Targets Per Route Run Report: Week 16 (Fantasy Football)
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 15 Recap
We’re in the playoffs now, baby! And if you’re reading this, you’re probably in the semifinals of your league playoffs. I don’t have to tell you Tyreek Hill and Justin Jefferson are worth paying attention to. My goal is to focus on the players you’re wondering whether to start or grab on the waiver wire.
Here’s a look at Week 15’s top 20 in Targets Per Route Run (minimum 15 routes run):
*Route and Target data via PFF.com
*Monday Night Football data not yet available
- Week 15 may be a sign of things to come, or maybe it was just a wonky week. Along with the ever-present names on the leaderboard, the first round of the fantasy playoffs saw some massive performances from unlikely places. But can they be trusted if you need a spot start?
- Noah Brown saw fewer snaps than Michael Gallup, but the rookie out of Ohio State may have passed Gallup on the depth chart. The Cowboys have a huge divisional game with Philadelphia in Week 16. Brown carries significant risk because of the strong defensive matchup and the number of options at Dak Prescott‘s disposal, but he has more upside than just about anyone on the waiver wire.
- We’ve been waiting for K.J. Osborn to take the torch from Adam Thielen, but the wily veteran just continues to find the end zone. Week 15’s explosion from Osborn is encouraging for the future, but we probably won’t see the Vikings needing to erase a 33-point deficit two weeks in a row.
- He might make me eat my words, but I’m going to say Russell Gage is nothing more than a flex play in a positive matchup Week 16 matchup against Arizona. Trust him if you dare.
- Zay Jones (18.7% TPRR) had another massive week because of his three scores, but Christian Kirk (22.7% TPRR) paced the Jaguars in targets in Week 15. With Trevor Lawrence breaking out, both players should be inserted into lineups with confidence. Jones seems to have the scoring upside, but Kirk has seven games with at least 75 receiving yards this season.
- Drake London should be a lock for targets the rest of the way with Desmond Ridder at quarterback. The Falcons will continue to favor the run, but London should be a safe flex play as he commands the majority of Atlanta’s small passing pie.
- Diontae Johnson caught all 10 of his targets on only 22 routes run in a game where Pat Freiermuth laid a goose egg. Perhaps Mitch Trubisky will be able to keep Johnson relevant the rest of the way, but the margin for error is tiny in the Pittsburgh offense. Johnson is better trusted as a WR4 (WR3 in full PPR).
To eliminate irrelevant data, I’ve set the season minimum to 40 targets. The right-hand column shows the change in rankings from the previous week. Here are the season leaders in TPRR among qualified receivers through Week 15:
*Route and Target data via PFF.com
*Week 15 Monday Night Football data not available
- Correlation update: the relationship between fantasy rankings and TPRR is holding strong and increased slightly after this week to a 65% correlation score. When you look at fantasy points per game (to take out the impact of injuries), the correlation is now 76.8%.
- Drake London jumps back up several spots this week. As mentioned above, the decision to go with Desmond Ridder at quarterback will likely result in Drake London seeing a significant share of Atlanta’s low passing volume.
- Jalen Hurts has 30+ pass attempts in three consecutive weeks. Dallas presents a challenge in Week 16, but Hurts has been able to support both A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith (20.5% season TPRR) as receivers.
- Robert Woods (17.9% TPRR) simply isn’t earning the targets in Tennessee’s offense despite ample opportunity. I don’t see him returning to anything resembling the player he was in Los Angeles.
- Adam Thielen (16.2% TPRR) has been touchdown-or-bust in 2022, and the bevy of weapons at Kirk Cousins‘ disposal makes him a risky play moving forward.