Fantasy Football Week 7 Snap, Touch & Target Leaders
BY: MATT BISHOP
@BISHPHAT ON TWITTER
QUARTERBACK AVERAGE DEPTH OF TARGET (ADOT) THROUGH WEEK 6:
BAKER MAYFIELD, QB CLEVELAND BROWNS
Cleveland has 3 receivers (Landry, Callaway, Njoku) who are in the Top 15 in drops in the NFL. No other team in the NFL has more than 1. Baker Mayfield continues to push the ball downfield with an ADOT of 10.2, which is the 2nd highest in the league. His 3 skill positions are killing his coming out party by consistently dropping passes, but he is slowly building a repore with David Njoku, who has been targeted a team leading 30 times in 3 games. If the drops can be eliminated, this entire offense is due for positive regression. Mayfield will be a chalky play this week in DFS, but this could be the week we see a stud turn. If you are hurting at QB, trade for him now as his window may be closing. He could be elite rest of season.
RUNNING BACK TARGETS THROUGH WEEK 6:
KENYAN DRAKE, RB MIAMI DOLPHINS
Kenyan Drake will be out for redemption this week after seeing Frank Gore run for 101 yards on 15 carries and then fumbling at the goaline in overtime. Drake was visibly upset and you have to think the coaching staff feels for him.
Drake has been targeted 15 times in his last 2 games, which is 2nd among RBs in that span. He has also run 115 receiving routes this season, which is Top 20 among RBs.
Frank Gore is an innings eater, whose sole purpose is to keep the bullpen fresh (Drake) for the rest of the season. Drake is still out-snapping Gore 62% to 39% and has been dominating snaps in this backfield for most of the season:
The Dolphins offensive line is pretty solid, only allowing 47 pressures, which is Top 7 in the league. Drake is getting more run in the passing game and it is only a matter of time before he starts getting a bulk of the carries. His buy low window is still wide open and can be acquired for pennies on the dollar. Calm your expectations if you expect last season’s production though.
RUNNING BACK TOUCHES THROUGH WEEK 6:
DAVID JOHNSON, RB ARIZONA CARDINALS
David Johnson used to be good. But that was a long time ago and a different coaching staff. One that realized his talent as a receiver and got him involved in the passing game early and often. He is only averaging 21.5 receiving routes this season, as opposed to his 2016 MVP season, where he averaged 31.8 per game. He is also averaging 4.3 targets per game, while he averaged 6.7 targets per game in 2016. The Cardinals offensive line is not great, allowing 237 total pressures for 4th most in the league. They are also the 5th least efficient front 5 and have struggled all season.
But Arizona Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy was fired Friday, so both Johnson owners and all of Twitter alike can rejoice. Byron Leftwich will be taking over the playcalling duties and has already reached out to former Cardinals head coach Bruce Ariens for a consultation on how to unleash their All-Pro back. You may have to pay a hefty premium to get DJ, but it may be worth it being that the cardinals fired their OC not even half way through the season just to better utilize 1 player. His buy low window is almost shut, so get him while you can. Don’t expect it to be cheap.
SAQUON BARKLEY, RB NEW YORK GIANTS
TRADE BARKLEY NOW. Just do it. I know he leads all running backs with 48 targets in the passing game. I am well aware that he has 124 touches, which ranks 4th in the NFL. And yes, I have seen his 157 fantasy points, which is good for 3rdbest in the league. But all this volume week to week for a rookie running back may lead to premature wear and eventual shutdown. Think about it. The Giants are terrible and get down early, forcing Eli to throw. This creates more work for Barkley and more wear and tear on his body. The Giants aren’t going to win a lot of games for the rest of the season, so they could choose to shut him down early to prevent any long term injury to their superstar. If you are not in a keeper league, SELL HIGH NOW. HIS VALUE WILL NEVER BE BETTER.
WIDE RECEIVER TARGETS THROUGH WEEK 6:
JARVIS LANDRY, WR CLEVELAND BROWNS
Jarvis Landry has run 73% of his snaps from the slot this season and has been targeted 42 times, which is the 3rd highest mark in the NFL from the slot. Landry also owns 660 total air yards, which is 10th most in the NFL.
However, he only has 20 receptions and a 47% catch rate from the slot, which is 24thin the league. In fact, on the season, he has 31 catches on 58 targets, for a 53% catch rate, which is 100th in the NFL. He has never had under a 66% catch rate in his career. Coincidently, his ADOT is 10.2, which is the same as Mayfield and is up from 8.8 in 2017 and 6.8 in 2016. Landry has primarily been a screen guy and is used to catching passes at the line of scrimmage. However, we have seen his average depth of target go up almost 4 yards in 2 years, which may explain the drops. This could mean only 1 of 2 things. Either Landry is a worse receiver that we originally thought or positive regression is coming. I’m going with the positive regression. Landry is a reliable receiver getting elite volume. He is currently being faded by everyone and is easily attainable right now. If he can bump his catch rate back up even to his career average (70.2%), he could be the catalyst for this struggling offense and a steal in the trade market. Trade for him now.
MICHAEL CRABTREE, QB BALTIMORE RAVENS
Michael Crabtree is averaging 9.2 targets per game, which ranks 10th in the league. He has been targeted 49 times since Week 2, which is 7th best in the league in that span. His 55 total targets ranks 9th in the NFL and he owns a 21% team target share. He currently has 560 AirYards, which is 14th in the NFL. Crabtree has never been considered to have elite hands, but his 54% catch rate has hindered his production and prevented him from developing any chemistry with Joe Flacco. He looks like he may have put it together Week 6 at Tennessee with 9 targets on 6 catches for 93 yards and a TD. Get after him because he may be a consistent threat down the stretch.
WR FANTASY POINTS THROUGH WEEK 6:
MICHAEL THOMAS, WR NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
I know this is not what you want to hear, but Michael Thomas’ current fantasy stretch is unsustainable. His Average Depth of Target (ADOT) of 7.4 is the 5thlowest total in the league and his 11.3 yards per catch is bottom 15. He currently ranks 9th in total fantasy points, but his fantasy production has been heavily reliant on short passes and screens, which is unsustainable season long because defenses catch on. I’m not saying Michael Thomas isn’t talented and a solidified #1 WR, but you may be able to get a lot for him right now as there are no guarantees this production will continue. SELL HIGH.