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After a few years of modest offensive and special teams contributions for the Vikings, the former Mankato State star exploded in 2016, registering 69 receptions for 967 yards and five touchdowns, more than tripling numbers from his first three seasons. The production came on 92 targets, 50th among all receivers.
Following his 13-target Week 6, Thielen now has 53 targets, seventh in the league and well ahead of Brandin Cooks, Tyreek Hill and other highly drafted players. He's had the same or more targets in each of the last four games, going from six in Week 2 to eight apiece in the next three games to 13 last week.
Here are four other players trending up in weekly targets:
It's foolish to put too much stock into a high-scoring affair with that featured a big deficit, furious comeback, four non-offensive touchdowns and really bad defense.
Still, Marvin Jones' 14-target outing against New Orleans in Week 6 is the latest step in a nice rebound from early-season irrelevance. After registering seven total targets in their first two games — including two in Week 1 — Jones is averaging more than eight targets over the last four, including 22 the last two.
Thielen's teammate Kyle Rudolph had four or fewer targets in three of their first four games. But following six total targets in Weeks 3 and 4 (two and four, respectively), he has nine in each of their last two, and it's showing in the box score. Eleven of his 21 total receptions are in the last two weeks.
He'll face a Ravens defense in Week 7 that's allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to tight ends. Five of their six opponents have registered at least three tight end catches, which would be respectable for a high-end TE2 like Rudolph.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins got shafted out of a touchdown last week but his stock is still way up.
The fifth-year player has been efficient, already posting a career-high in receptions (23) on just 29 targets (by comparison, his previous career-high was 21 catches — twice — on 37 and 40 targets). After missing their first two games, he is averaging 7.3 targets the last four weeks.
He has eight and 11 the last two weeks, respectively, after a modest four in Week 4.
The Washington star went undrafted in 2015 and, following one total reception with the Seahawks the last two years, is producing in Cleveland. He had six total targets the first four weeks, including a goose egg in Week 2, but has 11 total targets the last two weeks. For comparison, over that time Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb also have eight apiece.
The opportunities haven't translated to fantasy relevance — yet — but Williams does have four catches each of the last two weeks.