It’s hard to believe that no receiver on the Patriots roster received more than five targets (Gronkowski, Dorsett) in week three. Tom Brady will certainly be pleased to get Josh Gordon on the field this coming week, and Julian Edelman back in the fold for week five.
With Jimmy Garoppolo going down to an ACL tear, it’ll be hard to predict which receivers outside of George Kittle (5-79-0) that will show rapport with backup quarterback, C.J. Beathard. At this point, it may be better to disregard the 49ers receiving corps for a week or two.
This week, and every week, we’ll take a look at some of the top fantasy Target Monsters throughout the NFL. To be considered a ‘Target Monster,’ a player needs to be targeted at least seven times within the given week. Hopefully this breakdown will give you insight as to which players to gravitate toward while assembling or tweaking your own roster.
The 100-yard Crew
In week three, there were some heavy targets thrown to some of our favorites. Michael Thomas dazzled as usual, catching all ten of his targets for 129-yards. Through three games, Thomas has snagged 38-of-40 targets thrown his way, while averaging a touchdown per game. His battery mate, Alvin Kamara, nabbed 15-of-20 targets thrown his way for 124-yards. Saints’ Drew Brees is throwing to his receivers early and often, and has the team in complete video game mode with all cheat codes enabled.
In an embarrassing loss to the Bills, Vikings’ Adam Thielen saw 19-targets, making good on all but five of them for a total 105-yards. Jarvis Landry (8-103-0) looks re-energized with the emerging play of Baker Mayfield. Expect Antonio Callaway to become relevant again in the Browns offense as well.
Both Mike Evans (6-137-1) and Juju Smith-Schuster (9-116-0) balled out during the Monday night game. Antonio Brown (6-50-1) also saw nine targets, but his share has diminished in the early season as Big Ben continues to spread the ball around. No one has said it yet, but Juju is starting to look like the alpha receiver for the Steelers. Speaking of alpha’s, Will Fuller (5-101-1) seems like Deshaun Watson’s favorite go-to guy. Not to say that DeAndre Hopkins isn’t seeing his share of targets (6-of-10 for 86-yards).
Odell Beckham Jr. continues to put up good yardage (109-yards on 9-of-10 targets), but still hasn’t gotten a whiff of the end zone yet. While OBJ has been Mr. Nice Guy since returning from last year’s injury and signing his new contract, it’s only a matter of time before he lashes out to get a bump in targets. The Giants will be in a shootout with the Saints this week, so a touchdown or two isn’t out of the realm of possibility for Beckham. Eli Manning permitting.
Travis Kelce (8-114-0) has been the most consistent target recipient on the Chiefs roster, as phenom Patrick Mahomes has no problem throwing the ball to whoever’s open. Mahomes is perhaps the most equal opportunity employer at the quarterback position as we speak. He’s developed a nice rapport with Sammy Watkins as well, so if you’re looking for a trade target, Watkins could be a good buy-low candidate.
While Jordy Nelson turned back the hands of time and surprised us with a 173-yard (and a touchdown) performance on 6-of-8 targets, breakout candidates Calvin Ridley and Tyler Boyd became the talks of the town. Ridley graced the end zone three times for Atlanta on 7-of-8 targets for a total 146-yards. He looked like OBJ-lite in his performance, and has a quarterback in Matt Ryan that’s looking for him. Ridley is easily the number one waiver wire target this week. Good luck with that!
Tyler Boyd (6-132-1) is proving his third-year breakout potential with the confident play of Andy Dalton. While everyone tagged John Ross as the WR2 in the Bengals offense during preseason, Boyd has rewritten the script and now has a hold on that position. If A.J. Green (5-58-0) misses any time with his groin injury, then Boyd becomes a WR1 / WR2 for at least a week. After Calvin Ridley, Boyd is likely this week’s consolation prize.
Kenny Golladay (6-53-1) is clearly the big cat of the Lions’ receiving corps, while both Golden Tate (6-69-0) and Marvin Jones continue to pay fair dividends. Giants’ Sterling Shepard (6-80-1) looks like a sneaky-good-buy in the absence of Evan Engram (sprained MCL). While Davante Adams (7-52-1) continues to be considered the WR1 for the Packers, be mindful of Geronimo Allison. Allison could lead this team in yards by season’s end and is easily the Packers best deep threat.
This is probably the last call to get Chargers’ Mike Williams (4-81-2). His breakout has already come, but may have been overshadowed by Calvin Ridley’s performance. At this point, Amari Cooper cannot be trusted. He’s approaching drop status after catching 10-of-10 targets in week two.