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. Franchise will handle the backfield touches section this year and his Week 11 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.
With the pressure that Carson Palmer is constantly under, and the decline in his own play, it's hard to have much interest left in this passing game. The deep game just is not there at all. The playing time seems to vary among the receivers every week without any reason, as well. John Brown played 38 percent of the team's snaps in Week 10 and 81 percent in Week 11. Michael Floyd went from 75 to 72 percent and all that talk about J.J. Nelson as a starting receiver looks laughably cute in hindsight.
Baltimore was just the latest victim of Dallas' slow-death, clock-killing approach. The Ravens only ran 52 offensive plays in Week 11. Luckily for their top-two receivers, the team insisted on strictly moving the ball through the air, so Steve Smith and Mike Wallace came away with nine and 10 targets, respectively. The running backs had only two touches in the second half, which is insane. Smith has fewer than seven targets in just one game since Week 3, which was the game he got hurt against Washington. Wallace has fewer than six targets just once since Week 3 and has hit double-digit targets three times.
Robert Woods was cooking to start this one off but got hurt on an unnecessary play by Vontaze Burfict. There's just not much else to work with here beyond Woods with Sammy Watkins still out. Percy Harvin did take 71 percent of the snaps, trailing only Marquise Goodwin's 84 percent among wide receivers. However, it's just hard to imagine he has much left after spending so much time off before returning to the team.
In a rare occurrence, Devin Funchess out-snapped Ted Ginn on Thursday night 60 to 56 percent. That could have something to do with Kelvin Benjamin missing snaps with an injury, as he only went out on 53 percent of the plays as a result. Of course, Funchess didn't do much with his chances, collecting just two catches on seven targets, which were tied for the team lead.
"True Sadness" is the title of an album The Avett Brothers put out over the summer. It is also an apt description of the current state of the Bears pass catching corps, especially now that tight end Zach Miller will also miss the rest of the season. Marquess Wilson did return to play 45 percent of the team snaps, which was second on the team among wide receivers. So if you're still hanging on to hope there, there's that.
A.J. Green suffered what NFL Insider Ian Rapoport reports could be a season-ending hamstring tear on just his second snap of the day. Tyler Boyd will be the name off the waiver wire to replace him, but it's important to remember that losing a player like Green does create opportunity, but it decreases the overall size of the pie everyone eats from. Boyd also trailed Brandon LaFell in snap share (96 to 73 percent) and targets (nine to eight). With Giovani Bernard also suffering a torn ACL on Sunday, this Bengals offense is headed for a major downswing either way.
It's now looking like the one-catch, 19-yard game Dez Bryant registered against the Browns in his second game back from injury will go down as the clear outlier. It's clear that Dak Prescott looks at Bryant as his top target above all others now. Bryant has target totals of 14, four, nine and eight since returning from injury.
Eric Ebron also recorded a rushing touchdown here, and he's been on a roll lately. His 70 yards came after gaining 79 and 92 in the two weeks before the bye. Ebron played on 81 percent of the team snaps and is clearly a big part of the passing offense.
Green Bay Packers
Jared Cook returned to the Packers to play a major role right away. He went out on 61 percent of the team's snaps and collected a team-high 11 targets on the night. Aaron Rodgers looked his way in the red zone five times, which led the team by three. It was clear that this was a role the team needed to fill, and Cook did a tremendous job in doing so. He also far and away led the team in intended air yards in Week 11 when compared to the regular contributors.
Percentage of Aaron Rodgers' intended air yards
Jared Cook - 22.7 percent
Jeff Janis - 20.0 percent
Jordy Nelson - 18.7 percent
Randall Cobb - 18.4 percent
Davante Adams - 8.0 percent
Richard Rodgers - 5.6 percent
Geronimo Allison - 3.8 percent
Ty Montgomery - 2.8 percent
This offense is finally turning into the highly-concentrated passing attack we all imagined it would be heading into the season. Outside of Frank Gore, the other non-T.Y. Hilton or Donte Moncrief pass-catchers collected just two total receptions. Hilton and Moncrief combined for 58.1 percent of the team's target share, and are the engines of this passing game going forward. Moncrief hauled in another red-zone touchdown on Sunday and has failed to score in just one game this year, which was the one he got hurt in back in Week 2.
Marqise Lee has not exactly overtaken Allen Hurns as the No. 2 receiver in Jacksonville, as he played 71 percent of the team snaps while Hurns played 89. However, he certainly has the steadier role. Lee has target totals of eight, three, eight, six and eight the last five games, whereas Hurns checks in with seven, 11, four, seven and two.
Julius Thomas did not do much in this game, despite the prime matchup, but at least his playing time jumped back up to 81 percent of the team snaps. He had hovered below 60 percent the last two weeks.
Kansas City Chiefs
Target totals in Weeks 9-11
Chris Conley: 4, 3, 8 - 10.5 aDOT - 156 snaps
Albert Wilson: 8, 7, 4 - 11.9 aDOT - 127 snaps
Tyreek Hill: 5, 13, 5 - 10.6 aDOT - 109 snaps
Los Angeles Rams
If the Rams keep that tight of a leash on Goff it won't mean a lick of good news for the pass-catchers. Brian Quick's snap share peaked at 74 percent back in Week 9, their first week off the bye, but is back down to 62 and 61 percent the last two weeks. Tavon Austin has once again overtaken him, going out for 82 percent of the team snaps, which was second behind Kenny Britt's 97 percent.
Jarvis Landry: 9, 8, 6, 6, 5 - 295 snaps - four red-zone targets
DeVante Parker: 7, 4, 4, 8, 10 - 260 snaps - four red-zone targets
Kenny Stills: 3, 8, 1, 3, 9 - 223 snaps - two red-zone targets
The trend of Jarvis Landry's role as an extension of the running game falling by the wayside continues. It's unlikely he ever gets back sort of volume he needs to put up numbers in his current role while Ajayi is averaging 22.6 carries per game. DeVante Parker is healthy and is starting to see a clear uptick in usage and effectiveness as the top outside receiver. The running game's surge also helps him face less isolated press coverage, and to get free while the defense bites on the play action.
Patrick Peterson mostly took out Stefon Diggs in this game, limiting him to 35 yards when they squared off. Peterson covered Diggs on 19 plays. Nine of those were in the slot, where Diggs took 65 percent of his snaps, but the other 10 were when Diggs' lined up out wide. There were eight other pass plays when Diggs was lined up in the slot and Peterson didn't travel there to cover him.
New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees averaged just 5.4 intended air yards on his passes, so there's a reason no pass-catcher did much in this spot. For comparison, he averaged over eight in their first meeting and Cam Newton averaged 10.1 in this same game. The Saints just went with a dink-and-dunk approach against the Panthers, and it did not really pay off. Willie Snead has at least four catches in all but two games this season, and his snaps share jumped back up into the 64 percent range after hovering below 60 percent over the last two weeks. Brandin Cooks continues to have a much lower ceiling when not in the Superdome.
New York Giants
Victor Cruz returned from injury to play 90 percent of the team's snaps but collected just two targets. Cruz has not eclipsed 55 yards receiving in any game since Week 3, despite seeing more than seven targets three times in that span. Sterling Shepard has a touchdown in three straight games since the calendar flipped over the month of November. He leads the team in red zone targets in that span with four. He has an ascending target total in those contests, as well, going from six to seven to 11. Running back Rashad Jennings is starting to cook again, and has six targets in each of the last two games.
Nelson Agholor's struggles grew to an unignorably noticeable point in this loss, as an alignment penalty took a long touchdown off the board and he committed just his latest ugly drop. This prompted coach Doug Pederson to imply he may "give him some time off." Who knows what that means, but perhaps this does expand Dorial Green-Beckham's role. He played on 80 percent of the team snaps, a threshold he hasn't crossed since Week 6.
Ladarius Green still isn't up to speed enough to play a major role in the Steelers offense. Green took just eight offensive snaps on the day and did not haul in either of his two targets. Yet, one of Green's looks did come in the end zone. It's clear the team needs him, as Jesse James misplayed several passes on the day and just does not offer much to the team as a receiver.
At this point, expecting anything other than exactly what you get every week from the Seahawks distribution is foolish. Tyler Lockett did have a touchdown called back, and C.J. Prosise's unfortunate injury will re-open some of the passing volume he would have commanded. However, this passing attack is all about Jimmy Graham and Doug Baldwin, while the rest pick at scraps.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Mike Evans train continues to roll on, as he racked up 100 yards after a disappearing act in the first half of last week's game. Don't sweat this game too much for Cameron Brate. The Chiefs just erase the tight end position. Kansas City is tied for the third-fewest receptions (35) allowed to the position on the season.
Now that Rishard Matthews has clearly taken over as the No. 1 receiver in Tennessee, it's really opened things up for Tajae Sharpe as a downstream beneficiary. Sharpe played on 88 percent of the team snaps and had 68 yards and a touchdown in back-to-back games. With Marcus Mariota igniting this passing attack, Sharpe can be placed back on the end of benches as a stash once again.
Kirk Cousins attacked and absolutely demolished the Packers in the middle of the field, attempting 50 percent of his passes there for 291 of yards and all three of his touchdowns. This brought into focus essentially all of his wide receiving weapons. After playing on 79 percent of the team snaps in each of the last two games, Jordan Reed went out of 87 percent on Sunday night. Vernon Davis still played on 54 percent of the snaps but was not much of a factor at all in the passing game as he was on the field for just 13 total passing plays. In his return from injury, DeSean Jackson out-snapped (49 to 41) and out-targeted (six to three) Jamison Crowder. Both will be on the field a sizable amount going forward.
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