Moving Targets: Week 9

Moving Targets: Week 9

Moving Targets is a weekly column focused on tidbits and trends from target data, with an eye toward forecasting future value spikes for fantasy players. … My focus will be on the target numbers themselves, highlighting a few I find interesting. Each section will include a short blurb of analysis, but mostly I will allow you — the wise reader — to draw the conclusions you wish from the data.

Note: Target data comes from the 4for4 Player Targets App.

Carolina Panthers

Week 9 Targets Previous Avg +/-
Kelvin Benjamin 7 8.1 -1.1
Greg Olsen 7 9 -2
Ted Ginn 7 4.6 2.4
Devin Funchess 5 3.3 1.7

Gone are the days when we thought Kelvin Benjamin was a massive target hog in this offense. He is still seeing several targets, but he isn’t a clear best option in Carolina. Greg Olsen still has a better weekly average target share, and this week Ted Ginn even got in on the mix. Devin Funchess received five targets this week, slightly up from his previous average. Funchess is largely a forgotten man, and he might be worth a cheap offer if you play in dynasty leagues.

Cleveland Browns

Week 9 Targets Previous Avg +/-
Corey Coleman 7 6.5 0.5
Terrelle Pryor 7 9.5 -2.5
Isaiah Crowell 3 2.4 1.6
Duke Johnson 2 5.9 -3.9

With Cody Kessler and Corey Coleman back in the lineup, Greg Barnidge was a near non-factor for most of the game. Coleman got seven targets, reducing Pryor’s target share from its previous average. Pryor and Coleman are the clear favorites in this offense. Notably, Duke Johnson’s poor splits away from Josh McCown continued; losing out to Isaiah Crowell in target numbers does not look good for the supposed third-down back.

Dallas Cowboys

Week 9 Targets Previous Avg +/-
Jason Witten 10 6.4 3.6
Cole Beasley 6 6.6 -0.6
Dez Bryant 4 9.25 -5.25

Week 9 showed us why Dez Bryant is a tough WR1 this season. He is the clear target leader of the offense, but he has weeks like this where he goes radio silent. Jason Witten came out of nowhere this week, even scoring a touchdown, but he isn’t a great option week-to-week. Cole Beasley remains a PPR starter with a very consistent role in Dallas.

Denver Broncos

Week 9 Targets Previous Avg +/-
Emmanuel Sanders 11 9.4 1.6
Demaryius Thomas 10 8 2
Virgil Green 4 3.6 0.4

This is the same story we’ve seen all year: Denver has two targets worth owning, no more. Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas are every-week starters, but you shouldn’t trust anyone else in Denver. Siemian doesn’t have eyes for anyone else, at least not to a degree where you can reliably start them.

Detroit Lions

Week 9 Targets Previous Avg +/-
Golden Tate 12 7.7 4.3
Eric Ebron 8 7 1
Marvin Jones 5 7.4 -2.4

Marvin Jones, we will forever remember the start of 2016. Golden Tate has taken over the role most expected, PPR target monster, and Eric Ebron even out-targeted Marvin Jones this week. Jones still has touchdown potential, but he isn’t the high-volume stud we saw early in 2016.

Minnesota Vikings

Week 9 Targets Previous Avg +/-
Stefon Diggs 14 8.7 5.3
Cordarrelle Patterson 8 3.4 4.6
Adam Thielen 6 5 1

Diggs is a fantastic value in most leagues, and you can likely steal him from owners who see a WR trapped on a bad offense. Diggs is seeing a massive percentage of the team’s targets most weeks. Cordarrelle Patterson has burned me too many times to count, so I am not trusting him yet. But I am interested in his eight targets, so I’ll keep watching.

Joshua Lake

Josh has spent more than a decade in 2QB leagues, focusing on the bottom of the barrel when it comes to fantasy quarterbacks. His research focuses on quarterbacks, and he tries not to pretend he knows anything about the other positions. You can find him on Twitter at @LakeTwoQBs.

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