Fantasy Football Target Trends for Week 7

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Welcome to the target trends article for Week 7! The bye weeks are here, so it’s time to start looking at trends more on a per-game basis, though raw numbers definitely still have their place. As usual, let’s begin by taking a look at the season-long target leaders.

Cooper Kupp continues to lead the NFL with 72 targets. While his eight targets this week are less than his season average of 12, he’s still on pace for over 200 targets on the season. Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs are the next closest, with 65 targets each.

Mark Andrews leads all tight ends with 57 targets on the season, five ahead of Travis Kelce. Interestingly, they each have 455 receiving yards on the season, though Kelce holds a two-touchdown lead over Andrews with seven. A four-touchdown game certainly goes a long way to help that.

Austin Ekeler‘s big game through the air Monday night was enough to vault him in front of Christian McCaffrey for most targeted running back. The 16 targets are the most a running back has seen in a single game this season and puts him at 49, six ahead of CMC.

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 7.

Austin Ekeler: 16 targets, 10 rec

Let’s start at the end. As mentioned in the intro, Ekeler saw a season-high 16 targets in Monday night’s overtime win against the Broncos. It’s the most targets to a running back since Najee Harris went for 19 in Week 3 last season. The high target count is nothing new for Ekeler as this is the third time in his career that he’s seen 16 targets in a game.

Michael Pittman: 16 targets, 13 rec
Deon Jackson: 10 targets, 10 rec

Pitty City led the way with 16 targets in Week 6, topping his previous career high of 15 from Week 8 last year. Those targets equated to a 29% share from Matt Ryan, who aired it out 58 times against Jacksonville. For perspective, that is the second-most pass attempts in Ryan’s 238-game career. Another ten of his targets went to Deon Jackson, two more than Jonathan Taylor has ever seen in a single game. He may get a chance to hit the double-digit target threshold sometime this season if Ryan ever airs it out that much again, especially considering his reputation for targeting running backs.

Tyreek Hill: 15 targets, 12 rec

It doesn’t seem to matter who’s in at quarterback, Mike McDaniel is scheming Miami’s offense around Hill. His 30.4% target share includes 34 targets from starter Tua Tagovailoa, 20 from Teddy Bridgewater, and 11 from Skylar Thompson. He has the highest ceiling with Tua in the game, but Hill appears to be quarterback-proof in this offense.

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Stefon Diggs: 13 targets, 10 rec

Diggs, a staple of this article series, is now on pace for a career-high 184 targets this season. He has a strong 27.7% team target share on the season, which towers over everyone else in Buffalo. The next-most targeted Bill on the season is Devin Singletary, whose 28 targets are 37 fewer than Diggs.

Chris Godwin: 12 targets, 6 rec

Godwin put up his best fantasy performance this year on the back of his season-high 12 targets. That is the most he’s seen since Week 15 of last season, the week before he tore his ACL. His 28 targets over the last three weeks are six more than teammate Mike Evans over that span.

Amari Cooper: 12 targets, 4 rec

Cooper has been on the brink of appearing in this article multiple times this season, and he finally makes the cut this week. He’s now seen 12 targets in back-to-back games and has 55(!) on the season, tenth-most in the league. He’s on pace for 156 targets, which would crush his current career-high of 132.

Robert Tonyan: 12 targets, 10 rec

It was a career usage game for Tonyan, who had never seen more than seven targets in a game before Sunday. He also had a season-high snap share and routes run as he continues to ramp it up after last season’s ACL injury. He may be a necessary target in Green Bay’s offense while Sammy Watkins is on injured reserve and Randall Cobb is set to miss time with an ankle injury.

Brandon Aiyuk: 11 targets, 8 rec
Deebo Samuel: 10 targets, 7 rec
George Kittle: 10 targets, 8 rec

All three San Fransisco pass-catchers set season highs in targets as the 49ers tried to keep pace with Atlanta on Sunday. They combined to see 31 targets on Jimmy Garoppolo’s 41 pass attempts. Kittle’s targets have increased in three straight weeks since returning from injury. Deebo’s targets are going up while his rush attempts are going down. He’s seen exactly two carries in each of the past three games after averaging 5.7 carries per game in the first three. The star of the game, Brandon Aiyuk, saw his highest target count since Week 15 of 2020, his rookie season. 

Zach Ertz: 10 targets, 7 rec
Rondale Moore: 10 targets, 6 rec

Ertz has seen double-digit targets in four of the last five games and trails only Mark Andrews and Travis Kelce in total targets at tight end. Moore’s targets have increased in all three games since returning from the hamstring injury that held him out for the first three weeks. With Marquise Brown out, DeAndre Hopkins coming off suspension, and Robbie Anderson arriving via trade, Ertz and Moore project to remain in their reliable receiving roles.

Alvin Kamara: 9 targets, 6 rec

Kamara is quietly having a strong receiving season in New Orleans. He’s missed two games with a rib injury, which is probably why he hasn’t garnished much attention, but his 6.5 targets per game are the third most at the position. Christian McCaffrey is second, averaging 7.0 targets per game, while the big Monday night game boosted Austin Ekeler to 8.2 targets per game. 

Drake London: 4 targets, 3 rec
Kyle Pitts: 3 targets, 3 rec

Sometimes target shares can be deceiving. London has an elite 32.6% target share, good for the third highest in the league. Unfortunately, it’s only equated to 7.2 targets/game, which is outside the top 30. 

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It’s even worse for Kyle Pitts. His 23.1% team target share trails only Mark Andrews and Travis Kelce among tight ends. His raw targets, however…well just look at the table below comparing the tight ends with the top five highest target shares this season.

Tight End Team Target Share Targets/game
Mark Andrews 33.1% 9.5
Travis Kelce 24.0% 8.7
Kyle Pitts 23.1% 5.0
Tyler Higbee 22.6% 8.3
Zach Ertz 21.0% 8.5

This is what happens when Marcus Mariota averages fewer than 20 pass attempts over the past four games. Atlanta has won three of those four games, only compounding the problem for the young pass-catchers.

Elijah Moore: 0 targets, 0 rec

Moore was one of the most exciting rookie receivers last season but has been arguably the most disappointing second-year wideout this season. Even when he was targeted ten times in Week 3, he still finished outside of the top 50 fantasy receivers. That was the only time he saw a target share above 20% this season. The goose egg in Week 6 now brings his season-long target share to just 14%.

 

Comments

toedoc57 says:

Love this article. Very informative. Thank you for breaking it down like this. Please keep it coming.

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