Week two brought much of the action we expected on the heels of a scoring frenzy in week one, with wide receivers seemingly taking back the thrown thus far in the 2018 season. In this series, we’ll be focusing in on those wide receivers. If you missed my introductory article on Target Score, make sure to take a look before reading on! We’ll be delving into the statistic and what it means for your fantasy team. So without further delay, here are the top-100 players per Target Score – let’s get into it!
Target Score Report: Week 2
To briefly recap Target Score and its goals, the first thing you may notice is that the scores are more or less centered around zero. A player with a target score above zero means that he has received, over average, more than the 36th ranked target share receiver. Then, once sign (+ or -) is determined, the magnitude is based upon variability. In short, the higher the score the better.
Each week, I’ll discuss some notable players from the prior week both from a positive and negative lens. Early in the season, it’s crucial to see how players’ opportunities are shaping out and how consistently they’ll be used in their respective offenses. After week two, here are my players to watch for based on Target Score.
Corey Davis (Week 2 Target Share: 30%)
Davis has started off rather slow in the box score from a fantasy perspective this season, coming into Week Three as the WR44 in PPR scoring. Despite this, Davis comes up as a top 5 receiver in Target Score; how could this be?
In terms of target opportunity and consistency, Davis has popped off the page in the first two weeks of 2018. Registering 35% and 30% market share of team targets in week one and two, respectively, put Corey Davis at the top of my buy players to target moving forward. Quarterback play will ultimately be a factor if Davis is to make the jump into the top 15 or so in PPR scoring, but in my opinion, we’ve seen his floor these past few weeks.
The Titans play the Jaguars in week three, so I wouldn’t expect too much out of Davis starting immediately. However, the data shows that Davis has been an elite target hog receiver from an opportunity perspective thus far, and he should continue being a strong top 30 WR minimum for your fantasy teams.
Brandin Cooks (Week 2 Target Share: 29%)
Last year, it was clear from Target Score analysis after the first few weeks that Sammy Watkins was not a focal point of the Rams’ offense. This year, the opposite is true with Brandin Cooks. In two weeks, Cooks registered 25% and 29% target market share totals. This ranks him in the top-15 Target Score.
One key factor that makes me confident in Cooks’ usage is that it’s not coming at the expense of other receivers. All the Rams’ receivers have comparatively high usage rates, and their Target Scores reflect that. Robert Woods (1.13) has been used the most consistently, and Cooper Kupp (0.08) is still above baseline levels. This offense can easily support three wide receivers. Cooks will be a main factor throughout the season.
Marvin Jones (Week 2 Target Share: 16%)
Jones has had a good yet unspectacular start to the fantasy football season. He hasn’t quite lived up to his back-end WR2 draft position quite yet, but it has only been two weeks. Even still, Jones ranks significantly lower in target score than Corey Davis. Davis, for example, has less overall fantasy points than Jones thus far.
Jones (-0.25) has consistently gotten about 15% target share each of the first two weeks. This average puts him below the baseline of about 19% for top-36 volume share, hence his negative score. One main reason for this is the emergence of Kenny Golladay (0.01). Babytron has seen significant targets each week thus far.
Marvin Jones will always have fantasy upside as one of the best deep threat wide receivers in the league. Perhaps he can sustain WR3 fantasy scoring without WR3 level targets. His target shares thus far are cause for concern if the Lions don’t pass a plethora of times each game. I would hold for now, but another few weeks of sub 20% target share would have me worried.
Jamison Crowder (Week 2 Target Share: 9%)
A very popular PPR sleeper pick this season, Crowder (-0.32) has failed to live up to that tag thus far. What’s nice about target share analysis is that we can identify Crowder’s lack of targets. It is not being from a lack of general team targets.
Alex Smith has shown a propensity thus far to target Chris Thompson and Jordan Reed more than Crowder this season. At his current target pace, Crowder will have a very difficult road to fantasy production this season. It’s still early, but I’d be worried about Crowder’s production moving forward. Especially if in week three he fails to eclipse a 20% target share.
At this point, we’ve talked about four players and reasons to be hopeful or not for their production moving forward. Target Score is useful but certainly doesn’t tell the whole story, especially not at early as week two.
As I said in my introductory article, Target Score tends to stabilize after about five weeks of data. This means we still have over half of the data to go before this becomes more set in stone! Week two is not the time to freak out. However, we can start to tell the story about the season with the data we have. Target Scores can and will change as the season progresses. At the end of the day, fantasy football is a game of probabilities, and that’s what we’re trying to play.
Thoughts? Questions? Check me out of twitter @FFzinger or comment below!