A target in football is a statistic that records the number of passes thrown to a receiver. If the quarterback throws the ball to a player they will receive a target whether or not they caught the ball. This statistic is often used to determine how frequently a player is used in an offense.
Targets are a statistic that is used when looking at a team’s passing offense. Any eligible receiver may receive targets throughout a game.
Evaluating Targets in football
Now that you know a target occurs when the quarterback throws the ball towards a receiver you may be wondering what you can take away from this statistic.
Finding a players floor
One way that targets can be used is to determine a player’s floor in an offense. When looking at targets football fans can determine how involved a player is in the offense.
To do this it is better to look at a player’s targets over the course of several games as opposed to a single match.
Doing this can allow you to see what sort of involvement in the offense this player can expect each week. If you play fantasy football targets can be a great way to see if you can get some fantasy points out of a player.
If you are looking for a streaming option finding out a player’s relative floor by looking at their targets can be handy. Players that get zero targets in some games can be a risky option as they have a chance of laying a dud for your team.
This sort of strategy is especially helpful when looking at positions that may not be getting many looks when running routes such as tight ends.
Seeing value beyond production
On top of using targets to see a player’s floor you can also use targets to find players that may be undervalued.
For example, if you see that a player receives a large number of targets each week yet doesn’t get many points this might be worth looking into.
This could be a result of a poor receiver but it also could mean he is dealing with poor quarterback play. Players which receive a large number of targets are usually one of the better weapons on their football team.
When you see a situation like this you may be able to scoop this player up in fantasy football in hopes that a change in quarterback or team can result in some fantasy production.
Involvement in the offense over time
Targets are also a great way to measure how a new coaching staff or quarterback values a player.
Let’s say a new coach has come into a team halfway through the season. If you check out a player’s targets and notice they have changed dramatically it is safe to say their involvement in the offense has changed.
Production in terms of yards and receptions can often tell you this information as well. That being said targets are one extra data point that can help you learn more about a player’s involvement in an offense.