Welcome to the target report, where each week I highlight several players that jump out to me in terms of their target share.
Odell Beckham Jr: 15 Targets
OBJ followed his 13 target Week 3 performance with another 15 targets this week. That was enough to make him the most targeted pass catcher in the NFL for Week 4 on the way to the most yardage that he’s had so far in any one game, despite the fact that he only caught 7 of them. He’s a little banged up but you can fully expect Eli Manning to continue to lean on him. The finger injury doesn’t scare me a bit as Beckham has proven time and again that he really only needs one good hand anyway.
Jaron Brown: 12 Targets
Over the last 3 weeks, “Ja-wrong” Brown has averaged nearly 10 targets a game. He has also seen his fantasy production increase incrementally over that span. As long as John Brown and JJ Nelson both remain on the injury report, I think that you can rely on Jaron Brown as a weekly flex play. No QB in the league has thrown the ball more times than Carson Palmer who has 183 attempts so far. The next closest is Eli Manning with 166.
Aldrick Robinson: 12 Targets
If you’re looking for any deep league Aldrick Robinson hype you won’t find it here. Trent Taylor also had 10 targets in this game in the absence of Marquise Goodwin. Brian Hoyer had 49 pass attempts, tied for the 2nd most attempts in Week 4, trailing only Carson Palmer from the same game. The biggest takeaway here is that the 2nd and 3rd option WRs are worth streaming consideration against Arizona in deeper leagues because of the Patrick Peterson effect. That’s of course provided that there is a competent QB like Hoyer to spread the ball around. As far as the 49ers go, Pierre Garçon remains the only startable WR in most matchups.
Mike Wallace: 10 Targets
Andy Holloway brought this one up on Tuesday’s podcast and I immediately had to look it up for myself. This actually makes Wallace the first Ravens WR to reach double-digit targets this season. In fact, prior to this game, the most targets that any WR had reached was 5. I don’t think that we will see much more double-digit target weeks for Wallace, but the situation is definitely worth monitoring given that Wallace has been a perennial deep threat over the course of his career. He really only needs one big play to help your team and increased target share going forward would certainly put him into starter consideration as a boom or bust option.
Devin Funchess: 9 Targets
I’m an NC based Panther’s fan and as such, I’ve had a lot of exposure to Devin Funchess over the past 3 seasons being, well, really bad. He’s just never been able to play to his size as if no one ever told him that he’s 6’4” 250+ lbs. That said, he’s been getting plenty of volumes and has looked solid over the last two weeks in the absence of Greg Olsen. As you can probably tell, I fall more on the skeptical side of the fence when it comes to Funchess but if he’s going to be getting nearly 10 targets a game he should be owned in every league and started for many, just not by me, my league mates can have him.
Chris Hogan: 9 Targets
Chris Hogan is tied with Allen Hurns for the 2nd most red zone targets on the season trailing only Larry Fitzgerald. Also, I would argue that, on average, a “Tom Brady” red zone target is considerably more valuable than one from either Carson Palmer or Blake Bortles.
Andre Ellington: 14 Targets
Ellington was the natural beneficiary of the pass-heavy game script this week. He also has the most passing targets of any RB in the league with 30. At the moment he certainly seems like the best of all of the bad options in the Arizona backfield, but there is two pass catching RBs below whose situations I prefer.
Alvin Kamara: 10 Targets
Mark Ingram also had 8 targets and dominated the carries with 14 attempts, which is to say that both are worthy of starting consideration on a weekly basis. Week 4 was no outlier either as Kamara currently leads all Saints RBs with 28 targets on the season which is only one less than both Tarik Cohen and Christian McCaffrey, both of whom I think that many fantasy players view as “safer” plays, and neither of whom have Drew Brees throwing them the ball.
Duke Johnson: 10 Targets
Isaiah Crowell only has 8 targets on the entire season while Duke Johnson is averaging 7 per game. Tied with Alvin Kamara for the 3rd most targets in the league at the RB position, Duke has been a beast so far this year in PPR leagues. Also, like Kamara, he has looked spectacular with the workload and is far more than just a volume play.
Evan Engram: 11 Targets
Engram lead all TEs this week with his 11 targets and is currently tied with Rob Gronkowski for the second most on the season with 30. Starting him at this point is a no-brainer. He’s emerged as one of the best TE options because of his consistent usage thus far, which is really all that you can ask for at the position.