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Fantasy Football Target Analysis: AFC (2024)

With startups in full swing and fantasy football drafts around the corner, we must target the correct players that elevate our teams to champions. We elevate our fantasy football team by conducting the proper research during the offseason. Today, we will be working through some fantasy football target analysis from the AFC. We will break down some situations that have changed since 2023 and explain how they affect the remaining players, as well as who we should target for our fantasy football championship-bound teams.

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Fantasy Football Target Analysis: AFC

Houston Texans

Let’s begin with a team that many are excited about and their breakout star, Nico Collins. The Texans added another star to their wide receiver room in Stefon Diggs, but does that mean Nico Collins will be a one-hit wonder? We doubt it. Nico Collins is laced with talent. He is a big human who stands at 6′ 4′ and 215 lbs and he likes to play a physical game. Collins also brings that second gear into his game, especially when he is hip-to-hip with his defender. These skills led to Collins ranking 12th in targets per route run and second in yards per route run. He offers a high yards per reception (16.2), and his young stud quarterback, C.J. Stroud, will continue to look for him downfield to help open the defense up and gain chunks of yards in the blink of an eye.

So why did the Houston Texans trade for Stefon Diggs? Well, more talent around your young quarterback is always a good thing. The question is, which Diggs will Stroud receive? Diggs has lost a step and becomes more of a beta than an alpha in a wide receiver room. Last year, he had ten games finishing as WR24 or worse. Diggs can still provide weekly fantasy points, but don’t expect the days of 1,800 air yards like last season. Our projections have him under 100 receptions and barely cracking 1,000 yards. The move for Stefon Diggs helps elevate C.J. Stroud for fantasy more than it does the former alpha wide receiver.

Now we move onto the electrifying rookie from last year, Tank Dell. Tank is returning from an injury he suffered toward the end of last season. That injury may have helped get Diggs to the Texans, but Tank Dell should still have a role in this offense. He is an elite separator with impressive footwork and with those combined skills, Tank will become a favorite weapon of Stroud’s again in no time. Tank averaged 6.8 targets per game last season, with 75 targets overall in 11 games. We should see the overall number jump, but I would be cautious in believing he can elevate past 6.8 as an average per game with all the weapons in Houston, so that, his injury, and his ADP all make Tank Dell a harder bet to place this offseason.

Who will Tank Dell’s return and Stefon Diggs’ emergence hurt the most? The answer is Dalton Schultz. Last year, Schultz finished as the TE11 in the NFL. But in 2024, he will likely fall to the fourth target within this offense. It will be a struggle for him to replicate his 53-635-5 stat line. Instead, we should expect a finish closer to 500 yards for this tight end. His average draft position is 142, which should be too rich for your blood.

Finally, we finish with the new running back, Joe Mixon. He should control 75% or more of the rushing attempts, but what about his targets out of the backfield? Well, they may be limited. C.J. Stroud produced three or more targets for his running backs only six times last season. If you are drafting Mixon, it should be for his rushing attempt total, not his targets.

Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans are another team building around a second-year quarterback with Will Levis. In this past offseason, the Titans signed Calvin Ridley, their new alpha wide receiver. Ridley received a 36% air yard share last season and could see more of the same this year with the cannon attached to Will Levis’ body. With the money they spent on Ridley, we should see another season of 125+ targets, as he should be the offense’s focal point.

The Titans won’t forget DeAndre Hopkins, but he will become the secondary focus of this passing attack. He thrived with the young fresh arm of Will Levis by producing 27 receptions of 20+ yards. However, he now has to compete with Calvin Ridley and, of course, Father Time. Hopkins is now 32 years old and will regress with his target share. Do not look at his 137 targets and expect him to repeat those numbers this year. Instead, all of the new talent in Tennessee should put him finishing much closer to the century mark, like his last year in Arizona.

Tyler Boyd and Chig Okonkwo will become safety valves within this offense. Boyd should drop from the 60+ targets he was getting in Cincinnati to fighting to break 50 total. Chig will be lucky to see his 77 targets from 2023 again. Both players bring zero upside to your fantasy team, and you should look elsewhere.

Finally, we finish with the running backs. Who will outshine the other for targets within the offense? The answer is Tyjae Spears, who produced on third downs last season, and ended the year ranked seventh in target share, 10th in TPRR, and 17th in YPRR.

Jacksonville Jaguars

If Christian Kirk hadn’t gotten hurt, we would have seen a monster season from the slot receiver. Kirk was the WR19 in fantasy points per game and he drew a 22.6% target share while producing a 30.5% air-yard share. Now in 2024, he no will longer compete with Calvin Ridley and Kirk can become the alpha receiver for Trevor Lawrence once again, which should elevate him back to the land of 120+ targets in this offense.

Brian Thomas Jr. is built to become the new Calvin Ridley within this offense. However, we know it takes a rookie some time to acclimate to the play speed and the nuances of the NFL. Could he be a talented player in the NFL? Sure, but don’t expect a Calvin Ridley-like target share right away. Instead, you should expect around 90 total targets for the rookie.

So where will Gabe Davis stand if the rookie Brian Thomas has 90 total targets and Christian Kirk is looking at 120+? Well, the boom/bust Gabe Davis should end with around 60-70 targets as the third or fourth option within this offense. There will be weeks when his ability to create big plays will be amazing. However, after four catchless games in his last eight appearances of 2023, neither you nor the Jacksonville Jaguars should rely on him to become a significant component of this offense.

Evan Engram is the second option behind Christian Kirk in this offense. His priority in the offense helped catapult him to TE2 last year. He is a target machine, and it would be wise for Trevor Lawrence to continue that streak. Engram had 17 games with five or more targets and 10 with eight or more targets. Draft Engram at 71st overall if you love a hyper-targeted, athletic tight end who is a top-two option in his offense.

As for the running backs and their target share, it will be Travis Etienne’s time to shine again. Tank Bigsby is the biggest threat to his time, and we doubt that he flipped a switch in the offseason. Etienne is a running back who can garner 50+ targets while still handling the bulk of the workload in the rushing game; he deserves more praise this offseason.

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

New England Patriots

That’s a lot of names, right? Well, that’s the name of the game in New England. They like to attack you with a multitude of players, but because of that, their target shares should all be minimized. The real question is, what to do with Demario Douglas and Hunter Henry?

Let’s approach the tight end first. Hunter Henry may see a slight target dip, but he should still get between 50-60 targets again for the third straight season. His game is more about the safety valve and touchdown machine.

The player who will be hurt the worst is Demario Douglas. At 5′ 8″ and 192 lbs, Douglas didn’t possess the profile to dominate New England’s target share. His 78 targets may not rise and could even regress with all the bodies attached to the New England organization now.

The backfield is simple; Antonio Gibson is a pass-catching running back who was brought in to fill that role. Rhamondre Stevenson has seen 50+ targets in two seasons, however those days are long gone with Gibson now in town. We should see a regression towards 25 targets for Stevenson as they cannibalize each other’s time in the backfield.

Kansas City Chiefs

Let’s face the elephant in the room: Rashee Rice will be suspended. For how long? No one knows. But regardless, his target share will regress this season, making him a dangerous candidate to select at his ADP.

Let’s move to the real WR1 in Kansas City, Travis Kelce. Kelce was third in YPRR and third in target share while recording a second-place finish in first-read share as a tight end. Travis Kelce is still the number one option for Patrick Mahomes and should be treated as such for the foreseeable future.

The issue is then deciding who we should trust more, Hollywood Brown or Xavier Worthy. Worthy brings game-changing speed to the field with his record-breaking 40-yard dash. Hollywood brings a veteran presence who is proven to produce results. Both players should give impressive air-yard numbers to help Mahomes break open the defensive schemes. However, Hollywood should see 100+ targets, whereas Worthy should start as the third option within this passing offense as the rookie will take some time to acclimate to the NFL, especially in Kansas City.

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo is an intriguing conundrum this season as they begin their post-Stefon Diggs era. Who will take over in Buffalo? Will it be Curtis Samuel, who has worked with Joe Brady in the past? Will it be their electrifying rookie, Keon Coleman? Can Khalil Shakir step up? It’s a puzzle in Buffalo, but our favorite player will be Curtis Samuel. The year he worked with Joe Brady in Carolina, Samuel hauled in 77 passes for 851 yards, which was a career-high.

Dalton Kincaid can flourish the most with Stefon Diggs’s departure. In Weeks 7-18, Kincaid ranked seventh in target share, ninth in receiving yards per game, and first in read share. The Bills proved they wanted to warp their offense around Kincaid, and 2024 should be no different. Kincaid will build on his target total and should surpass the century mark and then some this season.

Los Angeles Chargers

This offense has a change in philosophy with Jim Harbaugh coming to town. His offense is run-centric and will provide limited targets to all of these wide receivers, let alone any other players. If the wide receivers are already limited, we will save your time with the less-talented tight ends and running backs. Instead, let’s talk about how even the top option, Ladd McConkey, could be in trouble for 2024. There is a new offensive coordinator in Greg Roman, and QB Justin Herbert only had 456 passing attempts last year. If McConkey averaged 20% of the target share, he would produce 91.2 targets this season. A genuinely dominating number would be closer to 25%, creating 114 targets. Do you see anyone in this offense reaching that many targets this season? We don’t, and that’s why this entire offense scares us for our fantasy teams.

Remember to read all the fantastic work here at FantasyPros, and good luck this offseason!

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