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Week 1 Target Watch: DeAndre Hopkins Leads All Pass-Catchers In Week 1

week 11 target watch
Photo Credit: Victor Araiza

Welcome to the Week 1 Target Watch. With Week 1 in the books, Fantasy owners can look at stats from the week, one of which is the target share among pass catchers. The Week 1 targets were spread among wide receivers, tight ends and running backs.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins were on a bye, so those players are obviously not included in the analysis. However, out of the remaining 30 teams that played, plenty of passes were thrown to wide receivers, tight ends and running backs.

Even though it has only been one week, Fantasy owners should look at targets to see who is most involved in a team’s offense. Targets, especially in Week 1, show which players have a quarterback’s trust.

It will be important to continue to watch to see where the targets go in Week 2 – stay tuned.

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 1 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 1 Target Watch – Double-Digit Targets

Player Team Targets
DeAndre Hopkins Houston Texans 16
Larry Fitzgerald Arizona Cardinals 13
Randall Cobb Green Bay Packers 13
Amari Cooper Oakland Raiders 13
Golden Tate Detroit Lions 12
Tarik Cohen Chicago Bears 12
Terrelle Pryor Washington Redskins 11
Antonio Brown Pittsburgh Steelers 11
Adam Thielen Minnesota Vikings 10
Pierre Garcon San Francisco 49ers 10
Keenan Allen Los Angeles Chargers 10
A.J. Green Cincinnati Bengals 10
Shane Vereen New York Giants 10
Corey Davis Tennessee Titans 10


Following in last year’s footsteps, DeAndre Hopkins had the most targets out of all pass catchers. He’s proven that regardless who is at quarterback, he’s a solid Fantasy option. Randall Cobb had the most targets out of all Packers pass catchers, which is surprising, but positive for his owners. That may change from week to week, but for now Cobb is a WR3 with upside.

Not many surprises on this list, although Adam Thielen is a bit of a surprise. The talk of the pre-season was that Thielen would have a bigger role this year, and Week 1 showed that was the case. He caught nine of those 10 targets and will likely be a target for Sam Bradford this year.


Week 1 Target Watch – Tight Ends

Delanie Walker Tennessee Titans 9
Jason Witten Dallas Cowboys 9
Charles Clay Buffalo Bills 9
Zach Ertz Philadelphia Eagles 8
Jordan Reed Washington Redskins 8
Jesse James Pittsburgh Steelers 8


The biggest surprise out of the tight end targets is Jesse James. Fantasy owners should be a little wary for now, at least. Don’t rush to the waiver wire to get James; see how he performs in Week 2 first.

The other tight ends on the list are usual suspects on the list. No one is having any questions or concerns about starting Walker, Clay, Ertz or Reed. Jason Witten is hit or miss, but is a TE2. He had the most targets on the team and caught seven of them, but Fantasy owners should also expect weeks where he has one reception for six yards.


Week 1 Target Watch – Running Backs

Tarik Cohen Chicago Bears 13
Shane Vereen New York Giants 13
David Johnson Arizona Cardinals 8
Darren Sproles Philadelphia Eagles 7
Theo Riddick Detroit Lions 7
Christian McCaffrey Carolina Panthers 7


Welcome to the NFL, Tarik Cohen. Fantasy owners ran to the waiver wire to grab the electric running back out of Chicago. He led the team in targets (with 13 per Yahoo, but 12 per ESPN) and will be an integral part of the offense moving forward. The Bears are losing wide receivers left and right and they need someone to be a leader in the passing game. Enter Cohen.

The Giants game may not have been pretty, but they did use Vereen in the passing game. He had the most targets on the team and he caught nine of them. With Odell Beckham Jr. out, the Giants are searching to find ways to move the ball. Vereen should be used in that role, and he likely will continue to have a role as a pass-catching back, giving him value in PPR formats.


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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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