Another week in the books, and what a week it was. We saw 10 players score multiple TDs, rushing or receiving. Of those, four players (Alvin Kamara, Tony Pollard, D’Onta Foreman and A.J. Brown) had three scores. We even say the NFL Swiss Army Knife, Christian McCaffrey, scores the elusive football hat trick (passing, rushing and receiving TDs). If you love defense, Week 8 wasn’t for you (unless you’re a Saints fan). Since we’re here today to talk about targets, I’ll just assume you enjoyed these performances as much as I did. Target Trends Week 9.
Twelve players had 10 or more targets in Week 8, led by Tyreek Hill with 14. Alvin Kamara paced all other RBs with 10 targets, but three others had eight or more. In addition, three TEs came in with nine or more targets, including Tyler Conklin (10), Kyle Pitts (9) and Foster Moreau (9). When you add it all up, there’s no doubt it was a good week to be a pass catcher.
For this installment of Target Trends, we’re going to shift it up a bit. Instead of categorizing who is up, down or holding firm, I’ll share some players who stand out on the target sheet and analyze their Week 9 matchups utilizing Razzball’s suite of WR and DEF tools. These tools contain a wealth of knowledge to help you make critical waiver wire, start/sit or DFS decisions each week. I’ll give you a taste of these tools here but do yourself a favor and check them out under the “Fantasy Football Data” tab on our NFL page.
Now, let’s get to the good stuff…
Week 8 Target Monsters/Week 9 Outlook:
Tyreek Hill, Dolphins: Tyreek Hill not only led the week in targets but is also currently leading all of football with 92 targets. His 14 targets this past weekend have given him double-digits in 6 of 8 games. Only the Jets and Bills have been able to take him out of the game plan. He won’t be facing an AFC East team next, though. The Dolphins take their high-powered offense to Chicago in Week 9 to face a defense currently ranked third vs. WRs. In fact, the Bears are only allowing 11.9 fantasy PPG to slot WRs and 11.6 fantasy PPG to wideouts. Can the Bears slow down Tyreek, or will the league leader increase his lead on the rest of the NFL? Something must give!
Jakobi Meyers, Patriots: Jakobi Meyers has been relatively quiet since week 2. This past week versus the Jets, Mac Jones looked his way 12 times, with Meyers hauling in 9 for 60 and a score. The Jets’ defense has given up more fantasy PPG to slot receives than wideouts (15.7 PPG slot vs. 12.2 PPG wideouts), so Meyers’ success isn’t much of a surprise. However, Meyers matches up next with a Colts defense that has been very good against WRs. Slot WRs are only averaging 6.2 fantasy PPG, while wideouts are averaging 15.5 PPG. Since Meyers is running over 80% of his routes from the slot, a rerun of the Week 8 results seems a bit of a stretch.
Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, Buccaneers: Although the results on the scoreboard aren’t looking good for Bucs fans, Chris Godwin and Mike Evans continue to get a heavy workload. Versus the Ravens last week, both Bucs WRs received 11 targets leading to a combined 12 receptions for just under 200 yards. The Ravens’ defense tends to be generous to both slot and wideouts, so these results make sense. Their upcoming opponent, the Rams, are much better versus slot WRs (7.9 PPG allowed) than wideouts (18.3 PPG allowed). If these trends hold, we should fade Godwin a bit (80% routes from the slot) and give a little bump to Evans.
Terrance Marshall Jr., Panthers: Terrance Marshall Jr. burst onto the fantasy radar in Week 8, earning a nod in this week’s Razzball Week 9 Waiver Wire article. Going into the Falcons game, Marshall was targeted only eight times. However, when the final horn sounded on Sunday, he had more than double those targets. Where did this come from? Of course, it helps that the Falcons are dead last in the league against WRs and are especially forgiving to wideouts like Marshall (16.3 PPG slot vs. 28.0 PPG wideouts). Although not nearly as generous, the Bengals’ defense also gives up more to wideouts than slots (10.4 PPG slot: 17.9 PPG wideouts). I’ll keep a close eye on how Marshall follows up his breakout game. With another matchup versus the Falcons looming in week 10, will he do enough versus the Bengals to solidify a No. 2 WR role?
DeAndre Hopkins and Rondale Moore, Cardinals: DeAndre Hopkins has been an absolute beast (27 targets) since his return in Week 7. Following the loss of Hollywood Brown, Rondale Moore has emerged as another reliable WR option for Kyler Murray. In Week 8, the duo combined for 21 of Murray’s 44 total targets for over 250 yards and two TDs. The Cardinals are desperate for a win versus the NFC West-leading Seahawks and should once again lean on this duo to stretch out Seattle’s defense. The Seahawks match up better against slot WRs than wideouts (10.6 PPG slot vs. 15.9 PPG wideouts), so temper expectations a bit on Moore. There’s really no need to say start Hopkins with confidence…but it doesn’t hurt to immortalize it in print.
I could go on with more target trend narratives, but I’ve got a deadline to meet, and you don’t have all day to read my words. So, I’ll switch to the hurry-up offense and fire off some additional WR matchups that are trending for me in Week 9.
Demarcus Robinson (@ Saints on Monday): Robinson received a season-high eight targets following Bateman’s injury. The Saints give up almost 28 PPG to wideouts. 100% of Robinson’s fantasy points are from the wideout position.
Adam Thielen (@ Commanders): Commanders give up 71% PPG to wideouts (8.3 PPG slot: 24.6 PPG wideouts). Thielen is scoring 80% of his fantasy points from the wideout position.
Agree/Disagree? Let me know what you think in the comments below. Also, feel free to send any trade questions or roster decisions my way. I’m always happy to provide some fantasy advice to our loyal followers. Good luck with all your teams…unless you’re competing against me! Target Trends Week 9 Target Trends Week 9 Target Trends Week 9 Target Trends Week 9.