Welcome to the Target Report, where each week I highlight several key players who jumped out to me in terms of their target share.
DeAndre Hopkins: 16 Targets
The last time Nuk Hopkins had this many targets in a single game was Week 1, a game which Tom Savage also started. It’s an encouraging sign in the wake of the devastating injury to Deshaun Watson. Hey, at least it’s better than Osweiler.
Doug Baldwin: 12 Targets
This makes 3 straight weeks of double digit targets for Baldwin. He’s been more or less exactly what most fantasy owners drafted him to be in a year where most of the top WRs have let people down.
Alshon Jeffery: 12 Targets
I don’t want to understate the impact of Zach Ertz being inactive in this game on Jeffery’s target numbers. That said, the Denver Broncos’ secondary is no picnic for any WR, even in the most ideal scenarios. Alshon Jeffery has been a very TD dependent play this season, averaging only 3.5 receptions in games when Ertz has been active. Despite being 9th in the league in targets, with more than Nelson Agholor and Torrey Smith combined, Jeffery has caught 50% or less of those targets in 2 out of every 3 games he’s played, which is to say, the rapport between he and Carson Wentz is still under construction. Hopefully for owners looking to make a playoff push, this week will serve as a catalyst in strengthening that relationship.
Carlos Hyde: 11 Targets
Matt Breida has gotten some hype this season for his involvement in the offense but make no mistake, this is still Carlos Hyde’s backfield. He has now out-carried and out-targeted Breida in each of the last 4 weeks.
Davante Adams: 10 Targets
On Monday night Brett Hundley looked like the kid who only gets to play QB because his Dad’s the coach. In fairness he had some pretty big shoes to fill but it’s definitely time to hit the panic button on all Green Bay pass catchers. Adams still put up decent numbers with 7 receptions for little gain on these 10 targets but he did so with nearly the best gamescript that you could hope for. CB Darius Slay spent most of the evening covering Jordy Nelson, the Packers couldn’t get anything going with the ground game, plus they were in catch-up mode for basically the entire game. If I had Davante Adams, I would be looking to move him immediately as the Packers will want to run the ball as much as possible going forward and Jordy will likely be the only WR that I feel comfortable starting in most matchups.
Benjamin Watson: 10 Targets
Joe Flacco had 52 pass attempts in this one, the most of any QB for Week 9. He spread the ball around pretty evenly amongst his pass catchers but leaned on his TE most as he’s been known to do. Ben Watson is by no means a locked and loaded weekly starter but he does lead the team in red zone targets and should in weekly consideration as a streamer.
TY Hilton: 9 Targets
No doubt TY HIlton has largely been a disappointment this season without Andrew Luck. He has yet to reach double digit targets in any one game however, this is the third time his season that he’s reached 9. The stat lines for those 3 games are 7 rec-153 yards-1 TD, 7 rec-177 yards, and 5 rec-175 yards-2 TDs. With Jacoby Brissett under center, Hilton has essentially become a weekly boom or bust play. If you have to start him, cross your fingers and hope that the volume goes his way.
Jared Cook: 9 Targets
Although he’s not being utilized in the red zone much at all, Jared Cook does have the 5th most targets on 3rd among all TEs in the league. Because of this volume he’s emerged as one of the only TEs that I believe you can start with confidence every week, just not this week, they’re on bye.