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Targeted Opportunities

Targeted Opportunities – Week 6

Targeted Opportunities: our latest column to use analytics to provide you the NERDY edge you need to dominate your fantasy football league!

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Welcome to our latest column to use analytics to provide you the NERDY edge you need to dominate your league!

One of the ways that I look for waiver wire pickups is to study target data. A receiver that is getting steady looks from his quarterback will eventually deliver some fantasy production. Factor in receptions that go for first downs (indicates trust in the receiver), “chunk plays” (pass plays that go for 20+ yards), and reception percentage (good hands), and you’re looking at a solid set of metrics. Here’s a few players that caught my eye this week…

Note: data is prior to the BUF-TEN Tuesday Night game.

J.D. McKissic, RB Washington Football Team
McKissic has been one of those guys you feel should be better than he actually is… he seems to be the prototypical third-down scat back, the type of player that’s in vogue now. For whatever reason, he hasn’t been able to put it all together in the past. The volatile RB situation in Washington this season has given him yet another opportunity– and it seems as if the light has finally turned on. McKisssic has collected 25 targets (tied for 5th among RBs) through five games, 16 in the last two weeks. He’s reeled in 17 receptions (68% catch rate) for 124 and no TDs. Look, his numbers aren’t jaw-dropping– but in a season where the waiver wire is especially thin, the opportunity to pick up a player who is getting 5+ targets a game (with upside for more) should be nabbed as a potential flex play.

Noah Fant, TE Denver Broncos
Funny how our minds work sometimes… after getting carted off the field during Denver’s Week 4 game against the Jets, I would’ve sworn Fant had been placed on IR or at least be ruled out for Week 6. I was a bit surprised to see that he’s not on IR and should be ready to go this week against the Dolphins. If you can sucker the Fant owner in your league into trading him, pick him up for the right price. In 3 1/2 games, he’s pulled in 27 targets with a stat line of 19-219-2 (and three chunk plays). With starting QB Drew Lock due back from injury no later than Week 7 (perhaps even this week), Fant should pick up where he left off prior to his injury.

Greg Ward, WR Philadelphia Eagles
This pick is based partly on the receiver target data, partly on opportunity. After his breakout game this past week against the Steelers, Travis Fulgham will be the hot waiver wire pick; unless you have the first or second waiver pick, you’re not going to get Fulgham. So take a look at Greg Ward, who is the steadier player who will continue to get looks from Wentz, if only because he’s healthy. A total of 31 targets for a 22-175-2 line, Ward becomes a valuable flex stash in a season where the injuries and COVID have gotten fantasy owners scrambling for healthy players to plug into their lineups.

Nerd John is a 25+year veteran of fantasy sports journalism. John’s Fantasy Forecast series has won the prestigious Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) award for Best Series, and he’s been nominated as an FSWA Award finalist on nine occasions.

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