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Wide Receiver Snap Counts and Target Trends - Week 5 Analysis


Wide receivers are essential components toward your ultimate goal of securing league championships. As the season unfolds, an expanding collection of tools are available that can provide you with an extensive level of knowledge. Those results provide the foundation for this weekly statistical breakdown of the wide receiver position, which is designed to help you fulfill your championship aspirations.

This will be the fifth installment that examines game-specific data, including updated totals for targets, red-zone targets, snap counts, and a compilation of advanced statistics. The information that is contained in this weekly report will analyze how various receivers are being utilized, and how effectively they are capitalizing on their opportunities.

This week’s article will be functioning with five weeks of data, which bolsters the foundation from which the numbers that are generated in various categories can be evaluated. As the season progresses noteworthy changes in usage and production will be blended into the equation. That will bolster your efforts to determine which wide receivers should be in your lineups, and which are worthy of remaining on your rosters. Pro Football Reference, NextGenStats, Rotowire, and Football Outsiders were all used as resources in compiling this data.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!

 

Week 5 Target Leaders  

Wide Receivers Total Targets  Targets-Per-Game Yards-Per-Target
Cooper Kupp 63 12.6 8
Michael Thomas 55 11 9.9
Keenan Allen 53 10.6 8.9
Tyler Boyd 53 10.6 7.7
Robert Woods 47 9.4 7.6
Julio Jones 44 8.8 8.2
DeAndre Hopkins 44 8.8 7.9
Larry Fitzgerald 44 8.8 8.1
Amari Cooper 43 8.6 11.9
Chris Godwin 43 8.6 11.9
Odell Beckham 43 8.6 7.8
Allen Robinson 42 8.4 9
Julian Edelman 41 8.2 8.2
Cole Beasley 39 7.8 6.8
Marquise Brown 39 7.8 8.4
Courtland Sutton 39 7.6 10.6
D.J. Moore 39 7.8 9
Will Fuller 39 7.8 10.3
John Brown 39 7.8 10
Jarvis Landry 39 7.8 10.3
Sammy Watkins 38 7.6 9.6
Mike Evans 38 7.6 9.7
Christian Kirk 37 9.3 6.5
Curtis Samuel 37 7.4 6.1
Dede Westbrook 37 7.4 6.1
D.J. Chark 37 7.4 13.1
Davante Adams 36 9 10.5
Kenny Golladay 36 9 6.8
Tyler Lockett 36 7.2 10.5
Mohamed Sanu 36 7.2 7.8
Josh Gordon 35 7 8
Sterling Shepard 35 8.8 7.6
Emmanuel Sanders 35 7 8.8
Brandin Cooks 34 6.8 9.6
JuJu Smith-Schuster 34 6.8 9.8
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 32 6.4 7.3
Nelson Agholor 32 6.4 5.9
Calvin Ridley 32 6.4 9.2
Jamison Crowder 31 7.8 5.6
Terry McLaurin 31 7.8 9.9
Preston Williams 30 7.5 6.7
T.Y. Hilton 30 7.5 7.7
Adam Thielen 30 6 10.3

After two consecutive weeks as the league leader, Keenan Allen has dropped to third overall. Cooper Kupp’s now paces the league with 63 targets, Followed by Michael Thomas (55), Allen (53), and Tyler Boyd (53). While no other receivers have eclipsed 50 targets for the season, nine have attained 40+ - Robert Woods (47), Julio Jones (44), Larry Fitzgerald (44), DeAndre Hopkins 44), Amari Cooper (43), Chris Godwin (43), Odell Beckham, (43), Allen Robinson (42), and Julian Edelman (41). Will Fuller, John Brown, D.J. Moore, Cole Beasley, and Marquise Brown are next with 39, and also lead the collection of 20 additional wide receivers that have collected 35+ after five weeks.

Kupp captured a league-high target total for the second consecutive week, after accumulating 17 against Seattle in Week 5. Fuller was second with 16, followed by Boyd, Cooper and Michael Gallup (14,). Thomas and Mike Williams were next (13), Jacksonville's tandem of D.J. Chark and Dede Westbrook both collected 11, and Sterling Shepard completed the collection of 10 receivers that captured at least 10 targets during the week. Godwin and Edelman were among the six receivers that collected 9 targets. This group included Kansas City's Byron Pringle after the undrafted free agent entered Week 5 with just two targets for the season.

Fuller had averaged 5.75 targets-per-game entering his Week 5 matchup with Atlanta. In 35 career games, he had only reached double-digit targets twice and had never exceeded 11 until he faced the Falcons. Chark and Westbrook had both averaged 6.5 targets-per-game before they established new season highs. Chark's 11 targets also represent the highest total of his career.

 

Largest Weekly Changes 

Wide Receivers Total Targets  Week 4  Week 5  Weekly Changes
Will Fuller 39 6 16 10
Tyler Boyd 53 6 14 8
Amari Cooper 43 8 14 6
Dede Westbrook 37 6 11 5
Michael Thomas 55 9 13 4
Larry Fitzgerald 44 5 8 3
D.J. Moore 39 5 8 3
D.J. Chark 37 8 11 3
JuJu Smith-Schuster 34 4 7 3
Calvin Ridley 32 6 9 3
Cooper Kupp 63 15 17 2
Julian Edelman 41 7 9 2
Nelson Agholor 32 1 3 2
Adam Thielen 30 6 8 2
Diontae Johnson 29 6 8 2
Allen Robinson 42 7 8 1
Josh Gordon 35 7 8 1
Sterling Shepard 35 9 10 1
Terry McLaurin 31 INJ 7 1
Odell Beckham 43 7 6 -1
Curtis Samuel 37 7 6 -1
D.K. Metcalf 26 4 3 -1
Marquise Brown 39 7 5 -2
Courtland Sutton 39 9 7 -2
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 32 7 4 -3
Paul Richardson 26 5 2 -3
Jarvis Landry 39 10 6 -4
Mike Evans 38 7 3 -4
Chris Godwin 43 14 9 -5
Robert Woods 47 15 9 -6
John Brown 39 11 5 -6
Brandin Cooks 34 9 3 -6
Mohamed Sanu 36 12 5 -7
Emmanuel Sanders 35 9 1 -8
Cole Beasley 39 13 3 -10

Fuller’s rise of 10 targets was also the largest of the week. Boyd’s surge of +8 was next, as the fourth-year receiver accumulated his highest target total since collecting a career-best 19 in 2017. Pringle's nine targets resulted in a rise of +8 after he had been targeted once during Kansas City's Week 4 matchup, Cooper’s increase of +6 was next, as he reached double digits in targets for the fourth time since becoming a Cowboy.  Westbrook’s season-high 11 targets resulted in a rise of +5.

Beasley has averaged 6.8 targets per game, which was bolstered by the season-best 13 that he collected in Week 4. But he was only targeted three times in Week 5, which resulted in the largest decline of the week (-10). Emmanuel Sanders averaged 8.5 targets-per-game from Weeks 1-4, but only received one in Week 5. His drop of -8 was slightly above the -7 that was absorbed by Mohamed Sanu. Woods (-6),  John Brown (-6) and Godwin (-5) also experienced declines, but that was a byproduct of extensive targeting in Week 4 (Woods 15/Brown/11/Godwin 14).

Kupp has now collected 32 targets during his last two matchups. That is the highest two-game total at the position, followed by Woods (24), Godwin (23), Thomas (22), Cooper (22), and Boyd (20). Kupp has also produced double digits in four of his five matchups (10/12/15/17) after accomplishing it three times during his first two seasons combined. If he had attained one more target in Week 2 when the Rams faced New Orleans, then he would be operating with a streak of five consecutive games.

Boyd has also reached double digits in four of his five matchups, and joins Kupp as the only receivers that have accomplished that feat. Allen and Thomas are the only receivers that have achieved 10+ targets in three different contests. However, Allen began the season with double-digit target totals before averaging only 5.5 in Weeks 4-5.

Tyler Lockett has now been limited to four targets in two consecutive contests. But he still leads Seattle’s wide receivers during that span. D.K. Metcalf and Jaron Brown have been targeted seven times in those same two matchups, while David Moore has been targeted just twice in all three games since his Week 3 reemergence. Despite the absence of a massive weekly total, Lockett has delivered impressive numbers in multiple categories. That will be discussed further in the 5 Things I Noticed Section

 

Week 5 Yards-Per-Target Leaders

Marquise Goodwin's  13.8 yards-per-target average leads all receivers that have collected at least 10 targets. Kenny Still is next (13.4), followed by A.J. Brown (13.2), Chark (13.1), and Darius Slayton (13.1/9 receptions). No other receiver is averaging 13+.

Willie Snead (12.8), Pringle (12.3), Cooper (11.9), Godwin (11.9), Gallup (11.7), and Marvin Jones (11.5), are next, followed by Chris Conley and Stefon Diggs with 11.0. No other receivers have attained an average of 11+. The list of receivers that are averaging at least 10 yards-per-target includes Mecole Hardman (10.7), Courtland Sutton (10.6), Tyler Lockett (10.5), Davante Adams (10.5), Fuller (10.3) and Adam Thielen (10.3).

While Gallup had a productive return after being sidelined since Week 2 (113 yards/1 touchdown), his average remains fueled by the 22.6 that he attained in Week 1. He has averaged 8.3 during his other matchups. Godwin has averaged at least 12.3 in three of his last four matchups. Lockett has averaged 12.8 in two consecutive contests and has attained an average of at least 11 in four of his five matchups.

Calvin Ridley’s 9.8 average was highest since Week 3. He had averaged 5.65 in Weeks 3-4. Allen Robinson’s 10.8 average in Week 5 increased his overall average to 9.0. He has now averaged 10.9 during his last two contests.

 

Week 5 Targeted Air Yards Leaders 

Devante Parker leads all receivers in targeted air yards (19.9), followed by Chris Conley and D.K. Metcalf (17.3). Demarcus Robinson is directly behind at 17.2, followed by  Terry McLaurin (16.1), Mike Evans (16), Kenny Golladay (15.9), Brandin Cooks (15.6), James Washington (15.3), and Calvin Ridley (15). No other wide receivers have eclipsed an average of 15. D.J. Chark emerges among the leaders in yet another category (14.7), which ties him with Marvin Jones and Mike Williams. Zay Jones (14.6), Robby Anderson (14.4), Curtis Samuel (14.2), Preston Williams (13.9), Tyrell Williams (13.8), John Brown (13.6), Marquise Brown (13.5), and Stefon Diggs (13.5) complete the top 20.

Mike Evans continues to lead all receivers in air yards (603) after collecting 44 in Week 5. Julio Jones is second (573), followed by Keenan Allen (569), Wil Fuller (542), and Marquise Brown (539). D.J. Chark (536), John Brown (531), Chris Godwin (526), DeAndre Hopkins (526), and Curtis Samuel (524) are also among the top 10 in this category.

 

% Share Of Team’s Air Yards Leaders

Adam Thielen leads all wide receivers in percent share of team’s air yards (49.65) and is followed directly by Michael Thomas (45.35). Robby Anderson is third overall (48.5), followed by Terry McLaurin (41.8), and Allen Robinson (41.77). No other receivers currently have attained a share of 40+. Stefon Diggs (39.29), Courtland Sutton (38.93), D.J. Chark (38.78), Curtis Samuel (38.4), and Kenny Golladay (38.25) complete the top 10.

Mike Evans and Keenan Allen were fifth and seventh respectively after Week 4, but both receivers dropped from the top 10 after their Week 5 performances (Evans 40.8/36.39), (Allen 39.8/37.24). D.K. Metcalf leads Seattle with 31.58% in this category, although Lockett has nearly matched the rookie’s percentage (29.52). Woods’ 29.9% share in 2018 has dropped to 21.4%, while Kupp has attained 26.5% after resurfacing in the lineup.

 

Week 5 Red Zone Target Leaders 

Wide Receiver Total Red Zone Targets  Week 4 Red Zone Targets Week 5 Red Zone Targets Largest Weekly Changes Targets Inside 10 
Emmanuel Sanders 8 0 0 0 5
Courtland Sutton 8 2 0 0 3
T.Y. Hilton 7 INJ 0 0 5
Keenan Allen 7 1 0 -1 4
Larry Fitzgerald 7 0 1 -1 7
D.K. Metcalf 7 3 1 1 1
Chris Godwin 7 2 1 0 5
Cooper Kupp 7 1 3 2 3
Terry McLaurin 6 INJ 0 INJ 4
Tyrell Williams 6 2 INJ 1 4
Kenny Golladay 6 3 BYE 2 5
Davante Adams 6 4 INJ 4 1
Mike Evans 6 1 1 -2 1
Nelson Agholor 6 0 1 -3 4
Sterling Shepard 6 1 2 1 1
Mike Williams 6 INJ 3 3 4
Marquise Brown 6 2 3 1 1
Auden Tate 6 2 3 1 2

Even though neither Courtland Sutton or Emmanuel Sanders were targeted in the red zone in Week 5, the tandem of Bronco receivers lead the league for a second consecutive week (8). Cooper Kupp, T.Y. Hilton, Chris Godwin, Larry Fitzgerald, Keenan Allen, and D.K. Metcalf are next (7). Rookies Terry McLaurin and Auden Tate are among the collection of 10 receivers that are tied with six targets inside the 20 (Mike Evans/Marquise Brown/Sterling Shepard/Mike Williams/Tyrell Williams/Nelson Agholor/Kenny Golladay/and Davante Adams).

Will Fuller captured a league-high four targets during Week 5. Mike Williams, Tate, Kupp, and Marquise Brown all attained three, while eight additional receivers were targeted twice during their matchups. Fuller and Marquise Brown have now collected five targets during their last two games, while Geronimo Allison has attained four. Kupp has captured three red-zone targets in two of his last three matchups.

Larry Fitzgerald continues to lead his position with seven targets inside the 10. Sanders, Godwin, Hilton, and Golladay are next with five, while six receivers have been targeted four times. Fitzgerald also leads with seven targets inside the five while no other receiver has collected more than three.

 

Week 5 Snap Count Leaders

Wide Receiver Week 5 Snap Counts  Week 5 Snap Count %  Total Snaps Total Snap Count % 
Robert Woods 67 93% 368 96.10%
Cooper Kupp 48 66.70% 340 88.80%
Brandin Cooks 46 63.90% 332 87%
Nelson Agholor 61 90% 330 91.20%
Tyler Lockett 67 90.50% 328 92.90%
Chris Godwin 57 96.70% 327 94.80%
DeAndre Hopkins 71 97.20% 324 96.70%
Will Fuller 72 98.60% 323 96%
Larry Fitzgerald 57 74% 321 88.20%
John Brown 53 81.50% 319 86%
Mike Evans 57 96.70% 311 90%
Curtis Samuel 59 91% 307 90.00%
D.J. Moore 63 96.70% 307 90.00%
Michael Thomas 64 91.40% 307 93%
Keenan Allen 69 98.60% 307 90%
Julian Edelman 72 92% 306 84.50%
Allen Robinson 58 100% 305 92.40%
Courtland Sutton 51 86.70% 303 90.50%
Tyler Boyd 66 98.50% 301 88.00%
Josh Gordon 67 86% 297 82.40%
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 70 94.60% 297 85.50%
Demarcus Robinson 58 92% 296 86%
Mohamed Sanu 62 83.80% 296 83%
Amari Cooper 63 87.50% 296 87%
Adam Thielen 60 84.50% 285 91.00%
Emmanuel Sanders 39 64% 274 82%
Odell Beckham 49 100% 273 96.40%
D.K. Metcalf 51 69% 273 77.30%
Julio Jones 56 75.70% 272 76%
Sammy Watkins INJ INJ 271 78.60%
Chris Conley 65 77.30% 270 77.60%
Calvin Ridley 61 82.40% 270 75.20%
Paul Richardson 51 86.40% 269 84.6%
Christian Kirk INJ INJ 267 74.00%
Jarvis Landry 49 100% 264 93.20%
Corey Davis 54 87.10% 264 80.70%
D.J Chark 68 81% 264 75.80%
Kenny Golladay BYE BYE 262 90.30%
Randall Cobb 60 83% 261 76.70%
Willie Snead 56 69% 261 67%
JuJu Smith-Schuster 55 92% 260 87.20%
Dede Westbrook 58 69.00% 260 75.00%
Trey Quinn 58 76% 257 81%
Sterling Shepard 56 81% 256 73%
Marvin Jones BYE BYE 254 87.60%
Cole Beasley 42 65% 245 66%

Last year's leader in snap counts among wide receivers has re-emerged with this year's highest snap count percentage. DeAndre Hopkins (96.7) leads a cluster of four receivers that have attained a percentage of 96+ and is joined by Odell Beckham (96.5), Will Fuller (96.5), and Robert Woods (96.1). Chris Godwin is next (94.8), while Jarvis Landry (93.2), Michael Thomas (93.0), Tyler Lockett (93.0), Robby Anderson (92.8), and Allen Robinson (92.4) complete the top 10. Adam Thielen, Nelson Agholor, Courtland Sutton, Kenny Golladay, Mike Evans, D. J. Moore, and Curtis Samuel are the only other receivers that are performing on at least 90% of the team's offensive snaps.

Woods leads the position in total snaps (368), followed by teammates Kupp (340), and Cooks (332). Agholor is next (330), followed by Lockett (328), Godwin (327), Hopkins (324), and Fuller (323). Allen, Edelman, and Carolina teammates Moore and Samuel are among the 11 additional receivers that have performed on 300+ snaps.

Robinson played on every offensive snap in Week 5, as did Cincinnati’s rookie Auden Tate. Fuller, Allen, Boyd, Hopkins, Moore, Evans, and Godwin were all involved in at least 96% of their team's snaps. Keesean Johnson played on 73 snaps which was a significant rise from the 30.3 that he averaged in Weeks 2-4. It was also the highest snap total for the week. Edelman (72), Fuller (72), Hopkins (71), Valdes-Scantling (70) were the only other receivers that were involved in 70+  snaps.

Back issues have negatively impacted Mike Williams while forcing him to the sideline in Week 4. But he returned in Week 5 and was able to perform on 88.6 of the Chargers’ snaps. A.J. Brown also played on more snaps than Tajae Sharpe. This should be encouraging for Brown owners, and it will be examined further in the 5 Things I Noticed Section.

 

Five Things I Noticed 

1. If you are an Odell Beckham owner, then you probably entered Week 1 with extreme optimism. He was expected to flourish in a dynamic offense, and it was widely believed that he would be operating with the most talented quarterback of his career. But even though his exodus to Cleveland produced legitimate for optimism, the mercurial receiver’s first five games as a Brown have contained one electrifying play and an enormous degree of frustration. He is 11th among receivers in targets (43), but only 27th in receptions (23) and 24th in yardage (335). His 53.5% catch rate is the lowest of his career, and 8.6% below his average. Beckham also trails Jarvis Landry in yards-per-reception (18.3/14.6) and yards-per-target (10.3/7.8), as Landry’s averages easily surpass his career bests  (10.5 per-reception/7.04 per-target). If you were to eliminate Beckham’s 89-yard touchdown in Week 2 against the Jets, his numbers become even more alarming. His output in Weeks 4-5 also underscores the inefficiency of his usage. Beckham has been targeted 13 times during those contests but has only generated an anemic (2 receptions per-game/23.5 yards-per-game). It is understandable for owners to be disappointed. But this is not the time to sell Beckham. Not only is his value at its lowest level, but his statistical plunge is a byproduct of the inadequacies throughout Cleveland’s offense. Freddie Kitchens has appeared overwhelmed by the magnitude of playcalling while functioning as a head coach. This makes it plausible that modifications will be made to expand Baker Mayfield’s comfort level, and determine how to improve the deployment of Beckham’s exceptional talent. Owners should remain patient in hopes that this occurs soon.

2. 59 receivers were targeted with greater frequency than Tyler Lockett in 2018. But he maximized his opportunities by generating 965  yards, tying for fifth in touchdowns (10), and finishing at WR20 in scoring. Owners who invested a fourth-round round selection on the fifth-year receiver during this year’s draft process were trusting in his ability to perform effectively within a Seattle offense that maintains a steadfast commitment to the run. After five matchups, Lockett is among the leaders in multiple categories despite operating in a Seahawk attack that is just 28th in pass play percentage (52.3%). He has been targeted 36 times by Russell Wilson, which only places him 28th among all wide receivers. But he is 12th in receiving yards (379), ninth in completed air yards (283) and first in catch percentage (88.3). He is also tied for eighth with two receptions of 40+ yards, tied for ninth with six catches of 20+. Lockett is also fifth in snaps (328) and has already collected five red zone targets. He also paces Seattle in yards-per-target (10.5), is averaging 29.3% of his team's air yards and has attained the Seahawks' highest target share (24%). Lockett resides at WR9 in PPR scoring and should remain highly productive despite the encumbrances of his environment.

3. A.J. Brown was targeted just twice in Week 5 against Buffalo, which was his lowest total of the season. That has already compelled some owners to drop him this week. However, this is an excellent time to target him for your rosters if he is available.  However, if you progress beyond the initial concern regarding his targets, owners should be encouraged by his 40 snaps - which tied his season-high. He had only played on 50% of the Titans' snaps once during his first four matchups and was averaging 45.5%. But that percentage rose to 65% in Week 5, which exceeded the counts for Adam Humphries (36/58%) and Tajae Sharpe (20/32%). Sharpe had been averaging 35/53% of Tennessee’s offensive snaps from Weeks 1-4. But Brown’s immense physical talent was destined to increase his usage to a level far beyond Sharpe’s. Hopefully, the fact that his count doubled Sharpe’s total is an indication that this process is accelerating. Brown owners must contend with erratic production due to Marcus Mariota’s shortcomings. But he already leads the Titans in receiving yards (250) and could be on the threshold of more consistent usage (3.8 targets-per-game). He will continue sharing the distribution of targets with Delanie Walker (5 per-game), (Corey Davis 4.4 per-game), and Adam Humphries (4.2 per-game). But Brown should become a more valuable component on rosters as the season progresses.

4. Tyler Boyd capitalized on the 14 targets that were distributed by Andy Dalton in Week 5, by collecting 10 receptions and generating 123 yards. It was his second 10-catch, 122+yard performance of the season, and multiple factors will sustain Boyd’ s current status as Cincinnati’s primary receiving weapon. He is currently tied for third in targets (53), fourth in receptions (37), and seventh in receiving yards (406), while also pacing the Bengals in target share (26.6), and percentage of team's air yards (30.9). With the timetable for A.J. Green's return (ankle) still uncertain, and John Ross on IR (clavicle), Boyd is easily the most essential receiving weapon within a Cincinnati offense that is now reliant on Boyd, and rookies Auden Tate and Damion Willis. This is significant as he operates within a Bengal attack that is second in pass play percentage 70.44. Only Matt Ryan (222) and Jared Goff (222) have attempted more passes then Dalton (204), and Cincinnati’s 31st ranked defense is allowing 411.8 yards-per-game. These dynamics make it reasonable to project upcoming game scripts that will include a favorable number of opportunities for Boyd.

5. John Brown was a 25-year-old receiver in his second year when he generated the only 1,000-yard season of his career. That was in 2015 when he also established career highs in receptions (65), and touchdowns (7). He also eclipsed 100 targets for the second consecutive season (103/101) and was functioning proficiently as a dynamic vertical weapon for Arizona. Health concerns largely confiscated his opportunity to ascend further in 2016/2017. However, he re-established his presence with Baltimore in 2018. Brown averaged 10 targets during a four-game stretch (Weeks 2-5) and averaged just under 8-per-game from Weeks 2-9. The transition to Lamar Jackson under center largely expunged Brown's opportunities during the Ravens final five matchups (4.4 per-game). But his reemergence among the league's most productive receiving weapons has accelerated due to his favorable environment in Buffalo. He is tied for 14th in targets (39) while averaging 7.8 targets-per-game. He would easily establish a new career-high if he continues at his current pace (125). Brown's 390 yards also place him 11th, while his 10.0 yard-per-target average is also the highest of his career, and exceeds the 7.34 average that he attained from 2014-2018. Brown's 390 yards also place him 11th, he is also seventh in air yards, and his 71.8% catch rate easily surpasses his career average (52%). He is also 12th in percentage share of team air yards (36.2), and his five receptions of 20+ yards are nearly halfway to his career-high 11. Owners can confidently elevate  Brown into their starting lineups when he returns from the Bills' Week 6 bye.

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