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. While many fantasy football championships happened in Week 17, for those of you with Week 18 championship matches or playing DFS, there’s something in here for you! We’ll take a look at Jared Goff’s recent red zone production, and why Elijah Mitchell is in a good spot in Week 18 with Christian McCaffrey sitting out the season finale. 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 17 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

Jared Goff, Detroit Lions

Goff’s numbers from the Denver game a few weeks back have puffed up his numbers a bit, but he’s recorded at least one red zone passing touchdown in seven straight games, and over his last four games, he’s completing roughly 63 percent of his passes with eight red zone passing touchdowns! The Lions have a good offense that makes it to the red zone rather frequently, meaning that there’s enough to go around for Goff, and the running backs (Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery). The Lions are supposedly going to play their guys, and Goff has been money at home this season, putting him in line for a productive Week 18 affair against the Minnesota Vikings.

Joe Flacco, Cleveland Browns

Flacco has been exceptional this season, throwing for multiple touchdowns in each of his five starts this season. In the red zone, he may only be completing 53.8 percent of his passes, but he does have five red zone passing scores, all of which have come inside the 10-yard line! The Browns are a near 50/50 split in terms of pass/run in the red zone, but there’s been a slight lean to Flacco’s arm, which is good for his fantasy floor. He’s on an improbable run, and while we aren’t likely to see him in Week 18, it’s been a crazy run for Flacco that deserved to be highlighted.


Red Zone Rushing

Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers

You don’t need me to tell you how exceptional Christian McCaffrey has been this season. That same success extends to the red zone as well. He’s scored 11 times on 34 carries inside the 10-yard line this season, and if we look at the last three weeks, he’s handled 11 total red zone carries, seven of which have come within the 10-yard line. With McCaffrey resting in Week 18, guess what? It’s Elijah Mitchell week to lead this backfield! Whether it’s DFS or your seasonal league championship in Week 18, get yourself some shares of Elijah Mitchell. Last week, he handled six carries inside the 10-yard line, resulting in one score. Expect a heavy dosage of Mitchell this week.

Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

This next sentence is going to be slightly misleading, and I’ll explain why.

Aaron Jones is dominating red zone work over the last couple of weeks.

However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Over the last two weeks, Jones has 10 red zone carries compared to teammate A.J. Dillon’s five. However, inside the 10-yard line, Dillon has twice as many carries (4) as Jones (2). So, as the Packers get closer to the goal line, Dillon has been the preferred option. I’m still rolling with Jones before Dillon, however, as Jones has handled 20+ carries each of the last two weeks, whereas Dillon has just seven carries in each game.

Red Zone Receiving

Calvin Ridley, Jacksonville Jaguars

Ridley draws a juicy matchup this week against the Titans, and they should have Trevor Lawrence back under center. Ridley has multiple red zone targets in five straight games, and in six of his last seven, resulting in four red zone touchdowns over the last seven weeks. Half of his red zone targets this season have come inside the 10-yard line, and Tennessee boasts an easy secondary to pick on. Christian Kirk could return this week, which could eat into Ridley’s target share a bit, but Ridley is showing that alpha receiver mentality, and he’ll get his looks. Remember, he scored twice against Tennessee earlier this year, too…

DeAndre Hopkins, Tennessee Titans

Tennessee is a run-heavy offense, and that trend continues as they get into the red zone. However, in Week 18, could we see them force feed some targets to Hopkins? They want to keep their star receiver heading into the offseason after an underwhelming 2023 campaign, and Hopkins is on #IncentiveWatch. I wrote about it in this week’s DFS WR Coach, which you DFS players should check out, but he’s seven receptions and two touchdowns away from his next bonuses in his contract. He leads the team in red zone targets, and I could see the team looking to help out its star receiver. We are being a bit presumptuous here, but hey, it’s Week 18!