Who were the most targeted wide receivers from the previous week of NFL action? I’ll offer my thoughts on some of the players who’ve made the list this week, looking back on their recent usage to see if any information can be gleaned as to their fantasy value moving forward.
My attention is toward WRs who saw at least 10 targets in their teams’ Week 12 games. I will look to give some context to the story behind their numbers, whilst using some of our RotoViz apps to highlight some emerging trends.
Double-Digit Targets Week 12
|Player||Targets||Receptions||PPR Points||Weekly Rank|
JuJu Smith-Schuster saw a position high 17 targets in Week 12 after commanding ten looks a week ago against the Jaguars. Smith-Schuster’s WR2 outing was no doubt boosted by a 97-yard touchdown reception, the second of his career. But he has seen plenty of volume this season, with ten or more targets in six of 11 games. He is also among the league leaders in red zone targets. Although his touchdown rate could be a lot better.
Falcons rookie WR Calvin Ridley ran a career-high 38 routes against the Saints on Thursday night and also saw 13 targets. This beat his previous single-game high of nine. Two of his targets came inside the red zone, his first targets inside the 20 since way back in Week 4. Ridley has played on 80 percent of the Falcons snaps in each of his last two games, but he is still tough to trust on a weekly basis. If only he could play the Saints every week.
Emmanuel Sanders commanded double-digit targets for the first time since Week 6 against the Steelers on Sunday. Tellingly, he has had a single week with a finish above WR32 since then. Still, I’m sure the Broncos know what they are doing on offense. . . . It was also notable that Sanders ran his second fewest routes all season on Sunday, although he was targeted on exactly 50 percent of them. Despite his recent quiet run, he is still among the season leaders at the WR spot and has been consistent whenever he has been targeted by Case Keenum. Indeed, Sanders has only enjoyed one more fruitful linkup with a quarterback in his career than his one with Keenum.
A new name among the target leaders this week is Raiders rookie Marcell Ateman. Playing in only his second game of the season, Ateman became only the second Raiders WR to command ten targets in a game in 2018, and the first not named Amari Cooper. Sadly, he did little with his opportunities. But it is noticeable that Ateman has commanded a 24.6 percent share of the Raiders targets in his two games. Given the Raiders upcoming schedule, he isn’t someone you need to rush out and add to aid you in your playoff push.