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While Week 13 was a low week for quarterbacks and pass-catchers (and therefore targets), Week 14 was arguably even worse. Big name players struggled and Fantasy owners paid the price. With only 17 wide receivers, running backs and tight ends securing double-digit targets (down from 19 last week), the Week 14 targets were hard to come by, and it was a tough week to rely on a pass-catcher.

While some players fared well, only two players had double-digit targets and a touchdown: T.Y. Hilton and Emmanuel Sanders. 11 players had at least 100 receiving yards, but out of those, only four had more than five receptions. Six had seven or fewer targets.

Despite the slow week, Fantasy owners should still look at targets to see how involved a player is in the offense. Targets mean the quarterback trusts the player, and with some quarterback changes, it’s important to note who the next man up is for the new quarterback.

For Week 15, Fantasy owners should look at the targets and look at their line-ups. Are there players that are just not going to be used? Drop them for someone that has been seeing targets. Even if you don’t start him, it’s better to see those points on your bench than on your opponent’s starting roster.

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 14 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 14 Only Double-Digit Targets

Player Team Targets
Demaryius Thomas * Denver Broncos 16
Julian Edelman * New England Patriots 15
Emmanuel Sanders Denver Broncos 14
Zach Ertz * Philadelphia Eagles 13
T.Y. Hilton * Indianapolis Colts 13
Kenny Britt Los Angeles Rams 12
Robby Anderson * New York Jets 11
Tavon Austin Los Angeles Rams 11
Antonio Brown Pittsburgh Steelers 11
Golden Tate * Detroit Lions 11
Doug Baldwin Seattle Seahawks 11
Corey Coleman Cleveland Browns 11
Kenneth Dixon Baltimore Ravens 11
Brandin Cooks New Orleans Saints 10
Jordan Matthews Philadelphia Eagles 10
Trey Burton Philadelphia Eagles 10
Amari Cooper Oakland Raiders 10

 

If we thought Week 13 was rough, we didn’t predict Week 14 to be as bad as it was. Quarterbacks struggled more in Week 14 than they did in Week 13, which means the target totals were less. It’s been a steady decline for targets over recent weeks, with Week 13 having 19 players in double digits and Week 14 having 17 players with double-digit targets.

In Week 13 Bryce Petty targeted Robby Anderson 12 times, and Anderson caught four of those passes for 61 yards and a touchdown. In Week 14, Anderson was targeted 11 times. Anderson caught six of those passes for 99 yards. Both weeks he lead the team in targets and receiving yards. Clearly there is a rapport between Petty and Anderson, and it is translating to WR3 value in PPR formats. Petty will continue to look to Anderson, and while he won’t come down with all the passes, he’s being targeted more often than anyone else on the team.

Two Los Angeles Rams wide receivers make the list as Jared Goff threw the ball 41 times in Week 14. Kenny Britt and Tavon Austin saw plenty of targets, but both only managed seven receptions for 82 and 62 yards respectively. Neither found the end zone, and neither are recommended Fantasy options for the remainder of the Fantasy season.

Top 12 Target Leaders This Season

Player Team Wk 9 Wk 10 Wk 11 Wk 12 Wk 13 Wk 14 Total
Mike Evans TB 17 5 13 11 6 8 146
Antonio Brown PIT 11 18 10 6 7 11 138
Odell Beckham Jr NYG 10 11 7 11 16 9 134
Larry Fitzgerald ARI BYE 18 7 4 11 9 130
Emmanuel Sanders DEN 11 9 BYE 10 9 14 128
T.Y. Hilton IND 8 BYE 9 5 10 13 127
Jordy Nelson GB 13 18 5 12 10 7 125
Julian Edelman NE BYE 9 17 11 12 15 126
Allen Robinson JAX 11 13 7 4 10 3 119
Demaryius Thomas DEN 10 11 BYE 8 10 16 119
Michael Crabtree OAK 6 BYE 7 13 11 7 119
DeAndre Hopkins HOU BYE 13 6 10 8 4 117

 

After missing Week 14, Julio Jones has fallen off the list and Julian Edelman has vaulted onto the target leader chart. Fantasy owners did get some brutal games from some of the top target leaders, however. Allen Robinson had three targets, although he did face Minnesota. DeAndre Hopkins had four targets against what should have been a solid match-up against the Indianapolis Colts. At this point, if Fantasy owners of either of Robinson or Hopkins are still alive in the playoffs, neither wide receiver can be trusted.

Two Denver wide receivers are on the list, which is surprising as Trevor Siemian isn’t thought of to be a quarterback slinging the ball around. However, with little-to-no running game to speak of, the Broncos do need to air the ball out. That game plan should continue into Week 15 when they face the New England Patriots.

Top Tight End Targets In Week 14

Zach Ertz Philadelphia Eagles 13
Trey Burton Philadelphia Eagles 10
Antonio Gates San Diego Chargers 9
Kyle Rudolph Minnesota Vikings 8
Travis Kelce Kansas City Chiefs 8

 

For the second week in a row, two Philadelphia Eagles tight ends appear on the list. Last week, the reasoning was because Jordan Matthews missed the game. However, this week, he was active and Ertz was still the target leader for the team. Burton and Matthews tied with 10 targets each. Philadelphia plays Baltimore in Week 15, which is a tough match-up. Ertz is still a TE2 while Burton can safely be ignored.

Gates, Rudolph and Kelce aren’t a surprise on this list as they have had good games and poor games. Gates faces the Raiders in Week 15, Rudolph faces the Colts and Kelce faces the Titans. All three have good match-ups are on the low TE1 radar.

Top Running Back Targets In Week 14

Kenneth Dixon Baltimore Ravens 11
T.J. Yeldon Jacksonville Jaguars 9
David Johnson Arizona Cardinals 8
Robert Turbin Indianapolis Colts 7
LeSean McCoy Buffalo Bills 7
Jerick McKinnon Minnesota Vikings 6
Kenneth Farrow San Diego Chargers 6

 

If, before Week 1, someone said that Robert Turbin, Jerick McKinnon and Kenneth Farrow would make the list of running backs with the most targets in Week 14, most people would have laughed. However, Fantasy Football is a fickle beast. With an early-game injury to Melvin Gordon, Kenneth Farrow had to come in. He had 16 carries for 55 yards but he did add six receptions (on six targets) for 23 yards. Farrow will continue to have a role in the passing game, with Gordon likely out in Week 15.

For Fantasy purposes, Turbin can be left on the waiver wire. His seven targets were the result of game flow, and the Colts face the Minnesota Vikings in Week 15.

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