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Week 12 fantasy football best waiver wire pickups, trade candidates and start or sit roster decisions based on PFF routes run

Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) celebrates next to tight end George Kittle (85) after making a catch for a first down against the Los Angeles Rams in the second quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

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 12.

Last week's article highlighted the likes of Christian McCaffrey, Brandon Aiyuk, D.J. Moore, Elijah Moore, Josh Jacobs and Adam Trautman 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 New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


Rate of routes run per dropback | Week 11
Player Routes run % of routes run per dropback
D.J. Moore 29 100%
Diontae Johnson 50 98%
Tre'Quan Smith 43 98%
Adam Thielen 38 97%
Ja'Marr Chase 38 97%
Russell Gage 33 97%
DeVonta Smith 30 97%
Robby Anderson 28 97%
Brandon Aiyuk 27 96%
Josh Reynolds 24 96%
Corey Davis 41 95%
Darnell Mooney 38 95%
Jaylen Waddle 37 95%
Keenan Allen 51 94%
Michael Gallup 47 94%
Jakobi Meyers 30 94%
Marvin Jones Jr. 29 94%
Brandin Cooks 28 93%
Tyler Lockett 28 93%
D.K. Metcalf 28 93%
Davante Adams 38 93%
Stefon Diggs 36 92%
Tee Higgins 36 92%
Justin Jefferson 36 92%
Chase Claypool 47 92%
Amon-Ra St. Brown 23 92%
Michael Pittman Jr. 22 92%

Tre’Quan Smith is getting the WR1 treatment in New Orleans. He leads the team in routes and target share (23%) over the last two weeks, running 55% of his snaps from the slot. His matchup is brutal versus the Buffalo Bills Thursday night, but he should see enough volume to work as a back-end fantasy WR3.

Wild, but true: Josh Reynolds’ led all Detroit Lions receivers in snaps in his first game with the team. He was unproductive — as was every Lions receiver with Tim Boyle at the helm — but he’s worth a dart throw in DFS if Jared Goff returns Thursday. He’s the stone minimum at $3,000 and has chemistry with Goff from their days spent with the Los Angeles Rams.

If the esteemed Boyle is under center, Amon-Ra St. Brown is the favorite to lead the wide receiver group in targets.

Rate of routes run per dropback | Last four weeks


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