Welcome to the Target Report, where each week I highlight several key players who jump out to me in terms of their target share.
Jack Doyle: 14 Targets
Here he is folks in all of his glory, the most targeted pass catcher for Week 8, Jack “Baby Hands” Doyle, just like we all expected. He is also the first and currently the only TE to reach at least 14 targets in a single game this season. Young QBs like Jacoby Brissett leaning on their TEs is nothing we haven’t seen before and I don’t see any reason for it to change anytime soon.
Jamison Crowder: 13 Targets
Going into this week Crowder was only averaging 5 targets per game. This amount of volume has been very frustrating to those who drafted him believing that his role in the offense would grow in the absence of Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson. Instead, Kirk Cousins, who has put up the 8th fantasy points at the QB position, has spread the ball around so evenly that there isn’t a single Washington WR inside the top 50 in fantasy points scored (PPR scoring).
RB Chris Thompson who has been more involved in the passing attack than ever also set his season high for targets the week with 9. I don’t think that this week was a sign of more reliable production to come, although Jordan Reed missing some time with injuries certainly wouldn’t hurt his cause.
Marvin Jones: 11 Targets
This puts him at 25 targets over the last 2 weeks, which is a nice spike in targets given that he only had 26 total in his first 5 games. There’s a pretty logical line to be drawn between this usage and the shoulder injury sustained by the offenses #1 WR target Golden Tate. Tate is expected to return this week but there’s no guarantee he will be anything close to 100%. It’s a situation worth monitoring, but for now, Marvin Jones remains a pretty strong play in my opinion.
Juju Smith-Schuster: 10 Targets
The NFL’s youngest player went from getting 0 targets in Week 1 to double digits in Week 8 and is now a top 20 fantasy WR for the season in .5 PPR scoring. His usage in the red zone early in the season made him an exciting prospect even though the volume simply wasn’t there. Going forward it will be interesting to see if his target numbers remain more closely to this week’s number or the 3.7 targets per game he had averaged coming into this week.
Jerick McKinnon: 10 Targets
Since the loss of Dalvin Cook, McKinnon has had no less than 14 carries in every game. Between his rushing and receiving he’s averaging over 100 yards and 1 TD per game over that same span. This week he saw his season high number of targets, tied with DeAndre Washington for the most among all RBs in Week 8. Jerick McKinnon truthers rejoice, it’s finally happening.
Will Fuller: 8 Targets
If anyone has had anything negative to say about Will Fuller over the last four weeks since returning from a broken collarbone, it probably had to do with the volume he’s been getting or lack thereof. Receiving 8 targets this week is definitely an encouraging sign that he may have earned a more prominent role in the offense that could help make him a safe weekly play with a more stable floor. Seven TDs in 4 games will do that for you.
Rex Burkhead: 7 Targets
The Patriots once again reminded us this week that we have no idea what they’re going to do with their platoon of solid RBs, with Burkhead receiving the most targets of them all. In fact, he trailed only Rob Gronkowski and Brandin Cooks for the most targets on the team in this game. If you’re in dire straits because of the BYE-pocalypse, it might pay off to roll the dice on whichever New England RB is sitting on waivers, which in all likelihood is Rex Burkhead.