2015 Fantasy Football – Target Trends





By Chet Gresham – @ChetGresham
Follow @walterfootball for updates.

In this article, I’ll take a look-see at some of the more interesting target trends from each week. There are a few different sources for targets out there, so you may see slightly different numbers depending, but they usually are close enough not to cause a big problem in analysis. For this exercise I’ll be using Pro Football Focus (PFF) data.

Wide Receivers

First, let’s take a look at the top targeted receivers through Week 2 and the top-targeted receivers in the red zone.

Every Zone     Red Zone   
NameTeamTarRec  NameTmTarRec
Julian EdelmanNE3122  Vincent JacksonTB61
Julio JonesATL2522  DeAndre HopkinsHOU64
Emmanuel SandersDEN2416  Julian EdelmanNE54
DeAndre HopkinsHST2414  Anquan BoldinSF41
Demaryius ThomasDEN2415  T.Y. HiltonIND42
Michael CrabtreeOAK2314  Steve SmithBAL40
Antonio BrownPIT2218  A.J. GreenCIN42
Steve L. SmithBLT2212  Jordan MatthewsPHI43
Calvin JohnsonDET2212  Jarvis LandryMIA43
Jordan MatthewsPHI2216  Cecil ShortsHOU42
Keenan AllenSD2117      
Jarvis LandryMIA2016     


  • Julian Edelman is your no-doubt target leader through two weeks with 31, but Julio Jones has six fewer targets, but the same amount of receptions and 82 more yards. That, of course, is the difference between Edelman and Jones: explosive ability. And that’s fine. We know what we’re getting out of both, and we set our expecs,tation and so far, those two are living up to them or even surpassing.

  • The top target-getters as a whole are fairly expected. Michael Crabtree is a little surprising, but interesting. He’s not going to become a stud as the No. 2 receiver in Oakland, but with the Raiders’ defense giving up points with regularity, he should be a fairly safe possession receiver for PPR leagues due to volume.

  • Red-zone targets are a little more diverse so far, with Vincent Jackson leading the way due mostly to Mike Evans’ injury. But, Jameis Winston doesn’t look like he’s giving his receivers the best of chances at making receptions so far.

  • Two possession receivers make the list with Julian Edelman and Jarvis Landry, but as of yet Edelman has been the one able to convert those into touchdowns with two. Of course, this is a great sign for both if it keeps up.



  • Houston receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Cecil Shorts make the list as well. Hopkins, of course, has converted his six targets into two touchdowns, but Shorts makes the list mainly because Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer have thrown the ball 105 times. Compare that to the pass-happy Tom Brady, who has 91 and leads all individual quarterbacks. And Brady, of course, has four more touchdowns, 176 more yards and two fewer interceptions. If the Texans had their druthers, they’d have passed the ball 60 fewer times and run the ball effectively. They need Arian Foster back, tout suite.

  • Your Week 2 target leader was one Mr. Julian Edelman with a whopping 19, which he parlayed into 11 receptions and two touchdowns. He’s the Target King, which isn’t as cool as The Pumpkin King, but it has its own cachet.

  • Calvin Johnson was force-fed the ball, and it worked for him and his fantasy backers at least. He had 17 targets and caught 10 for 83 yards and a touchdown. There will be more efficient days ahead for Johnson, but he’ll need that volume again versus Denver’s top pass defense to put up numbers.

  • The top targeted receivers in Week 2 were amazingly consistent with who you would expect to be on the list. Of course, that’s the norm, but there are usually a few anomalies in there. The first one to pop off the screen is Leonard Hankerson, who had nine targets (17th on the list for wide receivers) and caught six for 77 yards and a touchdown, while Roddy White had just one target and no receptions. But, it is worth noting that PFF scored the three incompletions as drops, the most for Week 2. White had nine more snaps, but the targets all went to Hankerson. This was a departure from Week 1, when White had eight targets to Hankerson’s four. This could be a trend, or it could be a sign that Hankerson and White will just cancel each other out. But for now, Hankerson is worth owning due to this potent offense.



  • Donte Moncrief finished with eight targets, catching seven of those for 122 yards and a touchdown. On the evening, he ran 38 pass routes compared to 36 for T.Y. Hilton and 31 for Andre Johnson, while out-targeting both by one. Does this mean Moncrief is the No. 1 receiver now? No, but it does look likely that he is the No. 2 receiver and could have games where he is the lead target; that’s pretty huge considering he plays for the Colts.

  • Julio Jones caught an amazing 13 passes on just 14 targets. That’s some efficiency there.

  • You’d never know Steve Smith is 78 years old. He caught 10 of 16 targets and caused four missed tackles. I’m guessing he’ll wear down a bit as the season goes on, but right now, it looks like he could go on playing a couple more seasons. The Ravens do need Breshad Perriman to get on the field soon though. Smith can’t do it all on his own; probably.

    For more recommendations, check out WalterFootball.com’s Fantasy Football Rankings.








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