Slot Slut: Emmanuel Sanders Dominant Preseason Play Carries Over Into Week 1, Massive Fantasy Upside - Roto Street Journal
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Slot Slut: Emmanuel Sanders Dominant Preseason Play Carries Over Into Week 1, Massive Fantasy Upside

We’ve been ringing the Emmanuel Sanders Fantasy Alarm since he began dominating preseason slot snaps and Case “Slot Slut” Keenum’s target share. On Week 1, narrative became reality as Sanders again logged 51% of his snaps out of the slot, and dominated once more. He logged team highs in targets (11), receptions (10), and yards (135) while also scoring on a beautiful 43-yard catch-and-run… out of the slot.

As we explored all Preseason, Keenum relentlessly targeted Adam Thielen out of the slot in Minnesota. The Vikings WR’s 25% slot target share led all WRs in 2017 (per PFF), and Thielen’s 32% third-down target share trailed only Keenan Allen and tied DeAndre Hopkins. Meanwhile, we noted how Sanders accounted for 6 of Keenum’s 10 third down targets (60%), and 15 of 34 total throws (44%) — both tops among any WRs this preseason by a mile.

This trend was no fluke, as Sanders was the dominant target hog to begin regular season play. Following injury marred 2017 in which he ran only 27% of his routes from the slot, Sanders’ rebound is well underway. The “Surrounding Talent” upgrade was easy to note entering 2018, as Keenum’s 95.4 QB Rating while targeting WRs last year was 11th best, compared to Trevor Siemian‘s 59.2 (second worst). Though the new-QB wasn’t without his warts (3 interceptions), he dropped some dimes while racking up 329 yards and 3 TDs, and is clearly miles ahead of anything Sanders has played with since Peyton Manning. After three straight 1,000+ yard seasons prior to 2017, Sanders seems bound to return to form, perhaps beyond anything yet in his career.

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