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Congratulations to those of you whose diligence through the draft process and the regular season has been rewarded with an opportunity to win your league’s championship. Your wide receivers remain essential components toward achieving your championship aspirations, and you are in a position to utilize the tools that you have available toward determining which receivers should be included in your lineup this week.

This will help you 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. This article will examine these specific categories, along with any other noteworthy changes in usage that signal an increase or regression in opportunity. Pro Football Reference was 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 15 weeks of game action that provides the basis for comparison of snap counts and targets for each receiver, while also helping you identify the most likely candidates to experience a rise or decline in those numbers during this championship week. Good luck to everyone, and here is a breakdown of the most compelling changes in usage and opportunity from Week 15.

Editor's Note: Stay on top of our fantasy football analysis and NFL news all year round. Read our daily articles about risers and breakouts, 2019 redraft rankings, the NFL draft, dynasty leagues and much more. It's always fantasy football season here. Read More

 

Overall Targets

Wide Receiver Week 13 Targets Week 14 Targets Week 15 Targets Total Targets Targets Per Game   
Julio Jones 8 11 8 152 10.9
Davante Adams 13 11 13 151 10.8
Antonio Brown 13 7 7 149 10.6
Adam Thielen 10 7 2 143 10.2
JuJu Smith-Schuster 9 12 10 141 10.1
DeAndre Hopkins 12 10 11 135 9.6
Stefon Diggs 5 6 7 133 10.2
Jarvis Landry 9 4 8 132 9.4
Michael Thomas 8 13 9 127 9.1
Odell Beckham Jr. 9 INJ INJ 124 10.3
Keenan Allen 19 9 INJ 121 9.4
Tyreek Hill 6 14 7 121 8.6
Robert Woods 9 13 9 120 8.6
Mike Evans 6 6 9 120 8.6
Tyler Boyd 8 6 5/INJ 108 7.7
T.Y. Hilton 13 12 8 106 8.6
Brandin Cooks 6 8 7 105 7.5
Golden Tate 7 3 5 104 8
Kenny Golladay 8 4 8 104 7.4
Corey Davis 7 3 6 100 7.1
Emmanuel Sanders 6 IR IR 98 8.2
Michael Crabtree 4 4 1 94 6.7
Willie Snead 3 7 6 93 6.6
Amari Cooper 8 13 7 92 7.1
Larry Fitzgerald 6 9 8 92 6.6
Julian Edelman 8 12 11 92 9.2
Sterling Shepard 6 6 9 91 6.5
John Brown 4 6 3 88 6.3
Adam Humphries 9 8 6 87 6.2
Taylor Gabriel 7 7 3 86 6.1
Dede Westbrook 5 10 5 86 6.1
Allen Robinson 9 8 7 86 7.2
Nelson Agholor 8 3 2 84 6
Zay Jones 9 9 6 84 6
Donte Moncrief 4 10 2 83 6
Demaryius Thomas 5 6 8 83 5.9
Calvin Ridley 5 4 7 82 5.9
Alshon Jeffery 5 9 8 82 7.5
Chris Godwin 6 10 3 80 5.7
Mohamed Sanu 4 8 6 76 5.4
Cole Beasley 3 4 7 76 5.4
Devin Funchess 3 3 1 75 5.7
Antonio Callaway 6 1 7 74 5.3
Jermaine Kearse 0 2 5 72 5.5
Robby Anderson 7 7 11 72 6
Josh Gordon 3 8 2 71 5.9
Courtland Sutton 7 6 6 71 5.1
Danny Amendola INJ 1 8 71 5.5

After 15 weeks, two receivers have surpassed 150 targets, as Julio Jones leads the league with 152, while Davante Adams has captured 151. Three receivers have attained 140+ - Antonio Brown (149), Adam Thielen (143), JuJu Smith-Schuster (141), while nine additional receivers have collected 120+. DeAndre Hopkins (135), Stefon Diggs (133), Jarvis Landry (132), Michael Thomas (127), Odell Beckham (124), Keenan Allen (121), Tyreek Hill (121), Robert Woods (120), and Mike Evans (120). A total of 20 wide receivers have eclipsed 100 targets for the season.

Adams has now accumulated 11+ targets in four of his last five games (12/8/13/11/13) after collecting 13 in Week 15, which was the largest weekly total by any receiver. He was followed closely by Tyrell Williams, Daesean Hamilton and Josh Reynolds, who each accrued 12. Hopkins, Edelman and Robby Anderson were next with 11, while Smith-Schuster obtained 10. No other receivers attained a double-digit total during the week, although Mike Williams, Mike Evans, Robert Woods, Sterling Shepard, and Michael Thomas all had nine.

Seven receivers are averaging at least 10 targets-per-game, with Jones pacing the position (10.9). Adams is next (10.8), followed by Brown (10.6), Beckham (10.3), Diggs (10.2), Thielen (10.2), and Smith-Schuster (10.1). Hopkins leads a cluster of four receivers that have attained a 9-per game average (9.6), along with Jarvis Landry (9.4), Julian Edelman (9.2), and Thomas (9.1).

Anderson was recommended as a WR3 option for owners in this column last week, prior to his appealing matchup against Houston’s overmatched perimeter corners. He proceeded to deliver excellent results for anyone who started him while capturing a season-best target total versus the Texans (11). He has now collected 46 targets during the Jets’ last six contests (10/6/5/7/7/11) and should remain in all lineups for another favorable matchup against Green Bay this week.

Thielen owners had been forced to endure repercussions of a target total that had declined in recent weeks. But his opportunities and production plummeted in Week 15, as the result of his season-low two targets. This will be discussed further in the 5 Things That I Noticed section.

 

Largest Increases And Decreases

Wide Receiver Week 13 Targets Week 14 Targets Week 15 Targets Total Targets Targets Per Game    Largest Weekly  Changes
Tyrell Williams 2 4 12 60 4.4 8
Danny Amendola INJ 1 8 71 5.5 7
Antonio Callaway 6 1 7 74 5.3 6
Josh Reynolds 5 7 12 44 3.1 5
Jarvis Landry 9 4 8 132 9.4 4
Kenny Golladay 8 4 8 104 7.4 4
Robby Anderson 7 7 11 72 6 4
Mike Evans 6 6 9 120 8.6 3
Corey Davis 7 3 6 100 7.1 3
Sterling Shepard 6 6 9 91 6.5 3
Calvin Ridley 5 4 7 82 5.9 3
Cole Beasley 3 4 7 76 5.4 3
Jermaine Kearse 0 2 5 72 5.5 3
Josh Doctson 5 5 2 68 5.2 3
Mike Williams 3 6 9 57 4.1 3
DaeSean Hamilton 0 9 12 28 2.3 3
Davante Adams 13 11 13 151 10.8 2
Golden Tate 7 3 5 104 8 2
Demaryius Thomas 5 6 8 83 5.9 2
Julio Jones 8 11 8 152 10.9 -2
JuJu Smith-Schuster 9 12 10 141 10.1 -2
Adam Humphries 9 8 6 87 6.2 -2
Mohamed Sanu 4 8 6 76 5.4 -2
Devin Funchess 3 3 1 75 5.7 -2
Tim Patrick 0 10 8 29 2.1 -2
Michael Crabtree 4 4 1 94 6.7 -3
John Brown 4 6 3 88 6.3 -3
Zay Jones 9 9 6 84 6 -3
Michael Thomas 8 13 9 127 9.1 -4
Robert Woods 9 13 9 120 8.6 -4
T.Y. Hilton 13 12 8 106 8.6 -4
Taylor Gabriel 7 7 3 86 6.1 -4
Tyler Lockett 2 6 2 64 4.6 -4
Curtis Samuel 11 8 4 48 4.4 -4
Adam Thielen 10 7 2 143 10.2 -5
Dede Westbrook 5 10 5 86 6.1 -5
D.J. Moore 8 8 3 67 5.6 -5
Amari Cooper 8 13 7 92 7.1 -6
Josh Gordon 3 9 2 71 5.9 -7
Tyreek Hill 6 14 7 121 8.6 -7
Chris Godwin 6 10 3 80 5.7 -7
Donte Moncrief 4 10 2 83 6 -8
Michael Gallup 7 9 0 58 4.1 -9

Tyrell Williams’ expanded target total enabled him to secure the week’s largest increase (+8). Danny Amendola had only received one target in each of his last two games, while also contending with a knee issue. But he returned in Week 15 to collect eight targets, which provided the week’s second-biggest rise (+7). Antonio Callaway’s fluctuating weekly totals continued as he achieved an increase of +6, while the season-high 12 targets that were distributed to Reynolds improved his weekly total by +5. Golladay, Landry, and Anderson were next with a rise of +4.

While Thielen’s discouraging usage created a regression of -5, it was not the largest decrease of the week. That dubious distinction is reserved for Michael Gallup, who was not targeted by Dak Prescott after attaining a season-high nine in Week 14. It was an uncomfortable development for anyone who started him, but Gallup certainly was not alone in experiencing a massive decline (-9).

Donte Moncrief was only targeted twice during Jacksonville's Week 15 matchup with Washington. Since that occurred in the aftermath of him garnering 10 targets in Week 14, his -8 is the second biggest decline of the week. The drop-off for Chris Godwin was almost as significant (-7), as he only received three targets after matching Moncrief's 10 targets in Week 14. Hill (-7), Josh Gordon (-7) and Cooper (-6) all experienced noteworthy regression.

The collective decline in targets for D.J. Moore (-5) and Curtis Samuel (-4) should be of less concern than the absence of Cam Newton from Carolina’s lineup. Even though Newton was clearly not healthy, the uncertainty of what might occur with a passing attack that is spearheaded by Taylor Heinicke is not something that owners of Moore or Samuel should risk by starting either receiver this week.

 

Red Zone Targets

Wide Receiver Week 13 Red Zone Targets Week 14 Red Zone Targets Week 15 Red Zone Targets Total Red Zone Targets Largest  Changes
Davante Adams 2 1 2 28 1
JuJu Smith-Schuster 0 4 0 27 -4
Michael Thomas 1 3 1 25 -2
DeAndre Hopkins 0 4 2 23 -2
Odell Beckham Jr. 1 INJ INJ 20 INJ
Antonio Brown 0 3 1 20 -2
Adam Thielen 1 2 0 19 -2
Julian Edelman 2 3 2 19 -1
Sterling Shepard 0 3 0 18 -3
Jarvis Landry 0 0 1 17 1
Tyreek Hill 1 2 2 16 0
Corey Davis 1 1 0 15 -1
Keenan Allen 1 3 INJ 15 -3
T.Y. Hilton 1 0 1 15 1
Stefon Diggs 1 0 2 15 2
Brandin Cooks 0 1 0 14 -1
Zay Jones 1 3 0 14 -3
Chris Godwin 2 1 1 14 0
Kenny Golladay 3 0 0 13 0
John Brown 0 2 0 13 -2
Mike Williams BYE 1 4 13 3
Amari Cooper 0 1 0 12 -1
Larry Fitzgerald 0 1 0 12 -1
Alshon Jeffery 1 1 0 12 -1
Julio Jones 0 2 1 12 -1
Josh Reynolds 2 0 4 12 4
Adam Humphries 2 2 1 12 -1
Devin Funchess 1 0 1 12 1
Demaryius Thomas 1 0 0 11 0
Dede Westbrook 0 2 0 11 -2
Allen Robinson 1 2 0 11 -2
Robert Woods 1 0 1 11 1
Golden Tate 1 0 1 11 1
Doug Baldwin 1 INJ 2 11 1
Sammy Watkins INJ INJ INJ 10 INJ
Mike Evans 0 0 0 10 0
Anthony Miller 2 0 0 10 0
Tajae Sharpe 2 1 0 10 -1
Kendrick Bourne 1 0 1 10 1
John Ross 1 1 1 10 0
Tyler Boyd 0 0 2 10 2

Davante Adams has moved ahead of Smith-Schuster to lead all receivers in red zone targets for the season (28) while Smith-Schuster is currently just one target behind him with 27. Four other receivers have collected at least 20 targets- Thomas (25), Hopkins (23), Brown (20), and Beckham (20), who remains tied for fifth despite missing Weeks 14-15 due to his quad issue.

Edelman and Thielen are next with 19, followed by Shepard (18), Landry (17), Hill (16) and a cluster of four receivers that have attained 15 – Allen, Davis, Diggs, and Hilton. A total of 30 other wide receivers have been targeted at least 10 times through Week 15.

Hopkins still leads the position with 15 targets inside the 10-yard line, followed by Thomas (12), Smith-Schuster (11) and three receivers that have been targeted 10 times – Edelman, Hilton, and Godwin. While no other receivers have reached double-digits, Davis has been targeted nine times while five receivers have obtained eight targets inside the 10 - Adams, Beckham, Woods, Thielen, and Mike Williams.

 

Largest Increases And Decreases

Mike Williams' season-best four targets tied him with Josh Reynolds for the most among all receivers during the week, while Hopkins, Adams, Edelman, Hill, Doug Baldwin, and Tyler Boyd all attained two.

Williams has now captured seven of his 14 red zone targets since Week 12, while five of those targets have been collected in December. While the recent surge by Williams is impressive and has been beneficial for those who had started him in Week 15, Hopkins and Reynolds have accumulated the largest number of red zone targets since Week 14 (6), while Edelman tied Williams with five during that sequence. Edelman has also commandeered more red zone targets than any other receiver since Week 13 (7), followed by Hopkins (6), and six receivers that have captured five - Adams, Williams, Hill, Anderson, Thomas, and Humphries.

The four targets that were designated for Reynolds enabled him to achieve the largest increase for the week (+4), while Williams was second at +3. The largest decrease for Week 15 was experienced by Smith-Schuster (-4), while five different receivers registered a decline of -3 (Anderson, Allen, Zay Jones, Shepard, and D.J. Moore). Allen’s injury eliminated any chance that he could obtain targets, while the regression for Anderson, Jones, Shepard, and Moore was a byproduct of favorable totals in Week 14.

 

Snap Counts

Wide Receiver Week 13  Snap Counts Week 14   Snap Counts Week 15  Snap Counts Total Snaps Total Snap Count %  Snap Count % Change
DeAndre Hopkins  75/99% 72/100% 51/96% 944 99% -4%
Robert Woods 66/96% 63/100% 76/100% 930 97% 0%
Antonio Brown 67/99% 59/98% 61/95% 926 95% -3%
Adam Thielen 61/100% 56/87% 63/91% 901 97% 4%
Brandin Cooks 66/96% 62/98% 76/100% 876 91% 2%
Davante Adams 72/95% 56/86% 64/94% 867 93% 8%
Nelson Agholor 65/87% 49/94% 63/98% 847 90% 4%
Kenny Golladay 70/97% 50/83% 52/91% 846 91% 8%
Jarvis Landry 46/81% 42/81% 57/85% 843 88% 4%
JuJu Smith-Schuster 60/88% 52/87% 60/94% 828 85% 7%
Michael Thomas 51/98% 58/91% 69/93% 825 89% 2%
Mike Evans 57/88% 61/87% 45/90% 823 84% 3%
Zay Jones 60/92% 69/91% 66/97% 822 87% 6%
Sterling Shepard 57/79% 43/67% 65/100% 812 91% 33%
Tyreek Hill 63/89% 65/76% 53/88% 811 87% 12%
Tyler Lockett 40/69% 56/85% 68/91% 787 85% 6%
Corey Davis 65/96% 49/92% 65/93% 785 89% 1%
Tyler Boyd 66/97% 64/96% 39/49% 773 86% -47%
Stefon Diggs 47/77% 50/86% 55/80% 766 82% -6%
Larry Fitzgerald 60/97% 67/96% 65/96% 754 92% 0%
Taylor Gabriel 76/92% 57/80% 46/77% 751 80% -3%
Josh Doctson 43/96% 55/89% 56/82% 750 82% -7%
Julio Jones 41/77% 63/89% 32/48% 743 80% -41%
Jordy Nelson 69/91% 63/94% 57/97% 737 79% 3%
Mohamed Sanu 44/83% 57/80% 61/91% 737 78% 11%
Donte Moncrief 45/78% 53/75% 40/77% 722 78% 2%
Allen Robinson 70/84% 61/86% 46/77% 721 77% -9%
Odell Beckham Jr. 67/93% INJ INJ 716 80% INJ
Willie Snead 66/81% 51/72% 58/76% 716 68% 4%
Dede Westbrook 51/88% 65/92% 43/83% 709 77% -9%
Chris Conley 65/92% 85/99% 57/95% 709 76% -4%
Michael Crabtree 36/44% 51/72% 44/58% 706 67% -14%
Keenan Allen 58/92% 54/95% 17/23% 690 84% INJ
John Brown 43/53% 50/70% 47/62% 686 65% -8%
Courtland Sutton 41/69% 51/69% 63/86% 679 72% 17%
Chris Hogan 32/43% 33/41% 39/63% 677 69% 22%
Antonio Callaway 41/72% 38/73% 49/73% 672 70% 0%
Adam Humphries 41/63% 57/81% 29/58% 668 69% -23%
Tyrell Williams 50/79% 48/84% 65/88% 662 76% 4%
Alshon Jeffery 66/88% 51/98% 64/100% 653 70% 2%
Kenny Stills 48/87% 40/83% 51/96% 652 79% 13%
T.Y. Hilton 66/87% 54/81% 41/57% 642 65% -6%

Arguably the most consistent element of these weekly reports throughout the season has been Hopkins’ league-leading snap counts. His total of 944 enables him to sustain his lead over three other receivers that have played on at least 90% of their teams’ snaps - Woods (930), Brown (926), and Thielen (901). 11 receivers have achieved 800+ - Cooks (876), Adams (867), Agholor (847), Golladay (846), Landry (843), Smith-Schuster (828), Thomas (825), Evans (823), Zay Jones (822), Shepard (812), and Hill (811). 17 additional receivers have eclipsed 700 snaps for the season.

Hopkins also continues to lead his position in snap percentage, having now performed on 99.2% of Houston's offensive snaps. Woods is second with 97% followed by Thielen (96.6%), Brown (95.2%), Adams (93.4%), Fitzgerald (91.6%), Cooks (91.3%), Golladay (91.3%), Shepard (91%), and Agholor (90.2%). While no other receivers have played on over 90% of their team snaps, 14 have assembled a count of over 80%. 

Largest Increases And Decreases

Four receivers performed on every offensive snap for their teams in Week 15 - Woods, Cooks, Shepard, Jeffrey while Josh Reynolds and DaeSean Hamilton were just behind with 99%. Agholor (98%), D.J. Moore (98%), Zay Jones (97%), Jordy Nelson (97%), Fitzgerald (96), Kenny Stills (96%), Hopkins (96%) all surpassed 95%, while 18 additional receivers achieved a count of least 90%.

Hamilton remains one of my favorite WR3 options in PPR leagues, and his escalating count over the past five games (25%/51%/80%/97%/99%) has evolved to the point that his Week 15 count tied him for fifth overall.

John Ross has averaged an 89% snap count since Week 10, after averaging just 30.% from Weeks 1-8. However, he does not provide the same potential to deliver fantasy points as Robert Foster, who played on 90% of Buffalo's snaps in Weeks 14-15, after averaging just 19.9% from Weeks 1-10.

Foster's ascending percentage is contrasted by the plunging average for Golden Tate who has only played on 40% of Philadelphia's snaps since Week 13 after he had attained an average of 79% from Weeks 1-8.

Even though even the most desperate of owners should not risk starting James Washington this week, it is worth noting that after he played on just 28.5% of Pittsburgh's snaps from Weeks 11-14, his count rose significantly to 69% in Week 15.

Five Things That I Noticed

1. In the last four weeks, Juju Smith Schuster has collected more targets than any other receiver (48). He has also averaged 11.6 targets-per-game since Week 11 after averaging just 6.6 per-game from Weeks 8-10. Davante Adams is second to Smith-Schuster with 45 targets since Week 12, followed by T.Y. Hilton (43), Julio Jones (41) and Antonio Brown (40).  While no other wide receivers reached 40 during that sequence of games, DeAndre Hopkins (39) joins six other receivers in attaining at least 30 - Amari Cooper (37), Julian Edelman (36), Keenan Allen (35), and Stefon Diggs, Robert Woods and Robby Anderson with 30. Anderson and Cooper are the only receivers on that select list that are not among the top 15 in total targets for the season. However, Cooper is 11th with an 8.5 targets-per-game average since Week 12, while Anderson has averaged 8-per-game during that span.

2. Entering Week 8, Adam Thielen had already collected a league-high 89 targets, as the result of attaining at least 10 in each of his first seven games. Unfortunately, for his owners, that level of opportunity thoroughly dissipated well before the disastrous results of Week 15. Thielen only manufactured 19 yards after being relegated to a season-worst two targets. But even though his most discouraging week of the season was certainly ill-timed, it also represented a continuation of an overall regression in his opportunities. He has only attained a double-digit total twice since the aforementioned Week 8 (7/7/12/9/10/7/2), and the conversion from John DeFilippo to Kevin Stefanski scripting Minnesota's plays does not bode well for the prospects of a sudden surge in targets for Thielen this week.

3. The overall totals target totals that Mike and Tyrell Williams accumulated without Keenan Allen in the lineup were mentioned previously. But their combined efforts deserve additional attention because their accomplishments were among the most compelling developments of Week 15 - as were the resulting emotions of owners who did, or did not decide to start Mike Williams prior to his three-touchdown performance. He had been averaging 3.5 targets-per-game from Weeks 1-13, but that average has risen to 7.5 during his last two contests. That increase was propelled largely by Williams' expanded role due to Allen's hip issue. Teammate Tyrell Williams was unable to replicate Mike’s touchdown prowess in Week 15, but he did collect the aforementioned 12 targets, after averaging just 3.5 targets-per-game from Weeks 9-14. Anyone who owns either Williams should monitor Allen’s status as we progress toward the Chargers' Saturday night kickoff. But Mike’s escalating red zone usage should supply sufficient incentive to start him this week regardless of Allen’s health.

4. There have been a considerable number of unexpected developments in recent weeks, although few provide greater potential for major ramifications than the ascension of DaeSean Hamilton and Tim Patrick as potential difference makers in matchups that will determine fantasy championships. The rapid rise in their stock for owners is comparable to their emerging importance for Denver, as the Broncos attempt to navigate the post-Sanders portion of their season. The tandem has been targeted 39 times during their last two contests (Hamilton 21/Patrick 18), as Hamilton has collected 14 receptions, while Patrick has caught 12. While their roles have quickly expanded since Week 14, Courtland Sutton’s six targets in each of the last two games are just slightly better than the 4.9 per-game average that he had obtained from Weeks 1-14. While Case Keenum will distribute the ball to all three receivers this week against Oakland, Hamilton has produced a team-best 98% snap count since Week 14 while running routes in the slot and is the most intriguing option during the matchup.

5. In this 5 Things section of the Week 13 report, Dante Pettis was recommended as a waiver wire addition and an instant starter. Last week, Robby Anderson was the featured receiver, and this week's suggested WR3 option is Robert FosterThe 6'2”, 200-pound rookie has eclipsed 100 yards in three of Buffalo's last five contests, and just missed attaining that number a fourth time when he accumulated 94 in Week 12. 13 of his 32 targets have been amassed since Week 14, and he should have opportunities to assemble yardage against the Patriots this week, even if he draws coverage from Stephon Gilmore. The Bills should be trailing during the matchup, and it is feasible to expect that New England will devise a schematic approach that neutralizes Allen’s ability to generate significate yardage on the ground. All of which should encourage anyone who recently added Foster to start him this week.

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