Hangin' in the Red Zone

by: John Holler

Editor's Note: Below you will find a portion of the Red Zone statistics for QBs and Fantasy Analysis of those Statistics. If you'd like to read the sections covering RBs, WRs, and TEs, please click HERE to order our 2020 Pre-Season Draft Guide.

In many leagues, scoring touchdowns have been somewhat marginalized by PPR formats and a point for every 10 yards rushing or receiving, but the bread and butter of most fantasy leagues – at least the weeks an owner wins and loses – is determined by scoring touchdowns.

For more than a decade, we at FF Mastermind have focused on red zone production (or lack of production). While there are players who make a living scoring long touchdowns, when a team gets in close, you learn a lot about a coaching staff as to who they target with passes in the red zone and which running backs are the ones who get the ball the most often near the goal line, which can be very telling stats.

For our purposes, there are two red zones – one for passing and one for rushing. When it comes to passing, the traditional red zone of the opponent 20-yard line is in play. Any time a quarterback drops to pass inside the 20-yard line, there is a realistic expectation of scoring a touchdown on that pass. Every one of those play calls includes at least one receiver running a route into the end zone. When it comes to rushing, there is a different standard. A handoff from the 18-yard line can’t realistically be expected to pop for a touchdown. As such, when it comes to rushing, we move the red zone number down to the 5-yard line. Any carry from the 5-yard line or closer is expected to go for a touchdown because that is why run plays are called at that position on the field.

Here is a breakdown of the players who had the most red zone opportunities in 2018 as well as over the last three years and what those numbers realistically tell us about those players – who are the kings of the red zone and who aren’t the guys you can count on in the red zone when the big fantasy points come in chunks.

 

QUARTERBACKS

 

Passing 2019 (minimum 50 pass attempts)

 

PLAYER AT-CM-YD-TD-INT

Tom Brady 99-56-356-16-2

Russell Wilson 92-46-389-25-1

Matt Ryan 88-45-325-21-2

Aaron Rodgers 85-51-351-17-2

Philip Rivers 84-46-340-15-3

Baker Mayfield 77-32-200-16-4

Jimmy Garoppolo 76-48-290-16-2

Carson Wentz 76-46-301-21-0

Kyler Murray 75-42-270-13-2

Derek Carr 75-45-313-15-2

Jared Goff 75-50-291-18-0

Andy Dalton 74-38-239-10-3

Jameis Winston 73-40-331-21-2

Ryan Fitzpatrick 70-40-340-17-1

Gardner Minshew 67-30-219-15-1

Daniel Jones 64-34-212-13-0

Lamar Jackson 63-41-310-26-0

Dak Prescott 62-33-274-16-0

Deshaun Watson 61-33-281-17-3

Drew Brees 61-44-299-19-1

Mitchell Trubisky 61-31-178-14-4

Kyle Allen 61-34-207-14-3

Jacoby Brissett 59-30-180-15-0

Patrick Mahomes 57-30-213-11-1

Sam Darnold 54-27-190-13-4

Josh Allen 53-26-168-13-0

Kirk Cousins 52-31-197-16-1

 

WHAT THE NUMBERS TELL US

  • Jackson is much more than a runner and dominated the RZ
  • Brady can still sling it in close
  • Despite 25 TDs, Wilson only hits half his passes
  • Rodgers isn’t an elite red zone dominator like he used to be
  • Goff was awful, but was very efficient and productive in the Red Zone
  • Dalton played his way out of Cincinnati by his RZ performance
  • Presott isn’t dominant, but very efficient
  • Trubisky should no longer be a starter
  • Injuries hurt Mahomes in the Red Zone
  • Cousins hands the ball off more than throwing it in close

 

Passing Last Three Seasons (minimum 150 pass attempts)

 

PLAYER AT-CM-YD-TD-INT

Tom Brady 275-160-1094-60-3

Jared Goff 256-154-1048-64-2

Matt Ryan 240-129-985-59-5

Drew Brees 233-165-987-58-2

Russell Wilson 226-121-958-71-5

Philip Rivers 225-125-868-52-6

Aaron Rodgers 195-106-763-46-3

Carson Wentz 193-118-838-63-1

Dak Prescott 193-102-73944-5

Kirk Cousins 192-115-767-53-4

Matthew Stafford 192-98-628-41-4

Derek Carr 186-109-675-42-5

Ben Roethlisberger 186-99-647-42-5

Andy Dalton 179-99-667-44-5

Jameis Winston 167-92-616-35-4

Deshaun Watson 166-91-723-50-5

Patrick Mahomes 166-91-723-46-2

Case Keenum 164-92-616-35-4

Joe Flacco 157-81-490-27-2

Mitchell Trubisky 154-86-522-37-7

 

WHAT THE NUMBERS TELL US

  • Brady is still the man
  • You could win big money that Goff is No. 2 in RZTDs since 2017
  • Wilson is the TD God in the Red Zone by a big margin
  • Rivers leaves too many points on the field
  • Wentz is as accurate and productive as any QB in the league
  • Stafford has never used his red zone weapons to his full advantage
  • Watson gets on hot streaks
  • Too many players on this list have been replaced as starters

 

Rushing 2019 (Minimum 3 attempts)

 

PLAYER A-Y-TD

Tom Brady 7-11-3

Lamar Jackson 7-3-3

Deshaun Watson 6-12-5

Josh Allen 5-7-5

Jacoby Brissett 5-14-4

Andy Dalton 5-11-4

Jared Goff 5-5-2

Carson Wentz 4-8-1

Russell Wilson 4-2-1

Jameis Winston 4-1-1

Aaron Rodgers 4-0-1

Derek Carr 3-7-2

Dak Prescott 3-7-1

Ryan Fitzpatrick 3-5-1

Kirk Cousins 3-4-1

Kyler Murray 3-(-5-)-0

 

WHAT THE NUMBERS TELL US

  • Who knew Brady would lead this category as well.
  • Watson may be the most dangerous runner inside the 5-yard line in the league
  • Every time Allen ran the ball, he scored a touchdown
  • Wilson and Rodgers are known for their running, but just one TD each
  • Prescott has been dominant in close, but not last season
  • A record number of RZTDs were scored by these guys (38 of them)
  • Murray may not be a threat to run near the goal line

 

Rushing Last Three Seasons (Minimum 7 attempts)

 

PLAYER A-Y-TD

Deshaun Watson 17-30-9

Dak Prescott 16-21-7

Lamar Jackson 13-1-5

Cam Newton 10-22-6

Josh Allen 9-11-8

Tom Brady 9-16-5

Carson Wentz 9-9-1

Jacoby Brissett 8-20-6

Mitchell Trubisky 8-19-5

Deshone Kizer 8-3-5

Kirk Cousins 8-10-3

Russell Wilson 8-9-3

Jared Goff 8-7-3

Marcus Mariota 8-5-2

Philip Rivers 8-(-11)-0

Drew Brees 7-8-5

Jameis Winston 7-2-2

Patrick Mahomes 7-11-1

WHAT THE NUMBERS TELL US

  • Watson is the most consistently dangerous running in close.
  • Newton could pick up where Brady has left off
  • Jackson improved his RZ ability in his second season
  • Allen is hard to stop when he gets a push to the goal line
  • DeShone Friggin’ Kizer?
  • Rivers is less than useless as a runner at the goal line
  • Brees doesn’t run often, but, when he does, it typically works
  • Mahomes needs improvement

 

RUNNING BACKS

 

As mentioned atop this release, if you like to read the entire Red Zone feature, please click HERE to order our 2020 Pre-Season Draft Guide.

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