Dynasty League Football


Dynasty Fantasy Football Target Share: Week 15

Christian Watson

Ultimately, a lot of dynasty content is going to overfocus on playing for value over points. Value is “easier” than points, and only one team can win a title. This largely shifts the balance of where most useful ideas are going to be for most people reading. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have to take risks – nothing is a sure thing.

With that in mind, let’s look again at rookie target shares, and how useful they can be right now.

As always, here’s your weekly reminder that I’m collecting the weekly data and you can find it here.

Now, let’s get on with it.

Begin at the end

The conclusion of this article is there are only two wide receivers from this year’s rookie draft I want on my teams: Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. But I’m also going to add Treylon Burks to my list.

I will trade for and continue to roster them above the average value suggested by the trade calculator and ADP (currently still stuck in November).

The “why” is in this article. However, I don’t like writing things that simply tell you what I think. I could be wrong about all of these players. I could miss several better options. However, while I can be wrong, the information I used should be as accurate now, as it will be after we know the answers.

That way you gain something that’s not just “trust my opinion,” either way.


Thresholds suck. But, as a guidepost to provide some idea of what should be expected compared to what is or did happen, they can be useful.

The average target share of the “players we would want after their rookie season” historically is 16%. About 61% of the players on any decent “players we wanted” list average that target share by the end of year one.

However, only about 46% of the players who have that average hit. In other words, a lot of players pass this 16% threshold and don’t pay off.

Points work a little better. About 57% of the players over a 10 points per game threshold were on the “players we wanted” list

Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson are the two who easily pass these bars.

That brings us to the (not insignificant) percentage of players who didn’t cross those thresholds as easily but ultimately ended up being the players we want.

In a Rookie Season

So, if we make a list of all the rookie players we would have, with foresight, wanted to end up with over the next three years, we can compare them to the average target share in each week of that rookie season.

Interestingly we can improve the overall percentage of “good players” captured from 61% to 73% (since 2003) by considering how many of them crossed the 16% target share threshold in either the first four weeks, the final four weeks, or both.

In other words, a rookie averaging over a 16% target share for four or more games is an indicator they are having a “good” rookie season. This is helping by adjusting for players who were injured or otherwise unavailable during their rookie season.

Several players who fit this description are Drake London, Romeo Doubs, Treylon Burks, and Wan’Dale Robinson.

It’s worth noting that George Pickens is close, with a 15% target share, but he’s also well below the 10 PPG threshold (6.9 PPG by week four, 9.3 on the season, 9.9 in games where he had over 16% target share). He’s also played four more games than London, five more than Burks, and seven more than Robinson, and hasn’t missed any time to injury.

Burks has five games over 16% target share with a 10.3 PPG average, those games separated by a long stretch of injury from turf toe. He also suffered a concussion in his most recent game where he dipped again below 16%.

Similar excuses could be made for Doubs and Robinson. Though both have disappointed the PPG average in their significant target share games. Still, it’s fair to think all three are significant candidates to be those players who are “hits” but don’ exactly hit the averages in year one.

London has 12 games over 16% target share, has missed no games for injury, but has also averaged over 10.2 PPG in those games.

The simple reason I separate Burks from this group is that he had a better rookie profile. Simply put we must take some risk, and rely on our own opinion. Any thresholds across rookie seasons are going to have similar issues, and I’ve found my rookie evaluations are consistent positive indicators. It’s important to note, however, that without his injuries (about the only excuse for poor comparison to historical hits I’ve found) I wouldn’t make excuses like this.

Bad rookies turn into bad roster cloggers more often than undervalued starters.

I think London and Burks are in a clear tier beneath Wilson and Olave.

Let’s talk about the elephant in the breakout room.

Christian Watson, WR GB

Watson has a lower target share (14.9%) this year, but a well above-average PPG average (12.6.) About 60% of players over 12 PPG by the end of a class’s rookie seasons are on the list of players we wanted moving forward.

Over the last for games, with no less than six targets over that span, Watson had an average 26% target share and has two 100-yard receiving games (not to mention a 46-yard rush attempt that resulted in a touchdown in week 13). He has been (like many before him in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense) a big play waiting to happen with an insane 18.2 aDot, and 3.2 yards per route run.

However, while the specific comparison of a player’s rookie year isn’t ideal, it’s still hard to find a similar rookie season to Watson’s on our “players we want” list.

Mike Evans and Dez Bryant offer some comparison to a later-year push with high levels of touchdown production. But both had co-opted more target share in their rookie season throughout their season.

The cleanest comparison I could find was Tyreek Hill – who averaged 7 PPG and 8% target share in weeks one to four, and 16PPG and 20% target share after week nine onwards. But Hill was a lower-drafted “utility player” who seems to learn the position, at least partially, that year. Watson has been playing a wide receiver the whole time.

Watson was playing for North Dakota State in college and displayed plenty of “boom/bust” tendencies in his college production. Perhaps he came in more physically gifted than technically experienced. And I don’t think his later-season production is easy to wave away.

Aaron Rodgers has encouraged a strong correlation to high touchdown dependency in his receivers consistently. Plus, there’s very little to suggest that Watson’s performance since week nine hasn’t improved.

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Right now, Watson’s ADP (120 overall, WR58) is too low and should move up significantly by the time December ADP drops.

I’m relying on my rookie profile again. Only here I’m willing to take the value, rather than trade for the player, based on it.

That’s about all I have time for right now. Let me know what you think, and I’ll see you after week 15.

Peter Howard
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Dynasty Fantasy Football Target Share: Week 15
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