After a strange week of NFL action, I have returned to look back at the most targeted wide receivers from Week 13. 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 13 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 13
|Player||Targets||Receptions||Target Share %||PPR Points||Weekly Rank|
Chargers WR Keenan Allen led all wideouts with 19 targets at the weekend. This was a new career high for Allen, who saw 18 in a single game back in 2015. It was something of a slow start to the 2018 season for Allen. In the first seven games of the year, Allen was averaging less than 15 PPR points per game, commanding a mere eight targets per contest.
Since the Chargers Week 8 bye, however, they have gone out of their way to feature Allen to the tune of almost 12 targets a game. Allen is the WR1 since Week 9, thanks in no small part to his returning to the end zone. He has touchdowns in each of his last four games. Prior to this run, he hadn’t scored since Week 1.
Sometimes a new start does not automatically equal a new beginning. This is certainly the case for Jordy Nelson, in his first season with the Raiders. Nelson’s 11 targets, as well as his ten receptions, were season highs. Week 13 was the first time since Week 3 that Nelson has amassed more than 48 yards receiving. His 19.7 PPR points were his highest output in a game in which he did not find the end zone.
Nelson has struggled as a member of one of the NFL’s signature backward offenses in 2018. But truth be told, he has struggled to remain fantasy relevant when forced to take the field with a quarterback other than Aaron Rodgers.
The Raiders upcoming schedule makes for depressing reading for owners of their WRs if indeed there are any such people left in the world. Nelson’s performance against a pretty hapless Chiefs secondary should not be automatically taken as a rebirth.
2018 hasn’t exactly seen a sophomore breakout by Panthers WR Curtis Samuel. But he has succeeded in becoming a bigger and more regular part of the offense in recent weeks. The Panthers WR snap counts are indicative of this.
His 11 targets against the Bucs on Sunday marked a new career high. His six receptions and 88 yards were also the most he’s had in a game this season. But Sunday was the fourth time in his last five games that he has amassed at least 10 PPR points. He’s not exactly blowing anyone’s roof off over the last few weeks, but he’s been as productive as a few better-known players in this span.
Whether or not he can be trusted in the fantasy playoffs is a question that should be left to individual owners. The Panthers WR schedule is far from imposing, but it’s not exactly easy either. With Greg Olsen set to miss the rest of the season, there is a chance that a few more targets may find their way towards Samuel. But Cam Newton has any number of other options, most of whom he has established similar if not more productive relationships with this season.