You need to be careful extrapolating two weeks worth of data no matter what Fantasy Football metrics we're talking about. That's expecially true with total pass volume this time of year. That can be greatly impacted by one matchup or one blowout. It can also vary widely based on the number of plays a team has run so far.
Over the course of a season we would expect most teams will average between 58-68 plays per game. In 2022, 30 of 32 teams were within this range. Through two weeks of 2023, just 16 teams are. The Rams, Browns, and Texans have all run more than 75 plays per game. The Jets and Raiders are below 50.
The reason this matters is because opportunity is king in this game and if you have a couple of low volume games for the team, then even a great target earner could be penalized. Through two weeks, a 20% target share on the Rams or Texans is more valuable than a 30% target share on the Raiders or Jets. While it may be true that the Rams and Texans are both going to play at a faster pace and throw the ball at a higher rate, the gap will not remain near as large as it has been.
- Week 3 previews: | |
The one place I'm not entirely sure regression is coming is in Minnesota. That's because their high pass volume is less a product of running a bunch of plays and more a product of the reality for them. They have a mediocre defense and absolutely no run game. They were one of the most pass-heavy teams in the NFL last year when they won 13 games. They're not going to be ahead near as much this year.
Fantasy Football Today Newsletter
Know What Your Friends Don't
Get tips, advice and news to win your league - all from the FFT podcast team.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
So I do think it's possible that Justin Jefferson could be the WR1, T.J. Hockenson could be a top three tight end, and both Jordan Addison and K.J. Osborn could be relevant. The hope is that Osborn becomes less relevant and Addison becomes a must-start wide receiver. That is not the current reality because Osborn owns a slight edge in target share through two weeks (13.8% to 12.6%) and a much bigger edge in playing time (93% snap share for Osborn to 62% for Addison).
What to take away? Osborn is a solid flex for the time being, and Addison, even though he's already a top 20 wide receiver, has room to grow.
Here is the rest of the Week 3 WR Preview:
Week 3 WR Preview
The following players are not being projected to play Week 3 at this time. Here's what it means:
Numbers to Know
- 19 -- Kadarius Toney still only ran 19 routes last week. It's impossible to trust him in your lineup, but it's also hard to drop him with how often Patrick Mahomes looks his way.
- 10.2 -- George Pickens' aDOT dropped to 10.2 in his first game without Diontae Johnson. This is a great sign for Pickens' target share.
- 26% -- Nico Collins has been targeted on 26% of his routes, a career-high. He looks like a must-start WR right now.
- 38.7% -- Michael Pittman leads the NFL with a 38.7% target share. Forget any preseason concerns you had about him. Buy high.
- 94 -- Tutu Atwell has run a league-high 94 routes this season. At some point, the Rams pass volume will normalize.
- 3.76 -- Mike Evans has averaged 3.76 yards per route run the first two weeks. There is some regression coming, but he has not been negatively impacted by Baker Mayfield at all.
- 16.9 -- DeVonta Smith has averaged nearly 17 FPPG in his past 17 games including the playoffs. A.J. Brown has averaged almost exactly the same amount.
Matchups that matter
Waiver Wire Targets
DET Detroit • #8
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Reynolds has seen a 20% target share the first two weeks and a 30% air yards share thanks to his downfield targets. He has the trust of Jared Goff and should remain No. 2 behind only Amon-Ra St. Brown until at least Week 7. I wouldn't be surprised if it's even longer than that.
Tank Dell WR
HOU Houston • #13
Age: 24 • Experience: Rookie
In just his second NFL game, Tank Dell led the Texans with a 23% target share. He has an elite skillset packaged in a small frame, but those size concerns didn't keep him from leading college football in receiving. We should expect the Texans' pass attempts to regress, so I wouldn't expect too many more 10-target games in the immediate future, but Dell could be an upside WR3 in full PPR even if Stroud settles around 35 attempts per game.
Adam Thielen WR
CAR Carolina • #19
Age: 33 • Experience: 10 yrs.
We may go back and forth on Thielen, and he's certainly not a must-roster receiver. But he does look to be Bryce Young's favorite target and the Panthers should be chasing the score against a Seahawks defense that has looked suspect early this season. That makes Thielen a good flex, and a borderline WR3 in Week 3. I'll like him even more if Andy Dalton gets the start for the Panthers.
LAC L.A. Chargers • #1
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Johnston has done nothing to convince Fantasy managers to hold him through two weeks. But he's still a Round 1 wide receiver attached to Justin Herbert in one of the best offenses in the league. I expect a few more people to drop him this week, and I'll be trying to add and stash.
MIN Minnesota • #18
Age: 24 • Experience: 4 yrs.
I wouldn't mind building 150 variations of the Vikings and Chargers game stack this week, but I'd like to have both Jefferson and Keenan Allen in most of them. Jefferson leads the NFL in receiving but still doesn't have a touchdown. I wouldn't be surprised if he scored two in this game. Save at running back, not receiver this week.
DEN Denver • #14
Age: 28 • Experience: 6 yrs.
With Jerry Jeudy back in the picture, it's fair to expect Sutton to fade into the darkness. That's what happened most often in the past. But last week Sutton had seven targets to five for Jeudy,, so I wouldn't call it a lock that Jeudy is the WR1 this week. This is a great matchup against a Dolphins team that will keep Russell Wilson throwing. Wilson should set a season-high in pass attempts and Sutton could be the beneficiary.
My full set of Week 3 Fantasy football projections for every position are now available on SportsLine. Find out which of my favorite plays are projected to score higher than consensus rankings and which don't live up to their draft hype, at least in Week 3. Projected stats for all starting wide receivers are available, so be sure to check out the full set of projections at SportsLine.