NFL Targets Through Week 6: Who’s Rising & Who’s Falling

Week 6 Recap

Week six led to a whole new crop of risers and fallers in targets. Talk about a dip in targets and production, Chris Hogan found himself with only one catch on four targets for 19 yards. He saw a 64% decrease in his targets from week five to six. Most of the production came from Rob Gronkowski being heavily targeted, but Brandin Cooks also saw an uptick in targets and production as well. Look for Hogan to get back on track in week seven versus the Falcons.

Rams TE Tyler Higbee was another disappointment from week six with only one reception on three targets for no yards. His 53% positive mean-variance over the previous five weeks looked promising for a productive week six. Unfortunately, Jared Goff threw for only 124 yards in the whole game with only 11 attempts. Next week should be a better showing for Higbee against the Arizona Cardinals who give up the 10th most points to the tight end position.

Tarik Cohen’s run at as a productive fantasy option seems to be over. Over six weeks he has maintained a 7% positive mean-variance, which isn’t a lot for an RB that needs catches to be a startable fantasy option. Cohen notched 1 catches for 14 yards on three targets against the Ravens in week five. The previous week against the Vikings, he logged one catch on one target for negative one yard. Cohen is not a startable fantasy option and may not be unless the Bears begin to use his services once again in the passing game.

It didn’t take long for Alshon Jeffrey to take advantage of a good matchup and have the trust of Carson Wentz back. Jeffrey bounced back from being held victim to a -19% mean-variance over the last few weeks with four catches for 71 yards and a TD on 11 targets. As discussed last week, Jeffrey has been going up against some of the best corners in the league. Finally, he was able to get back on track and absorb 50% of the Eagles targets in week six. Look for Jeffrey’s targets to continue to develop, but I’m not sure we see 11 targets in week seven against the Redskins.

Target Risers

Christian McCaffrey may not have been the most prolific rusher in week six, but dominated through the air with 10 catches for 56 yards and a TD on 14 targets. Through six weeks, McCaffrey has had a 33% positive mean-variance leading to an uptick in targets and production. His targets doubled from seven in week five to a season-high 14 in week six. Even though Jonathan Stewart and McCaffrey have combined to average 2.9 yards per carry, McCaffrey’s value comes from his pass catching ability making him a valuable weekly PPR play.

Last week against the Oakland Raiders, Melvin Gordon saw a season-high in targets with 12. Over the last three weeks, Gordon has seen a 23% positive mean-variance each week. Not only is he running like an RB1 on the ground, he is also being just as productive as a WR2 through the air. With 25 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown and week six, he’s getting a full workload and some in the receiving game. If this is a trend that continues, Gordon could be a league winner by end of season.

After turning his life around, Austin Seferian Jenkins has resurrected his NFL career on the New York Jets. Josh McCown has been looking for Jenkins often and his 11 targets and week six are evidence of that. Over the last three weeks, Jenkins has seen a 69% positive mean variance as he had for targets in a week four and jumped to 11 in week six. With the tight end landscape being so thin, Jenkins holds a ton of value in both standard and PPR leagues.

Devin Funchess has been getting all the talk in Carolina, but Kelvin Benjamin has seen an 89% positive mean-variance over the last four weeks. Is targets have risen from two and week three all the way to 13 in week six. He battles with McCaffrey and Funchess for targets, but Cam Newton has ignited the Panthers pass game and is spreading the ball around like an Oprah giveaway. Benjamin’s targets may dissipate a bit, but he should still see a nice average of targets per game.

Target Losers

Rishard Matthews came into the season as one of the most underrated receivers in the league. He started off hot in game one with nine targets, then five in week two and 10 in week three. Since then he has consistently lost targets with the season low of four in week six. His -26% mean-variance over the last four weeks doesn’t bode well for him as a Fantasy asset. The good news is he is still efficient as he caught all four of his targets for 69 yards in week six. With Eric Decker receiving more targets and Marcus Mariota still not 100% healthy, Matthews should be considered a WR3 with WR2 upside for the foreseeable future.



College Football Evaluator. Senior Director of Talent Acquisitions 🎧🎙Co-host of the Devy Watch Podcast. Previous student of the Scouting Academy. You can follow me on Twitter at @allpurposescout

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