Fantasy Football Target Trends for Week 5

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Welcome to the target trends article for Week 5! As I alluded to last week, I like to look at the season in four-game chunks. Now that we have a four-game chunk to analyze, more reliable trends begin to emerge.

As usual, let’s check in with the season-long target leaders first. We have a new overall target leader in Cooper Kupp. His 46 targets on the season are one more than the previous leader Davante Adams. Darren Waller was already the season-long tight end target leader before even stepping on the field Monday night. His 40 targets put him eight in front of the next closest tight end, Travis Kelce. Najee Harris continues to lead all running backs with 34 targets, five more than D’Andre Swift.  

But enough about the season-long leaders, let’s take a look at the most telling target performances from Week 4.

Diontae Johnson: 13 targets, 9 rec

Johnson excels at two things, bouncing back from minor injuries and soaking up targets from Ben Roethlisberger. He saw double-digit targets yet again in Week 4, something he’s done in 13 of the last 15 games when he’s played the majority of offensive snaps. Johnson also still hasn’t dropped a pass on the 35 targets thrown his way. If he’s on the field, he needs to be in fantasy lineups.

Terry McLaurin: 13 targets, 6 rec

It would appear Taylor Heinicke and Terry McLaurin have formed an instant connection. McLaurin only saw four targets in the season opener with Ryan Fitzpatrick, but he’s averaged 11.3 targets/game in the three Heinicke starts, good enough for a healthy 34% target share. The 13 targets he saw this week were one short of his career-high of 14, which he also saw from Heinicke back in Week 2.  

Calvin Ridley: 13 targets, 7 rec

After a relatively slow start, at least by his standards, Calvin Ridley has seen his targets increase each week of the season. Not only did he receive a season-high in targets in Week 4, but he also set season bests in receiving yards and yards/reception. Now, if Cordarrelle Patterson would only share some touchdown catches with him.

Cooper Kupp: 13 targets, 5 rec

Kupp had his worst fantasy performance of the season in Week 4, but it wasn’t due to a lack of targets. He’s the only player to see double-digit targets in all four weeks so far this season. Even the most consistent fantasy receivers have a few duds throughout the season, but the NFL target leader is bound to bounce back sooner than later.

Tyreek Hill: 12 targets, 11 rec

If you’ve paid attention to Tyreek Hill over his career, you knew a game like this was coming. He saw double-digit targets in seven of his fifteen games played last season and had already done so twice this year. He commands a team-high 29% target share for the Chiefs, and when a receiver as talented as Hill is getting that many targets from Patrick Mahomes, the fantasy points come in bunches.

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Jeremy McNichols: 12 targets, 8 rec

McNichols is probably the most surprising name to appear in this article series so far this season. Derrick Henry’s backup had just nine targets combined in the first three games of the season and had only 17 all of last season. It would be fun to see Henry keep up his early-season target pace, but it seems McNichols may put a damper on that. 

Deebo Samuel: 12 targets, 8 rec
George Kittle: 11 targets, 4 rec
Brandon Aiyuk: 3 targets, 1 rec

Let’s look at the 49ers pass-catchers as a group. First up, we have Deebo Samuel, who’s been remarkably consistent with a 10.5 target/game average through four weeks. Next, we have George Kittle, who’s been trending in the right direction. After seeing just nine targets over the first two games of the season, he’s seen 20 over the last two. Finally, we have Brandon Aiyuk, who has seen three or fewer targets in three of four games. Rostering Aiyuk on fantasy teams this year has been a roller coaster ride that shows no signs of leveling off anytime soon. 

D.J. Moore 12: targets, 8 rec
Robby Anderson: 11 targets, 5 rec

The pair of Panther wideouts have had very different target showings through four weeks. D.J. Moore has the fourth-most targets in the league and hasn’t seen less than ten since Week 1. Conversely, Robby Anderson has seen three or fewer targets in half of his games this season. The 11 targets he saw in Week 4 may be a positive sign, though he wasn’t particularly effective with them, turning the targets into just 46 receiving yards. 

Tyler Boyd: 11 targets, 9 rec
Ja’Marr Chase: 9 targets, 6 rec

Ja’Marr Chase is getting most of the fantasy buzz out of Cincinnati, and rightly so, but Boyd is the Bengals target leader. He saw double-digit targets for the first time this season in Week 4, something that his young rookie teammate fell just short of achieving for the first time this week. Chase will certainly hit that mark someday, probably sooner than later, but Boyd is a reliable fantasy wideout in his own right.

Alvin Kamara: 0 targets, 0 rec

It was a career day for Alvin Kamara Sunday in multiple ways. He saw a career-high 26 carries in the overtime loss to the Giants. But this is an article about targets, and for the first time in his career, Kamara didn’t receive a single target. He’s now averaging just 3.5 targets/game on the season, significantly lower than his career average of 6.6 targets/game. 

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