With five full weeks of the NFL season in the books, it’s hard to say that I’m surprised by some of the fantasy stars and league leaders in the red zone, notably Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts, Kansas City’s Travis Kelce, and Los Angeles’ Davante Adams. However, there are some names that maybe we didn’t quite expect. How about waiver wire pick up Josh Reynolds and rookie sensation Garrett Wilson being two of just nine receivers to have at least nine red zone targets? What about fantasy MVP Hurts leading the entire NFL in red zone carries? On the other hand, what about fantasy football bust candidates Matthew Stafford, Kyler Murray, and Matt Ryan having completion percentages below 45 percent in the red zone? Red zone usage is key in fantasy football, as we’ll point out all year long. From red zone passing, to rushing, to receiving, we’ll take a look at some notable numbers from the first five weeks of the season 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 Report

NFL Red Zone Passing for Week 5

Kirk Cousins, MIN

Cousins has the third-most passing attempts, and second-most completions in the red zone over the last two weeks. YOU LIKE THAT!? Overall, only he and Trevor Lawrence have multiple interceptions in the red zone, and as much as it frustrates Dalvin Cook owners, Cousins is tied for the second-most passing attempts inside the 10-yard line. Cousins has at least 38 attempts in each of the last four games, and he could be a good buy low guy, with favorable matchups in the coming weeks against the Dolphins, Cardinals, and Commanders.


Ryan Tannehill, TEN

More plays in the red zone certainly help, and while Derrick Henry has gotten his fair share of work in the zone, it is worth noting that Tannehill is 10-for-11 with four touchdowns through the air, and one rushing score inside the red zone over the team’s last three games. His receiving core may have taken a bit of a hit with Treylon Burks heading to IR, but he’s got a good schedule coming up, and his ability to accrue rushing touchdowns has been on display the last couple of seasons. He has seven rushing scores in each of the past two seasons, and he has at least four rushing touchdowns in every year since becoming a Tennessee Titan.


NFL Red Zone Rushing for Week 5

Travis Etienne, JAC

Overall, Etienne’s usage has trended up in recent weeks, which has come at the expense of James Robinson, who’s snap share has decreased of late. Robinson will likely continue to command red zone touches, but over the last three weeks, Robinson’s 10 red zone carries for 20 yards pales in comparison to Etienne’s five carries for 29 yards. The tides are turning in the Jacksonville backfield, and Etienne is going to be the more lucrative one in fantasy. I’m not sure how open the “buy low” window is on Etienne, but I’d be looking to deal James Robinson if he can give you 60+ yards and a couple of scores on the ground in the near future.


Michael Carter, NYJ

Breece Hall has been putting forth the bigger games recently, but Carter isn’t just fading into the background. Hall has been more effective in the red zone, but Carter still gets his touches, which we cannot ignore. Yes, Hall is far more explosive and exciting, but Carter is still getting 40 percent of the carries inside the red zone, and they have the same amount of touches inside the five-yard line. I think Hall’s full-blown emergence and dominance of the backfield is coming, but there could be a trade window here with Carter, especially if the team keeps giving him red zone work.






%Rush <10

%Rush <5

Breece Hall







Michael Carter








Melvin Gordon, DEN

I can’t say I’m too surprised, but in the first game without Javonte Williams in the mix, Gordon was the preferred goal line back for Denver, registering six carries compared to Mike Boone’s one. Latavius Murray may be a bigger factor inside the 20s down the stretch, at least compared to Boone, but Gordon’s going to have an opportunity to post his best fantasy season as a member of the Broncos, and arguably his best in the last few seasons.


NFL Red Zone Receiving for Week 5

DK Metcalf, SEA

Metcalf has at least 64 yards or a touchdown in three straight games, and fantasy managers have to be pleased that his production hasn’t cratered with Geno Smith at the helm. Interestingly enough, Metcalf does have two scores on the year, but only one has come in the red zone. Beyond that, he has a 50 percent target share in the red zone, but he’s hauled in just one of his seven targets. The beauty here is that he’s dominating red zone looks, and one would expect that he would be a prime candidate for positive regression in the coming weeks, especially if Seattle’s defense continues to flounder. If Seattle is going to play in shootouts all year, once the positive regression hits for Metcalf, he could erupt on a weekly basis.


Nico Collins, HOU

Houston FINALLY did something with Collins, and it will continue. It’s time to buy Collins in fantasy football.

Collins is Houston’s biggest receiver, and if they start throwing jump balls to him, his size will win out more often than not. He had a monster play back against the Chargers that went for 50+ yards, and once they commit to expanding his route tree, get ready for some impressive numbers. Brandin Cooks may lead the team in red zone targets (4), but I expect that Houston gets Collins more involved in the red zone after the team’s Week 6 bye.


Allen Lazard, GB

Lazard has a touchdown or 100+ yards in each of his four games this season. Aaron Rodgers said on the Pat McAfee show that he wants to get Lazard more involved, and he should. Lazard has a massive frame and a knack for finding the red zone. Over his last 10 regular season games, dating back to last year, he has 39 receptions on 59 targets for 512 yards and eight scores. This 10-game run over a full 17-game season comes out to 870 yards and 14 touchdowns! He can be more than just a red zone guy, but he needs Green Bay to give him a chance, however, we don’t mind that he continues his red zone prowess one bit, as he’s tied for the team lead in red zone targets despite missing a game.



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