With only 4 or 5 games left if the fantasy regular season, many fantasy leagues are entering the real do-or-die time. You likely know if you’ve been eliminated from the playoffs at this point, and if you are, take a couple minutes to reflect on your team and all of the moves you made this season to see what you can learn from. I highly recommend checking out dynasty or keeper formats for added motivation throughout the fantasy season even when you are eliminated (like I am in one of my leagues). For those of you still making the push this year, take a look at your roster to identify any areas of potential weakness come playoff time. Your 7-2 team might look amazing right now, but one injury to a star player could cost you if you lack bench depth. Let’s analyze this week’s target share data to help you identify players to target during this last month of the fantasy regular season.
|Player||Week 9||Average Target Market Share/Game||Standard Deviation||Target Score|
Week 8 Notables:
Marvin Jones (33.33%)– I was a seller of Marvin Jones after his unsustainable strong start last year where he was the WR1 overall after the first four weeks of the season. Jones got banged up for most of the latter portion of last year and was unable, understandably so, to keep up that level of production. While “Babytron” (Kenny Golladay) continues to be a twitter favorite, Jones this season has quietly been one of the better receivers in the NFL again. Everyone saw the display he put on Monday night, but this kind of game hasn’t been uncommon for Jones in his time at Detroit. In the last 4 weeks, we’ve seen the Marvin Jones we saw the first 4 weeks of 2016. He’s looked explosive and dominant on the outside and fully recovered from any ailments he might have had. The time might’ve passed to buy Jones after this primetime breakout game, but he would be a player I’d buy-high on for a playoff run.
Devin Funchess (29.19%) – With the Kelvin Benjamin trade, it was a likely outcome that Funchess would take over as the true WR1 in the Panther’s offense. That scenario came to fruition this past weekend, with Funchess seeing nearly 30% of the team’s targets and posting his highest yards output of the year so far. I view Funchess as a rock solid WR2 going into the latter half of the NFL season for fantasy purposes. Even with Greg Olson’s looming return, Funchess should continue to sustain a market share between 25% and 30% in any given week. That consistent opportunity makes him an ideal buy candidate for any team looking for starting WR help for making that final push to the playoffs.
Davante Adams (26.32%) – Adams, in my opinion, has officially supplanted Jordy Nelson as the WR1 in the Green Bay offense. Even with Brett Hundley at the helm for the rest of the season, Adams commands the targets that will make him a fantasy starter in the second half of the NFL season. He hasn’t had a monster game with Hundley yet, so the buying window appears to be open in the near future. His consistent production will make him an ideal WR2 or WR3 on your fantasy teams, and he might come cheaper than that to acquire. I highly recommend testing the waters and reaching out to the Adams owner in your league for a trade before it’s too late.
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 47 targets, so I’ve included all players who have at least 47 targets on the season.
*All data courtesy of Pro Football Reference*