Fantasy Football Week 1 Target Report and Outlook

Jason Schandl
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While fantasy points are obviously the most important stat in fantasy football, they don't always tell the full story of what happened in a given week, and there are better stats to use to help predict future production.

Efficiency can swing wildly on a single play, but volume tends to be much more consistent, and in general the more chances a player has to make a big play, the better. For pass-catchers this means that targets are one of the most significant stats to keep an eye on.

Here are four of the most important target trends to know coming out of Week 1.

1. Jamison Crowder Dominates the Jets' Targets

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Jamison Crowder 17 targets accounted for a massive 40 percent of the New York Jets' total in Week 1. For context, only one player even topped 30 percent in the 2018 season. Crowder was used almost like a running back in the passing game, notching an average target depth of only 3.0 yards. This kept his per-target efficiency down, but it also allowed him to haul in 14 receptions. That kind of volume can't be ignored in any scoring format, but it creates some especially strong value in PPR leagues. Behind Crowder, Larry Fitzgerald, Danny Amendola, Allen Robinson and Robert Woods each notched 13 targets in a tie for second in targets among WRs pending Monday night's games

2. Travis Kelce Leads the NFL in Red Zone Targets

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A three-reception, zero-touchdown game with 88 yards is an underwhelming one for Travis Kelce. There's shouldn't be anything to worry about moving forward in Kansas City though. He still saw eight targets as the Chiefs hung 40 points on an elite Jacksonville Jaguars defense. Especially notable is that four of those eight targets came in the red zone, while nobody else in the league saw more than three red zone looks in Week 1. He finished fifth in the NFL in red zone targets and third in red zone touchdowns in 2018, and early indicators are that he is positioned to rank among the NFL's elite touchdown scorers again in 2019. Behind Kelce, T.Y. Hilton, Damien Williams, George Kittle and Keenan Allen each notched three red zone targets.

3. Evan Engram is the Giants' Top Receiver

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It's no secret that the New York Giants lacked wide receiver depth heading into the season, and tight end Evan Engram has emerged as the team's top receiver. Pending Monday night's games, Engram's 14 targets and 11 receptions from Week 1 both rank second only to Crowder. The Giants didn't have any other players with more than eight targets (Cody Latimer) or six receptions (Sterling Shepard) in Week 1, and Engram looks to be an early favorite to lead the team in volume in 2019.

4. Heavily-Targeted Running Backs

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After leading all RBs with 124 targets in 2018, Christian McCaffrey saw a positional-high 11 targets against the Los Angeles Rams. He was joined by Tarik Cohen, who mostly lined up as a WR, and Washington Redskins' RB Chris Thompson as the only backs with double-digit targets so far this week. Thompson and Cohen ranked sixth and seventh among RBs in market share of their team's targets when active in 2018, and they look poised to continue receiving a massive boost in fantasy value in PPR leagues. McCaffrey is an elite producer in any format, but his value remains much higher in PPR. Le'Veon Bell (nine) and Rex Burkhead (eight) round out the top five RBs in Week 1 targets.

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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.