Targets Per Route Run Report: Week 6 (Fantasy Football)
Week 5 was one of big plays and extremes. For the first time this season, none of the top-5 wide receiver fantasy finishes were in the top 10 in TPRR rankings. Gabriel Davis, the WR1 in Week 5, did all of his damage on only three receptions. See for yourself:
Now seems like a good time to restate that TPRR is an additional data point to consider, not the only one. Gabriel Davis is a perfect example of a low-TPRR player who can win you one week and sink you the next. Points matter, and the volatility of someone like Davis can fill your bathtub with the tears of your opponents. However, if your wide receivers are all of the low-TPRR ilk, it might be a good idea to balance out your starters with some stability. That’s not to say high-efficiency players can’t ball out. Even in a wonky week like this last one, the correlation between fantasy finish and TPRR rank remained strong at 0.62. 17 receivers exceeded a 30% TPRR, and 19 of the top-24 receivers were above the 20% TPRR threshold. Not too shabby.
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 5 Recap
Here’s a look at Week 5’s leaderboard among qualified receivers (min. 10 routes run). The correlation between fantasy finish and TPRR rank remained strong at 0.62, and 17 receivers exceeded a 30% TPRR.
*Route Data via PFF.com; Target Data via FantasyData.com
- Welcome back, Randall Cobb! Aaron Rodgers peppered (and salted, and buttered) his old pal with targets in jolly old London town. It’s his highest snap share (63%) of the season and the most single-game targets for a Green Bay receiver since Davante Adams. It’s an outlier, to be certain, but Randall Cobb has a history of earning targets from Rodgers.
- Amari Cooper climbs back into the Top 10 this week after a dismal Week 4. Cooper should be fine for the season, but you’re going to get some duds with Jacoby Brissett at the helm.
- Isaiah Hodgins and KhaDarel Hodge top the list this week, which goes to show how much things can change from week to week. I’m viewing both players as one-and-done until proven otherwise.
- Amon-Ra St. Brown is going to be just fine. He was still dealing with an ankle injury in his Week 5 stinker but still commanded a 38% TPRR on limited routes. Now he gets an extra week to recover during Detroit’s bye. Trade for him if you can.
- It was the Taysom Hill show in New Orleans, but Chris Olave is in a tier above all other rookies this season. He sustained a concussion in Week 5 but would be in line for huge volume if he’s cleared to play.
- Christian Kirk had his worst game of the season (one reception, 11 yards, 6% TPRR), and his decline has coincided with improved performances from Zay Jones (Week 3), Jamal Agnew (Week 4), and Marvin Jones Jr. (Week 5). The fact that Jacksonville got nothing going without Kirk could be a good sign for a bounceback, but he’s not a must-start while the Jaguars’ offense is struggling.
- Allen Robinson isn’t playable right now, and his 12% TPRR in Week 5 is the nail in the coffin for me. The Ram’s offense is out of sync; if the offensive line and quarterback play improves, Robinson could bounce back. So far, though, nothing indicates anything more than a random touchdown here or there for his fantasy outlook.
- George Pickens (17% TPRR) seeing another eight targets sounds good in a vacuum, but he finished behind both Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool in targets in a game where Kenny Pickett threw 52 passes and Pittsburgh only scored three points.
First, a methodology update: Heading into Week 6, we’re done with almost a third of the season. Once again, I’m Gettin Re-Jiggy Wit’ It* with the parameters of the TPRR report. In order to clear out the noise and highlight the relevant information, I’m considering a “qualified” receiver to have 15+ targets on the season. Why? The minimum target threshold we set in 2021 was 60 targets, or 3.5 targets per game for a 17-game season. A 15-target minimum after five games averages out to three targets per game while still eliminating the one-game wonders. Each week, we’ll raise the minimum target threshold accordingly. With that said, Broncos country…let’s ride.
*Listen, I know Will Smith was canceled, but sometimes you gotta dance. It’s the 25-year anniversary of a song that still, ahem, slaps…
Current season leaders in TPRR among wide receivers with a minimum of 15 targets:
- The leaderboard was mostly static this week; Tyreek Hill was able to reclaim the top spot now that Kyle Philips‘ star has faded. Hill is on pace for a 170-target season on the back of his historic 33% TPRR. In 2021, Cooper Kupp finished with a league-best 30% TPRR (min. 10 games).
- Drake London is still dominating the targets in Atlanta. But as I mentioned above, Chris Olave has edged out London as my preferred rookie due to the superior upside in New Orleans’ offense. With yet another impressive outing, Olave has jumped into the Top 10.
- Michael Gallup isn’t hurting CeeDee Lamb‘s ability to get targets. His mediocre fantasy finish in Week 5 could make uneasy managers willing to trade him, but Lamb should explode once Dak Prescott returns to the lineup.
- Jakobi Meyers is an excellent wide receiver, as his 38% TPRR indicates. If the touchdowns really start coming for him, watch out.
Season Losers (so far)
- Among qualified receivers, Gabriel Davis ranks next-to-last in TPRR at 11%. Fortunately, Davis has Josh Allen as his quarterback, so the boom weeks will be stratospheric. Just remember those fondly when he doesn’t deliver in other games.
- With Matt Rhule getting the sack in Carolina and Baker Mayfield injured, I’m watching D.J. Moore‘s (20.6% TPRR) involvement over the next few games. TPRR isn’t always the fault of the wide receiver, especially one who has proven his talent over multiple seasons. Playcalling and decision-making certainly play a role, and Rhule and Baker were two of the worst in both of those areas this season.
- DeVante Parker may have capitalized on Jakobi Meyers‘ absence, but he’s irrelevant when the Patriots are at full strength.
- At a poor 14.9% TPRR, Terry McLaurin is too dependent on the game-to-game passing volume to be the WR2 you were hoping for at your draft.
Bonus: Tight End Leaders
These are the TPRR season leaders at tight end, with the same parameters applied. I’m not specifically looking at tight ends, but if you’d like to see more analysis for the tight end position, drop a comment below, sound off on our Discord, or let me know on Twitter.