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Week 9 Target Watch: DeAndre Hopkins Leads The Way

Week 9 target watch
Photo Credit: Karen

Similar to Week 8, six teams are on a bye this past week. The Week 9 target watch was about the same as Week 8, given that six teams weren’t playing. The double-digit target leaders were primarily wide receivers. However, some tight ends and a running back are mixed in.

Fantasy owners should keep an eye on all players receiving targets, especially when a new quarterback takes over. This has been the case for many teams this season, as the starting quarterback has gotten injured.

Often a quarterback feels comfortable with certain players on his team and will find them on the field. Tony Romo loved his tight end, Jason Witten. Dak Prescott doesn’t use him nearly as much. Jacoby Brissett loves using Jack Doyle (both Doyle and T.Y. Hilton had nine targets in Week 9).

These are the trends to monitor when looking at who to start and even who to pick up from the waiver wire.

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 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 Double-Digit Targets

Player Team Targets
DeAndre Hopkins * Houston Texans 16
Julio Jones Atlanta Falcons 12
Doug Baldwin * Seattle Seahawks 12
Marqise Lee Jacksonville Jaguars 12
Demaryius Thomas Denver Broncos 12
Dez Bryant Dallas Cowboys 11
Alshon Jeffrey Philadelphia Eagles 11
Carlos Hyde San Francisco 49ers 11
Michael Thomas New Orleans Saints 11
Marvin Jones, Jr. * Detroit Lions 11
Evan Engram New York Giants 10
Davante Adams Green Bay Packers 10
Benjamin Watson Cleveland Browns 10
Deonte Thompson Buffalo Bills 10


Despite Tom Savage at quarterback, DeAndre Hopkins managed the most targets out of all players in the league for Week 9. Savage actually threw the ball 44 times and 16 of those passes were intended for Hopkins. He only caught six of them for 86 yards and a touchdown, but Savage knows to look for his best pass-catcher on the field.

Deonte Thompson makes the list this week, but remember newly-acquired Kelvin Benjamin was inactive for this game. In addition, Charles Clay was still out. Both pass-catchers are expected to return this week, which will cut into Thompson’s value. Don’t chase his stats on the waiver wire.


Top 10 Target Leaders

Player Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Total
Antonio Brown, PIT 14 9 19 10 10 10 BYE 94
DeAndre Hopkins, HOU 8 12 12 4 BYE 11 16 92
Jarvis Landry, MIA 11 7 10 14 11 12 7 87
Amari Cooper, OAK 5 8 2 6 19 10 9 77
Adam Thielen, MIN 8 8 8 13 12 10 BYE 75
Dez Bryant, DAL 2 13 8 BYE 10 6 11 75
Mike Evans, TB 12 11 8 8 10 10 6 74
Larry Fitzgerald, ARI 15 7 10 11 3 BYE 9 74
Alshon Jeffrey, PHI 8 6 4 10 6 8 11 73
Keenan Allen, LAC 9 11 12 9 7 5 BYE 73
Michael Thomas, NE 8 11 BYE 6 11 8 11 73
Doug Baldwin, SEA 15 3 8 BYE 12 10 12 73


A lot of movement occurred with the target leaders this week. First, it had to expand to Top 12, rather than Top 10 because of ties. Second, both Christian McCaffrey and Pierre Garcon fell off the list, despite the expansion to 12. New additions include Dez Bryant, Alshon Jeffrey, Michael Thomas and Doug Baldwin.

Note that Mike Evans is suspended for Week 10, so that will cut into his target totals. Antonio Brown stays on the top of this list, despite not playing in Week 9. Keep an eye on Alshon Jeffrey. He is on a bye this week, but with the Eagles offense looking strong all the way around, he’s going to have borderline WR1 value for the rest of the season.


Top Tight End Targets In Week 9

Benjamin Watson Baltimore Ravens 10
Evan Engram New York Giants 10
Jack Doyle * Indianapolis Colts 9
Travis Kelce * Kansas City Chiefs 9
Jared Cook Oakland Raiders 9
Vernon Davis Washington Redskins 9


Jack Doyle repeatedly makes this list as Jacoby Brissett looks for him on the field. He’s become a consistent TE1 for fantasy purposes.

Jared Cook has had over 50 yards in the past three games. Two of those games he had over 100 yards. Derek Carr is having difficulty finding his receivers, and it seems he’s looking toward his tight end. Out of his nine targets in Week 9, he caught eight of them. He’s on a bye this week but is on the TE1 radar for Week 11.

Top Running Back Targets In Week 9

Carlos Hyde * San Francisco 49ers 11
Javorius Allen Baltimore Ravens 8
Alvin Kamara New Orleans Saints 7
Charcandrick West Kansas City Chiefs 6
Damien Williams Miami Dolphins 6
Kenyan Drake Miami Dolphins 6
Chris Thompson * Washington Redskins 6
Christian McCaffrey Carolina Panthers 6


For the third week in a row, Carlos Hyde has had some of the most targets out of all running backs. With Pierre Garcon on the I.R., Trent Taylor and George Kittle injured and likely out for Week 10, Hyde should be the primary source of offense against the Giants. He’s an RB1 in all formats.

The list is longer this week because five running backs had six targets. Included in that group are both Miami Dolphins backs. Both have RB2 fantasy value if they are going to continue to see a number of targets. They split carries on the ground as well, providing no clarity to fantasy owners on which is the back to own.


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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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