Boom or Bust Wide Receivers for 2019 Fantasy Football Based on Depth of Target

Jason Schandl
Detroit Lions v Miami Dolphins
Detroit Lions v Miami Dolphins / Mark Brown/Getty Images
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Short targets are becoming increasingly common in the NFL, especially with the rise of the run-pass option. There are certain wideouts who thrive on those looks, creating space in short distances and running well after the catch.

But that hasn't removed the value of a wideout that can stretch the field, get behind the defense and make a big play. For fantasy football purposes, these players can be risky. They're likely seeing fewer targets per game, and when they are targeted there's a higher chance for an incompletion.

That risk is combined with some huge upside, though, because just one or two catches on those looks can elevate them to a high-scoring week.

The Buffalo Bills clearly have a type. Robert Foster is the only receiver to post an average target depth over 20 yards, and they went out and signed fourth-ranked John Brown this offseason. Josh Allen had the highest average target depth of any quarterback with more than 100 pass attempts in 2018, and the addition of Brown points to that trend continuing in 2019. Beware, though, that the Bills' first unofficial depth chart lists Foster as Brown's backup.

No stranger to lists like this, DeSean Jackson also led the league (minimum 50 targets) in target depth in 2017. He converted his 2018 looks in the NFL's highest mark in yards per reception, and even at 32 years old he remains one of the league's premier deep threats. He's also a bargain this year with an average draft position (ADP) of WR51.

Jackson was allowed to do so much work deep in part because he spent half the season catching passes from Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has an affinity for the deep ball. If Fitzmagic gets a significant number of starts for the Miami Dolphins, that could prove to be a nice boost for Kenny Stills, who has averaged a career 16.0 yards per reception.

Josh Allen wasn't the only rookie QB slinging it either, and Sam Darnold had the fourth-highest depth of target at the position. This benefited Robby Anderson, and if Darnold can make strides heading into his second season things could get interesting.

The player on the list you may not have even heard of is David Moore. Moore dominated on go routes for the Seattle Seahawks.

Seattle has a low-volume passing offense, but with Doug Baldwin's retirement, don't sleep on Moore as a potential breakout weapon in that group.


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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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