Is it just me, or has the fantasy season flown by? It seems like just yesterday I was marveling over Kenny Stills, touting Kirk Cousins as a top five quarterback, and wary that Tyreek Hill would simply be a high variance WR2. A month later, and we now have solid data from the 2018 season for most fantasy relevant players. In the coming weeks, we get to see Julian Edelman, Mark Ingram, and other highly impactful fantasy players back in action.
For the players we have seen thus far, we’re starting to get a feel for their weekly floors and ceilings from an opportunity perspective. Players like Adam Thielen and Corey Davis have proven themselves as target hogs in their respective offenses. On the other hand, we’re still waiting on players like Amari Cooper and Jamison Crowder to get the weekly targets necessary to be consistent fantasy assets. Examining Target Scores is a quick and easy way to identify who’s getting the most targets consistently in their offenses.
Target Score Report: Week 4
In previous weeks, we’ve done very well at highlighting notable players using Target Score to identify players seeing the best opportunities. In week two, we highlighted Corey Davis and Brandin Cooks as players to target. Similarly, in week three we focused in on Taylor Gabriel, Devin Funchess, and Christian Kirk. On the other hand, we’ve shown caution with Marvin Jones, Jamison Crowder, and Mike Williams. Let’s see who we should pay attention to for better or worse after week four.
Nelson Agholor (Week 4 Target Share: 24%)
Believe it or not, Agholor has actually been one of the most consistent wideouts in the league from a target share perspective. Putting aside a week three target share of 16%, Agholor has registered target shares of 26%, 25%, and 24%. Now that’s what I call consistency!
With Alshon Jeffery’s return, Agholor’s usage was unclear as compared to just a few weeks ago. Alshon brought a much-needed dimension to this Eagles’ offense and registered an 18% target share in his first game, less than Agholor’s. While it’s only one game, it’s encouraging to see Agholor just as involved as he was prior to Alshon’s return. Still only the WR40 in PPR leagues, Agholor is a target of mine heading into the middle of the season. I expect him to settle in as a mid WR3 on the year.
Calvin Ridley (Week 3 Target Share: 15%)
It’s no secret that Ridley has outperformed expectations based on the number of targets he’s seeing. The touchdown rate we’re seeing from Ridley is “Will Fuller levels”; of course they’re going to regress to more sustainable levels. However, just because regression is coming for Ridley doesn’t mean he won’t be worthwhile to have in fantasy football.
A 5% target share in week one weighs down Ridley’s Target Score. Interestingly, Ridley ranks right behind teammate Mohamed Sanu at 55th in Target Score in 2018. For hypothetical, if we were to remove Ridley’s week one from the picture, his target score would improve to 0.03 on the season. This is almost exactly league average or 36th overall. Ridley’s stock is certainly improving. Based on Target Score, I expect Ridley to continue to be a flex-worthy player for your fantasy team. His touchdowns may regress, but his targets will continue to make him a worthwhile start.
Dede Westbrook (Week 4 Target Share: 31%)
The former college standout WR had his best game of the season in week four. Even without scoring a touchdown, Westbrook posted 21 fantasy points. Not only did Westbrook have his biggest statistical game, but he also commanded the most opportunity of the Jaguars’ pass catchers. Westbrook’s Target Score, -0.01, is higher than anyone else’s on the Jaguars.
Westbrook’s emergence in week four came much at the expense of Keelan Cole. However, in the previous two weeks Cole out-targeted Westbrook. In fact, the two have split their “head to head” target matchup. Westbrook leads in two games compared to Cole, and vice versa. Based on Target Scores, it’s clear that Westbrook provides both the highest ceiling and highest floor from a market share perspective. Cole will have his blow-up games as well, but the safe bet going forward is Westbrook.
Taywan Taylor (Week 4 Target Share: 21%)
The second-year pro has had one of the most consistent target shares in the league the past three weeks. As the analogy we used last week goes: three’s a trend. Taylor’s target shares registered 20%, 22%, and 21% in weeks two through four. This is very similar to Agholor’s target share numbers we detailed above, just slightly less in magnitude.
With Corey Davis’ monster game last week, Taylor’s improved performance got lost in the shadow. All eyes are on Davis now – and for good reason. Davis also registers as one of the top Target Score players this season. Taylor and Davis have the capability to funnel targets in this Titans offense much like Digg and Thielen, Green and Boyd, or Brown and JuJu. Now, this combo isn’t nearly the caliber of those three quite yet. However, from an opportunity perspective, they’ve been a major piece of what could be an improved Titans offense moving forward.
We’re more than a quarter of the way done with the 2018 fantasy football regular season! Even if you think you may be out of it, remember there’s always a chance. Alvin Kamara didn’t start becoming relevant until week four last season. There’s no reason you can’t find hidden gems later in the season to propel your team to the next level.
These players highlighted today have the ability to become real value pieces later in the season. Some have already been solid performers, and others are just waiting for that one huge game for people to take notice. We’ll keep detailing four players every week for you to target in your fantasy leagues based on Target Score. Until next week, enjoy week five!
Thoughts? Questions? Check me out on twitter @FFzinger or comment below!