Looking back on the 2015 fantasy season it is clear that receivers were dominant. Those who went receiver-heavy early in their drafts were more likely to secure a championship than those who decided to chase running backs. The foundation for all of my fantasy research is targets. You may have heard me say this before, but targets create opportunity.
Week 5 was the first time since Week 2 that we have not seen a receiver hit the 20 mark in targets. We also saw Julio Jones receive his season low in target totals and welcomed a new comer to not only the top five in targets but the top targeted receiver of the week. There will be some new names on the target list these week as well as familiar faces. In total, ten receivers were within the top five target receivers.
Julio Jones went into last week coming off a game in which he was the highest targeted player of the season when he saw 20 targets from Matt Ryan. DeAndre Hopkins knocked him off the target monster pedestal with 22 in Week 4. He now leads the NFL with 61 targets on the season but by the time you read this that number will be even higher.
I have made no secret about my affinity for the zero RB approach in fantasy football. It has been my formula for success in redraft for the past few seasons. It makes clear sense to me; in PPR leagues I want to load my roster with players who are catching the ball. In many MFL10 and season long drafts this summer I punted the running back position, often times drafting 3-5 wide receivers and/or elite tight ends before drafting my RB1.
Throughout the first two weeks of the season I have been keeping track of highly targeted players and what it means in terms of fantast points. There are the obvious players that are perennial target monsters and then there are players who are doing a lot with a little amount of targets. This led me to think about targets and their correlation to fantasy points.
The 2015 NFL season officially kicks off in less than three weeks. If you are reading this you’re most likely well underway with your fantasy draft preparation. You have studied or looked at fantasy rankings, you’ve done more mock drafts than you care to admit, and maybe even taking part in a few smaller leagues for practice.
Fantasy Targets are one of the most undervalued statistics in fantasy football hands down. For those new to fantasy, the target statline is how many times the ball was thrown at a particular player. The advantage of knowing the number of targets gives you an quick indication of how involved that player is in the passing game.