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Your wide receivers remain essential components toward accomplishing your unwavering goal of securing a league championship. As the season unfolds, it is crucial for you to utilize the tools that you have available, in order to maintain an extensive level of knowledge regarding the number of opportunities that are being provided to your wide receivers - both in terms of their snap counts and how often they are being targeted by their quarterbacks.

Each week, this article will examine these specific categories, along with any other noteworthy changes in usage that signal an increase or regression in opportunity. This 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 and NFL Savant were used to obtain all target and red zone target totals, while snap count information was assembled with information from Football Outsiders.

We now are in possession of data from six weeks of game action that will provide the basis for comparison of snap counts and targets for each receiver. This will include the most likely candidates to experience a rise or decline in those numbers during the upcoming weeks. Here is a breakdown of the most compelling changes in usage and opportunity from Week 6.

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Overall Targets

Wide Receiver Week 3 Targets Week 4 Targets  Week 5 Targets Week 6 Targets Total Targets Targets Per Game    Increases And  Decreases
Adam Thielen 19 12 10 15 81 13.5 5
Antonio Brown 9 11 13 6 72 12 -7
Davante Adams 9 14 12 16 71 11.8 4
Odell Beckham Jr. 10 11 14 10 69 11.5 -4
Julio Jones 6 12 9 14 69 11.5 5
Jarvis Landry 15 10 10 9 66 11 -1
DeAndre Hopkins 10 12 13 6 63 10.5 -7
Juju Smith-Schuster 11 11 4 10 63 10.5 6
Stefon Diggs 10 15 11 5 60 10 -6
Michael Crabtree 10 8 12 9 55 9.2 -3
A.J. Green 8 8 10 12 55 9.2 2
Emmanuel Sanders 8 7 14 10 54 9 -4
Tyler Boyd 7 15 7 9 52 8.7 2
Golden Tate 8 8 7 BYE 51 8.5 BYE
Keenan Allen 7 10 9 6 51 8.5 -3
Robert Woods 11 5 7 10 51 8.5 3
Tyreek Hill 5 13 7 12 51 8.5 5
Michael Thomas 10 4 5 BYE 49 8.2 BYE
Corey Davis 4 15 6 4 49 8.2 -2
Nelson Agholor 5 12 4 5 48 8 1
John Brown 9 7 14 3 47 7.8 -11
Mike Evans 11 9 BYE 5 44 7.3 -4
Quincy Enunwa 8 8 5 1 43 7.2 -4
Demaryius Thomas 5 7 6 4 43 7.2 -2
Sterling Shepard 7 10 7 7 43 7.2 0
Willie Snead 5 7 7 10 43 7.2 3
Cooper Kupp 6 11 9 1 (INJ) 42 7 INJ
Chester Rogers 4 11 11 9 42 7 -2
Kenny Golladay 7 4 9 BYE 41 6.8 BYE
Donte Moncrief 3 5 15 3 40 6.7 -12
Keelan Cole 9 3 10 5 39 65 -5
Brandin Cooks 8 8 0 6 39 6.5 6
Antonio Callaway 10 9 5 10 39 6.5 5
Pierre Garcon 4 7 12 6 39 6.5 -6
T.Y. Hilton 10 6 INJ INJ 38 9.5 INJ
Dede Westbrook 4 13 5 5 38 6.3 0
Allen Robinson 7 4 BYE 6 38 7.6 2
Ryan Grant 4 7 9 5 36 6 -4
Devin Funchess 7 BYE 7 8 36 7.2 1
Cole Beasley 5 5 3 11 35 5.8 8
Taylor Gabriel 10 7 BYE 5 34 6.8 -2
Marvin Jones 6 6 4 BYE 33 5.5 BYE
Mohamed Sanu 7 9 7 INJ 33 5.5 INJ
Christian Kirk 8 7 4 7 33 5.5 3
Larry Fitzgerald 2 5 3 8 35 5.8 5
Sammy Watkins 8 1 8 4 33 5.5 -4
Amari Cooper 5 12 1 1 (INJ) 32 5.3 INJ
Tyler Lockett 6 6 5 4 32 5.3 -1
Albert Wilson 2 6 6 9 32 5.3 3
Kelvin Benjamin 5 6 5 6 32 5.3 1

Adam Thielen continues to reside atop the list of target leaders (81), followed by Antonio Brown (72), Davante Adams (71), Julio Jones (69) and Odell Beckham (69), with Jarvis Landry (66), DeAndre Hopkins (63), Juju Smith-Schuster (63) and Stefon Diggs (60) joining him in having collected at least 60 for the season.

After six weeks, Thielen and Hopkins continue to be the only receivers who have captured double-digit target totals in every contest. Beckham has accomplished it five times, while Adams, Brown, Hopkins, Smith-Schuster, and Diggs have achieved it in four contests. Beckham has been targeted at least 10 times in four consecutive games, while Adams has accomplished it in three straight contests, and both Green and Emmanuel Sanders have achieved it during each of their last two.

Callaway sustained his lead in overall targets among rookies (39). Christian Kirk collected seven targets for the second time in his last two contests, which propelled his overall total 33. Courtland Sutton has steadily climbed into third among newcomers with 30, while Calvin Ridley is next (29), after a Week 6 ankle injury temporarily stalled his recent statistical momentum. Even though Keke Coutee’s weekly totals have declined since he initially took the field in Week 4 (12, 7, 5) his 27 targets are fifth-most among first-year receivers.

The leaders in targets-per-game also closely resemble the list of overall leaders, as Thielen’s 13.5 is first among all players at his  position. He has maintained outstanding overall numbers through consistent weekly totals, which include five weeks with a target total between 12-15, with a season high of 19 in Week 3. Brown is next with 12 per game, which has been achieved despite single digit totals in Weeks 3 and 6. Adams is third overall (11.8), even though his average rises to 12.6 if you exclude his eight-target outcome in Week 1. He is followed by Beckham (11.5),  Julio Jones (11.5), Landry (11), Hopkins (10.5), Smith-Schuster (10.5) and Diggs (10), while no other wide receivers are currently averaging double-digits in targets on a weekly basis.

 

Largest Increases And Decreases

Wide Receiver Week 3 Targets Week 4 Targets  Week 5 Targets Week 6 Targets Total Targets Targets Per Game    Largest Weekly  Changes
Cole Beasley 5 5 3 11 35 5.8 8
Chris Godwin 10 2 BYE 9 31 6.2 7
Danny Amendola 3 3 4 11 31 5.2 7
Doug Baldwin 0 7 1 8 16 5.3 7
JuJu Smith-Schuster 11 11 4 10 63 10.5 6
Jermaine Kearse 6 5 4 10 27 5.4 6
Adam Thielen 19 12 10 15 81 13.5 5
Julio Jones 6 12 9 14 69 11.5 5
Tyreek Hill 5 13 7 12 51 8.5 5
Antonio Callaway 10 9 5 10 39 6.5 5
Larry Fitzgerald 2 5 3 8 35 5.8 5
Josh Gordon 0 2 4 9 18 4.5 5
Davante Adams 9 14 12 16 71 11.8 4
Alshon Jeffery INJ 9 8 12 29 9.7 4
Robert Woods 11 5 7 10 51 8.5 3
Willie Snead 5 7 7 10 43 7.2 3
Christian Kirk 8 7 4 7 33 5.5 3
Albert Wilson 2 6 6 9 32 5.3 3
A.J. Green 8 8 10 12 55 9.2 2
Tyler Boyd 7 15 7 9 52 8.7 2
Allen Robinson 7 4 BYE 6 38 7.6 2
Nelson Agholor 5 12 4 5 48 8 1
Devin Funchess 7 BYE 7 8 36 7.2 1
Kelvin Benjamin 5 6 5 6 32 5.3 1
DeSean Jackson 5 8 BYE 9 31 6.2 1
Tyrell Williams 3 5 3 4 23 3.8 1
Jarvis Landry 15 10 10 9 66 11 -1
Tyler Lockett 6 6 5 4 32 5.3 -1
Jordy Nelson 8 8 4 3 31 5.2 -1
Corey Davis 4 15 6 4 49 8.2 -2
Demaryius Thomas 5 7 6 4 43 7.2 -2
Chester Rogers 4 11 11 9 42 7 -2
Taylor Gabriel 10 7 BYE 5 34 6.8 -2
Courtland Sutton 3 6 6 4 30 5 -2
Calvin Ridley 8 6 5 3 29 4.8 -2
Keke Coutee 0 15 7 5 27 9 -2
Taywan Taylor 5 9 5 3 26 5.2 -2
Julian Edelman 0 0 9 7 16 8 -2
Michael Crabtree 10 8 12 9 55 9.2 -3
Keenan Allen 7 10 9 6 51 8.5 -3
Odell Beckham Jr. 10 11 14 10 69 11.5 -4
Emmanuel Sanders 8 7 14 10 54 9 -4
Mike Evans 11 9 BYE 5 44 7.3 -4
Quincy Enunwa 8 8 5 1 43 7.2 -4
Ryan Grant 4 7 9 5 36 6 -4
Sammy Watkins 8 1 8 4 33 5.5 -4
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 1 3 10 6 21 4.2 -4
Keelan Cole 9 3 10 5 39 65 -5
Stefon Diggs 10 15 11 5 60 10 -6
Pierre Garcon 4 7 12 6 39 6.5 -6
Antonio Brown 9 11 13 6 72 12 -7
DeAndre Hopkins 10 12 13 6 63 10.5 -7
John Brown 9 7 14 3 47 7.8 -11
Donte Moncrief 3 5 15 3 40 6.7 -12

With some exceptions, most of this week’s increases and decreases in targeting will focus on differentials between Weeks 5-6, with the exception of receivers who missed their Week 5 matchups due to injuries, or their byes. In those scenarios, we will compare the Week 4 results to what occurred in Week 6.

Adams led all receivers with the 16 targets that he collected last Monday Night against San Francisco, while a total of 14 players achieved double-digit totals for the week - Thielen (15), Jones (14), Green (12), Tyreek Hill (12), Alshon Jeffery (12), Cole Beasley (11), Danny Amendola (11), Beckham, Smith-Schuster, Robert Woods, Emmanuel Sanders, Willie Snead, Antonio Callaway (10).

The largest increase was attained by Beasley, who was targeted eight times in Week 1, then averaged four targets per game from Weeks 2-5 before Dak Prescott located him 11 times in Week 6. The massive increase of eight occurred after he had registered a season-low three in Week 5, as the Cowboys capitalized on Jacksonville’s emerging shortcomings in slot coverage. While Beasley remains a capable performer running inside routes, he will not garner that many opportunities on a consistent basis.

Chris Godwin, Doug Baldwin, and Danny Amendola all benefited from a surge of +7, as Godwin’s usage rose significantly after the season-worst low two that he received prior to Tampa Bay’s Week 5 bye. While this will be encouraging for his owners, the presence of Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, and Adam Humphries creates a massive obstacle that will prohibit Godwin from attaining similar target totals with any consistency. The outlook is more favorable for Baldwin, whose total skyrocketed after a substantial regression from Week 4-5 (7, 1). He standing as Seattle’s WR1 will keep his opportunities at a desirable level. Amendola’s forecast resides somewhere between Godwin and Baldwin, as his opportunities will remain inconsistent while he shares targets with Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson.

The largest weekly regression was registered by Moncrief (-12), which was also among the most predictable outcomes. He was included among the primary topics in last week’s target report, when the massive fluctuations in opportunities for Jacksonville's trio of Moncrief, Keelan Cole, and Dede Westbrook were examined at length. Moncrief’s decline occurred after the 15 targets that he obtained in Week 5, plummeted to just three. While owners of all three Jaguar receivers are destined for more erratic weekly totals, John Brown should rebound from his unexpected drop (-11), which will be discussed further in the "Five Things That I Noticed" section below.

 

Red Zone Targets

Wide Receiver Week 3 Red Zone Targets Week 4 Red Zone Targets Week 5 Red Zone Targets Week 6 Red Zone Targets Total Red Zone Targets Increases And  Decreases
JuJu Smith-Schuster 2 3 2 1 16 1
Davante Adams 2 1 2 5 15 3
Michael Thomas 2 2 1 BYE 12 BYE
A.J. Green 3 3 2 1 12 -1
Cooper Kupp 1 3 1 INJ 11 INJ
DeAndre Hopkins 2 2 3 1 10 -2
Antonio Brown 0 1 4 0 9 0
Jarvis Landry 3 2 1 2 9 1
Adam Thielen 1 3 2 2 9 0
Sterling Shepard 2 3 0 3 9 3
Marvin Jones 1 1 1 BYE 8 BYE
Chris Godwin 4 0 0 2 8 2
Odell Beckham Jr. 0 1 2 2 8 0
Brandin Cooks 2 2 0 0 7 0
Quincy Enunwa 0 2 1 0 7 0
Tyler Boyd 1 3 0 2 7 2
Alshon Jeffery 0 2 2 3 7 1
Sammy Watkins 2 1 2 1 7 -1
Tyreek Hill 0 2 2 2 7 0
T.Y. Hilton 2 0 INJ INJ 6 INJ
Corey Davis 1 2 0 0 6 0
Nelson Agholor 1 2 0 0 6 0
Allen Robinson 3 1 BYE 1 6 1
Michael Crabtree 0 1 3 1 6 -2
Demaryius Thomas 0 0 0 2 6 2
Robert Woods 3 0 0 0 5 0
Keenan Allen 1 1 0 0 5 0
Phillip Dorsett 0 1 0 0 5 0
Calvin Ridley 2 2 0 0 5 0
Taylor Gabriel 0 2 BYE 0 5 0
John Brown 0 0 2 0 5 0
Jordy Nelson 1 2 1 0 5 0
Donte Moncrief 0 0 3 0 5 0
Kenny Golladay 2 0 2 BYE 5 BYE
Cole Beasley 1 0 0 3 5 3
Devin Funchess 1 0 0 1 5 1
Emmanuel Sanders 0 0 0 1 5 1
Zay Jones 0 1 1 3 5 2
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 0 0 2 3 5 1

Smith-Schuster is still pacing all receivers with 16 red zone targets, as he continues to sustain a lead that was established when he captured a massive eight red zone targets in Week 2. Adams lurks just behind him (15), in the aftermath of his exceptional Week 6 results. Thomas and Green are next with 12, followed by Kupp (11) and Hopkins (10).

No other receivers have reached double digits, although Thielen, Brown, Landry, and Sterling Shepard are now on the threshold of doing so. Thielen, Landry, and Shepard have all amassed eight of their nine red zone targets since Week 2.

Jeffrey has collected seven red zone targets in just three games since returning from his lingering shoulder issue, which is among the most significant developments in this category (2, 2, 3). Tyreek Hill has joined Jeffery in a grouping of five receivers that have reached that season-long total, after obtaining six of his red zone targets since Week 4.

 

Largest Increases And Decreases

Adams owners were the beneficiaries of this week's largest increase in red zone targets, similarly to how they were rewarded in the target category. Aaron Rodgers launched five passes in his direction inside the 20, which were two more than he had collected during any previous week of the season. Beasley matched the +3 increase of Adams, as did Sterling Shepard, who has now accumulated three in two separate contests this season.

Rookie Marquez Valdes-Scantling also captured three red zone targets in Week 6, and has collected five in the past two contests, while fully capitalizing on his additional snaps as Randall Cobb (hamstring) and Geronimo Allison (hamstring) have been sidelined with their persistent health issues. Valdes-Scantling has proven that he can deliver fantasy points when he is on the field. Unfortunately, he could be relegated to a WR4 role behind Cobb and Allison when the Packers return from their Week 7 bye.

Zay Jones recent level of opportunity would normally launch him into consideration as a WR3 option, as he has also attained three targets near the end zone, while accruing five since Week 4. But the deficiencies that are rampant in Buffalo's offense are far from normal and there simply is no reason to subject yourself to ownership of a Bills receiver, now that Josh Allen will be absent from the lineup.

 

Snap Counts  

Wide Receiver Week 4 Snap Counts  Week 5 Snap Counts  Week 6 Snap Counts Total Snaps Total Snap Count %  Snap Count % Change
DeAndre Hopkins 86/100% 80/100% 61/100% 435 100% 0
Jarvis Landry 72/89% 80/100% 73/99% 431 93% -1%
Davante Adams 76/100% 71/88% 63/89% 412 95% 1%
Nelson Agholor 72/92% 52/88% 64/90% 408 92.50% 2%
Adam Thielen 73/99% 60/97% 69/97% 406 97% 0%
Antonio Brown 59/95% 57/93% 63/86% 401 94% -7%
Robert Woods 55/100% 66/100% 72/97% 398 98% -3%
Odell Beckham Jr. 59/95% 52/93% 63/97% 367 96% 4%
Jordy Nelson 80/87% 47/89% 57/95% 365 87% 6%
Sterling Shepard 59/95% 56/100% 63/97% 363 95% -3%
Emmanuel Sanders 54/90% 73/95% 56/85% 361 88% -10%
Stefon Diggs 62/85% 53/85% 63/89% 359 86% 4%
Brandin Cooks 52/95% 28/42% 68/92% 355 87% 50%
JuJu Smith-Schuster 60/97% 50/82% 50/68% 354 83% 14%
Chris Hogan 70/86% 63/91% 47/60% 351 85% -29%
Tyreek Hill 70/90% 64/91% 53/98% 346 88.50% 7
Tyler Lockett 62/94% 52/87% 51/78% 342 89% -11%
Michael Crabtree 48/63% 72/83% 41/54% 339 71% -29%
Keelan Cole 60/78% 74/89% 45/94% 338 85% 5%
Ryan Grant 72/79% 68/82% 40/58% 338 76% -24%
A.J. Green 69/95% 51/95% 57/93% 332 85% -2
Amari Cooper 80/87% 51/96% 12/20% (INJ) 326 78% -76% (INJ)
Cooper Kupp 53/96% 36/55% 28/38% (INJ) 325 80% -8% (INJ)
Tyler Boyd 62/85% 45/75% 57/93% 322 82% 22%
Kenny Stills 38/78% 78/94% 67/86% 320 90% -8
Antonio Callaway 57/70% 55/69% 72/97% 318 69% 28
Julio Jones 54/77% 53/74% 51/76% 317 77% 2
John Brown 44/58% 59/68% 41/54% 315 66% -14%
Marvin Jones 50/93% 58/94% BYE 314 94% BYE
Zay Jones 53/74% 50/77% 58/94% 314 83% 17
Demaryius Thomas 51/85% 47/61% 48/73% 312 76% 12%
Allen Robinson 53/87% BYE 59/84% 311 91% -3
Michael Thomas 66/94% 51/77% BYE 311 90% BYE
Mohamed Sanu 55/79% 59/82% 33/49% (INJ) 311 76% -33% (INJ)
Corey Davis 60/85% 49/91% 38/86% 310 86% -5%
Pierre Garcon  49/82% 62/63% 45/79% 310 75% 16
Donte Moncrief 60/78% 68/82% 38/79% 308 77% -3
Keenan Allen 57/84% 49/77% 39/65% 307 80% -12%
Kenny Golladay 53/98% 49/79% BYE 302 90% BYE
Willie Snead 39/51% 67/77% 55/72% 300 63% -5

Hopkins continues to lead all receivers in total snaps, and snap count percentage (435/100%). He has also performed on 100% of the Texans' snaps in five consecutive games, after playing on 99% of the snaps in Week 1. Thielen and Woods have been involved in at least 96% of their teams' snaps throughout the season, while Kupp (concussion/knee) and Cooks (concussion) had matched Woods' level of involvement before they encountered their respective injuries.

Landry (431), Adams (412), Agholor (408), Thielen (406), and Antonio Brown (401) have all eclipsed 400 snaps for the season, while a total of 42 receivers have performed on at least 300 snaps. That cluster now includes three Ravens, including Willie Snead, whose snap count percentages in Weeks 5/6 (65%/72%), have risen significantly from the level of opportunity that he received in Weeks 1-4 (56.5%).

 

Largest Increases And Decreases

Snead's increased usage occurred as Michael Crabtree experienced a season-low count (41/54%), after averaging 60/74% during Baltimore's first five games. While that did not prohibit Crabtree from providing his owners with a season-high 93 yards and a touchdown, a similar decline in John Brown's snap count (41/54%) following a 55/69% average, was certainly a factor in his season low output. While Snead will be the beneficiary of an excellent matchup in the slot this week, all three receivers have defined roles and Brown still provides owners with a weekly WR3 option.

Amendola's Week 6 count represented a significant rise from his averages in Weeks 1-5 (43/77%), while Jermaine Kearse’s team-high count (59/83%) easily surpassed his previous average (35/57%). Amendola’s involvement will vary, but Kearse is an excellent roster addition while Quincy Enunwa's injury keeps him affixed to the sideline. Kearse will deliver consistent production while operating in the slot, if he can earn the same comfort level that Sam Darnold had previously established with Enunwa.

After averaging a microscopic count of 9% on Green Bay’s offensive snaps in Weeks 1-3, Valdes-Scantling’s average soared to 94% in Weeks 5-6, as another byproduct of his expanded role while Cobb and Allison were unavailable. Julian Edelman played on 71/ 91% of New England's offensive snaps in Week 6, which was a sizable jump from the 48/70% that he registered during his season debut (Week 5).

Meanwhile, teammate Josh Gordon performed on 63/91% of the Patriots snaps, which was well above his season-long averages (35/44%). Chris Hogan was negatively impacted by these developments, as his Week 6 count (47/60%) dwelled far below his previous average (61/91%).

 

Five Things I Noticed

1. Godwin is tied with Hopkins for the league lead in targets inside the 10 (8). However, Godwin owners should be cautioned that six of those passes were launched by Ryan Fitzpatrick, and the pair of throws that were distributed to him in Week 6, was the first since Week 3. Thomas (7), Kupp (7), and Marvin Jones (6) comprise the top five in this category, while Green, Landry, and second-year receivers Corey Davis and Kenny Golladay have all attained five.

2. Jarvis Landry had been averaging six receptions and 76 YPG prior to his disappointing 2 reception/11-yard performance in Week 6, and the paltry yardage total resulted in Landry now residing 23rd in that category for the season (392), even though he is sixth in targets (66). Of course, it is that extensive targeting that should reduce any concerns for his owners, while his 12.6 YPC is also the highest average of his five-year career. Baker Mayfield will continue to locate him repeatedly. The emergence of David Njoku as the Browns’ target leader in Weeks 5 and 6 (11/12) should also compel opposing defensive units to utilize resources to account for the second-year tight end, which will boost Landry’s chances of delivering more weeks with high-quality production.

3. John Brown’s sizable drop in targets (3) and production (2 receptions/28 yards) was undoubtedly a discouraging development for his owners. He had entered Week 6 averaging 10 targets, and 88 YPG from Weeks 2-5, and had just collected a season-best 15 targets in Week 5. But even though Crabtree (9) and Snead (10) received more opportunities against the Titans, Brown will maintain his vital role as the Ravens' vertical threat. He is fifth among all receivers in % of team air yards according to NFL.com’s NextGenStats (40.97%), and will be targeted on deep throws with enough frequency to reward his owners in upcoming weeks.

4. After missing Weeks 1-3 due to his shoulder issue, Alshon Jeffery has accumulated 29 targets (9/8/12), and the aforementioned seven red zone targets in just three games. His extensive usage is contrasted by teammate Nelson Agholor, whose average of 11 targets per game in Weeks 1-2, has plunged to 4.5 but that average has plunged to 6.5 in Weeks 5-6. Agholor did accrue a season-best 91 yards against the Giants, but that total was fueled by two fluke plays that accounted for 90 of those yards. His usage should be of great concern to owners, as an increasingly healthy Carson Wentz will continue to locate Jeffery and Zach Ertz with far greater frequency.

5. The discussion surrounding the viability of adding Tyrell Williams to rosters has surged this week, in the aftermath of his 118 yards/2 touchdown performance in Week 6. However, he is averaging 3.8 targets per game, and has only received three targets in three of his six games. He also has not exceeded five in any game this season, and anyone depending on him will be reliant on huge plays in order for him to provide you with any meaningful production. This is not to suggest that Mike Williams is a more trustworthy option (6/2/7/3/4/4), as there is inherent risk in relying on either Charger receiver on a regular basis.

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