Welcome to the target report, where each week I highlight several key players who jump out to me in terms of their target share.
Christian McCaffrey: 14 Targets
This is the first time that this article kicks off with a player that isn’t a WR. McCaffrey saw his season high number of targets, tied for the most among all pass catchers across all positions in Week 6. This was largely related to gameflow as Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess also combined for 22 targets while Jonathan Stewart had a season-low 8 carries. While I don’t think you can count on Cam to throw the ball 52 times like he did in this game, most in the league this week, this is not the first game that Carolina has found themselves in catch-up mode while trailing in the 2nd half of a game. The fact that the Panthers leaned more heavily on CMC is a great sign for his prospects rest of season, especially with Jonathan Stewart nursing an ankle injury.
Marvin Jones: 14 Targets
Matt Stafford ended this game tied with Cam Newton for most Week 6 pass attempts with 52, so it’s no surprise that one of his pass catchers also finds himself at the top of this list. Marvin Jones is trending in the right direction in terms of target share breaking his season high of 8 which he set just one week prior. Meanwhile, Golden Tate continued to be the volatile commodity that he’s proven himself to be over the years, getting out-targeted by TJ Jones in this game.
Jarvis Landry: 14 Targets
When Jay Cutler took over the starting QB job in Miami, many people including myself speculated that Jarvis Landry’s role in the offense as an inefficient short yardage target monster would change drastically. Alas, it has not. He is more or less the same player, in the same role, getting the same volume that he has been for the last few years. Granted Devante Parker is missing time with nagging lower-body injuries, which is also nothing new, but Landry’s role in the offense and weekly volume continues to feel about as safe as you can get for the purposes of fantasy football.
Demaryius Thomas: 14 Targets
Thomas suffered a bruise to his calf that had him hobbled in this game but it shouldn’t keep off the field going forward. Emmanuel Sanders, on the other hand, is dealing with a bad looking ankle sprain that is going to cause him to miss some time. This should make for some solid guaranteed target numbers for DT as well as Bennie Fowler who stepped into the #2 role, attracting 8 targets himself.
Robby Anderson: 12 Targets
Austin Seferian-Jenkins also had 11 targets in this game against a Patriots defense that has been giving out fantasy points more freely than a friendly neighbor giving out candy to trick-or-treaters. The fact that Anderson only caught 4 of them isn’t overly concerning since gun slinging passes downfield is all his QB Josh McCown has ever been known for, aside from getting injured. What is concerning is the ankle injury that he sustained in the 4th quarter. You’ll want to keep an eye on that, but if he can stay on the field Anderson should continue to see enough volume to sustain him against weaker defenses.
Chris Ivory: 10 Targets
This number is an anomaly. A statistical outlier. A blip on the radar destined to immediately disappear without a trace of what it was or how it happened. Chris Ivory has been in the league since 2010 and has never sniffed double-digit targets in the passing game. This is not his new role and even half of this weekly target share would be overly optimistic. At best he’s a fine handcuff for Leonard Fournette owners.
Marqise Lee: 10 Targets
Lee was getting limited work while dealing with a knee issue but was left off of the injury report heading into this game. He was expected to be a huge beneficiary of Allen Robinson’s absence in terms of target volume but hasn’t been healthy enough to capitalize until now. I don’t think we’ve seen enough to guarantee that he will continue to see double-digit targets on this run-first offense but it’s certainly well within the realm of possibility, especially if Leonard Fournette is nursing a sore ankle.
Austin Hooper: 9 Targets
The Falcons offense as a whole has been disappointing so far but this makes two consecutive weeks of solid target numbers and fantasy production for Hooper. He began the year with 3 straight games with only 2 targets in each, but with a hobbled Julio Jones and Mohammed Sanu missing time, his role in the passing game became more of a necessity. Now that Sanu is expected to return will he return to his 2 target ways? I tend to believe that he will and would be looking for another TE option if possible.