With the arrival of Week 13, many fantasy football managers are making their final push toward the playoffs. This time of year can be difficult as injuries continue to pile up and the winter weather becomes a major factor, but if you’re sitting on the playoff bubble, you need to pull out all the stops. As Dan Fouts routinely says in “The Waterboy”: “Last game of the season; can’t hold anything back.” That means you may need to dive deep into the wide receiver pool to find a few diamonds in the rough.
When it comes to identifying which low-end wide receivers you can take a chance on, you have to look at recent game logs and see who is getting the targets. Anyone can take a shot on a random guy, but if he’s only targeted two or three times per game, your chances of him providing you with quality production are minimal. More targets equal more opportunities and more opportunities leads to more fantasy points. It really is that simple.
Check out Jacksonville wide receiver Zay Jones. He is averaging roughly five receptions for 56 yards per game this season and has only one touchdown. But over the last two games, Jones has 24 targets, which he has turned into 19 catches for 213 yards. That’s more than 20 fantasy points per game in PPR scoring formats. This week, the Jaguars face the Lions, who allow the second-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers and rank 26th in DVOA against the opposition’s No. 2 wideout. If he sees another 10 targets in this game, his ceiling could be somewhere up in the stratosphere.
Jones isn’t alone as we’ve seen a few more bargain receivers gaining in recent target-shares. Joshua Palmer of the Chargers has seen 17 targets over the last two weeks with Mike Williams out; Nico Collins has 16; Mack Hollins has 14; and even Kansas City’s Skyy Moore has gone from averaging fewer than two targets per game to six per over the last two weeks.
The path to the fantasy playoffs has been a long and arduous road this season. Scoring this season has been down overall, we’ve seen a rash of injuries to top-tier talent and finding those key players to round out your starting lineup has not been easy. Every win and every point is of the utmost importance right now, so find those players in pass-heavy offenses and lock into who is seeing the targets.
Howard Bender is the VP of operations and head of content at Fantasy-Alarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 6-8 p.m. Go to FantasyAlarm.com for all your fantasy football advice.
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