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Wide Receiver Snap Counts and Target Trends - Week 2 Analysis


Wide receivers are essential components in your efforts to achieve your primary 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 second installment that will examine 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 two 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, Rotoviz, and Football Outsiders were all used as resources in compiling this data.

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!

 

Week 2 Target Leaders  

Wide Receivers Total Targets Targets Per Game Yards Per Target
Michael Thomas 26 13 8.2
Keenan Allen 25 12.5 8.8
D.J. Moore 24 12 6.9
Sammy Watkins 24 12 10.3
Larry Fitzgerald 24 12 9
Jamison Crowder 23 11.5 6
Tyler Boyd 21 10.5 8.7
Julio Jones 21 10.5 6.5
Odell Beckham Jr. 21 10.5 11
DeAndre Hopkins 21 10.5 7.2
Emmanuel Sanders 20 10 9.2
Christian Kirk 20 10 7.3
John Ross 20 10 13.5
Allen Robinson 20 10 7.2
Kenny Golladay 19 9.5 8.4
Cooper Kupp 19 9.5 8.7
Marquise Brown 18 9 12.9
John Brown 18 9 10.8
Curtis Samuel 17 8.5 7.2
Davante Adams 17 8.5 8.4
Nelson Agholor 16 8 7.4
Calvin Ridley 16 8 10.6
Terry McLaurin 16 8 11.7
JuJu Smith-Schuster 16 8 10.1
Bennie Fowler 15 7.5 6.1
Chris Godwin 15 7.5 11.6
Michael Gallup 15 7.5 15.1
Courtland Sutton 15 7.5 10.7
T.Y. Hilton 15 7.5 8.7
Julian Edelman 15 7.5 8.9
Robert Woods 15 7.5 6.9
Tyrell Williams 14 7 10.8
Damiere Byrd 14 7 6.2
Devante Parker 14 7 5.4
Amari Cooper 14 7 10.7
Jarvis Landry 14 7 7.1
Danny Amendola 14 7 7.4
Tyler Lockett 13 6.5 8.8
D. J. Chark 13 6.5 15.5
Mike Evans 13 6.5 6.8
Mohamed Sanu 13 6.5 5.6
Trey Quinn 13 6.5 5.3
D.K. Metcalf 13 6.5 11.5
Robby Anderson 13 6.5 8
Cody Latimer 13 6.5 8
Cole Beasley 13 6.5 9.5
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 12 6 5.9
Chris Conley 12 6 14.2
Keesean Johnson 12 6 6.4

Week 1 target leader Jamison Crowder captured 17 during the Jets’ season opener but was only targeted six times against Cleveland in Week 2. That elevated Michael Thomas (26) into the league lead, followed by Keenan Allen (25), and three players that are tied with 24 - Larry Fitzgerald, Sammy Watkins, and D.J. Moore,  Crowder is next with 23, while DeAndre Hopkins, Tyler BoydJulio Jones, and Odell Beckham Jr. are tied with 21. Emmanuel Sanders, Allen Robinson, Christian Kirk, and John Ross complete the grouping of 14 wide receivers that have attained at least 20 targets through two games.

Some of the top 40 receivers in this category were not included among the first 90 that were selected during the draft process. That includes Ross, Bennie Fowler (15), and Damiere Byrd, (14). It is equally surprising that all of those receivers have garnered more targets than Mike Evans (13). While it is premature to declare that Chris Godwin has surpassed him as Tampa Bay's WR1, Evans currently trails Godwin in every major category.

JuJu Smith-Schuster is currently 23rd among wide receivers with 16 targets. While this is hardly an abysmal total after just two matchups, is does not approach the results that he attained during his 2018 breakout season. Smith-Schuster averaged 10.4 targets-per-game on his way to the league's fourth overall total (166). That was also just four targets behind the league lead, as he captured double-digit totals in 10 different contests. He can still function as a WR1 but the shift from Ben Roethlisberger to Mason Rudolph now creates another hurdle that will impede his ability to match last season's numbers.

 

Largest Increases And Decreases

Wide Receivers Week 1 Targets Week 2 Targets Total Targets Increases/ Decreases
Tyler Lockett 2 12 13 10
Curtis Samuel 4 13 17 9
Marquise Brown 5 13 18 8
Emmanuel Sanders 7 13 20 6
Nelson Agholor 5 11 16 6
Keenan Allen 10 15 25 5
Bennie Fowler 5 10 15 5
D.J. Chark 4 9 13 5
D.J. Moore 10 14 24 4
Calvin Ridley 6 10 16 4
Chris Godwin 6 9 15 3
Mike Evans 5 8 13 3
Sammy Watkins 11 13 24 2
Terry McLaurin 7 9 16 2
Larry Fitzgerald 13 11 24 -2
John Brown 10 8 18 -2
Chris Conley 7 5 12 -2
T.Y. Hilton 9 6 15 -3
Cody Latimer 8 5 13 -3
Christian Kirk 12 8 20 -4
John Ross 12 8 20 -4
Amari Cooper 9 5 14 -4
DeAndre Hopkins 13 8 21 -5
Cole Beasley 9 4 13 -5
Allen Robinson 13 7 20 -6
Julian Edelman 11 4 15 -7
Keesean Johnson 10 2 12 -8
Jamison Crowder 17 6 23 -11
Robert Woods 13 2 15 -11
Danny Amendola 13 1 14 -12

Keenan Allen has averaged 103 targets-per-season during his career, including 130 targets during the four seasons in which has played in at least 14 games. But he collected 15 targets in a game for just the third time since 2015, which was also the highest total for any receiver in Week 2. Allen was one of 17 different receivers to attain a double-digit target total, including Moore (14), and five others that were targeted 13 times (Thomas, Watkins, Curtis Samuel, Marquise Brown, and Emmanuel Sanders.

The reemergence of Sanders has been borderline incomprehensible, in the aftermath of his recovery from a torn Achilles. His 13 targets represented a rise of +6 in comparison to his Week 1 return to Denver's lineup. But the most significant increase of the week was registered by Tyler Lockett (+10). Lockett had been targeted just twice during Seattle's opener, as Russell Wilson only launched 20 throws. But Wilson attempted 35 passes in Week 2, and the 12 targets that were designated for Lockett established a new career-high. Samuel (+9) tied his own career-best, while Brown's total rose impressively in just his second game. Agholor (+6), also achieved a double-digit total for the first time since last September.

Several high profile wide receivers experienced a mammoth decline in week-to-week target totals. Danny Amendola's drop of -12 was the week's highest, although it was not surprising. His 13 targets in Week 1 were not sustainable as his significance within the Detroit passing attack does not match teammates Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, and T.J. Hockenson.  The plunge of -11 for Robert Woods was nearly as precipitous and undoubtedly more impactful to his owners. The variance in his numbers will be examined in the 5 Things I Noticed section.

Julian Edelman’s weekly total plummeted by -7, as the mercurial Antonio Brown’s presence had an impact on his usage. The decrease of -5 for Hopkins is far less concerning, while the glaring deficiencies of Mitch Trubisky could be more problematic for Allen Robinson owners than his -6 decline in Week 2.

 

Yards-Per-Target Leaders

Demarcus Robinson leads all receivers in yards-per-target (21.5) among players that have attained 5+ targets. He is also the only receiver whose average currently resides above 20 yards-per-game. Phillip Dorsett is next (19.1), followed by DeSean Jackson (17.1), D.J. Chark (15.5), Michael Gallup (15.1), and Tre’Quan Smith (15). Among the receivers in that grouping, only
Gallup (15.1) and Chark (13) have attained a double-digit target total.

Ted Ginn (14.4), Chris Conley (14.2), Mike Williams (14.0), and Marquise Goodwin (14.0), are each averaging 14 yards per target, while A.J. Brown (13.9), and Ross (13.5), are averaging 13+. A total of 28 wide receivers are averaging at least 10 yards per target.

Among other notable averages are Marquise Brown (12.9), McLaurin (11.7), Chris Godwin (11.6), D.K. Metcalf (11.5), Brandin Cooks (11.3), and Odell Beckham (11.0). Will Fuller (10.9), John Brown (10.8), Tyrell Williams (10.8) and the trio of Amari Cooper, Courtland Sutton, and Adam Thielen are averaging 10.7 or higher.

Unfortunately for Dede Westbrook owners, his minuscule 3.0 yard-per-target average is just 143rd overall. Daesean Hamilton (2.0), Jakeem Grant (1.9) and Ryan Grant (1.6) are the only receivers that have attained lower averages.

 

Targeted Air Yards Leaders 

Owners who invested in Will Fuller during the draft process have been rewarded with his sustained health through two games. Fuller is also residing atop the league in targeted air yards (22.8). While that has not translated into significant output (10 targets/6 receptions/109 scoreless yards) owners should remain patient because his opportunities should result in a higher percentage of big plays.

The frequently-maligned Devante Parker is next (21.8), followed by James Washington (21.1). The transition to Mason Rudolph should be beneficial to Washington, provided that he capitalizes on an expected increase from his current 4.5 target-per-game average.

Stefon Diggs (19.4), and Demarcus Robinson (19.2) are next. They are followed by Terry McLaurin (17.8), as the rookie has maintained his presence among the top performers in multiple categories. He is followed by four other receivers with a percentage of 17+ - Mike Evans (17.7), Cody Latimer (17.4), Robby Anderson (17.3), and Brandin Cooks (17.2). Fuller, Anderson, Evans, Mike Williams (15.8), and DeSean Jackson (15.4) are the only five receivers from last year’s top 20 finishers that are currently contained among this year’s leaders.

 

% Share Of Team’s Air Yards Leaders

Anderson also leads all receivers in percentage share of team air yards (TAY%) – (58.62%) according to NexGen stats. Allen (53.94), Metcalf (52.83), McLaurin (51.19), and Hilton (50.44) are the only other receivers to have captured at least 50% of their team's air yards.  Diggs (47.65), Tyrell Williams (47.4), Robinson (44.5), John Brown (43.56), Chark (42.71), Beckham (42.5) Thomas (42.32), and  Thielen (42.22) are the only other receivers that have reached a share percentage of 40+.

In 2018 Julio Jones, Hopkins, Tyreek Hill, Golladay Antonio Brown, Corey Davis, and Adams comprised the top seven in this category. Now, Hopkins is currently 16th (38.69) followed directly by Golladay (37.93). Adams is 21st (36.07), while Davis is 36th overall (29.16). Last season, Davis attained a percentage of (35.83).

 

Week 2 Red Zone Target Leaders 

Wide Receiver Total Red Zone Targets  Week 1 Targets Inside 10  Team Target Share
Emmanuel Sanders 7 4 39%
Antonio Brown 5 2 42%
Terry McLaurin 5 4 31.30%
Larry Fitzgerald 5 5 35.70%
Keenan Allen 4 2 44%
T.Y. Hilton 4 2 40%
Courtland Sutton 4 0 22%
D.J. Moore 3 1 33.33%
Chris Godwin 3 2 43%
Tyrell Williams 3 3 37.50%
Trey Quinn 3 2 19%

A total of 11 wide receivers have been targeted at least three times in the red zone while a whopping 25 receivers have been targeted twice. Sanders has vaulted to the league lead in this category (7) after collecting four additional targets during Denver’s Week 2 matchup with the Bears. While every aspect of Sanders' production and overall involvement has been exceptional, the fact that he is already just four targets behind his entire 2018 season total is high among his already burgeoning list of achievements. Sanders’ surprising production will be revisited in the 5 Things I Noticed section. 

Antonio Brown is now tied for second behind Sanders after capturing five red-zone targets during his season debut. Blossoming rookie McLaurin has also garnered five red-zone targets, while Allen, Hilton and Sanders’ teammate Courtland Sutton are next with four. Moore, Godwin, Tyrell Williams, and Trey Quinn have all attained three, followed by the enormous assortment of receivers that have been targeted twice.

Wide Receiver Week 1 Red Zone Targets Week 2 Red Zone Targets Total Red Zone Targets  Largest Weekly Changes
Antonio Brown 0 5 5 5
Terry McLaurin 0 5 5 5
D.J. Moore 1 3 4 2
Emmanuel Sanders 3 4 7 1
Larry Fitzgerald 2 3 5 1
Tyrell Williams 1 2 3 1
Keenan Allen 2 2 4 0
Courtland Sutton 2 2 4 0
Chris Godwin 2 1 3 -1
Trey Quinn 2 1 3 -1
T.Y. Hilton 3 1 4 -2

As the season progresses, a larger range of receivers will be accumulating red-zone targets. Both Brown and McLaurin received all five of their targets in Week 2. That massive weekly boost leaves Brown as the only receiver from last year’s top 10 to reside among this year’s leaders.

 


Week 2 Snap Count Leaders

Player Week 1 Snap Counts Week 2 Snap Counts  Total Snaps Total Snap Count %  Snap Count % Change
Jarvis Landry 73/100% 68/99% 141 99% -1
Robby Anderson 69/96% 67/99% 136 97% 3
Robert Woods 73/95% 69/99% 142 96.60% 4
DeAndre Hopkins 66/99% 62/94% 128 96.20% -5
Odell Beckham 73/100% 67/99% 136 95.80% -1
Davante Adams 62/97% 71/95% 133 95.70% -2
Kenny Golladay 86/98% 56/92% 142 95.30% -6
Larry Fitzgerald 85/96% 57/95% 142 95.30% -1
Curtis Samuel 62/93% 77/97% 139 95.20% 4
Brandin Cooks 71/92% 68/97% 139 94.60% 5
D.J. Moore 63/94% 75/95% 138 94.50% 2
Jamison Crowder 65/90% 67/99% 132 94.40% 9
Tyrell Williams 55/95% 61/94% 116 94.30% -1
Adam Thielen 47/89% 64/98% 111 94.10% 9
Will Fuller 65/97% 60/91% 125 94% -6
Michael Thomas 59/89% 64/96% 123 94% 7
Sammy Watkins 65/96% 70/92% 135 93.80% -4
Julian Edelman 67/96% 66/92% 133 93.70% -4
Allen Robinson 70/96% 55/90% 125 93.30% -6
Christian Kirk 83/93% 56/93% 139 93.30% 0
Chris Godwin 64/91% 62/95% 126 93.30% 4
Courtland Sutton 57/89% 78/95% 135 92.50% 6
Cooper Kupp 69/90% 66/94% 135 91.80% 4
Terry McLaurin 62/93% 56/90% 118 91.50% -3
Emmanuel Sanders 57/89% 76/93% 133 91% 4
Damiere Byrd 78/88% 56/93% 134 90% 5
T.Y. Hilton 56/89% 65/90% 121 89.60% 1
Tyler Lockett 48/91% 70/89% 118 89.40% -2
Nelson Agholor 60/80% 78/96% 138 88.50% 16
Trey Quinn 65/97% 49/79% 114 88% -18
Mike Evans 60/86% 59/91% 119 88% 5
Keenan Allen 53/83% 61/91% 114 87% 8
JuJu Smith-Schuster 62/90% 47/82% 107 85.30% -8

Jarvis Landry has performed on 99% of Cleveland's offensive snaps, which leads all wide receivers. Eight additional receivers have played at least 95% of their team's snaps - Adams (99%) Anderson (97)% Woods 97%), Hopkins (96%), Beckham (96%),  Fitzgerald (95%), Golladay (95%), and Samuel (95%). 16 additional receivers have performed on at least 90% of their teams' snaps.

Among the noteworthy names on this list are Moore, Tyrell Williams, Fuller, Godwin, Kirk, McLaurin, and Sanders. Damiere Byrd has played on 89.93% of Arizona snaps, which leads the group of 19 receivers that have been involved in at least 80% of their team's snaps.

Fitzgerald (142), Woods (142),  Golladay (142), and Landry (141) are the only four receivers that have been involved in 140 + plays. The Ravens (145),  Eagles (143), Lions (138), Panthers (137 ), and Cardinals (136) have generated the most offensive plays. It is noteworthy that Cincinnati is sixth with 135, as the Bengals finished 30th with an average of just 58.6 plays per game during 2018. The Vikings (109), Jaguars (108), and Dolphins (108) have yet to run 110 offensive plays.

 

5 Things I Noticed  

1. Many of us spent immeasurable hours during the offseason meticulously researching data, analyzing the transformations of coaching staffs, and examining how we believed the offensive components of each team would distribute targets and touches. One goal of this painstaking research involved locating which players appeared most likely to achieve a massive rise in their production and fantasy relevance. Some of the receivers that appeared primed for breakout seasons might not deliver the numbers that were projected. But Chris Godwin is in the process of matching our optimistic expectations.

He was discussed as a breakout candidate with greater frequency than any other wide receiver throughout the offseason, and his ADP soared accordingly. But all owners who were willing to secure him at the onset of Round 4 have been rewarded with the high-quality production that they were hoping for. His Week 2 yardage total (121) was surpassed by just four other receivers, and he is currently averaging 7.5 targets per game and 11.6 yards-per-target. He is tied for second in receptions of 20+ yards (5) and is among the top 10 in red-zone targets, and targets inside the 10. Even if he does not maintain bis current lead over teammate Mike Evans in the major statistical categories, he appears capable of functioning as a high-end WR2 throughout the season.

2. Marquise Brown has quickly emerged as an integral weapon within the Raven offense. He is also a vital resource for his owners after his usage surged in Week 2. He currently leads all first-year receivers in targets (18), receptions (12), yardage (233), and yards-per-game (116.5). The immediacy of his impact and the versatility of his routes have propelled a statistical explosion that has also caused his value to ignite. However, Brown is not the only newcomer that has already developed into a viable weekly starter. Terry McLaurin would be commandeering more conversation if not for the performance of Brown.

McLaurin is second to Brown in targets (16), receptions (10), yardage (187), and yards-per-game (93.5). He also joins Brown in having generated two touchdowns and has already procured four receptions of 20+ yards. D.K. Metcalf has collected seven of his 13 targets and is third behind Brown and McLaurin with 150 yards. He also leads first-year receivers with a 21.4 yards-per-reception average, which also places him fifth overall. Deebo Samuel might be emerging as San Francisco’s WR1, after delivering respectable numbers during his first two matchups (10 targets/8 receptions/104 yards/1 touchdown). Fellow newcomers Mecole Hardman, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, A.J. Brown, Preston Williams, and Keesean Johnson can also be included in the promising class of rookie receivers that are capable of delivering favorable output if they are targeted with consistency.

3. The conversation regarding the breakout potential for Carolina’s tandem of D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel skyrocketed during August, as favorable momentum propelled both receivers to ADPs in Round 4 (Moore) and Round 7 (Samuel). But despite their ability to secure separation, they have been encumbered by Cam Newton’s failure to accurately launch passes in their direction. Exactly 30 quarterbacks have generated a higher completion percentage (56.2%). while his -9.3 completion percentage above expectation is dead last according to NextGenStats. Newton's inability to capitalize when his dynamic receiving weapons are in a position to deliver big plays had already become concerning to Moore and Samuel owners even before Newton's setback with his troublesome foot.

After two games, both receivers join Christian McCaffrey and Greg Olsen with target team shares between 27,1% and 20.2%. Samuel does lead the Panthers in average depth of target aDOT (15.6), while Moore is pacing Carolina in completed air yards (134). Moore has captured 16 of his 24 targets and leads the team with 165 yards. Samuel has collected eight of his 17 targets for 123 yards, but those numbers would be more impressive if Newton had been able to overcome his deficiencies. Both receivers have their own individual collection of skills that will enable them to produce excellent numbers. But that will only occur if Newton (or Kyle Allen) can locate them consistently when they have created space.

4. One week after leading the Rams in targets (13), receptions (8), and receiving yards (70), Robert Woods' usage and output plunged significantly (2 targets/2 receptions/33 yards). Woods' target total also dropped by -11, which was the second-largest decline of the week. But every Woods owner should remain confident in his prospects of attaining better numbers, while also avoiding any overreaction that has a self-defeating effect on their rosters  The numbers from his matchup with New Orleans do not signal a trend, and his importance to the Ram passing attack remains unchanged. There will be fluctuations in his usage during the season because that potential exists in a passing attack that also contains Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp.

During 2018, Woods collected double-digit targets in four matchups, but his total failed to exceed five in three other contests. He still finished 13th overall in targets (130), while collecting 86 receptions, and accumulating 1,219 yards. Owners can be assured that more productive games await. Woods has performed on 97% of Los Angeles' offensive snaps, and the versatile seventh-year receiver is a dependable weapon regardless of where he is deployed in Sean McVay's attack. Jared Goff will be locating him with greater frequency throughout most of the Rams upcoming matchups. That process should begin this week when he lines up at Cleveland.

5. Emmanuel Sanders' name has appeared consistently among league leaders in multiple categories that have been included in this article. Any receiver whose opportunities and production resulted in the numbers that Sanders has attained would be worthy of discussion. But his accelerated recovery from a devastating injury to reclaim his spot among the league's most dependable receivers has eviscerated all expectations.

As you have seen on display throughout this article, he is currently tied for 11th in targets (20), is fifth in receptions (16), 12th in yardage (184), leads the league in red-zone targets (7), and is tied for second with four targets inside the 10. He has ascended immediately into must-start status for anyone who deployed a ninth-round pick in Best Ball and redraft leagues, along with all dynasty owners who refused to discard him. If this applies to you, Sanders now supplies you with an unanticipated but reliable WR2 option that should remain affixed to your lineups.

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