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Wide Receiver Target Report: Week 1

After every week in 2019, the Wide Receiver Target Report will show you which players attracted the most attention in the passing game. We’ll be taking a look at the cold hard stats, like receptions and PPR points. But we’ll also be keeping a close eye on target share. This allows us to readily identify the players most heavily looked for, which can be information to help us moving forward.

The primary focus will be on wide receivers seeing at least 10 targets in a given week. Should the need arise, we’ll also include tight ends and running backs. After presenting the data, I’ll look to highlight a few of the players, to see what that week’s showing can show us about them moving forward.

With all that said, let’s see who led the way in Week 1.

Double-Digit Targets Week 1

As expected, there are some names on here that you’d expect we’ll see featured most weeks. It seems it would take something incredible to happen to deprive DeAndre Hopkins and Michael Thomas of their weekly high target share. But what about some of the “lesser” names?


The New Jarvis Landry

Jamison Crowder saw extensive work in Week 1, commanding a whopping 41% of the Jets total targets. Given how he was used, however, owners will have to hope he continues to command such a large target share. Crowder averaged a dismal 5.8 yards per target. Sixty-seven of his 99 receiving yards came after the catch. The Jets passing game was a lesson in dinking and dunking against the Bills. The Browns are next for the Jets and Crowder. The Browns recent form against WRs going back to 2019 doesn’t fill me with confidence for Crowder’s matchup. You can see why from the graphic from our soon-to-be-released NFL Stats Explorer.

Cardinals Taking Flight

The presence of three Cardinals WRs among the most targeted WRs is notable. It lends itself to the idea that Kliff Kingsbury’s unit can offer multiple fantasy-relevant options at the spot.1 However, it’s also notable that Larry Fitzgerald outproduced both Christian Kirk and KeeSean Johnson, both in production and fantasy output.

The signing of Michael Crabtree adds further uncertainty with regards which WRs will be on the field most often for the Cardinals. Granted, the Cardinals tend towards the idea of having as many WRs on the field at the same time as possible. But until and unless Messrs Kirk, Johnson or Crabtree start meeting expectations, then Fitzgerald will remain the safest option in this passing attack.

Buy John Brown

John Brown’s debut for the Bills saw him lead the team in targets, receptions and receiving yards. His tally of 25.3 PPR points was exceeded exactly once by a Bills WR in 2018. Josh Allen is going to love playing with Brown, and Brown could hardly wish for a better second chance to further develop the relationship. The Bills are locking horns with the New York Giants. Going back to last season, wideouts have really enjoyed playing the G Men.

Brown is still available in 64.7% of ESPN leagues. I implore all fantasy players to take action to lower this number.

Image Credit: Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sports. Pictured: DeAndre Hopkins.

  1. Though it’s also worth noting that the Cardinals played five full quarters in this game.  (back)

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