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|
|Michael Pittman Jr.||264||96%|
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.
you *literally* can't spell Michael Pittman without the letters “alpha”pic.twitter.com/sA5rXKFWmx
— Andrew Erickson™ (@AndrewErickson_) October 25, 2021
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