: 15 targets, 12 rec
After just 17 targets combined in his first two games, Chase was back to being the target machine we’re used to seeing on Monday night. His 15 targets against the Rams were just one short of his career-high of 16 from Week 1 of last season. The first two weeks of this season were concerning, but Chase can be confidently started in fantasy lineups like we expected moving forward.
A.J. Brown: 14 targets, 9 rec
There was some panic surrounding Brown entering Week 3, but AJB managers can rest easy after he logged the third-highest target count of his career Monday night. DeVonta Smith only saw five targets against Tampa Bay, and while he’ll certainly have his games, Brown now has ten more targets than Smith over the first three games.
Did Thielen find the fountain of youth? He’s now seen his targets, receptions, and yardage increase each week of the season. As for Chark, he looks to be full strength after missing Week 1 and playing limited snaps in Week 2. With Jonathan Mingo in concussion protocol and Andy Dalton potentially under center again, both Carolina wideouts are in play for fantasy in Week 4.
Another week, another mention of Justin Jefferson. He has now seen 514 targets in his first 53 NFL games. That’s over 100 more than any other receiver over their first 53 or fewer games! CeeDee Lamb is next closest, with 411 in 52 games. As for Hockenson, I covered in the intro that he leads all tight ends in targets through the first three weeks.
Jared Goff only targeted four Lions in the passing game in Week 3. ARSB didn’t seem too hampered by the injury that limited him in practice last week, but he isn’t the big story here. Sam LaPorta has seen his targets increase each week so far, and he’s now on pace for 125 on the season. That would fall just short of the rookie record for a tight end of 128 targets by Jeremy Shockey way back in 2002.
Pitty City has now been featured in this article for three straight weeks. He’s the clear alpha in Indy’s offense and has seen double-digit targets each week thus far. As for Downs, the rookie has lined up in the slot 90 times this season, tied with Keenan Allen for second most in the NFL. Pittman is a must-start, while Downs can work in PPR formats.
Romeo Doubs: 12 targets. 5 rec
Doubs saw double-digit targets for the first time in his young career against the Saints in Week 3. He only caught five of them, but one turned into what proved to be the game-winning touchdown. He leads Green Bay with a 21% target share, though it will be interesting to see how the targets shake out whenever Christian Watson is healthy enough to make his season debut.
Flowers has seen double-digit targets in two of three weeks and is commanding a 30% target share, extremely impressive numbers for a rookie. On the other hand, it was a disappointing showing for Andrews. We’re still waiting for the Todd Monken offense to take flight in Baltimore, and Flowers may be the biggest beneficiary if it ever does.
Kyle Pitts: 9 targets, 5 rec
It has been a disappointing start to the season for Pitts, but at least his targets are trending in the right direction. They’ve increased in each of the first three weeks, and his 24% target share in Week 3 was a season-high. It won’t be a fun ride with Pitts, but he’s bound to have spike weeks mixed in throughout the season. Predicting them, however, looks to be maddening.
It’s tough to trust either of these wideouts in the putrid Washington offense. McLaurin hasn’t seen more than six targets in a game all season, and Dotson has seen his target total fall each week. They each have a 17.4% target share on the season, and the best fantasy finish between the two over the first three weeks is Terry’s WR27 finish in Week 2. Right now, the best hope for these two talented wideouts is the potential for Jacoby Brissett to take over for Sam Howell sooner rather than later.