Week 1 saw a whopping 21 wide receivers command at least ten targets in the NFL. Week 2 saw this number drop to 16. Let’s take a look at the players who received the lions share of their teams’ targets in the past week of NFL action.
Double-Digit Targets Week 2
As usual, it is not surprising to see the big names among the most frequently targeted. It is noticeable that two teams can boast two players with double-digit targets from Week 2. The Panthers duo of D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel converted their 29 looks into a combined 14/180 line. Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley of the Falcons were far more successful. Their 14 receptions resulted in 211 yards and three touchdowns. NFC South wide receivers appear to be worth keeping an eye on when setting your lineups.
After his explosive debut with limited opportunities in Week 1, it is encouraging to see Ravens WR Marquise Brown commanding such a healthy target share in Week 2. Lamar Jackson appears to be developing nicely as a passer. Having weapons like Brown and tight end Mark Andrews is certainly helping him. Brown came into the NFL boasting a similar college profile to players who have taken to the professional life quite well. The early signs as to whether or not he can join them in comfortably enjoying life as an NFL receiver are quite positive.
Brown could be in for another big day in Week 3. The Ravens will be taking on the Kansas City Chiefs. After two weeks, this matchup has all the hallmarks of being a “start ’em if you’ve got ’em” for players on both sides.
Sunday night was the first time since Week 4 of the 2018 season that Nelson Agholor had commanded more than eight targets in a single game for the Eagles. He obviously benefited from the team losing Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson to injury. But he made the most of his opportunities. Agholor’s tally of 24.7 PPR points was the second-best of his NFL career. He would have had a much bigger game if not for a drop late in the game that probably took a 60-yard touchdown off the board.
Week 3 is looking like it may come too soon for Jeffery. At the time of writing there was no news regarding Jackson’s availability for the Eagles clash with the Lions. Their places in the lineup will likely be taken by rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Mack Hollins. These are two generally untested players. This could mean a heavy workload for Agholor. Agholor was steady but unspectacular as a focal point of the offense during the opening weeks of the 2018 season, as the image below shows.
Agholor will only really perform from a fantasy point of view if he receives a heavy dose of targets. He is likely to see a lot of Justin Coleman in the slot on Sunday. Coleman is one of the NFL’s premier inside corners. Agholor may feature among the league leaders in targets again next week. But he’s unlikely to be among the top fantasy performers.
There are 14 WRs who have seen at least 20 targets in the 2019 season so far. The top three in terms of Receiving Fantasy Points Over Expectation Per Attempt (reFPOEPA) – whereby we take the player’s actual fantasy points and subtract out the Expected Points on a per-target basis – may surprise many people.
The form and production of John Ross and Sammy Watkins have been pleasantly surprising in of itself. But they are not recovering from an Achilles tear suffered late in the 2018 season. Emmanuel Sanders, on the other hand, is.
Sanders was performing at a steady WR2 pace last season before his injury. He averaged 16.5 PPR points per game. Through two games of the 2019 season, he’s the WR3 in PPR scoring. Despite the handicap of having Joe Flacco as his quarterback, Sanders looks the part of an every-week starter. Especially when you look at how good the matchups for Broncos WRs are for the rest of the season.