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, all which are readily available as part of PFF’s fantasy stats toolkit.
Tee Higgins led the Cincinnati Bengals with the fifth-highest air yards share from Weeks 12-15, so it was not crazy to see him go absolutely nuclear versus a decimated Baltimore Ravens secondary based on the high-value targets he had been seeing. The same goes for Justin Jackson, who led the Chargers in red zone carries from Weeks 14-15.
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To find Week 17’s version of Higgins or Jackson in the Week 17 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.
Most end-zone targets | Week 16
|Player||End-zone targets||End-zone touchdowns|
|Odell Beckham Jr.||3||1|
|Marvin Jones Jr.||2||0|
Sean McVay is doing whatever he can to get Odell Beckham Jr. as many looks in the end zone as possible. The polarizing wide receiver is tied with Cooper Kupp with six end-zone targets over the last four weeks, three of which he has converted into touchdowns.
Coming off an eight-target game with over 100 air yards in Week 16, OBJ has to be started across the board against a thin Baltimore Ravens secondary.
Kenny Golladay’s 14 targets inside the 5-yard line are the most by any player with zero touchdowns this season. With the Giants 2021 season all but lost, the matchup against the Chicago Bears is Kenny G’s last legitimate shot at finding paydirt. The Bears have allowed the second-most receiving touchdowns to opposing WRs this season, so it’s now or never for Golladay.
His 133 air yards from Week 16 suggest the big-bodied wideout is also overdue to make some chunk plays downfield.
Josh Palmer is looking at another full-time role with Mike Williams ruled out for the Los Angeles Chargers’ next game due to COVID-19. The rookie played a big role in Week 16, leading the squad in routes run. He also went five for six on his targets, compiling 43 receiving yards and one touchdown.
Palmer additionally commanded two end-zone targets, which is no coincidence considering the big-bodied Williams is usually on the receiving end of those throws.
The rookie has been productive in two starts this year when Williams and Keenan Allen have missed time, averaging 6.5 targets, 54.5 receiving yards and 14 fantasy points per game. The Tennessee product is a screaming value on DraftKings at just $3,600.
Higgins stole the show for Cincy with his 194 receiving yards and two touchdowns on Sunday, but Ja’Marr Chase was also close to having a massive day. He had three targets inside the 5-yard line but was unable to convert any into touchdowns.
Don’t be surprised to see Chase have a Higgins-esque game in a shootout versus the Kansas City Chiefs. He is bound to see a suppressed DFS rostership at a higher salary than Higgins, making him the perfect “buy-low” opportunity. The Chiefs rank second in end-zone targets to opposing wide receivers this season.
Other wide receivers/tight ends who should experience positive touchdown regression based on their overall target volume inside the 5-yard line include Van Jefferson, Marquise Brown, Mike Williams, Diontae Johnson, A.J. Green, CeeDee Lamb, DeVonta Smith, Chase Claypool, Darren Waller, Courtland Sutton and Marvin Jones Jr.
DEEP TARGETS AND AIR YARDS