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Target Analysis: Week 3 (2020 Fantasy Football)

Sep 30, 2020

Tyler Lockett was the best fantasy wide receiver on the week, catching nine of his 13 targets for 100 yards and three touchdowns.

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?

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Here is your Week 3 Target Analysis:

Arizona Cardinals

DeAndre Hopkins 12 37 12.33 37 12.33 ⬆️
KeeSean Johnson 7 7 2.33 7 2.33 ⬆️
Andy Isabella 4 6 2.00 6 2.00 ⬆️
Larry Fitzgerald 3 15 5.00 15 5.00 ⬇️
Chase Edmonds 2 11 3.67 11 3.67 ⬇️
Dan Arnold 2 8 2.67 8 2.67 ⬇️

DeAndre Hopkins continues to be a target hog in the Arizona offense. You would think that defenses would start doubling him and taking their chances with the other wideouts on this team, but Hopkins continues to get open and subsequently get open looks. He’s averaged 12.33 targets per game and currently leads the NFL in targets. Meanwhile, with Christian Kirk missing in action versus the Lions, KeeSean Johnson took over as the WR2 and saw 7 targets. And for the third consecutive game, running back Chase Edmonds has out-targeted his counterpart Kenyan Drake, relating the former Dolphin to merely a one-dimensional runner.

Hopkins is a clear as day WR1 and seems likely to finish as a top-10 fantasy wideout on the season. Whether he is able to sustain 10+ targets a game is yet to be determined, but he still has shootouts against the Seahawks and Rams later in the season that should propel his target totals. Aside from Hopkins, I don’t trust any other wideout on the Cardinals. You can stash Kirk and Fitzgerald on your bench, but you won’t feel comfortable playing them unless you are in quite a pinch.

Atlanta Falcons

Calvin Ridley 13 35 11.67 35 11.67 ⬆️
Olamide Zaccheaus 6 7 2.33 7 2.33 ⬆️
Brandon Powell 4 4 1.33 4 1.33 ⬆️
Russell Gage 3 24 8.00 24 8.00 ⬇️
Hayden Hurst 3 16 5.33 16 5.33 ⬇️
Brian Hill 3 7 2.33 7 2.33 ⬆️

The Falcons continue to be a fantasy goldmine despite their ineptitude at maintaining leads. Calvin Ridley saw 13 targets in this game, becoming the main beneficiary of Julio Jones’ absence. Averaging nearly 12 targets per game, Ridley continues to assert himself as the alpha wideout in Atlanta (no disrespect to Julio Jones). Surprisingly, however, no known commodities benefited from Jones’ absence. Russell Gage and Hayden Hurst each saw downticks in target share from the prior week, with both players only getting three looks in a relatively high-scoring affair. Despite their mediocre output, I think this is more of an anomaly than anything.

You still want every piece of the Atlanta offense (aside from the running backs), and you should be starting them every week. The Atlanta offense is prolific and needs to make up for their lackluster defense; they’ll produce a high volume of pass attempts each week, which will in turn lead to high fantasy point totals for two or three pass-catchers. Next week against the Packers is a prime spot to throw your Falcons into your starting lineup, as an Aaron RodgersMatt Ryan quarterback duel has the makings of a shootout.

Baltimore Ravens

Mark Andrews 8 17 5.67 17 5.67 ⬆️
Marquise Brown 6 18 6.00 18 6.00
J.K. Dobbins 4 5 1.67 5 1.67 ⬆️
Devin Duvernay 3 5 1.67 5 1.67 ⬆️
Miles Boykin 2 11 3.67 11 3.67 ⬇️
Willie Snead 2 8 2.67 8 2.67

We saw something from this Ravens team that we have not gotten the chance to see in a while: the Ravens trailing by double-digit points. Baltimore rarely falls behind, allowing them to pound the rock and throw at their leisure. However, when running is no longer an option, Lamar Jackson struggles moving the ball down the field. While playing catch-up for most of the game, Jackson targeted Mark Andrews eight times and Marquise Brown six times; still, neither of those players eclipsed six PPR points. J.K. Dobbins saw a bit more run as the receiving back, catching all four of his targets for 38 yards. While most have been disappointed that Dobbins has lost snaps to Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards, it was encouraging to see his usage as the Ravens were trailing.

This team succeeds by being run-oriented and passing selectively. You will never be able to trust that Mark Andrews or Marquise Brown see consistent enough volume to make safe starts. You are starting these players because of Andrews’ incredible red zone upside and Brown’s deep play ability; they don’t need many targets to make a fantasy impact. However, their high potential is offset by their volatility, giving you performances as you saw on Monday Night. Andrews is still a must-start every week given the tight end landscape, but Brown has become a borderline FLEX play due to his inconsistencies. While Dobbins’ receiving chops were something to behold in this game, I wouldn’t become accustomed to it. The Ravens only targeted their running backs six times in the two weeks prior to Week 3, and one-third of those targets went to the fullback. Dobbins doesn’t present enough pass-catching upside to make him anything more than a bench stash, especially given the competition he has for carries.

Buffalo Bills

Cole Beasley 7 20 6.67 20 6.67 ⬆️
Stefon Diggs 6 28 9.33 28 9.33 ⬇️
Devin Singletary 5 15 5.00 15 5.00 ⬆️
Tyler Kroft 5 5 1.67 5 1.67 ⬆️
Gabriel Davis 4 7 2.33 7 2.33 ⬆️
John Brown 2 18 6.00 18 6.00 ⬇️

This game took years off of my life. The Bills were firing on all cylinders offensively in the first half, holding a 21-3 lead at the end of the second quarter and a 28-3 in the middle of the third. After the Rams scored 29 unanswered points, Allen produced a game-winning touchdown drive resulting in a Tyler Kroft score with seconds to spare. With Jalen Ramsey shadowing Stefon Diggs and John Brown missing most of the game with an injury, Allen had to look to his ancillary options like Cole Beasley, Devin Singletary, and Tyler Kroft. Still, Diggs corralled four of his six targets for 49 yards and a touchdown.

With three straight games scoring 27 or more points, I think we can safely say the Bills have a high octane offense. With the amount of scoring, Diggs has WR1 potential and an immeasurable ceiling each and every week. Beasley took advantage of Brown’s departure and put up solid PPR numbers in Week 3; he’s a great FLEX option if Brown can’t suit up for Week 4. With Zack Moss out, Devin Singletary took full advantage by putting up over 120 total yards, 50 of which came from his four receptions. Singletary is a viable RB3 in his committee with Moss and locked-and-loaded RB2 with Moss out of the lineup.

Carolina Panthers

Mike Davis 9 17 5.67 17 5.67 ⬆️
Robby Anderson 6 24 8.00 24 8.00 ⬇️
D.J. Moore 4 26 8.67 26 8.67 ⬇️
Curtis Samuel 4 14 4.67 14 4.67 ⬆️
Seth Roberts 3 5 1.67 5 1.67 ⬆️
Ian Thomas 2 4 1.33 4 1.33 ⬆️

How would the Panthers offense respond after losing their most valuable player? Well, Mike Davis stepped up and converted eight of his nine looks into 45 receiving yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, D.J. Moore virtually disappeared in this game, only seeing four targets and catching two passes. Robby Anderson led the Panthers wideouts in targets with six looks, while Curtis Samuel saw some extra opportunity with four targets on the day.

With the amount of usage Mike Davis saw this week, you’ll be hard-pressed not to put him into your lineup in Week 4. It’s doubtful he’ll maintain this target pace each and every week, but he has a pretty high PPR floor in an offense that needs to throw. I wouldn’t worry about Moore’s four targets, as he had averaged eleven targets per contest before his matchup with the Chargers; I would expect him to get back on track in Week 4. Robby Anderson has come out of nowhere this season, becoming yet another player to succeed when leaving Adam Gase’s side. He’s a viable start each week.

Chicago Bears

Allen Robinson 13 31 10.33 31 10.33 ⬆️
Jimmy Graham 10 18 6.00 18 6.00 ⬆️
Tarik Cohen 6 9 3.00 9 3.00 ⬆️
Anthony Miller 5 14 4.67 14 4.67 ⬆️
Darnell Mooney 5 11 3.67 11 3.67 ⬆️
David Montgomery 3 9 3.00 9 3.00

Whether it’s Mitch Trubisky, Nick Foles, or Cordarelle Patterson throwing the ball, Allen Robinson is going to get his targets. Robinson continues to be the alpha in this locker room and single-handedly makes this offense function. He’ll continue to get impressive volume with Foles as the starter. Jimmy Graham bounced back from his one target performance in Week 2 with a 10 target output this past week; he’s an extremely inconsistent player in a wildly confusing offense. Meanwhile, Tarik Cohen’s unfortunate ACL injury means David Montgomery should see an uptick in targets and become a workhorse running back.

It’s unquestioned that you are starting Robinson every week, and you should probably be happier that Foles is throwing him the ball. In my opinion, Foles is a better quarterback than Trubisky and should increase the chances of Robinson scoring touchdowns. Jimmy Graham is a risky tight end streamer of which I do not want any part. I’d rather miss out on these 10 target games if it means I can avoid his one-target disappointments. Anthony Miller may see better days ahead with Foles under center, but he’s merely a stash at this point who shouldn’t see a spot in your lineup until he proves his fantasy viability.

Cincinnati Bengals

Tyler Boyd 13 26 8.67 26 8.67 ⬆️
Tee Higgins 9 15 5.00 15 5.00 ⬆️
A.J. Green 6 28 9.33 28 9.33 ⬇️
Auden Tate 4 4 1.33 4 1.33 ⬆️
Gio Bernard 3 15 5.00 15 5.00 ⬇️
Joe Mixon 3 9 3.00 9 3.00 ⬇️

Last week, we wondered if A.J. Green’s poor performance with high target volume was a sign that he was bound to improve or whether he would see target regression. As it turns out, it was the latter. Green only saw 6 targets in a game that lasted 75 game minutes, catching five passes for 36 yards. To offset Green’s decline, we saw rookie Tee Higgins’ accession; Higgins saw nine targets in this contest and caught five passes for 40 yards and two touchdowns. Tyler Boyd, meanwhile, saw the most targets in this contest as the reliable slot receiver whom Joe Burrow could trust. He’s seen a steady increase in targets each week and appears to be the No. 1 option in this offense.

While Tyler Boyd has become a solid fantasy WR2, A.J. Green should be relegated to everyone’s bench. The veteran and likely Hall-of-Famer should have better fantasy days ahead, but he shouldn’t be in your lineup unless you’re desperate. Tee Higgins has consistently surpassed players like Auden Tate and John Ross on the depth chart, so it seems likely he’ll have some more fantasy viable performances throughout the season. He should remain on your bench until we see more consistency, however.

Cleveland Browns

Odell Beckham Jr. 6 22 7.33 22 7.33
Austin Hooper 4 10 3.33 10 3.33
Jarvis Landry 4 13 4.33 13 4.33 ⬆️
Kareem Hunt 3 11 3.67 11 3.67 ⬆️
Harrison Bryant 2 6 2.00 6 2.00
KhaDarel Hodge 1 6 2.00 6 2.00 ⬇️

Once again, Odell Beckham Jr. led his team in targets for the third straight week. However, in a low-volume offense that thrives on running the ball, Beckham’s ceiling is capped. It’s no surprise that he’ll be at the top of this chart every week, but his volume is not translating into fantasy success given the lack of deep looks and red zone opportunities. Kareem Hunt saw three targets and caught a touchdown for the second straight game. Austin Hooper and Jarvis Landry saw four targets a piece, but they weren’t too noticeable on the stat sheet.

Beckham is such a reluctant start each week. You will continually see him receiving a heavy dose of targets, but he is unable to capitalize on the opportunity. His struggles are more attributed to Baker Mayfield than Beckham himself, but the root of the problem doesn’t matter; what matters is the problem exists and the Browns are still winning. Landry should be on your bench, but I wouldn’t blame you if you sent him to the waiver wire; he’s virtually unusable in fantasy. Kareem Hunt will continually have a safe PPR floor, thus making him worthy as your RB2 if you aren’t stacked in that area.

Dallas Cowboys

Amari Cooper 12 35 11.67 35 11.67 ⬆️
Ezekiel Elliott 12 23 7.67 23 7.67 ⬆️
Michael Gallup 9 19 6.33 19 6.33 ⬆️
Cedrick Wilson 7 7 2.33 7 2.33 ⬆️
Dalton Schultz 6 20 6.67 20 6.67 ⬇️
CeeDee Lamb 6 21 7.00 21 7.00 ⬇️

The Cowboys and Seahawks delivered on the shootout we were all promised. Six Cowboy players saw six or more targets, with Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott seeing 12 looks a piece. Even though many in the fantasy community continue to bash Amari Cooper for his historical inconsistencies, he’s been great all season. He’s averaging nearly 12 targets per game and acting as the true No. 1 receiver in this Dallas offense. Elliot more than doubled his combined target total from the prior two weeks, but I think this was more game script dependent than a sign of things to come. Gallup, Schultz, and Lamb continue to be viable fantasy starters with their target volume.

Until we see otherwise, you shouldn’t bench any Dallas pass-catchers. Cooper, Gallup, and Lamb all have relatively high floors with the potential to put up WR1 weekly outputs. While it’s unlikely two of these receivers will explode simultaneously in one week given Elliot’s presence, they should remain in your starting lineup. Like Atlanta, Dallas represents a fantasy goldmine.

Denver Broncos

Noah Fant 10 21 7.00 21 7.00 ⬆️
Jerry Jeudy 9 24 8.00 24 8.00 ⬆️
Melvin Gordon 6 12 4.00 12 4.00 ⬆️
KJ Hamler 5 12 4.00 12 6.00 ⬇️
Tim Patrick 4 14 4.67 14 4.67 ⬇️
Royce Freeman 2 3 1.00 3 1.00 ⬆️

Man, this Denver offense is ugly without Drew Lock. Trailing for the entirety of their game versus the Buccaneers, Denver was forced to throw without much success. Noah Fant and Jerry Jeudy saw 10 and 9 targets respectively, but neither caught more than five passes or surpassed 55 receiving yards. Melvin Gordon continues to be the pass-catching beneficiary with Lindsay out, while KJ saw a slight downtick in volume from last week.

In Week 4, the Broncos play the Jets. The passing game may be more efficient, but I don’t think they’ll need to throw as much. You are likely trotting Fant out into your “TE” spot unless you doubled up at the position, but I’d be hesitant to put Jerry Jeudy or KJ Hamler in unless you are in dire need of startable options.

Detroit Lions

Kenny Golladay 7 7 2.33 7 7.00 ⬆️
T.J. Hockenson 7 16 5.33 16 5.33 ⬆️
Danny Amendola 4 18 6.00 18 6.00 ⬇️
Jesse James 4 4 1.33 4 1.33 ⬆️
Marvin Jones 3 17 5.67 17 5.67 ⬇️
D’Andre Swift 2 12 4.00 12 4.00 ⬇️

Kenny Golladay made his 2020 season debut in Week 3 and what a debut it was. Detroit’s No. 1 wideout caught six of his seven targets for 59 yards and a touchdown in Detroit’s first win of the year. When he’s on the field, he’s clearly the preferred target of Matthew Stafford. T.J. Hockenson attempted to repeat his 2019 Week 1 performance in his rematch with Arizona, but he only came away with four catches for 53 yards on seven targets. Meanwhile, Marvin Jones saw a major dip in targets with Golladay back in the lineup, catching all three of his looks for 51 yards.

Golladay should be a reliable starter in your lineup when healthy, especially given Detroit’s defensive woes to start the season. He’ll see the necessary volume to be a WR3 with WR2 upside while he’s still healing from his injury. T.J. Hockenson is a fine tight end streamer, but he certainly hasn’t lived up to his preseason expectations. Marvin Jones has become an extremely volatile FLEX play, but he’s not a bad bet to score a long touchdown in any given week.  Aside from him and Golladay, however, you shouldn’t roster ancillary pieces like Danny Amendola or Quintez Cephus.

Green Bay Packers

Allen Lazard 8 17 5.67 17 5.67 ⬆️
Robert Tonyan 5 8 2.67 8 2.67 ⬆️
Aaron Jones 4 18 6.00 18 6.00 ⬇️
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 4 17 5.67 17 5.67 ⬇️
Jace Sternberger 3 5 1.67 5 1.67 ⬆️
Tyler Ervin 2 4 1.33 4 1.33 ⬆️

The Green Bay Packers offense was able to move the ball just fine without their star receiver Davante Adams. Allen Lazard was the main beneficiary of Adams’ absence, catching six of his eight targets for 146 yards and a touchdown. Additionally, the Packers utilized their tight ends more heavily in the passing game with their top-flight wideout on the sidelines; Aaron Rodgers targeted Robert Tonyan five times, Jace Sternberger three times, and Marcedes Lewis one time, with two of those three players catching a touchdown. If Adams misses any more time, expect the tight ends to be a main focus in the offensive game plan.

Allen Lazard has firmly surpassed Marquez Valdes-Scantling as the No. 2 wideout on the Packers. With Adams out, he’s a solid WR2 candidate that you can easily plug into your lineup with confidence; however, when Adams returns, Lazard is a lot riskier and would be a borderline FLEX play given the high utilization of Adams and Jones in this offense. Also, even though Tonyan and Sternberger were heavily involved, they are not worth streaming at the position.

Houston Texans

Brandin Cooks 5 18 6.00 18 6.00 ⬇️
Will Fuller 5 15 5.00 15 5.00 ⬆️
Randall Cobb 4 13 4.33 13 4.33 ⬇️
Kenny Stills 4 8 2.67 8 2.67 ⬆️
Jordan Akins 3 12 4.00 12 4.00 ⬇️
David Johnson 3 11 3.67 11 3.67 ⬇️

In an extremely difficult matchup for the Houston Texans, Deshaun Watson was able to spread the ball around relatively evenly. Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks saw five targets each, while Randall Cobb and Kenny Stills saw four looks a piece. This was a nice bounceback game for Fuller, who left his Week 2 contest early with an injury; he converted four of his five targets into 54 yards and a touchdown. The wide receivers seemed to be the preference of Watson in this matchup, as his running backs and tight ends combined for a total of nine targets.

It’s going to be hard to trust any Texans receiver in a given week, but Will Fuller is still the No. 1 wideout in this offense. Even though he hasn’t had one of his patented “boom” games this year, his two contests with a solid PPR floor are encouraging for Fuller. As always, it’s a matter of health for Fuller to be productive. Brandin Cooks seems to have a much lower floor, as he only caught three balls for 23 yards in this matchup; he’s a risky FLEX play. Randall Cobb’s 4-95-1 stat-line was a nice surprise, but despite his breakout performance, he’s merely a bench stash for now.

Indianapolis Colts

Nyheim Hines 5 14 4.67 14 4.67 ⬆️
Michael Pittman 4 12 4.00 12 4.00 ⬇️
Zach Pascal 4 11 3.67 11 3.67
Mo Alie-Cox 3 11 3.67 11 3.67 ⬇️
T.Y. Hilton 3 17 5.67 17 5.67 ⬇️
Daurice Fountain 2 2 0.67 2 0.67 ⬆️

Although Nyheim Hines will likely never replicate his outstanding eight-target performance, it was encouraging to see him involved in the receiving game once again. Hines’ five targets led the team in what was a blowout from the start. Rivers and company didn’t need to pass to beat the Jets, so it’s unsurprising to see a majority of the offense experience a regression in targets. I wouldn’t worry about the role of T.Y. Hilton in this offense, despite the low volume.

Nyheim Hines certainly has FLEX value, but you can only feel confident putting him in your lineup when you see a Colts matchup that dictates a shootout or high over/under. In games where Indianapolis is highly favored, the ground game will take precedence. T.Y. Hilton has been a volatile option this season, so I wouldn’t blame you for benching him in favor of a safer option; he will have a blow-up game sooner or later, but can you withstand the low-floor games in the meantime? With Pittman and Campbell out for the foreseeable future, I am not rostering any other pass-catchers from this team in redraft aside from Hilton and Hines.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Chris Conley 8 16 5.33 16 5.33 ⬆️
Laviska Shenault 6 14 4.67 14 4.67 ⬆️
Chris Thompson 6 12 4.00 12 4.00 ⬆️
James Robinson 6 11 3.67 11 3.67 ⬆️
Keelan Cole 5 17 5.67 17 5.67 ⬇️
James O’Shaughnessy 4 9 3.00 9 3.00

After impressive outings versus the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans during the first two weeks of the season, the Jaguars passing offense thoroughly disappointed in a prime matchup versus a depleted Miami secondary. Without D.J. Chark, Chris Conley became the most targeted receiver with eight total looks; however, his performance was abysmal, as he had two crucial third-down drops that stalled two Jacksonville drives. Laviska Shenault saw six targets (and one carry), but only managed five catches for 33 yards. Meanwhile, not everything went wrong for the Jacksonville offense. Undrafted rookie James Robinson had a breakout game, catching all six targets of his targets for 83 yards.

Without Chark on the field, Gardner Minshew spread the ball out relatively evenly, targeting five different players at least five times. Although Conley ended up being the most targeted on the day, don’t let that fool you; he should be on all of your waiver wires given his performance. Shenault is still a hold and desperation FLEX option in my opinion; he’s averaged nearly five targets per game and has been seeing work on the ground as well. He has a decent floor, so I’d hold him for a while longer in redraft leagues with the hope of a breakout game on the horizon. James Robinson’s involvement in the receiving game is extremely promising, given Chris Thompson was expected to be a thorn in his side. If Robinson can maintain a stranglehold on his every-down role, he could finish as a top-twelve running back this season.

Kansas City Chiefs

Sammy Watkins 8 20 6.67 20 6.67 ⬆️
Travis Kelce 7 27 9.00 27 9.00 ⬇️
Tyreek Hill 6 23 7.67 23 7.67 ⬇️
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 6 16 5.33 16 5.33 ⬇️
Mecole Hardman 6 10 3.33 10 3.33 ⬆️
Darrell Williams 2 5 1.67 5 1.67 ⬆️

This may have been the best offensive showing we have seen from the Kansas City Chiefs since the legendary 2018 Chiefs-Rams Monday Night Football game. Patrick Mahomes completed over 75 percent of his passes for 385 and scored five total touchdowns versus the vaunted Baltimore Ravens defense; he scored 30 of his 40 fantasy points in the first half alone. It seemed that nearly everyone benefited in this game, as five Chiefs saw six or more targets. Sammy Watkins ended up being the most targeted receiver, catching seven of his eight targets for 62 yards, but Kelce, Hill, Edwards-Helaire, and Hardman all out-gained him on fewer targets. When Mahomes plays as he did on Monday night, he cannot be beaten.

This was the rare game where two of the Chiefs ancillary receivers (Watkins, Hardman, and Robinson) had fantasy viable performances. As we have seen, Watkins has been a much safer bet to put up a solid performance, as he’s gone over 13 fantasy points in two of his three games this season. He’s a risky FLEX play given his injury history and the talented competition around him, but playing with Patrick Mahomes will allow him to have a high ceiling every week. Hardman finally had a bounce-back game after seeing only four targets in his prior two contests, but he’s too inconsistent to play without an injury to anyone above him on the depth chart. He’s waiver wire fodder in leagues with shallow benches. Aside from those ancillary receivers, Hill, Kelce, and Edwards-Helaire are must-starts every week.

Las Vegas Raiders

Hunter Renfrow 9 14 4.67 14 4.67 ⬆️
Darren Waller 4 28 9.33 28 9.33 ⬇️
Josh Jacobs 4 13 4.33 13 4.33 ⬆️
Bryan Edwards 3 6 2.00 6 2.00 ⬆️
Nelson Agholor 3 5 1.67 5 1.67 ⬆️
Zay Jones 3 4 1.33 4 1.33 ⬆️

Don’t panic that Darren Waller only saw four targets in this game. First of all, he was going against the defensive mastermind Bill Belichick; New England was likely to scheme Waller out of the Raiders offense and force Derek Carr to look elsewhere. Look no further than slot receiver Hunter Renfrow, who saw a season-high nine targets and scored over 20 PPR points. Second, Waller was primed for target regression after seeing a 48 percent target share last season. He’ll likely bounce back next week at home against the Bills.

Waller should remain your team’s TE1 and in your lineup no matter what. However, aside from him, you can’t really have confidence starting any other wide receiver or tight end in Las Vegas. Derek Carr continually spreads the ball around, as Renfrow is the only Raider wideout this season to surpass five targets in a game. Nonetheless, it’s still a pleasant surprise to see Josh Jacobs remain involved in the receiving game despite the presence of Devontae Booker and Jalen Richard. His continual involvement in this aspect of the game increases his RB1 upside.

Los Angeles Chargers

Keenan Allen 19 37 12.33 37 12.33 ⬆️
Austin Ekeler 11 16 5.33 16 5.33 ⬆️
Hunter Henry 7 23 7.67 23 7.67 ⬇️
K.J. Hill 4 4 1.33 4 1.33 ⬆️
Jalen Guyton 3 6 2.00 6 2.00 ⬆️
Joshua Kelley 2 5 1.67 5 1.67 ⬇️

Justin Herbert being the starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers is better for everyone. Although his second start ultimately ended in a loss, Herbert elevated three solid fantasy performances in Week 3. Herbert targeted Keenan Allen 19 times, with the wideout catching 13 of his looks for 132 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Herbert has also resurrected Ekeler’s receiving game utilization, targeting the running back eleven times; Ekeler caught all eleven of his targets for 84 yards. Hunter Henry also had a solid day, catching five of his seven targets for 50 yards. The only player who suffers from Herbert is Mike Williams, who only saw one target on the day.

Keenan Allen is making a strong case for being a WR1, but I think he’s more suitable as a WR2. So long as Hebert is the quarterback, you can feel extremely confident putting Allen in your lineup. While many had doubted Ekeler could return the value of his second-round draft ADP following the Chargers’ first two games, Week 3 has shown us this Chargers offense runs through Ekeler; his receiving upside is ever-present, so he still has the potential to finish as a high RB2. Hunter Henry should also remain as your primary tight end, as he’s been great with both Tyrod Taylor and Justin Hebert under center. If you have Mike Williams, however, you should continue to bench him.

Los Angeles Rams

Cooper Kupp 10 21 7.00 21 7.00 ⬆️
Robert Woods 6 19 6.33 19 6.33 ⬆️
Josh Reynolds 5 8 2.67 8 2.67 ⬆️
Darrell Henderson 3 6 2.00 6 2.00
Tyler Higbee 2 11 3.67 11 3.67 ⬇️
Malcolm Brown 2 6 2.00 6 2.00 ⬆️

After a stagnant first half, the Rams offense came alive in the second half as they scored 29 unanswered points. Cooper Kupp was the receiver of choice this week, seeing 10 targets and going over 100 receiving yards on the day. Meanwhile, Robert Woods saw six targets as he was more heavily guarded by the Bills’ No. 1 cornerback Tre’Davious White. Darrell Henderson continued to be the primary receiving running back for Los Angeles, but he only caught one pass for six yards. Tyler Higbee was shut down for the majority of the day by the Buffalo starting linebackers, only seeing two targets and catching a two-point conversion.

As per usual, Robert Woods was the safest and most consistent fantasy option in the Rams wide receiver room. Woods is an every-week start that you should be happy to have on your starting lineup. Cooper Kupp and Tyler Higbee will alternate fantasy-relevant days depending on their matchups and Sean McVay’s gameplan; it will be difficult to project every week, but I would feel comfortable starting both every week given their tremendous upside.  Darell Henderson has also made himself an intriguing RB3 play while Cam Akers remains sidelined, given he is the primary receiving back as well as the most explosive runner in the Rams locker room.

Miami Dolphins

DeVante Parker 5 17 5.67 17 5.67 ⬇️
Myles Gaskin 5 16 5.33 16 5.33 ⬇️
Mike Gesicki 3 19 6.33 19 6.33 ⬇️
Isaiah Ford 2 16 5.33 16 5.33 ⬇️
Preston Williams 2 14 4.67 14 4.67 ⬇️
Jakeem Grant 1 5 1.67 5 1.67

Despite Miami’s dominance last Thursday night, they didn’t do much in the passing game. A clearly hobbled DeVante Parker caught all five of his targets for 69 yards, while Miles Gaskin once again led all running backs in touches and converted his five targets into 29 receiving yards. Aside from Parker and Gaskin, the rest of the Miami pass-catchers underwhelmed. Mike Gesicki and Preston Williams both got into the end zone, but they combined for three total catches and 22 total yards; every fantasy-relevant pass-catcher saw a decrease in targets from the week before, as the Dolphins were in command for nearly the entire game and bled the clock with 36 rushing attempts compared to 20 pass attempts.

So long as the Harvard gunslinger is under center, DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki are viable fantasy starts every week. Their floors are relatively safe given their involvement in the offense, but their ceilings may be limited given the difficulty of their matchups in the upcoming weeks. Miles Gaskin has seen enough receiving work to become a desperation FLEX play, but he’s uninspiring, to say the least. Preston Williams, however, continues to confuse those who elected to roster him. He currently trails four other Dolphins players in targets on the season and has yet to have the breakout game many of us believed would be coming. He’s not droppable in redraft just yet, but I certainly wouldn’t trust putting him into your starting lineup until he puts up a string of above-average performances.

Minnesota Vikings

Justin Jefferson 9 15 5.00 15 5.00 ⬆️
Adam Thielen 5 21 7.00 21 7.00 ⬇️
Dalvin Cook 5 9 3.00 9 3.00 ⬆️
Kyle Rudolph 3 6 2.00 6 2.00 ⬆️
C.J. Ham 2 2 0.67 2 0.67 ⬆️
Chad Beebe 1 1 0.33 1 0.33 ⬆️

Welcome to the NFL, Justin Jefferson. Jefferson exploded onto the scene in this surprisingly high-scoring affair, catching seven of nine targets for 175 yards and a touchdown. He broke away for a 71-yard touchdown pass as well as made several key catches down the stretch. Meanwhile, Adam Thielen put up a disappointing three catches for 29 yards on a measly five targets. Dalvin Cook more than doubled his season total of targets in this matchup with Tennessee, but he still only managed two receptions for 18 yards.

Kirk Cousins has clearly regressed and looks nothing like the quarterback we saw last season. Still, with the way his defense is playing, he is going to continue to throw the ball all game long. Adam Theilen should bounce back and is a reluctant start that you will likely need to make every week. Meanwhile, Justin Jefferson goes from redraft drop candidate to waiver wire darling with his incredible performance; I would stash him on the bench for now instead of playing him, as we can’t be sure if his Week 3 output was an outlier or a sign for things to come.

New England Patriots

Rex Burkhead 10 16 5.33 16 5.33 ⬆️
Julian Edelman 6 24 8.00 24 8.00 ⬇️
N’Keal Harry 4 22 7.33 22 7.33 ⬆️
Damiere Byrd 3 12 4.00 12 4.00 ⬇️
Sony Michel 2 3 1.00 3 1.00 ⬆️
Ryan Izzo 1 5 1.67 5 1.67 ⬇️

The more things change for New England, the more they stay the same. Some fantasy football fans had a semblance of hope that the Patriots would no longer be a fantasy enigma entering the 2020 season with Cam Newton at the helm. For the longest time, the lone player on this squad you could trust to see a consistent target share each week was slot receiver, Julian Edelman. Now, even that is very much in doubt. Edelman only caught two of his six targets for 23 yards, finishing the day with 4.2 PPR points (he had a -1-yard rush). Meanwhile, Rex Burkhead came out of nowhere with seven receptions for 49 yards on a whopping 10 targets; Burkhead had a combined six targets in his previous two games. The mystery of the Patriots fantasy players now longer lies in just the backfield; it extends to the wide receiving core too.

Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry are simply unreliable fantasy players. This is the Cam Newton offense, and only he is a threat to put up a big fantasy day. It’s likely that one skill position player will have a blow-up game each and every week, but good luck guessing which one. If you roster any Patriots skill position players, I would consider trying to move them for whatever you can so you don’t have to deal with the headache.

New Orleans Saints

Alvin Kamara 14 31 10.33 31 10.33 ⬆️
Tre’Quan Smith 6 14 4.67 14 4.67 ⬇️
Emmanuel Sanders 5 13 4.33 13 4.33 ⬆️
Jared Cook 3 15 5.00 15 5.00 ⬇️
Deonte Harris 3 9 3.00 9 3.00 ⬇️
Adam Trautman 2 3 1.00 3 1.00 ⬆️

Alvin Kamara is currently tied for fifth among all NFL players in targets. Read that again: ALL NFL players. He’s currently out-targeted big names like Stefon Diggs, D.J. Moore, and Terry McLaurin. As Drew Brees’ arm strength diminishes, Alvin Kamara has become the go-to option in this offense and continues to be a PPR nightmare for his opponents. If Michael Thomas continues to miss time, Kamara could continue to average over ten targets per game. The rest of the Saints pass-catchers underwhelmed, as Emmanuel Sanders saved his fantasy day with a touchdown and Jared Cook missed most of the game due to injury. This offense revolves around Kamara, and it should continue to do so as the season goes on.

Alvin Kamara has the best chance, in my opinion, to finish as the RB1 this fantasy season. He’s great in all facets of the game and will be peppered with targets all year long. Treat him like he’s Christian McCaffery and don’t sell him unless you get a package that compensates his league-winning ability. Everyone else in this offense remains a risky play, as all of the volume is going towards the running back; Smith, Sanders, and Cook are touchdown-dependent options that you really shouldn’t consider starting. If these players can’t grab more than four passes in a shootout at home, when else would they be able to do it?

New York Giants

Darius Slayton 7 22 7.33 22 7.33 ⬆️
Golden Tate 7 12 4.00 12 6.00 ⬆️
Evan Engram 5 20 6.67 20 6.67 ⬇️
Dion Lewis 3 9 3.00 9 3.00 ⬇️
Wayne Gallman 3 4 1.33 4 1.33 ⬆️
Kaden Smith 2 7 2.33 7 2.33 ⬇️

Without Saquon Barkley, this offense stood no chance. Against a depleted 49ers defense, Daniel Jones and company only scored nine points and passed for 179 yards; there may be some notable skill position players on the Giants roster, but their big names won’t compensate for their lack of fantasy upside. Darius Slayton and Golden Tate each saw seven targets in this game, with the former averaging a higher yards per catch and the latter corralling more receptions. Evan Engram saw five targets, but he only converted three of them into catches and gained 22 yards. This offense is abysmal, but unfortunately, it isn’t the worst offense in New Jersey.

The Giants’ next matchup is a road tilt versus the Los Angeles Rams, who despite giving up 35 points yesterday have one of the most talented defensive rosters in all of football. I don’t expect anyone in this offense to be viable for fantasy, especially given Aaron Donald will have broken through the pass protection before Daniel Jones is even able to finish his drop back. Unless you are in a “New York Only” fantasy league, you shouldn’t be starting any Giants next week.

New York Jets

Chris Herndon 5 16 5.33 16 5.33 ⬆️
Kalen Ballage 5 7 2.33 7 3.50 ⬆️
Braxton Berrios 4 12 4.00 12 4.00 ⬇️
Lawrence Cager 4 4 1.33 4 1.33 ⬆️
Chris Hogan 3 15 5.00 15 5.00 ⬇️
Ryan Griffin 2 2 0.67 2 0.67 ⬆️

Is it a cop-out if I don’t talk about this team? I mean, to be honest, you’ve either skipped over this section entirely or are holding on just long enough to hear another Adam Gase joke. Well, there is no Adam Gase joke today, my friends. There is only tragedy and pain for Sam Darnold. Sure, Darnold had a nice touchdown pass to Braxton Berrios during the game, but the rest of the contest was a Jets fan’s worst nightmare. Actually, their worst nightmare would be Adam Gase signing an extension tomorrow (surprise, got one in there!).

Until Jamison Crowder returns from injury, this team is a fantasy wasteland. Even if Crowder comes back, I am not even sure he’s a viable fantasy start. Sure, he had one spectacular game in Week 1, but how agile is he going to be coming off of a hamstring injury? Can you trust that he’s going to see a massive target share right out of the gate? Keep Crowder on your bench (or IR spot) and drop all Jets players if you haven’t done so already.

Philadelphia Eagles

Greg Ward 11 19 6.33 19 6.33 ⬆️
Zach Ertz 10 24 8.00 24 8.00 ⬆️
Miles Sanders 8 15 5.00 15 7.50 ⬆️
DeSean Jackson 4 20 6.67 20 6.67 ⬇️
Deontay Burnett 4 4 1.33 4 1.33 ⬆️
John Hightower 3 7 2.33 7 2.33 ⬆️

Carson Wentz regressed harder than what Aaron Jones’ touchdown regression was supposed to be. Aside from one great quarter in Week 1 versus Washington, Wentz has been downright abysmal. Sure, his supporting cast has suffered a multitude of injuries for a second straight season, but it isn’t looking good for the $128 million man. With Dallas Goedert going down to start the game and DeSean Jackson suffering an injury late, Greg Ward and Zach Ertz were the main beneficiaries from a pass-catching standpoint. Ward caught eight of his 11 targets for 72 yards and a touchdown, while Ertz caught seven passes for 70 yards. Miles Sanders was also involved in the passing game, but he only caught half of his targets for a measly 12 yards.

With Goedert out for the foreseeable future, Ertz has top-5 tight end upside. Wentz may be playing poorly, but he sure knows how to target his tight ends. For those who drafted Ertz early, you may have just had your draft pick saved and your sell-high window opened. Ward becomes an interesting FLEX candidate solely from a volume perspective, but a matchup against San Francisco next week gives me pause to recommend he stay anywhere but the bench. For those of you still waiting for that big game from DeSean Jackson, I recommend you keep him on your bench as a “in case of emergency” start. You might miss on his blow-up game, but at least you won’t have to endure his low floor outputs.

Pittsburgh Steelers

James Washington 7 15 5.00 15 5.00 ⬆️
Eric Ebron 7 14 4.67 14 4.67 ⬆️
JuJu Smith-Schuster 5 19 6.33 19 6.33 ⬇️
James Conner 5 11 3.67 11 3.67 ⬆️
Chase Claypool 4 9 3.00 9 3.00 ⬆️
Vance McDonald 3 6 2.00 6 2.00 ⬆️

With Diontae Johnson suffering a concussion during this game, the target distribution will look quite different than we are accustomed to. James Washington and Eric Ebron tied for the team lead in targets with seven a piece, while JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner each saw five targets. Ben Roethlisberger spread the ball pretty evenly in this game, but my main takeaway regards Smith-Schuster. It appears he does not have the volume upside that he carried two years ago; he’ll be an efficient slot receiver and have some big plays here and there, but he won’t be a 120+ target guy.

It’s likely Johnson returns next week, so I wouldn’t put too much stock into the volume that Washington and Ebron received. Still, Washington has high-upside potential as he is the deep threat in three wide receiver sets, while Ebron is a valuable red zone weapon. You likely won’t start one of them unless Johnson or Smith-Schuster miss time, but they are solid bench stashes. Conner continues to be the workhorse running back we all expected, catching four passes for 40 yards on five targets. His receiving prowess is amazing for his PPR upside and detrimental to Anthony McFarland’s dynasty value.

San Francisco 49ers

Brandon Aiyuk 8 11 3.67 11 5.50 ⬆️
Jordan Reed 6 16 5.33 16 5.33 ⬇️
Kendrick Bourne 6 16 5.33 16 5.33 ⬆️
Jerick McKinnon 4 10 3.33 10 3.33 ⬆️
Ross Dwelley 4 5 1.67 5 1.67 ⬆️
Jeff Wilson 3 3 1.00 3 1.00 ⬆️

Jimmy Garoppolo, Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, Deebo Samuel, and George Kittle all missed this contest against the New York Giants. Nonetheless, San Francisco scored 36 points and had over 300 yards of total offense. Backup quarterback Nick Mullens threw for 343 yards and had 36 pass attempts. The main beneficiaries of those throws were rookie wideout Brandon Aiyuk and veteran tight end Jordan Reed. Aiyuk had a breakout game, catching five of his eight targets for 120 yards, while Reed cooled down from his Week 2 performance with only two catches for 23 yards. Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson were more involved in the run game than the pass game, but they each finished with three receptions nonetheless.

With Kittle and Samuel out, Aiyuk remains a viable FLEX play in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. He’s extremely versatile and Shanahan will manufacture touches for him. Reed is a risky tight end play, but he has the most upside of any tight ends likely available on waivers in your leagues. McKinnon and Wilson are also viable RB3s to put in your lineup, as almost any running back can be successful in this 49ers offense.

Seattle Seahawks

Tyler Lockett 13 29 9.67 29 9.67 ⬆️
D.K. Metcalf 8 22 7.33 22 7.33 ⬆️
Greg Olsen 6 11 3.67 11 3.67 ⬆️
Chris Carson 3 12 4.00 12 4.00
Will Dissly 2 5 1.67 5 1.67 ⬆️
Jacob Hollister 2 3 1.00 3 1.00 ⬆️

Russell Wilson certainly has my vote for NFL MVP, as he threw five touchdowns in this shootout with the Dallas Cowboys. Tyler Lockett was the best fantasy wide receiver on the week, catching nine of his 13 targets for 100 yards and three touchdowns. Funny enough, didn’t have the most yards for a wideout on his team. D.K. Metcalf had 110 yards receiving on only four catches, and he would have scored more points if not for a boneheaded fumble at the Cowboys’ 1-yard line. Greg Olsen finally saw a fantasy-relevant game, catching five of his six targets for 51 scoreless yards.

Lockett and Metcalf are must-start WR1s for the foreseeable future. Russell Wilson is so good that these two wideouts might both finish the season as top-ten fantasy wideouts. Greg Olsen doesn’t really have any fantasy appeal unless you are truly desperate, so he’s best left on your waiver wire. Chris Carson has seen a decline in targets since his six-target game in Week 1, but it’s still extremely encouraging that he’s getting pass-catching opportunities in the first place; if he can stay healthy, he has RB1 upside.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rob Gronkowski 7 11 3.67 11 3.67 ⬆️
Chris Godwin 6 13 4.33 13 6.50 ⬆️
Scotty Miller 5 14 4.67 14 4.67 ⬆️
Mike Evans 4 18 6.00 18 6.00 ⬇️
LeSean McCoy 4 12 4.00 12 4.00 ⬇️
O.J. Howard 4 13 4.33 13 4.33 ⬆️

Six players on this Buccaneers team have between nine and 14 targets; Mike Evans has slightly separated himself from the rest of the pack, but he still trails Chris Godwin on a targets-per-game basis. In fact, Evans only caught two of his targets against the Broncos for just two yards; luckily for his fantasy managers, both of those receptions just so happen to be touchdowns. Rob Gronkowski finally got involved as a pass-catcher, corralling six of his seven targets for 48 yards, while Godwin put up a 5-64-1 stat-line after missing the Buccaneers’ Week 2 contest.

Mike Evans and Chris Godwin should always be in your lineup, but they are much less sure-bets for volume than they were in 2019. Godwin is much safer than Evans due to his role in the slot, but Evans has greater big-play and touchdown upside; nonetheless; they are both auto-starts. Scotty Miller is still a bench stash for me, as I think he possesses a nice PPR floor and is a great handcuff in case Evans or Godwin miss time. Rob Gronkowski, on the other hand, should still be on your waiver wire; his volume was an anomaly and you can’t afford to watch him stay in-line to block every play when you need a decent floor from that position.

Tennessee Titans

Jonnu Smith 8 20 6.67 20 6.67 ⬆️
Adam Humphries 7 20 6.67 20 6.67 ⬆️
Corey Davis 6 19 6.33 19 6.33 ⬆️
Derrick Henry 3 8 2.67 8 2.67 ⬆️
Kalif Raymond 3 4 1.33 4 1.33 ⬆️
MyCole Pruitt 2 3 1.00 3 1.00 ⬆️

With A.J. Brown missing his second straight game, Jonnu Smith was once again heavily targeted. The breakout tight end candidate caught five of his eight targets for 61 yards; he didn’t score any touchdowns like he had the week before, but he’s been one of the best draft-day values given his target share. Another surprise has been Adam Humphries, who is showing a bit of the slot receiving chops that got him signed to a big deal in Tennessee during the 2019 offseason. The top six targeted players all saw an increase in pass-catching opportunities from the week before, despite Tannehill putting up a horrendous fantasy day himself.

Jonnu Smith is still the only pass-catcher in this offense that I am comfortable starting, mainly because he plays the tight end position. Starting Adam Humphries or Corey Davis is such a low-ceiling play, so I would avoid them entirely despite their consistent target share. Derrick Henry remains a purely one-dimensional running back, but he’s having success doing it so you can’t really fault him or the team.

Washington Football Team

Terry McLaurin 8 25 8.33 25 8.33 ⬇️
Logan Thomas 7 24 8.00 24 8.00 ⬇️
Dontrelle Inman 6 16 5.33 16 5.33 ⬆️
Isaiah Wright 6 6 2.00 6 2.00 ⬆️
J.D. McKissic 4 9 3.00 9 3.00 ⬆️
Antonio Gibson 3 7 2.33 7 2.33 ⬆️

Many in the fantasy community, including myself, thought Week 3 would be the Antonio Gibson breakout game. The dynamic runner and pass-catcher was expected to be a main focal point in the receiving game this year, especially given his main competition at the running back position was released prior to the start of the NFL season. Yet, Gibson only has seven targets on the season. He’s doing fine on the ground and salvaging his day with rushing touchdowns, but it’s a bit disappointing for those who thought Gibson could take the next step as a workhorse running back.

Aside from Gibson’s outlook (which I still believe is promising), the future looks bright for Terry McLaurin. McLaurin has 25 targets on the season and reeled off four catches for 83 yards on eight targets last week against Cleveland. Dwayne Haskins’ inconsistency limits his ceiling, but he’s a high-end WR2 in my mind who is driving this offense forward. Logan Thomas continues to see impressive volume week-in and week-out, becoming a solid tight end streamer for those who attacked the waiver wire in Week 1. Thomas doesn’t have a high ceiling, but for a fantasy free agent pick-up, he’s given you the PPR floor you so desperately want at the position.

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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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