Target and Snap Analysis Week 4 2016

By Jen Ryan
Jen Ryan As we approach Week 4, we officially hit the quarter-mark of the season. I recently spoke to our mutual friend Bob Harris on Sirius XM Fantasy about treating the entire fantasy season like one long game and breaking it into quarters. Once all the action wraps up this weekend we will be finished with the first quarter of the fantasy season. Four weeks does not seem like a long time but it is my personal benchmark for making rest-of-the-season projections. It is at this point I like to start taking a look at what numbers players are on pace for, who is dominating target shares, who has created the most of their opportunities, etc. It is also the minimum sample size I like to use to determine touchdown per target percentages, which is something I will introduce next week. Let’s get right into the numbers and see what we are learning. As always, make sure to utilize our tools to your advantage, as there is only so much information I can provide from the vast sea of numbers

Red Zone Targets:

- Antonio Brown’s 18 targets last week were the most a targets a player has seen in a single game this season. His 34% target share leads the league as well. This, despite the fact that Markus Wheaton made his debut for the Steelers last week. Brown has another difficult matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs last night, but he is essentially matchup proof.

- Emmanuel Sanders’ nine red zone targets are more than any player. Of those targets, six have come within the ten zone. He has just one red zone touchdown, but dominates the team red zone targets with 60% of them. He is the WR2 in Denver that is performing as the WR1. His chemistry with Trevor Siemian should continue this week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23rd-ranked pass defense.

- Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman finished as the RB1 and RB2 respectively last week. We all assumed Freeman would be the pass-catching back, but much like the backfield carries their utilization in the passing game has been a near split. Coleman has 11 targets to Freeman’s nine and has caught 91% of them to Freeman’s 100%. The Atlanta backfield is dominant and efficient, while Julio Jones has failed to see a double-digit target game. Jones had 14 double-digit target games in 2015.

- Jordy Nelson, who is on the bye this week, leads the league with four touchdowns. Mike Evans, Larry Fitzgerald, Kelvin Benjamin, and Mike Wallace are right behind him with three.

o Evans: back to back weeks of double-digit targets
o Fitzgerald: increased target opportunity with Michael Floyd likely sitting
o Benjamin: coming off a one-target week, in which his quarterback commented “that just can’t happen”.
o Wallace: has scored all three Ravens’ receiving touchdowns on 15% of the teams’ targets.
Someone will knock off Nelson this week, and possibly put him in a multi-touchdown hole behind them.
- Carolina and Tampa Bay lead the league in snaps with 233 plays run through three weeks. Jameis Winston has thrown the football 142 times which is more than anyone in the league. For comparison, Cam Newton has 108 attempts on the season. Last week, Kelvin Benjamin was the WR1 in football and dropped to the WR14. Evans is currently the WR2 with 69 points, one shy of the WR1 Marvin Jones

- Jason Witten now boasts the title as the only non-quarterback who has played on 100% of his teams’ snaps. He also leads all receivers with 42 red zone yards. Dak Prescott has thrown one touchdown this season and it did not go to Witten.

- Speaking of Witten…Dallas target leaders right now are: Cole Beasley (25), Dez Bryant (23), and Witten (20). No other player has double-digit targets. Bryant is expected to miss this week’s game (and more) against the San Francisco 49ers. Chip Kelly’s face-paced offense could cause an explosion in Beasley and Witten’s target totals.

- The Browns are the most generous passing defense in football, having allowed an average of 30.3 points to receivers per week. The Redskins face the Browns this weekend. Jamison Crowder currently leads all Reskins’ receivers in target share (20%), receptions (16), and touchdowns (2).

- The Lions are the most generous defense to the tight end position, having allowed an average 16.7 points to tight ends per week. Zach Miller, Week 3’s TE1 with 27 points, gets the Lions at home this weekend.

- Eight receivers are averaging at least ten targets per game this season. This list is compromised with every receiver you would imagine to be here with the exception of Terrell Pryor. He is the only receiver with a minimum of 30 targets who has seen his target total increase each week.

- Odell Beckham, Jr. remains scoreless in 2015. He has scored 25 touchdowns in 30 career games and six of those were multi-touchdown games. Regression is coming and when it does it very well may come in the form of a multi-touchdown game. We may have to wait on Beckham’s regression a week. He has a difficult matchup against the Minnesota Vikings, who have given up one touchdown to receivers this season.

I always stress the importance of studying our targets and snaps tools and seeing what sort of things stick out to you. I share with you what I see, but with all the numbers and filters available you will certainly find some things in there that you can use to your advantage to get an edge when making lineup decisions. On Wednesdays, I deliver you a few of the things I have found but I can go on forever. I encourage you to do the same, or to reach out to me @FFdeJENerate, with any questions related to our tools or fantasy football that you may have. Good luck this week!