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While six teams were on a bye, the number of players in double-digit targets was high in Week 8. However, Week 9 brought much less concentrated targets. Six teams were on a bye again, but significantly fewer players saw double-digit targets.

This is a week to make sure that you are checking target trends when looking for waiver wire pick-ups. Some players jump onto the list because of one good game. Just like fantasy owners shouldn’t chase touchdowns or one big game, they also shouldn’t chase one target-heavy game.

Players that are consistently seeing a high number of targets from their quarterback are the guys that you want to own. They are clearly a part of the offense and their quarterback trusts them. Without even looking at the catch percentages, targets are a great indication of a player’s usage.

Note that if a player has an asterisk next to his name in the double-digit target box, it indicates that they also had double-digit targets in the week they last played (taking into account bye weeks).

As always, none of the charts below show total receptions, total fantasy points or touchdowns. The sole purpose of this analysis is to look at targets.

Week 9 Target Watch

Each week I will be reviewing the targets from the past week, the season and even digging deeper by running back and tight end. I will also be analyzing any trends I find along the way.

Week 9 Only Double-Digit Targets

Player Team Targets
Mike Evans * Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17
Stefon Diggs * Minnesota Vikings 14
Jordy Nelson Green Bay Packers 13
Robert Woods Buffalo Bills 13
Lance Kendricks Los Angeles Rams 12
Golden Tate Detroit Lions 12
Allen Robinson * Jacksonville Jaguars 11
Julio Jones Atlanta Falcons 11
Emmanuel Sanders * Denver Broncos 11
Antonio Brown * Pittsburgh Steelers 11
Richard Rogers Green Bay Packers 10
Jordan Matthews * Philadelphia Eagles 10
Rishard Matthews Tennessee Titans 10
Odell Beckham Jr New York Giants 10
Eli Rogers Pittsburgh Steelers 10
Jason Witten Dallas Cowboys 10
Demaryius Thomas * Denver Broncos 10

 

After 25 players had double-digit targets in Week 8, only 17 made the list. Many of these players are far from a surprise, although a few newcomers do crack the list. Eli Rogers has had an up-and-down season so far. He did get extra work once Darrius Heyward-Bey was injured, but he’s hard to trust on a week-to-week basis.

Rishard Matthews, on the other hand, has made his way to the top of the Tennessee Titans wide receiver corps. He has five touchdowns in the past five weeks, including two in Week 8. He has at least four receptions or a touchdown in the past five games as well. The Titans face the Packers in Week 10, and Matthews is a WR3 for that match-up. He’s had 7, 4, 10 targets in the past three games, and he’s caught 14 of those 21 targets. Matthews is owned in only about 40 percent of leagues, and is worth a pick-up for those needing a bye-week fill-in with upside.

Top 12 Target Leaders This Season

Player Team Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Total
Mike Evans TB 11 12 BYE 13 11 17 103
T.Y. Hilton IND 10 11 9 12 6 8 90
A.J. Green CIN 12 8 10 8 18 BYE 88
Amari Cooper OAK 6 12 13 5 15 8 88
Antonio Brown PIT 5 11 8 11 BYE 11 86
Brandon Marshall NYJ 12 15 6 8 9 9 86
Emmanuel Sanders DEN 13 9 6 8 10 11 86
Terrelle Pryor CLE 9 6 13 4 13 7 83
Julio Jones ATL 15 6 9 15 5 11 81
Allen Robinson JAX 10 BYE 6 8 15 11 81
Larry Fitzgerald ARI 7 8 9 14 11 BYE 81
Michael Crabtree OAK 12 7 4 11 16 6 81

 

Mike Evans has become the first player to have over 100 target this season, and he’s already had a bye week. A target monster, he is a clear WR1 and should continue to be the rest of the way. He’s practiced in full this week, and although he technically still needs to be cleared of the concussion he suffered in Week 9’s Thursday night match-up, he should be fine to play in Week 10. He’s only had less than 10 targets in one game this year – Week 1.

Allen Robinson is a surprise on this list for some fantasy owners. He’s had a disappointing season, fantasy-wise, but he is still seeing targets. However, poor quarterback play has been his detriment this year. In a full point per reception league, Robinson isn’t even in the Top 30 in terms of fantasy points scored among all wide receivers. He’s tied for sixth for most targets, but the fantasy production just isn’t there for him. He faces Houston in Week 10, which is another tough match-up.

Top Tight End Targets In Week 9

Lance Kendricks Los Angeles Rams 12
Jason Witten Dallas Cowboys 10
Richard Rodgers Green Bay Packers 10
Jack Doyle Indianapolis Colts 9
Delanie Walker Tennessee Titans 9
Antonio Gates San Diego Chargers 9

 

Lance Kendricks has seen 8, 9, and 12 targets over the past three weeks. He has one touchdown and at least five receptions per game in each of those weeks as well. As Case Keenum is struggling, he’s looking to his tight end as a safety net. Kendricks is only 15 percent owned, so for fantasy owners that need a tight end in Week 10, he’s a TE2 against the New York Jets.

Jack Doyle, despite the return of Dwayne Allen, still was the Colts tight end to own, with five receptions for 61 yards. Allen, on the other hand, had two targets, which he converted for one reception for 15 yards. The Colts are on a bye this week, but Doyle is becoming the Colts tight end to own.

Top Running Back Targets In Week 9

Le’Veon Bell Pittsburgh Steelers 9
Darren Sproles Philadelphia Eagles 9
DeMarco Murray Tennessee Titans 7
T.J. Yeldon Jacksonville Jaguars 6
Benny Cunningham Los Angeles Rams 6
DuJuan Harris San Francisco 49ers 6

 

Darren Sproles is on the list for the second week in a row, as he has taken over as the lead back in Philadelphia. Not only is he involved in the passing game, but he had 13 carries in Week 9, compared to Ryan Mathews’ five. Sproles is obviously more valuable in PPR leagues, but he’s still a RB2 in standard leagues because of the workload.

Benny Cunningham is simply frustrating to Todd Gurley owners. With five receptions on his six targets, Cunningham is being used in the passing game, even though Gurley is fully capable of being a pass-catching back. Gurley did see five targets compared to Cunningham’s six, but had Gurley seen 11 targets, he’d finally be the RB1 that fantasy owners had hoped for. Leave Cunningham on waivers and just hope the Rams somehow get Gurley more involved.

 

Sarah Lewis
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Sarah Lewis

Sarah Lewis (formerly Sarah Bojarski) once spent an entire cocktail hour at a wedding reception answering Fantasy Football start/sit questions on Twitter. She has been writing about Fantasy Football for five seasons now, and is always willing to talk draft strategy with anyone looking to win their league. Follow her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32
Sarah Lewis
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