Target Report for Week 8 (Fantasy Football)

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With Week 8 now in the books, we’re officially halfway through the fantasy football season. At the midpoint of the season, we have six players averaging at least ten* targets per game. The top two targeted players of the season thus far are currently the WR2 and WR4 respectively. Three of the other four are top-20 wideouts. The worst of the bunch, Tyler Boyd, checks in at WR35. Not bad considering he plays in the lowly Bengals offense. Here’s how the numbers look in table form.

Player Targets/game Fantasy PPG Fantasy PPG Rank
Michael Thomas 11.1 18.4 WR2
Cooper Kupp 10.9 17.3 WR4
Tyler Boyd 10.3 10.5 WR35
Keenan Allen 10.1 13.2 WR20
DeAndre Hopkins 10.1 13.7 WR14
Julian Edelman 9.9 14.0 WR13
*I took the liberty of a slight round-up for Edelman

Before we look forward to the second half of the season, here’s a look back at the most notable target performance in Week 8.

DeAndre Hopkins: 13 targets, 11 rec

Hopkins has now seen at least 12 targets in three consecutive games after only averaging 7.8 in Weeks 2-6. Fantasy owners who held onto or bought low on Nuk during that perceived lull are being handsomely rewarded, as he’s put up the eighth-most fantasy points among wideouts over the past three weeks.

Auden Tate: 13 targets, 5 rec

While the target volume has been there recently for Tate, he hasn’t been reeling in many of them. He’s seen 30 targets over the past three weeks but has only converted 13 of them into receptions. That type of target attention shouldn’t be ignored, but Tate is still hard to trust outside of deeper leagues with his sub-par catch percentage. 

Mike Evans: 12 targets, 11 rec

Much like Hopkins, Evans has seen a hearty target share after a few down weeks. He’s overtaken teammate Chris Godwin in the target department, though Godwin still has the advantage in receptions and yards as he runs more short to intermediate routes out of the slot.

D.J. Chark: 12 targets, 6 rec

Already in the midst of a breakout season, Chark was targeted a career-high 12 times in Week 8. He currently has a team-high 23% market share and healthy 723 air yards, the tenth most in the NFL. That target share could increase if teammate Dede Westbrook, who left early due to injury after logging just a single target, ends up missing any game time. 

Latavius Murray: 12 targets, 9 rec

Usually, when checking stat lines you see Michael Thomas atop the list of New Orleans pass-catchers and move on. That wasn’t the case in Week 8, as Murray nearly doubled his career-high with 12 targets. He’s been impressive while filling in for the injured Alvin Kamara the past two weeks and may earned himself a role similar to the one Mark Ingram played the previous two seasons. If that’s the case, he still could be a league-winner.

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Christian Kirk: 11 targets, 8 rec

Kirk was averaging 9.3 targets per game for the first four weeks of the season before a high ankle sprain caused him to miss the next three. He didn’t appear to miss a beat in his first game back, easily leading the Cardinals in targets and receptions. He could be primed for a huge second half of the season if he can stay on the same page with rookie quarterback Kyler Murray.

Russell Gage: 9 targets, 7 rec

If you’re not sure who Russell Gage is don’t worry, you’re not alone. The Falcons drafted Gage in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL draft, but he had never been on the field for more than 20 offensive snaps in a single game before seeing 47 in Week 8. He appears to have an opportunity in Atlanta’s offense how that Mohamed Sanu has been shipped to New England, but it remains to be seen if Matt Ryan will target him like Matt Schaub did when he returns from injury after the Week 9 bye.

Noah Fant: 8 targets, 5 rec

It didn’t add up to much fantasy production, but the rookie tight end saw season-highs in targets, receptions, and snaps in Week 8. While those are all excellent indicators for a looming breakout, it will likely be put on hold while career backup quarterback Brandon Allen is under center for Denver.

Josh Reynolds: 8 targets, 3 rec

It will likely go unnoticed by most after Cooper Kupp’s explosion Sunday, but Josh Reynolds saw just two fewer targets than Kupp. He saw the field on 89% of the Rams snaps after Brandin Cooks left the game early with a concussion. There’s a good chance that Reynolds remains involved as Cooks works his way through the concussion protocol for the fourth time in less than two years. 

Austin Ekeler: 3 targets, 2 rec

It was a disappointing week for Ekeler as he saw his lowest target output of the season. His three targets and two receptions were equally matched by his backfield mate Melvin Gordon. Ekeler still leads all running backs with 56 targets on the season, though his targets per game have fallen to 7.0, behind James White (7.4) and Christian McCaffrey (7.1) 

Other notable target counts in Week 8

Julio Jones -12
Curtis Samuel – 11
Michael Thomas -11
Julian Edelman – 11
Keenan Allen – 10
Jarvis Landry – 10
Saquon Barkley – 10
Golden Tate – 10
JuJu Smith-Schuster – 9
Tyler Eifert – 9
D.J. Moore – 9
Kenny Golladay – 8
Danny Amendola – 8
Aaron Jones – 8
Jonnu Smith – 7
Chris Conley: 7
Odell Beckham Jr – 7
Mohamed Sanu – 5

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