While we had Thursday Night Football for Week 2 played last night, we need to take a look back at the red zone usage for fantasy football for Week 1 of the NFL season. There are going to be some outliers at times, but we will be able to continuously track who is getting the opportunities in the money zone for fantasy football. Red zone opportunities, including rushing attempts and targets, are of the utmost importance, because while touchdowns can be rather fluky to predict, if you know a running back is getting 90% of the team’s red zone carries, one must assume his touchdown floor will be higher, simply put because he’s getting more chances. From red zone passing, to rushing, to receiving, we’ll take a look at some notable numbers from Week 1, that can help your fantasy football teams the rest of the way. Using the red zone report here at Fantasy Alarm, here are the key numbers and notes in this week’s red zone analysis.


NFL Red Zone Passing for Week 1

Trevor Lawrence, JAX

While the overall numbers need to be better, it’s encouraging that Jacksonville is letting Lawrence throw it in the end zone. Per Sharp Football Stats, Jacksonville ranked in the bottom half of the league in pass rate in the red zone, and while James Robinson and Travis Etienne are going to get their opportunities, this regime looks poised to let Trevor Lawrence fire the football in the red zone. Going 3/10 in Week 1 may cut back some opportunities going forward, but hey, they’re giving him a chance, which should help his floor in terms of passing touchdowns.

Patrick Mahomes, KC

You didn’t think I was going to forget about Mahomes, did you? 10/12 passing with five touchdowns in the red zone, all of which were inside the 10-yard line? From a fantasy perspective as a Patrick Mahomes owner, you love to see it. Clyde Edwards-Helaire fantasy managers were fortunate that he was on the receiving end of a couple of those, but if Kansas City continues to let Mahomes sling it at a high frequency in the red zone, watch out, because he could easily surpass his passing touchdown totals from the past couple of seasons.

NFL Red Zone Rushing for Week 1

Jamaal Williams, DET

Did you have Williams getting more red zone carries than D’Andre Swift on your bingo card? I did not! Williams had 75 percent of the team’s rushing attempts in the red zone in Week 1, including five of six inside the 10, and both attempts inside the five-yard line. While Swift managers may be tilting a bit, Williams might have the red zone role on lock, though that could change, seeing as Swift was far better on his touches than Williams.

  • Williams: six carries for 16 yards and 2 TDs
  • Swift: two carries for 14 yards and 1 TD

Saquon Barkley, NYG

Barkley had five carries in the red zone in Week 1, and he did manage to find the end zone on one of his two attempts from inside the five-yard line. Daniel Jones took a couple of rushing attempts in the red zone, which isn’t a major surprise, but Barkley looks primed for a massive 2022 campaign, and while Matt Breida had a red zone rushing attempt, he’s nothing more than a guy to spell Barkley when he needs a breather.

Javonte Williams & Melvin Gordon, DEN

While the split with Melvin Gordon is quite the nuisance, Williams saw three targets to Gordon’s two in the red zone, and didn’t do any worse in the red zone on the ground than Gordon did. At some point, Williams is going to emerge as the guy, but for now, Gordon seems to have a sizable role in the offense. When will we get to the 60/40 split between Williams and Gordon that we were expecting? In PPR leagues, Williams looks to be a beast, as he is going to get work in the passing game.

Travis Etienne, JAX

Look at Etienne, racking up three red zone targets in the season opener! James Robinson is getting a lot of hype, but remember, that was Etienne’s first regular season game as a professional, and he’s a guy that you should definitely be looking to buy-low on if someone is ready to give up on Etienne after *checks notes* one game. Overall, he had four carries (11.8 YPC) and four targets in this game, and 75 percent of his targets were in fantasy football’s most important area.



NFL Red Zone Receiving for Week 1

Ja’Marr Chase, CIN

Joe Burrow was throwing the ball in the red zone left and right, and for Chase to get six targets as the alpha in the red zone is welcomed by all of his fantasy football managers. Yes, Higgins left the game early with an injury, but don’t forget that Higgins saw more targets in the red zone last year than Chase. If the tides turn in that department in 2022, Chase is going to make a legitimate push for the overall WR1 title.

Garrett Wilson, NYJ

Much like the rookie you’ll read about below, Wilson failed to bring in any of his three red zone targets, but his three targets led the way, as did his 27 percent target share in the red zone. Joe Flacco threw the ball a bunch in the red zone in Week 1, and he is slated to be under center for another couple weeks, so Wilson could continue to see these money targets moving forward.

Alec Pierce, IND

Pierce tied Michael Pittman amongst the team’s wide outs in red zone targets, and while Pierce failed to haul in either target, it’s encouraging that Matt Ryan had an eye for the rookie in the end zone. In fact, Pierce should have caught his one target, and while he’s dealing with concussion symptoms, the rookie could at the very least be a weapon inside the 20s for Matt Ryan and the Colts.

Gerald Everett, LAC

You love to see “sleeper” tight ends getting those important red zone looks, including one-third of the team’s red zone targets. Mike Williams and Keenan Allen will of course get their looks, but if Everett can maintain a sizable role in the red zone, those fantasy managers that invested into Everett might have quite the fantasy asset on their hands. Also, in that division, with all the points being scored, you have to be impressed.



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