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WR Target Share and Impact (AFC South & West): 2019 Review

With the season over and April's NFL draft ahead of us, it's time to look at how each team shared their targets among their available receivers last season. Not every team splits up the targets in the passing game in the same way, and that has a great impact on the fantasy points any given player can get every week. Knowing who is getting used the most and who is getting the most of his opportunities in each offense is the key to acquiring the best possible fantasy football players.

In this series, I will be covering each of the eight NFL divisions, two at a time, presenting the teams and how they used their wide receivers in 2019. To present those teams and players I use a set of easy-to-read charts: treemaps. The graphics will hold all of the players of each team, the size of each box corresponding with the number of targets (percentage among teammates) he received during the season and the color related to the fantasy points per game (PPR-format leagues) he finished with at the end of the year. Also, the width of the full graphic represents how many total targets (combining those of every receiver) were thrown to receivers by the team compared to the rest of the teams in the division (the empty space in blue to the right, the fewer passes were thrown by such team).

Just to make things as clear as possible, I will add a little personal blurb on each team and how they performed in terms of WR usage and impact during the 2019 season. Let's break things down, this time covering the AFC South and AFC West eight teams!

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AFC South: WR Target Share & Fantasy Impact

  • Houston Texans
    • All hail DeAndre Hopkins and his massive 47.8% target share and his even better 46.4% fantasy points share among teammates! It was quite a season for Nuk, who finished fourth and seventh in the league in those two categories.
    • It's a shame that Will Fuller only played 10 games because he showed flashes of greatness. He was able to still finish with 23.4% of the targets to his name and produced a parallel 23.3% of the team's fantasy points on a great 13.1 FP/G.
    • Kenny Stills got to the team from Miami and became the WR3 in usage and production and will probably stay there as the rest of the Texans WRs didn't do a lot nor were they used constantly, with Keke Coutee just featured as a stopgap to cover for injured players.
  • Tennessee Titans
    • The quarterback change did wonders for a Titans franchise that finished the year with its WRs averaging the sixth-most FP per target at 2.02.
    • Not a lot of folks expected it, but A.J. Brown closed his rookie season leading his team in targets (32.9% of them) and also in fantasy points among its WRs (39.5%).
    • Corey Davis had a season to forget yet he was the second-most targeted of the Titans' WRs with 26.7% of the targets going his way, and the same can be said of Adam Humphries (20.9% target share).
    • After Humphries, there isn't much more to be said considering how bland the rest of the players at the position were...
  • Indianapolis Colts
    • The Colts threw the ball to WRs just 229 times, the seventh-lowest volume in the NFL. They did so while using a league-leading 10 receivers as targets (tied with Oakland).
    • With such a large body of players, it is reasonable to not have anyone with high target shares. Zach Pascal (28.8%) and T.Y. Hilton (27.1%) led the way, though Hilton missed half of the year.
    • With Hilton and Pascal as the clear-cut WR1/2, we'll see who ends as the WR3 next season. Marcus Johnson was the next-best in point production with a 12.5% fantasy points share but he logged the fourth-highest target share instead of the third and was really close to the fifth-highest of Parris Campbell. Decisions, decisions...
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
    • D.J. Chark came out of nowhere and won some folks their leagues for the sweet price of... nothing! Definitely one of the best waiver wire pickups of the year, he amassed 38.5% of Jacksonville's total fantasy points.
    • Dede Westbrook was heavily used (28.3% target share) though his production wasn't better than that of Chris Conley, even though the latter had a lower target share (25.4%). Don't be surprised at a flip in roles next season.


AFC West: WR Target Share & Fantasy Impact

  • Kansas City Chiefs
    • If everything goes according to what happened this season, Mecole Hardman should at least become the WR2 of these Chiefs next season. He had just the fourth-highest target share among teammates (14.8%) yet produced the third-most fantasy points (21%) only 3.8 percentage points under Sammy Watkins who, as you know, is a cut candidate in KC.
    • Tyreek Hill was used less than Watkins (28.9% target share to 30.7%) yet he racked up many more points (30.8% to 24.8%) and performed better on a FP/G basis.
    • Quick summary: bye-bye Watkins.
  • Denver Broncos
    • I had Courtland Sutton penciled in as a potential league-winner back in September, but oh my. Sutton ranked third in the NFL in target share (48%) and second in fantasy points share (56.9%).
    • With Emmanuel Sanders traded mid-season, Daesean Hamilton was the second-highest targeted receiver of the team at just 17.8% producing a paltry 9.4% of the team's total fantasy points over the season.
    • Not many teams will need to find offensive weapons this spring/summer as much as Denver.
  • Oakland Raiders
    • It must be hard to work with such low-quality receivers other than Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow. No Raiders WR broke for more than 9% of the total points excluding those two...
    • After Williams and Renfrow, Trevor Davis led the way with 8.4% of the points yet only the fifth-highest target rate of the team (5.6%).
    • TE Darren Waller kept the offense alive, but in terms of pure wide receivers, the Raiders looked very, very bad.
  • Los Angeles Chargers
    • I will keep preaching the Mike Williams word forever and ever. Williams saw way fewer targets than Keenan Allen yet he finished with 34.7% of the team's points to his name.
    • The Chargers fed Travis Benjamin (6.1% target share) but his production was much lower than that of Dontrelle Inman.

More Fantasy Football Analysis

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