Red Zone Report Week 13
As fantasy football managers continue to try and score big points, they often find the highest upside in players who score touchdowns. The best area of the field to get into the end zone is as close as possible to the goal-line. That is why Red Zone carries and targets are so important. The purpose of this Red Zone Report Week 13, is to showcase which players have received the most opportunities in the Red Zone.
For the remainder of this article, the words “Red Zone” will be replaced with “RZ” for brevity.
Red Zone Rushing Attempts
Kenyan Drake was the Week 12 NFL leader in total RZ opportunities. True to form for Drake this year, he did so without any involvement in the passing game. During Week 13, all 9 of Drake’s RZ touches came on the ground. On the season, Drake has 38 RZ carries as opposed to only 2 RZ targets.
Next are three backs who each saw three fewer RZ rushing attempts than Drake. However, similar to the Cardinals ball carrier, Latavius Murray, James Robinson, and DeAndre Washington combined for 0 RZ targets. These players received all of their RZ work in the form of carries only.
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This trend continues as the three running backs with 5 RZ carries apiece also had 0 RZ targets combined. Now, lack of passing game involvement is normal for two of those players, Derrick Henry and Jamaal Williams (they combined for 4 RZ targets on the entire season). However, seeing Mike Davis with 5 RZ rushing attempts and 0 RZ targets is somewhat strange. Davis is currently the Panthers’ 2020 leader in RZ targets. It seems as though teams were trying to punch it in more often than air it out in the RZ during Week 12.
We get to Ito Smith, before finding a running back near the top of both RZ carries and RZ targets. He received 4 RZ carries during Week 12. The 3 RZ targets put Smith at 7 total RZ opportunities, which was second only to Drake last week. Four other players saw 4 RZ rushing attempts during Week 12. They were Nick Chubb, Damien Harris, Aaron Jones, and Adrian Peterson.
Carries Inside the 5
Naturally, when a player gets 9 RZ carries in a game, you would expect enough of those to come inside the 5-yard line. In the case of Kenyan Drake over half of those attempts came inside the 5. 5 carries to be exact, which paced the league during Week 12. Drake more than doubled every other player in that regard, except Adrian Peterson. Peterson received all 4 of his RZ attempts inside the 5-yard line.
Red Zone Targets
One player sat atop the RZ target tree during Week 12. It was Allen Robinson with 5 RZ targets. This appears to be somewhat of a correction for the Bears’ peaking order. Before Week 12, Robinson was actually third on the team in RZ targets, with literally half the amount that the team leader had. Now he is in second place, and only four behind that team lead.
Here’s something 4 you. There were four players who tied for the Week 12 league lead in RZ targets. And of course, they each saw 4 RZ targets. Those players are Justin Jefferson, Calvin Ridley, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Logan Thomas. All of them except Jefferson are currently at the top of their respective teams in RZ targets. For Ridley, in particular, this is nothing new. He is only two back of the NFL leader in RZ targets (more on that later).
Up next are a few players with 3 RZ targets in Week 12, including a pair of running backs. I have already mentioned that Ito Smith received 3 RZ targets. The other back was David Montgomery, but he only received half of the RZ carries that Smith saw. Other players with 3 RZ targets in Week 12 include Davante Adams, Eric Ebron, Michael Gallup, and Jarvis Landry.
Forever talking about the number four. In terms of leading quarterbacks in Week 12 RZ opportunities, there were four players all tied. We do have backup Jacoby Brissett, who has been used like a CFL-style short-yardage quarterback. He received both of his RZ rushing attempts inside the 5-yard line. The only starting signal-caller who received 2 RZ carries inside the 5 was Taysom Hill.
The other two quarterbacks with 2 RZ rushing attempts are about as far apart in terms of 2020 RZ opportunities as can possibly be. After Week 12, Herbert only has a total of 4 RZ carries on the season. On the other hand, we have Cam Newton who is leading all quarterbacks in RZ rushing attempts (25) and carries from inside the 5-yard line (15).
2020 Season So Far
We find many names close together at the top of the NFL in total RZ opportunities. The closely contested title had yet another new holder after Week 12. With a total of 47 RZ opportunities on the season, Derrick Henry passed the idle Josh Jacobs who has 44, and the injured Todd Gurley with 43.
There were however a couple of players who managed to maintain their place atop the league. Ezekiel Elliott currently has 18 carries from inside the 5-yard line. Not too far behind is Dalvin Cook with 16 attempts inside the 5. Furthermore, Mike Evans still sits atop the NFL in RZ targets with 19. With his bye hitting in Week 13, it will give other players an opportunity to catch him. As mentioned earlier, Calvin Ridley is right behind with 17 RZ targets. Aside from Ridley, there are three other players who have 17 RZ targets on the season so far. More so than any other stat, it will be interesting to see if Evans can keep his spot.
Thank you for reading Red Zone Report Week 13. Be sure to check out all of the great NFL content available on Full Press Coverage.