Wide Receiver Usage Report – Week 5

Week 5 of the 2018 season is in the books, and I’m back to once again reflect on what went on in the wide receiver world from the week that was.

I’ll take a look at the WRs who saw the most targets in Week 5, before taking a closer look at some emerging trends from the position. We’ll be looking at some players to buy and some for whom their time on your fantasy roster should be coming to an end.

Let it begin.

Week 5 Double Digit Targets

PlayerTargetsReceptionsTarget Share %PPR PointsWeekly Rank
Donte Moncrief15625%13.6WR27
Emmanuel Sanders14927%16.2WR22
John Brown14425%9.8WR45
Odell Beckham Jr.14838%33.95WR1
Antonio Brown13645%28.1WR3
DeAndre Hopkins13930%24.1WR7
Davante Adams12924%29WR2
Michael Crabtree12621%12.6WR32
Pierre Garcon12522%9.7WR47
Chester Rogers11819%14.6WR24
Stefon Diggs111030%21.6WR8
A.J. Green10633%17.2WR21
Adam Thielen10727%24.6WR6
Jarvis Landry10524%11.9WR35
Keelan Cole10416%11WR42
Marquez Valdes-Scantling10720%19.8WR11

Ten of the 16 WRs to see at least ten targets last week finished as top 24 options in PPR formats, with seven WR1 finishes including the top three in Odell Beckham, Davante Adams, and Antonio Brown.

Chester Rogers found himself among the target leaders for the second straight week. He now has 22 targets in his last two games. He has converted these into 16 receptions for 151 yards. He’s just 19th in PPR points over this span, however.

Despite plenty of attention last week, the Ravens pair of John Brown and Michael Crabtree both had underwhelming weeks in terms of production. Brown has seen the 12th most targets over the last two weeks.  But he has managed fewer points than Rogers despite his still attractive air yards profile. Brown leads all NFL WRs with 871 air yards, one more than DeAndre Hopkins.

Emmanuel Sanders continues to outperform his teammate Demaryius Thomas on the season. Sanders is now enjoying the team lead in targets, receptions and receiving yards. This is encouraging for Sanders, given the Broncos upcoming fixtures. According to our Buy Low app, the Broncos WRs have the second easiest schedule over the next four weeks.

den_wr

As much as the Packers offense continues to struggle, they are still able to get production from members of their WR corps. Adams was the WR2 in Week 5. But his teammate Marquez Valdes-Scantling also popped up as the WR11. His emergence has come at a good time, with the Packers facing the easiest WR schedule in the next month. Valdes-Scantling is available in 96 percent of ESPN leagues.

Looking but never finding

While targets are a good indicator that a player is a major part of a team’s offense, and as such a handy guide as to whether we should be starting such players, there are always exceptions. The players below are all in the top 24 in terms of targets at the WR position, and all are currently outside of the top 24 in PPR scoring.

PLAYERreTRGSRkRECSPPRPPR Rk
Jarvis Landry5742973.125
Michael Crabtree4612245545
Corey Davis45132668.128
Nelson Agholor43172959.4534
Quincy Enunwa42202154.846
Demaryius Thomas39242564.331

Jarvis Landry, the NFL’s leader in inefficient usage, has found the end zone once all season from his 29 receptions. He hasn’t finished higher than WR16 all season. Despite hogging the targets, he is not enjoying as proficient a rapport with Baker Mayfield as some of his teammates seem to be.

baker aya

The Browns have a fairly friendly run of games coming up, in terms of WR scoring. But Landry is offering nothing more than WR3 at best at present. His owners should factor this into their weekly decisions.

If Landry’s output has been disappointing, then Crabtree’s has been almost heartbreaking. Only 11 players have seen more targets at the WR spot than Crabtree. But a staggering 44 players have produced more fantasy points. He is yet to eclipse 66 yards in a single game. His season high in terms of PPR rank was last week’s WR32 finish. He’s hard to trust at present. His opportunity hints at a floor, but his production does no such thing.

Corey Davis, Nelson Agholor and Quincy Enunwa all find themselves in the firing line — at least in terms of how valuable they are to their respective fantasy owners. The Titans, Eagles, and Jets are all about to face a murderers row of defenses in terms of points allowed to WRs, as the image below shows.

sell wrs

The trio has two WR1 finishes all season (Davis was WR4 in Week 4, Agholor WR8 in Week 2). Their owners must decide whether or not they are worthy of staying in lineups.  Given the inconsistent nature of the Titans passing attack, the lack of chemistry between Agholor and Carson Wentz so far this season (see below), and the fact that the Jets want to run the ball and keep running it, this is far from an easy call. I certainly would have already benched Agholor and Enunwa, myself.

wentz aya

As for Thomas, I’ve already made mention of the fact that the Broncos have a friendly upcoming slate of games for WRs. But Thomas has fallen behind his wingman Sanders in terms of targets. Given his inefficiency when targeted heavily, it seems we are left hoping for garbage time gains a la Week 5 from Thomas. And hope, dear friends, is not a plan.