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Week 8 fantasy football waiver wire pickups, trade candidates and start or sit roster decisions based on PFF routes run

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman (11) celebrates a touchdown during the second half of the game Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Indianapolis Colts Visit The San Francisco 49ers For Nfl Week 7 At Levi S Stadium In Santa Clara Calif Sunday Oct 24 2021

Opportunity is king in fantasy football, and chasing target volume has always been a winning strategy — especially in PPR leagues. PFF premium stats offers proprietary data that goes well beyond the box score, including routes run for every player on the depth chart.

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Targeting players who are running a high percentage of routes is a good strategy for identifying breakout candidates, DFS targets and the best waiver wire pickups. This weekly report will look at the previous week's rate of routes run per dropback compared to larger samples to find sleeper running backs, wide receivers and tight ends who are garnering more or less opportunities in the passing game heading into Week 8. 

Last week's article highlighted the likes of Michael Pittman Jr., C.J. Uzomah, Rashod Bateman, Christian Kirk and Khalil Herbert as players whose receiving usage was likely to transform into fantasy production sooner than later.

This data does not include the Monday Night Football game between the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints.


Rate of routes run per dropback | Weeks 1-7
Player Routes run % of routes run per dropback
DeAndre Hopkins 260 98%
Adam Thielen 265 97%
Michael Pittman Jr. 264 96%
Terry McLaurin 288 96%
Justin Jefferson 261 96%
Cooper Kupp 256 96%
Ja'Marr Chase 237 95%
Brandin Cooks 248 95%
Tyler Lockett 204 94%
DeVonta Smith 295 94%
D.J. Moore 295 94%
Jakobi Meyers 272 93%
Zach Pascal 255 93%
Darnell Mooney 227 93%
Deebo Samuel 212 92%
Chris Godwin 308 92%

You cannot spell Michael Pittman Jr. without the word “alpha.” The Colts second-year wide receiver is tied for third in the NFL with a 95% routes run per dropback rate, so it’s no surprise to see him breaking out right before our eyes.

Pittman was dominant Sunday night with four catches for 105 yards and a touchdown. He is PFF’s 13th-highest-graded wide receiver over the past four weeks.

DFS players need to be all over Pittman on DraftKings, where he is egregiously mispriced at $5,300 despite his alpha status. The Titans have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points against wide receivers over the past four weeks, and Pittman saw 12 targets the last time he faced them back in Week 3. 

Rate of routes run per dropback | Last four weeks

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