Every week I will be taking you into how every team distributes their targets and touches and a whole lot more!
percent TS = percentage of total team passing targets player received
percent AY = percentage of total team air yards player received
Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
It is surprising to see Jimmy Graham this utilized in the passing game, but he can certainly be a viable fantasy tight end if he continues to see volume like this. Graham and Adams each had a red zone target, which is no surprise as they led the Packers in red zone targets, Adams with 23 and Graham with eight.
This backfield is a mess. You know the saying, "If you have three running backs, you do not have a running back." The hope here is that Montgomery can take over as the lead back, but Cohen is clearly going to be heavily utilized every week in the passing game (see below).
It is worth mentioning that Robinson was really the only non-RB used in the passing game in Week 1. Cohen had the second largest target share at 22 percent, while Mike Davis was third at 16 percent. The closest non-RB to Robinson? Taylor Gabriel at 11 percent. Robinson did not have a ton of hype this draft season, but after a big Week 1 he is looking like a rock solid WR2 with upside.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Carolina Panthers
Gurley played the vast majority of snaps and led the backfield in touches. He was also the back used to grind out the clock at the end of the game, seeing eight of the Rams nine fourth quarter carries, with Henderson picking up the other. The lone issue? Gurley did not see a red zone touch, while Brown had five and Henderson saw one. The drives where the Rams had red zone touches were drives where Brown was in for Gurley, but this is a concern and worth monitoring going forward.
Things did not look good for Cooks in Week 1, as he saw a significantly smaller target share than the other two Rams weapons. Woods is the top guy here for now, but the usage of these three has to be monitored early on.
This is CMC's backfield and he is an unquestioned top-four running back in fantasy football. He looks in line for a special season.
McCaffrey even dominates in the passing game, having the largest target share on the Panthers in Week 1. McCaffrey, Moore and Olsen combined for a 79 percent target share, which would significantly lower Samuel's ceiling if that holds up going forward.
Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns
The Titans led throughout this game, which is a perfect game script for Henry. The usage in a game they are trailing will tell if anything has changed in this backfield from last season.
Delanie Walker is the player to own here. Brown has a lot of upside and should be added, but I am not ready to trust him in my starting lineup after just one week. Corey Davis cannot be trusted right now and Adam Humphries is on the chopping block. Despite the 75-yard touchdown, Lewis is still the passing downs back in Tennessee.
Despite Hilliard picking up the touchdown in Week 1, Chubb is still very much so the back to own here. Not only did he dominate touches and snaps, but he led the backfield with four targets as well.
Beckham Jr. is the unquestioned number one here and despite not having a huge Week 1, he led this team in targets and air yards. Landry's volume took a hit with Beckham Jr. now there and he is looking like a WR3. Njoku will struggle to see big volume being behind Beckham Jr. and Landry in the target pecking order. I would rather have Darren Waller if he is out there.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
McCoy did outrush Williams 81-26, but the majority of opportunities went to Williams. He had an 18 percent target share, compared to three percent for McCoy and ran 19 routes compared to seven for McCoy. This is a situation to monitor going forward, but for now, Williams is still the guy to start. Thompson was a draft season darling, but he is simply a end of bench stash right now and likely will be dropped by those who drafted him.
Watkins saw a huge target and air yard share in Week 1 and will be a borderline WR1 for as long as Tyreek Hill is out. Robinson had slightly more work than Hardman in Week 1. Both are worthy of a flier in deeper leagues, but do not start either until we see how they are used in Week 2.
Leonard Fourette, RB: 17 touches, 86 percent snap share
Ryquell Armstead, RB: 1 touch, 14 percent snap share
This is Fournette's backfield. As long as he is healthy, you should be starting him every week. Armstead is simply a handcuff at this point.
Nick Foles got hurt early in this game and threw everything off. However, Westbrook was the top target with new QB Gardner Minishew with six. Conley had five, while Fournette had four and Chark had two. Fournette and Westbrook are the fantasy starters from this team, while Conley is a name to keep an eye on. Chark is a boom-or-bust option.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Miami Dolphins
This can be deceiving. Ingram II scored two touchdowns in the first half and led the backs with nine first half touches, before the starters were pulled in a blowout. We need a non-Dolphins game to fully assess this situation, but Ingram II is clearly the top option and should be a RB2 with upside each week.
Andrews was the top target of Lamar Jackson, seeing seven targets from him, the most on the Ravens. Brown saw the second most from Jackson (5) but dominated air yards. Andrews is certainly in the TE1 conversation going forward, while Brown is a very high ceiling waiver wire target. I want to see a non-Dolphins game before I throw him in my lineup. In fact, he played just 12 snaps and ran eight routes in the blowout win. He will likely be a very up and down player week-to-week.
The Dolphins got blown out in this one and that will likely be the case most weeks. Drake was used more than Ballage and is the better option in the passing game as well. Drake saw a nine percent target share to Ballage's three percent. Drake is the one to trust here, but he is merely an RB3 for now.
Each of the four does possess upside, but they also will be competing with one another for targets, as well as being in likely the worst situation in the NFL. The saving grace is if they are trailing early and often, they will have to throw more. Parker is looking like the top option right now, but Williams and (if healthy) Wilson will also be in the mix. Gesicki has long been a fantasy darling, and the work he saw in Week 1 was great to see for his 2019 outlook. He is overshadowed by the many big waiver wire tight end performances we saw in Week 1, but he is on the radar in deep leagues.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Minnesota Vikings
Smith saw 35 snaps to Freeman's 34 which is surprising. Freeman did see more touches, targets (4 to 1) and ran four routes to just one for Smith, but those who drafted Freeman in the fourth round are certainly banking on more work from him. The only saving grace is that the Falcons were down multiple scores from the get go in this game, so Freeman could see more work if the Falcons have a lead.
Julio is going to Julio. The other three are going to have to fight for targets. Last year all three sat around 15 percent target share and its looking like that will be the case again this season. Week 1 Hooper led them, but it would not be shocking to see either Ridley or Sanu lead this trio in any week.
If Cook can stay healthy, he will be a Top 10 back this season who certainly will flirt with Top 5 status. He looked awesome in Week 1 and saw a very heavy workload. Mattison played well in his own right and while his ceiling is capped as long as Cook is healthy, but if he was to go down Mattison is a sure-fire RB2, with upside.
It is great to see such a high target and air yard share for Thielen and Diggs... until you realize that the Vikings threw the ball just 10 times. Yes, they had a lead the entire game, but that doesn't make it any less scary. You likely still have to start both this week, but the arrow is trending downwards.
Buffalo Bills vs New York Jets
Singletary may have lost out in touches to Gore, but he is the back to own here. He outrushed Gore and was the back used in the passing game. Gore will never go away, but Singletary presents the most upside. He is a flex option for now, but can blossom into a weekly RB2.
John Brown is a name to pick up if he is out there on the waiver wire. He led the bills in air yards and target share and if there is one thing we know about Josh Allen is, he is not afraid to throw the ball downfield. Beasley is the only other viable fantasy option here. He presents a high floor, but a low ceiling in PPR leagues.
This is Bell's backfield. After not playing at all last season, he played every snap and had all the touches.
Crowder has quickly become Sam Darnold's top target and should be picked up wherever available. He is looking like a WR3 in PPR leagues, with upside to be more. Anderson had a very tough matchup against Tre White. He is still the Jets best outside weapon and should see a larger target share in weeks where he is not going against a shutdown corner.
Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Guice is now expected to miss some time, with Adrian Peterson slotting into his role. Thompson is the pass catching back, and if Washington is as bad as we think, he will see a good amount of volume as long as he is healthy.
McLaurin is a good waiver wire target and very well could become the teams top target every week. He has the speed to take the top off the defense. Quinn is still a player I like a lot, as he dominated slot routes for this team. v
It may not look great for Miles Sanders, but he tied for touches, led them in snaps and as my friend Graham Barfield pointed out, Sanders ran 16 routes while Sproles and Howard combined ran 17. Sanders is the RB to own here.
There's a lot of mouths to feed in the Eagles offense. The big loser in Week 1 was Ert, who saw the fourth most air yard share and was second in the target share pecking order. That should change going forward, but it very well could eat into Ertz's value. Jackson is a boom-or-bust option, while Jeffrey remains a borderline WR2/WR3.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Hines did see four targets while Mack saw none, showing that he is still the passing downs back. But that job is significantly less valuable without Andrew Luck. Mack looked very good running behind that O-line in Week 1, and should be viewed as an RB2 going forward.
Hilton made all those who doubted him look silly in Week 1. He should be viewed as a WR2 for the time being. FUnchess landed on the IR, which should lead to more targets for Ebron and potentially one of Jack Doyle or Parris Campbell. Outside of Hilton though, there is no must-start options. Ebron is a low-end TE1 or high-end TE2 going forward.
If you bought into Mike Williams, Week 1 was not what you signed up for. He did leave the game late in the fourth quarter with a knee issue, but had just three targets up until that point. Those who drafted Henry likely expected a larger target share as well. It was also announced that he suffered a tibia plateau fracture to his left knee and will miss time. That will mean a larger target share for the others, specifically Williams. As for Allen, he's a must-start WR1.
Cincinnati Bengals vs Seattle Seahawks
Mixon was forced to leave the game with an ankle injury and Bernard took over as the workhorse once he was out. If Mixon plays this week, you can start him. If not, Bernard is a must-start option, as he will see workhorse volume.
Boyd should continue to be in your starting lineup going forward. Ross is a popular waiver name after a big Week 1, but do not forget that A.J. Green is looming and could be back as soon as Week 3. Once Green is back, he is expected to lead this team in target and air yard share. Can Dalton sustain three fantasy viable WRs? I'm not so sure.
Sorry, Penny truthers, but this is Chris Carson's backfield again. Not only did he dominate work on the ground, but he ran 17 routes, to just three for Penny. In fact, Carson had seven targets and six receptions after having 24 targets and 20 catches in all of 2018. He is blossoming into an RB1 before our eyes.
Detroit Lions vs Arizona Cardinals
This is Johnson's backfield and he should be started everywhere, but it is worrisome that the Lions mixed in five different running backs this week. Johnson is the only fantasy viable one, but it certainly puts a cap on his ceiling.
Danny Amendola was like an RKO this week, he came out of nowhere! He will man the slot for the Lions and is certainly worthy of taking a flier on in deeper leagues, but I would want to see another week before trusting him. Hockenson is looking like a TE1 and his ownership percentage is sure to shoot up this week. I view him as a TE1 currently. Golladay should continue to see enough work to be a WR2, but as for Marvin Jones... this is bad. Like, if he has another week like this you can flat out drop him, bad.
Not only did DJ dominate work as expected, but he was used as a receiver at times, something we really haven't seen since 2016. He is a must-start option every single week, but you already knew that! It was great to see him put some doubt to bed though.
Damiere Byrd- 13 percent TS, 13 percent AY
Fitz once again looks like he will beat father time this season and was the top target of Kyler Murray. Not only that, but he was used down the field again, which we haven't seen in years! The Cards will ran with four wide receivers 68 percent of the time, which means we will see plenty of Kirk, Johnson and Byrd. That's also the order to value them in fantasy, with Kirk looking like a Wr3 with upside. Despite only totaling 32 yards, Kirk did see 12 targets, which has to have you excited about him moving forward.
New York Giants vs Dallas Cowboys
This is Barkley's backfield. Wayne Gallman is the handcuff to own if you're into that sort of thing, but that's about it here.
Engram dominated volume in this week and with Sterling Shepard currently in the concussion protocol and questionable for Week 2, that volume can even grow. Latimer is a flier in deep leagues if you are in need of a WR or flex option, but that's really it here, for the time being.
Zeke was the lead back after missing all of training camp and signing new contract just days before the game. His workload should only continue to grow going forward, making Pollard into more of a handcuff than anything.
Cooper and Gallup look to forming a very strong 1-2 punch for the Cowboys. You're already starting Cooper every week, but Gallup is a name you should be aggressive after on the waiver wire and look to get him into you lineup going forward. Cobb can also carve out a nice role here as the primary slot receiver when the Cowboys go three-wide. He has a significantly lower ceiling than the other two, but the hope is that he can create a nice floor, by becoming the chain mover in this offense. Can he sustain the volume is the question though.
San Francisco 49ers vs Tampa Bay Bucs
Coleman is out with a high ankle spain, meaning it is Breida and Mostert's backfield for the itme being. Breida is still the top option and should be viewed as a Wr2, while Mostert is a worthy pickup and could work his way into the flex conversation if he see's 10+ touches like he did in Week 1. He's also a Breida injury away from being the lead back.
Pettis played just two snaps this game and Kyle Shanahan said after the game that Pettis came in as a backup and that his calf was acting up. This Shanahan vs Pettis battle has been frustrating all summer and now it has carried over into the regular season. As ofnow, Kittle is the only player to trust here. Hopefully, Pettis, or any of the other WRs, can carve out a larger role in this offense.
All four of Ogunbowale's touches came via the pass, showing that he is in fact the Bucs third down/passing downs back. But if he is not involved at all on the ground, it will be tough for him to hold value. Jones looked like the Bucs best back in Week 1 and while Bruce Arians is saying Barber is still the starter, its hard ot believe he will turn away from Jones if he once again outplays Barber. Jones is the back you should be most interested in here.
The Bucs had so much hype heading into the season and failed to live up to it in Week 1. That offensive line may make it tough for all three of Godwin, Howard and Evans to live up to the hype. Godwin should be fine in the slot, since Winston can quickly get the ball to him. Howard needs to play better than he did in Week 1 to live up to the hype. I am not worrying about Evans yet, but another down week in Week 2 and those who drafted him likely will go into panic mode.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs New England Patriots
This really is a throw away game for the Steelers. Nothing clicked for them as the Pats manhandled them. That said, Conner is still the back to own here and Samuels looks like purely a handcuff.
Donte Moncreif, WR- 21 percent TS, 20 percent AY
Right now, JuJu Smith-Schuster (formerly John Smith) is the only Steelers pass catcher you can feel great about starting. We did learn that Moncreif is the WR2, for now at least, while Washington will see fewer targets, but more shots down the field. McDonald really disappointed in his first week, but if you drafted him highly, you got to throw him back out there unless you land one of the big waiver wire tight ends.
This is just a mess. None of the three saw even half the snaps and each took away form one another. Michel is a safe bet to lead the team in carries each week, but his lack of usage in the passing game severly limits his upside. James White is
Edelman is as safe as they come and should be started every week, even with AB. Gordon becomes more volatile, but should see enough work to be a weekly starter. This situation has to be monitored going forward though, as much is going to change.
Houston Texans vs New Orleans Saints
Johnson was the lead back, but it is worth stating that Hyde did have 10 carries to Johnson's nine. It will be curious to see if Hyde is the back the Texans use to grind out the clock in games they have a late lead in.
Hopkins is the best wide receiver and football and you are starting him no matter what. Outside of that, there is a lot of uncertainty week to week. Fuller will have some big games, but he is boom-or-bust. It will also be interesting to see how things work when Keke Coutee returns.
You already know to start Kamara, but the thought was that Murray would see Mark Ingram II workload. Last season, Ingram averaged 13.3 touches per game and 45 percent of the snaps.
Jared Cook- 7 percent TS, 12 percent AY
Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders
Lindsay did lead this backfield, but it was a lot closer than it was in 2018. Lindsay is looking like a low-end RB2 right now, while Freeman is in the flex conversation. The usage of the two has to be monitored in Week 2 and beyond.
Sutton and Sanders are the only fantasy viable options in this passing game. Fant has upside, but for now he is more a name to keep an eye on.
The rookie lived up to the workhorse billing he was given heading into this season. This is his backfield and he is a high-end RB2 who very well could quickly become an RB1.
Waller lived up to all the hype in Week 1 and is looking like a Top-10 tight end option going forward. Williams is now the lead receiver here and should be viewed as a Top-30 WR moving forward. Outside of these two, there is not much to be interested in in fantasy for the time being. Hunter Renfrow is a stash, but he was not heavily used in Week 1.