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Analyzing Fantasy Targets Week 7

Fantasy Football Targets

We finally saw last season’s target leader Demaryius Thomas become the most targeted receiver of the week. Usual suspect DeAndre Hopkins was not far behind, we saw a Cardinal crack the top five list, and a receiver from Jacksonville that I am confident no one started.

Fantasy Football Targets

Fantasy Football TargetsWe finally saw last season’s target leader Demaryius Thomas become the most targeted receiver of the week. Usual suspect DeAndre Hopkins was not far behind, we saw a Cardinal crack the top five list, and a receiver from Jacksonville that I am confident no one started. Interestingly, two Broncos, two Chargers, and two Jaguars were among the most targeted receivers last week. You may be sick of me hammering this point by now but targets create opportunity.

Opportunity combined with efficiency creates points. Points in fantasy football are what you really care about and fantasy points per target (FPPT) as well as touchdown per target are two things I deeply focus on. Here are your target leaders from Week 6 with a look ahead for what their outlook could be for Week 7.

  1. Allen Robinson, Marvin Jones, Bryan Walters, Emmanuel Sanders, and Malcom Floyd

Five receivers saw 12 targets in Week 6 which was the fifth most targets of all receivers. Their stat lines are below.

Malcom Floyd, SD 5 95 41.67 0 12 14 1.17
Emmanuel Sanders, Den 4 109 33.33 1 12 20 1.67
Bryan Walters, Jax 8 87 66.67 0 12 16 1.33
Marvin Jones, Cin 9 95 75.00 1 12 24 2.00
Allen Robinson, Jax WR 6 86 50.00 1 12 20 1.67

Allen Robinson and newcomer Bryan Walters saw a ton of attention from Blake Bortles last week. I must admit I had to Google Bryan Walters to make sure I was not losing my mind. Only Philip Rivers (254) has more passing attempts than Blake Bortles (242). As long as Bortles keeps slinging it his receivers will see large amounts of targets. Although Allen Robinson is dealing with a “leg bruise”, whatever that is, he will suit up Sunday as will Allen Hurns. I am not ready to crown Walters as the next big thing, but both Allen’s should see a healthy number of targets across the pond this Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.

Marvin Jones’ crazy touchdown last week was the talk of the town but his target total stood out to me. Andy Dalton’s go to guy is A.J. Green but Jones has just three less targets than Tyler Eifert with 37 through six weeks. What I find most impressive about Jones is his 65% completion percentage and his 8.11% touchdown per target (TDPT) percentage. These numbers scream efficiency to me. He is a matchup based play but with his efficiency you can be confident when you do play him. He is on the bye this week but it is not too early to get excited about his juicy Week 8 matchup against the terrible Steeler’s secondary.

Emmanuel SandersEmmanuel Sanders seems like a permanent resident in this column. Both Sanders and Demaryius Thomas continue to dominate in targets and are weekly fantasy must starts despite the poor performances Peyton Manning has been turning in. Can you imagine what type of numbers Sanders will put up if Manning turns things around? He is scoring 1.62 FPPT so as long as the targets are there the fantasy points will be there. The Broncos are also on the bye this week but if Manning spends this time off putting back together the pieces of his game that he is missing, Sanders will be an irresistible play against the Packers in Week 8, which could easily have the highest Vegas scoring line.

Malcolm Floyd is making his first appearance as a target leader and he can thank Philip River’s career day for it. The only problem with Floyd is his inefficiency as he is converting just half of his targets. Keenan Allen is nursing an injury and his practice participation will have to be monitored. If he starts trending towards inactive Floyd is worth the consideration against Oakland this weekend, but I would not expect the same target share he saw last week.

  1. Travis Benjamin

Each week I become more and more impressed with the fact that Travis Benjamin is not a flash in the pan. He is the undisputable WR1 in Cleveland and led his team with 13 targets last week. He is 13th in target totals this season but only Larry Fitzgerald (2.44) scores more FPPT than Benjamin (2.12). Three weeks ago this would have sounded crazy but today I am ready to say that it would surprise no one if Benjamin finishes as a top five receiver. He is currently tied with Odell Beckham Jr. and Julian Edelman as the WR5 in PPR scoring. Let that sink in. Do not let the unfavorable matchup against the St. Louis Rams this weekend deter you from starting Travis Benjamin this week and every week going forward. He is for real and so is Josh McCown.

  1. John Brown

Our old Gridiron Experts friend Matt Harmon, who is now at NFL.com, dropped this great John Brown stat.

Carson Palmer is throwing in Brown’s direction with more frequency each week and targeted him 14 times in Week 6. He converted 10 of those targets for 196 yards. His incredible efficiency is not just a Week 6 fluke; he is catching 73.33% of his targets this season. Of the top 20 receivers only Keenan Allen and Brown’s teammate Larry Fitzgerald have a higher completion percentage than him. It is ridiculous how efficient the Cardinals’ receiving corps is and there is plenty of fantasy room for the both of them. Brown has quite possibly the best matchup of the season this week against the generous Baltimore Ravens defense. Start him everywhere you can.

  1. DeAndre Hopkins and Keenan Allen

I am personally not sick of seeing these two week in and week out as top target leaders. Both return again this week with 15 targets in Week 6. At this point Hopkins might as well be the only receiver on the Houston Texans. He has seen an unfathomable 90 targets through six weeks. That puts him on pace for 255 targets this season. That type of target domination is going to continue this week against the Miami Dolphins simply because Brian Hoyer only has eyes for him and he has a shot to catch any ball thrown his way.

Keenan Allen was another beneficiary of Philip Rivers’ historic day but unfortunately he suffered an injury in game. He should be fine for his Week 7 match up against the Oakland Raiders where he should have no problem leading his team in targets again. He is the top target in a pass happy offense and it is working wonders for his fantasy season. His 75% conversion rate is drool-worthy and contributes to his 1.77 FPPT. The only knock on Allen would be his three touchdowns through six weeks but there is no reason to think he can’t start finding his way into the end zone. Keep an eye on his practice participation, but if he plays for his real team he absolutely plays for your fantasy team.

  1. Demaryius Thomas

Demaryius ThomasIt is nice to see last season’s target leader finally lead all receivers in targets. Thomas saw 17 of them from Peyton Manning last week but he could only haul in 10 of those and failed to hit pay dirt. The resulting 58.82% completion rate mainly falls on the shoulders of Manning but you have to believe that the Broncos will get their quarterback on track during the bye this week. It does not matter how poorly Manning is playing. He is still targeting both receivers but Thomas has one touchdown this season. That is not what you expect from a WR1. He will need to become more of a factor in the red zone and it will be interesting to see if that comes to fruition Week 8 against the Green Bay Packers.

Targets rule my world and I hope they are a statistic that is of importance to you. Particularly for receivers it is a crucial statistic. I hope to see Larry Fitzgerald crack our top five next week because his numbers reflect total domination. Despite the fact that he is outside of the top 15 in targets as the 16th most targeted receiver he has better numbers than those ahead of him. No one has a higher completion rate than him at 79.63%, more FPPT than him at 2.44, and none score with more frequency than he does, scoring on 11.11% of his targets. There are no limits when it comes to imaging what points Fitzgerald would produce if he had more targets. For perspective, he has 54 to DeAndre Hopkins 90 but Hopkins has only 21 more fantasy points than him this season. Larry Fitzgerald has a chance to shatter records and maybe even make an appearance on this list next week. Be sure to check back for your Week 7 target leaders.

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