Fantasy Football Week 10: WR target analysis and passing game breakdown

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The 2018 season seems to be zipping along at a pace matched only by the high-octane offenses in today's NFL. The Fantasy Football playoffs are now only a month away from kicking off. Now more than ever is a critical time for loading up rosters and preparing for December.

One of the best ways to build up that postseason roster is to exploit wide receivers who continually command a high number of targets. Analyzing those weekly passing target numbers is a great way to stay informed on what players are consistent producers and surging players who can make a difference down the stretch.

Weekly pass target numbers can vary from source-to-source. Using data from Pro Football Focus, here are the top-30 targeted wide receivers from Week 9 and Fantasy Footballers can take advantage of those trends.

PLAYER

TEAM

TARGET

REC

YDS

TD

DROP

ADOT

YPR

Michael Thomas

NO

15

12

211

1

0

8.9

17.6

DeAndre Hopkins

HOU

12

10

105

1

0

7

10.5

Maurice Harris

WAS

12

10

124

0

0

9.6

12.4

Julian Edelman

NE

10

6

71

0

1

6.6

11.8

Antonio Brown

PIT

10

5

42

1

0

11.2

8.4

Julio Jones

ATL

10

7

121

1

0

10.9

17.3

Keenan Allen

LAC

10

6

124

0

0

14

20.7

Corey Davis

TEN

10

6

56

0

0

10.5

9.3

Emmanuel Sanders

DEN

9

6

47

0

1

9.7

7.8

Josh Gordon

NE

9

5

130

1

0

17

26

  • Michael Thomas destroyed Marcus Peters in one-on-one matchups. Thomas led the entire league with 15 looks and produced a career-high 211 receiving yards on 12 grabs. This was the fourth game of the season in which Thomas surpassed double-digit receptions and he still boasts an impressive 88.6 percent catch rate.
  • In his first game sans Will Fuller, DeAndre Hopkins commanded half of Deshaun Watson's 24 attempts. That 50 percent target rate hasn't been seen since last season when Hopkins was virtually the only part of Houston's offense that worked. Hopkins opened the season with five straight double-digit target performances before dropping down to an average of seven when Fuller was healthy. Hopkins is as likely as any player to lead the NFL in looks for the remainder of the season.
  • Maurice Harris has played 73 percent of Washington's snaps since Jamison Crowder went down with an ankle injury. Harris has been playing in the slot and will likely retain a starting role in the wake of Paul Richardson's season-ending shoulder injury. Josh Doctson played all but one snap for Washington against the Falcons and has recorded three-plus grabs in the past four games. Doctson and Harris can both be considered startable this week as the Redskins travel to Tampa to take on a Buccaneers' secondary that allows the second-most Fantasy points to wideouts.
  • With Rob Gronkowski sidelined with a back injury, Julian Edelman led the Patriots with six grabs on 10 targets. New England has a bye in Week 11, so there's a very good chance that the club will choose to rest Gronk again to give him more time to fully heal. That should lead to another solid week of targets for Edelman and Josh Gordon, who had his biggest game to date for the Patriots. Gordon isn't the most consistent option but has flashed his elite athleticism and is building a strong rapport with Tom Brady.
  • Antonio Brown only caught half of his 10 looks and has been held under 75 yards in back-to-back games. Brown did manage to score a touchdown for the sixth consecutive game and leads all wideouts with nine TDs this season. Juju Smith-Schuster produced a healthy seven grabs but was limited to just 78 yards, the fourth time in five games that he's failed to top triple-digit yardage after opening the season with three straight 100-yard games. Both Pittsburgh wideouts have a tough spot in Week 10 facing a solid Carolina secondary on a short-rest week.
  • Julio Jones broke a pair of tackles on his way to a 35-yard touchdown reception, his first of the season. Jones had caught some 90 passes without scoring but will remain a poor weekly bet to score again. Inexplicably, Steve Sarkisian has drawn up game plans that have amounted to Jones not catching a red-zone reception through eight games, and Jones has only been targeted three times in that area all season. Terrific first-round rookie Calvin Ridley has made much more impact in the red zone. Ridley scored his seventh touchdown against Washington and his 71 receiving yards was the second-highest mark so far this season.
  • After six straight games under 100 yards, Keenan Allen finally broke out with 10 targets and 124 yards in Seattle. Allen was featured more down the field and put up his highest yards-per-catch total of the season. Despite the strong outing, Allen still isn't getting enough red-zone looks to climb into WR1 territory. Perhaps that will change in Week 10 as the Chargers travel to Oakland to face a fading Raiders defense that has surrendered five touchdowns to wide receivers in their past three games. Allen put up eight grabs and 90 yards back in Week five against this same secondary.
  • Corey Davis is another No. 1 receiver who commands a solid number of weekly targets but has depressed touchdown production. Davis now has only one trip to the end zone in 19 career games. Over the past two weeks, Marcus Mariota has looked more comfortable in Matt LaFleur's offense, so Davis should remain a solid WR3, even without the touchdowns.
  • No surprise to see Emmanuel Sanders lead Denver's receiving corps in targets, but Sanders actually took a back seat to TE Jeff Heuerman, who lit up the Texans for 10 receptions on 11 targets. Without Demaryius Thomas to contend with, Sanders is a strong bet to put up top-10 wideout numbers for the remainder of the season.

PLAYER

TEAM

TARGET

REC

YDS

TD

DROP

ADOT

YPR

Robert Woods

LAR

9

5

71

0

0

12.1

14.2

Kelvin Benjamin

BUF

9

4

40

0

0

15

10

Davante Adams

GB

9

6

40

1

0

7.8

6.7

JuJu Smith-Schuster

PIT

9

7

78

0

1

8.3

11.1

Calvin Ridley

ATL

9

6

71

1

1

8.3

11.8

Jermaine Kearse

NYJ

8

3

20

0

1

13.8

6.7

Mike Evans

TB

8

1

16

0

1

17.5

16

Brandin Cooks

LAR

8

6

114

1

0

17.5

19

Willie Snead IV

BAL

8

7

58

0

0

4

8.3

Amari Cooper

DAL

8

5

58

1

0

13.9

11.6

Adam Humphries

TB

8

8

82

2

0

3.8

10.3

  • The Rams' weekly target share remains relatively stable. Robert Woods had led Los Angeles in targets in five out of the club's nine games, including Week 9 versus New Orleans. Brandin Cooks has received eight targets five times in eight games and has not gotten fewer than five looks. Cooper Kupp returned to the lineup to take his usual role, which included another touchdown, his sixth in seven games.
  • Kelvin Benjamin shows well in the Week 9 overall target standing, but has no business being in Fantasy lineups. Not only is Benjamin hampered by the worst quarterback play in the game, but he's also one of the least efficient wide receivers in the league. Benjamin's 37.7 percent catch rate is the second-worst in the NFL and his 1.7 yards-of-separation ranks dead last. Zay Jones put up a paltry 2.7 ADOT- the lowest in the league for any player who got more than four targets.
  • Stephon Gilmore did an excellent job shadowing Davante Adams, who produced a season-low 40 yards. Adams did score his seventh touchdown but was just unable to get much going downfield, which resulted in his lowest yards-per-catch figure so far in 2018. Randall Cobb also had no success beyond the line-of-scrimmage. Cobb's long catch on the day went for only 9 yards.
  • Sam Darnold has been awful over the past three games, where he's completed less than half of his throws and tossed seven interceptions. Though not unexpected for a rookie signal-caller, Darnold's struggles have rendered the rest of New York's skill position group useless. Jermaine Kearse has caught only six of 20 targets for 50 yards and has a pair of drops over those three games. Robby Anderson missed Week 8 but posted a season-low eight yards-per-grab against Miami.
  • Mike Evans has really benefited from having Ryan Fitzpatrick under center until Week 9 when Evans had easily his worst performance of the season. Fitzpatrick made some errant throws in Evans's direction, including a pass that was picked off but Evans was simply unable to escape from cornerback James Bradberry, who Evans toasted in Week 16 last season. Chalk it up to a bad day at the office for an elite wideout. Conversely, Adam Humphries had his best game, catching all eight of his targets for 82 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His 3.8 ADOT number was the lowest for any Week 9 receiver who got more than six targets, but Humphries excelled with a strong 6.6 run-after-catch average. Humphries has dominated slot reps for the Bucs and has been a solid source of targets and catches in PPR formats.
  • Joe Flacco is also scuffling, which has made John Brown almost unusable. While Willie Snead has been a solid source of targets and catches, he is catching mostly innocuous short passes and not making much of an overall impact. Michael Crabtree has yet to hit the century mark and has scored only one touchdown in his past eight games.
  • If Monday was any indication, Amari Cooper will be much more Fantasy relevant in Dallas. Cooper flashed crisp route-running and led the Cowboys in looks (eight), receptions (five) and yards (58). Cooper also scored on a red-zone throw from Dak Prescott, which bodes well for his scoring prospects down the stretch. Dallas also has the easiest schedule for wide receivers for the remainder of the season, so Cooper has weekly WR2/3 appeal. Michael Gallup played 80 percent of the Cowboys' snaps and looks like the clear No. 2 ahead of Allen Hurns.

PLAYER

TEAM

TARGET

REC

YDS

TD

DROP

ADOT

YPR

Danny Amendola

MIA

7

5

47

0

0

9.4

9.4

Michael Crabtree

BAL

7

3

32

0

1

13.7

10.7

Marvin Jones Jr.

DET

7

6

66

0

0

7.9

11

Adam Thielen

MIN

7

4

22

1

0

10.4

5.5

Jarvis Landry

CLE

7

6

50

0

0

8.9

8.3

Randall Cobb

GB

6

5

24

0

0

5.2

4.8

Breshad Perriman

CLE

6

2

36

0

0

20.3

18

Josh Doctson

WAS

6

3

31

1

1

13.7

10.3

Robby Anderson

NYJ

6

4

32

0

0

11.2

8

Zay Jones

BUF

6

4

18

0

0

2.7

4.5

Cooper Kupp

LAR

6

5

89

1

0

8.3

17.8

David Moore

SEA

6

2

16

0

0

10.7

8

Michael Gallup

DAL

6

3

51

0

1

14.8

17

Anthony Miller

CHI

6

5

49

0

0

10

9.8

  • With five more receptions last week, Danny Amendola has now caught 24 passes in Miami's last four games. Amendola is very quietly on pace to top 70 catches this season, which would be his most since 2010 with the St. Louis Rams.
  • Matthew Stafford was besieged by the Vikings, who sacked the Detroit signal-caller 10 times and kept the Lions out of the end zone. Marvin Jones led the Lions' receivers with seven targets. That tied RB Theo Riddick, who will likely take up the slack for departed Golden Tate. T.J. Jones took over Tate's old role but caught only two balls for 13 yards.
  • Adam Thielen's streak of 100-yard games came to an end. Thielen only caught four out of seven targets for 22 yards, easily his worst game of the season, which came as a big surprise with Stefon Diggs (ribs) out of the lineup. The Vikings are off in Week 10, so Diggs should return against Chicago.
  • Jarvis Landry has led Cleveland's receiving corps in targets in eight of the Browns' first nine games but he hasn't enjoyed a ton of success since Baker Mayfield took over as the starting quarterback. Landry has been held under 100 yards for six straight games and has been under 10 yards-per-catch in five of six. Cleveland's first game with a new staff resulted in another loss. As if targeting Breshad Perriman six times in an NFL game could lead to anything other than disaster.
  • Anthony Miller has led Chicago in targets in back-to-back games, both of which Allen Robinson sat out with a groin injury. Despite the increased opportunities, Miller has yet to record 50 yards in an NFL game. He'll revert back to No. 3 duties once Robinson returns.

So who should you sit and start? And what shocking QB could win you Week 10? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking QB finishes in the top 10 this week, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.

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