I promise if this weekly segment begins to get redundant, I’ll lower my standards in terms of the benchmark number for the week, or jump into the second tier of targeted receivers. Below you’ll find the target hogs at the wide receiver position, with the benchmark being 40 targets through 4 weeks of the NFL season. It may seem unrealistic to expect 10 targets per week for a wide receiver, but so far these guys are blazing the trail and are definitely the players you want to build your DFS lineups around. Best of luck to you all in Week 5 – thanks for reading! Shout out to footballdiehards.com for the data!
Mike Evans – 50 targets – 26 catches, 360 yards receiving, 3 touchdowns
Jameis Winston is throwing the ball at a record pace so far in 2016 and Mike Evans is obviously the beneficiary. The coaching staff has already voiced concern with the amount of attempts Winston has been forced into so far and his decision making has certainly been called into question, but regardless you have to love Evans as a WR1 this year. I was high on him coming into the season as some of you may know, and he’s proving to be worth that 2nd-3rd round price tag, regardless of format. I’m fully expecting a 100 catch, 1200 yard receiving season from Evans this season, and hopefully somewhere near the 10 touchdown mark. There clearly is not a better option in Tampa Bay, so it’s an easy call to assume this guy will continue to get an absurd amount of targets on a weekly basis.
Antonio Brown – 45 targets – 28 catches, 369 yards receiving, 4 touchdowns
This guy is just a joy to watch out there. A pure entertainer and one of the world’s best athletes. AB makes me want to be a Steelers fan. His passion for the game is unmatched and his dedication to his craft is evident by his performance week in and week out. I just hope Big Ben can stay healthy, I’m convinced Antonio Brown will eventually shatter all of the records. Juicy matchup against the Jets this week!
Jarvis Landry – 45 targets – 31 catches, 375 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
Why do I feel like he’s putting up a monster season, quietly, yet again? Maybe it was me bitching after his weak Week 1 performance - haha. He’s now had at least 10 targets and 7 catches in all four games this season, that’s quite an impressive and consistent factory of fantasy production if you ask me. I hate Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins for that matter, but if there’s anyone on that team that I am comfortable putting in my lineup, it’s certainly Jarvis Landry.
A.J. Green – 44 targets – 32 catches, 468 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
I semi-missed on A.J. Green this fantasy draft season, drafting guys like Dez Bryant ahead of him. I was confident in his ability to be a top 5 fantasy WR, but at this rate he looks to be in contention with Antonio Brown and Mike Evans (and eventually Julio) for the top spot. I’ll attribute a lot of targets due to Eifert being out, but even when he does return I think it only helps Green. Outside of the two of them, there aren’t many reliable pass catchers at the moment. If you’ve read any of my content this year, you know I’m a Lafell-hater, but I do like the long-term value of Boyd. Green is in store for a 100+ reception season with as many targets as he can handle. Deploy confidently, regardless of matchup.
T.Y. Hilton – 44 targets – 25 catches, 336 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
I am not the biggest Hilton fan, which is evident by my 0% ownership, but I do play him from time to time in DFS formats. There’s no denying the stats, and the targets will certainly continue to come his way with Donte Moncrief out and Dorsett failing to impress for the most part thus far. He’s had at least 10 targets and 6 catches in every game so far, you have to love that as a fantasy owner. Overall the Colts look awful out there, I am worried about the immediate future of this team, they are VERY beatable on both sides of the ball.
Emmanuel Sanders – 42 targets – 25 catches, 293 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns
I somewhat missed the boat on Sanders heading into this year, likely due to the uncertainty at quarterback. I assumed Demaryius was still the guy to own here, but through the first quarter of the season it appears I am wrong as Thomas has only been targeted 27 times in comparison to Sanders’ 42. With that being said, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the Broncos’ ability to get both of their stud receivers involved early and often, regardless of who is slanging the rock.
Allen Robinson – 41 targets – 21 catches, 238 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns
Yes, Robinson currently sits amongst the top receivers in terms of targets, but overall his first quarter of the season has been rather disappointing in my opinion. Robinson has yet to eclipse 7 catches or 72 yards receiving in a game, but on the flip side at least he does have 3 scores in 4 games. With the Jags on a Bye this week, I’m predicting Bortles/Robinson will have their biggest games of the fantasy season as they come into Chicago fresh/healthy to face that lackluster Bears’ Defense in Week 6.
Terrelle Pryor – 40 targets – 19 catches, 290 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns (1 rushing)
I keep waiting this guy to come back to reality and he continues to produce at an impressive clip. He hauled in his first receiving touchdown of the season in Week 4, ultimately saving his fantasy day. I do worry about the consistency of his production throughout the season, but for now he is a solid flex option in standard or PPR formats – just don’t be surprised if he throws up a stinker of 3 catches for 30 yards (like he did in week 2) one of these coming weeks. If there’s a coach in the league that knows how to limit the production of a single player, it’s Bill Belichick. I’d personally sell high on Terrelle Pryor if possible but I do like his ability to contribute to fantasy lineups week in and week out, just try to temper your expectations.
Brandon Marshall – 39 targets – 16 catches, 249 receiving yards and 1 touchdown
His catch/target percentage is putrid, but he’s still one of the most targeted receivers in the NFL and is still making the most of his catches. Likely to finish the season as a top 10 WR as expected.
Larry Fitzgerald - 39 targets – 25 catches, 280 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns
Keep in mind these numbers are before Thursday’s game in which he added 6 more catches for 81 yards and two scores. Fitz is looking like he might just be the most valuable fantasy WR in terms of his ADP in comparison to production. The guy looks like he could play another 5 years!