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Each week Fantasy owners scour the waiver wire to see who to pick up. They look over their lineups to see who to start. Most likely the stats Fantasy owners are looking at are Fantasy points.

However, Fantasy points don’t tell the full story. When it comes to wide receivers (and running backs in PPR formats), looking at targets is just as important, if not more so, than Fantasy points.

How many times a player is targeted shows their involvement in the passing game. It shows how many times their quarterback is looking for them, and also serves as a predictor for how involved they will be in the future.

Now, looking at one week is hardly enough to base lineup decisions on. However, it gives Fantasy owners a starting point. We’ll look at the guys that have double-digit targets, and the running backs that have the most targets in the league.

Use the targets stats when looking to see who to start and who to pick up; as the season continues, patterns will emerge. Certain players will be the target hogs on their teams, and those are the players – excuse the pun – to target.

Week 2 Target Watch

Double-digit targets

Player Team Targets
Allen Robinson Jacksonville Jaguars 15
Jordan Matthews Philadelphia Eagles 14
Jason Witten Dallas Cowboys 14
A.J. Green Cincinnati Bengals 13
Kelvin Benjamin Carolina Panthers 12
T.Y. Hilton Indianapolis Colts 12
Cole Beasley Dallas Cowboys 12
Tavon Austin Los Angeles Rams 12
Jeremy Kerley San Francisco 49ers 11
Will Fuller Houston Texans 11
Tajae Sharpe Tennessee Titans 11
Amari Cooper Oakland Raiders 11
Doug Baldwin Seattle Seahawks 11
Antonio Brown Pittsburgh Steelers 11
Jordan Reed Washington Redskins 11
Jamison Crowder Washington Redskins 10
Jarvis Landry Miami Dolphins 10
Marvin Jones Detroit Lions 10
Larry Fitzgerald Arizona Cardinals 10
DeSean Jackson Washington Redskins 10

 

In Week 1, there were 20 players (18 wide receivers, two tight ends) that had double-digit targets from 17 different teams. The target watch is a week-to-week guide, comparing who is consistently the target leader from their team. However, from Week 1, the takeaway is that not all of the “top” guys were the target leaders on their team. Both Cole Beasley and Jason Witten had more receptions than Dez Bryant. Will Fuller had more receptions than DeAndre Hopkins. Marvin Jones had more receptions than Golden Tate (although this isn’t too unexpected, given that he was playing the slot).

In PPR leagues, especially, targets are key, because without targets, you can’t get receptions. When a player is targeted at least 10 times, they are worth starting in any format, but especially PPR.

 

Top Tight End Targets

Jason Witten Dallas Cowboys 14
Jordan Reed Washington Redskins 11
Greg Olsen Carolina Panthers 9
Jacob Tamme Atlanta Falcons 8
Kyle Rudolph Minnesota Vikings 8
Zach Ertz Philadelphia Eagles 7
Travis Kelce Kansas City Chiefs 7

 

Week 1 was a tough week overall for tight ends. Many of the guys that were expected to do well disappointed Fantasy owners. However, with Ertz now injured, Jacob Tamme (owned in two percent of leagues even after waivers have run) appears to be a decent replacement. While Tamme won’t always have eight targets, he is clearly part of the Falcons’ offensive plan. Kyle Rudolph is owned in 17 percent of leagues, however, he is playing on a team that has offensive struggles.

Tight end performance is hard to predict, but using targets as a guide, Witten is clearly Dak Prescott’s favorite option. All of those targets will amount to Fantasy points, although it won’t be pretty.

 

Top Running Back Targets

DeAngelo Williams Pittsburgh Steelers 9
Spencer Ware Kansas City Chiefs 8
DeMarco Murray Tennessee Titans 7
Matt Forte New York Jets 7
James White New England Patriots 7
Danny Woodhead San Diego Chargers 7

 

Pass-catching running backs are a PPR Fantasy owner’s dream. While only six running backs had seven or more targets in Week 1, those numbers should increase. It’s no surprise that Woodhead and White made the list, as that is what they are known for. DeAngelo Williams was the target leader, and he should continue to see plenty of touches while Le’Veon Bell is out.

Spencer Ware will also continue to see targets while Jamaal Charles is out. Murray may retain the role as passing-down back even as Derrick Henry becomes more involved in the offense. Matt Forte was a passing down back in Chicago, and Fantasy owners should be relieved to see that role continue with the Jets.

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