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 2022 Pre-Season Draft Guide.

In the era of analytics, one stat that doesn’t get nearly the credit it deserves is who shows up in the Red Zone. It’s an unsung, but important stat because, with all the changes that have been made over the years to how fantasy leagues operate to increase scoring with yardage and PPR bonuses, the bread of butter of fantasy football remains scoring touchdowns – many of which come when the field is reduced to the Red Zone.

For the purposes of our analysis, the Red Zone as it applies to passing and receiving is from the 20-yard line in. Any time a quarterback drops to pass inside the 20-yard line, you can realistically expect that a pass could result in a touchdown. When it comes to rushing, however, the typical Red Zone doesn’t apply. A handoff from the 15-yard line can’t realistically be expected to result in a touchdown. Therefore, the Red Zone as it pertains to running the ball starts at the 5-yard line – every time a running back gets the ball from the 5-yard line in, there is a realistic expectation that a touchdown can be scored.

Below are the Red Zone numbers from 2021 and the last three years. Much can be learned from these numbers – ranging from who shines in the Red Zone and who doesn’t produce with any sense of consistency…and whose names don’t show up at all. As you start to rank players, let this serve as a guide to help shape your opinions because, while it may not get the attention it deserves, performance in the Red Zone is critical.

QUARTERBACK

PASSING 2021 (minimum 45 attempts)

Player Att-Com-Yrd-TD-Int

Tom Brady 129-80-516-32-0

Josh Allen 129-73-461-29-2

Matthew Stafford 116-64-473-32-1

Aaron Rodgers 116-68-427-30-2

Justin Herbert 112-64-454-29-2

Patrick Mahomes 109-65-365-26-5

Dak Prescott 102-65-418-26-2

Matt Ryan 89-48-346-18-0

Ben Roethlisberger 88-46-296-17-0

Derek Carr 86-48-286-17-2

Ryan Tannehill 83-50-347-19-3

Kirk Cousins 78-47-349-24-1

Kyler Murray 76-40-298-16-2

Carson Wentz 75-43-272-19-1

Mac Jones 74-45-297-18-1

Teddy Bridgewater 64-39-292-15-1

Joe Burrow 60-38-275-16-3

Jared Goff 59-29-211-11-2

Jimmy Garoppolo 58-33-225-15-1

Trevor Lawrence 58-28-164-7-2

Tua Tagovailoa 57-37-179-15-1

Jalen Hurts 54-32-265-12-2

Taylor Heinicke 53-33-236-14-4

Lamar Jackson 50-29-207-12-2

Russell Wilson 49-26-184-14-2

Baker Mayfield 48-29-210-13-0

Sam Darnold 45-24-170-8-2

WHAT THE NUMBERS TELL US

  • Even as the oldest player in the game, Brady is still the G.O.A.T.
  • Stafford was at his best in close.
  • Herbert made his way up the charts thanks to his Red Zone work.
  • Mahomes didn’t put up the kind of numbers expected.
  • Carr needs to get better now that he has Davante Adams.
  • Cousins posts solid numbers with fewer opportunities than a lot of others.
  • Murray was very pedestrian when compared to the top guys.
  • Mac Jones was more productive than Burrow.
  • Goff needs to be replaced ASAP.
  • Lawrence needs to get a lot better.
  • A.J. Brown needs to help double Hurts’ numbers at a minimum.
  • Jackson doesn’t get nearly enough RZ production.
  • Wilson used to be among the best, but not last year.
  • Darnold needs to replaced.

LAST THREE YEARS (minimum 145 attempts)

Player Att-Com-Yrd-TD-Int

Tom Brady 332-194-1,249-76-2

Aaron Rodgers 285-180-1,131-82-4

Josh Allen 274-157-1,000-68-2

Matt Ryan 268-141-981-59-3

Patrick Mahomes 247-143-877-63-8

Derek Carr 246-138-868-47-5

Russell Wilson 230-128-956-69-6

Matthew Stafford 227-126-927-61-5

Kyler Murray 220-128-847-48-6

Kirk Cousins 204-122-915-67-2

Carson Wentz 203-117-774-52-4

Baker Mayfield 202-111-733-51-4

Ryan Tannehill 199-129-936-61-8

Jared Goff 191-117-752-45-3

Justin Herbert 191-108-765-49-3

Dak Prescott 186-111-789-46-3

Ben Roethlisberger 183-98-722-40-2

Lamar Jackson 177-113-806-58-2

Philip Rivers 175-102-733-33-4

Daniel Jones 168-84-446-25-3

Jimmy Garoppolo 155-94-601-36-4

Deshaun Watson 154-88-633-36-3

Andy Dalton 152-84-526-26-8

Teddy Bridgewater 147-88-593-31-4

WHAT THE NUMBERS TELL US

  • Rodgers is the most consistent RZ QB in the league.
  • Mahomes has thrown far too many RZ interceptions.
  • Carr has always been weak in the Red Zone.
  • Murray has never been strong in the Red Zone.
  • Prescott hasn’t lived up to his hype.
  • Jackson is still living off of three years ago in this category.
  • Tannehill sucks at all levels.

QB RUSHING 2021 (minimum 4 attempts)

Player Att-Yd-TD

Jalen Hurts 12-16-7

Josh Allen 8-12-3

Ryan Tannehill 7-15-7

Sam Darnold 6-12-4

Zach Wilson 6-3-3

Lamar Jackson 6-1-2

Trevor Lawrence 6-15-1

Justin Herbert 6-0-1

Tua Tagovailoa 5-10-3

Carson Wentz 5-3-1

Cam Newton 4-9-3

Kyler Murray 4-3-3

Taylor Heinicke 4-8-1

Dak Prescott 4-4-1

Joe Burrow 4-(-1)-0

WHAT THE NUMBERS TELL US

  • Hurts and Tannehill used rushing to save their fantasy value.
  • Jackson isn’t dominant in close as a runner.
  • When Murray runs, he tends to score.
  • Burrow will never be a touchdown threat in close.
  • Goodbye, Cam Newton. You can quit dressing like The Joker.

LAST THREE YEARS (minimum 7 attempts)

Player Att-Yd-TD

Josh Allen 25-36-16

Cam Newton 25-42-12

Lamar Jackson 16-14-7

Kyler Murray 15-7-8

Ryan Tannehill 14-36-13

Deshaun Watson 14-19-7

Justin Herbert 14-11-6

Jalen Hurts 13-14-7

Jacoby Brissett 12-20-8

Tom Brady 12-17-8

Carson Wentz 12-14-5

Jared Goff 11-7-6

Dak Prescott 11-13-5

Derek Carr 10-13-5

Russell Wilson 10-11-4

Joe Burrow 10-(-2)-2

Sam Darnold 9-22-7

Tua Tagovailoa 9-17-6

Andy Dalton 8-7-4

Teddy Bridgewater 8-3-3

Aaron Rodgers 7-10-4

Kirk Cousins 7-6-3

WHAT THE NUMBERS TELL US

  • His rushing puts Allen as the No. 1 fantasy QB off the board.
  • Tannehill has a penchant for upsetting fantasy owners with Derrick Henry.
  • Brady does surprisingly well when he decides to keep at the goal line.
  • Brissett is a weapon that delivers when given the opportunity.
  • Wilson has never been the rushing threat he is perceived to be.
  • Rodgers has made business decisions as a runner in close.

RUNNING BACKS

As mentioned atop this release, if you like to read the entire Red Zone feature, please click HERE to order our 2022 Pre-Season Draft Guide.

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