Hey everyone! Welcome back to Target Hogs, your weekly report on who gobbled up the most targets around the league last week. We here at The Fantasy Authority hope you had a great Thanksgiving full of food, fun, and football! Let’s jump right into it.
- JuJu Smith-Schuster (17 targets)
Juju last week: #6
JuJu finds himself atop the Target Hogs list once again with 17 targets this week in the Steelers’ surprising loss to the Denver Broncos. The Steelers just couldn’t get it done this past week. JuJu caught 13 passes for 126 yards and one touchdown. His touchdown came on a throw where Roethlisberger was backed up in his own end zone, and JuJu broke free of two defenders chasing him to get the score. So far this season, JuJu has only had three games where he didn’t either top 100 receiving yards or find the end zone. There’s no sophomore slump here. JuJu and the Steelers will face off against the Los Angeles Chargers in week 13.
2. Julio Jones (14 targets)
Jones last week: not on list
Julio Jones had a nice game in week 12, posting an 11/147/0 line. Of course, those who have him would have liked to see him find pay dirt, but as Jones fans, they’re probably used to that feeling. The Falcons put up a good fight against the New Orleans Saints, but the Saints are looking nearly unstoppable so far this year, and the Falcons’ defense never really stood a chance against them. Julio and company look to bounce back against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
3. Antonio Brown, Calvin Ridley (13 targets)
Brown last week: #3
Ridley last week: not on list
Antonio Brown racked up 13 targets but was only able to catch nine passes for 63 yards. Brown may lead the NFL in receiving touchdowns (tied with Tyreek Hill, 11 touchdowns apiece), but his play has varied much more this year than in recent memory. In fact, there have only been three games this season where AB topped 100 receiving yards. Those who have Brown rostered in fantasy hope that he can bounce back next week against the Chargers.
Calvin Ridley was eating on Thanksgiving, that’s for sure. Ridley stuffed the stat sheet with an 8/93/1 line. With the game on the line, Ridley caught a deep pass from Matty Ice and charged downfield, just before losing a fumble at the goal line. If he’d been able to hold on, he would’ve had a much bigger fantasy day. Alas, the Falcons lost and Ridley will have to wait another day to be the hero. The Falcons matchup against the Baltimore Ravens this week.
4. Emmanuel Sanders (12 targets)
Sanders last week: not on list
Emmanuel Sanders has returned to the Target Hogs list for the fifth time this season. Sanders caught seven passes for 86 yards and a touchdown. One of Sanders’s catches was highly scrutinized as not being a catch, but it wasn’t overturned, and Sanders scored to end the drive. The Broncos look to keep their slim playoff hopes alive against the Cincinnati Bengals next week (who will be without Andy Dalton, as he heads to IR with a thumb injury).
5. Jermaine Kearse (11 targets)
Kearse last week: not on list
Jermaine Kearse caught six of his 11 targets for 66 yards and a touchdown. Kearse’s score came at the end of the first quarter on a short pass from QB Josh McCown. The Jets hung in with the Patriots for the first half, but couldn’t get any offense going in the second half. On a five-game slump, the Jets need rookie QB Sam Darnold to get his foot injury in check if they have any hopes of winning again this season. The Jets take on the Tennessee Titans in week 13.
6. TY Hilton, Stefon Diggs, Josh Doctson (10 targets)
Hilton last week: not on list
Diggs last week: #1
Doctson last week: not on list
TY Hilton and the Indianapolis Colts are rolling lately, as they’ve won their last five straight games. Hilton caught seven passes for 125 yards and no touchdowns. While averaging 17.9 yards per reception, Hilton also added an average of 12.1 yards after contact to boot. Hilton bolstered his stats with an impressive 3.68 yards per route run. The Colts take on the struggling Jacksonville Jaguars (who just benched QB Blake Bortles in favor of Cody Kessler).
Stefon Diggs played well on Sunday Night Football, catching eight passes for 77 yards and a score. The Minnesota Vikings defeated the Green Bay Packers last week, in part because of the receiving duo of Diggs and Adam Thielen. Diggs scored in the second quarter on a pick play. Diggs and company look to get another win against the New England Patriots this week.
Welcome to the Target Hogs list, Josh Doctson! In his first week without Alex Smith, who had a compound fracture to his leg, Doctson was able to connect with his new starting QB, Colt McCoy. Doctson caught six passes for 66 yards. Washington has also lost two of their offensive linemen to season-ending injuries, and now two of their tackles are also dealing with injuries. Washington will need to step it up if they want any chance at a playoff run. Their first step? They take on the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football this week.
7. Adam Thielen, O’Dell Beckham Jr., Marcell Ateman (9 targets)
Thielen last week: #6
OBJ last week: not on list
Ateman last week: not on list
Adam Thielen stepped up against the Green Bay Packers, catching seven passes for 66 yards. Thielen had some highlight-reel worthy catches in this matchup. Thielen is still on track for a record-breaking season and looks to continue his success against the New England Patriots in week 13.
O’Dell Beckham Jr. caught five passes for 85 yards on Sunday in the New York Giants’ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. There have been plenty of reports about how it wasn’t in the Giants’ game plan to attack the Eagles’ ailing cornerbacks and my one question is… why? It’s interesting that the Giants knew that the Eagles were basically pulling CBs off the streets to try to challenge OBJ, but they didn’t take that into consideration? The Giants have now fallen to 3-8 and hopefully, they can make some better coaching decisions when they face the Chicago Bears next week.
Welcome to Target Hogs, Marcell Ateman! Wait…who? That’s right, Marcell Ateman of the Oakland Raiders. Ateman has only been active in the NFL for the Raiders since Week 11 of this season. In his second game as a Raider, Ateman saw nine targets but only could reel in three of them for a measly 16 yards. The volume is promising, but Ateman will need to get his accuracy up before he can benefit the Raiders (or your fantasy team).
Honorable Mention: Christian McCaffrey (11 targets) and Austin Ekeler (10 targets)
Our honorable mentions today come from Christian McCaffrey and Austin Ekeler. CMC absolutely routed the Seattle Seahawks in both the rushing game and the passing game. McCaffrey caught all 11 of his targets for 114 yards and one score in the receiving game. He also added 125 rushing yards and a rushing score on 17 attempts. CMC carved up the Hawks, but it wasn’t enough to get his team the win. The Panthers look to bounce back against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week 13.
Austin Ekeler benefitted from Melvin Gordon exiting the game early with an MCL sprain. Gordon looks to miss anywhere from 2-4 weeks, which will benefit Ekeler even more. Ekeler caught all ten of his targets for 68 receiving yards and added 35 rushing yards and a rushing score on only five attempts. Ekeler is a must play next week against the Pittsburgh Steelers as he assumes Gordon’s volume.
Thank you for reading! As always, you can check out previous Target Hogs editions here, and check me out on Twitter (@katiebabs23). See you next week!