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2017 Fantasy Football Strategy

Week 12 Target Watch: Le’Veon Bell Leads the Running Backs In Week 12

2018 fantasy football
Photo Credit: Brook Ward

Despite all teams playing in Week 12, the Week 12 targets were low. Whether it was match-ups or injuries, the targets were still low this week. Perhaps this was a result of quarterbacks spreading the ball around or the result of back-up quarterbacks playing in the games.

Week 13 is a win-and-you’re-in week for many Fantasy leagues. Start/sit decisions get tougher when playoffs are on the line. One stat to look at is targets.

When a player is targeted, they are a part of the offense. The more targets; the more involved in the offense. Often trends emerge from players who start seeing more and more targets.

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 12 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 12 Double-Digit Targets

Player Team Targets
Julio Jones * Atlanta Falcons 15
Le’Veon Bell * Pittsburgh Steelers 14
Keenan Allen * Los Angeles Chargers 14
Carlos Hyde San Francisco 49ers 13
Mike Evans * Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12
Antonio Brown * Pittsburgh Steelers 12
Zach Ertz Philadelphia Eagles 12
Devin Funchess Carolina Panthers 12
Adam Thielen Minnesota Vikings 11
DeSean Jackson Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11
Mike Wallace Baltimore Ravens 11
Cooper Kupp Los Angeles Rams 11
Ted Ginn, Jr. New Orleans Saints 11
Tyreek Hill Kansas City 11
Jermaine Kearse Seattle Seahawks 11
Robby Anderson New York Jets 10
DeAndre Hopkins Houston Texans 10
Dede Westbrook Jacksonville Jaguars 10
Zay Jones Buffalo Bills 10


While Julio Jones had the most targets of the week, a running back was tied for the second-most targets. Le’Veon Bell had 14 targets, the most of all running backs this week, and more than just about all other pass-catchers. Bell is tied with Keenan Allen from Week 12, which is impressive for both. Keenan Allen has put together two great games in a row, with over 100 yards in each and three touchdowns between both games.

Allen faces the Cleveland Browns in Week 13, and is an elite WR1 option. He may just lead Fantasy teams right into the playoffs.


Top 10 Target Leaders

Player Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Total
Antonio Brown, PIT 10 10 10 BYE 7 13 12 126
DeAndre Hopkins, HOU 4 BYE 11 16 14 9 10 125
Jarvis Landry, MIA 14 11 12 7 10 11 9 117
Adam Thielen, MIN 13 12 10 BYE 12 9 11 107
Keenan Allen, LAC 9 7 5 BYE 7 13 14 107
Larry Fitzgerald, ARI 11 3 BYE 9 14 10 8 106
Dez Bryant, DAL BYE 10 6 11 8 14 5 102
Michael Thomas, NE 6 11 8 11 10 11 8 102
Julio Jones, ATL 7 13 6 12 8 10 15 101
Demaryius Thomas, DEN 14 6 9 12 8 9 8 96
Mike Evans, TB 8 10 10 6 SUSP 10 12 96


The Top 10 list is still 11 following Week 12. However, Doug Baldwin fell off the list and Mike Evans joined. Evans has been dealing with Ryan Fitzpatrick as his quarterback, although Jameis Winston looks to be back in Week 13. Evans should be even better with Winston, although he did fare ok with Fitzpatrick.

All players have played the same number of games at this point, as the bye weeks are over (although Evans did miss a game with a suspension). The target leaders are close this year, with Antonio Brown and DeAndre Hopkins leading the way. Both are elite WR options, even with Tom Savage throwing Hopkins the ball.


Top Tight End Targets In Week 12

Zach Ertz Philadelphia Eagles 12
Jack Doyle Indianapolis Colts 8
Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots 8
C.J. Fiedorowicz Houston Texans 8


It’s not surprising the Ertz is the target leader among tight ends, but the addition of C.J. Fiedorowicz is interesting. It’s hard to trust him with Tom Savage as the quarterback. He only caught four of those eight targets for 37 yards. At this point, he’s not worth adding in most leagues.

Jack Doyle has continued to do well with Jacoby Brissett, even as the Colts struggle. Based on volume alone, he is a TE1 each week.


Top Running Back Targets In Week 12

Le’Veon Bell * Pittsburgh Steelers 14
Carlos Hyde San Francisco 49ers 13
J.D. McKissic Seattle Seahawks 7
Todd Gurley Los Angeles Rams 7
Alvin Kamara * New Orleans Saints 6
T.J. Yeldon Jacksonville Jaguars 6


Bell and Carlos Hyde had double-digit targets, which is impressive for running backs. Both act as wideouts each week, and both are must-starts. Alvin Kamara has made his way into must-start territory based on volume and usage. He may even have more value than Mark Ingram each week.

For Seattle, J.D. McKissic has taken over as the passing downs back to own. Thomas Rawls and Eddie Lacy have been disappointments. McKissic is worth flex consideration, although with Mike Davis returning from injury, his value does take a hit.


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