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Air Yard Analysis: Week 8 (2020 Fantasy Football)

by Isaiah Sirois | @is_sirois | Featured Writer
Nov 5, 2020

Welcome to Air Yard Analysis! Each week, I’ll break down the trends in air yards across the NFL. In case you haven’t used air yards for fantasy analysis before, here’s the rundown on what the advanced stat means:

Fantasy football is a game of volume. Snaps, carries, targets, receptions, yards, red-zone looks — all of these reflect the opportunities a player receives in a game. While it’s up to the player to capitalize on their chances, a player’s efficiency tends to vary more than their opportunities.

Air yards are another volume stat that’s crucial to understanding a player’s value. Air yards measure the total distance that a thrown ball travels from the line of scrimmage to the player in question, and they help us to understand which targets are worth more than others.

For example, a wide receiver who earned six targets and eight air yards is far less valuable than one who earned four targets and 92 air yards, even if the second player failed to catch all of their looks. That’s because a best-possible six receptions for eight yards gives you only 6.8 PPR points, while four catches for 92 yards would let you 13.2 PPR points. That’s a higher ceiling, and the second player could even drop a pass and still out-perform the first player.

One of the best ways to gauge how an offense uses a receiver is to look at his average depth of target (aDOT). By dividing a player’s air yards by their total targets, we get a sense of how far beyond the line of scrimmage a player is usually targeted. The metric helps us to distinguish between high-volume players and low-volume deep threats.

Each week, I’ll read through and analyze every team’s air yards to give you my take. I’ll include every player with a target in my charts, and I’ll highlight which players are leading the league in each stat.

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Atlanta Falcons

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Julio Jones 151 (#2) 15.1 585 11.9
Calvin Ridley 51 12.8 982 (#1) 14.7
Hayden Hurst 37 5.3 424 9
Christian Blake 12 6 98 10.9
Russell Gage 1 0.3 334 7.6
Keith Smith 1 1 9 1.5
Brian Hill -1 -0.3 14 0.7


Takeaways
: Calvin Ridley’s injury skewed the air yard numbers toward Julio Jones … Ridley looks like a tossup to play heading into Week 9, and his absence would make Jones an even higher-value WR1 than he would be otherwise … the fact that Ridley maintained the league lead in air yards despite his injury speaks to how dominant he’s been this year … both Hurst and Gage are struggling to remain fantasy-relevant, and they may only be viable in high-scoring, pass-heavy game scripts.


Baltimore Ravens

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Willie Snead 70 11.7 184 9.2
Mark Andrews 44 7.3 424 10.6
Devin Duvernay 38 12.7 77 5.1
Miles Boykin 28 9.3 231 11
J.K. Dobbins 8 4 8 0.5
Nick Boyle 7 7 52 4.7
Marquise Brown 6 3 679 (#9) 15.4
James Proche 5 5 5 5
Gus Edwards -3 -3 8 2


Takeaways
: Last week wasn’t good for Hollywood Brown … his two targets were a season-low, so you can expect him to bounce back — he’s averaging 6.3 per game on the year … Willie Snead led the team in air yards while Brown disappeared, but that isn’t something you should expect to recur — Snead has a well-defined, limited role in this offense, and 38% of his air yards to date came in last week’s game … Mark Andrews just doesn’t get the yardage necessary to be more than a touchdown-dependent option, and while he’s still a TE1, he hasn’t lived up to the top-three hype.


Buffalo Bills

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Stefon Diggs 85 9.4 846 (#4) 10.7
Gabriel Davis 54 27 (#2T) 330 14.3
Tyler Kroft 11 11 123 8.2
Cole Beasley 9 4.5 381 7.5
John Brown 4 2 375 12.9
Devin Singletary 4 4 33 1.1
Zack Moss 3 3 15 1.9


Takeaways
: Stefon Diggs continues to dominate this offense in receiving … the Bills have had a couple of down weeks, but they should more than bounce back against the Seahawks in Week 9 … after looking like the WR1B to open the year, John Brown’s usage has fallen off considerably since his injury … he might recover with time, but if he doesn’t post strong numbers against Seattle, he’s someone to consider moving on from … Davis’ emergence has the potential to sink Brown’s ship even further, as the two have similar skill sets … Cole Beasley should return to fantasy relevance this week, but his value stems from his high number of short-yardage targets, not air yards, so he’s a must-fade in low-scoring game scripts … both running backs saw positive air yards in this one.


Carolina Panthers

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
D.J. Moore 92 15.3 719 (#7) 12.4
Robby Anderson 69 8.6 678 (#10) 10.1
Curtis Samuel 52 10.4 211 6.2
Ian Thomas 10 3.3 83 5.5
Chris Manhertz 3 3 18 3
Colin Thompson -1 -1 -1 -1
Mike Davis -8 -4 -45 -1


Takeaways
: D.J. Moore may lead this team in air yards, but Anderson is still the WR1 in this offense … Anderson has 67 targets and 51 catches to Moore’s 59 and 33 … both receivers are in the WR2/3 conversation, but Anderson has a higher floor, while Moore has a higher ceiling … Samuel has seen a lot more usage in recent weeks, but his short-yardage aDOT means that most of his fantasy points will come after the catch — that makes him a fade against teams that can tackle effectively.


Chicago Bears

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Darnell Mooney 102 17 663 15.4
Allen Robinson 87 12.4 817 (#5) 10.8
Anthony Miller 67 6.1 418 10
Jimmy Graham 55 7.9 327 6.7
David Montgomery 7 1.4 39 1
Javon Wims 6 6 93 11.6
Cole Kmet 2 2 82 10.2
Ryan Nall 2 2 2 1
Cordarrelle Patterson -11 -5.5 41 2.7


Takeaways
: Mooney has led the Bears in air yards for three consecutive weeks now … he’s a fantastic boom-or-bust option in deeper leagues on in DFS, and he’s a good pick to go off against the Titans’ vulnerable secondary this week … that said, Robinson is still the best receiver to roster in this offense, as he’s the better receiver and gets more catchable targets … Miller had a strong Week 8, but like Curtis Samuel, most of his production will come after the catch — he’s only worth thinking about when the Bears are in pass-heavy game scripts … Jimmy Graham only caught two passes for 13 yards last week, but he’s still getting enough volume to remain a back-end option at a thin position.


Cincinnati Bengals

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Tee Higgins 91 10.1 665 13
Tyler Boyd 59 8.4 579 8.5
A.J. Green 54 10.8 896 (#3) 14.2
Auden Tate 40 5.7 108 8.3
Drew Sample 5 5 117 4.5
Cethan Carter 2 2 24 6
Giovani Bernard -3 -0.8 -9 -0.3
Samaje Perine -3 -3 -8 -4


Takeaways
: The Bengals earned a thrilling upset win over the Titans last week … Higgins led the team in air yards, receiving yards (78), and targets (9) … he’s a strong option at WR2/3 with how often the Bengals are throwing the ball … Boyd is another fantastic fantasy option in this offense, but his short-yardage role means that most of his value stems from receptions, making him a better option in PPR formats … A.J. Green had a down week against Malcolm Butler, but he should bounce back in an easier matchup … Tate benefited from Butler’s coverage of Green, and you shouldn’t expect numbers like this out of him moving forward.


Cleveland Browns

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Jarvis Landry 118 (#9T) 10.7 459 9.4
Rashard Higgins 49 16.3 216 14.4
David Njoku 17 5.7 115 8.8
Harrison Bryant 15 5 150 7.1
D’Ernest Johnson 5 5 2 0.7
Andy Janovich -2 -2 -2 -0.7
Kareem Hunt -6 -2 42 1.6


Takeaways
: Take these numbers with a grain of salt — bad weather and heavy winds derailed the passing games on both sides … Landry led this team in air yards in the first game without Odell Beckham, but he did so because only short-yardage passes were completable … Higgins should return to the team lead in better conditions; he led this team in air yards the week that Beckham went down.


Dallas Cowboys

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Michael Gallup 81 6.8 644 13.4
Dalton Schultz 73 9.1 321 6.8
Ced Wilson 54 27 (#2T) 217 9.9
CeeDee Lamb 43 7.2 557 9.3
Amari Cooper 33 8.2 661 8.7
Noah Brown 26 13 145 11.2
Ezekiel Elliott -3 -1.5 -32 -0.7
Tony Pollard -5 -2.5 -29 -1.7


Takeaways
: Just as we all expected, Michael Gallup led this team in air yards after several consecutive dud performances … that said, he did so with Ben DiNucci under center, and the Cowboys are planning to go in a different direction next week … now on their fourth quarterback this season, Dallas receivers are much shakier fantasy options than they were with Dak Prescott … Amari Cooper is still the best option in this offense, however, and that’s by virtue of his team-leading target share (22.5%) … I would bench every other Cowboys receiver, but Cooper should be able to post startable numbers against the Steelers this week.


Denver Broncos

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Jerry Jeudy 159 (#1) 15.9 645 14.3
Noah Fant 67 7.4 211 6.2
DaeSean Hamilton 56 11.2 310 15.5
K.J. Hamler 10 2.5 192 10.1
Albert Okwuegbunam 9 9 113 8.1
Melvin Gordon 4 0.6 22 0.8
Phillip Lindsay 0 0 5 1.2


Takeaways
: The Broncos were forced to play without Tim Patrick last week, and the workload was distributed about as expected … Jeudy got the most air yards and targets (10), although he failed to score a touchdown … that was enough for the league lead in air yards, which was surprising to see out of this relatively underpowered offense … he’s a lower-end play once Patrick gets back, however … Fant was the next-best Broncos receiver, and his short-yardage role means that the athletic tight end is responsible for generating most of his yards himself … Hamilton saw a substantially expanded role with Patrick sidelined, but he’ll fade back to irrelevance once Patrick returns.


Detroit Lions

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Marvin Hall 118 (#9T) 16.9 339 24.2 (#1)
Marvin Jones 100 14.3 426 11.5
Kenny Golladay 74 18.5 479 15
T.J. Hockenson 70 7 294 7.2
Danny Amendola 43 10.8 314 10.1
D’Andre Swift 13 3.2 70 2.4
Jesse James 0 0 61 7.6
Kerryon Johnson -1 -0.5 0 0
Adrian Peterson -1 -1 5 0.6


Takeaways
: With Kenny Golladay hurt again, the two Marvins are set to lead this offense in downfield receiving … Jones is the more reliable downfield threat, however, as Hall has only caught seven of his 15 total targets … if Matthew Stafford can’t play this Sunday, then it’s hard to get excited about starting either of them … that said, the Vikings defense is pretty terrible, so Jones looks like a mid-tier WR3 here … I like Danny Amendola behind Jones; he was leading this team in air yards after Golladay’s first two absences earlier in the season.


Green Bay Packers

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Davante Adams 133 (#6) 11.1 521 9
Robert Tonyan 71 11.8 249 9.6
Equanimeous St. Brown 61 20.3 (#8) 66 13.2
Jace Sternberger 43 10.8 86 7.8
Malik Taylor 19 19 (#9T) 38 7.6
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 17 17 602 17.7 (#6)
Darrius Shepherd 6 6 117 16.7 (#9T)
Jamaal Williams 3 0.5 21 0.8
A.J. Dillon 1 1 1 1
Tyler Ervin -12 -4 -20 -2.5


Takeaways
: This offense is Davante Adams and everybody else … the Packers struggled to keep up with Dalvin Cook last Sunday, but even in a come-from-behind game script, they didn’t deviate much from focusing on Adams … once-WR2 Marquez Valdes-Scantling disappeared against Minnesota, and he’ll be droppable once Allen Lazard returns … if Tonyan continues to get this much usage with Lazard back, he’ll be a rock-solid TE1 with all the injuries at the position.


Indianapolis Colts

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Zach Pascal 66 11 369 10.9
Marcus Johnson 52 13 267 16.7 (#9T)
Nyheim Hines 40 8 55 1.7
Mo Alie-Cox 28 7 163 9.1
Trey Burton 22 5.5 122 6.1
Jack Doyle 18 6 119 8.5
Jordan Wilkins 3 3 4 1
T.Y. Hilton 2 1 426 11.2
Michael Pittman 2 2 66 5.1
Jonathan Taylor 0 0 -36 -1.9
Ashton Dulin -1 -1 24 6


Takeaways
: The Colts spread the ball around last Sunday, and not just through the air — Jordan Wilkins, Jonathan Taylor, and Nyhiem Hines all split carries in the running game, too …. Indy’s reluctance to commit to a few key players makes all of their guys less relevant in fantasy … Pascal is a low-end WR4 due to his mid-range, high-volume role, but it’s still hard to get excited about starting him even with Hilton sidelined … second-round pick Michael Pittman has the chance to emerge in this depleted receiving corps, but he’ll need to do better than he did last week … Trey Burton is still my tight end of choice in this offense, but it’s looking like the Colts won’t feature a single tight end, and that makes him a shaky, touchdown-dependent streamer at best.


Kansas City Chiefs

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Tyreek Hill 131 (#7) 21.8 (#5) 814 (#6) 15.1
Travis Kelce 118 9.8 538 7.9
Demarcus Robinson 63 12.6 250 9.6
Mecole Hardman 59 6.6 275 9.5
Byron Pringle 57 19 (#9T) 100 16.7 (#9T)
Nick Keizer 1 1 45 7.5
Darrel Williams 0 0 -9 -0.7
Darwin Thompson 0 0 -10 -2.5
Clyde Edwards-Helaire -2 -0.7 29 0.8
Deon Yelder -3 -3 1 0.5
Le’Veon Bell -8 -2.7 22 7.3


Takeaways
: The Chiefs’ high-powered passing offense absolutely demolished the New York Jets last Sunday … Mahomes threw five touchdowns in the blowout win … Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce are obviously the two best options to roster in Kansas City, and that’s backed up by Mahomes’ distribution of air yards … whoever functions as the mid-range WR2 has the next-most value in this passing offense; Demarcus Robinson has played that role since Sammy Watkins went down, but Watkins is poised to make a return … the Chiefs either feed Hardman very short or very long targets, so his aDOT of 9.5 doesn’t mean very much.


Las Vegas Raiders

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Henry Ruggs III 58 14.5 335 18.6 (#4)
Jason Witten 21 10.5 47 5.2
Hunter Renfrow 15 3.8 284 8.4
Foster Moreau 15 15 59 11.8
Darren Waller 12 2 334 5.5
Nelson Agholor 11 5.5 285 13
Jalen Richard 5 5 23 1.6
Josh Jacobs 1 1 7 0.3
Devontae Booker -1 -1 9 1.1


Takeaways
: Remember, the weather was terrible in this game, so don’t read into these numbers too much … the Raiders ran the ball 45 times while Derek Carr attempted just 24 passes, so these numbers are much smaller than they would otherwise be … Ruggs is still the go-to deep threat in this offense, and his return (along with Bryan Edwards‘) will mean less work for Nelson Agholor … Darren Waller may not get many air yards, but he has the second-most targets (61) among all tight ends, and he’s a locked-in TE1 moving forward.


Los Angeles Chargers

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Mike Williams 136 (#5) 17 557 16.9 (#8)
Jalen Guyton 93 23.2 (#4) 388 22.8 (#3)
Keenan Allen 79 6.6 605 8.2
Justin Jackson 10 2 -31 -1.6
Hunter Henry 6 1.5 327 7.4
Gabe Nabers 2 2 6 2
Joshua Kelley -5 -5 -22 -1.5
Troymaine Pope -16 -2.3 -16 -2.3


Takeaways
: Williams’ athletic profile combines dangerously with Justin Herbert’s arm, and you can expect more boom games from the speedy receiver moving forward … that said, Herbert has an arsenal of long-range weapons, including Guyton and Tyron Johnson … Allen is still the best receiver to roster in this offense due to his team-best target share (30%) … Jackson had a strong day on the ground, and his positive air yards indicate usage beyond the line of scrimmage, and that further adds to his fantasy value … Hunter Henry has been a big disappointment thus far, and it just doesn’t seem like there’s enough short-range volume to go around for him.


Los Angeles Rams

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Cooper Kupp 142 (#4) 7.1 484 6.8
Josh Reynolds 89 8.1 486 12.5
Robert Woods 47 5.9 434 7.9
Gerald Everett 40 5 147 5.7
Van Jefferson 23 11.5 184 14.2
Tyler Higbee 12 3 162 6.5
Malcolm Brown 6 3 -5 -0.2
Cam Akers -1 -1 1 0.5
Darrell Henderson -4 -2 12 0.8


Takeaways
: The Rams were stuck in come-from-behind mode last Sunday, and that’s reflected in the above-average numbers that most of their receivers posted in the receiving column … Kupp led the way for Los Angeles, but he wasn’t thrown to very far downfield — he just happened to get 20 targets from Jared Goff … none of the receiving weapons in this offense get used very far downfield, and that complicated Sean McVay’s hopes of a comeback win … the fact that Tyler Higbee couldn’t produce in such a pass-heavy game script means that he belongs on waivers.


Miami Dolphins

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Preston Williams 54 10.8 452 14.6
Mike Gesicki 36 18 383 12
Jakeem Grant 17 8.5 147 8.2
Durham Smythe 4 2 26 3.7
DeVante Parker 3 1.5 392 9.3
Isaiah Ford 2 2 226 8.1
Malcolm Perry 2 2 2 2
Adam Shaheen 0 0 28 3.5
Myles Gaskin -6 -1 -14 -0.4


Takeaways
: It was Tua Time in Miami last Sunday, but the Dolphins didn’t need to pass much, as the Rams pretty much beat themselves. Miami attempted a total of 22 passes, seven of which went to running backs … I wouldn’t read too much into these numbers because of the game script, but so far, having Tagovailoa under center looks like good news for Preston Williams managers.


Minnesota Vikings

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Justin Jefferson 17 4.2 486 12.2
Adam Thielen 8 2 704 (#8) 13.5
Irv Smith 7 7 150 8.8
Chad Beebe 5 5 53 5.9
Kyle Rudolph 2 2 127 8.5
Dalvin Cook -14 -4.7 -47 -2.5


Takeaways
: The Vikings didn’t have to do much passing last week, as Dalvin Cook scored all four of their touchdowns … as a result, these numbers are hilariously low … usually I’d blame outliers against the Packers like this on good coverage from Jaire Alexander, but I don’t even have to do that thanks to Cook … as I outlined in my weekly recap, the Vikings are a run-first offense, so Jefferson and Thielen managers should expect the occasional bust showing like this one.


New England Patriots

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Jakobi Meyers 75 7.5 196 11.5
Damiere Byrd 43 10.8 410 12.4
Ryan Izzo 12 4 125 8.3
James White 9 2.2 -18 -0.7
Isaiah Zuber -3 -3 1 0.5
Rex Burkhead -4 -4 -13 -0.6


Takeaways
: The Patriots played without Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry last week, and it sounds like they’ll be without Edelman for a good while … they added Isaiah Ford at the trade deadline, but depth options like Ford rarely have a fantasy impact after trades like this (remember the Mohamed Sanu deal last year?) … Harry should be back soon, but this is a passing offense to avoid … Damiere Byrd has the most value a downfield weapon, but even still, he isn’t worth rostering outside of deep leagues.


New Orleans Saints

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Tre’Quan Smith 79 11.3 295 9.2
Jared Cook 62 7.8 315 10.5
Juwan Johnson 20 10 20 10
Deonte Harris 6 2 96 5.1
Tommylee Lewis 3 3 3 3
Alvin Kamara 1 0.1 59 0.9
Austin Carr 1 1 6 3
Latavius Murray -1 -0.3 19 1.6
Josh Hill -3 -3 18 2.6


Takeaways
: The Saints played without three of their best wide receivers last week, so these numbers don’t mean much to me … the returns of Marquez Callaway, Michael Thomas, and Emmanuel Sanders will make it a lot more difficult for Tre’Quan Smith to post fantasy-relevant numbers … the fact that tight end Jared Cook has the longest YTD aDOT on the Saints says a lot about how limited Drew Brees’ arm strength has been this season.


New York Jets

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Jeff Smith 84 10.5 403 12.6
Denzel Mims 84 21 (#6) 137 12.5
Braxton Berrios 24 2.4 286 7.7
Chris Herndon 12 6 140 5.6
Vyncint Smith 11 11 11 11
La’Mical Perine -4 -2 -3 -0.3


Takeaways
: The New York Jets got dismantled by the Chiefs last weekend, and as a result, Sam Darnold attempted more deep shots than usual … he still didn’t throw too many of them, however, and he preferred to throw to slot receiver Braxton Berrios … Berrios earned only 24 air yards, but he did so on 10 targets, and Darnold’s tendency to toss dump-off passes didn’t help an offense that was badly in need of points … while Jeff Smith and Denzel Mims saw a few deeper looks, Darnold hasn’t thrown enough passes downfield to warrant starting them in any format.


Philadelphia Eagles

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
John Hightower 92 30.7 (#1) 558 23.2 (#2)
Jalen Reagor 74 12.3 226 17.4 (#7)
Travis Fulgham 67 9.6 499 11.6
Greg Ward 23 4.6 266 5.9
Dallas Goedert 13 13 140 7.4
Boston Scott 7 3.5 11 0.6
Corey Clement -3 -1.5 -6 -1.2


Takeaways
: Carson Wentz likes to take deep shots, and Hightower’s week-leading aDOT backs that up … sure, he didn’t actually catch any of his three targets, but his usage still says something important about this offense … Reagor should get more of Hightower’s work as he re-enters this offense after he missed time with an injury … I’m expecting Dallas Goedert to take over a solid share of this offense once he has more time to get healthy.


Pittsburgh Steelers

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Chase Claypool 86 9.6 404 12.2
Diontae Johnson 57 19 (#9T) 396 8.8
JuJu Smith-Schuster 44 5.5 298 5.7
Eric Ebron 30 6 315 8.5
Jaylen Samuels 6 3 2 0.4
James Washington 4 4 243 9.3
Ray-Ray McCloud -1 -1 -17 -2.4
James Conner -7 -2.3 6 0.3


Takeaways
: Diontae Johnson failed to post strong fantasy numbers, but he continues to have good peripherals … he needs to stay healthy and make it through games, but when he does, he explodes … that said, I blamed Chase Claypool’s Week 7 dud on tight coverage from Malcolm Butler, and he bounced right back against an easier matchup … Smith-Schuster has been a relative bust in fantasy, and while some of it has to do with the emergence of Johnson and Claypool, it also has to do with the type of work he gets …. short-yardage targets are only valuable in high-volume roles, and Smith-Schuster hasn’t gotten enough work to pay off.


Seattle Seahawks

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
DK Metcalf 145 (#3) 9.7 921 (#2) 15.3
Tyler Lockett 73 14.6 651 10.3
Greg Olsen 19 4.8 199 7.7
David Moore 12 4 184 9.7
Jacob Hollister 4 2 39 4.9
Nick Bellore 2 2 2 2
DeeJay Dallas 0 0 13 1.3
Will Dissly -3 -3 53 4.1


Takeaways
: After Tyler Lockett stole the show in Week 7, Metcalf stole it right back in Week 8 … he almost led the league in air yards last week, and he’s closing in on Calvin Ridley for the lead in air yards to date … this offense really only supports two fantasy receivers, and with Metcalf likely to draw Tre’Davious White this weekend, Lockett has to be the favored option for Week 9 … of every other Seattle weapon, only Greg Olsen warrants starting consideration, but that’s more a result of the bone-dry tight end market than anything else.


San Francisco 49ers

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Brandon Aiyuk 99 9 461 10.5
Kendrick Bourne 71 7.1 374 9.3
George Kittle 42 10.5 336 6.9
Trent Taylor 29 5.8 96 5.6
Ross Dwelley 26 8.7 50 6.2
Kyle Juszczyk 18 9 104 7.4
Jerick McKinnon 15 3 124 4.1
JaMycal Hasty 1 1 -5 -1.2


Takeaways
: The first three guys on this list won’t play in Week 9, and that tells you a lot about how the 49ers will look on Thursday Night Football … while Aiyuk should return to his low-end WR2 role next week, especially with George Kittle sidelined, managers must be frustrated not to have him this week … Kittle’s injury should put Jordan Reed back on your fantasy radar; if he can’t play, then Ross Dwelley is set to fill a big role … the loss of Jimmy Garoppolo is somewhat a non-story here, as he’s not playing much better than San Francisco’s backups, Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard.


Tennessee Titans

PLAYER WEEK 8 AIR YDS WEEK 8 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Corey Davis 121 (#8) 13.4 413 10.6
Adam Humphries 41 20.5 (#7) 312 10.1
Anthony Firkser 34 11.3 202 8.1
A.J. Brown 33 4.7 362 9.3
Jonnu Smith 14 7 198 6
Kalif Raymond 7 7 221 18.4 (#5)
Khari Blasingame 4 4 5 1.7
MyCole Pruitt 3 3 14 3.5
Jeremy McNichols 2 2 10 1.4
Derrick Henry -2 -2 3 0.2


Takeaways
: Corey Davis is in the middle of a fourth-year breakout … he has scored double-digit PPR points in every game this season, and he’s done so alongside a strong competitor for targets in A.J. Brown … speaking of Brown, he didn’t see any downfield usage against the Bengals, but he saved his fantasy day with a touchdown … Jonnu Smith has continued to disappoint, and it’s genuinely concerning that he trailed teammate Anthony Firkser in both air yards and targets (3-2) — he has played like a touchdown-dependent streamer since everyone else in this offense got healthy.

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Isaiah Sirois is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Isaiah, check out his archive and follow him @is_sirois.

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