There’s an old saying that goes something like one’s a fluke, two’s a coincidence, three’s a trend. With week three of the 2017 NFL over, we can start to analyze big picture what trends have been occurring. This week’s action was filled with offensive firepower, with 18 teams scoring more than 25 points!
It was certainly fun to watch Redzone with all these touchdowns, but let’s dive into what we can learn from this week’s games with regards to target share. As usual, below are the WRs to post >25% market share of targets this past week as well as those who have >25% average per game on the season. If you’re new to this piece, check out the week one report to see why we focus in on these wide receivers.
|Player||2017 Average Target Share/Game|
Tyreek Hill – It’s time to consider Tyreek Hill a legit NFL WR1. Many were skeptical of his transition from big-play gimmicky speedster to a consistent dominant force on the outside, myself included at points in the offseason. Hill has yet to post a game with less than 20% market share yet this season, posting 23%, 21%, and 38% in weeks one, two, and three, respectively.
These consistent targets are what we expect out of a target hog wide receiver in an offense. Going forward, I expect Hill to consistently hover between 20-25% target share with occasional huge games like he had last week at 38%. Plug and play him confidently in your lineups.
TY Hilton – The entire Colts offense was beat up on by the fantasy community far too much based on the first 2 weeks, in my opinion. I polls on Twitter where he was losing to JJ Nelson for a weekly sit/start. TY Hilton is one of only about a dozen true stud NFL playmakers at the wide receiver position. Hilton had a similarly big target share game back in week one, but didn’t do nearly as much with those targets.
This offense, Hilton included, needed time to click after Brissett was traded to them just before the season started. Hilton has and will continue to get a very healthy market share. You likely drafted him in the first three rounds for a reason, and he hasn’t shown any signs of not living up to that draft position so far.
Players to Continue Monitoring:
Devin Funchess – Extremely raw and young coming out of college seemingly forever ago, this is actually only Funchess’s third year in the NFL. More importantly, this is only his third season even playing wide receiver full time, as he was a tight end back in his Michigan days. Funchess has had consistent increase in market share every game this season with 8%, 19%, and 30% in the first three weeks culminating with a 10 target game in week 3.
Like the saying goes, three is a trend. Funchess is definitely on the rise in what could be a high power offense if Cam Newton can return to form. If Funchess is on your waiver wire, I highly recommend grabbing him now before he becomes the true WR1 in this offense.
Sammy Watkins – I wrote about Sammy Watkins in my week one target report as a player who I had questions about coming into the season. Watkins had a tremendous game this past week; there’s no denying that. Unfortunately for many owners, this might have come with Watkins on your bench.
He had not put up consistent fantasy numbers or target share before this past week, and even then he only posted a 25% target share. That’s a very respectable number, but it’s not dominant. I’m comfortable starting Sammy as my WR3 on my teams, but I need to see a little bit more from him on a consistent basis for me to call him a weekly no-doubt play.
Kenny Britt (Week 3: 21.28%; Season Avg: 12.01%) – Britt was looking like an absolute bust in the first two weeks of the season. He looked slow, lazy, and just an overall lack of enthusiasm for playing for the Browns. Britt stepped up his game a bit in week three to post a very respectable 3-54-1 line. However, this was on ten targets. That’s both a good thing and a bad thing with Britt here.
The positive – he got ten targets! The negative – he got ten targets… and only caught three of them. Britt is acting as the defacto number one WR in this offense for now, and that’s worth bye week consideration moving forward as a guy who will at least see the opportunity necessary to produce decent numbers.
Jamison Crowder (Week 3: 20.00%; Season Avg: 18.67%) – Crowder has seen remarkably consistent target share numbers this season, which is why he makes this notables list. He hasn’t been great, but he certainly hasn’t been bad either. Crowder’s low target share for the season is 17.50%, and his high was this past week at 20.00%. This is no fluke; he’s a very safe, reliable part of Washington’s offense.
I expect Crowder to sprinkle in some big games in terms of target share, and he has one of the safest floors in that category through three weeks. He’s still a great WR3/WR4 to have on your team for the upcoming bye weeks.
DeSean Jackson (Week 3: 17.50%; Season Avg: 20.04%) – Jackson is constantly profiled as a high-upside, low-floor wide out who can either win you or lose you your matchup every week. It’s only been two weeks, but Jackson looks like he’s going to be a consistent part of this Buccaneers offense.
He’s hovered around 20% target share both weeks and has posted good fantasy numbers in return. He, to me, is a better, more consistent version of Martavis Bryant who people generally value much more. If you could trade Bryant for Jackson + an upgrade elsewhere, I think that’d be a win.
Analyzing targets via market share is essential to understanding the complete picture, but when it comes down to it, gross target numbers are key to fantasy success as well. Player X having 5 targets, but a higher market share, is less likely to outperform Player Y who had 8 targets but a lower overall market share. In the long run, market share will indicate performance during the ups and downs of the fantasy season.
Gross targets, however, indicate the chances for success in any given week. More targets are always better than fewer targets for possible fantasy production, as opportunity is a key indicator for success. With that in mind, here are the top 36 WRs* with the most targets-to-date in 2017.
*Note – There are actually 38 receivers listed; there was a drop off after 18 targets, so I’ve included all players who have at least 18 targets on the season.
*All data courtesy of Pro Football Reference*