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 performances in the weekly fantasy football rankings, 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 14.
Last week's article highlighted the likes of David Montgomery, Elijah Moore, Josh Jacobs, Van Jefferson Jr., Javonte Williams, Logan Thomas and Elijah Mitchell as players whose receiving usage was likely to transform into fantasy production sooner than later.
Rate of routes run per dropback | Week 13
|Player||Routes run||% of routes run per dropback|
|Michael Pittman Jr.||25||100%|
|Amon-Ra St. Brown||45||98%|
|Marvin Jones Jr.||34||94%|
Amon-Ra St. Brown caught the game-winning touchdown from Jared Goff to get the Detroit Lions their first win of the season. The slot receiver hauled in 10 of his team-leading 12 targets, which bodes well for him next week. Denver Broncos‘ slot cornerback Kyle Fuller is PFF’s second-worst graded CB (40.6) through 12 weeks.
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.
highest increases in target share last four weeks vs Weeks 6-9 (WRs)
Amon-Ra St. Brown – 11% (12% to 23%)
Stefon Diggs – 11% (18% to 29%)
Justin Jefferson – 11% (21% to 32%)
Tre'Quan Smith – 10% (9% to 19%)
Elijah Moore – 9% (14% to 23%)
— Andrew Erickson™ (@AndrewErickson_) December 6, 2021
With Adam Thielen sidelined due to an ankle injury, K.J. Osborn ran a route on 96% of Kirk Cousins’ dropbacks and caught four of seven targets for 47 yards and a touchdown. Add the second-year wideout off the waiver wire as a bye week fill-in on a short week — the Vikings play the Pittsburgh Steelers Thursday night.
Trent Sherfield isn’t dead yet. Jauan Jennings was the favorite to see more work in the 49ers passing game with Deebo Samuel sidelined heading into Week 13, but Jennings played behind Sherfield and was out-targeted four to one.
Laquon Treadwell owns a 21% target share over the last two weeks. The former first-round pick has emerged as the Jaguars’ No. 1 receiver and could be useful in extremely deep formats in a plus-matchup versus the Tennessee Titans. The Titans rank last in fantasy points per game allowed to WRs this season. Treadwell is just $3,400 on DraftKings for Week 14.
Breshad Perriman has taken over the No. 3 wide receiver role in Tampa Bay. The journeymen wideout ran a route on a whopping 90% of Tom Brady’s dropbacks and saw three targets, relegating both Tyler Johnson and Scotty Miller to bench duties.
Take any all wide passing numbers from Monday night with a grain of salt. Under extremely windy conditions, rookie quarterback Mac Jones attempted just three passes. Nelson Agholor led the team with three routes run.
Rate of routes run per dropback | Last four weeks