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Wide Receiver Snap Counts and Target Trends - Week 4 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 fourth 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 four 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 4 Target Leaders  

Wide Receivers Total Targets  Targets-Per-Game Yards-Per-Target
Keenan Allen 48 12 9.4
Cooper Kupp 46 11.5 8.4
Michael Thomas 42 10.5 8.6
Tyler Boyd 39 9.75 7.3
Sammy Watkins 38 9.5 9.6
Robert Woods 38 9.5 8.1
Christian Kirk 37 9.3 6.5
Julio Jones 37 9.3 8.6
Odell Beckham 37 9.3 8.3
Davante Adams 36 9 10.5
Larry Fitzgerald 36 9 8.3
DeAndre Hopkins 36 9 7.2
Kenny Golladay 36 9 6.8
Cole Beasley 36 9 6.8
Mike Evans 35 8.8 10.5
Marquise Brown 34 8.5 8.9
Allen Robinson 34 8.5 8.2
John Brown 34 8.5 5.8
Chris Godwin 33 8.3 11.4
Emmanuel Sanders 33 8.3 8.8
Jarvis Landry 33 8.3 9.9
Tyler Lockett 32 8 10.3
Julian Edelman 32 8 7.1
John Ross 32 8 10.3
Courtland Sutton 32 8 10
D.J. Moore 31 7.8 5
Brandin Cooks 31 7.8 9.5
Mohamed Sanu 31 7.8 7.7
Curtis Samuel 31 7.8 6.7
Preston Williams 30 7.5 6.7
Nelson Agholor 29 7.3 5.8
Amari Cooper 29 7.3 9.9
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 29 7.3 7.8
Jamison Crowder 28 9.3 5.9
Josh Gordon 27 6.8 8.2
JuJu Smith-Schuster 27 6.8 9.6
Dede Westbrook 26 6.5 5.6
D.J. Chark 26 6.5 12.8
T.Y. Hilton 25 8.3 6.7
Sterling Shepard 25 8.3 8.7

Keenan Allen continues to lead all wide receivers in targets (48), followed by Cooper Kupp (46), and Michael Thomas (42). No other receivers have eclipsed 40. However, 10 receivers have accumulated totals that reside between 39-36. Tyler Boyd is fourth overall with 39. Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins have collected 38, followed by Christian Kirk, Julio Jones, and Odell Beckham Jr. (37). Five receivers currently are tied with 36 - Davante Adams, Cole Beasley, DeAndre Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald, and Kenny Golladay. Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans (35) and Chris Godwin (33) are among the remaining group of 16 receivers that have accumulated 30+ targets.

A total of eight wide receivers collected at least 10 targets in Week 4. This includes Adams, Woods, and Woods’ teammate Kupp who all captured a league-high 15. Godwin was next (14), followed by Beasley (13), Mohamed Sanu (12), John Brown (11) and Jarvis Landry (10). Seven additional receivers captured nine targets during their matchups.

Beasley’s 13 targets tied his career-best which was established during his 2012 rookie season. He has attained double-digit targets in two consecutive contests (13/10) and has collected at least nine in three of his four matchups as a Bill.

Adams had collected 21 targets during his first three games, including a season-low four in Week 3. It was not surprising that the Packers would reestablish the importance of involving their most critical offensive weapon. Adams’ 15 targets also improved his season average to 9-per-game. However, that weekly total would have been even more impressive if his turf toe issue had not emerged.

 

Largest Weekly Changes 

Wide Receivers Total Targets  Week 3 Targets Week 4 Targets Weekly Changes
Davante Adams 36 4 15 11
Chris Godwin 33 4 14 10
Robert Woods 38 8 15 7
John Brown 34 5 11 6
Mohamed Sanu 31 6 12 6
Emmanuel Sanders 33 4 9 5
Calvin Ridley 23 1 6 5
Tyrell Williams 24 3 7 4
Cooper Kupp 46 12 15 3
Cole Beasley 36 10 13 3
D.J. Moore 31 2 5 3
D.J. Chark 26 5 8 3
Michael Thomas 42 7 9 2
DeAndre Hopkins 36 7 8 1
Kenny Golladay 36 8 9 1
Jarvis Landry 33 9 10 1
Courtland Sutton 32 8 9 1
Amari Cooper 29 7 8 1
Adam Thielen 22 5 6 1
Sammy Watkins 38 8 6 -2
Julio Jones 37 9 7 -2
Odell Beckham 37 9 7 -2
Larry Fitzgerald 36 7 5 -2
Marquise Brown 34 9 7 -2
D.K. Metcalf 23 6 4 -2
Devante Parker 20 6 4 -2
Julian Edelman 32 10 7 -3
Brandin Cooks 31 12 9 -3
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 29 10 7 -3
Dede Westbrook 26 9 6 -3
Trey Quinn 24 7 4 -3
JuJu Smith-Schuster 27 7 4 -3
Josh Gordon 27 11 7 -4
Marvin Jones 24 9 5 -4
Paul Richardson 24 9 5 -4
Tyler Boyd 39 11 6 -5
Preston Williams 30 12 7 -5
Christian Kirk 37 12 5 -7
Mike Evans 35 15 7 -8
Tyler Lockett 32 14 4 -10
Keenan Allen 48 17 6 -11
Nelson Agholor 29 12 1 -11

Adams’ transformation from a season-low four targets to the league-best 15 in Week 4 resulted in the largest increase for the week (+11). Chris Godwin’s surge of +10 provided the only other rise of double digits. Woods, Sanu, and John Brown all attained a rise of +6, followed by Sanders and Ridley with +5

Nelson Agholor entered Week 4 with 23 targets in his last two matchups, including a season-high 12 in Week 3. But he failed to catch his only target in Week 4, and his decline of -11 was the highest for the week.  That tied him with Keenan Allen, who was targeted six times after collecting 17 in Week 3. However, his owners have a multiple reasons to be ecstatic with Allen’s numbers, and that topic will be examined further in the 5 Things I Noticed section.

Hopkins has failed to exceed eight targets for three consecutive weeks after collecting a league-high 13 in a Week 1. That has suppressed his production (5 receptions/49 yards-per-game) while creating a growing collection of skittish owners. However, he led the team in targets during Weeks 2 and 4, while tying for the team lead with Will Fuller in Week 3. He was also confronted by formidable cornerbacks in each of his last three matchups (Jalen Ramsey/Casey Hayward/James Bradberry). That will not be the case this week when he runs routes against the Falcons.

If you had been told that a Cleveland receiver would garner 10 targets, and capitalize by accumulating 167 yards, you almost assuredly would have expected Odell Beckham to be the Brown that attained those numbers. Instead, it was teammate Landry who easily established new season highs in each category. Beckham's weekly target totals have gradually descended since Week 1 (11/10/9/7), while he manufactured his lowest production since Week 6 of 2014 (2 receptions/20 yards).

 

Week 4 Yards-Per-Target Leaders

Of receivers that have performed in at least three games, Willie Snead leads with a 14.0 yard per target average. Kenny Stills is next (13.4), followed by A.J. Brown (13.1), and D.J. Chark (12.3). Five receivers are averaging at least 11 yards per target Demarcus Robinson, Marvin Jones, Chris Conley, Chris Godwin, and Stefon Diggs. Adams, Evans, and Courtland Sutton are or among the nine additional receivers that are averaging at least 10 yards per target.

A.J. Brown's 13.1-yard per-target average also paces all rookies and easily leads teammates Corey Davis (9.6), and Adam Humphries (7.5). But his average has fluctuated significantly during his four matchups. In Weeks 1 and 4 he averaged 28.17 , but only managed 5.80 per-target combined in Weeks 2 and 3. He remains an excellent roster addition in leagues where he is available. But owners should prepare for inconsistent production.

 

Week 4 Targeted Air Yards Leaders 

Mike Evans leads all receivers in air yards (559), while Golladay (531), and Allen (518) join him as the only three receivers that have eclipsed 500 yards. Devante Parker (482) and Curtis Samuel (481) also comprise the top five, while Marquise Brown (478), John Brown (466), DeAndre Hopkins (455), Julio Jones (454), Cooks (425), Preston Williams (411), and Will Fuller (400) have all reached 400. Daesean Hamilton has been targeted 15 times but has yet to reach 100 yards for the season (94).

Devante Parker continues to lead all wide receivers in targeted air yards (19.9), followed by Demarcus Robinson (18.2), Mike Williams (17.7),  James Washington (17.4), D.K. Metcalf (17.1). and Will Fuller (16.8). Other players who comprise the top 10 after four matchups are Mike Evans (16.7), Chris Conley (16.2), Kenny Golladay (15.9), and Terry McLaurin (15.7). Curtis Samuel leads a collection of eight receivers that have averaged 14+.

Julio Jones finished 16th overall in this category last season (14), which also led the Falcons. Calvin Ridley finished well behind Jones at 62nd (10). However, Ridley currently paces Atlanta with the league’s 13th highest average (14.7), while Jones is 28th (12.7).

 

% Share Of Team’s Air Yards Leaders

Robby Anderson leads all wide receivers in percentage share of team’s air yards (47.8), followed by Adam Thielen (46.2).  Tyrell Williams is next (42.6), followed by Michael Thomas (42.2), Emmanuel Sanders (41.9), Stefon Diggs (40.7), and Mike Evans (40.5). No other receivers have reached 40%. Keenan Allen leads a group of nine receivers that have attained at least 36%.

This represents a significant rise for Sanders and Williams, who finished 50th and 52nd respectively in this category last season (Sanders - 20.87/ Williams - 20.15).  D.J. Chark is currently 12th overall (37.1) after finishing with just (8.7) last season. That placed him fourth among wide receivers on his own team behind Donte Moncrief (31.2), Dede Westbrook (23), and Keelan Cole (19,2). But Chark’s resurgence has relegated Westbrook to third among Jaguar receivers (14.7), behind both Chark and Chris Conley (32). Cole's percentage currently resides at an infinitesimal 1.9

Through the first month of game action, 12 receivers who finished among the top 20 in this category during 2018 are not contained in this season’s top 20. That includes five of the top six from last season - Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, Antonio Brown, Tyreek Hill, and Corey Davis.

 

Week 4 Red Zone Target Leaders 

Wide Receiver Week 3  Red Zone Targets Week 4 Red Zone Targets Total Red Zone Targets  Largest Weekly Changes Targets Inside 10 
Emmanuel Sanders 1 0 8 -1 5
Courtland Sutton 2 2 8 0 3
T.Y. Hilton 3 INJ 7 INJ 5
Keenan Allen 2 1 7 -1 4
Terry McLaurin 1 INJ 6 INJ 2
Larry Fitzgerald 1 0 6 -1 6
Tyrell Williams 1 2 6 1 4
Kenny Golladay 1 3 6 2 5
Davante Adams 0 4 6 4 1
D.K. Metcalf 2 3 6 1 1
Preston Williams 3 0 5 -3 1
Mike Evans 3 1 5 -2 1
Jarvis Landry 3 1 5 -2 3
Nelson Agholor 3 0 5 -3 3
Chris Godwin 1 2 5 1 5
Mecole Hardman 1 2 4 1 0
Julio Jones 2 2 4 0 3
Antonio Brown 0 0 4 0 0
Christian Kirk 1 1 4 0 1
Julian Edelman 2 1 4 -1 3
Paul Richardson 1 3 4 2 2
Tyler Lockett 3 1 4 2 2
Damien Ratley 3 1 4 2 3
Cooper Kupp 3 1 4 -2 2
Josh Gordon 2 0 4 -2 2
Alshon Jeffery 0 3 4 3 3
Sterling Shepard 1 1 4 0 2

Teammates Courtland Sutton and Emmanuel Sanders are tied with a league-best eight red zone targets. They are followed by Keenan Allen and T. Y. Hilton (7), along with a collection of six receivers that have capture six targets inside the 20 - Davante Adams, Larry Fitzgerald, Tyrell Williams, Kenny Golladay, D.K. Metcalf, and Terry McLaurin.

Adams’ four red zone targets in Week 4, were the most among all receivers. Golladay, Alshon Jeffery, Paul Richardson, and D.K. Metcalf all collected three, while 14 receivers were targeted twice inside the 20.

Fitzgerald’s six targets inside the 10 lead all players. Sanders, Godwin, Golladay, and Hilton have collected five, while Allen, McLaurin, and Williams have attained four. All six of Fitzgerald’s targets have been accrued inside the five, while no other receiver has been targeted more than three times within that range.

Preston Williams continues to lead all receivers in team share of red zone targets (55.56%), followed by Tyrell Williams (42.86%), Diggs (40%), Allen (38.89%), and Curtis Samuel (36.36%).

 

Week 4 Snap Count Leaders

Wide Receiver Week 3 Snap Counts  Week 4 Snap Counts  Total Snaps Total Snap Count %  Snap Count % Change
Robert Woods 63/95.5% 96/98% 300 97.10% 2
Cooper Kupp 65/98.4% 92/94% 290 93.90% -1%
Brandin Cooks 59/89.3% 88/90% 284 92% 1%
Chris Godwin 74/96.1% 70/95% 270 94.40% -1%
Nelson Agholor 74/99% 56/90% 269 91.50% -19%
Odell Beckham 71/99% 66/96% 269 96.40% -3%
Sammy Watkins 65.95% 69/99% 269 95.40% 4%
Christian Kirk 69/92% 59/94% 267 93.00% 2%
John Brown 70/89.7% 77/93% 266 87% 3%
Larry Fitzgerald 69/92% 53/84% 264 92.00% -8%
Kenny Golladay 51/79.7% 69/90% 262 90.30% 10%
Tyler Lockett 82/97.6% 61/97% 261 93.50% -1%
Jarvis Landry 67/99% 52/75% 260 93.20% -24%
Mike Evans 68//88% 67/91% 254 89% 3%
Marvin Jones 53/82.8% 74/96% 254 87.60% 13%
DeAndre Hopkins 58/96.7% 67/97% 253 96.60% 0%
Courtland Sutton 65/89.4% 52/95% 252 92.00% 6%
Will Fuller 58/96.7% 68/99% 251 96% 2%
Curtis Samuel 48/76.2% 61/90% 248 89.50% 14%
Allen Robinson 59/89% 59/89% 247 90.80% 0%
D.J. Moore 46/73% 60/88% 244 88.10% 15
Michael Thomas 51/87.9% 69/97% 243 94% 7%
Keenan Allen 68/91% 56/84% 238 87% -7%
Demarcus Robinson 62/91.2% 64/91% 238 84.4 0%
Davante Adams 52/91.2% 55/70% 237 87.50% -19%
Emmanuel Sanders 58/79.5% 44/80% 235 86% 0
Tyrell Williams 57/96.6% 62/93% 235 94.40% 3%
Tyler Boyd 55/90.2% 64/93% 235 84.80% 3%
Julian Edelman 39/50.6% 62/95% 234 82.40% 44%
Mohamed Sanu 50/82% 63/79% 234 82% -3%
Amari Cooper 61/84.7% 56/79% 233 87% -6%
Josh Gordon 68/88.3% 58/89% 232 81.70% 0%
John Ross 61/100% 45/65% 229 82.70% -35%
Adam Thielen 55/87.3% 59/95% 225 92.60% 8%
D.K. Metcalf 71/84.5% 40/63% 222 79.6 -20%
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 50/88% 68/86% 222 81.9 -2%
Paul Richardson 67/85% 45/88% 218 84.2 154
Julio Jones 46/75% 63/79% 216 76% 4
Trey Quinn 59/75% 39/76% 212 82% 1
DeVante Parker 69/96% 43/83% 207 87.70% -13

A trio of Rams has commandeered the three highest snap counts, led by Robert Woods. He finished second overall in snaps during 2018 and has emerged in the top spot through four weeks (300/97.1%). Teammate Kupp is second in offensive snaps (290), followed by Cooks (284). Godwin is next (270), followed by Agholor, Watkins, and Beckham at 269. Christian Kirk (267), John Brown (266), and Larry Fitzgerald (264) comprise the remaining receivers in this week’s top 10. Golladay and Lockett are among the eight additional receivers that have performed on at least 250 offensive snaps.

Woods also leads in snap count percentage (97.1%) among receivers that have played in four games. Robby Anderson will return from his Week 4 bye having already played on 97.9% of the Jets' offensive of snaps during his three matchups.
Hopkins (96.6%), Beckham (96.4%), Fuller (95.8%), and Watkins (95.4%) have all attained a percentage of 95+. Godwin and Michael Thomas are among the 15 receivers that have been involved in at least 90% of the team’s offensive snaps.

Woods also led the position in snaps and snap percentage during week four (96/98%), and was followed by Kupp (92/94%), and Cooks (88/90%} once again. John Brown, Marvin Jones, Beasley, Shepard, Godwin, Valdes-Scantling all performed on 70 snaps, while Watkins, Fuller, Woods, Thomas, and Hopkins were all involved in over 97% of the teams’ offensive snaps. Lockett, Cooper, Marvin Jones, Beckham Edelman, and Thielen all played on at least 95% of their teams’ snaps.

 

Five Things I Noticed

1. Despite his season-low target total in Week 4, Keenan Allen's name maintains a steady presence among the league leaders in the major receiving categories. His accumulation of exceptional numbers has been consistent, and his compilation of receptions, yardage, and touchdowns has vaulted him atop fantasy scoring in both standard and PPR leagues. In addition to his league-best 48 targets, the seventh-year receiver also leads in receiving yards (452) and is tied with Michael Thomas for the lead in receptions (34). Allen joins Kupp, and Boyd as the only receivers that have reached double-digit target totals three times in four weeks. He is also tied for second in red zone targets (7) and is currently eighth in percentage share of targeted air yards (39.66). Allen’s nine receptions of 20+ are also two more than any other receiver. He is also on pace for 192 targets, 136 receptions, 1,808 yards, and 12 touchdowns - all of which would obliterate his current career highs - (159 targets/102 receptions /1,393 yards/8 touchdowns). Even if his current output is not sustainable, Allen has easily rewarded anyone who invested a second-round selection during their draft process.

2. The negative impact that Minnesota’s steadfast commitment to the ground game could have on the usage and output of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs was discussed in this column following Week 1. Through four matchups, the tandem has experienced a sizable decrease in their opportunities, while anyone who deployed an early-round selection on either Viking receiver has been forced to endure discouraging numbers. Thielen is just 51st among wide receivers with 22 targets, while Diggs is 56th with just 19. Exactly one year ago, Thielen had already commandeered a league-high 56 targets during his first four games, while Diggs was in a four-way tie for seventh with 44. Minnesota is currently 31st in pass-play percentage (47.4%), after finishing fourth at 64.4% during 2018. The Vikings are also averaging just 24.75 passing attempts-per-game after Kirk Cousins launched an average of 37.8 throws during 2018. Dalvin Cook has been outstanding during Minnesota’s resolute dedication to running the ball (29.8 attempts-per-game). But that unwavering approach has ushered Thielen and Diggs to a region far outside the high-end WR2 territory that they inhabited before Week 1. Owners might experience more favorable results when Thielen and Diggs line-up against the Giants’ 25th ranked pass defense.

3. JuJu Smith-Schuster finished 2018 as WR11 in scoring. He also finished fourth in targets (166), fifth in receptions (111), fifth in receiving yards (1,426), and attained double-digit target totals in 10 different contests. Considering the mammoth list of achievements during his second season, Smith-Schuster appeared destined to operate as a highly productive WR1 for fantasy owners without the potential hurdle of sharing opportunities with Antonio Brown. But after four weeks, his owners are acutely aware that in-game results have not matched expectations. He is currently 36th among wide receivers in targets (27), 36th in receptions (17), and 27th in yardage (258). His team target share (20.4%) is below the 24.6% that he attained last season with Brown also running routes for the Steelers. During two full games with Mason Rudolph under center, Smith-Schuster has been targeted 11 times, while his yard-per-target average dropped from 11.6 in Week 3 to 3.8 in Week 4. Diontae Johnson has collected nine of his 12 targets during that two-game span while accumulating 132 yards and two touchdowns. Smith-Schuster’s usage and output can improve if opposing secondaries become compelled to focus more attention on the rookie. But Smith-Schuster will also be dependent on Rudolph to locate him with greater frequency. Both factors need to be monitored closely during this week’s divisional matchup with Baltimore.

4. Cam Newton’s ambiguous health situation has placed Kyle Allen under center for Carolina’s last two matchups, and the second-year signal-caller will sustain his starting role for the foreseeable future. During Carolina’s first two contests, D.J. Moore captured 24 targets, including a season-high 14 in Week 2. But in two games with Allen distributing targets, Curtis Samuel and Christian McCaffrey are tied for the team lead with 14, Greg Olsen has garnered 11, while Moore’s total has dropped to 7. Samuel’s opportunity with Allen’s dispensing passes is not the only favorable number that should encourage his owners. Samuel leads the Panthers in aDOT (average depth of target) - (15.0), while Moore trails with 9.6. Samuel’s percentage of team air yards (38.4) is also ahead of Moore’s (22.9). Samuel is 12th overall in targeted air yards (15.3), which easily exceeds Moore’s 9.2. Samuel is also ninth in percentage share of team air yards (39.3), while Moore is 46th with 23.81. A  two-game sample is premature for excessive concern from Moore owners. But Samuel is primed to deliver highly productive outings whenever Allen can connect on deep throws with greater frequency.

5.The favorable numbers that have been assembled by Courtland Sutton should not be overlooked. The second-year receiver had demonstrated his potential to provide Denver with a downfield presence in 2018 when he paced all rookie receivers in receptions of 20+ yards (16) and finished seventh overall in yards-per-reception (16.8). Since Week 1, he has captured 31 targets while receiving at least 7 in each of his first four matchups. He has capitalized by collecting 22 receptions and accumulating the 14th highest yardage total at his position (309). His 71% catch represents a notable rise from last season (50%), while he is also averaging 14 yards-per-catch and 10 yards-per-target. While he was included among this year's breakout candidates, there was a legitimate reason for concern that Joe Flacco’s accuracy shortcomings with deep throws would circumvent Sutton’s opportunity to accrue favorable numbers. But after finishing 29th in NextGenStats’ average air yards differential (AYD/-2.5) during 2018, Flacco is currently second (-1.2). Sutton and Emmanuel Sanders should continue providing their owners with reliable production despite the overall deficiencies that are accumulating in Denver.

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