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RED-ZONE: A Final Look at 2018

Red Zone statistics can be a valuable tool if used correctly.  Obviously, the teams with better offenses will have more opportunities and we can use this data to exploit certain match-ups or identify players that could be overlooked while looking for bye week fill-ins.  Below I will highlight a few players with some interesting stats from last year, as we move forward into the new season.

All data provided by from the Target and Scoring Opportunity Report.

Scoring Opportunities Player passed and the play started inside the 10 or ended inside the 5 yard line
RedZone Opportunities Player passed and the line of scrimmage was inside the 20 yard line
Heart Breaks Player passed for more than 5 yards down the field and the play ended inside the 5 yard line
All statistics in this report include plays that were nullified by penalty

Running Back



1 Gurley, Todd LAR 51 22 3.6 84 21 6 6
2 Kamara, Alvin NOS 47 20 3.1 81 18 5.4 6
3 McCaffrey, Christian CAR 43 15 2.7 65 13 4.1 5
4 Barkley, Saquon NYG 41 15 2.6 68 10 4.3 4
5 Elliott, Ezekiel DAL 33 9 2.2 57 7 3.8 6
6 Conner, James PIT 31 15 2.4 42 13 3.2 4
7 Hunt, Kareem CLE 31 14 2.8 37 10 3.4 3
8 Henry, Derrick TEN 28 13 1.8 46 11 2.9 4
9 White, James NEP 28 12 1.8 43 10 2.7 2
10 Carson, Chris SEA 27 10 1.9 48 10 3.4 2

James White, New England

White is a value pick in any format.  Yes, he catches a ton of balls, but no he is not reliant on receptions.  On 43 Red Zone opportunities which were good for 2.7 opportunities per game, he scored 10 touchdowns.  Whether he runs it in or catches a pass and gets in, you still get points for a touchdown and name of the game is to score touchdowns.  Most people will overlook White in drafts, as he has a stigma of being just a “PPR” running back, but the numbers don’t lie.

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas

Zeke is arguably the top overall pick.  He always finishes near the top of every statistical category, but if you invested in him last year you had to be a little disappointed in the touchdown totals.  Of the 57 Red Zone opportunities which average out to 3.8 per game, he converted for 7 touchdowns, good for dead last among running backs in the top ten. Zeke was also tackled within the five-yard line 6 times, tied for most among the top ten running backs.  The Cowboys will be a force this year on offense and with Zeke signing his contract he will no doubt be among the top finishers, but it makes for a compelling argument as to who will finish as the number one running back at the end of the year.

Wide Receiver



1 Hopkins, DeAndre HOU 25 12 1.6 28 9 1.8 3
2 Brown, Antonio OAK 24 15 1.6 25 6 1.7 3
3 Thomas, Michael NOS 22 8 1.4 31 6 1.9 4
4 Hill, Tyreek KCC 22 12 1.4 19 5 1.2 2
5 Smith-Schuster, JuJu PIT 19 6 1.2 30 4 1.9 4
6 Jones, Julio ATL 18 8 1.1 18 5 1.1 3
7 Edelman, Julian NEP 17 6 1.4 21 4 1.8 4
8 Allen, Keenan LAC 17 6 1.1 16 6 1 7
9 Williams, Mike LAC 16 11 1 17 8 1.1 1
10 Evans, Mike TBB 16 8 1 14 4 0.9 2

Keenan Allen, L.A. Chargers

Allen was a bit of a disappointment when looking into the numbers.  He had 16 Red Zone opportunities on the year good for 1 per game and converted for 6 touchdowns.  Perhaps the more staggering stat was the 7 touchdowns he potentially missed by getting tackled inside the 5-yard line.  That’s a lot of points left on the table. I’m projecting some regression in his numbers this year with the emergence of a healthy Mike Williams and Hunter Henry.   

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh

Smith-Schuster provided a great return on investment last year.  With Antonio Brown out of the picture, Smith-Schuster will look to build upon his 4 Red Zone touchdowns from a year ago.  The Steelers offense had no problem getting into the Red Zone last year with Smith-Schuster having 30 opportunities averaging 1.9 per game.  Smith-Schuster is a rising star in the league and will continue to be the go-to guy in the Red Zone. 

About Nick Lemma

Being from New York Nick is loud and persistent. Known as the Hot-Headed Italian within his circle, his opinions are bold with facts and stats to back them up. While playing across multiple leagues and serving as commissioner of his hometown league for the past 12 years, he’s been consumed by football. Being a seasoned player, he’s had success in various formats and league setups. When he’s not reading or writing about football he can be found spending time with his wife and son.

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