Week 6: Analyzing Red Zone Efficiency

By Jen Ryan
(Reference Link: http://www.footballdiehards.com/fantasy_football_target_stats.cfm)
(Reference Link: http://www.footballdiehards.com/fantasyfootballtargets/fantasy-football-target-stats.cfm)
(Reference Link: http://www.footballdiehards.com/fantasy_football_Redzone_stats.cfm)

Our Rush Red Zone Stats and Target Red Zone Stats tools offer so much more than attempts and touchdowns. There are many ways to analyze red zone usage and efficiency. This week, I’ve moved within 10 yards of the red zone to analyze usage for running backs and receivers in the 10 zone.

Running Backs
Latavius Murray: 9 attempts/2TD – 100% team 10 zone
Even though Murray is on a bye this week it is interesting to discuss his red zone rush usage. He is it. There is no other Oakland running back given touches when the team is within 10 yards of the end zone. There is only one other running back in the league with 100% of the teams 10 zone rush yards and that is Joique Bell, but you can ignore that completely. He has had one carry in the 10 zone. Murray is interesting because not only does he account for 100% of the 10 zone touches but he accounts for 72% of the overall running back touches. He is a work horse who is being used at the goal line which is rare and exciting for those who own him.

T.J. Yeldon: 4 attempts/1TD – 80% team 10 zone
80% is a high number but the Jacksonville Jaguars just are not in the 10 zone enough for Yeldon to see more scoring opportunities. His lone touchdown on the season came on a 10 zone pass from Blake Bortles. Yeldon is battling a groin injury and may not suit up this week but if he returns to 100% health and if the Jaguars can facilitate more 10 zone opportunities, Yeldon’s touchdown total can start to add up.

Devonta Freeman: 13 attempts/6TD – 76% team 10 zone
It is hard to say anything about Freeman that no one else already has but I will try. He is simply dominating as the top fantasy running back. Of his seven touchdowns, six of them came within the 10 zone. There is no Atlanta Falcon garnering more attention when the team is within 10 yards than Freeman. He accounts for 76% of the teams 10 zone touches. Each week we wonder when the regression from Freeman will come and each week he performs. Even the return of a healthy Tevin Coleman cannot slow down the Devonta Freeman train.

Christopher Ivory: 8 attempts-3TD – 73% team 10 zone
Ivory is periodically spelled by complimentary back Bilal Powell from time to time but he is the lead dog in New York. All three of his touchdowns have come in scoring situations which is another example of a back that does not come off the field near the end zone. Nothing is more frustrating than your running back being vulture at the goal line. Ivory stays in the game and is given the scoring opportunities. As we approach Week 6, keep in mind that the Jets already had their bye week and Ivory missed a game. In three full games he has three scores and we can expect this type of usage from him going forward.

Wide Receivers
Jarvis Landry: 8 targets/0TD – 38% team 10 zone
It is hard to say right now if Jarvis Landry, Ryan Tannehill, or Joe Philbin is at fault for this terrible stat line. Philbin is out so we will know more this week. As of right now, no receiver in the NFL has more 10 zone targets than Landry and he has done literally nothing with those targets. Fantasy owners are beyond frustrated with Landry’s lack of production and even more frustrated with his scoreless season. The bye week and simultaneous coaching change in Miami should only help because things cannot get any worse for this team. The targets are there; it is time for some production.

Larry Fitzgerald: 6 targets/4TD – 50% team 10 zone
Fitzgerald is everything we wish Jarvis Landry would be. He is receiving half of his team’s looks from the 10 yard line and has scored four of his six touchdowns this season from there. His resurgence is incredible considering his 2014 outing. Carson Palmer has locked in on Fitzgerald and both are playing near the top of their positions. The scoring opportunities for Fitzgerald should continue to roll this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers who have allowed nine receiving touchdowns this year.

Randall Cobb: 6 targets/4TD – 43% team 10 zone
All four of Cobb’s touchdowns have come from within the 10 yard line and almost half of Aaron Rodgers 10 zone targets are going in his direction. Sure, it is easy to be productive when Rodgers is throwing to you, but Cobb is no slouch and he is not even playing at 100%. It is evident who Aaron Rodgers trusts when he needs a close score. Eddie Lacy has one score on the season. James Jones has scored his fair share of touchdowns (five) but it is Cobb who is getting the close looks. Green Bay will be part of a high scoring game at Lambeau field when the San Diego Chargers come to play this Sunday. When the Packers get close to the goal line Cobb should be given scoring opportunities.

Both of our red zone tools are great for reference but you would be selling yourself short if you did not click the drop down menus and really analyze all the various options. All statistics are important when it comes to fantasy football scoring but perhaps none are more important than red zone usage.