Fantasy Football Target Trends for Week 5
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. We’re now 25% of the way through the fantasy football season, so we can start extrapolating stats like targets more confidently. As usual, let’s begin by glancing at the season-long leaders.
Rookie sensation Puka Nacua continues to lead the league with 52 targets. That’s more targets than any player has seen through the first four weeks of their career, eight more than Anquan Boldin saw over the first four weeks of his rookie season way back in 2003. Davante Adams is gaining ground and now trails Nacua by just two targets.
Despite only seeing two targets in Week 4, T.J. Hockenson continues to lead all tight ends. He’s just one ahead of Zach Ertz, who saw ten targets for the second time this season in Week 4. Travis Kelce looms just five targets behind Hockenson, despite missing Week 1.
At running back, it’s Josh Jacobs leading the way. His 25 targets through four weeks put him on pace for 106 on the season. That would destroy his career-high of 64, which he hit in each of the last two seasons. Miles Sanders is currently the second-most targeted running back in the league with 23.
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.
Garrett Wilson: 14 targets, 9 rec
Wilson’s fantasy value took a major hit when Aaron Rodgers went down in Week 1, but at least his target volume is healthy. They have increased in four consecutive weeks, putting him on pace for 153 on the season. That would be six more than he saw in his rookie campaign.
Alvin Kamara: 14 targets, 13 rec
In his season debut, Kamara was targeted more than any other running back in a single game so far this season. It’s nothing new for Kamara, who had another 14-target game in 2020 and a 20-target performance back in 2018. He put up over 120 receiving yards in each of those games, significantly more than the disappointing 33 yards he mustered on his 14 targets in Week 4.
It’s no surprise to see Adams log double-digit targets, but it’s encouraging that he continued to do so with Aidan O’Connell at quarterback. Even more encouraging, Jacobs set a new career-high, hitting double digits for the first time in his five-year career. Jimmy Garoppolo should return in Week 5, and while Adams’ target share is as safe as it gets, we’ll have to wait and see if Jacobs’ passing game usage continues.
A.J. Brown: 13 targets, 9 rec
Brown set a new career-high with 145 targets last season, and now through four weeks, he’s on pace to crush that personal best with 183. After seeing 16 combined targets over the first two weeks, he’s seen a total of 27 over the last two weeks. Brown has accounted for a 36% team target share on the season, noticeably outpacing teammate DeVonta Smith, who is at 24%.
Romeo Doubs: 13 targets, 9 rec
After setting a career-high with 12 targets last week, Doubs upped it by one more on Thursday night. Even with the return of Christian Watson, Doubs saw a 38% target share in Week 4. He has easily been Jordan Love’s top target through the first four games of the season.
Ridley exploded for 11 targets back in Week 1, but his pass volume has been declining ever since. It’s been the opposite for Kirk, who saw just two targets in Week 1. Since then, Kirk has seen 32 targets, nearly twice as many as Ridley with 17. Evan Engram has also been outpacing Ridley since Week 1, recording exactly eight targets in three consecutive weeks.
By now, you know that Puka Nacua has been a target hog this season, but there have been more than enough targets to go around for the Rams. The 11 that went Higbee’s way were a season-high for him, while Atwell has seen nine targets in three consecutive weeks. The target distribution will likely see a shakeup, however, with the pending return of Cooper Kupp on the horizon.
McLaurin and Dotson each set new season-highs in targets, in large part because of Sam Howell’s career-high 41 pass attempts. McLaurin’s 26 targets on the season are just one more than Dotson’s 25, but Scary Terry has over 100 more receiving yards than Dotson.
Kmet’s big game in Week 4 seemingly came out of nowhere. He saw just two targets last week, and while he has seen more targets once in his career, that 11-target performance came back in 2021. As for Moore, he’s no stranger to big target games, but the nine he saw in Week 4 are the most that have gone his way since joining the Bears.
Darren Waller: 3 targets, 3 rec
Waller was expected to be the target hog in New York, but it hasn’t come to fruition through four weeks. The three targets he got in Week 4 are his lowest total in a game since 2018. His 23 targets on the season lead the Giants and are ninth most among tight ends, which speaks to the quality of the position in its current state.
Outside of Christian McCaffrey, it’s difficult to trust the offensive weapons in San Fransisco. As talented as they are, it’s always possible that they disappear in a given week. Case in point, Kittle was targeted nine times just one week ago before seeing his target share evaporate this week. At least Deebo got three carries, but they didn’t amount to much and certainly didn’t make up for his lack of work down the field.
Jordan Addison – 1 target, 0 rec
A week after seeing eight targets in Week 3, the rookie wideout got only one in Week 4. Addison was on the field for 58% of snaps and ran the fourth most routes on the team. The first-round draft pick is still playing behind K.J. Osborn, at least for now.