Moving Targets: Week 8

Moving Targets: Week 8

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.

Atlanta Falcons

Week 8 Targets Previous Avg +/-
Mohamed Sanu 10 5.7 4.3
Julio Jones 5 9.3 -4.3
Austin Hooper 5 0.9 4.1

Julio Jones looked injured much of this game against the Packers, and his target numbers suggested the same. As a Julio owner, you don’t love five targets, but I would expect those numbers to bounce back when he’s healthy. Mohamed Sanu was the major beneficiary in Week 8, and he racked up 10 targets. With Julio injured and Jacob Tamme also leaving the game, Sanu took advantage.  In a week where Tamme was injured — and now ruled out for the Thursday night game — Austin Hooper’s name suddenly comes to our attention. He is an intriguing option on Thursday after five targets last week, although he must be viewed as a risky proposition.

Cincinnati Bengals

Week 8 Targets Previous Avg +/-
AJ Green 18 10 8
Tyler Eifert 12 2 10
Tyler Boyd 7 4.4 2.6
Brandon LaFell 2 6 -4

A.J. Green had another A.J. Green week, despite the shadow from Josh Norman. He will get fed, even now that Tyler Eifert is back. Speaking of Eifert, oh boy is he back. I hope you’ve already got him on your team, because I can’t imagine he’ll be on waivers anywhere after this week. Notably, Tyler Boyd was massively more involved this week than was Brandon LaFell. Although their previous averages were flipped, it looks like the rookie WR may be gaining traction in this offense.

Dallas Cowboys

Week 8 Targets Previous Avg +/-
Dez Bryant 14 7.7 6.3
Terrance Williams 7 4 3
Cole Beasley 7 6.5 0.5
Jason Witten 3 7 -4

Dez Bryant looked good in his first week back, and Dak Prescott targeted him 14 times. Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley were also interesting PPR options in a week where Jason Witten was a bit gimpy and uninvolved in the gameplan. If I were Jerry Jones, I’d keep rolling Dak out. Now that he’s getting fed targets and the team’s winning, I bet Dez Bryant feels the same way.

Green Bay Packers

Week 8 Targets Previous Avg +/-
Davante Adams 14 7.2 6.8
Jordy Nelson 9 8.5 0.5
Jeff Janis 4 1.2 2.8

Are you tired of me hyping Davante Adams in this column? Because I’m not. He led the team in targets this week, although he wasn’t able to get in the end zone. Already averaging more than seven targets per game before this week, Adams is a legitimate part of this high-volume offense. Jeff Janis, a longtime Twitter favorite, saw some action in a week without Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery. I fall in the camp that doubts Janis’ NFL talent, and I expect his target numbers will fall off as soon as one or both of those better receivers comes back healthy.

Philadelphia Eagles

Week 8 Targets Previous Avg +/-
Jordan Matthews 14 6.8 7.2
Dorial Green-Beckham 9 3.7 5.3
Darren Sproles 7 3.5 3.5
Nelson Agholor 4 5.3 -1.3

Jordan Matthews finally got a high-volume target night, and Carson Wentz looked like he realized the importance of emphasizing his top option in the passing game. Matthews has been a dreadful fantasy option for most of this year, but perhaps this gives his owners some hope — or at least a chance to sell. Dorial Green-Beckham and Nelson Agholor both dropped passes on Sunday, causing a season-long problem to get worse for the Eagles. But it looked like Green-Beckham was the more important cog in this offense. I have always liked his physical skills and natural talent, and I am very curious to see how well he can perform in the future. As for Darren Sproles, he effectively phased Ryan Mathews out of the offense, and he had a large role in both the rushing and passing games. He should be viewed as a clear starter going forward.

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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