Welcome to the target report, where each week I highlight several key players that jump out to me in terms of their target share.
Antonio Brown: 19 targets
Not a ton of analysis needed for Week 5’s most targeted pass catcher. AB squeaky wheeled his way to nearly 20 targets after his season low of 9 just one week ago. Big Ben may or may not have “it” anymore but either way, he knows who his best weapon is and will seemingly feed him regardless of the coverage, even if it results in an interception or five.
Keenan Allen: 12 Targets
Philip Rivers seems to have a new favorite second option receiver every week but there’s no doubt who his favorite target is when it really counts. Allen is currently the league leader in targets on 3rd down with 23, which is 6 more than any other player across all positions.
DeAndre Hopkins: 12 Targets
If you only looked at the box score and saw 4 receptions for 3 TDs you might think that Hopkins was only used in the red zone for this game, but the targets tell a different story. Deshaun Watson is absolutely playing out of his mind and feeding Nuk over 12 targets a game in the process, the 2nd most in the league behind only Antonio Brown.
Zach Ertz: 12 Targets
Ertz along with the 3 WR mentioned above are the only players to demand at least 8 targets in every game so far this season. He’s on pace to finish as this year’s #1 TE.
Davante Adams: 11 Targets
After taking a devastating hit the week before that lead many to doubt whether he would even be active for this game, Adams came back with a vengeance and even caught the game-winning TD. By the end of this game, he had also reached 10 red zone targets for the season which is currently the most in the league.
Chris Hogan: 11 Targets
Chris Hogan had 5 targets in Week 1 and has seen that number increase every week since. He has definitely been trending in the right direction. I will admit that his TD numbers are likely due for some regression but they are not a fluke when you consider that he has the second most red zone targets in the league with 9, trailing only Davante Adams and Larry Fitzgerald.
Marquise Goodwin: 11 Targets
I mentioned last week that Aldrick Robinson and Trent Taylor didn’t deserve any hype for their spike in target numbers because Pierre Garcon had been shadowed by Patrick Peterson and Goodwin was out with a concussion. Garcon, who also had 11 targets this week, was primarily covered by the Colts’ best CB Vontae Davis, making Marquise Goodwin the best WR option for Brian Hoyer. I think that because of his blazing speed, he’s a viable WR play for fantasy against subpar defenses. His bye week isn’t until Week 11 and in my opinion, he needs to be owned in deeper leagues that start 3 or more WRs.
This brings him to 40 targets on the season, the most among all running backs. I don’t particularly like him as a player in terms of his talent but the volume lately has been undeniable. I think that the addition of Adrian Peterson will likely bring these target numbers back down to earth a bit, but for now you can continue to play him in PPR leagues with a fair amount of confidence.
DeSean Jackson: 9 Targets
This is the most that DJax has been targeted in any single game. Winston has been taking deep shots intended for him but has struggled to connect. His current longest catch for the season is 41 yards, which means if the season ended today it would be the only time in his career where he didn’t have a single catch of 60 yards or more. He’s averaging 8.6 yards per reception which would also be much lower than his career average of just over 10.
Cooper Kupp: 8 Targets
What do Jordy Nelson and Cooper Kupp have in common? Regardless of what your answer was, I doubt that it was “they both have the same number of red zone targets this year”. I’ll grant you that Aaron Rodgers tends to be slightly more effective with his attempts in this area but it’s a fact worth taking note and should boost your confidence in his weekly upside. It’s also worth pointing out that he’s seen more targets in his latest 2 outings than he saw in his first 3 combined.
Juju Smith-Schuster: 6 Targets
I had to work JuJu into this article somehow. He had 0 targets in Week 1 but has since averaged 5 per game. What’s even more exciting is the fact that 35% of his targets have come in the red zone. With all the injuries to WRs, he is worth keeping an eye on in deeper leagues as we head into bye weeks.