Fantasy Football Target Trends for Week 5

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Welcome to the target trends article for Week 5! As the season progresses, we get more and more data as we examine season-long trends. At this point, we’re about 25% of the way through the fantasy football season (that 17th game really ruins our nice clean numbers), so we can start to extrapolate stats like targets more confidently. As usual, let’s begin by taking a glance at the season-long leaders.

Cooper Kupp, to nobody’s surprise, is the unquestioned target leader through the first four weeks. His league-leading 54 targets put him on pace for 230, which would shatter the record of 208 targets set by Rob Moore way back in 1997.

Fellow Ram Tyler Higbee took over the target lead at tight end Monday night. His 38 targets on the season put him two ahead of Mark Andrews and three ahead of Travis Kelce.

Austin Ekeler continues to lead running backs with 29 targets so far. Rookie Breece Hall is second among running backs with 28 targets. His teammate and fellow rookie Garret Wilson leads all first-year players with 39 targets, putting him on pace to tie the rookie record of 167 targets set by Terry Glenn in 1996.

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 5.

Cooper Kupp: 19 targets, 14 rec
Tyler Higbee: 14 targets, 10 rec

Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp are a match made in heaven. Since the beginning of last season, Kupp is averaging 11.4 targets/game, including the playoffs. He makes an appearance in this article nearly every week, so I don’t have much else to say about him. Congratulations if you have him on your fantasy team.

Meanwhile, Tyler Higbee’s 14 targets are the most by a tight end this season and the most since Darren Waller saw 16 targets back in Week 2 last season. He’s yet to find the end zone or top 100 yards in a game, but Higbee’s target share makes him one of the safest tight ends in fantasy football.  

Tyreek Hill: 14 targets, 10 rec

Hill is feasting in Miami. He’s now seen at least 12 targets in three of four games this season. His 31% targets share on the season can be considered elite, and even though he only saw five targets in Week 4, the 26% target share from teammate Jaylen Waddle isn’t bad either. For what it’s worth, Teddy Bridgewater targeted Hill nine times in relief of Tua Tagovailoa Thursday night, while Waddle saw three targets from Teddy. He also targeted Trent Sherfield five times, though I don’t recommend galaxy braining him into your lineup for Week 5.

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Justin Jefferson: 13 targets, 10 rec

Going back to last season, Jefferson has seen double-digit targets in 10 of his last 13 games. More recently, he’s been targeted at least 11 times in three of four games this season. Oddly enough, his only single-digit target game came in Week 3, just like the aforementioned Tyreek Hill.

Davante Adams: 13 targets, 9 rec

There’s nothing surprising here for the superstar wideout. Adams was leading the league in targets before Cooper Kupp went off on Monday night. This was the first week of 2022 that he failed to find the end zone for his new team, but he’s still commanding an impressive 32% target share. Adams remains an elite fantasy football option.

T.J. Hockenson: 12 targets, 8 rec

With D’Andre Swift and Amon-Ra St. Brown sidelined, we got to experience the full Hockenson breakout. He had seen heavy involvement in the past, logging 11 targets five times over his career, but they never turned into this much production. He’s a must-start if St. Brown and Swift remain sidelined. Once they return, however, Hockenson will likely be relegated back to the wasteland that is the tight end landscape in fantasy football.

DJ Moore: 11 targets, 6 rec
Christian McCaffery: 9 targets, 9 rec

Apparently, this was Carolina’s attempt at repairing the squeaky wheel that is DJ Moore. He did see a season-high 11 targets, but it would appear that Baker Mayfield isn’t good enough with the grease gun to silence the squeaks. Moore still only saw 4.6 yards/target, right in line with the 4.8 yards/target he’s now averaging on the season. That’s the second-lowest among all qualified receivers, trailing only Chase Claypool (4.0).

On a more positive note, at least Mayfield and the Panthers got CMC involved through the air. He caught all nine of his targets, which is the most he’s seen since Week 10 last season. 

Marquise Brown: 11 targets, 6 rec

After his underwhelming debut in Arizona, Brown has been targeted at least 11 times in three consecutive weeks. He’s currently on pace for 191 targets on the season, which is the exact number Cooper Kupp saw to lead the league last year. That pace may slow down once D’Andre Hopkins returns from suspension, but Hollywood is a must-start for now.

Mike Evans: 10 targets, 8 rec
Chris Godwin: 10 targets, 7 rec

Mike Evans returned from a one-week suspension, Chris Godwin returned from a hamstring injury, and they each saw a 19% target share in Week 4. It was the first double-digit target outing of the season for Evans and he turned it into the WR1 performance on the week. As for Godwin, you have to feel good about him tying Evans for the target lead while running 45 routes in his first game back.

Austin Ekeler: 7 targets, 6 rec

After a slow fantasy start to the season, Ekeler exploded for three total touchdowns in Week 4. One of those came through the air, where Ekeler is doing an underrated amount of work so far this season. As mentioned in the intro, he leads all running backs with 29 targets. That puts him on pace for 123 on the season, which would smash his career-high and put him in the top ten all-time for running back targets in a season.

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Derrick Henry: 5 targets, 3 rec

Henry pops up in this article from time to time as Tennessee tries to involve him in the passing game, but maybe it’s different this time. He’s seen 11 targets over the past two weeks, the most he’s ever seen over a two-week span. He only caught three of them, and the other two were bad drops, but any passing game involvement is a bonus for the Yeti. At his current rate, he would finish with 51 targets on the season, smashing his career-high of 31 targets.

Kenny Golladay: 1 target, 0 rec

I’ve been dreading this all season, but Golladay is officially dead to me. I may have been the last one holding out hope for a return of the smooth routes, but enough is enough. 

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Eric says:

I could hear the bad sax drop in my head as I read your Kenny G nug.

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