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Target Analysis: Week 2 (2020 Fantasy Football)

Sep 23, 2020

Stefon Diggs saw a whopping 13 targets in last Sunday’s game, bringing his total up to 22 on the season.

We’ve seen it time and time again. Volume is the clearest indicator of fantasy success, as it’s rare for a player to be a fantasy football stud without the opportunity to convert touches into points. Pass-catching opportunities, especially in PPR leagues, are often a bigger determinant of fantasy success than the talent of a player or his circumstances.

So, every week of this fantasy season, I am going to diagnose the target landscape in the NFL. Who’s seeing the highest share on a team? Who’s trending downward? And most importantly, what takeaways can we draw from this data to ultimately help you make better fantasy lineup and roster decisions?

Here is your Week 2 Target Analysis

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Arizona Cardinals

DeAndre Hopkins 9 25 12.5 25 12.5  ⬇️
Larry Fitzgerald 7 12 6 12 6 ⬆️
Christian Kirk 4 9 4.5 9 4.5 ⬇️
Chase Edmonds 4 9 4.5 9 4.5 ⬇️
Dan Arnold 4 6 3 6 3 ⬆️
Kenyan Drake 2 4 2 4 2

DeAndre Hopkins continues to be a target hog in Arizona, following up on Week 1’s outstanding share with nine targets against the Washington Football Team. His ceiling appears to be the sixteen targets he saw in Week 1, but eight to ten targets per contest are the baseline I would expect for a top-five receiver in the league. For the WR2 job in Arizona, it looks like Larry Fitzgerald is the slight favorite over Christian Kirk, as the future Hall-of-Famer has out-targeted his successor twelve to nine over the last two contests. As far as the running back targets are concerned, Chase Edmonds continues to out-target Kenyan Drake and seems to be the running back that Arizona can count on to catch the ball out of the backfield.

With his current target pace, it seems highly unlikely that Hopkins would fail to finish as a top-ten receiver. He is getting the necessary volume and makes this passing game thrive. Kirk and Fitzgerald will alternate weeks of fantasy relevance, but their ceiling is severely limited by Hopkins’ dominance and Kyler Murray’s propensity to run the ball. It’s difficult to start either one with any semblance of confidence. Drake, meanwhile, is severely under-performing versus his ADP, as his four targets through two games rank outside that top-fifteen running backs. With Edmonds playing well and Hopkins getting his share, I can’t see Drake getting the volume through the air that we all had hoped.

Atlanta Falcons

Calvin Ridley 10 22 11 22 11  ⬇️
Russell Gage 9 21 10.5 21 10.5 ⬇️
Hayden Hurst 8 13 6.5 13 6.5 ⬆️
Julio Jones 4 16 8 16 8 ⬇️
Brian Hill 2 4 2 4 2
Keith Smith 2 2 1 2 1 ⬆️

Atlanta may be a mess from an ordinary football standpoint, but they are an absolute gold-mine for fantasy purposes. For the second consecutive week, three Falcons saw at least eight targets in a game, with Calvin Ridley once again benefiting from a touchdown standpoint. While many thought the success of Hayden Hurst would come at the expense of slot receiver Russell Gage, it was actually Julio Jones who was the odd man out in Week 2. Jones saw only four targets, putting up a mediocre fantasy day in what was a plus matchup for all involved.

Until proven otherwise, you are putting all Atlanta pass-catchers in your starting line-up. While it’s possible one of Jones, Ridley, Gage, or Hurst will have an off day on occasion, Matt Ryan is supporting at least three fantasy-relevant players each week with his 45 pass attempts per-game average and 362 passing yards per game. The Atlanta defense is also giving up an average of 39 points per game, so this offense will continue to churn out yards as they make up for the other side of the ball. While Ryan and his pass-catchers seem to be clicking on all cylinders, Todd Gurley has been a fantasy bust thus far and ranks outside of the top-six in targets on his own team. It’s safe to say that Gurley has become a one-dimensional runner in this offense.

Baltimore Ravens

Marquise Brown 6 12 6 12 6
Miles Boykin 5 9 4.5 9 4.5 ⬆️ 
Mark Andrews 3 9 4.5 9 4.5 ⬇️
Mark Ingram 3 3 1.5 3 1.5 ⬆️ 
Willie Snead V 2 6 3 6 3 ⬇️
Nick Boyle 1 4 2 4 2 ⬇️

It wasn’t a prolific passing day for Baltimore by any means, but we all know which players stand out in the pecking order for this group of pass-catchers. Marquise Brown once again led all Ravens wideouts in targets, seeing six pass-catching opportunities in Houston. Mark Andrews had an off day, only seeing three targets in a game where Baltimore was in command for most of the day. Still, he’s ultimately Lamar Jackson’s primary weapon and should see a steady amount of targets in future contests. The biggest surprise of this group is Miles Boykin, who has averaged approximately 4.5 targets per game and has been the de facto No. 2 wide receiver over the likes of Devin Duvernay and Willie Snead. Meanwhile, the running backs in this offense continue to be absent in the receiving game, with Mark Ingram leading the group with three targets on the season.

Andrews and Brown are still the only pass-catchers of which you’ll want any part in Baltimore. Andrews is a top-five tight end who makes up for his lack of receiving volume with increased red zone utilization; however, that will make him less consistent than others around the league and cause him to have poor outings like the one he had this past week. Brown, meanwhile, is a deep threat who needs a long reception or a touchdown to provide fantasy relevance. Averaging six targets per game is solid, but he’ll lack consistency given Baltimore’s proclivity for running the football with ease.

Buffalo Bills

Stefon Diggs 13 22 11 22 11 ⬆️ 
John Brown 6 16 8 16 8 ⬇️
Cole Beasley 6 13 6.5 13 6.5 ⬇️
Devin Singletary 3 10 5 10 5 ⬇️
Dawson Knox 3 6 3 6 3
Isaiah McKenzie 2 5 2.5 5 2.5 ⬇️

Josh Allen followed up his first career 300-yard passing game from last week with his first 400-yard passing game this week in a 31-28 win over the Miami Dolphins. Now that Allen has finally been unleashed as a passer and is connecting on his deep attempts, the receivers in Buffalo are experiencing a fantasy resurgence. Stefon Diggs saw a whopping 13 targets in last Sunday’s game, bringing his total up to 22 on the season. Meanwhile, John Brown and Cole Beasley each saw six targets, several of which were deep completions down the field. While the receivers are thriving off of an increased workload, the running backs are not. Devin Singletary only saw three targets in this game, while Zack Moss saw none.

Stefon Diggs and John Brown are going to get the necessary volume to sustain fantasy relevance, with the former being more inclined to a WR2 finish while the latter is a mid-to-high WR3. Allen won’t always have easy matchups as he had in his first two games this season, but the volume is extremely encouraging for both wideouts to be playable each week with a relatively high floor. While Beasley has averaged 6.5 targets per game, he’s clearly the third option in this offense and is nothing more than a desperation start in fantasy. If you want to lean into the narrative that Singletary is the runner you want in Buffalo, you are more than welcome to make that assumption based on the target distribution. However, from what I have seen watching the game, this backfield will be a near 50-50 split between Singletary and Moss; they will cannibalize each other’s upside and have a hard time carving out a defined role in this offense.

Carolina Panthers

D.J. Moore 13 22 11 22 11 ⬆️ 
Robby Anderson 10 18 9 18 9 ⬆️ 
Mike Davis 8 8 4 8 4 ⬆️ 
Christian McCaffery 5 9 4.5 9 4.5 ⬆️ 
Curtis Samuel 2 10 5 10 5 ⬇️
Alex Armah 1 1 0.5 1 0.5 ⬆️ 

Most often, past data is extremely useful as it can tell you more about future trends and help you predict what is likely to occur going forward. However, when something as game-changing as the injury to Christian McCaffery happens, we must reevaluate. McCaffery injured his heel in last Sunday’s contest against the Buccaneers and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. As you can see from the chart above, this allowed Mike Davis to see eight targets on the day, as well as giving D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson double-digit targets of their own. While McCaffery’s injury is likely to give everyone around him a target boost while he is recovering, we will need to wait and see before assuming that Davis will slide right into the role of the workhorse running back.

Moore’s 22 targets through two games combined with McCaffery’s injury and the Panthers’ horrific defense give credence to the notion that he can be a top-ten receiver over the next six weeks. He has been Teddy Bridgewater’s primary option and will continue to be peppered with targets as he runs slant routes over the middle of the field. Anderson has surprised many, including myself, averaging nine targets per game and putting up WR2 numbers over his last two games. He will see a slight uptick in volume with McCaffery out, but I think his efficiency will suffer as the opposing defenses will not need to be as hyper-focused on the run game. Lastly, as many have run to the waiver wire to secure McCaffery’s handcuff in Mike Davis, I believe those running back touches will go elsewhere. I think the speedy, multi-faceted Curtis Samuel will see a lot of run in the backfield, much like Laviska Shenault in Jacksonville, and see a major fantasy uptick. That is honestly more speculation than anything at this point, but both players should be rostered in case one of them pops in Week 3.

Chicago Bears

Allen Robinson 9 18 9 18 9
Anthony Miller 3 9 4.5 9 4.5 ⬇️
David Montgomery 3 6 3 6 3
Darnell Mooney 3 6 3 6 3
Javon Wims 2 4 2 4 2
Cordarrelle Patterson 2 3 1.5 3 1.5 ⬆️ 

Before last week’s game versus the New York Giants, the Chicago Bears elected to extend scatback Tarik Cohen, signing him to a three-year deal worth over $17 million. They did this despite the rumors that their No. 1 wideout, Allen Robinson, was upset with the organization for not receiving an extension of his own. Well, the Bears certainly did not put their money where their targets were, as Cohen only saw one target on Sunday compared to Allen Robinson’s nine. Robinson is continuing his extraordinary campaign from last season, averaging nine looks per game and being the driving force behind this Bears passing game. Meanwhile, the rest of these receivers are far and away below him in the pecking order, with Anthony Miller, David Montgomery, and Darnell Mooney combining for as many looks as Robinson had by himself.

If you have Allen Robinson, you are starting him every week. It may be hard to watch Mitch Trubisky (to his credit, he has played rather well), but he is clearing force-feeding his top wideout and giving him enough volume to be a borderline WR1. Meanwhile, Miller is a risky flex option each week, as he has not seen consistent work despite his role as the short-area slot receiver. Montgomery’s three targets are a sign that he is overtaking Cohen’s duties as the pass-catching running back, elevating his upside in PPR leagues, and potentially fulfilling last year’s narrative of being a workhorse runner.

Cincinnati Bengals

A.J. Green 13 22 11 22 11 ⬆️ 
Tyler Boyd 8 13 6.5 13 6.5 ⬆️
Gio Bernard 7 12 6 12 6 ⬆️
Drew Sample 9 10 5 10 5 ⬆️
Mike Thomas 4 7 3.5 7 3.5 ⬆️
Tee Higgins 6 6 3 6 3 ⬆️

A.J. Green may finally be healthy, but he’s just not quite in sync with his quarterback Joe Burrow to start the season. Despite 22 targets over the last two weeks, Green has only caught eight passes for 80 yards with zero scores. Granted, he’s had several end zone targets in which he just missed out on a touchdown, but he’s still failing to convert on his opportunities. Nonetheless, the fact that he’s been so heavily involved is a good sign for the future. The main feature of this offense, however, seems to be the tight end position. C.J. Uzomah and Drew Sample combined for 15 targets on the day, with the latter seeing the main share of work after Uzomah suffered a season-ending injury. Joe Mixon finally saw an increase in looks, with his four targets in Week 2 bringing his season total up to six; still; it’s clear the coaching staff favors Giovani Bernard as the pass-catching specialist and will utilize him in lieu of Mixon in obvious third-down situations and two-minute drills.

I wouldn’t sell Green after a bad week, as he will likely convert his targets into receptions as the season goes along; right now, however, he’s merely a WR3 with WR2 upside. Boyd is a decent play each week purely due to volume, but his fantasy managers got bailed out with a late touchdown grab in garbage time; you can play him, but his ceiling isn’t there. Joe Mixon truthers will find his performance tough to swallow, as he’s looked sensational when catching the ball despite being given a limited opportunity. Mixon’s offensive line has also failed to open up holes in the run game. Your best bet is to hold Mixon and wait for better days ahead unless you can get someone who values him at his early second-round redraft price. As far as Sample is concerned, he’s only a streamer for deep leagues in redraft formats, but he’ll be a hot commodity for any formats that include a tight end premium.

Cleveland Browns

Odell Beckham Jr. 6 16 8 16 8 ⬇️
Jarvis Landry 3 9 4.5 9 4.5 ⬇️
Kareem Hunt 2 8 4 8 4 ⬇️
Austin Hooper 4 6 3 6 3 ⬆️ 
KhaDarel Hodge 2 5 2.5 5 3 ⬇️
Nick Chubb 1 2 1 2 1

In an ideal world, this is how the Browns want all of their game scripts to go. Baker Mayfield only threw the ball 23 times, while the team ran the ball 35 times. Despite his limited passing output, Odell Beckham finally put together a decent performance by converting four of his six targets into 74 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, the rest of the pass-catchers suffered outside of Kareem Hunt’s touchdown catch at the end of the second half. When the team is able to successfully execute their run-first offense, only Odell Beckham provides a semblance of hope for a reasonable fantasy output among the Browns pass-catchers.

The window to sell Odell Beckham is finally open, and I suggest you take it. Beckham may be averaging eight targets per game, but he’s only caught seven balls on the season. This Browns offense will either have a successful outing in which Beckham has an efficient day with low volume, or they’ll be trailing early and force-feed Beckham uncatchable passes. The OBJ of old is gone; in Kevin Stefanski’s offense, he’s merely the occasional deep threat for a low-volume passer. Aside from the running backs, I don’t want to roster anyone else that plays for Cleveland. Landry is not getting nearly enough volume to be start-worthy and Austin Hooper is waiver wire fodder. Unless the Browns start changing their scheme or Mayfield learns to utilize his $44 million tight end more in the passing game, the only Browns you should have on your fantasy football team are Chubb, Hunt, and Beckham.

Dallas Cowboys

Dalton Schultz 10 14 7 14 7 ⬆️ 
Amari Cooper 9 23 11.5 23 11.5 ⬇️
CeeDee Lamb 9 15 7.5 15 7.5 ⬆️ 
Ezekiel Elliot 7 11 5.5 11 5.5 ⬆️ 
Michael Gallup 5 10 5 10 5
Blake Bell 3 3 1.5 3 1.5 ⬆️ 

Through two weeks, Amari Cooper has separated himself from the pack from the other wideouts in Dallas, averaging 11.5 targets per game despite being matched up against the opposing No. 1 cornerback. Meanwhile, rookie CeeDee Lamb has out-targeted veteran Michael Gallup for two straight weeks; the rookie has lived up to his pre-draft billing as a great slot receiver who could thrive despite sharing the workload with other great receivers. The biggest surprise of this game was Dalton Schultz, who saw a team-high ten targets while filling in for the injured Blake Jarwin. Nonetheless, when playing the Falcons, every offensive player has the potential to receive a healthy dose of targets and succeed for fantasy purposes.

While Cooper has asserted himself as a weekly start, many are concerned over Michael Gallup’s diminishing role in this offense. Gallup has become the fourth option in this passing game, with Ezekiel Elliot surpassing him in targets after last week’s performance. I would still feel comfortable starting Gallup as a WR3, as this offense is more than capable of supporting three different pass-catchers on a weekly basis. Still, I prefer Lamb to Gallup in all formats. Elliot’s reception volume is very encouraging for his PPR upside, but Atlanta is notorious for funneling targets to the running back. I will need to see more consistent usage from Elliot in the receiving game before truly believing he will sustain his target share.

Denver Broncos

Jerry Jeudy 7 15 7.5 15 7.5 ⬇️
KJ Hamler 7 7 3.5 7 7 ⬆️ 
Courtland Sutton 6 6 3 6 6 ⬆️ 
Noah Fant 5 11 5.5 11 5.5 ⬇️
Tim Patrick 5 10 5 10 5
Melvin Gordon 3 6 3 6 3

Courtland Sutton was able to play one game and manage six targets before suffering a season-ending injury against Pittsburgh. To add insult to injury, it appears starting quarterback Drew Lock will miss time after leaving the game early on Sunday. With Sutton out, Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant, and K.J. Hamler will be the main beneficiaries from a volume perspective. Jeudy is averaging 7.5 targets per game as a rookie, while his fellow draft classmate Hamler saw seven targets in his first game as a professional. Fant came down from his 11-target high in Week 1 with an average five target output in Week 2.

With Jeff Driskel entering as Denver’s QB1, I expect any void in targets left by Sutton to be offset by a slower pace of play and increased focus on the running game. Nonetheless, Jeudy is a viable FLEX play week-in and week-out while K.J. Hamler will be a desperate start for those majorly affected by last week’s string of injuries. Fant will remain a solid tight end start with top-five positional upside. Meanwhile, with Phillip Lindsay expected to miss a few more weeks, I’d expect Melvin Gordon to surpass his three targets-per-game average.

Detroit Lions

Danny Amendola 7 14 7 14 7
Marvin Jones 6 14 7 14 7 ⬇️
D’Andre Swift 5 10 5 10 5
T.J. Hockenson 4 9 4.5 9 4.5 ⬇️
Quintez Cephus 3 13 6.5 13 6.5 ⬇️
Marvin Hall 2 4 2 4 2

With Kenny Golladay missing his second consecutive contest, Danny Amendola and Marvin Jones were the main receiving options for Matthew Stafford against the Packers. Amendola and Jones have averaged an impressive seven targets per game and become featured weapons in the passing game. Meanwhile, rookie Quintez Cephus saw major regression from his 13 Week 1 targets, only getting three pass-catching opportunities in what was largely garbage time for Detroit. Aside from Cephus, the remainder of the pass-catchers stayed consistent in regards to their Week 1 target share.

Marvin Jones is a low-WR2, high-WR3 option that has the potential for boom weeks every now and then. Amendola is rosterable in deeper leagues, but he doesn’t get enough valuable touches to be worth starting any given week. Until Golladay returns from injury, you aren’t really excited about the potential of any Lions wideouts aside from Jones. Hockenson hasn’t broken out just yet, and it’s slightly concerning that he hasn’t seen an increase in volume given Golladay’s absence; he’s a borderline TE1 with a high-ceiling and equally low-floor.

Green Bay Packers

Aaron Jones 8 14 7 14 7 ⬆️ 
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 7 13 6.5 13 6.5 ⬆️ 
Allen Lazard 5 9 4.5 9 4.5 ⬆️ 
Davante Adams 3 20 10 20 10 ⬇️
Robert Tonyan 3 3 1.5 3 1.5 ⬆️ 
Tyler Ervin 1 2 1 2 1

The WR2 for the Green Bay Packers isn’t Marquez-Valdes Scantling or Allen Lazard; it’s Aaron Jones. Last year’s PPR RB2 is averaging seven targets per game and has either tied or out-targeted every other receiver not named Davante Adams in each of his past two games. While many fantasy analysts assumed Jones would fail to repeat as an RB1 given expected touchdown regression, he has more than made up for it with his incredible involvement in the passing game and dynamic running. Adams suffered a hamstring injury mid-game, so his three targets were more of a product of Matt LaFleur being cautious with his star player rather than any decreased usage for the star wideout.

Adams and Jones are auto-starts each and every week, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable about any other pass-catching options in Green Bay. Although Valdes-Scantling has averaged 6.5 targets per game, he’s a volatile option and trailed Lazard in snap percentage in each of the last two games. This Green Bay offense is the Jones and Adams show, and until proven otherwise, they are the only viable starts for this team.

Houston Texans

Brandin Cooks 8 13 6.5 13 6.5 ⬆️ 
Jordan Akins 7 9 4.5 9 4.5 ⬆️ 
Randall Cobb 6 9 4.5 9 4.5 ⬆️ 
David Johnson 4 8 4 8 4
Darren Fells 4 6 3 6 3 ⬆️
Kenny Stills 3 4 2 4 2 ⬆️ 

I am sure a lot of you are disappointed in Will Fuller. While he did suffer an early injury, causing him to see zero targets and put up a goose egg on the stat sheet, it was a real slap in the face for those who believed in his health and had the confidence to start him. With Fuller missing in action, Brandin Cooks took over as the No. 1 wideout and saw eight targets in this game. Jordan Akins followed suit with seven targets, while Randall Cobb saw six looks. In a game in which the Texans were really never in it, several pass-catchers saw their targets in garbage time.

Fuller’s absence makes this target distribution a bit harder to navigate, as he’s the primary option when healthy. I still believe Cooks can be a low-WR3 or high-WR4 on a weekly basis; unfortunately for the Texans as a whole, they face the vaunted Pittsburgh secondary next week and will likely struggle to move the ball. The tight end targets will alternate between Akins and Fells, making both very risky streaming options in deeper leagues. David Johnson has averaged four targets per game, which is promising for his PPR upside, but he will need to convert more than 62.5 percent of his targets into catches to reach his ceiling.

Indianapolis Colts

Michael Pittman Jr. 6 8 4 8 4 ⬆️
Mo Alie-Cox 6 8 4 8 4 ⬆️
T.Y. Hilton 5 14 7 14 7 ⬇️
Zach Pascal 4 7 3.5 7 3.5 ⬆️
Jonathan Taylor 2 8 4 8 4 ⬇️
Nyheim Hines 1 9 4.5 9 4.5 ⬇️

The winner of the Week 1 imposter is Nyheim Hines, who went from eight targets in his first game of the season to one measly target this pass Sunday. In a game where Parris Campbell missed time and Marlon Mack was missing in action, many expected Hines to thrive once again as Philip Rivers’ check-down option. Unfortunately for those who started him, this game script was mainly positive for the Colts as they throttled the Vikings and ran the ball most of the day. Rookie wideout Michael Pittman and reserve tight end Mo Alie-Cox led the way this past Sunday with six targets apiece, with the latter putting up over 100 yards receiving in his first start as the team’s TE1.

This Colts team is hard to pin down, as they have so many weapons and few targets to go around. Hilton currently leads all Colts with 14 targets on the season, but he wasn’t needed against the Vikings and put up a putrid 5.8 PPR points. Hilton is still a solid start despite the down game, but putting Pittman, Cox, or Hines out in your lineup in Week 3 is a dangerous game that I would rather not play.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Keelan Cole 7 12 6 12 6 ⬆️
Chris Conley 7 8 4 8 4 ⬆️
Tyler Eifert 6 7 3.5 7 3.5 ⬆️
Laviska Shenault 4 8 4 8 4
D.J. Chark 4 7 3.5 7 3.5 ⬆️
Chris Thompson 4 6 3 6 3 ⬆️

Where did Keelan Cole come from? Presumed to be the Jaguars WR5 entering the season, he has led his team in targets in each of the past two games and become a favorite target of Gardner Minshew. Meanwhile, presumed WR1 D.J. Chark has averaged a measly 3.5 targets per game and become a touchdown-dependent fantasy option. Minshew spread his targets around pretty evenly in Week 2, with seven players seeing four or more pass-catching opportunities, including rookies Laviska Shenault and James Robinson. In what we thought would be a putrid offense in Jacksonville has become a relevant, albeit confusing, spot for high-floor options.

Despite two poor games, I would still feel comfortable trotting out D.J. Chark as my WR2 or FLEX, as he has a plus matchup this week in Miami. Laviska Shenault and Keelan Cole have become reliable bench options who you can start when you are in a pinch. As far as the running back room is concerned, it seems that James Robinson has become the workhorse of this team despite Chris Thompson’s four targets in Week 2. Robinson also saw four targets and has been much more involved in the offense; Thompson may be a drop candidate if you need the bench space for a speculative add.

Kansas City Chiefs

Travis Kelce 14 20 10 20 10 ⬆️
Tyreek Hill 11 17 8.5 17 8.5 ⬆️
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 8 10 5 10 5 ⬆️
Demarcus Robinson 4 10 5 10 5 ⬇️
Sammy Watkins 3 12 6 12 6 ⬇️
Mecole Hardman 3 4 2 4 2 ⬆️

In a surprisingly competitive game versus the Chargers, the Chiefs had to play catch-up and as they trailed Los Angeles for most of the game. Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill each saw double-digit targets, while rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire became heavily involved in the receiving game with eight targets of his own. Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson, who were heavily targeted in the season opener, regressed to the mean and saw few looks in this matchup.

These are the Chiefs, so it’s never a bad gamble to start a Kansas City player in your lineup. Kelce, Hill, and Edwards-Helaire are always going to be the primary options in this offense, with either Robinson, Watkins, or Hardman possessing the potential for a good game. However, the floor of the latter three ancillary options is so low that you could easily lose your matchup by putting them in your lineup. Unless you are desperate, only the Big 3 in Kansas City are worthy fantasy assets.

Las Vegas Raiders

Darren Waller 16 24 12 24 12 ⬆️
Josh Jacobs 3 9 4.5 9 4.5 ⬇️
Henry Ruggs 3 8 4 8 4 ⬇️
Hunter Renfrow 3 5 2.5 5 2.5 ⬆️
Bryan Edwards 2 3 1.5 3 1.5 ⬆️
Alex Ingold 2 2 1 2 1 ⬆️

Remember this offseason when a large majority of the fantasy community was calling for the immense target regression of Darren Waller now that rookies Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards were in the fold? Well, Derek Carr apparently didn’t get the message. Waller was targeted a whopping 16 times during his Monday Night tout with the New Orleans Saints, becoming a safety blanket for Carr and consistently beating Janoris Jenkins throughout the night. Waller saw 16 of the 34 available targets and was able to convert his opportunity into 12 catches for 103 yards and a touchdown. He’s the clear No. 1 option in the passing game, while the rest of the Las Vegas cast is just window dressing for the time being.

You know Waller is a clear-cut TE1, but with this much volume, he could be THE TE1. It’s worth watching to see if he can keep up this insane target share. Jacobs’s involvement in the passing game declined slightly, but it’s great to see him tied for second on the team in targets; it’s not much, but his preseason goal of 60 targets is well within reach given his current pace. Meanwhile, rookie receivers Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards are purely bench stashes at this point, as they need to hit on a big play or score a touchdown to have a fantasy-relevant outing.

Los Angeles Chargers

Keenan Allen 10 18 9 18 9 ⬆️
Hunter Henry 8 16 8 16 8
Mike Williams 4 13 6.5 13 6.5 ⬇️
Austin Ekeler 4 5 2.5 5 2.5 ⬆️
Joshua Kelley 3 3 1.5 3 1.5 ⬆️
Jalen Guyton 2 3 1.5 3 1.5 ⬆️

With Justin Herbert making his first NFL start, we finally have some clarity for how this offense functions when Los Angeles’ two passers are under center. When Tyrod Taylor is leading the charge, Mike Williams and Hunter Henry are the primary options in the passing game, with running backs Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley remaining nearly nonexistent in the receiving game. With Hebert at the helm, the runners are a bit more involved in the passing game at the expense of Williams. Unfortunately, with head coach Anthony Lynn affirming that Taylor is still the starter when healthy, we don’t have much clarity of how these targets will be distributed going forward.

Hunter Henry is the safest option among all of these Chargers, as he’s had terrific fantasy days with both quarterbacks and is averaging eight targets per game. Meanwhile, Keenan Allen has been seeing consistent and impressive volume without putting up the necessary reception totals to make him anything more than a high-WR3. Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler are the most at risk, but it’s unlikely you would be willing to bench the latter given his usage on the ground. Still, it was clear that Herbert was the better quarterback between the two, so let’s hope Lynn comes to his senses and lets the rookie finish out the season.

Los Angeles Rams

Cooper Kupp 6 11 5.5 11 5.5 ⬆️
Robert Woods 5 13 6.5 13 6.5 ⬇️
Tyler Higbee 5 9 4.5 9 4.5 ⬆️
Van Jefferson 5 8 4 8 4 ⬆️
Darrell Henderson 3 3 1.5 3 1.5 ⬆️
Josh Reynolds 2 3 1.5 3 1.5 ⬆️

The target was dead even for the Los Angeles Rams in their Week 2 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles, with Cooper Kupp barely edging out his teammates for the team lead in targets. Robert Woods, Van Jefferson, and Tyler Higbee were all tied for second on the team with five targets apiece, but the latter saw the more valuable looks as he caught three touchdowns on the day. Darrell Henderson also asserted himself as the team’s pass-catching back, seeing three targets and putting up 40 total yards through the air on two catches.

This Rams offense will be good, but the days of them sustaining three pass-catchers for fantasy purposes is in the past. They are a run-centric team that thrives on play-action passing, so the best-case scenario is that two of Woods, Kupp, and Higbee have fantasy viable weeks. Nonetheless, they should all be put in your starting lineup given their high-floors. Van Jefferson and Darrell Henderson should be rostered in deep redraft leagues, as they possess a high upside if one of the top three options in Los Angeles were to go down.

Miami Dolphins

Mike Gesicki 11 16 8 16 8 ⬆️
Isaiah Ford 9 14 7 14 7 ⬆️
DeVante Parker 8 12 6 12 6 ⬆️
Myles Gaskin 7 11 5.5 11 5.5 ⬆️
Preston Williams 5 12 6 12 6 ⬇️
Adam Shaheen 2 2 1 2 1 ⬆️

Some weeks you get good Ryan Fitzpatrick. Some weeks you get bad Ryan Fitzpatrick. Last Sunday versus the Buffalo Bills, we saw good Ryan Fitzpatrick, as he completed 66 percent of his passes for 328 yards and two touchdowns versus an ailing Buffalo linebacking core. With both Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds missing in action, tight end Mike Gesicki was able to feast over the middle of the field. Gesicki caught eight of his eleven targets for 130 yards and a touchdown; he was consistently winning his matchups and a clear favorite target of Fitzpatrick. Meanwhile, DeVante Parker saw eight looks compared to Preston Williams’ five, as both wideouts are now tied for the total number of targets on the season.

Despite the injuries to the Bills linebacker core helping out his total, Gesicki has become a must-start week-in and week-out. He’s being utilized like a slot wide receiver and catching valuable targets over the middle of the field and in the red zone. As long as Fitzpatrick is quarterback, both Parker and Williams possess enough upside to be started; you won’t be happy with their output every week, but they are solid WR4s with WR3 upside. Myles Gaskin has separated himself as the pass-catching running back in Miami, seeing 11 total targets through two games compared to Matt Breida’s two looks; he should definitely be rostered given the extensive injuries at the running back position around the NFL.

Minnesota Vikings

Adam Thielen 8 16 8 16 8
Irv Smith Jr 4 5 2.5 5 2.5 ⬆️
Bisi Johnson 3 7 3.5 7 3.5 ⬇️
Justin Jefferson 3 6 3 6 3
Alexander Mattison 2 6 3 6 3 ⬇️
Dalvin Cook 2 4 2 4 2

This was Kirk Cousins’ horrible, no good, very bad day. Cousins completed 11 of 26 passes for 113 yards and threw three interceptions. The performance by this Vikings offense was so putrid that there aren’t many conclusions to draw. Adam Thielen is still the only legitimate receiving option on this team, averaging eight targets per game; he had more targets in Week 2 than any other Minnesota player has had throughout the season. Dalvin Cook’s lack of usage in the passing game should also be mentioned, as Alexander Mattison has out-targeted him over the last two games despite the Vikings trailing for a majority of their last two contests. The Vikings staff may be taking the load off of Cook to save him for a stretch run, which at this point seems unlikely to come.

Only Adam Thielen and Dalvin Cook should be rostered in redraft, but their ceilings are quite low in this offense. Gary Kubiak is known to implement a run-heavy game plan, but given how abysmal the Minnesota defense has been, the Vikings are playing a game in which they are ill-equipped to handle. Justin Jefferson may have some value later in the season as he acclimates to the NFL, but for now, he should remain on the waiver wire.

New England Patriots

N’Keal Harry 12 18 9 18 9 ⬆️
Julian Edelman 11 18 9 18 9 ⬆️
Damiere Byrd 9 9 4.5 9 4.5 ⬆️
Rex Burkhead 6 6 3 6 3 ⬆️
Ryan Izzo 2 4 2 4 2
Jakobi Meyers 1 1 0.5 1 0.5 ⬆️

Despite the last-second loss, Cam Newton and the Patriots made a statement on Sunday Night Football. This offense may not belong to Tom Brady anymore, but Cam Newton has easily taken the reins and may be on his way back to MVP form. Newton threw the ball 44 times for 397 yards last Sunday night, with N’Keal Harry, Julian Edelman, and Damiere Byrd seeing a majority of the work. Edelman made the most of his opportunity, catching eight of his 11 targets for 179 receiving yards, while Harry and Byrd each finished with 72 yards apiece. Rex Burkhead was also more involved in the passing game with the absence of James White, catching four of his six targets for 47 yards.

Even though Tom Brady was the perfect quarterback for Julian Edelman’s skill-set, Newton was able to let Edelman have one of the best games of his career and reach his fantasy ceiling. Unfortunately, it is highly doubtful Edelman ever reaches these extraordinary heights again, so treat him as a mid-to-low WR3 in PPR leagues for now. N’Keal Harry did see a lot of volume and is currently tied with Edelman for the team lead in targets, but he has not had nearly enough red-zone work for me to have any confidence putting him in my starting lineup. You can hold him on the end of your bench, but starting him is a risky endeavor. The same goes for Damiere Byrd and Rex Burkhead, as we will always be unsure who will get the most volume week-to-week; despite solid games from the two position players, they are better off left on the waiver wire.

New Orleans Saints

Alvin Kamara 9 17 8.5 17 8.5 ⬆️
Tre’Quan Smith 7 8 4 8 4 ⬆️
Jared Cook 5 12 6 12 6 ⬇️
Deonte Harris 5 6 3 6 3 ⬆️
Emmanuel Sanders 3 8 4 8 4 ⬇️
Ty Montgomery 3 3 1.5 3 1.5 ⬆️

Everyone was speculating who would fill Michael Thomas’ target void. Would it be the No. 2 wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders? Would Jared Cook finally get the increased volume to go with his red-zone usage? Would Alvin Kamara become the check-down king? Well, it turns out only three players truly benefited from Thomas’ absence, and two of them were quite surprising. Tre’Quan Smith and Deonte Harris filled in nicely as the main wide receiver targets from Drew Brees; they combined for 12 targets, eight receptions, and 109 receiving yards. Meanwhile, Alvin Kamara saw his fantasy ceiling become fully realized, as he managed to catch all nine of his targets and lead the Saints in receiving yards. Jared Cook and Emmanuel Sanders, on the other hand, suffered a decline in target share and were largely disappointing.

It’s unknown whether Thomas will suit up for next Sunday night versus the Green Bay Packers, but you shouldn’t really question who to put in your lineup. Alvin Kamara now has the potential to finish as fantasy’s top-scoring running back and will be a great start regardless of Thomas’ presence. Jared Cook is still a top-12 option at tight end and remains as touchdown-dependent as ever. Emmanuel Sanders should still be considered as a FLEX-worthy WR4 candidate despite his poor performance last Monday; still, his ceiling is much lower than many of us believed. While Smith and Harris both had decent outings, they are entirely too risky to put in your lineup, especially since you’ll likely need to wait until the evening to hear the official word on Thomas’ status; I would feel comfortable dropping both of them if you need the roster space.

New York Giants

Evan Engram 8 15 7.5 15 7.5 ⬆️
Darius Slayton 6 15 7.5 15 7.5 ⬇️
Dion Lewis 5 6 3 6 3 ⬆️
Golden Tate 5 5 2.5 5 5 ⬆️
Sterling Shepard 4 10 5 10 5 ⬇️
Kaden Smith 3 5 2.5 5 2.5 ⬆️

The fantasy community took a collective sigh of anguish after Saquon Barkley was carted off of the field last Sunday. With Barkley out for the season, this entire offense changes. It’s unlikely Dion Lewis or Wayne Gallman can carry the load in the run game behind a poor offensive line, so I project an increase in passing volume overall for Daniel Jones. Darius Slayton and Evan Engram are tied for the team lead in targets on the season, with the latter seeing greater usage in Week 2. Engram was able to convert six of his eight targets into catches for 65 yards.

Engram has always shown potential to be an elite fantasy tight end when healthy, and Barkley’s injury might finally open up the floodgates for Engram to break out. He still has a lot to prove before you can fully trust him, but I figure the offense begins to run through him instead of Lewis or Gallman. Slayton still appears to be the receiver you want in New York, but Tate might provide a nice floor play as he was able to corral five targets in his first game of the season. I believe Lewis to be fool’s gold, so don’t expect five targets per game to be his baseline for the rest of the season.

New York Jets

Chris Hogan 8 12 6 12 6 ⬆️
Braxton Berrios 8 8 4 8 4 ⬆️
Josh Malone 6 6 3 6 3 ⬆️
Chris Herndon 4 11 5.5 11 5.5 ⬇️
Breshad Perriman 2 7 3.5 7 3.5 ⬇️
Kalen Ballage 2 2 1 2 2 ⬆️

No matter how many targets Chris Hogan, Braxton Berrios, and Josh Malone get, you aren’t rostering these guys unless you are playing in a league with 50-man rosters. Thus, there’s no reason to talk about them. With Jamison Crowder, Le’Veon Bell, and Breshad Perriman missing most or all of the contest, Chris Herndon should have definitely converted more than one of his four measly targets into catches; he’s been extremely disappointing (which is the New York Jets’ motto this season).

You should not roster any Jet that played on Sunday. You are hoping Jamison Crowder can continue to be a PPR target hog once he returns from his hamstring injury, but he’s the only receiver you should think about putting in your lineup on this team. With Bell out for at least another week, it’s not going to be pretty watching this offense versus Indianapolis on Sunday.

Philadelphia Eagles

DeSean Jackson 9 16 8 16 8 ⬆️
Dallas Goedert 8 17 8.5 17 8.5 ⬇️
Zach Ertz 7 14 7 14 7
Miles Sanders 7 7 3.5 7 ⬆️
Jalen Reagor 4 8 4 8 4
Boston Scott 3 5 2.5 5 2.5 ⬆️

With the Eagles trailing for most of the game, there were a lot of garbage targets and yards to be had in this contest. DeSean Jackson led the way with nine targets, six receptions, and 64 yards on the day, while Dallas Goedert once again out-targeted Zach Ertz for the second straight week. Miles Sanders saw his first action of the 2020 season and logged seven targets from Carson Wentz, but he only managed three catches for 36 yards.

It was nice to see Jackson heavily targeted after an underwhelming Week 1, but he still has not had the blow-up game we all expect from a deep threat like Jackson. Nonetheless, he’s a decent spot start who always has the potential to take a deep ball to the house. Goedert and Ertz are must starts at the tight end position, but the presence of one will always cap the upside of the other. Aside from those three, there aren’t any other pass-catchers in Philadelphia that are start-worthy, but I wouldn’t mind speculatively holding Jalen Reagor for another week or two.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Diontae Johnson 13 23 11.5 23 11.5 ⬆️
JuJu Smith-Schuster 8 14 7 14 7 ⬆️
James Washington 5 8 4 8 4 ⬆️
Eric Ebron 5 7 3.5 7 3.5 ⬆️
Chase Claypool 3 5 2.5 5 2.5 ⬆️
James Conner 2 6 3 6 3 ⬇️

Is Dionte Johnson the No. 1 wide receiver in Pittsburgh? Through two games, Johnson has logged 23 targets and out-targeted every one of his teammates in both contests. Ben Roethlisberger clearly trusts him, and this week Johnson delivered with eight catches for 92 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Juju Smith-Schuster converted his eight targets into seven catches for 48 yards. James Washington and Eric Ebron were tied for third on the team with five targets as well.

I believe Johnson has asserted himself as the No. 1 option on this team and has WR2 upside so long as he continues this target pace. Smith-Schuster should obviously still be started and also has WR2 upside; I believe we will see these two trade off blow up games throughout the rest of the season. Washington and Claypool are both desperation starts given their low volume, but they both have a big-play upside; both players should be rostered in deeper redraft leagues.

San Francisco 49ers

Jordan Reed 8 10 5 10 5 ⬆️
Kendrick Bourne 5 10 5 10 5
Trent Taylor 3 8 4 8 4 ⬇️
Brandon Aiyuk 3 3 1.5 3 3 ⬆️
Raheem Mostert 2 7 3.5 7 3.5 ⬇️
Tevin Coleman 2 4 2 4 2

With Deebo Samuel and George Kittle both missing in action, this target distribution looks very odd. Who would’ve thought before the game that Jordan Reed would catch seven balls for 50 yards and two touchdowns? Who could’ve guessed that the Jets would give up a 3rd and 31 conversion by allowing Jerick McKinnon to run the ball for 55 yards? The last one doesn’t have anything to do with targets, but I just like mentioning it. Nonetheless, without Kittle and Samuel, it’s hard to rely on these numbers for future prognostication. It’ll be even harder to predict given Jimmy Garoppolo, Raheem Mostert, and Tevin Coleman are all expected to miss time. With Nick Mullens likely to step in for the injured Garoppolo, we have very little idea how the target distribution will shake out without looking at 2018 data.

If Kittle is out again next week, Reed is an intriguing streaming candidate versus the New York Giants. Jerick McKinnon is also likely to see an uptick in targets if he is forced into the lead back role. Aside from those two, there’s very little relevance among the healthy pass-catchers in San Francisco. Still, I will be watching out for how rookie first-round pick Brandon Aiyuk progresses in his second career NFL game.

Seattle Seahawks

Tyler Lockett 8 16 8 16 16
D.K. Metcalf 6 14 7 14 14 ⬇️
Chris Carson 3 9 4.5 9 9 ⬇️
David Moore 3 6 3 6 6
Carlos Hyde 2 2 1 2 2 ⬆️
Greg Olsen 1 5 2.5 5 5 ⬇️

Russell Wilson was electrifying once again, completing 75 percent of his passes for 288 yards and five touchdowns. His increased volume has allowed both Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf to thrive, while also boosting the upside of running back Chris Carson. Lockett led the way for the Seahawks with eight targets on the day, as he was most often covered by the Patriots’ No. 2 cornerback. Meanwhile, Metcalf was able to best Stephon Gilmore by catching four of his six targets for 92 yards and a touchdown. Through two games, Lockett is barely edging out Metcalf in targets and receptions, but the second-year player is outpacing his teammate in receiving yardage and touchdowns.

Lockett and Metcalf are must-starts each and every week, as Wilson has finally been allowed to sustain a high passing volume and win the game with his arm. It remains to be seen which of these players will have a higher fantasy finish when all is said and done, but both are currently top-twelve wideouts through two weeks; their upside is tremendous. Speaking of upside, Chris Carson is continuing to show off his receiving prowess, having caught all three of his targets last week and scoring a touchdown through the air. He’s currently the PPR RB6 and has the potential to remain a season-long RB1 in this high powered offense.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike Evans 10 14 7 14 7 ⬆️
LeSean McCoy 7 8 4 8 4 ⬆️
Leonard Fournette 5 6 3 6 3 ⬆️
Scotty Miller 3 9 4.5 9 4.5 ⬇️
O.J. Howard 3 9 4.5 9 4.5 ⬇️
Justin Watson 3 5 2.5 5 2.5 ⬆️

In Week 1, Mike Evans was hobbled and he distorted the targeted distribution. Now, Chris Godwin’s absence will distort the Week 2 target distribution. With Godwin out and Evans healthy, the latter led the team in pass-catching opportunities and converted seven of his ten targets into 104 yards and a touchdown. LeSean McCoy surprisingly saw seven targets after only seeing one the week before, while Leonard Fournette took over lead-back duties from Ronald Jones following Jones’ fumble; Fournette saw five targets, but only managed 13 receiving yards. Waiver wire darling Scotty Miller was expected by many to receive a heavy dose of volume with Godwin out, but he disappointed by converting his three targets into just two catches for 11 yards.

While I am still skeptical that Leonard Fournette will completely overtake Ronald Jones as the RB1 for Tampa Bay, his usage in the receiving game is promising nonetheless; he’s a high RB3 with RB2 upside. I am not out yet on Scotty Miller, as the Panthers defense clearly couldn’t guard Mike Evans; Miller was needed on short routes given how open Evans was getting. I wouldn’t start Miller next week, but I would still hold him on your bench for another week or two. LeSean McCoy may have seen seven targets, but he’s not worth a roster spot; he’s the clear No. 3 running back and seldom involved in the running game.

Tennessee Titans

Adam Humphries 6 13 6.5 13 6.5 ⬇️
Corey Davis 5 13 6.5 13 6.5 ⬇️
Jonnu Smith 5 12 6 12 6 ⬇️
Anthony Firkser 4 6 3 6 3 ⬆️
Derrick Henry 2 5 2.5 5 2.5 ⬇️
Cameron Baston 1 1 0.5 1 0.5 ⬆️

In Ryan Tannehill’s first game as a Titan without A.J. Brown, he spread out the targets relatively evenly in what turned out to be a high scoring affair. Slot receiver Adam Humphries had the most targets on his team, seeing six pass-catching opportunities and converting five of them into 48 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith saw five targets each, with the latter making the most of his opportunities by accounting for Tennessee’s entire yardage output on their opening drive. Derrick Henry also saw two targets, but he failed to come away with any receptions.

If Brown is out for another week, we are bound to see Tannehill continue to spread the ball around. Jonnu Smith is the only viable fantasy pass-catcher in Tennessee aside from A.J. Brown, as he was the lone skill position player to surpass 50 receiving yards on Sunday. Every other skill position player is entirely touchdown-dependent, which is not a great thing to be when you have the bulldozer, Derrick Henry, in the backfield. Speaking of Henry, he has yet to receive any PPR upside through the air as is his M.O. While some hoped he would be slightly more involved in the passing game, his 2.5 targets per game isn’t giving him the desired boost in value.

Washington Football Team

Terry McLaurin 10 17 8.5 17 8.5 ⬆️
Logan Thomas 9 17 8.5 17 8.5 ⬆️
Dontrelle Inman 5 10 5 10 5
Steven Sims Jr. 5 8 4 8 4 ⬆️
Antonio Gibson 2 4 2 4 2
Antonio Gandy-Golden
1 1 0.5 1 0.5 ⬆️

Terry McLaurin is poised for a sophomore breakout campaign, having converted seven of his 10 targets in Week 2 into 125 receiving yards and one touchdown. McLaurin was Dwayne Haskins’ first read for most of the day, and the young receiver torched the Arizona defense as the Cardinals had a sizable enough lead. Aside from McLaurin, Logan Thomas stayed relatively consistent compared to last week, seeing nine targets in this matchup. Although his receiving output was underwhelming, the volume coming his way is quite remarkable. On the other end of the spectrum, rookie Antonio Gibson is not getting nearly enough work in the passing game; he’s averaged two targets per game and failed to showcase his incredible receiving talent with his limited work.

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Dan Ambrosino is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Dan, check out his archive and follow him @AmbrosinoNFL.

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