Target Risers and Possible Breakouts for Week 3

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You know the drill. To succeed in fantasy football, you need players who will have ample opportunities to touch the ball from week to week. In the passing game, a reliable volume of targets is usually a prerequisite for consistent production.

In this installment of Target Acquired, we'll take a closer look at some players with the biggest or most surprising target totals from Week 2.

We'll also list some breakout and sleeper candidates who could put themselves on the fantasy map in Week 3 in order to help you at the wide receiver and/or flex position.

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Rising Target Grabbers

WIDE RECEIVERS

Jarvis Landry (WR, MIA), 15 targets

Heading into the 2017 fantasy draft season a number of factors conspired to drive down Jarvis Landry’s perceived value. Losing quarterback Ryan Tannehill to an ACL tear and facing domestic violence allegations, Landry looked like he might be suspended for a significant portion of the regular season and catching balls from a signal caller with more of a penchant for downfield chunk plays than the ball-control style that made Landry a fixture atop PPR wide receiver ranks. If the Ezekiel Elliott case has taught us anything about the speed of due process, it seems safe to assume that even if the DV charges do stick, it’s not likely to affect Landry’s availability in 2017. Moreover, when we finally got a look at the Jay Cutler version of the Miami Dolphins, Landry caught a ridiculous 13 of 15 targets for 78 yards in their Week 2 opener. In PPR leagues, he’s still a borderline WR1.

Marqise Lee (WR, JAX), 12 targets

As much as I’m sure Doug Marrone means it when he says he wants to “run the ball on every play,” Blake Bortles in garbage-time comeback mode figures to be a familiar sight once again this season. With Allen Robinson on the shelf until 2018, Marqise Lee turned his 12 targets into seven catches for 76 yards. The volume should be fairly safe going forward.

Jaron Brown (WR, ARI), 11 targets

With John Brown hobbled, it was Jaron Brown who paced the Cardinals in targets in Week 2. Although he’s probably not worth a pick up even in deep leagues just yet, it’s worth noting that Jaron stands to see a significant spike in opportunity when John Brown sits, which could be a common occurrence.

Rashard Higgins (WR, CLE), 11 targets

Corey Coleman had impressed in Week 1, catching five of six targets for 53 yards and a touchdown. As of Sunday night, however, it has been reported that Coleman is dealing with a broken hand for the second straight season. Meanwhile Higgins caught 7 of 11 targets for 95 yards for a WR corps that combined for just 11 catches total, including just one from Kenny Britt who had been the presumptive starter opposite Coleman in preseason. If Higgins is going to be the WR1 in this offense, he’ll at least have decent PPR appeal.

Kendall Wright (WR, CHI), 10 targets

Although it didn’t happen for him in Week 1, Kendall Wright is yet another guy in a ‘last man standing’ scenario for the Chicago Bears. He makes for a safe, volume-based PPR flex in a WR corps devoid of any household names as his Sunday line of seven catches for 69 yards was good for a WR20 finish in such formats in Week 2.

 

RUNNING BACKS

Tarik Cohen (RB, CHI), 9 targets

There isn’t an awful lot to say here as Cohen led all RBs in targets for the second straight week. Further bolstering his PPR stock is the fact that starter Jordan Howard was spotted with his arm in a sling following the Bears loss to Tampa Bay in Week 2. Cohen is a PPR RB2.

 

TIGHT ENDS

Jason Witten (TE, DAL), 13 targets

The opportunities don’t seem to be going away any time soon for the future hall of famer as he led his position in targets for the second straight week with 10 catches for 97 yards and a touchdown. Fire up as a TE1 for the time being, especially with injuries ravaging the top end players at the position.

Martellus Bennett (TE, GB), 11 targets

It wasn’t pretty, but Bennett quietly led all Packers in targets during Sunday night’s loss to the Falcons, catching just four for 47 yards. Perhaps more importantly, Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson left the Week 2 contest with injuries so the volume could be there, assuming the lack of efficiency doesn’t land him in the doghouse.

Jack Doyle (TE, IND), 8 targets

One of three players I’m going to highlight here who caught every single target in Week 2, Jack Doyle showed a quick rapport with Jacoby Brissett, leading the Colts in receptions (8) and yardage (79) by a wide margin. Any production we can get out of Jack Doyle ahead of Andrew Luck’s return is gravy, with potential upside for a whole lot more on the horizon.

Benjamin Watson (TE, BAL), 8 targets

Watson was Brees’s go to TE in 2015 before leaving town for Baltimore and missing all of last season with an achilles injury. It’s a crowded TE corps in Baltimore so despite catching all eight of his targets for 91 yards in Week 2, Watson is a streamer to be approached with caution for now, but if the targets prove sustainable, he’ll be a usable streamer during the bye-week crunch. Dennis Pitta drew 121 targets from Joe Flacco in 2016, good for third at the tight end position for the season so Watson wouldn't be the first reclamation project that Flacco turned into a volume-based fantasy stalwart.

Hunter Henry (TE, SD), 7 targets

Owners who were patient with Hunter Henry after not being targeted in the season-opener were rewarded handsomely in Week 2 as the second-year TE caught all seven of his targets for 80 yards and a TE7 overall finish against the Dolphins. It may take a couple of weeks to shake the worry that Henry will be erased from the game plan the way he was in Week 1, but he’s too talented a player not to roster. If an impatient owner cut bait, I’d make a play for him on waivers.

 

Potential Week 3 Breakouts

Geronimo Allison (WR, GB)

In Sunday night’s contest against the Falcons, Green Bay lost both Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb to injuries. Though both players appear to have avoided anything serious, Nelson has already been called “50-50” for Green Bay’s Week 3 tilt with the Bengals. Allison “started” two games to close out the 2016 season as the number three WR for Aaron Rodgers and caught 8 of 13 targets for 157 yards and a touchdown. He’s a viable streamer and DFS punt play if either Nelson or Cobb are ruled out.

Devin Funchess (WR, CAR)

Through the season’s first two games, the Saints defense has given up 793 yards and six touchdowns through the air. Funchess has been Cam Newton’s second most targeted wide receiver. Picking on New Orleans will probably be a theme for streamers at every position for the rest of the season. Funchess is risky, but the opportunity for a big game is there.

Jalen Richard (RB, OAK)

As the best receiver in the Oakland backfield, Richard comes off a game in which he tallied eight total touches for 109 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. This week he takes on a Redskins defense that has already surrendered 11 catches for 92 yards and a pair of receiving touchdowns to running backs through two weeks. Richard probably won’t be a candidate for double digit touches unless the game gets out of hand, but his game-breaking ability keeps him in play as a PPR flex.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins (TE, NYJ)

Suspended for the season’s first two weeks and playing for probably the worst team in the NFL, Seferian-Jenkins has been a forgotten man for fantasy purposes. While streaming ASJ in his first game off suspension is not a move for the faint of heart, let’s not forget that he had been drawing rave reviews in Jets camp in the first half of August. There is a legitimate chance that he is the most talented player in a Jets passing game that has featured Jermaine Kearse as its centerpiece through the season’s first two weeks. Seferian-Jenkins is best viewed as a watch-list candidate for the time being, but a big role in this New York Jets offense is there for the taking. The TE landscape in 2017 is a wasteland of injuries and disappointments and ASJ could quickly ascend to fantasy relevance.

 

More Week 3 Lineup Prep