High-end fantasy football performances and weekly finishes are fueled by routes run and high-value targets and touches. The majority of top scorers from last week saw healthy doses of end-zone targets, air yards, routes run, deep targets and goal-line carries.
Justin Jefferson sat atop the Week 12 air yards throne and then went nuclear with 182 receiving yards and a touchdown in Week 13. Trust the process.
To find Week 14’s version of Jefferson in the fantasy football rankings or as a waiver wire pickup, fantasy managers can leverage PFF’s fantasy stats tool to identify players who saw the most high-value opportunities but failed to cash in.
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Most end-zone targets | Week 13
|Player||End-zone targets||End-zone touchdowns|
|Odell Beckham Jr.||2||1|
|Amon-Ra St. Brown||2||1|
The Jets coaching staff has had an epiphany: Elijah Moore is #goodatfootball, so they get him the ball as much as humanly possible. Moore had 12 targets and 212 air yards in Week 13.
The rookie owns a 31% target share and an 88% route participation over the last three weeks. His increased production has directly correlated with and increase in playing time, so he can’t leave your lineup. Moore was one accurate Zach Wilson throw away from a second touchdown grab Sunday.
The Ole Miss product will be a staple competent to DFS cash lineups at $5,900 on DraftKings versus a reeling New Orleans Saints defense that ranks bottom-five in fantasy points per game allowed to WRs this season.
Justin Jefferson won’t stop scoring touchdowns anytime soon. Adam Thielen leads Minnesota with seven end-zone touchdowns this season, so another player in the offense is going to have to pick up the slack with his status in question for Week 14.
The Vikings No. 1 wide receiver appears to be that guy, with six end-zone targets over the last two weeks. Minnesota’s No. 3 wide receiver K.J. Osborn also saw two end-zone targets, hauling in one for a touchdown. Fantasy managers could do worse than adding Osborn as a fantasy WR3 or rostering him as a DFS one-game slate option in a matchup versus the Steelers if Thielen is ruled out.
Pittsburgh ranks seventh in receiving yards allowed to wide receivers over the last four weeks.
Cooper Kupp scored over 22 fantasy points despite failing to haul in either of his end-zone targets for touchdowns. Matthew Stafford missed him on a throw that slipped out of his hand and would have been Kupp’s easiest touchdown to date.
Look for him to score and maintain No. 1 fantasy wide receiver status versus the Arizona Cardinals, who have allowed the fourth-most receiving touchdowns to WRs this season.
Baby steps with D.K. Metcalf: The latest recipient of the “squeaky wheel” narrative saw eight targets and 138 air yards in Week 13, tying him with Tyler Lockett for the team lead. However, Metcalf was only able to muster 60 scoreless yards, leaving fantasy managers frustrated for yet another week.
The super-sized wideout went 0-for-2 on his shots to the end zone — he's now 0-for-5 on end-zone targets since Week 10. Woof.
I’d head right back to Metcalf in a screaming blow-up spot against a Houston Texans’ 29th-ranked coverage unit that has allowed a league-high 38% open target rate on targets of 20-plus air yards.
Seattle should be able to do whatever it wants through the air and feed Metcalf to his heart’s desire. Since Week 5, Houston is tied with Minnesota and Carolina for the most completions to WRs in the end zone. Metcalf’s touchdown drought ends in Week 14.
Bryan Edwards will eventually find the end zone. He has 11 targets inside the 5-yard line this season but has caught just one for a touchdown. If Waller misses another week, he would be a dark horse candidate to score versus K.C.
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Look for ASB to be Goff’s favorite target after he ran a route on a team-high 98% of his dropbacks in Week 13. His target share has risen by 11% from Weeks 10-13 — the highest increase of any WR from the previous four-week period.
Don't quit on Dawson Knox. The Bills tight end is running routes at a top-five rate in the NFL and saw six targets — including two end-zone targets and three deep targets — in Buffalo’s home loss to the Patriots. Look for him to bounce back in a big way versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 14, as their defense has allowed the third-most receptions to tight ends this season.
Other wide receivers/tight ends who should experience positive touchdown regression based on their target volume inside the 5-yard line include Chase Claypool, Mike Williams, DeVonta Smith, Michael Pittman Jr., Darren Waller, Courtland Sutton and Chris Godwin.
DEEP TARGETS AND AIR YARDS