Targets Per Route Run Report: Week 5 (Fantasy Football)

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Week 4 is in the books. Some things fell back into place, like Justin Jefferson going off for 147 yards on 13 targets. Others, such as Jamal Agnew reemerging in Jacksonville, were less expected. No matter what your fantasy team dragged in this week, we’re back with the Targets Per Route Run report to peer beyond the box score and find solid footing for your fantasy prognostications.

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 4 Recap

Here’s a look at the receivers who led the position in TPRR in Week 4* (min. 10 routes run):

Note: These numbers were compiled before the Monday night game between SF/LAR.

  • George Pickens, your breakout is ready. After little involvement in Weeks 1 and 2, Pickens has begun to establish himself as a reliable option. The change at quarterback to Kenny Pickett could be a roller coaster, but Pickens may become the favorite target in Pittsburgh.
  • Jamal Agnew scored twice, but he commanded Trevor Lawrence‘s attention when on the field. Agnew’s 40% TPRR led all wide receivers in Week 4. Zay Jones‘ return from injury could push Agnew back down the depth chart, but there is fantasy value to be found in Jacksonville behind Christian Kirk.
  • Tyreek Hill posted another TPRR north of 30%, making it three out of four weeks. With Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback, Hill should see plenty of targets, but there may be less to go around for the immediate future.
  • After two weeks of elite TPRR numbers, Amari Cooper came crashing back to earth with only 9% targets per route run. This wide range could be the norm as long as Jacoby Brissett is the quarterback in Cleveland.

Season Leaders

As the season progresses, the TPRR season leaders list will continue to stabilize, with players solidifying their spot in the rankings. At this point in the season, one game is 25% of the season, so it’s not surprising to see some new names on this list.

These are the season leaders in TPRR among wide receivers. As discussed last week, the threshold for inclusion is a minimum of 11 targets.

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The correlation between fantasy rank and TPRR remains strong at 0.62. It’s a slight decrease from last week’s 0.64, but that’s almost entirely due to the first player I’ll highlight.

  • Kyle Philips has been hanging around, hanging around near the top of this list all season. Jaylen Waddle‘s clunker on Thursday Night Football puts him back at the top despite missing Week 3 and only running two routes against Indianapolis. With Treylon Burks‘ turf toe injury, Philips could stay in the conversation for another week. We’ll see if the kid has alligator blood this week.
  • CeeDee Lamb climbs into the Top 10 with another strong outing alongside Cooper Rush. Michael Gallup should get more involved in the offense, but Lamb’s targets aren’t threatened by anyone in Dallas. It would appear the early season fears were for naught.
  • It’s just weird. D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are suddenly thriving in Seattle, with nearly identical Targets Per Route Run rates. I’m not expecting Geno Smith to throw for 300 yards every week, but Seattle’s offense is seeming very…unlimited… at the moment.
  • Drake London is locked in as the top rookie in TPRR up to this point. The slow, low-volume Falcons offense limits his ceiling, but London is crushing his first NFL season.

Season Losers (so far)

  • Among 117 qualified receivers, Chase Claypool ranks 86th in Targets Per Route Run at 13.9%. Week 4 was the low point, as he failed to haul in either of his two targets in a game where Pittsburgh transitioned to its future at quarterback. At this point, Claypool can’t be starting on your roster, and better options can probably be found on the waiver wire.
  • This isn’t what we meant by Scary! Terry McLaurin‘s 13.9% TPRR puts him in the same spot as Chase Claypool, and McLaurin has run 180 routes so far, the fifth-most in the league. To put that in perspective, Chris Olave has three more targets on the season despite running 69 fewer routes. I’m watching the next two weeks to see how much Jahan Dotson‘s absence impacts McLaurin and the other Commanders receivers.
  • Darnell Mooney turned 5 targets into 4 receptions and 94 yards in Week 4, but his 16% TPRR is in line with his season average. Take this opportunity to trade Mooney if someone is interested.
  • Gabriel Davis has yet to eclipse the 20% TPRR mark we like to see from receivers, and his 9.4% TPPR for the season is ranked 110th of 117 eligible receivers.  Not great, Bob.

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