Fantasy Football Target Trends for Week 9

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Welcome to the target trends article headed into Week 9! It was another wild week for fantasy football, capped off with Tyreek Hill exploding for 18 targets on Monday Night Football. Let’s dive right into the target trends.

After his huge night, Hill is now tied with Cooper Kupp for the lead in overall targets (90) and targets/game (11.3). Hill’s teammate Travis Kelce leads with all tight ends with 72 targets, good for 9.0 targets/game. Despite matching his lowest target output of the season, D’Andre Swift leads all running backs with 57 targets and has now barely surpassed Najee Harris with 7.1 targets/game.

But enough about the season-long leaders, let’s take a look at the most telling target performances from Week 8.

Tyreek Hill – 18 targets, 12 rec

Hill is no stranger to high-target games. He’s seen 15 or more targets twice this season and five times over the past three seasons, a feat that’s only been accomplished by him and Davante Adams over that span. It’s no surprise the Kupp and Hill, the league’s co-leaders in targets, are the fantasy WR1 and WR2 respectively. 

Michael Pittman Jr. – 15 targets, 10 rec

Are we witnessing a Pitty City breakout? It certainly appears so after Pittman logged a career-high 15 targets and brought two of them down in the endzone for the first multi-touchdown game of his young career. The second-year wideout has become the alpha receiver in Indy with a 24.8% target share on the season. He’s entered must-start territory in all fantasy leagues.

Michael Carter – 14 targets, 9 rec

The rookie running back made his debut in the article last week, then he went and led all running backs in targets for Week 8. The 14 he saw matches the total targets that went his way in Weeks 1-5 combined. He’s now seen 23 targets over the past two weeks with Mike White taking the majority of the snaps at quarterback for the Jets. White has already been named the starter this Thursday night on the short week, so Carter should once again be in line for more work through the air.

Cole Beasley – 13 targets, 10 rec

As mentioned on Monday’s episode, it’s going to be tough to predict which Buffalo wide receiver gets the most targets every week. It was Beasley in Week 8, who saw 13 targets for the third time this season. Stefon Diggs continues to lead the Bills with 65 targets on the season. Beasley is next with 56, and Emmanuel Sanders is currently third on the team with 43 on the year.

Amari Cooper – 13 targets, 8 rec

Cooper enjoyed his first double-digit target outing since Week 1 in the Sunday night game against the Vikings. Cooper and Lamb each have about a 22% target share for the Cowboys, with Lamb just one target ahead of Cooper on the season. Lamb has one fewer touchdown but still has more fantasy points than Cooper on the season thanks to his better catch rate and higher yards/reception.

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Tyler Lockett – 13 targets, 12 rec

Lockett had only seen ten targets in Geno Smith’s first two starts, but that drastically changed in Week 8. His 13 targets from Smith equated to a 54% target share on the day, The Seahawks will be on bye in Week 9, and Seattle could get Russell Wilson back from his finger injury for their Week 10 game against Green Bay.

Diontae Johnson – 13 targets, 6 rec
Pat Freiermuth – 7 targets, 4 rec

It’s no surprise to see Johnson in the article, as he’s seen at least 13 targets in three of his last four games. While he’s featured here regularly, this is the first appearance for Freiermuth. With seven targets in back-to-back games, it would appear he’s fully on the “looth”. He seems to have gained Big Ben’s trust and should be involved in Pittsburgh’s passing attack for the remainder of the season.

Jamal Agnew – 12 targets, 6 rec
Dan Arnold – 10 targets, 8 rec

Back in August, few football fans knew who Jamal Agnew was, and Dan Arnold was nothing more than a super deep sleeper in Carolina. It’s tough to trust anybody in the Jacksonville offense right now. Just check out the target distribution since they lost D.J. Chark in Week 4 in the tweet below.

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Jaylen Waddle – 12 targets, 4 rec
DaVante Parker – 11 targets, 8 rec

Jaylen Waddle continues to get hyper-targeted in Miami, but DeVante Parker was far more effective in his return from injury. Will Fuller has already been ruled out for another week, so Waddle, Parker, and Mike Gesicki should continue to see plenty of targets for the pass-happy Dolphins.

A.J. Brown – 11 targets, 10 rec

Week 8 marked only the third time in AJB’s career that he’s seen double-digit targets in a game. He tied his career-high with ten catches and set a new career-high with 155 receiving yards in the game against the Colts. He may be in store for even more volume and a huge second half of the season now that Derrick Henry will be missing significant time.

T.J. Hockenson – 11 targets, 10 rec

Hockenson has seen at least eight targets in six of his eight games this season and 31 over the past three weeks. He leads Detroit with a 21.8% target share, just ahead of D’Andre Swift and his 19.7% share. Kalif Raymond is the most-targeted Lion wideout, whose 40 targets on the season equate to a 13.8% share.

Aaron Jones – 11 targets, 7 rec

Aaron Jones stepped up to lead the Packers in targets with Davante Adams and Allen Lazard both absent from the Week 8 game while on the COVID-19 reserve list. Jones has always been a talented pass-catcher, but this marked the first time in his career that he logged double-digit targets in a game. His target volume is likely to return to his normal levels, a respectable 4.0 targets/game, with Adams and Lazard set to return in Week 9.

Dallas Goedert – 7 targets, 6 rec

Seven targets don’t jump off the stat sheet, but the total is more impressive when you consider that they accounted for 50% of Jalen Hurts’ 14 pass attempts in the dominating win. The seven targets were a season-high for Goedert, and you can bet he’ll surpass that number sometime this season when the Eagles are forced to throw the ball more than 14 times. That could be as soon as this week when they take on the Chargers.

Odell Beckham Jr. – 1 target, 1 rec

So it’s come to this. In Sunday’s game, OBJ was out-targeted by teammates Jarvis Landry, Austin Hooper, Rashard Higgins, D’Ernest Johnson, David Njoku, and Harrison Bryant. Yes, he was out-targeted by three different tight ends on his own team. He seems destined to remain an afterthought in Cleveland’s offense.

Check here for all the season-long target leaders.

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