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RED ZONE TARGET ANALYSIS: Week 14

In the words of one of my favorite coaches of all time: “What’s that? Ah – Playoffs? Don’t talk about – playoffs? You kidding me? Playoffs?”– Jim Mora

Yes it’s that time of year for all of us lucky enough to make it to the playoffs. We all should have our rosters set and it’s just a matter of who you are going to play (unless you are like me and drafted Kareem Hunt in the first round). So let’s examine the last three weeks and see what stars are hot right now.

WIDE RECEIVER RED ZONE OPPORTUNITIES
Rank Player Team Scoring Opportunities RedZone Opportunities
Opps Touchdowns Opps Touchdowns
1 LAR 2 1 3 1
2 LAR 1.5 0.5 2.5 0.5
3 NYJ 2 0.5 2.5 0.5
4 SEA 2.0 0.7 2.3 0.7
5 DET 0.7 0.3 2.3 0.3
6 KCC 2.0 1.5 2.0 1.5
7 CIN 1.0 0.0 2.0 0.0
8 Sharpe, Tajae TEN 1.0 0.5 2.0 0.5
9 NEP 2.5 0.5 2.0 0.0
10 DEN 1.3 0.3 2.0 0.3

I highlighted two players who may be sitting on your bench. Bill Parcells would say that “water always returns to its level“ whenever a player got off to a hot or slow start to the year. This is the case for both Doug Baldwin and Julian Edelman. Both players have been major disappointments this season due to injuries and both New England and Seattle have had a bit of a transition in their offensive philosophies. Over the last few weeks they have both started to trend closer to what we expected them to be at the beginning of the season. Now that things have seemed to stabilize on both teams, you can start both players without worries.

The third player that I highlighted is Emmanuel Sanders because he went down at the worst time for fantasy owners. Most leagues lock waivers going into the playoffs. If that is the case your options to replace Sanders is a player already on your bench. If you have Courtland Sutton the answer is easy. You can plug Sutton in and not worry about a drop in production. I also recommend that if you have both of the players I mentioned earlier they can also plug right in. The last guy who may be hiding on your bench is a player who I have been saying to stash for weeks, Zay Jones. Josh Allen has been showing major improvement the last two weeks, and with Kelvin Benjamin now in Kansas City Zay Jones is the clear No. 1 pass catcher in Buffalo.

RUNNING BACK RED ZONE OPPORTUNITIES

Rank Player Team Scoring Opportunities Redzone Opportunities
Opps Touchdowns Opps Touchdowns
1 NYG 4.0 1.7 6.7 1.3
2 CAR 4.0 1.0 6.3 1.0
3 TBB 4.0 1.0 5.7 1.0
4 LAR 2.5 1.0 5.0 1.0
5 NEP 1.5 1.0 4 1.0
6 DAL 2.3 1.0 3.7 0.7
7 SEA 2.0 0.7 3.7 0.7
8 Chubb, Nick CLE 2.0 1.5 3.5 1.5
9 LAC 2.5 1.0 3.5 0.5
10 JAC 3.5 1.5 3.5 1.5

If you are a Melvin Gordon or Kareem Hunt owner, you are in some serious jeopardy right now. Even if you could pick someone up, you won’t get close to what you lost. So what can you do? I always make sure I build up my depth at running back during the year. Three guys who were available early on in the season were Peyton Barber, Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. I grabbed Barber and Chubb early on and stashed them both on my bench just in case one of my starters got hurt. Nick Chubb has been playing like a No. 1 fantasy back for most teams and he is a great luxury to have. New England has moved away from the pass when Michel has been healthy and that will continue going forward. The third player is Peyton Barber, and he can be a very frustrating person to play. You would think a running back who gets such a high percentage of the team’s carries would put up much better fantasy numbers. The fact is Tampa Bay is a passing team and Barber just doesn’t get enough volume to be an RB1 or and RB2, but what he can be is a great flex option.

About Michael Carline

Mike is an avid fantasy football player and competes in keeper leagues that are open year round. He is an elementary school teacher by trade so we can only assume that he must also have the patience of a Saint. We hope you enjoy his viewpoint.