Even with all of the different fantasy football formats and scoring settings, touchdowns still stand strong. There is one area of the field where a majority of touchdowns are scored, and that is the red zone. Yes, there are always long scores from outside the 20-yard line. However, the focus here is to showcase which players were getting the football within 20 yards of the end zone. Here is the Red Zone Report from Week 1.
A Red Zone opportunity is either a rushing attempt or a pass target. Special attention will be paid to carries received in the 5-yard line.
The Bills only had 2 red zone touches in the entire game. RB Devin Singletary took a 15 yard run down to the Jets 3-yard line. On the next play, QB Josh Allen scored the rushing TD, something that was part of his repertoire last year. Unfortunately for his RBs, that will limit their TD potential.
Just before halftime in what became a massacre, WR Preston Williams caught 2 consecutive red zone passes. The second of which resulted in a TD. With such a small sample size, it is difficult to definitively say that Williams is the primary end zone weapon. However, it is a good sign that the rookie had some success in that regard.
New England Patriots
Both Rex Burkhead and Sony Michel received 2 red zone carries each. However, neither RB received a touch inside the 5-yard line. The Patriots were balanced as those 4 rushing attempts matched that 4 targets from inside the 20-yard line. However that was more spread out as Burkhead, WR Julian Edelman, WR Josh Gordon and RB James White were all targeted.
New York Jets
RB Le’Veon Bell has 3 out of the 5 Jets red zone opportunities to himself. That included 1 carry and 2 targets. He caught both passes, including a 9-yard TD reception. WR Jamison Crowder and TE Ryan Griffin were also targeted in the red zone.
The scoring was aplenty as the Ravens had 19 red zone opportunities. Leading the way were RBs Gus Edwards and Mark Ingram with 7 and 4 carries respectively. More importantly, Edwards (3) and Ingram both received rushing attempts inside the 5-yard line. After those two, RB Justice Hill had 2 red zone rushes and QB… Robert Griffin had 1. With such a blowout game, it is difficult to get a real grasp of how this team will operate inside the 20.
As for the red zone targets, TE Mark Andrews was the only player to get more than 1. WR Miles Boykin, WR Marquise Brown, TE Hayden Hurst, FB Patrick Ricard and WR Willie Snead also saw targets inside of the 20-yard line. It is doubtful that the Ravens repeat this feat as they will not be playing the Dolphins every week.
RB Joe Mixon was the only player on the Bengals to get a red zone rushing attempt. That will obviously change if Mixon should miss time from the injury that forced him out of week 1. The obvious candidate to see red zone carries is RB Giovani Bernard who did see a target inside of the 20. WR John Ross and WR Damion Willis also saw red zone targets.
It was not a great day for the Browns who only saw 2 red zone opportunities in week 1. While there was a certain amount of predictability in TE David Njoku getting the lone red zone target, backup RB Dontrell Hilliard getting the only carry inside the 5-yard line was unexpected. This a team to monitor closely in the coming weeks.
While the Steelers struggled in week 1, there was some good news for a Pittsburgh player’s fantasy stock. RB James Conner saw the lone red zone rushing attempt and it happened to be inside of the 5-yard line. His potential TD ability is a part of his fantasy value so this was encouraging. Other red zone opportunities went to WR Donte Moncrief with 2 targets and rookie WR Diontae Johnson with 1.
WR DeAndre Hopkins got half of the team’s 4 red zone targets while RB Duke Johnson saw the other half. Also in week 1, Johnson split the carries inside the 20 with RB Carlos Hyde as they had 1 apiece.
For an offense that was expected to struggle with the retirement of their presumed QB, the Colts moved the ball well against the Chargers. They accumulated 11 red zone opportunities. RB Marlon Mack had the monopoly of carries with 4, however, none within the 5-yard line. As for red zone targets, WR T.Y. Hilton had 3 while WR Parris Campbell, TE Jack Doyle, TE Eric Ebron and WR Devin Funchess all had 1 each.
The Jaguars chose to pass on all 4 of their red zone opportunities. WR Dede Westbrook saw half of the targets, which included a 15-yard TD catch. TE James O’Shaughnessy and TE Geoff Swaim rounded out the other 2 targets inside of the 20-yard line.
RB Derrick Henry received most of the red zone opportunities. He had 4 red zone carries, including 1 inside of the 5-yard line. That did not leave much else for the other Titans players. WR A.J. Brown and RB Dion Lewis were the only other ones to touch the football inside of the 20. Unlike some other teams the week 1 red zone opportunities represent a likely look into the rest of the season.
For the Broncos, the main problem was scoring the red zone, as they saw plenty of opportunities. RB Phillip Lindsay led the way with 3 carries inside of the 20-yard line. Fellow RB Royce Freeman was right behind with 2 for himself. However, neither player got a touch inside of the 5-yard line. QB Joe Flacco, however, did run 1 one time inside of the 5-yard line. As for red zone targets, it was WR Emmanuel Sanders with 3, WR Courtland Sutton with 2 while TE Noah Fant and WR DaeSean Hamilton with 1 each.
Kansas City Chiefs
Such a prolific offense like the Chiefs would surly be in the red zone often. Even against the Jaguars defense, this held true. The main beneficiary was RB Damien Williams who saw 7 total red zone opportunities. He ran the football 4 times and was targeted 3 times. Most importantly, Williams scored on a 1 yard TD run, the only Kansas City carry inside the 5 -yard line. It was all about Williams as WR Tyreek Hill, QB Patrick Mahomes and RB LeSean McCoy each had a red zone rushing opportunity.
As for the red zone targets, TE Travis Kelce led the way, and tied for the league lead in week 1, with 4 targets. Unfortunately, he did not catch any of them but expect that to be fixed. Kelce was the only Chief was multiple targets inside the 20-yard line, as WR Mecole Hardman, WR Demarcus Robinson, FB Anthony Sherman and WR Sammy Watkins each had 1.
Los Angeles Chargers
In a similar sight to last season, the Chargers red zone offense runs though the RB position. Both Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson received 2 red zone carries and 1 red zone target. Even FB Derek Watt got in on the action with a rushing attempt inside the 20-yard line. As for the receiver, it was not necessarily the usual suspects that were red zone weapons. WR Keenan Allen saw 2 targets while Dontrelle Inman had 1 target inside the 20.
Rookie RB Josh Jacobs saw the most red zone opportunities out of any player in week 1, and they all came in the form of carries. 8 caries to be exact, including 2 inside the 5-yard line. Perhaps it was simply the matchup against the Broncos. Either way, the Raiders showed their hand as to their red zone plan. Not to say that they did not pass at all inside the 20. WR Ryan Grant, WR Hunter Renfrow and WR Tyrell Williams each saw a red zone target.
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Even during his holdout, RB Ezekiel Elliott was always envisioned as the primary red zone weapon. Even with little practice time, Elliott saw half of the Cowboys red zone opportunities with 3 rushing attempts. The other half of the opportunities came in the form of targets. 2 for TE Jason Witten and 1 for WR Randall Cobb.
New York Giants
Somehow, the Giants had more red zone opportunities than the Cowboys who defeated them quite easily. Perhaps that was because Dallas seemed to be scoring at will while New York had the fight for every yard. RB Saquon Barkley had the most red zone opportunities with 3 carries. The only bad news was that he did not receive a rushing attempt inside the 5-yard line. Instead, that went to RB Wayne Gallman who also saw a red zone target. RB Elijhaa Penny also got in on the action with a red zone carry for himself. As for the other targets inside the 20, WR Sterling Shepard saw 2 while TE Evan Engram and WR Bennie Fowler each had 1.
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The Eagles red zone opportunities were evenly split between 4 players. RB Miles Sanders saw 2 carries inside the 5-yard line. Meanwhile RB Jordan Howard, WR Alshon Jeffery and RB Darren Sproles each received a target and a carry inside the red zone. Jeffery was especially efficient as he scored on both touches. The only other red zone opportunity went to QB Carson Wentz with a rushing attempt.
Washington did not run the ball once inside the 20-yard line. All 5 red zone opportunities were pass attempts. WR Trey Quinn led the way with 2, while TE Vernon Davis, WR Paul Richardson and RB Chris Thompson saw 1 each.
Similarly to Washington, the Bears did not run the football in the red zone. However, they also only threw 2 pass attempts inside the 20. RB Mike Davis was the recipient of one, while TE Adam Shaheen saw the other target. Expect more opportunities as this offense performs better in the future.
It was an even split of 3 carries and 3 targets in the red zone for the Lions. RB C.J. Anderson had 2 of those rushing attempts while RB Kerryon Johnson received the other. Meanwhile, on the passing side, WR Kenny Golladay saw 2 red zone targets, while rookie TE T.J. Hockenson had the other.
Green Bay Packers
In the defense matchup last Thursday, the Packers and Bears combined for 4 red zone opportunities. Like Chicago, Green Bay did not run the football inside the 20. Instead they passed, once to WR Davante Adams and one to TE Jimmy Graham who snagged the only TD of the game.
Unlike their NFC North rivals, the Vikings exclusively ran the football in the red zone. RB Dalvin Cook saw 3 of those rushing attempts, including 1 inside the 5-yard line. QB Kirk Cousins scored a rushing TD on the other carry inside the 5-yard line. Meanwhile, rookie RB Alexander Mattison also had a red zone rushing attempt.
Perhaps unexpectedly, RB Ito Smith saw the only red-zone carry for a team that commonly ran inside the 20-yard line. The beneficiaries were at the WR position as that group monopolized the red zone targets. Calvin Ridley led the way with 2, while Justin Hardy and Julio Jones had 1 apiece.
Yet another team that did not pass the ball at all in the red zone. RB Christian McCaffrey saw 4 red zone rushing attempts, with 2 of them coming inside the 5-yard line. FB Alex Armah also had carry inside the 5-yard line, his only red zone touch.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints have one of the more interesting red zone reports from week 1. In a system that can usually support 2 fantasy relevant RBs, both Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray saw a red zone rushing attempt. However, neither was inside the 5-yard line. The only other carry by the Saints inside the 20 was 3rd string QB Taysom Hill, who was also targeted once in the red zone. As for other targets inside the 20, Kamara got 2, while TE Josh Hill and WR Tre’Quan Smith each had 1.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Even though Dare Ogunbowale led the Buccaneers RBs in snaps played, he did not see a carry in the entire game. He did, however, have a red zone target among his receptions. This really showed who the pass-catching RB is in Tampa. As for the carries inside the 20, RB Ronald Jones had 3, and RB Peyton Barber saw 1. For the other red zone targets, TE Cameron Brate and WR Chris Godwin each had 2, while TE O.J. Howard saw 1.
RB David Johnson saw all 3 of the Cardinals red zone carries. Strangely, he did not get any red zone targets, but he was nonetheless used in the passing game elsewhere on the field. As for the targets inside the 20, they all went to the WR position. Larry Fitzgerald had 3, while rookie KeeSean Johnson saw 2. Meanwhile, both Damiere Byrd and Christian Kirk received 1 red zone target each. Expect the Arizona TEs to be some of the least utilized in the league.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams goal-line back in one of the greatest positions to be in for all of fantasy football. In week 1, RB Malcolm Brown got the nod for that role with 5 red zone carries, including 2 rushing attempts inside the 5-yard line. He managed to score on both those carries and was productive all around. This is unlike rookie RB Darrell Henderson who saw 1 red zone attempt. When it came to targets inside the 20, TE Tyler Higbee had 2, while WR Brandin Cooks and WR Robert Woods each received 1.
San Francisco 49ers
The red zone was mostly TE George Kittle for the 49ers. He saw 4 targets inside the 20-yard line, which was 67% of the team’s total red zone opportunities. The other player in San Francisco with a red zone target in week 1 was Kendrick Bourne. As for the only carry inside the 20 for the team came curtsey of RB Tevin Coleman, who will, unfortunately, miss the next few weeks. Pay attention to how the other RBs are used in his absence.
This was a one-man show in the red zone. RB Chris Carson received all 4 red zone carries, including 1 inside the 5-yard line, as well as the only red zone target thrown by the Seahawks. While it is difficult to think that Carson will get every red zone opportunity in Seattle, the team did demonstrate that he is their primary weapon.