Opportunity is the name of the game in fantasy football. Talent matters, of course, but we want players who see a healthy volume of targets and touches to anchor our lineups, especially in daily fantasy. Every week in the second season of the Opportunity Report, we'll look at all the passing targets for every NFL team and the percentage each player owns. Gelhar will handle the backfield touches section this year and his Week 16 piece is tabbed above.
Note: The Opportunity Report is a living document and will be updated with the results of every game until after the Monday night game concludes. If you're looking for target data on a team and they aren't here yet, check back later.
Larry Fitzgerald continues his snail-like finish to conclusion of the 2016 season. At this point, it's fair to wonder if he's back next season, and Fitzgerald has made no major commitment about his plans next season. J.J. Nelson is going to drop his fair share of passes and is far from a consistent player, at this point, but he's also a big-play maven and continues to full a valuable role with Michael Floyd out of the picture. Nelson was on the field for 70 percent of the team's snaps in Week 16.
Julio Jones only trailed Devonta Freeman with seven targets on the day, but went out for just 62 percent of the offensive plays. We can't be sure whether that was a reflection on Jones not being 100 percent healthy or if it was just extra caution with Atlanta, for the most part, controlling this game throughout. With Jones back, Gabriel dipped down to just 43 percent of the team's plays. He goes back to being a hope and prayer-type asset with limited usage.
Joe Flacco's 44 pass attempts helped push a ton of volume into the passing ame. The three primary beneficiaries were the same three that have mostly dominated the target share all year: Steve Smith, Dennis Pitta and Mike Wallace. Pitta is unlikely to lose his job as the starting tight end in Baltimore, and we shouldn't expect his role to change next year either. Despite cracking 100 targets for the season, Pitta averages just 8.5 yards per reception. He mostly sticks near the line of scrimmage as Flacco's trusted security blanket.
After dipping back down to 63 percent of the snaps following a steady climb since his return, Sammy Watkins vaulted back up to playing 90 percent this week. To hell with your patterns, so sayeth the Bills. Charles Clay has target totals of six, seven and 10 the last three weeks and 25 percent of the market share. He's been on quite tear to end the 2016 season.
Kelvin Benjamin got back into the end zone, but as the coaching staff hinted that they wanted, he is playing fewer snaps. Ted Ginn went out for 81 percent of the team's plays and Benjamin trailed him with a 75 percent playing time figure. This was just the second time since Week 10 that Benjamin handled more than six targets. Benjamin has some improving to do in the offseason if he wants to clear up his role as the team's No. 1 receiver, which at least he acknowledged after the game.
It was a weird night for the Bengals, as Cody Core appeared to be a feature part of the game plan. The undrafted rookie collected 14 targets and owned a 42.3 percent share of the Bengals intended air yards. Coming into Week 16, Core owned just a 1.8 percent chare. Neverthless, Brandon LaFell remained the most productive receiver on the team and finished second with 10 targets. With all the volume he was a getting a big spike week was inevitable, and it came on Saturday night with an 87-ard catch and run.
Both wide receivers continue to disappear with Robert Griffin III behind center. Despite how much the team likes him, it's now fair to wonder if Pryor decides to return to this team next season. With Jamie Collins likely to get the franchise tag after the team sent a draft pick to New England for him before the trade deadline, Pryor could be free to explore his options.
The Broncos passing game fell apart in Week 16 and now that they are out of the playoff race, it makes some sense for them to get another look at rookie Paxton Lynch. However, James Palmer reported that the Broncos were starting to believe Siemian would be their starter beyond just the 2016 season. It remains to be seen whether this game changes their stance much, and starting Lynch starting Week 17 would at least seem to confirm that it did. If the rookie does start we will earn more clues about which wide receiver he prefers. In his limited looks thus far in 2016, Sanders owns a 45.2 percent share of the quarterback's intended air yards and Sanders just 27.4 percent.
Green Bay Packers
Jordy Nelson dominated today, tearing through a secondary that just elected not to shadow him despite their coaches' orders. Davante Adams snagged a touchdown, but dropped another pass and tied with Geronimo Allison for second on the team in targets. Nevertheless, it has overall been a fine bounce-back season for Adams in his third year in the NFL.
Tom Savage came in and just rifled the ball at DeAndre Hopkins without reservation when he took over for Brock Osweiler in Week 15. He did not follow the same approach in this game. Against the Jaguars last week Hopkins owned a 47.5 percent share of Savage's intended air yards, but that dropped back down to 27.4 percent in Week 16. The Bengals were able to fluster Savage a bit with pressure, as he completed just four of his seven passes when facing a blitz and was sacked three times. Despite Osweiler's outing as the starter, C.J. Fiedorowicz still led the team in targets, as the middle of the field remained a big part of the Texans' game plan.
Donte Moncrief scored his requisite weekly touchdown, but then also suffered his seeming requisite bi-weekly injury (shoulder this time). The big wideout played 36 snaps on Saturday before being ruled out for the game by the fourth quarter. Red zone touchdowns and injuries have been the theme of Moncrief's season, which looked like a sure-fire breakout campaign coming into the year. If he's shut down for Week 17 with Colts out of playoff contention, he will finish his third season with just over 300 yards and seven touchdowns.
Where was this all season? Blake Bortles checked in with a 103.5 passer rating and simply carved up the Titans all day long. Tennessee had been beaten up through the air of late and was missing Jason McCourty, their best corner, so perhaps this performance comes with something of an asterisks. However, this was the potential we thought this passing attack would have coming into the season. We can still expect Blake Bortles to face some form of quarterback competition this offseason, so we can't expect this to bleed over into 2017. What we did learn from today, though, is that Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee both still have bright futures. Robinson made dynamic plays all day, and Jacksonville can feel a bit better about this group being the strength of their offense once again.
Kansas City Chiefs
Travis Kelce has likely all but wrapped up the top-scoring tight end on the season the season honors. He's already set career-highs in targets, catches and yards. Tyreek Hill remains a big part of the offense, but not so much as a pure wide receiver. This is the second week in a row where he did not record a catch, and even dropped some passes in this one. He did, however, score on a long touchdown run, which is the second week in a row he's done that.
Los Angeles Rams
Jared Goff passed for just 90 yards and no pass-catcher went over 40 yards. Kenny Britt went over 1,000 yards for the season but suffered a shoulder injury in the second half of the game. Hopefully it's not a serious injury, as Britt is about to enter free agency coming off a career year with momentum. He'd do well to get out of Los Angeles, but the Rams are unlikely interested in losing him.
Kenny Stills has led the Dolphins in targets in three of the last four weeks. He scored his touchdown this week from inside the red zone, too, rather than on his usual long bomb. He was the only pass-catcher to garner a target inside the 10-yard line on Saturday. Devante Parker is still playing fewer snaps than Stills, as he was on the field for just 77 percent compared to 86 percent for Stills and 96 percent for Jarvis Landry. Parker scored on a long catch and run where multiple Bills defenders forgot how to perform the lost art of tackling.
Adam Thielen took over as the Vikings' leader in receiving yards on the season after a dynamic performance today. He put on a show in Green Bay. He made dynamic catches, startling plays after the catch and was the anchor of the passing attack. We should expect Thielen to retain a major role in this air game going forward, which should concern anyone who spent a high pick on Laquon Treadwell in dynasty leagues this offseason. It's only good news for the Vikings, however, as their corps of Thielen, Stefon Diggs and hopefully Treadwell could be dangerous.
New England Patriots
Tom Brady only needed to distribute 33 targets today in a 41-3 win over the Jets. Dion Lewis and LeGarrette Blount, on the other hand, combined for 36 rushing attempts. It was a dream matchup, but that sort of game script once again took Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan out of the game plan. Mitchell especially has a bright future with this team and has produced when his number has been called this year. Don't let this quiet finish disrupt the way you view him headed into 2017.
New Orleans Saints
Brandin Cooks and Michael Thomas figure to be one of the best one-two punches in the NFL for the next few years. Thomas currently averages 7.6 targets per game, Cooks 7.4 and both have scored eight times. Thomas has been a touch more consistent in his week-to-week production, but has maintained high-levels of efficiency with a 76.6 catch rate. He fits in the Michael Crabtree role of possession receiver that gets the high-value red zone targets and feasts in the short-areas of the field. Cooks has been a bit streakier this year, but is a week-winning asset as a big-play hammer.
New York Giants
New York Jets
The Jets' season continues to spiral out of control and they got blown out by the Patriots today. Bryce Petty only lasted 12 plays and perhaps that is why Robby Anderson saw his role in the offense evaporate. However, the signs were there last week that the massive share of the volume that he owned with Petty under center was starting to trickle away. The rest of his season will determine whether he was just a flash in the pan or is a potential long-term contributor.
Michael Crabtree now holds a 137 to 123 target lead over Amari Cooper for the season. Cooper's 72 yards in this game were his highest total since Week 8. Perhaps next year Cooper overtakes him in his age 23 season, but at this point writing it in anything other than optimistic pencil is being generous.
The Eagles only ran 55 total plays in this game and their offense overall was limited. Jordan Matthews doesn't look completely healthy. He went out for just 69 percent of the team's plays. He was effectively erased in coverage by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Nelson Agholor appears to be in good standing with the team once again, as he went out for 96 percent of plays run. He dropped his first pass in brutal fashion, which according to Twitter means he needs to be shamed relentlessly and possibly sent out of the country in exile. He rebounded by scoring on a 40-yard touchdown later.
San Diego Chargers
It looks like the Chargers got back to letting Antonio Gates chase the touchdown record. He led the team in targets and Hunter Henry did not make a dent in the distribution. He was on the field for just 29 percent of the team's plays compared to 83 percent for Gates. Dontrelle Inman continued to lead the way as the team's possession receiver, but Tyrell Williams saw more high-value targets in the red zone.
San Francisco 49ers
It's hard to imagine that any of these pass-catchers will be viewed as core assets coming into 2017. Some may retain roles by default, but completion will and needs to be added.
Right in the middle of a strong stretch where he had finally overtaken Jermaine Kearse as the No. 2 receiver, Tyler Lockett broke his tibia and fibula on a long play where he was just shy of the end zone. He underwent surgery and will now face on offseason based around a recovery from that injury. Doug Baldwin popped up for a season-high in targets, catches and yards in this game. Despite entering fantasy drafts as a player most wanted to avoid because of sure-fire touchdown regression, he has 121 targets and 92 catches heading into Week 17. He's without question taken another step as a player. Even more impressive, his production this season has come with Russell Wilson clearly operating at less than 100 percent for stretches of the year.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers play count was still relatively low at 58 run on Saturday. While Mike Evans popped back up for a strong fantasy day, his volume was still a tick or so below where it was during his monster start. Evans collected eight targets in this game, something he's done for three-straight games now. If this season has shown us one, it's that most wide receivers need high play volume offense and negative game scripts to get vaulted into the elite tier, as it is the quickest path to double-digit targets per game. We see it in the differences between Julio Jones' 2015 vs. 2016 seasons, and we're seeing it mid-season with Evans. As the Bucs have started playing slower offense and better all-around football in the final portion of the season, Evans is struggling to keep up the 12 targets per game pace he held in the first half of the season.
Rishard Matthews' nine targets helped him overcome a difficult matchup against Jalen Ramsey and the Jacksonville Jaguars. He's had such a tremendous year and will eclipse 100 targets unless he flops in Week 17. No other receiver went out for more than 51 percent of the offensive plays. Tajae Sharpe needs to take another step forward in the offseason to hold down the No. 2 receiver job. Kendall Wright is likely to leave in free agency. Once again, he failed to go out for more than 40 percent of the plays.
DeSean Jackson is closing out his contract year in style. Today was his fourth 100-yard game in his last five played. He only went out for 45 percent of the team's plays, but made them count. Pierre Garcon continues his steady floor of production, as well. One of these two could be back with the team in 2017, but it is unlikely both are. Jamison Crowder hasn't eclipsed 50 yards receiving in any of the last four weeks and had the bottom fall out of his production this week against the Bears.
You can rely on NFL.com's Touches and Targets column for great fantasy advice. Just like you can rely on FedEx Ground for fast and affordable shipping.