Target and Snap Analysis Week 9 2016

By Jen Ryan
Jen Ryan We are officially here. The fantasy football season is halfway over. After seeing that World Series game last night I thought long and hard about football, and how 16 games is nothing compared to the 162 regular season games that every baseball team plays. We are here for fantasy football but let’s remember why most of us play – because we love real football. The season is short and if we blink, we may just miss it. Enjoy it while it is here, especially this game we play which makes us love the sport even more.
Pay attention to your league trade deadlines that are rapidly approaching. Here are the target and snaps statistics I pulled for the season thus far, and what they could mean for Week 9.



- A.J. Green’s 18 targets are the most for any player in a game since Antonio Brown’s 18 targets in Week 3. Green turned those 18 targets into 21 fantasy points. The week before, he turned 8 targets into 30 fantasy points. As I always say, the targets create the opportunity, but it is the opportunity combined with efficiency that creates the points. The Bengals are on a bye this week, which will give someone not named A.J. Green the opportunity to be the Week 9 target leader.

- Terelle Pryor scores 1.01 fantasy points per opportunity (target), has converted all three of his 10-zone targets for touchdowns, and has seen 30 targets over the past three weeks. The Cleveland Browns will host the Dallas Cowboys this weekend, who will be without Morris Claiborne and Barry Church.

- Emmanuel Sanders (40%) and Brandon Marshall (37%) lead all receivers in red zone target percentage. Both have two red zone touchdowns, despite seeing 17 and 13 red zone targets respectively. Marshall has a revenge game against his former Miami Dolphins this week, who have allowed 10 total touchdowns to receivers.

- Todd Gurley scores 1.71 fantasy points per opportunity (attempts + targets). Despite only accounting for 13% of his teams’ targets, he has a 78% completion rate, has caught six of his eight red zone targets (75%), and sees 29% of the teams’ targets in the red zone. He is an efficient, elite talent who has only managed 20+ fantasy points once this year. He is a phenomenal player stuck in a bad offense. Over the next four weeks, Gurley faces the Panthers, Jets, Dolphins, and Saints, all of who are favorable matchups except for the Dolphins. Buy low on Gurley now, in the event that the Rams’ actually feature their star over the next four weeks.

- Five running backs have at least 180 total touches this season.

These backfield situations are interesting. Gordon doesn’t have a clear cut back up, Derrick Henry and Bilal Powell have defined roles, and Alfred Blue is fairly average. I am mentioning backups because David Johnson is on pace for 422 total touches and the Cardinals are running him into the ground and Andre Ellington is currently owned in 1.6% of ESPN leagues. He’s more than worth a stash.

- Mike Evans still leads receivers in target share with 31% of Tampa Bay’s targets, a title he shares with A.J. Green, who I already mentioned is on the bye this week. Evans 84 targets trail Green by four. Russell Shepard, who has stolen nine targets from Evans over the past two weeks, is doubtful tonight. Evans will have no trouble surpassing Green as 2016’s target leader this evening against the Atlanta Falcons.

- There has been talk of Jordy Nelson being “cooked”. They say he just doesn’t look the same this year. Whether that is true or not, Nelson’s numbers do not lie. His 15 red zone targets are second to only Emmanuel Sanders. His nine 10-zone targets are also second to only Sanders. He five of his six touchdowns have come in the 10-zone. He is good for .57 fantasy points per target and scores on 10% of those targets. The Packers play the Colts this week in a game that opened at 52.5 points and moved to 54 points.

- Speaking of Nelson, here is a look at the Packers total target share over the past three weeks:

While I can see why people may be panicking on Nelson, I suggest not letting recency bias get the best of you. Take a look at the Packers total target share this season.

Nelson still leads the team in target share, despite being out-targeted by three of his teammates over the past three weeks.

- In Dez Bryant’s return to action, Dak Prescott targeted him 14 times. He converted four of those for 113 yards and a score. If Bryant can convert more of those targets, he could be in line for a huge day against the Cleveland Browns on the road. With that said, keep an eye on Cole Beasley, who quietly had seven targets last week.

Each week I write about my favorite part of the fantasy football week being Tuesday mornings, when stats are released and I throw them into a spreadsheet, add a few filters, and have some fun. Each week, I encourage you do click on the links above and do the same. Interpreting numbers can give you an edge in this game and what I provide for you each week is a small fraction of our available data. Find that edge and use it to your advantage. Good luck!