After each week of the NFL season, we are going to take a look at the numbers from the prior week, and examine the red zone usage for players and teams! Red zone usage is vital to fantasy success, and oftentimes is a great indicator of future touchdown production. This week, we’ll take a look at some recent performances in the red zone, including diving into Russell Wilson’s 2023 numbers and examining how Bailey Zappe has injected some life to the New England Patriots’ offense. Additionally, we look at why Javonte Williams can be trusted in your fantasy football championship, and how Tucker Kraft has become a reliable option at tight end for those in deeper leagues! Regardless of whether it’s for your NFL DFS lineups or your seasonal teams that are fighting for a fantasy football championship, there’s key information for you in this article. From red zone passing, to rushing, to receiving, we’ll take a look at some notable numbers from the first 16 weeks of the 2023 NFL season that can help your fantasy football teams. Using the red zone report here at Fantasy Alarm, here are the key numbers and notes to know for fantasy football in this week’s red zone report.


Red Zone Passing

Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos

Nearly half of Russell Wilson’s completions in the red zone this year have gone for touchdowns, and he’s completed 60 percent of his passes in the red zone. At face value, his numbers seem fine, and the reports out of Denver of Wilson being benched and eventually cut seem crazy. However, box score watching with Wilson and watching a Broncos game show two totally different things. He has just two games with over 260 yards passing this season, and he has eight games with under 200 yards through the air. The red zone touchdowns have helped inflate his numbers, and fantasy managers won’t be relying on him the rest of the way, as Jarrett Stidham will be the man under center for Denver moving forward.

Can fantasy managers in deeper leagues rely on Stidham? Sean Payton runs an offense that Stidham should be able to handle, given that it’s a ton of checkdowns to running backs, but inside the red zone, Stidham has not been impressive for his career. The 2022 season is the only year where we have a good enough sample size of red zone passing work for Stidham, and he completed just 47.1 percent of his passes (8-for-17) with two scores. For his career overall, he’s completed under half of his passes in the red zone, and just 44.4 percent inside the 10-yard line. In deeper leagues, you may be forced to roll with Stidham, as he will be a starting quarterback in Week 17, but expect Denver to be pretty run-heavy in the red zone.

Bailey Zappe, New England Patriots

Zappe has looked solid inside the red zone for the Patriots this season! While he may only have one pass attempt inside the 10-yard line, if we look at his numbers within the twenties, he’s been exceptional this season! The New England quarterback is a perfect 7-for-7 with five touchdown passes inside the red zone! Over his last three games, five of his six touchdown passes have come within the red zone, and overall, he’s completed 72.8 percent of his passes. The Patriots are 2-2 in the games he’s started, including notching wins over the Steelers and Broncos.

Red Zone Rushing

Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Over the last four weeks, Baker Mayfield is tied with Josh Allen for the most rushing attempts by a quarterback! Yes, Baker Mayfield! In fact, for the entire 2023 season, Mayfield has the ninth-most rushing attempts by a quarterback in the red zone. Of quarterbacks with at least 12 rushing attempts in the red zone – there are 12 of them – Mayfield is one of just two quarterbacks with one or fewer rushing scores. Mayfield has been a revelation in fantasy this season, and in 2023, his seventh year in the league, he posted a new career high in fantasy points scored for a season.

Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos

With no more Russell Wilson under center, if the Broncos can get to the red zone, I expect them to focus on the run a bit more on the rushing attack. This is important because over the last four weeks, Samaje Perine is the next closest Denver running back in red zone carries, and Perine has just two carries during this four week stretch. For the entire season, Williams is the only RB in the NFL who has at least 35 red zone carries with two or fewer red zone scores. However, Williams is dominating the red zone work, and he has a great matchup this week. Despite the uncertainty under center, you can trust Williams in your fantasy football championship this week. 

Red Zone Receiving

Noah Brown, Houston Texans 

Brown has stepped up in recent weeks, highlighted by his four red zone targets over the last two weeks. Nico Collins is the unquestioned WR1 for this offense, but Brown is seeing those important red zone targets, and his big play ability is no secret. Overall, Brown has 18 targets over the last two weeks, and if C.J. Stroud is under center for Houston this weekend, Brown is in a great spot against a Tennessee defense he burned for 82 yards and a touchdown with Case Keenum throwing the ball a few weeks back. I like Brown to find the end zone this weekend, and his recent usage increases his floor in this department.

Tucker Kraft, Green Bay Packers

The Packers have had some injuries in its wide receiver room, but Tucker Kraft has been a red zone staple over the last month. Kraft is one of five tight ends to have at least five red zone targets over the last four weeks, which he’s turned into two receptions and one receiving score. We’d love to see more touchdowns from him, but if you need tight end help, Kraft has been reliable of late. He has at least four targets in each of the last four weeks, while posting 57 or more receiving yards in three straight games. The red zone work has been there, so if he can add a touchdown to the stat sheet this weekend, he should give you a solid fantasy output.