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. Is Mac Jones a buy low candidate in two quarterback leagues? Who is a potential sell high player? Regardless of whether it’s for your NFL DFS lineups or your seasonal teams, 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 seven 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
Love is 17-for-33 with an 8:1 TD/INT ratio in the red zone, not to mention being 8-for-14 with seven touchdowns when passing inside the 10. Love has had his ups and downs, but he’s been pretty darn good all things considered when inside the red zone. Yes, we’d love to see the completion percentage up a bit more, but even Patrick Mahomes is only completing 54.55 percent of his red zone passes this season. There’s a lot that I haven’t liked about Jordan Love as a passer this season, but we’ll give credit where credit is due, and he has been effective in the red zone, in terms of touchdowns. Now, please be more consistent!
Say what you want about Mac Jones, and more often than not, I’ll probably agree with you, but let’s not knock what he’s done over the last two weeks, particularly in the red zone. He may only have two passing scores over the last two weeks, but he’s completed 77.8 percent of his passes during that span. Furthermore, he’s completed 9-for-10 red zone pass attempts over the last two weeks, including going 4-for-5 with two touchdowns inside the 10-yard line! New England will still look to run the ball in the red zone, but Jones has been money in the red zone this year (14-for-18 with 105 yards passing and a perfect 6:0 TD/INT ratio). Oh, just to be sure we are in alignment here. Jones is still a back-end QB2 at the absolute best.
Red Zone Rushing
Etienne has four red zone touchdowns this season, and outside of being within the 5-yard line, Tank Bigsby has not been the threat to Etienne many expected. For the year, Etienne has 13 red zone carries, and Bigsby has four. Over Jacksonville’s last four games, Bigsby has one red zone carry, whereas Etienne has 10. Etienne has a safe workload right now, and he can be trusted as a RB1 moving forward. Etienne has at least 12 carries in every game this season, and he has multiple red zone carries in five of seven contests this season.
One could feasibly understand Tyler Allgeier having more red zone carries than Bijan Robinson at this point of the season, given that Robinson is a rookie and giving him time to develop. However, the fact that Ridder has more red zone carries than Robinson is crazy! The fantasy production Ridder has provided via his legs has really boosted his fantasy profile, amidst his struggles with his arm. He has 22.5 percent of the team’s carries inside the red zone, 29.4 percent inside the 10-yard line, and 33.3 percent inside the 5-yard line! Ridder is tied for fourth amongst quarterbacks with the most red zone carries, trailing only Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson, and Josh Allen.
Red Zone Receiving
Why is Trey McBride being mentioned here when he has just one red zone target and catch this season? Well, fellow tight end Zach Ertz is tied for the team lead with seven targets, and he was just placed on injured reserve. McBride is going to be the primary tight end moving forward, and he could be in line for an expanded role, both overall and in the red zone! The Cardinals’ tight end room holds a 31.1 percent target share on the season, and they are one of just three teams above the 30 percent threshold on the season. In deeper formats or two tight end setups, look to McBride as an option, especially for those in deeper leagues, as he’s now the leader of this room for at least the next four weeks.
Bourne is far and away Mac Jones’ top target in the red zone. You read earlier about Jones’ effectiveness in the red zone this year, and Bourne has been his top guy. Bourne leads the Patriots with six red zone targets, and he’s hauled in all six of them, with three going for touchdowns. Bourne has caught three of Jones’ six red zone touchdown passes this year. The Patriots offense may cause more headache than celebration, but Bourne has been the most trustworthy guy over the last few weeks, and he’s a solid flex option, especially in PPR formats if his recent volume holds strong.