Moving Targets: Week 5

Moving Targets: Week 5

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.

Chicago Bears

Week 5 Targets Previous Avg +/-
Cameron Meredith 12 4 8
Eddie Royal 9 5.5 3.5
Zach Miller 8 5.25 2.75
Alshon Jeffery 6 6.25 -0.25

Alshon Jeffery continues to see a middling role in a high-flying Brian Hoyer offense, and it makes no sense. It makes no sense to me, and it makes no sense to Jeffery, who expressed his frustration on the field last week.

Rather than emphasize the elite WR talent he has, Hoyer threw at Cameron Meredith 12 times in Week 5, while also choosing to prioritize Eddie Royal and Zach Miller over Jeffery. I don’t get it, and I can’t understand it. But the trend is clear: Eddie Royal and Zach Miller remain important pieces of the offense, and Jeffery will need touchdowns to have high value. I’d still wait-and-see with Meredith, whose previous average was four targets per game.

Houston Texans

Week 5 Targets Previous Avg +/-
DeAndre Hopkins 9 8.25 0.75
Jaelen Strong 9 2.5 6.5
Will Fuller 6 8.5 -2.5

The Texans were demolished by the Minnesota Vikings in Week 5, and Brock Osweiler often looked lost under center. When he was throwing, Osweiler was repeatedly focusing on DeAndre Hopkins, which is some small relief for worried Hopkins WRs. This does not appear to be a good offense, and Osweiler is doing a worse job commanding it than did Brian Hoyer last year. Sadly, you will likely see many more highs and lows from these fantasy assets this year. I’ve written it once before in this column, but Jaelen Strong remains an interesting deep league stash, and he’s a dynasty name whose price has fallen far from his original rookie value.

Indianapolis Colts

Week 5 Targets Previous Avg +/-
T.Y. Hilton 11 11 0
Dwayne Allen 6 4.75 1.25
Phillip Dorsett 3 4.5 -1.5

This is T.Y. Hilton’s offense so long as Donte Moncrief is stuck on the sideline, and Phillip Dorsett appears to have nearly no role. I can’t read the tea leaves to tell you why, but Andrew Luck is spending little effort trying to get Dorsett the football. Dwayne Allen remains a risky play, because he isn’t seeing the volume many hoped he would after Coby Fleener left in the offseason. Hilton is the only trustworthy option in Indianapolis.

New England Patriots

Week 5 Targets Previous Avg +/-
Julian Edelman 10 7 3
Martellus Bennett 8 5 3
Rob Gronkowski 7 1.5 5.5
James White 6 4.5 1.5

Tom Brady is back, in case you missed the news. You’d think the major networks would have spotlighted that story. Oh, well.

As we all expected, Brady’s return meant great things for Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski, both of whom far exceeded their previous averages in Week 5 targets. More surprising, to some, was the emphasis on Martellus Bennett, who ended the game with three touchdowns. Early results suggest Brady will lead a team tied to two strong tight ends.

Of note, James White saw six Brady targets, with Dion Lewis waiting in the wings. If you’re a Lewis believer, this is great news. If you think Lewis will struggle after all the injuries, maybe it’s time to buy into White.

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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