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2017 Fantasy Football Strategy

Week 8 Target Watch: Antonio Brown still with the most targets this season

week 3 target watch
Photo Credit: Brook Ward

With six teams on a bye, the Week 8 targets were more in line with Week 7. Sixteen different players did see double-digit targets, and what is interesting about the list is a tight end is at the top this week.

Two running backs also saw double-digit targets, which is great for owners in PPR formats. Keeping an eye on the running backs that see targets is key for Fantasy owners.

Targets mean the players are involved in the offense. Sometimes the players get  more targets as a result of match-up; sometimes it is because another player is injured on the team.

Regardless, it is important to keep an eye on who is getting the targets from their team. When scouring the waiver wire, check the targets in addition to fantasy points.

Please note 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 8 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 8 Double-Digit Targets

Player Team Targets
Jack Doyle Indianapolis Colts 14
Jamison Crowder Washington Redskins 13
Jarvis Landry * Miami Dolphins 12
DeAndre Hopkins Houston Texans 11
Marvin Jones, Jr. Detroit Lions 11
Amari Cooper * Oakland Raiders 10
Adam Thielen * Minnesota Vikings 10
DeAndre Washington Oakland Raiders 10
Doug Baldwin * Seattle Seahawks 10
Michael Crabtree Oakland Raiders 10
Mike Evans * Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10
Jerick McKinnon Minnesota Vikings 10
JuJu Smith-Schuster Pittsburgh Steelers 10
Kenny Stills Miami Dolphins 10
Travis Kelce Kansas City Chiefs 10
Antonio Brown * Pittsburgh Steelers 10

 

After Amari Cooper’s 19-target Week 7, he had 10 targets in Week 8. The Oakland Raiders are clearly keeping him a part of their offense, but Michael Crabtree and running back DeAndre Washington also had double-digit targets. Derek Carr threw the ball 49 times, so it does make sense that his top three targets were these three. Cooper and Crabtree will have fantasy value each week as the top wideouts on the team.

Six players had double-digit targets two weeks in a row. Adam Thielen has done well in Stefon Diggs’ absence, but even with Diggs back in Week 8, Thielen still had more targets and yards. The Vikings are on a bye in Week 9, but both wide receivers have Fantasy value for the rest of the season.

 

Top 10 Target Leaders

Player Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Total
Antonio Brown, PIT 11 14 9 19 10 10 10 94
Jarvis Landry, MIA 15 11 7 10 14 11 12 80
DeAndre Hopkins, HOU 13 8 12 12 4 BYE 11 76
Adam Thielen, MIN 6 8 8 8 13 12 10 75
Keenan Allen, LAC 10 9 11 12 9 7 5 73
Amari Cooper, OAK 5 5 8 2 6 19 10 68
Mike Evans, TB 9 12 11 8 8 10 10 68
Pierre Garcon, SF 5 10 8 11 12 7 4 67
Christian McCaffrey, TN 5 11 6 7 14 9 7 66
Larry Fitzgerald, ARI 6 15 7 10 11 3 BYE 65

 

The Top 10 target leaders chart is back down to 10 after Zach Ertz and Dez Bryant fell off this list. Even with the bye week, Larry Fitzgerald has  stayed in the Top 10. However, Pierre Garcon is now on the I.R. Garcon will likely fall off the list next week. Also keep an eye on what happens with DeAndre Hopkins with Deshaun Watson now out for the rest of the season as well.

Antonio Brown is on a bye this week, but he may still maintain the top spot. Jarvis Landry is consistently a solid PPR option, although he only had five receptions for 33 yards on those 12 targets in Week 8. He has three touchdowns this year already, however, which is only one shy of what he had in both 2015 and 2016.

 

Top Tight End Targets In Week 8

Jack Doyle Indianapolis Colts 14
Travis Kelce Kansas City Chiefs 10
Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots 9
Kyle Rudolph Minnesota Vikings 7
David Njoku Cleveland Browns 7

 

Jack Doyle not only had the most targets out of all tight ends in Week 8, but the most targets out of all players. Jacoby Brissett has been looking for him each week. As T.Y. Hilton has fallen to a WR3, Doyle is flirting with TE1 status.

David Njoku has yet to have more than two receptions in a game this year. He hasn’t topped 60 receiving yards. Even in a week where he had seven targets, he only caught two of them for 19 yards. He’s not a recommended fantasy option for the rest of the season (the Browns have a bye in Week 9).

Top Running Back Targets In Week 8

DeAndre Washington Oakland Raiders 10
Jerick McKinnon Minnesota Vikings 10
Carlos Hyde * San Francisco 49ers 9
Chris Thompson Washington Redskins 9

 

Surprisingly, Carlos Hyde is the only running back to make this list in back-to-back weeks. After a terrible performance in Week 5, which sent Fantasy owners to the waiver wire to add Matt Brieda, Hyde has turned it around. He had six targets in Week 6 and eight targets in Week 7, clearly trending in the right direction. He’s a RB1 for Week 9.

DeAndre Washington got his targets because Marshawn Lynch was on the sideline in Week 8. While Lynch has struggled this year, Washington is still a desperation RB3. The Raiders backfield is a mess, with three running backs competing for carries and targets. None are a recommended fantasy start.

 

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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
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