Another week is in the books for the 2018 NFL season, 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 4, 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. With all this mind, let’s crack on.
Week 4 Double Digit Targets
|PLAYER||Targets||Receptions||PPR Points||Weekly Rank|
|Odell Beckham Jr.||11||7||14||WR36|
There were a few new names on this list, and all of the players concerned ply their trade in the AFC South. Keke Coutee enjoyed a record-breaking NFL debut, snaring 11 of his 15 targets for 105 yards. No player in NFL history had caught as many as 11 passes in their first NFL game. Coutee’s target share of 36 percent marked the second time this season that a Texans WR saw so many of the teams total targets, and the first time by a player not named DeAndre Hopkins.
Two other new names are Zach Pascal, who enjoyed a 16 percent target share for the Colts, and Chester Rogers who commanded 18 percent. The Colts were forced to air the ball out a hell of a lot on Sunday, and it should be interesting to see which (if either) of these emerge as a genuine partner for T.Y. Hilton. Hilton was injury-riddled on Sunday but still managed 15.5 PPR points on just six targets.
Dede Westbrook saw a career-high 13 targets against the hapless Jets, converting them into a 9-130 line. Westbrook is commanding a 19 percent target share for the Jaguars, though he is doing most of his work after the catch. He trails both Donte Moncrief and Keelan Cole in air yard share this season.
Touchdowns are overrated – Just ask Julio
It has become something of a cottage industry within the fantasy circles to point out how often Falcons star WR Julio Jones visits or more correctly doesn’t visit the end zone these days. The frequency with which his young teammate Calvin Ridley finds the paint only seem to make Jones’ allergy to scoring all the more frustrating. In the interest of fairness, I feel it necessary to point out that while it would make his owners, and no doubt Julio himself, happy were he to fall into the end zone once or twice, his aversion to scoring hasn’t exactly made him a bust in fantasy terms over his last 20 games.
Julio owners – don’t panic.
Nelson Agholor’s performance is something of a concern, to both fans of the Eagles as well as the people who own in him 81.1 percent of ESPN leagues. Agholor is 12th among all WRs in terms of targets, but a staggering 38th in terms of PPR points. The great Rich Hribar notes, in his seminal worksheet article, that Agholor
has been turned into a glorified scatback in three of his four games played, averaging fewer than 5.0 yards per target in three games and eclipsing 33 yards receiving just once.
It will then no doubt come as a surprise to many that Agholor is actually performing better in PPR formats this season than he did a year ago.
Sadly, an increase in volume has not brought forth an increase in efficiency. Agholor had a nightmare outing against the Titans on Sunday, finishing with 22 yards on five receptions. He also had several costly drops. With his teammate Alshon Jeffery looking every bit the performer on his first game back, and the consistent form of Zach Ertz, Agholor may find his opportunities scaled back in the weeks to come. The Eagles upcoming schedule is no picnic for WRs, and he may be someone that you should look to offload while you can.
Big Trouble in the Big Apple
As expected, upon his return from injury, Odell Beckham has been the focal point of the Giants passing offense. He has 45 targets through four weeks, 6th amongst WRs, while his market share of 29 percent is fifth most. However, despite all this, Beckham is a mere WR22 in PPR scoring.
It would no doubt help if the Giants, and their quarterback in whom they have such unshakeable faith that they neglected to address the situation this offseason, maybe started using Beckham down the field. You know, like they vowed to do this offseason. Among the 29 WRs to have at least 30 targets in 2018, Beckham’s average depth of target (9.8) is 15th.
It would probably help Beckham too if the Giants were to use him in the red zone (if they ever plan on visiting the place, of course). Beckham has seen just four targets inside the 20-yard line this season. These targets have garnered -2 yards, and zero touchdowns. Sterling Shepard, on the other hand, has two touchdowns on his six red-zone targets.
The Giants have an unthreatening schedule coming up after Week 5’s game against the Panthers. But unless Beckham can dance his way past multiple defenders after taking what amount to no more than dump offs from Eli Manning, the way he is currently being used makes him someone you may consider selling, as unthinkable as that sounds.