We’ve spent a majority of our time here discussing WRs, namely the highly drafted studs & their (somewhat) plummeting status. Let’s turn our attention to the tight ends. Austin Hooper currently leads all TEs in fantasy points and receptions. Darren Waller leads the position in target share. Will Dissly sits atop the group in TDs, but will, unfortunately, be out for the season after he ruptured his Achilles against the Browns. Are we seeing a similar theme here? Travis Kelce, George Kittle, and Zach Ertz all sit firmly within the top-8 at the position in PPR scoring through 6 weeks. However, last year, the trio averaged 18.4, 17.5, & 16.2 FPPG, respectively. So far in 2019: 14.6, 14.5 & 12.6. Per Matthew Berry, in the two years prior, the top-3 scoring TEs posted about 200 total points less than the aforementioned group did in 2018. It seems to be a statistical outlier to me. Who would you rather have right now, one of those three, or Evan Engram? Austin Hooper? Mark Andrews? The opportunity cost of taking one of the elite options at the position early has not proven to be a sound strategy so far this season. It’s only week 6 so there’s plenty of time left for Kelce, Kittle, and Ertz to provide a decent return on investment and you shouldn’t be actively selling. I’d be aggressively buying on Kittle and Kelce, and patiently holding Ertz at this point. Now, back to our weekly Mike Evans boom/bust column. Let’s hop into our Week 6 Target Analysis. Target data is from PFF, and all other data is from AirYards.com.
|Odell Beckham Jr.||WR||CLV||11||6||101||0|
|Will Fuller V||WR||HST||9||5||44||0|
Mike Evans (TB): 16 targets, 9 rec, 96 yards
- The targets were there, the efficiency was not. Evans has become a weekly mainstay in our column, for better or worse. I’m still buying the elite skillset and the air yards as he is leading the NFL with 829. At this point in the season, however, we can firmly say that Chris Godwin is the Buccaneers WR1. He now has more catches, yards, and touchdowns, and Jameis Winston has a 148.6 rating when targeting him. When targeting Evans: 74.7. (Per Scott Barrett).
Julian Edelman (NE): 15 targets, 9 rec, 113 yards
- Seeming to be fully healthy after a chest injury in September, Tom Brady’s favorite slot man was peppered with targets last Thursday night against the Giants. He now sits at 5th in targets across the league with 56, and 12th in PPR fantasy points. He is about as reliable as it gets with a 25% target share in Brady’s passing attack. He’s a legit WR1, and something tells me you can get him for a lower price tag than that right now.
DeAndre Hopkins (HOU): 12 targets, 9 rec, 55 yards
- 12 targets! 9 receptions! 55 yards? Not what you’d normally expect from the high-flying Hopkins, but we can take solace in the targets (6th in the league, 28% share). With an aDOT of nearly 11 yards through 6 weeks, I’d expect a regression back to the mean in terms of his yardage going forward. He also dropped a potential TD grab on Sunday, which would have bolstered his line even further. The buy-window is still open somehow if you can grab him.
Stefon Diggs (MIN): 11 targets, 7 rec, 167 yards, 3 TDs
- We mentioned last week that maybe all Stefon Diggs had to do to get out of his fantasy funk was to publicly call out Kirk Cousins, just like Adam Thielen. While no snarky comments were made, the production finally came through. Diggs went berzerk on Sunday, highlighted by two 50+ yard TD grabs. Let’s take a step back. The Eagles rank 20th in coverage grade per PFF, and have given up the 4th most passing yards in the league. This was a matchup based boom play for Diggs, who should still be sold in season-long leagues. He only has 34 targets on the season, with week 6 being his first game posting a double-digit target line. This was also only his second game with double-digit fantasy points.
George Kittle (SF): 9 targets, 8 rec, 103 yards
- George Kittle is PFF’s highest-graded player. Period. He is as ferocious in his run-blocking as he is after the catch. He hardly ever comes off the field and is the energy behind the 49ers 5-0 start. He’s also starting to show flashes of the fantasy production we became used to in 2018. He posted his third straight game of 8 or more targets and double-digit fantasy points. San Francisco runs the ball at the highest rate in the league, at over 56% of the time, and yet Kittle is still able to maintain his elite production. With only 1 TD on the season so far, I’m predicting Kittle finishes the year as the TE1. The scores will start to come his way, and his targets will only increase with no dominant WR1 presence in SF.
Hunter Henry (LAC): 9 targets, 8 rec, 100 yards, 2 TDs
- That was quick. Hunter Henry wasted no time coming back from injury by connecting with Phil Rivers for over 100 yards and two scores against the Steelers on Sunday night. If you held onto him during the injury, he’s now a locked-in starter the rest of the way with top-5 upside.
Tyreek Hill (KC): 9 targets, 5 rec, 80 yards, 2 TDs
- Onto another fantasy stud back from injury with a couple of scores in his return. The freak looked every bit as electric as we remember, showing out with this deep grab in the first quarter against Houston. Similarly to Henry, Hill has only played in one other game this season and left said game due to injury, but you’re starting him as an elite WR1 going forward. *UPDATE: Patrick Mahomes suffered a dislocated knee cap during Thursday night’s Week 7 game against Denver. His absence is still unknown, but in the meantime, treat Hill with caution. He can still put up WR1 numbers on a weekly basis given his speed, but now becomes extremely boom/bust until Mahomes (hopeful?) return.
Robby Anderson (NYJ): 8 targets, 125 yards, 1 TD
- Adam Gase called Sam Darnold an “eraser” after the Jets victory over the Cowboys on Sunday. He masks other players’ mistakes. It seems he also erased the past 5 weeks of the fantasy wasteland that was the New York Jets offense. All of the Jets skill-players are now elevated after watching Darnold play at an elite level on Sunday, but none more the beneficiary than Robby Anderson. He hauled in the first TD catch of any Jets WR this season: a 92-yard bomb from Darnold. Anderson is now in the weekly flex conversation with a high ceiling after reigniting with his young QB.
Tyler Boyd (CIN): 7 targets, 3 rec, 10 yards
- The Bengals rank 23rd in passing offense per PFF, 29th in pass blocking, and Andy Dalton ranks 33rd among QBs in PFF’s passing grade. Tyler Boyd is not doing himself any favors playing in this offense. The positives: positive game scripts and 60 targets so far this year (3rd in NFL, 25% share). I’m not selling off this bad performance. The return of A.J. Green will only help Boyd, despite popular belief. In 2018, he averaged almost 5 more FPPG with Green in the lineup.
Cooper Kupp (LAR): 6 targets, 4 rec, 17 yards
- The 49ers are for real. They sit only behind New England in PFF’s coverage and defensive rankings, as well as in defensive DVOA. On Sunday, they limited Jared Goff to 78 yards on 3.3 YPA. Kupp is still an elite talent and paced all Rams in targets on Sunday. There’s no reason to be concerned with Kupp after this performance.
Keenan Allen (LAC): 5 targets, 2 rec, 33 yards
- Keenan Allen had himself another paltry day on Sunday Night, as did everybody on the Chargers offense not named Hunter Henry. Henry’s return will eat into Allen’s target share which will be a cause for concern moving forward. That’s not the biggest issue with Allen. It’s been a tale of two seasons for him thus far. In weeks 1-3: 42 targets, 29 catches, 404 yards, 3 TDs. WR1 in fantasy scoring. Weeks 4-6: 17 targets, 11 catches, 99 yards. WR55. Hunter Henry did not play in weeks 4 & 5. Allen remains the best route runner in football, and I’m confident that he will turn it around. However, if you can get elite WR1/RB1 value out of him, now is the time. He is a now a back-end WR1 for the rest of the season.
Robert Woods (LAR): 3 targets, 0 rec, 0 yards
- See Cooper Kupp above. The 49ers’ defense is suffocating. Woods remains a solid WR2 option.
JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT): 3 targets, 1 rec, 7 yards
- Yikes. JuJu is arguably the biggest WR bust of the year for where he was being drafted this summer.
Buys: Michael Gallup, Travis Kelce, George Kittle, DJ Chark, Davante Adams, Robby Anderson
Sells: Stefon Diggs, Jarvis Landry, Keenan Allen
Tweet me @themurph34 & @FF_Authority with your thoughts!