It was another dramatic week in the NFL, one in which six games were decided by four points or less. Pat Mahomes took down Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers did the same to Bill Belichick, and Jalen Hurts came roaring back against the Jaguars’ young, vaunted defense. Now, let’s look at the target and snap leaders amidst all that wild weekend action.
Superstars Dominate the Target Chart
The Week 4 leaders in targets? Talk about “The Usual Suspects” when you put Tyreek Hill (14), Davante Adams (13), Justin Jefferson (13), T.J. Hockenson (12) and Marquise Brown (11) in a lineup. Out of the group, this was most encouraging for Hockenson, Hill and Jefferson. With Amon-Ra St. Brown and D.J. Chark out of the lineup for Dan Campbell’s Lions, seemingly-improved Jared Goff leaned on Hockenson, one of the most talented tight ends in the game. “Hock” responded with one of the fantasy performances of the year: Eight receptions for 179 yards and two touchdowns. This target share dominance will continue if St. Brown and Chark remain out of the lineup in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, Tyreek jumped from four Week 3 targets to 14 this week and Jefferson from six to 13. After two head-scratching weeks, Jefferson bounced back with 10 receptions for 147 dominant yards. The Vikings did a nice job moving him around and avoiding predictability on JJ’s route tree. He’s seemingly back to normal now.
Kelce Cracks Double Digits for the First Time
With so many moving parts in Andy Reid and Eric Bieniemy’s famous KC offense, megastar Travis Kelce sat on single digits in targets the first three weeks of the season. This week, however — in a prime-time Super Bowl LIV rematch against Brady, Bowles and the Bucs — Kelce turned 10 targets into nine receptions for 92 yards and a touchdown. What else can we possibly write about his chemistry with Patrick Mahomes at this point? It is simply unparalleled. Not only is Kelce one of the greatest tight ends of all time, but he’s also one of the greatest individual players of all time, of any position.
Rookies Rollin’ Along
You can just tell with Romeo Doubs, can’t ya? Aaron Rodgers’ rookie receiver is just physical at the point of attack — Doubs takes Rodgers’ quick throws and turns them into downhill, impact plays. The rambunctious rookie was strong again — despite one tough fumble – converting eight targets into 47 yards and a critical touchdown in a surprisingly-difficult game against Belichick’s feisty Pats. Doubs reminds me of a less-developed Anquan Boldin or Deebo Samuel in that he’s not out there to ice skate around as a finesse player. Instead, he’s a receiver willing to lower his shoulder and bowl defenders over.
Over in Pittsburgh, in a dramatic loss to my Jets, electric George Pickens broke out for Mike Tomlin’s tumbling squad. Punching all the physical tools, Pickens turned eight targets into his first 100-plus yard game as a pro. Many more to come, for sure. Pickens is a must-have in fantasy right now, as the reins have been turned over to confident rookie Kenny Pickett. “Pickett to Pickens” — get used to that one.
Tricky, Tricky New Orleans
Moving over to snap counts, the Andy Dalton-led Saints put up a helluva fight overseas against the more-talented and less-injured Minnesota Vikings. The trickiness comes here — out of nowhere, Marquez Callaway played more snaps (58) and ran more routes (29) than rising rookie Chris Olave (41 and 24, respectively). Not a bad idea from Dennis Allen and the Saints because things would have become too predictable in the absence of both Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas. Still, Olave outperformed his teammate Callaway, going for 67 yards and a touchdown. I actually thought The Red Rifle performed quite well. He got the ball out quickly and really gave New Orleans a chance to win a difficult game in a difficult situation.
It’s Really the “Pitts” When Hesse Outplays You
Boy, oh boy, Mr. Kyle Pitts. What can we really say at this point? He’s the fantasy bust of the year, getting out-snapped by fellow TE Parker Hesse — wait, WHO?? — 48 to 34 against a stumbling Browns defense sans Myles Garrett. Pitts was the pits — again — turning those measly 34 snaps into just one reception for 25 yards. Still, I would stick with him in all fantasy formats because the tight end position isn’t deep or fruitful enough to pivot elsewhere at this particular point in time.
Yay or Duver”nay”?
It might finally be time to take Devin Duvernay seriously. We had been saying not enough volume in the opening weeks, but in a brutal loss to the bullish Buffalo Bills, Duvernay out-snapped Rashod Bateman handily, 48 to 28. He also out-routed the Ravens’ supposed No. 1 receiver, 28 to 18. Duvernay converted his workload into a decent day, with four receptions for 51 yards compared to Bateman’s three for 17. Hey… somebody has to be the next man up after Mark Andrews, right?
I’ll see ya right back here next week.
John Frascella is a published sports author who has been covering the NFL for 18 years. Follow him on Twitter @LegendSports7 for all things football throughout another action-packed season.