A few things stick out when taking a glance at the target leaderboard after six weeks. Cooper Kupp is hanging on to the top spot with 69 targets on the season, but Michael Thomas is hot on his heels with 67 after yet another double-digit target game. Zack Ertz leads all tight ends with 54 targets, which is good enough for tenth-most among all pass-catchers. Austin Ekeler still leads all running backs in targets, but one of the more surprising names is Leonard Fournette, who checks in as seventh among running backs with 36 targets on the season. The most striking stat for the Footclan is probably the 55 targets that teammates Chris Godwin and Mike Evans have each seen, tying them for seventh-most so far this season. But enough with the season-long report, here are the most notable target performances from Week 6.
Mike Evans: 17 targets, 9 rec
After putting up a goose egg on just three targets in Week 5, Evans bounced back and became just the fourth player this season to see 17 targets in a single game. He only caught nine of them and didn’t find the end zone, but he’ll still see plenty of deep shots from Jameis Winston as the Buccaneers continue to air out the ball.
Julian Edelman: 15 targets, 9 rec
Edelman is proving once again to be the most valuable pass-catcher in New England. After seeing a season-high 15 targets on Thursday night he now leads the Patriots with a 24% target share. He’s only seen fewer than seven targets in one game this season, the notorious Antonio Brown game in Week 2 against Miami, where he still caught all four passes thrown his way.
DeAndre Hopkins: 12 targets, 9 rec
Hopkins has the sixth most targets in the NFL, but it hasn’t translated to much fantasy success. He’s only averaging 12 fantasy points per game and hasn’t found the endzone since Week 1. He hasn’t lived up to his high draft capital yet this season, but he still holds a 28% target share in the high-scoring Texans offense. It’s likely only a matter of time before Nuk goes nuclear.
Auden Tate: 12 targets, 5 rec
Tyler Boyd was expected to have another big game for the Bengals, but the Ravens deployed shutdown corner Marlon Humphrey into the slot and limited him to just three catches on seven targets. Enter Auden Tate, who was peppered with a career-high 12 targets. Tate has seen the field on over 90% of the Bengals snaps over the past four weeks and as long as John Ross and A.J. Green remain sidelined with injuries, he’ll have fantasy value in the Bengals pass-heavy offense.
Stefon Diggs: 11 targets, 7 rec
Much has been made about Diggs’ supposed frustration with his role lately in Minnesota, but the Vikings certainly utilized the talented receiver in Week 6. The 11 targets that went his way Sunday were the most he’s seen since Week 11 of last year. He even had two carries for 18 yards in the game. He was able to turn the increased opportunities into the top fantasy output of Week 6 and the fourth-highest fantasy performance by a wide receiver so far this season.
Tyreek Hill: 10 targets, 5 rec
Hill made his much-anticipated return to the game field in Week 6 and his impact was felt immediately. He led the Chiefs with ten targets despite only playing on half of the team’s offensive snaps. He’s once again one of the most electric players in fantasy football and raises the ceiling for his MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Hunter Henry: 9 targets, 8 rec
Hill’s return from injury was nice, but it wasn’t the most impressive of the week. Henry returned from his Week 1 knee fracture and instantly saw nine targets from Philip Rivers, which he turned into 100 yards and two touchdowns. The Chargers clearly want to use him as a receiving threat, as he lined up out wide or in the slot on 30 of the 41 snaps he played. Given the current wasteland that is fantasy football tight ends, anybody that held on to or added him before this week may have hit the fantasy jackpot.
Dallas Goedert: 8 targets, 5 rec
The only tight ends to see more targets than Goedert in Week 6 were Hunter Henry and fellow Eagle Zach Ertz. He’s not your typical backup tight end, as he’s been on the field for over 70% of Philadelphia’s offensive snaps over the last two weeks. He even put up more fantasy points than Ertz in most scoring formats against the Vikings Sunday. While that can’t be expected most weeks, Goedert is a better dart throw than a lot of other teams’ starting tight ends.
Dante Pettis: 6 targets. 3 rec
Andy’s “Ex-My Guy” is finally showing signs of life. Six targets aren’t exactly something to be thrilled about, but they’re the most he’s seen this season and were more than any 49er not named George Kittle. He also played on a season-high 72% of San Fransisco’s offensive snaps, also more than any other non-Kittle skill player.
JuJu Smith-Schuster: 4 targets, 1 rec
JuJu saw eight targets in each of the first two games this season with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback. Since then he’s averaged just over five targets per game from the combination of Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges. He’ll undoubtedly still put up a few big scores throughout the remainder of the season, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be the target monster fantasy owners were counting on when they drafted him.
Other notable target counts in Week 6: