Perhaps the Red Zone should be called the Gold Zone because that is where some of the most touches occur for football players. In most fantasy football leagues, Touchdowns still reign supreme. Therefore, we want to target the players who are receiving the most Red Zone opportunities. Who are those players? Find out here in Red Zone Report Week 5.
For the remainder of this article, the words Red Zone will be replaced with RZ.
Red Zone Rushing
What if I told you that in week 4, Dalvin Cook tripled his 2020 RZ opportunities. During the previous contest, Cook led the NFL in RZ carries with 10. That is the first time since week 1 that a player received double-digit RZ rushing attempts in a single game. With that many RZ carries, naturally, Cook topped the league with total RZ opportunities during week 4. The players who came closest to Cook’s RZ workload in week 4 were Alvin Kamara and Joe Mixon with 6 carries apiece.
Naturally, as we go down the list, more names begin to appear. The group of players with 5 RZ rushes in week 4 include Mike Davis, Todd Gurley, and Chris Carson. This expands even further when tracking that players with 3 RZ carries in the most recent contest. Among that group is Kenyan Drake, Antonio Gibson, Frank Gore, Kareem Hunt, and Aaron Jones.
Carries Inside the 5
A trio of tailbacks find themselves at the top of the league in terms of rushing attempts from inside the 5-yard line. Chris Carson, Antonio Gibson, and Todd Gurley. After that, three more running backs recorded multiple ‘’goal-line’’ rushing attempts during week 4. They were Mike Davis, Melvin Gordon, and David Johnson. One quarterback also reached multiple carries inside the 5-yard line. Not known as the most mobile signal-caller, Dwayne Haskins picked his spots.
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Red Zone Targets
It seems as though most weeks, the league leader in RZ targets either received 3 or 4 pass attempts. Week 4 is no different with several players seeing 3 RZ targets. They are Chris Hogan, Greg Olsen, and Darren Waller. In week 4, no one player got a ton of RZ targets, but instead, those pass attempts were spread out. The 3 individuals with 3 RZ targets were among 23 NFL players with multiple RZ targets during week 4. While I won’t go through that entire list, there are a few notables worth mentioning. First, Chase Edmonds is currently leading the Cardinals in RZ targets. Yes, even more than the high-priced receiver that they just traded for. Speaking of receivers, Russell Gage and N’Keal Harry are both on teams where RZ rushing is quite common. Yet they still manage to garner RZ targets week in week out.
With regard to quarterbacks in the RZ, It was a strange week, to say the least. Of all the signal callers, Dwayne Haskins was the only one with multiple RZ carries. Not that fantasy managers will reap the benefits of that in the near future since Washington announced that they were benching Haskins.
As for the current crop of starting quarterbacks, there were some familiar faces in the Red Zone Report. Josh Allen, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Nick Foles, Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, Dak Prescott, Matthew Stafford, and Carson Wentz each had 1 RZ rushing attempt during week 4.
2020 Season So Far
In terms of raw numbers, Aaron Jones is currently leading the NFL with 24 RZ opportunities (15 carries, 9 targets). Closely behind is Alvin Kamara with 22 RZ opportunities (14 carries, 8 targets). Jones and Kamara are also 1st and 2nd in the league respectively with RZ targets in 2020 so far.
Even with the surprise bye during week 4, Derrick Henry remains in the top 3 for RZ opportunities overall with 20 (19 carries, 1 target). The argument can be made that Henry is the ultimate RZ weapon as those 19 RZ rushing attempts still paces the league. Also, from a RZ opportunity per-game perspective, Henry is ahead of Jones (6.67 per game as compared to 6 per game).
Of course, another argument can be made that Ezekiel Elliott is actually the best RZ fantasy asset to roster. With 11 carries from inside the 5-yard line, Elliott is a voluminous and productive goal-line back. This, along with his massive workload in all other areas of the field, factors in to why Elliott is among the upper echelon of fantasy running backs.
Thank you for reading Red Zone Report Week 5. Be sure to check out all of the great NFL content available on Full Press Coverage.