Emmanuel Sanders Continues Confirming Target Hog Status, Fantasy WR3 Steal

Emmanuel Sanders' move to the slot has helped him emerge as Denver's Target Hog, and his fantasy value is exploding.

During “Dress Rehearsal Week” versus the Redskins, Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders continued proving he’ll be Case Keenum’s “Target Hog” in 2018. The talented WR again led the team with up a 8 looks, 4 catches, and 61 yards, while adding a 27 yard TD run in which he broke roughly 1,000 tackles. In fact, Sanders accounted for 75 straight yards on said drive, and appears to be the passing-game engine of this offense.

Moreover, Sanders’ slot usage continues growing. Last night, he ran 74% of his routes out of the slot, raising his rate to 64%, as compared to 28% last season. This is HUGE, as Case Keenum LOVED peppering Adam Thielen out of the slot last year,  especially on third-downs. Here, Thielen trailed only Keenan Allen and tied DeAndre Hopkins with 32% of his team’s targets. Thus far, Sanders has 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. Considering Thielen’s massive 91 catch, 1,276 yard breakout,  Sanders’ upside is enormous.

In general, Sanders is an underrated “Individual Talented” who’s being grossly overlooked because an ankle-injury sapped him last year. Nevermind the “Surrounding Talent” upgrade. Not only is Keenum a slot-lover, he’s just a much better overall QB than anything the Broncos trotted out last year. In fact, Keenum’s QB Rating on throws to wide receivers was 95.4 (11th-best of 36). Trevor Siemian’s was 59.2 (second-worst). Between the newfound slot role, the increased usage that’ll come from this, and the enormous QB-gain, Sanders could genuinely blow-up in 2018 (and is just a season removed from three-straight 1,000 yard seasons). The fact he goes after Demaryius Thomas at all, nevermind almost 50 picks later, is mind-boggling. Scoop up Sanders everywhere at his 91 ADP — this “Unsexy Upside” is real, and enormous.


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