Welcome back to Target Hogs! In this weekly article, we take a look at which receivers led the league in targets. Let’s see who made the list this week!
Moncrief last week: not on list
Donte Moncrief of the Jacksonville Jaguars surprisingly led the league in targets in week five. Moncrief was able to convert his 14 targets into six catches for 76 yards and no touchdowns. The Jacksonville offense struggled mightily in what many predicted would be a shootout. Blake Bortles wasn’t afraid to target Moncrief with the five deep balls, but only one of them was catchable, which could help explain why Moncrief didn’t produce much even with his large share of the opportunities. Moncrief’s usage is encouraging for those who have him in fantasy, but there are plenty of capable pass catchers for Blake Bortles to throw to next week against the Dallas Cowboys. Don’t expect Moncrief to top the list again next week.
Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, DeAndre Hopkins, and ODell Beckham Jr
Brown last week: #9
Sanders last week: not on list
Hopkins last week: #4
OBJ last week: not on list
Antonio Brown finally stepped up for Pittsburgh’s offense and had himself a day, catching six passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns. Brown had his biggest week yet to help the Steelers to a win over the Atlanta Falcons. Before the game last week, Brown was quoted saying that his connection with Big Ben Roethlisberger was like Wi-Fi: sometimes strong, sometimes weak, but always connected, and the pair definitely had a strong connection in that game. The Steelers will have an intriguing matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals this week, who are surprisingly 4-1 and on top of the AFC North so far this season. This is a huge divisional matchup that could have playoff repercussions. It’s crucial for Big Ben and AB to keep up their strong connection for week six.
Emmanuel Sanders caught nine of his 13 targets, converting those catches into 72 yards. The Denver Broncos have not been able to get their offense going under new QB Case Keenum quite yet, as they faltered to the New York Jets last week. With the Broncos facing the undefeated Los Angeles Rams this week, don’t expect things to improve any time soon. Sanders might have the opportunity for success due to his volume, but can’t be trusted to produce until the Broncos figure out how to become a more successful offense.
DeAndre Hopkins had a monster week for the Houston Texans in the Sunday Night Football matchup against the Dallas Cowboys. Hopkins tallied 151 yards Sunday evening, leading the Texans to a win. By now, you’ve probably seen the highlight reel play of Hopkins putting Dallas defenders into a spin cycle, helping him to reach 5 avoided tackles (a league-high this week among pass-catchers). Hopkins will need to continue his production in order for the Texans to get a win when they face Buffalo this week. The Bills have somehow won two games and will be looking to secure their third win in week six.
ODell Beckham Jr. was finally able to find some production after venting about the New York Giants’ offensive woes before the week five matchup. OBJ caught eight passes for 131 yards and his first touchdown on the season. The Giants were unable to pull out the win as the Carolina kicker Graham Gano hit a monster 63-yard field goal to steal the game. The Giants look to keep up their offensive production from this game when they take on the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football. The Eagles have given up the fourth most points to receivers, so expect OBJ (and even Sterling Shepard) to have a busy night.
John Brown, Michael Crabtree, Davante Adams
Brown last week: not on list
Crabtree last week: not on list
Adams last week: #7
John Brown had 12 targets for the Ravens offense this week but was only able to produce four catches for 58 yards. Part of the reason for the discrepancy between Brown’s opportunity and production was that a lot of his targets were not even catchable. Brown has seen an encouraging amount of targets over the last few weeks, though, so those who have him on their teams should keep the faith. Another Ravens receiver, Michael Crabtree, also had 12 targets this week. Crabtree posted six catches for 66 yards. Baltimore faces the Tennessee Titans in week six, who has proven to be a tough matchup for receivers so far this year, giving up the 10th least fantasy points to pass catchers.
Davante Adams stepped up big time for the Green Bay Packers, who looked to be doomed after the first half of play against the Detroit Lions last week. After the half, though, Aaron Rodgers & crew worked their magic to come back and almost win the game, if it weren’t for the kicking woes of Mason Crosby. With Randall Cobb out and Geronimo Allison not quite 100%, Adams took the reins for most of the offense, totaling nine catches for 140 yards and 1 touchdown. Adams did work out of the slot, catching six of his seven targets there. Those who have him in fantasy were worried that being covered by Darius Slay might impact Adams’ performance, but Adams got the upper hand in the matchup. Look for Adams to dominate next week against the struggling San Francisco 49ers.
Diggs last week: #2
Stefon Diggs had another big week for a Minnesota Vikings offense that feels like it’s about to turn a corner. Diggs caught nine of his ten targets, converting them into 91 yards. With Kirk Cousins at the helm, the Vikings are slowly starting to live up to the offseason hype, although their record doesn’t currently show that. The Vikes take on an Arizona Cardinals team next week that hasn’t had great performances but has somehow managed to be the second best team in the league when covering wide receivers so far this year.
Adam Thielen, AJ Green, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Pierre Garcon
Thielen last week: #9
Green last week: not on list
Valdes-Scantling last week: not on list
Garcon last week: not on list
Thielen made history this week, becoming the first WR to start a season with five straight 100-yard receiving games. If you have time, look up Thielen’s backstory to get your daily dose of inspiration. Thielen had seven catches for 116 yards and one touchdown last week. He and Diggs will look to tear up the Arizona defense in week six.
AJ Green stepped up for the Cincinnati Bengals as they played their first week without TE Tyler Eifert, who went on IR last week after a horrendous lower leg injury. Green managed six catches for 112 yards and posted an impressive 18.7 average yards per reception. The Bengals look to get a big divisional win this week against the Steelers, who are surprisingly in last place in the AFC North. AJ Green has been averaging 2.42 yards per route run so far in 2018, and the Steelers have given up the third most fantasy points to receivers, so make sure you’ve got him in your lineup.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling made his first major appearance for the Green Bay Packers with Randall Cobb being held out last week. Valdes-Scantling made the most of his playing time, catching seven passes for 68 yards and his first NFL touchdown and two avoided tackles. Valdes-Scantling will continue to be Green Bay’s WR3 if Randall Cobb continues to miss time with his hamstring injury.
Pierre Garcon had five catches for 47 yards on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. The 49ers offense has been pretty tough to watch this year, even with Matt Breida leading the NFL in rushing yards for the first few weeks of the season. With CJ Beathard at the helm, there isn’t really anyone on the San Francisco team besides Breida that’s worth a roster spot.
Julio Jones, Keelan Cole, Jarvis Landry, Kenny Golladay
Jones last week: #7
Cole last week: not on list
Landry last week: not on list
Golladay last week: not on list
Julio Jones keeps racking up the yards (but no touchdowns) after posting five catches for 62 yards last week. Jones has actually been very efficient this year, posting 3.05 yards per route run over the season so far (3rd highest in the league). Those who have Jones just wish he could find the end zone and this might be the week he does it (I know I said that last week, but I really mean it this time). The Falcons take on Tampa Bay in week six, and they’ve given up the second most fantasy points to wideouts so far this year. Keep holding on, Julio truthers! Your time is coming!
Keelan Cole makes the Target Hogs list after catching four passes for 70 yards. The Jacksonville Jaguars look to bounce back this week against the Dallas Cowboys and earn their third win on the season.
Jarvis Landry helped the Browns get a win in Baker Mayfield’s first home start of his career. Landry reeled in five catches for 69 yards and two avoided tackles. Landry continues to gobble up most of the targets, although Baker had been establishing a rapport with receiver Rashard Higgins before Higgins exited last week’s game with a sprained MCL. If Higgins can’t return for week six, expect Landry to be near the top of the Target Hogs list next week.
Kenny Golladay had a huge game in the Detroit Lions’ win over the Green Bay Packers. Golladay had only four catches but managed to convert them into 98 yards and one touchdown. Averaging 24.5 yards per catch and 12 yards after contact, Golladay was a major deep threat for the Lions, while Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jr took care of most of the shorter work. Golladay’s jump in production in his second year has been impressive, to say the least. Through five games, Golladay has already come close to out-producing his entire season totals for last year. The fact that Golladay is only rostered in 85% of Yahoo Leagues is a darn shame. If he’s on your league’s waiver wire somehow, pick him up (like yesterday).
Honorable Mention: TEs Austin Hooper, Zach Ertz, and RB TJ Yeldon (11 targets)
Austin Hooper had a breakout game of the season for the Falcons last week, catching nine passes for 77 yards. The Falcons used him in the slot as well, where he caught all four slot targets. It will be interesting to see if Hooper’s usage keeps up. Atlanta plays Tampa Bay in week six, who’ve given up the most fantasy points to tight ends this year. Hooper is great streamer for this week.
Zach Ertz caught ten of his 11 targets this week for 110 yards and one touchdown. Those who have him in fantasy should be very encouraged that the return of Alshon Jeffrey has not had a negative impact on Ertz’s usage. With Jay Ajayi headed to IR and the Eagles’ running back situation shaky, look for the passing game to open up even more for Ertz.
TJ Yeldon had a surprising 11 targets in week six. Yeldon caught eight passes for 69 yards and a touchdown. If Leonard Fournette remains sidelined (which, by the looks of the Jags signing Jamaal Charles, he will), you can expect for Blake Bortles to continue to look for Yeldon in the passing game.
Make sure to keep checking back with us every week to find out if your receivers are Target Hogs! And, as always, make sure to hit me up on Twitter (@katiebabs23) with any questions or comments.
Good luck in week six!