What is Golden Tate's Potential Opportunity in New York?

What is Golden Tate's Potential Opportunity in New York?

You may have heard about the guy who commanded 10.54 targets per game leaving the Giants for the Browns because when one gets the chance to dump a potential Hall of Famer in his prime, one has to do it. 

Odell Beckham, during his 59-game run with Big Blue, posted a seasonal pace of 168.7 targets, also known as almost more opportunity than any NFL wideout might see in a given year. Forget the almost 5,500 yards he piled up for New York, forget the 390 receptions, forget the 44 touchdowns. OBJ’s departure from New York leaves a target vacuum only slightly smaller than the nightmarish black hole that stared us all in the face a few weeks back. 

Obviously, no one pass catcher is going to absorb Beckham’s double-digit targets. Standout tight end Evan Engram, who will cost you a fifth-round pick in redraft leagues, will take some of that former OBJ action, as will Sterling Shepard, who’s going in the ninth round. Shepard in 2018 saw a decent increase in opportunity when OBJ missed time with various injuries, taking in 7.75 targets in those games, compared to 6.2 targets when Beckham suited up. Shepard’s target pace without OBJ would mean 124 targets over a full season, which would’ve been the 14th most among wide receivers in 2018. 

Engram, meanwhile, went from 4.7 targets per game with Beckham in the Giants’ lineup to 7.7 targets with Beckham out. 

Whatever you make of the Giants’ offensive situation—however ugly or dire—there will be opportunity for someone besides Engram and Shepard. Enter Golden Tate.

Sure, he’s 31 years old, he’s going to be catching passes from the zombie of Eli Manning and/or throwing tight end Daniel Jones, and he seems redundant on a team that already has Shepard as a slot guy, but Tate’s redraft price is right and it wouldn’t take much for the veteran to fall into consistent opportunity. Tate, just two years removed from a season in which he saw the 12th most targets in the NFL, has been something close to a target hog everywhere he’s gone, except last year during his eight-game run in Philadelphia. Even then, being used as a part-time player, he drew 5.63 targets per game. 

Tate, who’s being drafted in the eighth round, as the 35th receiver off the draft board, has posted solid to fantastic target shares since he first emerged with Seattle in 2013. Last year, before Tate was traded to the Eagles, he was drawing 26% of the Lions’ targets. See below for a comprehensive look at Tate’s target share history.

A note on the 2013 Seattle offense: they threw the ball 420 times, which might be cool, but was second fewest in the league that season. 

Golden Tate's Historical Target Share
Player Year Team Target share Fantasy rank
Golden Tate 2013 Seahawks 24% WR37
Golden Tate 2014 Lions 24% WR13
Golden Tate 2015 Lions 20% WR24
Golden Tate 2016 Lions 23% WR16
Golden Tate 2017 Lions 22% WR12
Golden Tate 2018 Lions/Eagles 26%/15% WR27
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