Meet the Metric – Target Premium

by Neil Dutton · Analytics & Advanced Metrics

Welcome to the latest in our new Meet the Metric series, taking a look at some of the best of the advanced stats and metrics on offer at RotoUnderworld. In this edition, we shall meet the Target Premium metric. This particular tool in our tool belt helps us to identify the best receivers on a given team. It allows us to see which players are doing more with their opportunities than their teammates.

What is it?

Rich Hribar coined the term “Target Multiplier” in an XN Sports Fantasy Football: 2013 WR Review article. Referred to here as Target Premium, it is the percentage of additional fantasy points per target that a wide receiver or tight end generates over and above the other pass receivers on his team. This metric is especially useful when examining the impact of a quarterback upgrade on a wide receiver’s future production.


Let us look at the Denver Broncos for a quick example. They seem relevant, especially as a team that could stand a quarterback upgrade. Jerry Jeudy led all Broncos wide receivers with 113 targets in 2020. Yet his Target Premium mark of -16.3-percent (No. 97 among qualified wide receivers) was actually the lowest of the four players with at least 30 targets. The leader in Target Premium on the team was Tim Patrick, who saw 34 fewer targets than Jeudy but finished with a +37.5-percent (No. 1) Target Premium. This does not mean that Patrick is necessarily a better player than Jeudy. It just means that he did more with his targets than Jeudy was able to do with his.

Leaders and Losers

When we look at the wide receiver leaders in Target Premium from 2020, there are a few who will be playing with a new quarterback in 2021. If we are to use the metric to identify likely breakout candidates, then the obvious one would seem to be Laviska Shenault.

Laviska Shenault 2020 Efficiency Metrics

In his rookie season, Shenault had a 7.18 (No. 55) Target Accuracy mark, along with a 5.0 (No. 83) Target Quality Rating. Yet he was still able to finish with a +27.5-percent (No. 8) Target Premium. With Trevor Lawrence likely to be the Jaguars quarterback in 2021, an upgrade in accuracy allied to his efficiency as a receiver can only mean good things in year two.

Target Premium Leaders – 2020

We may be able to say the same for Will Fuller. While a member of the Texans, Fuller enjoyed a 7.2 (No. 4) Target Quality Rating. His +27.2-percent (No. 2) Target Premium was far and away better than his closest teammate Keke Coutee, who only managed a +2.7-percent (No. 50) showing. But Fuller now finds himself on the Miami Dolphins with Tua Tagovailoa, who had a 7.9 (No. 2) Accuracy Rating, as his quarterback. This despite having a single wide receiver with a positive Target Premium, with Preston Williams posting a +20.0-percent (No. 14) mark. This marriage could be good for all parties.

At the other end of the scale, of the 114 wide receivers to see at least 30 targets, Jeff Smith was the only one to post a lower Target Premium than Michael Thomas in 2020. Yes, Michael Thomas scraped together a -35.9-percent (No. 107) Target Premium. Should we be scared of Thomas after a lackluster campaign and an uncertain quarterback situation ahead of him? Probably not, since he is still likely to command a monster Target Share in 2021.

But A.J. Green, who now finds himself in Arizona with a new quarterback in Kyler Murray? Should we look at his new home as a boost to his fantasy appeal? Well, since he is likely to be behind DeAndre Hopkins at the very least, and probably also Christian Kirk, his -34.6-percent (No. 106) Target Premium from last season would scare me right off him.

Until next time.