If you’ve been following my weekly targets piece, then you might have caught me mentioning that I might eventually switch this up. I decided to pull the trigger after quickly realizing the top tier of targeted receivers was very similar yet again. Below you’ll find a quick table of that top tier of targeted receivers for the season, followed by the target hogs from Week 5. Best of luck to you all in Week 6 of the Fantasy season!
||Odell Beckham Jr.
Week 5 Target Hogs (Double Digits)
Brandon Marshall – 15 targets, 8 catches, 114 yards, 1 TD
Sure he’s only caught less than half of his targets on the season, but we can probably chalk that up to surprisingly poor play from Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets as a whole. The bottom line is that Brandon Marshall is still a true “target hog” and will continue to see 10+ targets on a weekly basis, especially with Eric Decker recently placed on IR. Marshall and the Jets will take on the Cardinals on MNF, but I don’t think there’s much to be worried about in terms of his production as the Cardinals are nowhere near the team they were last year. Jeremy Kerley was able to torch the Cards for 8 catches, 102 yards and a touchdown. I think it’s safe to say that Brandon Marshall is a better wide receiver than Jeremy Kerley, and Ryan Fitzpatrick is typically a better quarterback than Blaine Gabbert. Deploy with confidence.
Jeremy Kerley – 14 targets, 8 catches, 102 yards, 1 TD
I found myself scratching my head this fantasy draft season as I kept seeing Torrey Smith get drafted, followed by comments like, “someone has to catch passes in San Francisco”. Torrey Smith never was, and never will be a number one wide receiver. He’s nothing more than an aging deep threat and I’m certainly glad I didn’t buy into the hype and draft him anywhere. Now I’m not saying that Jeremy Kerley is a bona fide stud by any means, but he’s certainly proven that he’s more than capable of handling the lion’s share of targets, as evident by his 46 targets through 5 weeks. The fact that Jeremy Kerley is only owned in 46% of ESPN leagues in comparison to Torrey Smith’s 42% is absolutely mind boggling. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!
Jordy Nelson – 13 targets, 4 catches, 38 yards, 1 TD
Jordy is backkkkkkkkk! 5 touchdowns in 4 games (bye week in week 4), including 21 catches on 40 targets. His catch rate is a bit disappointing, but I expect that to improve as the season goes on. Rodgers looks to be back on track and the Packers have a pretty juicy matchup this weekend against a rather weak Cowboys defense that ranks 21 in the league in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing QBs. I’m predicting Jordy to finally surpass 6 catches in a game this season, while also going over 100 yards with yet another touchdown. I missed the boat on Jordy this year due to my concerns coming off a major injury, but hopefully you didn’t! I’ll be sleeping easy on Saturday nights knowing that he’ll be in my Sunday DFS lineups moving forward.
ODB Jr. – 12 targets, 5 catches, 56 yards, 1 TD
Earlier this season, I found myself deeply hating Odell Beckham Jr. due to his apparent lack of self-control and selfishness. I’m singing a different tune these days after watching a “Sunday Conversation” or some sort of interview with him on ESPN in which he basically stated how he was disappointed because he sees himself as a role model and doesn’t want to see 7 year olds acting like that. Respect, Mr. Beckham. I never really thought of it like that and can appreciate the fact that he realizes the position of influence he is in. OBD Jr. is a young and passionate player that needs to learn to channel his emotions before he can reach his full potential. He had 12 targets in Week 5, only hauling in 5 of them for 56 yards, BUT he was finally able to find the end zone. I still believe ODB will be a top 5 fantasy WR this season when all is said and done. Tough matchup this week against a stingy Ravens’ defense, but you’ve got to love the fact that he hasn’t received less than 9 targets in a single week.
Mike Evans – 12 targets, 6 catches, 89 yards, 1 TD
Leading the league in targets through 5 weeks with a bye in Week 6, Evans is on pace for a MONSTER fantasy season. He’s likely to amass more than 1300 yards receiving on 90+ catches and double digit touchdowns. Jameis has shown he is not afraid to throw the ball to Evans, regardless of coverage. He’ll have his fair share of drops, but there’s not another receiver in the league right now that is going to get as many targets as Evans on a weekly basis. What’s not to love? Go Bucs!
Amari Cooper – 12 targets, 6 catches, 138 yards, 1 TD
For one reason or another, I feel like Cooper has been somewhat disappointing thus far in 2016, but the numbers will tell you otherwise. I suppose fantasy owner’s frustrations have come due to the lack of touchdowns. He’s been targeted 47 times through 5 games, hauling in 26 passes for 456 yards (good for 5th in the league), but has only been able to find the end zone once. It’s been a bit frustrating to see Carr spread the ball around so much (Roberts has 3 touchdowns and Crabtree has 5), but the Raiders are 4-1 and playing some solid football. The targets are there; the touchdowns will follow. Keep the faith in Amari.
Cameron Meredith – 12 targets, 9 catches, 130 yards, 1 TD
15 catches on 20 targets for the season, including a monster breakout game in Week 5 against the Colts in which he led the team in targets, catches and receiving yards. Did I mention this was all happened while Alshon Jeffery was still on the field? Yes, he’s hobbling at the moment, but he still commands a lot of attention from opposing defenses and Meredith will be reaping the benefits, especially with Kevin White on IR. Owned in only 30% of ESPN leagues, you should probably go out and snag him before it’s too late.
Antonio Brown – 11 targets, 9 catches, 78 yards, 1 TD)
You shouldn’t need me to tell you how good this guy is. He’ll likely pass Mike Evans (bye week) for the league lead in targets this week, and will likely surpass 40 catches and 500 yards for the season as well. Fantasy owners should be salivating at a matchup against Miami this week, albeit on the road. Could this be the week that AB trumps his season high of 140 yards? I think yes.
Sammie Coates – 11 targets, 6 catches, 139 yards, 2 TDs
After reports surfaced of Coates having a lacerated hand, Coates still showed up with his best performance of his young career in Week 5 – had he not dropped four passes his stat line would have been even more impressive. Coates has at least one catch of 40 or more yards in each game this season, an impressive feat in itself. Apparently he now also has a broken finger? To be honest, I have no idea if those are related injuries or if this is something new, but I hope it does not hamper his production too much. Monitor his situation closely this morning, but if he is in that lineup I would feel comfortable starting him in any format. Even with the potential drops due to hand injuries, the volume and shots down field should be enough to satisfy your fantasy needs.
T.Y. Hilton – 11 targets, 10 catches, 179 yards, 1 TD
My goodness, has Hilton been a huge beneficiary of Moncrief going down or what?! Wow! In 2 of the 3 games Moncrief has not appeared, Hilton has gone for more than 170 yards receiving AND scored a touchdown in all three! He’s number three in the league in targets through 5 weeks and has already surpassed more than 500 yards receiving. Tough matchup this week against the Texans, but there’s no way you can bench Hilton in season long leagues, based on sheer volume/targets alone.
Brandon LaFell – 11 targets, 8 catches, 68 yards, 2 TDs
If you’ve listened to any of our podcasts or read any of my articles since January, you know I am not a Brandon LaFell fan. I’m still not a believer, at all. If you can’t succeed with Cam Newton or Tom Brady, you likely will not succeed with Andy Dalton. He will show flashes of potential, but don’t expect a career resurgence from an average NFL receiver. I really hope Tyler Boyd picks it up in the second half of the season as I personally believe his upside is much higher than LaFell’s. You won’t hear me telling you to rush out to pickup LaFell. Did I mention one of his touchdowns last week was in complete garbage time when it felt like the Cowboys’ D was already in the locker room?
Travis Benjamin – 11 targets, 7 catches, 117 yards
It was great to see him have a solid game in Week 5 even though he did not score a touchdown, but if you started him on Thursday Night Football against the Broncos in Week 6 to follow that up, you were sorely disappointed and likely angry. Luckily I had other options than starting him against a tough Denver D in several leagues, but now may just be a good “buy low” time for Benjamin. I personally think he’s better suited for a WR2 spot on the Chargers, but with Allen out for the year he doesn’t have much of a choice but to step up as the main threat for Rivers. Pick and choice your matchups with Benjamin moving forward and rest easy in knowing that the target volume will generally be there.
Mike Wallace – 11 targets, 7 catches, 63 yards
Ehh. I’m not crazy about Wallace but there’s no denying his production as part of the Ravens’ offense. However, after the first two games in which he scored 3 total touchdowns, he has yet to surpass 63 yards receiving or score a touchdown in the 3 games following. It looked as if Flacco was determined to get him the ball in Week 5 though, as he targeted him 11 times and Wallace was able to haul in a season high 7 passes. If Smith misses any time or is ineffective due to his ankle injury, look for an uptick in Wallace’s production.
Randall Cobb – 11 targets, 9 catches, 108 yards
Loved seeing Cobb get back on track last week and I fully expect that trend to continue this week against the Cowboys. He’s yet to find the end zone through the Packers’ 4 games, but this should be the week that changes. The bye week looked to do wonders for Cobb, who easily had his best game of the season in Week 5 with 9 catches for 108 yards. I’m comfortable with Cobb as a WR3/Flex for now, with WR2 upside.
Tavon Austin – 10 targets, 7 catches, 59 yards
I want nothing to do with Tavon Austin. Let someone else have that headache. Sell “high” if you can. Gimmick players aren’t in my deck of cards.
Julian Edelman – 10 targets, 5 catches, 35 yards
Brady is back and the production from Edelman should follow suit. Brady certainly tried to make that happen by throwing him the rock 10 times, but unfortunately Edelman was only able to convert on 50% of those passes for 35 yards. Consider this an anomaly and deploy Edelman on a weekly basis comfortably, particularly in PPR formats.
Honorable mention with 9-8 targets:
Eddie Royal (9), Emmanuel Sanders (9), Deandre Hopkins (9), Jaelen Strong (9), Kelvin Benjamin (9), Davante Adams (8), Adam Thielen (8), Larry Fitzgerald (8), A.J. Green (8).