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RED ZONE: Target Analysis – Week 5

Week 5 gave us some dominant performances by a few key players. With bye-weeks starting to impact lineups role players are going to be key each week. We are getting to the part of the season where “managing” becomes essential to winning, let’s take a look at last week’s data to see if we can uncover anything.

 

Legend
Thrown To Ball was thrown to the player (also known as a ‘target’)
Scoring Opportunities Player was thrown to and the play started inside the 10 or ended inside the 5 yard line
RedZone Opportunities Player was thrown to and the line of scrimmage was inside the 20 yard line
Heart Breaks Player was thrown to 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

RANK PLAYER TEAM SCORING OPPORTUNITIES REDZONE OPPORTUNITIES HEART

BREAKS

OPPS TDS OPPS TDS
1 Jones, Aaron GBP 7 4 8 4 0
2 Henry, Derrick TEN 4 2 6 2 0
3 Freeman, Devonta ATL 2 1 5 1 0
4 Mack, Marlon IND 1 0 5 0 0
5 Fournette, Leonard JAC 1 1 5 1 0
6 McCaffrey, Christian CAR 6 3 5 2 0
7 Jacobs, Josh OAK 2 2 4 2 0
8 Wilkins, Jordan IND 4 1 4 1 1
9 Sanders, Miles PHI 1 0 4 0 0
10 Carson, Chris SEA 2 1 4 1 0

 

Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

Jones ripped the Cowboy defense Sunday afternoon for a total of 182 combined yards and four rushing scores on eight red zone opportunities. The Packers were running the ball at will on the Cowboys all game. It’s not very often the Packers put up 34 points with Rodgers accounting for none of the touchdowns. His first score was from 18 yards out on the Packer’s second possession of the day where Jones wasn’t even touched until he got to the five-yard line. He then scored again in the first quarter with just under a minute left from the three where he just barreled into the end zone. A defensive holding call in the end zone gave the Packers a first and goal from the five-yard line, where Jones was able to get to the edge and win the foot race with Byron Jones. His final score came in the third quarter where he dove in from the one yard line, making a stretch to break the plane and cap off his superb game. The Cowboys were severely outplayed in this one for three-quarters of football, the box score made this one look closer than it actually was. The Packer offense is starting to take shape and they are a force right now.

Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

McCaffrey is off to a historic start to the season, so much for the Panthers limiting his touches. On five red zone opportunities, he scored two touchdowns and added another on an 84-yard run. His first score came with just under 10 minutes left in the first quarter from the five-yard line. He hurdled over the defender flipping into the end zone to cap off the run. With 1:44 left in the first quarter, McCaffrey out of the backfield made a cut to the middle of the field, Allen hit him in stride while wide open and McCaffrey had an empty field in front of him as he had his second of the day. His final score came on an 84 yard run from his own 16 on the Panther’s first possession in the third quarter. McCaffrey is playing at an elite level and despite the talk of the Panthers wanting to limit his touches, he hasn’t missed a beat so far this year.

 

Wide Receiver

RANK PLAYER TEAM SCORING OPPORTUNITIES REDZONE OPPORTUNITIES HEART

BREAKS

OPPS TDS OPPS TDS
1 Fuller, Will HOU 6 3 4 1 2
2 Kupp, Cooper LAR 1 1 3 1 0
3 Robinson, Allen CHI 2 2 3 2 0
4 Shepard, Sterling NYG 1 0 3 0 0
5 Williams, Mike LAC 3 0 3 0 1
6 Brown, Marquise BAL 2 1 3 1 0
7 Tate, Auden CIN 2 1 3 1 0
8 Thomas, Michael NOS 2 2 2 2 0
9 Thielen, Adam MIN 2 2 2 2 0
10 Allison, Geronimo GBP 2 0 2 0 1

 

Will Fuller, Houston Texans

In a game that featured Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins, no one could’ve seen this performance from Will Fuller coming. Scoring three total touchdowns on four red zone opportunities, Fuller balled out Sunday. With just over four minutes remaining in the opening quarter, Watson found a wide-open Fuller towards the back corner of the end zone on a broken coverage. In the second quarter with 12:15 on the clock, Watson had all day to find a once again wide open Fuller in the end zone for a 33-yard score. The Falcons only sent a three-man rush and Fuller still managed to get behind the defense. Fuller’s third and final score came on a pass from the Falcon 44 yard line where he simply just outran Desmond Trufant right off the line. Hopkins being double covered for most of this one definitely contributed to the success Fuller had on the day. Fuller’s day could have been much better if not for his two heartbreaks where he was tackled at the one-yard line. Fuller has always had a nose for the end zone, but banking on this type of production each week is foolish.

Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers

Williams saw a career-high in targets in this one seeing 13 targets including three red zone opportunities, making six grabs for 74 yards. Overall there was nothing spectacular about Williams or the Chargers in this one, but he did manage to finish a game unscathed. There was a scare when Williams went down on his back and laid there for a few seconds, but was able to return a few plays later. The Chargers looked really bad during the first half of this game and couldn’t overcome the early hole they dug themselves as they fell to the Broncos. Given the injuries the Chargers have at wide receiver, Williams, if healthy, is a must-start if he is going to get this kind of volume moving forward. He can finish as a high-end WR3 or low end WR2 with his red-zone capabilities alone.

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.