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The New Reality No.95: Target Allocation

Navigating the ever-changing landscape of dynasty fantasy football

Three weeks does not a fantasy season make, but trends are beginning to develop across NFL passing games. Here are the notable market share bullet points for running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends:

AFC East

Rob Gronkowski is leading the Patriots by a healthy margin with 23% of the targets. Brandin Cooks is seeing close to 50% fewer targets at 16%. Chris Hogan's distribution is the most slanted of the team with 15% of the targets and 38% of the touchdowns.

Jarvis Landry has yet to find the end zone despite a hearty 33% of the team targets. His running back-like 6.6 yards-per-catch mandate optimal red zone looks to find the end zone. DeVante Parker's target market share of 24% is promising to be in WR2/3 conversation at the end of the season.

Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse are equals in target market share, but Kearse has 67% of the team touchdowns to-date. It is worth noting Austin Seferian-Jenkins returned in Week 3 and was tied for the team lead in targets for the game (6).

The futility of the Buffalo receivers is apparent when LeSean McCoy and Charles Clay are seeing a combined 49% of the team targets through three games. Neither Zay Jones or Jordan Matthews have surpassed six targets in a game and Andre Holmes has 50% of the team's touchdowns on just 9% of the targets.

afc north

Baltimore's passing game is struggling mightily and the market share numbers further point to an amalgam of fantasy mediocrity. Jeremy Maclin is leading the team with 18% of the targets, but yet to see more than five looks in a game and has relied on 50% of the team's touchdowns to even approach flex viability. Breshad Perriman is well on his way to bust status (Mike Wallace as well) with 12% of the targets and the pair has combined for 4-26-0 in three games.

A.J. Green is off to a monster start with 36% of the team targets and 50% of the touchdowns. Brandon LaFell has offered little with John Ross inactive for two of the weeks with 16% of targets but only 10% of yards without a touchdown.

Like Buffalo, Cleveland's wide receivers are struggling out of the gate. Duke Johnson Jr leads the team at 16% of targets. David Njoku has been the touchdown maven with 50% of the end zone trips yet 9% of the targets. Corey Coleman was the clear lead receiver before his injury Week 2.

Antonio Brown is piling up the production (48% of team passing yards), but touchdowns have eluded him thus far with 1-of-5 team touchdowns. Jesse James has the reverse stat line with 15% targets and 40% touchdowns. Expect Brown's current 4% touchdown rate to regress upward in the coming weeks.

afc south

DeAndre Hopkins has an elite level 40% target share, but 33% of the touchdowns on a passing-starved offense. Tyler Ervin is the only other Houston player with 10+ targets on the season. Monitor Bruce Ellington, who was second on the team with seven targets in Week 2, going forward as Braxton Miller (and others) have failed to separate themselves as the No.2 option.

T.Y. Hilton has the lone touchdown for the Colts passing game, along with a hearty 27% target share. Jack Doyle's target volume has been suspect considering Indianapolis' lack of consistency from Donte Moncrief and Kamar Aiken as ancillary receivers.

It will be tough for Marqise Lee to not finish as a WR3 for fantasy at his current clip of 28% targets. He has yet to find the end zone as Marcedes Lewis gobbled up half of the team season total in Week 3 alone. Leonard Fournette has been a pleasant surprise in the passing game with 14% of the team targets and at least three targets each week.

Corey Davis led the Titans with 10 targets in Week 1 but has been a partial game participant (Week 2) or inactive (Week 3) since. Jonnu Smith is the Chris Thompson of the tight end position with two scores on only three receptions. While Smith has collected the touchdowns, Delanie Walker is still seeing a quality market share of targets (20%) and more than six looks per week.

afc west

Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders continue to dominate the Denver passing game, combining for 56% of the targets. Thomas is one of the biggest touchdown regression candidates out there with 17 receptions and zero touchdowns on the season. Instead, Bennie Fowler has two rogue touchdowns (33%) on only 14% of the targets.

Volume has not been an issue for Tyreek Hill, leading the Chiefs with 27% targets and 29% of touchdowns. Chris Conley is not worth a roster spot in most leagues with 11% of targets and a season-high of four in a game.

Hunter Henry has been one of the more puzzling players this season with two games without a target sandwiching a strong Week 2 showing. Henry has 6% of the team targets and no touchdowns.

Amari Cooper is seeing 26% of the team targets, enough to warrant WR1/2 production, but most of that centers on his 13 targets in Week 1. Cooper has 10 targets since and gets the stingy Denver defense in Week 4.

nfc east

Dez Bryant has 26% target share, but just 17% of the team's yardage due to an uncharacteristic 10.4 yards-per-reception. Jason Witten, a career low touchdown rate option, has surged to 11% touchdown rate through three games and 40% of the team total. Expect a regression in that area for Witten as the season progresses.

Odell Beckham Jr. has a 23% target market share in Weeks 2-3 (when active) and anemic 8.8 yards-per-reception. Beckham is a rising candidate, especially in Week 4 against the struggling Tampa Bay secondary. Evan Engram has a promising 16% target share as a rookie three games into his career.

Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery are the lone steady fantasy options for the Eagles, combining for 50% of the team targets. Torrey Smith has yet to find the end zone on 14% of the targets. Darren Sproles had 12 targets the first two weeks of the season, available going forward.

Terrelle Pryor has a WR3-type 20% target share but has struggled with inconsistent hands and lacking big plays to-date. Chris Thompson has an unreal 20% target share for a running back and 40% of the team receiving touchdowns. 

nfc north

Tarik Cohen leads Chicago with 24% of the targets. The Bears receivers are poor enough Kendall Wright at 13% leads the position and Deonte Thompson (8% targets) has the lone wide receiver touchdown on the season.

Kenny Golladay has been touchdown-centric in his production with 29% touchdown share and 14% target share. Golden Tate has a strong 26% target share but is averaging less than 10 yards-per-reception. The potential Eric Ebron breakout is not off to a great start with 14% of the team targets.

No Packers option has more than 17% of the team targets, and Ty Montgomery is tied for the team lead. Jordy Nelson, despite missing some of Week 2, has 50% of the passing touchdowns on the season.

Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen have combined for 49% of the team targets with Diggs having an unsustainable 23% touchdown rate, while Thielen has yet to find the end zone.

nfc south

Mohamed Sanu is an underrated option when bye weeks and injuries mount. Sanu is seeing 23% targets behind Julio Jones. Tevin Coleman has nearly double the targets of Devonta Freeman. Austin Hooper has been a major fantasy disappointment with 7% of targets and saved only by his long touchdown against Chicago.

Christian McCaffrey leads Carolina with 26% targets and has no signs of changing with Cam Newton's struggles on intermediate and deep throws. Despite inheriting the lead tight end role, Ed Dickson saw a single target in Week 3.

Alvin Kamara is another high usage receiving running back (16% targets) as the No.2 option in New Orleans. Willie Snead IV is back at wide receiver in Week 4 as Brandon Coleman and TommyLee Lewis have combined for 16% of the team targets in his absence.

Cameron Brate has mired in the irrelevant zone with 10% of targets, saved marginally by a touchdown.

nfc west

Larry Fitzgerald is doubling the target volume of any other Cardinals option at 26%. J.J. Nelson has 50% of the team touchdowns of note. Since John Brown has been inactive (post-Week 1), Jaron Brown has 17 targets in two games.

Todd Gurley is yet another running back to lead his team in targets (20%) and is on pace for 90 targets on the season, already finding the end zone twice through the air. Robert Woods has 19% of the targets, but yet to find the end zone as a historically low touchdown rate receiver.

Jimmy Graham is a touchdown regression watch with 18% targets and yet to find the end zone on 11 receptions. After being invisible in Week 1, C.J. Prosise has 11 targets in two games since for 87 yards.

Pierre Garcon has a WR2-worthy 26% target share and 40% of the 49ers passing yardage. Despite 43% of the team targets, Garcon and Marquise Goodwin have yet to find the end zone. Trent Taylor and Garrett Celek have the two scores through the air on only 12% target rate.