Welcome to the Target Report, where each week I highlight several key players who jump out to me in terms of their target share.
Larry Fitzgerald: 14 Targets
Old reliable just keeps getting it done as backup QB Drew Stanton locked in on the vet in a losing effort at home against the Seahawks. Stanton is expected to miss this week with a knee sprain which means Fitz will now be stuck with a 3rd string QB in Blaine Gabbert. Would I still start him in most situations anyway? You bet I would.
DeAndre Hopkins: 14 Targets
For the second week in a row Hopkins found his way to the top of this list. Not only does this bump Nuk up to the most targeted WR in all of professional football for 2017, but the 30 targets he’s had over the last two weeks is the most of any pass catcher over two consecutive weeks this season.
Sterling Shepard: 13 Targets
Shepard is basically the WR equivalent of that last turkey at the grocery store when you’ve waited entirely too long to purchase one. Who cares if he was the least desirable of the original starting WR corps, he’s all that’s left and he’s good enough.
Adam Thielen: 12 Targets
If you aren’t hooked on a Thielen by now, then I don’t know how to help you. He’s had double digit targets in each of the last 4 weeks and has scored twice. Even if you took away his 49 yard reception, his season high, he still had well over 100 yards receiving this week.
Corey Davis: 10 Targets
Statistically Davis didn’t have a big game but he was the most targeted pass catcher for the Titans in Week 10 and had what should have been a TD that was ruled to be a fumble into the end zone instead. He’s missed a lot of time this season but looks to finally be healthy and should be in weekly flex consideration going forward.
TJ Yeldon: 8 Targets
The most targeted RB this week, TJ Yeldon, just like we all predicted (sarcasm font). He was inactive for most of this season, but since the minor injury and later the public shaming and ceremonious benching of Leonard Fournette for violating the team’s personal conduct, Yeldon has seen his target numbers double in each of the last 3 weeks. I’m not suggesting that anyone start him, but he may be worth a stash as a wait and see option. I suspect that this is more about teaching their super star Fournette a lesson than Yeldon carving out a defined role because of how well he’s played, but I could be wrong.
Dontrelle Inman: 8 Targets
Inman might not be an elite NFL receiver, but that’s OK because he is the only thing in Chicago right now that even resembles a viable WR. He’ll be a hot waiver wire pickup and rightfully so, but likely a very scary play given the new system he’s having to learn on the fly, a rookie QB and the run first approach of the offense overall.
Bruce Ellington: 8 Targets
A darling of Matt Harmon’s reception perception in the off-season, Ellington has the pedigree of a solid fantasy producer, minus the production up to this point. That could finally be changing though as he’s had 8 targets in each of his last few games. You would probably prefer this hypothetical breakout to be facilitated by a QB not named Tom Savage, but with Will Fuller likely to miss time with a rib injury, this might finally be Ellington’s chance to shine.