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On Target: Wrapping Up the Season

Davis Mattek

Davis Mattek has played DFS for a living for over a year and began in the fantasy sports industry in 2012. He is a member of the FSTA and FSWA.

What a glorious fantasy season it was. I hope that all RotoWire subscribers had the best of luck in their finals. It was certainly a tumultuous week with many of the elite quarterbacks doing absolutely nothing (Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck and Drew Brees combined for two touchdowns), but pass catchers did their best to carry us to titles. Odell Beckham, Dez Bryant, Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, Antonio Gates and Sammy Watkins did their fantasy owners properly in the final week of the season. Now that the redraft season is behind us, I'd like to look back at the target spectrum for the year.

PLAYERTARGETSRECCatch%YARDSTD
Antonio Brown16812272.6157012
Demaryius Thomas16710361.7150411
Julio Jones15510064.515356
Jordy Nelson1439264.3143313
Alshon Jeffery1408359.3109910
Kelvin Benjamin1407251.49999
Vincent Jackson1406949.39912
Golden Tate1389669.612864
Jeremy Maclin1378259.9126910
Julian Edelman1349268.79724
Emmanuel Sanders1329572.013319
Rob Gronkowski1318262.6112412
Andre Johnson1317557.38022
Dez Bryant1308464.6122114
T.Y. Hilton1288264.113457
Sammy Watkins1236250.49256
Randall Cobb1228771.3120710
Steve Smith1227158.29756
DeAndre Hopkins1217461.212056
Anquan Boldin1218166.99814
Keenan Allen1217763.67834
Greg Olsen1208167.59756
Matt Forte1189479.77854
Calvin Johnson1176757.310386
Martellus Bennett1178270.18576
Mike Evans1166354.399711
Jimmy Graham1167968.183510
Mike Wallace1146758.886210
Rueben Randle1146557.07803
Brandon LaFell1137061.98837
Roddy White1137263.78177
Reggie Wayne1136254.96882
Odell Beckham1097972.5112011
James Jones1087165.76336
Brandon Marshall1066157.57218
Andrew Hawkins1055956.27912
Michael Crabtree1046461.56574
A.J. Green1036159.29596
Eric Decker1036462.17414
Jarvis Landry1037976.77035
Pierre Garcon1006666.06993
Robert Woods1006161.06604
Cecil Shorts1004848.05101
Le'Veon Bell997777.87743
Larry Fitzgerald996161.67552
Mohamed Sanu975556.77745
Delanie Walker965658.38144
Doug Baldwin946367.07823
Jordan Matthews935963.47677
Allen Hurns934952.76626
John Brown934447.36455
DeSean Jackson925458.710835
Marques Colston925762.08514
Antonio Gates926570.775412
Andre Holmes924548.96834
Jared Cook924953.35973
Riley Cooper915358.25403
Mychal Rivera915661.55084
Dwayne Bowe905763.37240
Kendall Wright885562.57065
Greg Jennings875664.46976
Michael Floyd873944.86884
Fred Jackson876574.74971
Larry Donnell866170.95976
Coby Fleener854654.17186
Torrey Smith854552.968410
Malcom Floyd844958.38276
Heath Miller846375.07203
Jason Witten846071.46545
Eddie Royal835869.96837
Zach Ertz835465.16463
Markus Wheaton825061.06372
Allen Robinson814859.35482
Travis Kelce796075.97785
Kenny Britt794455.77103
Charles Clay785367.95602
Percy Harvin785165.44831
Jermaine Gresham775976.64404
Kenny Stills765876.38493
Jerricho Cotchery754560.05461
Owen Daniels744662.24814
Miles Austin734865.85812
Shane Vereen734967.14333
Jeremy Kerley733750.73761
Andre Roberts703550.04462
Nate Washington694058.06472
Brandin Cooks695376.85503
Jermaine Kearse693855.15371
Scott Chandler694666.74773
Harry Douglas684667.65282
Justin Hunter672841.84983
Taylor Gabriel663451.55591
Davante Adams663857.64463
Cordarrelle Patterson663350.03841
Andre Ellington644671.93952
Julius Thomas624369.448912
Wes Welker624775.84222
Hakeem Nicks623556.53594
Terrance Williams613455.75538
Marqise Lee613557.44141
DeMarco Murray615488.53950
Jarius Wright593966.15652
Jason Avant593355.93461
Matt Asiata594271.22951
Chris Hogan584069.04304
Arian Foster583763.83174
Brian Hartline573459.63912
Louis Murphy563155.43802
Darren Sproles563766.13640
Jamaal Charles563867.92835
Charles Johnson552952.74533
Jordan Reed554174.53950
Pierre Thomas554581.83781
Justin Forsett554276.42460
John Carlson543259.33441
Marcel Reece543463.02351
Devin Hester533464.24722
Joique Bell533464.23221
Preston Parker523465.43982
Darren McFadden523465.42060
Eddie Lacy513976.54014
Giovani Bernard513670.62931
Steve Johnson503570.04353
Dwayne Allen502958.03958
Brent Celek503162.03390
Lamar Miller503876.02621
Reggie Bush503774.02310
Levine Toilolo502958.02242
Niles Paul493775.54881
Jace Amaro493571.43112
Vernon Davis492551.02362
Josh Gordon472451.13030
Ahmad Bradshaw473880.93006
Travaris Cadet473676.62871
Martavis Bryant462554.35287
Damaris Johnson462860.92981
Benny Cunningham463882.62951
Marshawn Lynch453475.63314
Andrew Quarless452964.43233
Bobby Rainey453373.33151
Kenbrell Thompkins452044.42600
Donte Moncrief442965.94283
Stedman Bailey442965.94181
Brandon Gibson442556.82521
Jeff Cumberland442147.72242
Travis Benjamin431739.53053
Theo Riddick432967.42823
Branden Oliver433479.12671
Roy Helu423890.54362
Jordan Cameron422150.03832
Tavon Austin422969.02290
Victor Cruz412356.13371
C.J. Anderson413278.03042
Eric Ebron412356.12101
Jerick McKinnon412765.91350
Cole Beasley403177.53634
Donald Brown402870.02030

It shouldn't surprise any of us to see Antonio Brown and Demaryius Thomas atop this list. They will be drafted very high in 2015, and they'll likely be worth their tag. If Peyton Manning retires, I do believe that there may be a significant drop in DT's redraft ADP, and I am inclined to believe that could create profit potential. Thomas is the best player in that offense and regardless of the quarterback, he will still see a ton of targets and add touchdown potential. It is interesting to note that only AB and DT played a full healthy season and averaged more than 10 targets per game.

Julio Jones was a close third, and I think his 2014 season set up a great redraft price tag in 2015. Dynasty players are already heavily invested in the young Atlanta Falcon but re-drafters are prone to recency bias. Jones has had a down year due to a lack of touchdowns, but there is an easy path to regression. He's massive and quick, which already paints illustrious touchdown potential, but look at the players around him in sheer targets -- Brown, Demaryius, Nelson, Alshon have similar targets and have double-digit touchdowns. If Jones' redraft tag falls into the third round next year, it's going to be hard to not draft him repeatedly. There is also the added benefit of Roddy White getting another year older and slower; as White has aged over the last several seasons, Jones' role in the offense has grown.

Vincent Jackson could also scream touchdown regression, except ... he's 31, plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is opposite one of the most talented wide receivers in football. Mike Evans severely limits VJax's ceiling on a week-to-week basis because he is so much better at scoring touchdowns due to this athleticism and size advantage. Evans is basically Kelvin Benjamin with less targets and way more explosiveness, which should bode well for drafters hoping to take advantage of his slow finish to the season. The Bucs are liable to draft a quarterback with their first pick next year, and if they do, both Jackson and Evans could end up being nice redraft values next season, though I would be cautious of falling into the Larry Fitzgerald trap with Jackson. When big, tall receivers get old, they age in a hurry. It's uncommon for 6-foot-4, 220, wide receivers who rely on speed and quickness to get open to post WR1 or even high-end WR2 numbers after age 31.

I have beat this discussion to death, but Rob Gronkowski absolutely deserves to be a first-round draft pick. He scores touchdowns per game at a greater rate than Randy Moss, Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas and scores almost .3 more touchdowns per game than Jimmy Graham. Graham, on other hand, will basically be entirely off my board come next season. He has one 100-yard game this season, his quarterback is in rapid decline and it is clear that we are not dealing with the Saints of old. They are a bad football team, and at this point, Graham is basically Martellus Bennett. Marty B has seen 117 targets this season, while Graham has 116. Bennett has a slightly more yards, while Graham has four more touchdowns. That difference in touchdown scoring is to be expected as the Black Unicorn is the fourth option on his team in the passing game whereas Graham is the clear No. 1. That said, something dramatic would have to happen for Graham to return to prominence as a viable second- or third-round draft pick.

Finally, I think Odell Beckham is going to be worth whatever he costs next season. Jordy Nelson and Calvin Johnson are close to entering their age 30 seasons, and I always prefer to invest in youth over experience. Beckham was limited as a college player by the offense he was in, but in the NFL, there is a system in place that can stop him. No quarterback, no offensive coordinator, no cornerback has the ability to stop Beckham from scoring touchdowns, and that is worth getting on your team even though it takes a first-round pick.