2023 Vacated Targets to Attack based on ADP

2023 Vacated Targets to Attack based on ADP
2023 Vacated Targets to Attack based on ADP

Bradley Sticker is back to break down Vacated Targets in 2023. Everyone in fantasy football looks for those sleepers and values at the WR position. Many fantasy championships come on the back of stud running backs, a top-tier TE, and hits in the mid-rounds on wide receivers. How do the same people tend to hit on the wide receivers year after year? Many analytics should be considered when looking for breakout wide receivers, but they only matter if the opportunity is there.

Enter the vacated targets for each team. Vacated targets can identify what wide receivers can really thrive in their offensive system. Fantasy Football managers should use this as the baseline to add an analytical approach to. When a wide receiver has the base opportunity of targets, you can consider the other analytics to make a sound decision on drafting a high-value mid-to-late round gem.

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2023 Vacated Targets to Attack Based on ADP

Vacated Target Leaders

So let’s take a look at the vacated targets for each team, thanks to our friend John Daigle at 4for4.com.

Team Vacant Air Yards Air Yard Percentage Vacated Targets Vacated Target Percentage
Arizona Cardinals 1847 41.20% 217 34.10%
Atlanta Falcons 1632 45.10% 143 35.70%
Baltimore Ravens 1205 30.90% 163 35%
Buffalo Bills 942 18.50% 157 28.40%
Carolina Panthers 1987 62.80% 212 49.60%
Chicago Bears 535 16.70% 81 22.50%
Cincinnati Bengals 545 13.10% 148 24.90%
Cleveland Browns 52 1.20% 58 11.40%
Dallas Cowboys 1620 36.30% 197 36.10%
Denver Broncos 464 9.80% 160 29.50%
Detroit Lions 1297 32.20% 227 40.30%
Green Bay Packers 2575 58.80% 258 47.70%
Houston Texans 2860 69.70% 357 63.90%
Indianapolis Colts 742 19.90% 142 24.50%
Jacksonville Jaguars 1189 28.10% 113 19.60%
Kansas City Chiefs 1102 24.30% 152 24.70%
Las Vegas Raiders 2201 42.30% 191 34.20%
Los Angeles Chargers 681 16.40% 105 15.20%
Los Angeles Rams 588 15.90% 114 22%
Miami Dolphins 1085 20.70% 120 21.30%
Minnesota Vikings 1163 24.10% 199 31%
New England Patriots 1753 42.60% 214 41.30%
New Orleans Saints 971 20.80% 127 25.70%
New York Giants 977 30.90% 127 25.90%
New York Jets 1182 24.30% 136 23.10%
Philadelphia Eagles 138 3.20% 45 8.90%
Pittsburgh Steelers 583 13% 80 14.50%
San Francisco 49ers 601 17.30% 77 15.20%
Seattle Seahawks 467 10.90% 75 13.50%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1646 33.50% 238 32.80%
Tennessee Titans 1346 40.40% 199 45.60%
Washington Commanders 284 6.50% 65 12.20%


What Does it Mean?

While that table is a lot to decipher, here are the basics. The more vacated targets, the more opportunity one has to break out in their system. The air yards also matter as they can lead to high-value targets down the field. While we could sit here and discuss each and every stat in the table above, I’d rather provide a few mid-to-late-round options for fantasy football based on the vacated targets and average draft position (ADP). Enjoy!


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Jordan Addison – WR – Minnesota Vikings

Typically drafting a rookie wide receiver is not great, but in the case of Jordan Addison, I think you may be in for a surprise. Not only is he coming to a team with 199 vacated targets and over 1000 vacated air yards, but they also didn’t add any other WR, TE, or RB to the roster.

Addison is one of the better route runners and will complement Justin Jefferson very well. His current ADP is WR40, around the likes of Gabe Davis, Cortland Sutton, and Kadarius Toney. I think he will be a great option who could end up with 100 targets in his rookie season.

Juju Smith-Schuster – WR – New England Patriots

Since Juju’s 1600-yard season with the Steelers, he has definitely left fantasy managers hanging. Typically when a player sees three teams in three seasons, that’s not a good sign. I will give Juju a little grace, however. Juju had a pretty solid return to relevance when he caught over 80% of the balls thrown his way and went over 1000 yards on a team that distributed the ball heavily.

He now lands on a team with a really solid and creative offensive play-caller in Bill O’Brien and a pretty solid success rate per Reception Perception. Getting to play in the slot with 214 targets and over 1700 air yards available makes his WR50 ADP seem like a smash.

Zay Jones – WR – Jacksonville Jaguars

While vacated targets are typically used to mark guys that may outperform their ADP, this is a case of the opposite. With the addition of Calvin Ridley and Etienne, able to focus more on pass-catching while Tank Bigsby carries the rock, Zay Jones may be the odd man out.

There are only 113 vacated targets, and Zay provides more of a big play threat that doesn’t demand targets. Currently at WR62 and the third or possibly even fourth option on his team, I’d lean towards many of the other options in this range.

John Metchie – WR – Houston Texans

The Texans have a TON of vacated targets and air yards up for grabs. The team is currently projected to be led by Robert Woods and Dalton Schultz. Neither of them is a downfield threat, and Metchie can be that guy with new quarterback CJ Stroud.

While he isn’t a great separator, he can definitely be a huge splash play guy with almost 3,000 air yards available. The current ADP per FantasyPros is WR79 between Tim Patrick and Hunter Renfrow. That’s a price I’m willing to take the shot at based on the quantity of vacated targets available.

DJ Chark – WR – Carolina Panthers

With new head coach Frank Reich and rookie quarterback Bryce Young, wide receivers are typically not a big target in redraft leagues. With DJ Chark looking at a team with over 62% of their air yards up for grabs and over 200 targets, he stands to get some work. DJ Chark has the speed needed to get behind defenses, as shown by his previous two seasons’ yards per catch (22 YPC in 2021 and 17 in 2022).

The Panthers signed 32-year-old Adam Thielen and drafted Jonathan Mingo to expand the existing roster but lack playmakers like Chark. If I was to tell you that you could draft the WR1 for the Panthers in the same average draft position as Alec Pierce and Van Jefferson (ADP WR73), you should be salivating. Carolina is a big question mark when it comes to vacated targets in 2023.

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