As we start the season we are starting to look at trends and one of the biggest trends to look at is targets. Targets tell us who is most likely to get the ball on a particular play. When you are looking at targets in the red zone, it can tell us who is going to get the all important touchdowns; there are receivers who make their livings inside the 20 yard line. While we all love the players like Kenny Stills who can break a deep route for a big score, they just don’t happen consistently enough to rely on. It is better to have a receiver who gets consistent points that is being targeted in the red zone. Here is a list of the 9 wide receivers who were targeted the most in the red zone in Week 1 and how many times the team scored when they were targeted.
|Scoring Opportunities||The play started inside the 10 or ended inside the 5 yard line|
|RedZone Opportunities||The line of scrimmage was inside the 20 yard line|
|Heart Breaks||Play was for more than 5 yards down the field and the play ended inside the 5 yard line|
|All statistics in this table include plays that were nullified by a penalty|
|Rank||Player||Team||Scoring Opportunities||RedZone Opportunities||Heart
When we focus in on these 9 wide receivers one name in particular jumps right out — Brandon Marshall. The reason why Marshall stands out is because out of all of these wide receivers he is the one that is most likely to be available on your waiver wire. Many of us (myself included) thought that Marshall was done. We thought that he had lost a step and couldn’t get the separation that made him such a great player for so many years. What he didn’t lose was his height, size, and leaping ability. If you watched him last week you saw a player who could be very valuable in the red zone. As we all know, the game slows down inside the 20 and larger wideouts have an advantage because they can go up and get the ball. With Doug Baldwin out for the next few weeks and no real tight end on the roster, Marshall is going to be relied upon to be that type of wide receiver. He isn’t going to being burning people, that is Tyler Locketts job but if you can get 50 yards and one or two short touchdowns from Marshall, you will have solid WR2 numbers.
On the other end of the spectrum from Marshall is Nelson Agholor. Brandon Marshall only had 7 targets total but 3 of those came in the red zone and he converted one into a touchdown and had another nullified by a penalty. Agholor was the 7th most targeted WR last week with 13 targets but none of those came in the red zone. For all those targets, Agholor had only 33 yards with no touchdowns.