With the NFL trade deadline approaching next week, we saw two wide receivers land in new spots this Tuesday: Mohamed Sanu & Emmanuel Sanders. Sanu was shipped to the Patriots for a second-round pick from Atlanta, and Sanders is now a member of the San Francisco 49ers after being moved from Denver for a 3rd and 4th round pick, with SF also adding a 5th round pick. That’s fantastic news for both Sanu & Sanders, as they now play for the only two remaining undefeated teams in the NFL. Let’s dig into the fantasy implications in the Week 7 Target Analysis.
49ers’ GM John Lynch and Head Coach Kyle Shanahan recognized that their Super Bowl window is cracking open and made the move to acquire a veteran receiver in Emmanuel Sanders. The 49ers run the ball at the highest rate in the league and rank only behind New England in total defensive DVOA. This team has a clear identity and that’s not changing. However, Sanders will experience a major upgrade in QB, moving from the pedestrian Joe Flacco to Jimmy G. Kyle Shanahan will take advantage of the most talented Niners WR on the outside – I expect an uptick in opportunity for Sanders with a high-end WR2 ceiling. I would downgrade all other Niners wideouts, while George Kittle remains unchanged. On the Denver side, Courtland Sutton is already WR12 on the year; his value remains the same. DaeSean Hamilton will see a clear uptick in targets and is somebody I’d be looking to add off of the waiver wire immediately.
On Wednesday, after acquiring Sanu, the Patriots announced that they’d be placing injured WR Josh Gordon on IR, effectively ending his season – hence the move to acquire Sanu. The Patriots miss the physicality of Rob Gronkowski in the middle of the field, which Sanu can bring to the table as a big-bodied possession receiver. He played an average of 80% of the snaps in Atlanta alongside Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones and put up a serviceable 42/33/313/1 line. I’d expect Sanu to be on the field just as much in New England, flanked by Julian Edelman and Phillip Dorsett. There’s a reason the Patriots gave up such high draft capital for him: Bill Belichick clearly expects him to contribute to this offense in a big way. He is now a weekly flex play with WR2 upside. On the Atlanta side, expect minor upticks in targets for Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones. Tight end Austin Hooper could be the biggest beneficiary here with Sanu’s departure. Now that the trade dust has settled, let’s look back at Week 7 and dive into our Target Analysis.
Allen Robinson (CHI): 16 targets, 10 rec, 87 yards, 1 TD
- We can spend all night debating whether or not Mitch Trubisky is a competent QB or not – Allen Robinson fantasy owners needn’t concern themselves. Robinson’s last two weeks: 25/17/184/3. The Raiders are ranked 31st in coverage grade per PFF, so two weeks ago could have been considered matchup luck. However, the Saints (12th) posed a tougher challenge and ARob still managed to post this monstrous line. It was never an issue with the talent for Robinson, it was always the opportunity. I think its finally here to stay.
Alex Erickson (CIN): 14 targets, 8 rec, 137 yards
- The Bengals pass at the highest rate in the league, mainly because their defense is atrocious. I wouldn’t look too much into Erickson, however. AJ Green is slated to return in the coming weeks and will surely take his place.
Marivn Jones (DET): 13 targets, 10 rec, 93 yards, 4 TDs
- What a performance. Marvin Jones quadrupled his TD output on the year this past week against Minnesota. He led all WRs in fantasy points in week 7, having entered the week as the WR48 on the year. This type of production is obviously not sustainable, especially considering Jones still has only a 19% target share and just 29 targets before Sunday. Kenny Golladay is the still the WR to own in Detroit.
DeAndre Hopkins (HOU): 12 targets, 9 rec, 106 yards, 1 TD
- Your weekly reminder that DeAndre Hopkins is, in fact, good at football. With Will Fuller likely to miss time, the arrow continues to point up for Hopkins.
T.Y. Hilton (IND): 11 targets, 6 rec, 74 yards, 1 TD
- One of the biggest storylines of the year has to be the emergence of Colts QB Jacoby Brissett. Indianapolis hasn’t missed a beat and has the look of a real AFC contender. T.Y. Hilton is the WR21 on the year, and has a 25% share of the Indy targets. Zach Pascal (7/6/106/2) stole the show on Sunday with his pair of scores, but Hilton is the clear focal point of this passing attack.
Gerald Everett (LAR): 10 targets, 4 rec, 50 yards 1 TD
- For those of you struggling with TE this year, you’re not alone. Everett has been a rare waiver wire gem, sitting as the TE9 thus far. He has posted double-digit fantasy points in three of his last four games, with his only output below that threshold being against San Francisco. Jared Goff missed him on a would-be 54 yard TD in that matchup. He has out-snapped counterpart Tyler Higbee in all but two games this year and has out-targeted him 41 to 22. Everett is the TE1 in this offense and is a locked-in TE1 the rest of the year.
Darren Waller (OAK): 8 targets, 7 rec, 126 yards, 2 TDs
- If you’re not struggling with TE this year, you probably snagged Darren Waller in the last round of your draft. Congrats. He put up his first score of the season this week and finished with a pair on the day. Only Austin Hooper has scored more fantasy points this year, and Waller leads all TEs in target share at a healthy 26%. I expect Waller to push for the TE1 crown this year, especially if his TD production continues to rise.
Stefon Diggs (MIN): 8 targets, 7 rec, 142 yards
- Stefon Diggs is the WR3 over the past three weeks. Kirk Cousins is a dark horse MVP candidate after a rough start to the year. Cousins leads the NFL in YPA and passer rating, is 5th in TDs (13), and ranks 4th in completion percentage. The Vikings have perfected their play-action passing game, and Diggs has been the main beneficiary. He has a 22% target share in this new & improved offense, and Adam Thielen is banged up. He’s back to being a weekly WR2 with WR1 upside.
Hunter Henry (LAC): 8 targets, 6 rec, 97 yards
- Hunter Henry leads all TEs in scoring over the past two weeks. Since he has returned to action: 17/14/197/2. If you were patient, you are now being rewarded with weekly top-3 upside.
Calvin Ridley (ATL): 6 targets, 4 rec, 30 yards
- Ridley laid on egg on Sunday against the Rams. However, with the news that Mo Sanu has been traded to New England, Ridley’s stock is up. Per Ian Hartitz, in games where Ridley has 8 or more targets: 7/146/3, 5/88/1, 6/71/1, 8/105/1, 8/93/1. Sanu is leaving behind his 14% target share.
George Kittle (SF): 5 targets, 3 rec, 38 yards
- Blame the 2019 D.C. Mud Bowl. Kittle will still finish as a top-three TE this year. Emmanuel Sanders will only create more opportunities for PFF’s highest-graded TE on the season thus far.
Zach Ertz (PHI): 5 targets, 2 rec, 38 yards
- Ouch. Ertz is the TE6 on the year, but Dallas Goedert is starting to pose a greater threat. Over the past two weeks for Goedert: 12/9/117/1. For Ertz: 14/6/92. If you can sell Ertz for his name-brand value and draft-day price, I would ship him off. Goedert ranks as PFF’s third-best TE on the year and has been on the field for an average of 68% of the time over the past four weeks.
Kenny Golladay (DET): 2 targets, 1 rec, 21 yards
- Marvin Jones doesn’t like to share; noted. Golladay has 47 targets on the year and a 22% share in Matt Stafford’s offense. He is the WR22 on the season but has been inconsistent over the last 4 weeks. Over that span: 28/13/226/2. He’s an interesting sell candidate, but I’m holding for the upcoming matchup against the Giants.
Terry McLaurin (WAS): 2 targets, 1 rec, 11 yards
- You can’t drive an F1 in a Mud-Bowl. Terry is still the bright spot in Washington’s otherwise abysmal offense.
Buy: Corey Davis, Keenan Allen, OBJ, DJ Chark, Michael Gallup
Sell: Marvin Jones, Zach Ertz
As always, thanks for reading & drop me a comment @themurph34 or @FF_Authority with your thoughts!