Targets Per Route Run Report: Week 10 (Fantasy Football)

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Each week, we’re taking a look at Targets Per Route Run (TPRR) across the league and the season. We’ve passed the halfway point in the season, so our sample size is large enough to start drawing some conclusions, letting go of some old takes, and maybe getting in some moves before the trade deadline.

Note: Targets per Route Run (TPRR) is an efficiency metric (expressed as a percentage) used to highlight the correlation between performance and opportunity. With TPRR, we can look deeper than raw target totals to find players poised for breakouts or breakdowns. To learn more about TPRR and why it’s a useful tool, check out Kyle Borgognoni’s primer and my 2022 season preview

Week 9 Recap

As my fifth-favorite Jack of all time said, “We have to go back!” Let’s see what we can glean from the past to set us on our way to a bright and glorious future. Here’s a look at the Week 9 leaderboard (min. 10 routes run):

*Route and Target Data via PFF.com
**Monday Night Football data not included

Five Takeaways

  • Christian Kirk had a strong 25.8% TPRR in Week 9 and finished as the WR5 in a low-scoring week for wide receivers. The good news: Kirk’s top-10 TPRR this week shows there’s a path to coexisting with Travis Etienne. Etienne and JaMycal Hasty saw only three total targets between them. The not-as-good news: Marvin Jones Jr. (23.1% TPRR) and Zay Jones (15.6%) saw six and five targets, respectively. Kirk is the top option in Jacksonville and should provide a safe floor most weeks, but Trevor Lawrence is spreading the ball around more than we’d like for Kirk’s fantasy value.
  • Rondale Moore has put it together two weeks in a row. Robbie Anderson isn’t doing anything for his own fantasy value, but his presence on the outside allowed Moore to line up out of the slot on 73% of his routes in Week 9. Moore should see consistent volume in his preferred role, and he’s always a broken tackle away from a big play.
  • Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool finished with top-20 TPRR weeks in Chicago. The Justin Fields breakout is upon us, but he’s only thrown for 200+ yards in one game this season. The Week 9 matchup against Detroit has me cautiously optimistic, but this might turn into an either/or situation.
  • I doubt Van Jefferson shows up in any must-add lists this week, but hear me out. In his second game of the season, my guy saw five targets on 16 routes run. I mention him here instead of the other random guys on the list (e.g. Scotty Miller, Justin Watson, Chris Moore) because I want to see if Jefferson’s playing time increases as he gets back to full health, and I don’t have faith in Allen Robinson or Ben Skowronek behind Cooper Kupp. If the Rams’ offense can right the ship, Jefferson could come through in a pinch or as a DFS flyer against Arizona in Week 10. He’s only a stash in deeper leagues, but I have to give him a shoutout for a top-5 TPRR finish.
  • Lastly, we have to have a fantasy-relevant wide receiver for Patrick Mahomes, right? RIGHT?! JuJu Smith-Schuster and Kadarius Toney are the two names I’m watching in Kansas City. JuJu’s 17.4% TPRR doesn’t seem great, but it becomes a little more impressive when you consider he had 12 targets on 69(!) routes. Toney, on the other hand, is acclimating to his new team and saw two targets on only six routes run. Travis Kelce (17 targets, 26.2% TPRR) is the undisputed number one on that offense, but there’s plenty of pie for Smith-Schuster and/or Toney to grab a couple of slices. Marquez Valdes-Scantling (56 routes run, one target) can be dismissed from your roster.

Season Leaders

To eliminate irrelevant data, I’ve raised the season minimum to 28 targets following Week 9. The right-hand column shows the change in rankings from the previous week.  Here are the current season leaders in TPRR among qualified receivers:

*Route and Target Data via PFF.com
**Week 9 Monday Night Football Data not included

Positives

  • Correlation update: the relationship between positional and TPRR ranks is standing strong at a 60% correlation. When you look at fantasy points per game (to take out the impact of uneven bye weeks), the correlation is even stronger: 67%.
  • I had my doubts last week, but I’m ready to be hurt again. Garrett Wilson (23.1% TPRR) has climbed back into the top 20 after another excellent showing against Buffalo.  The Jets don’t score a ton of points, but Wilson can get it done with volume. As long as the Jets don’t change their offensive scheme during their bye week, Wilson should be a valuable contributor moving forward. The Jets face Detroit, Jacksonville, and Seattle for the fantasy playoffs.
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown has been relatively quiet since his early-season dominance, but he’s still commanding targets in Detroit. With T.J. Hockenson gone and D’Andre Swift reduced to a part-time player, St. Brown is going to go off sooner rather than later.

Negatives

  • Tyler Boyd was mentioned last week in this section, and he failed to come through for fantasy managers in Week 9 despite seeing six targets. Joe Burrow is spreading the ball around in Ja’Marr Chase‘s absence, and Boyd’s 14.1% TPRR ranks 65th among 72 eligible wide receivers. Tee Higgins is slightly better at 19.7% TPRR, but neither is fully stepping into Chase’s role. Boyd still ranks in the top 15 among receivers, so consider moving him before the trade deadline.
  • Everything about the Colts. Yuck. Jim Irsay has bulldozed Pitty City. It’s a nightmare scenario for Michael Pittman Jr. (20% TPRR and falling), and fantasy managers can’t drop him or trade him at this point. Parris Campbell and Alec Pierce are irrelevant.
  • DeAndre Carter (11.8% TPRR) is not a reliable solution while Mike Williams and Keenan Allen are sidelined for the Chargers. He will score a few times every season, but he has shown no ability to earn targets at a consistent rate. Look elsewhere.
  • I really want DeVonta Smith (18.3% TPRR) to be a thing, but his arrow is pointing down since Philadelphia’s bye week. With the Eagles dominating, I’m not sure they even need him right now. Washington presents a good matchup in Week 10, so we’ll see if Smith can bounce back into fantasy relevance.

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