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2023 Fantasy Football Player Profile: D.K. Metcalf is a touchdown machine

2KEMCT3 Munich, Deutschland. 13th Nov, 2022. firo : 11/13/2022, football, NFL, National Football League, season 2022/2023, week 10, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Seattle Seahawks DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks, Seahawks, Seattle, half figure, Credit: dpa/Alamy Live News

  • D.K. Metcalf has been a consistent fantasy asset: He’s finished as a top-20 wide receiver each of the last three seasons and hasn’t missed a game.
  • The Seattle Seahawks added Jaxon Smith-Njigba in the first round: Anytime a team adds a wide receiver in the first round, it’s somewhat concerning for the fantasy value of the receivers currently on the roster.
  • There is a reason for optimism despite Smith-Njigba: Metcalf only scored six touchdowns last season, but that number should be back on the rise for the 2023 season.
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

The fantasy football outlook series takes an in-depth look at a single player’s fantasy outlook for the 2023 season.


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Last updated: 7:15 a.m. Wednesday, July 12

D.K. Metcalf‘s player outlook

Metcalf has typically been a touchdown machine who also sees a lot of volume.

  • Metcalf has maintained a high target share in recent seasons. He’s been targeted on 24.4% of his routes over the last two years, which ranks ninth among wide receivers. 
  • He scored 0.53 touchdowns per game in that time, ranking 11th.
  • This has led to 0.44 receiving PPR points per route run, ranking 13th out of 69 wide receivers with at least 655 receiving pass routes.
  • This past season, he reached career-highs in targets and receptions but a career low in touchdowns at six.
  • His overall fantasy production has benefited from never missing a game in his NFL career.
  • Metcalf finished anywhere from WR7-WR16 each of the last three seasons.
  • Metcalf's ability to destroy man coverages can put him among the elite receivers in the NFL.
  • On a per-route basis since 2021, he has 0.352 targets, 0.205 receptions, 3.08 yards and 0.041 touchdowns, which all rank in the top-five among wide receivers.
  • Despite being in the league for four seasons already, he is only 25 years old and could still be an ascending player in the league.
  • The good news for Metcalf in 2023 is his touchdown total should increase with some positive regression to the mean.
  • He has been the most targeted receiver each of the last two seasons on plays where he’s not open or wide open. He led the league in contested targets last season. With his size and skillset, he’s typically able to take advantage of the coverage more than most receivers.
  • His touchdowns throughout his career have largely occurred in the red zone.
  • In 2021, Metcalf was targeted on 32.3% of his red zone routes. He caught 13 of those 20 passes for 125 yards and nine touchdowns. Only three of those passes were contested.
  • Last season, his total number of routes increased as did his target rate. This led to 27 targets, but he only caught nine for five touchdowns — 11 of which were contested, and he only caught three.
  • Odds are his contested target rate in the red zone will decline next season, and the rate at which he catches the targets that do get contested in the red zone will increase. This should lead to his touchdown total bouncing back.

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