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Predicting the NFL Target Leaders for Next Season

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One of the most important statistics in fantasy football and the NFL today is player targets. There is no better indicator for player usage amongst pass catchers than their target share. The higher number of targets the more involved a player was in the passing game and the game plan overall. It’s not always that clear cut but for the most part, we get a clear indication of who the top fantasy players are by evaluating their total targets.

Before we look at next season, let’s take a look at the NFL target leaders from 2022. In the table below are the top 5 leaders in targets from last year. The first four finished in the same exact order in terms of total fantasy points amongst wide receivers (Half PPR). The only anomaly was A.J. Brown who jumped CeeDee Lamb and finished 5th in total fantasy points. Brown finished with 2 more touchdowns and 137 more yards.

2022 NFL Target Leaders

PlayerPosTeamTTL (Total Targets)AVG
Justin JeffersonWRMIN18410.8
Davante AdamsWRLV18010.6
Tyreek HillWRMIA17010
Stefon DiggsWRBUF1569.2
CeeDee LambWRDAL1569.2

Predicting the Target Leaders for 2023-2024

Looking ahead to next season we can almost guarantee the top 5 target leaders will look different. For instance, in 2021 Cooper Kupp was the NFL target leader by a large margin +22. As we know Kupp suffered a serious ankle injury that cut his 2022 season short. Injuries aren’t the only factor to consider. Quarterback changes, coaching changes, free agency and the NFL Draft are all factors. Let’s now look at who I predict will be the NFL target leaders for next season.

2023 NFL Target Leaders (Projected)

PlayerPosTeamTTL (Total Targets)AVG
Justin JeffersonWRMIN17910.5
Stefon DiggsWRBUF17010
Tyreek HillWRMIA1629.5
Garrett WilsonWRNYJ1599.3
Travis KelceTEKC1549

Justin Jefferson will once again be the king of targets. I slotted his targets down but only slightly. This is due to the Minnesota Vikings adding Jordan Addison in the draft. It will take some time to get Addison up to speed but once he’s ready he should be productive in this offense. Also, keep in mind that Adam Thielen is no longer with the team.

Stefon Diggs will make the jump from #4 to #2 overall in targets. I am predicting 14 more targets for Diggs as he and Josh Allen continue to develop their chemistry. If somehow the Buffalo Bills end up grabbing DeAndre Hopkins I may re-adjust Diggs’ total targets.

Tyreek Hill‘s targets will drop but not by much. He will once again be the focal point in the Miami Dolphins offense. One major thing to keep an eye on is the health of Tua Tagovailoa. Can he stay healthy the entire season?

Next up it’s our first newcomer on the list. Garrett Wilson finished just outside the top 5 last year in total targets. Now with the addition of Aaron Rodgers, I expect his numbers to climb. I am not worried about Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb taking targets away. Wilson is the Jets #1 WR and they will continue to lean on him.

Last on the list is the always reliable Travis Kelce. Kelce finished 6th last season in total targets with 152. I expect him to hover around this range again in 2023-2024. The Chiefs no longer have JuJu Smith-Schuster and still lack a true #1 receiver. All that means is more target share for the great tight end.

Written by
Justin Fuhr

Justin is the Owner of Pro Football Mania. He is an NFL and fantasy football fanatic who enjoys analyzing data and analytics in sports.

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