Draft Strategy

NFC Red Zone Target Breakdown

NFC Redzone Targets

Pay dirt. End zone. Touchdowns. Whatever you call it, crossing the opponent’s goal line is the key objective of every NFL offense, and the most coveted result for any fantasy football player. Year after year, the players who can most-effectively get the most ball into the end zone win the most fantasy championships. NFL Targets are valuable and it’s up to us to be able to correctly predict the players that will do that the best each season if someone leaves or joins a new offence.

NFL Targets: Red Zone Breakdown

Pay dirt. End zone. Touchdowns. Whatever you call it, crossing the opponent’s goal line is the key objective of every NFL offense, and the most coveted result for any fantasy football player. Year after year, the players who can most effectively get the most ball into the end zone win the most fantasy championships. NFL Targets are valuable and it’s up to us to be able to correctly predict the players that will do that the best each season if someone leaves or joins a new offense.

In an effort to improve your chances of picking the guys who are most likely to be in favorable conditions to score touchdowns, it’s necessary to look at results from the past season and analyze changing circumstances  that might help predict favorable opportunities this year.

With that said, using NFL All 22 film and data from our friends at Pro Football Reference, here is a detailed look at all red zone results from the 2015 season, and analysis that we hope will bring insight about how all 32 teams use their personnel in and around the red zone.

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Arizona Cardinals

Red Zone Target Breakdown

Carson Palmer’s 406 passing yards in the red zone were second only to Tom Brady. Palmer doesn’t offer up much as a rusher, but he more than made up for it with 27 touchdown tosses versus only two interceptions. We saw Palmer’s overall passing numbers dip after the Cardinals established RB David Johnson as a workhorse, so it’s fair to expect a decline in red zone efficiency in 2016.

Larry Fitzgerald led the Cards in red zone looks and grabs, but John Brown wasn’t far behind. With Fitzgerald aging, it wouldn’t be a surprise at all to see Brown lead the club in both categories this season. David Johnson garnered the third-most targets on the team, and that’s taking into account he played sparingly in the season’s first half. Johnson should be among the favorites to score the most touchdowns in the NFL in 2016.

Despite commanding 10 red zone targets, TE Jermaine Gresham was awful, catching only two passes and scoring a single touchdown. Reserve tight ends Darren Fells and Troy Niklas combined to catch 6 of 6 targets for five touchdowns. Regardless of who is at tight end, they have almost zero fantasy value in a Bruce Arians-coached offense.

Name Team Tgt Rec TD %Tgt
Larry Fitzgerald ARI 21 14 9 21.6%
John Brown ARI 18 10 6 18.6%
Michael Floyd ARI 13 5 3 13.4%
David Johnson ARI 13 6 2 13.4%
Jermaine Gresham ARI 8 2 1 8.2%
Jaron Brown ARI 6 3 1 6.2%
Andre Ellington ARI 4 1 0 4.1%
Darren Fells ARI 3 3 3 3.1%
Chris Johnson ARI 2 1 0 2.1%
JJ Nelson ARI 2 2 0 2.1%
Troy Niklas ARI 2 2 2 2.1%
Stepfan Taylor ARI 1 1 0 1.0%

Red Zone Targets

ARZ Cards


Atlanta Falcons

Red Zone Target Breakdown

QB Matt Ryan was middle of the pack in red zone passing last season, completing 56% of his passes for 295 yards, 17 touchdowns and four interceptions. 12 of those 17 scores came inside the 10-yard line. It’s reasonable to assume Ryan improves in his second season under Kyle Shanahan, but the Falcons didn’t do a lot to improve their receiving corps.

WR Julio Jones accounted for 28.8% of Atlanta’s red zone looks- the 6th highest mark in the league. Jones actually finished in the top-10 in both looks and catches, but his five scores were tied for 22nd. Dating back to 2013, Jones has only hit pay dirt 16 times, so an increase in that total would be a welcomed addition to his already soaring fantasy stock.

The departures or WR Roddy White and Leonard Hankerson free up 17 short-yardage targets for the Falcons. Free-agent addition Mohamed Sanu should see some of those, but has never excelled in that area of the field. Atlanta running backs accumulated 20 red zone targets last season, and could see even more in 2016. In particular, second-year RB Tevin Coleman could be utilized with Devonta Freeman.

Name Tgt Rec TD %Tgt
Julio Jones 21 12 5 28.8%
Devonta Freeman 14 9 3 19.2%
Leonard Hankerson 9 6 3 12.3%
Roddy White 8 3 1 11.0%
Justin Hardy 6 4 0 8.2%
Jacob Tamme 5 2 1 6.8%
Nick Williams 3 3 2 4.1%
Tevin Coleman 2 0 0 2.7%
Patrick DiMarco 2 2 2 2.7%
Terron Ward 2 1 0 2.7%

Red Zone Targets




 Carolina Panthers

Red Zone Target Breakdown

One of the biggest factors in QB Cam Newton‘s breakout 2015 campaign was his dominance in the red zone. Not only did Newton lead the entire NFL with 12 red zone rushing touchdowns, he also finished third in both passing yards (384) and touchdown passes (26.) The fact that Newton did all this without the services or No. 1 wideout Kelvin Benjamin makes it even more impressive.

In the absence of Benjamin, TE Greg Olsen led the club with 20 RZ looks, which was the 15th-most targets in the NFL. Rookie WR Devin Funchess became a big factor in this part of the field in the season’s second half, catching five red zone touchdowns with his 6’4″ frame. Both Funchess and Ted Ginn Jr. caught six RZ touchdowns last year, but Ginn is more of a deep threat and likely to lose more looks to a healthy Kelvin Benjamin.

Despite the gaudy numbers from Cam Newton, the Panthers are a run-first team in the red zone, though Newton and FB Mike Tolbert are just as likely to punch in scores as Jonathan Stewart is. With a more difficult schedule and a defense that won’t be as good, expect Newton’s numbers to regress, and that will mean less overall targets for the receivers.

Name Tgt Rec TD %Tgt
Greg Olsen 20 12 5 26.7%
Devin Funchess 12 6 6 16.0%
Jerricho Cotchery 10 6 2 13.3%
Ted Ginn 9 7 6 12.0%
Corey Brown 8 4 1 10.7%
Mike Tolbert 7 6 3 9.3%
Ed Dickson 6 4 2 8.0%
Jonathan Stewart 2 2 1 2.7%

Red Zone Targets




Chicago Bears

Red Zone Target Breakdown

QB Jay Cutler completed only 44% of his red zone throws, but was decent in terms of yardage (204) and boasted an 11-to-2 touchdown-to-INT ratio. Inside the 10, Cutler’s 37.8% completion percentage trailed only Teddy Bridgewater as the worst amongst starting quarterbacks. A fully healthy receiving corps should improve both of those areas for Cutler in 2016.

The departures of RB Matt Forte and TE Martellus Bennett means that 24.7% of Cutler’s red zone throws from last season are no longer on the team. RB Jeremy Langford will get first crack at replacing Forte in the backfield, but Langford isn’t a polished pass-catcher- an area Forte thrived in. New starting TE Zach Miller was actually more efficient than Bennett in the red zone, and Miller outscored Bennett 3-2.

WR Alshon Jeffery was hampered by a bad hamstring last season but still led the team with 15 targets. Second-year wideout Kevin White has yet to see the field but is expected to be a potential short-yardage factor. The presence of two large options on the outside should open things up near the goal line, and the Chicago offense should see a boost in efficiency.

Name Tgt Rec TD %Tgt
Alshon Jeffery 15 5 2 20.5%
Matt Forte 10 6 2 13.7%
Eddie Royal 10 6 1 13.7%
Martellus Bennett 8 5 2 11.0%
Jeremy Langford 7 3 0 9.6%
Zach Miller 6 4 3 8.2%
Marquess Wilson 5 1 0 6.8%
Josh Bellamy 4 1 0 5.5%
Marc Mariani 4 3 0 5.5%
Cameron Meredith 2 0 0 2.7%
Ka’Deem Carey 1 1 1 1.4%

Red Zone Targets

Chi Bears


Dallas Cowboys

Red Zone Target Breakdown

The Cowboys offense was a mess last season, mainly due to serious injuries to QB Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. Expectations for 2016 are that first-round RB Ezekiel Elliott will get ample carries as Scott Linehan tries to restore some balance to the Dallas offense. In 2014, DeMarco Murray received 393 carries in Linehan’s system.

Surprisingly, diminutive slot-receiver Cole Beasley led the club in red zone targets with 17. Bryant got 13 looks but essentially played in only eight games. That percentage is more indicative of Bryant’s heavy-usage in that area of the field and how he should command top priority once again. In 2015, Bryant, Terrance Williams, and Brice Butler combined to catch only 7 of 27 red zone targets.

Romo completed 52% of his red zone passes for 94 yards and four touchdowns. He was only 4 of 11 for four yards inside the 10, where the Cowboys typically rely more on their rushing game. With the same group of wide receivers and tight ends returning intact, running backs Elliott and Darren McFadden will control the ground game, with Elliott being an early favorite to command the lion’s share of carries and targets out of the backfield.

Name Tgt Rec TD %Tgt
Cole Beasley 17 10 5 23.6%
Dez Bryant 13 4 3 18.1%
Jason Witten 13 8 3 18.1%
Terrance Williams 10 3 1 13.9%
Gavin Escobar 6 2 1 8.3%
Brice Butler 4 0 0 5.6%
Darren McFadden 4 1 0 5.6%
Lance Dunbar 1 1 0 1.4%
James Hanna 1 0 0 1.4%
Devin Street 1 0 0 1.4%
Lucky Whitehead 1 0 0 1.4%

Red Zone Targets



Continue Reading Jody Smith’s NFC Red Zone Breakdown

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Detroit Lions

Red Zone Target Breakdown

The retirement of All-Pro WR Calvin Johnson, who was one of the top red zone beasts throughout his career, leaves a void in Detroit’s receiving corps. Interestingly, it was WR Golden Tate (17) who led the team in red zone targets last season, but Johnson outscored Tate 7-6. Megatron’s starting spot will be filled by former Bengal Marvin Jones, who caught seven of 12 RZ targets last season but possesses adequate size (6’2″ 198) and scored 10 touchdowns back in 2013. Tate and Jones are likely to see similar targets numbers, but once Jim Bob Cooter took over Detroit’s play-calling, running backs played a much bigger role as pass-catchers in the red zone.

QB Matt Stafford was excellent in the red zone last year. Stafford’s 323 passing yards ranked seventh in the league, and he matched Cam Newton’s impressive TD-to-INT ratio of 26-0. Before Cooter took over play-calling duties, the Lions ranked first in red zone passing attempts, but quickly fell off as Cooter tried to re-establish a sagging rushing attack.

44.5% of Stafford’s red zone attempts and 12 of the 26 touchdowns went to running backs and tight ends. That kind of play-diversity will be key to Detroit’s offensive maturity as the team transitions away from Calvin Johnson. Matt Stafford is unlikely to repeat his stellar red zone passing numbers from last season, and Detroit may make more of an effort to lean on the ground game with RBs Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Zach Zenner, and Stevan Ridley all likely to contribute.

Name Tgt Rec TD %Tgt
Golden Tate 17 11 6 23.6%
Calvin Johnson 16 11 7 22.2%
Theo Riddick 13 10 2 18.1%
Eric Ebron 8 6 5 11.1%
Ameer Abdullah 5 4 1 6.9%
Lance Moore 5 4 2 6.9%
Tim Wright 4 2 2 5.6%
Michael Burton 1 1 1 1.4%
Brandon Pettigrew 1 1 1 1.4%

Red Zone Targets


Green Bay Packers

Red Zone Target Breakdown

QB Aaron Rodgers saw his efficiency in the red zone dip a bit last year, but he still finished 11th in passing yards (273) and sixth in touchdowns (23.) Injuries and drops were also factors at play here, and with WR Jordy Nelson expected to return at 100%, Green Bay’s passing attack should be near the top of this list once again in 2016.

WR Randall Cobb routinely plays a large role in the red zone, and his 24 targets and 11 grabs last season led the club. WR James Jones started the year with a flurry, but was terrible in the red zone, catching only four of 16 targets. The return of Nelson to the lineup will help in this area of the field. In 2014, both Cobb and Nelson were top-6 in the NFL with 25 red zone targets each, and Cobb led the NFL with 10 RZ scores.

TE Richard Rodgers was the third-most targeted player for the Packers last season, and his eight touchdown grabs (7 in the RZ) led the team. But Green Bay signed TE Jared Cook, so R. Rodgers should see a decrease in usage. While the Green Bay WR3 and WR4 situation is murky at this stage, Davante Adams, Ty Montgomery, Jeff Janis, and Jared Abbrederis combined for 26 red zone targets- over a quarter of Rodgers’s attempts.

Name Tgt Rec TD %Tgt
Randall Cobb 24 11 6 23.5%
James Jones 16 4 3 15.7%
Richard Rodgers 15 10 7 14.7%
Davante Adams 12 6 2 11.8%
James Starks 10 7 2 9.8%
Jeff Janis 6 1 1 5.9%
Jared Abbrederis 4 1 0 3.9%
John Kuhn 4 3 0 3.9%
Ty Montgomery 4 4 1 3.9%
Eddie Lacy 2 1 0 2.0%
Justin Perillo 2 1 1 2.0%

Red Zone Targets


Los Angeles Rams

Red Zone Target Breakdown

For seemingly a decade now, the Rams have trotted out a haggard group of wide receivers and failed to average 20 points-per-game en route to another seven or eight-win campaign. Last year the then St. Louis Rams were one of only two NFL franchises to not even have one player command double-digit targets. Perhaps some light at the end of the tunnel is that the club finally may have found a franchise signal-caller in QB Jared Goff.

WR Tavon Austin led the team in red zone targets and is also a dangerous runner in that area- making him a serviceable fantasy option even though he’ll see only a handful of passes inside the 20. No other wideout on the Rams got more than three red zone looks. It’s possible that rookie WRs Pharoh Cooper and Mike Thomas will improve those sorry numbers.
The conservative offense championed by Jeff Fisher isn’t going anywhere, especially after the emergence of star RB Todd Gurley. With a run-first coach, elite tailback and rookie quarterback, it would be a surprise to see the Rams suddenly start peppering their tight ends or wide receivers with red zone targets. Expect Los Angeles to again be among the slowest-paced, and lowest scoring units in the league.

Team Team Tgt Rec TD %Tgt
Tavon Austin LA 9 4 4 26.5%
Jared Cook LA 8 3 0 23.5%
Benny Cunningham LA 4 1 0 11.7%
Kenny Britt LA 3 0 0 8.6%
Todd Gurley LA 2 2 0 5.7%
Lance Kendricks LA 2 0 0 5.7%
Brian Quick LA 2 0 0 5.7%
Wes Welker LA 2 1 0 5.7%
Stedman Bailey LA 1 1 1 2.9%
Bradley Marquez LA 1 1 0 2.9%

Red Zone Targets


Minnesota Vikings

Red Zone Target Breakdown

QB Teddy Bridgewater finished 27th in the NFL with 146 red zone passing yards and was last among season-long starters with only nine touchdown passes. A big reason for that is RB Adrian Peterson, who was second in the league with 26 red zone carries. The conservative play-calling favored by Norv Turner will limit Bridgewater’s scoring opportunities again this season.

WR Stefon Diggs and Mike Wallace had similarly pedestrian numbers. Both received seven targets, while Diggs caught one more ball, and Wallace grabbed an additional touchdown. The Vikings’ receiving corps combined for only three scores. Perhaps the arrival of first-round draft pick Laquon Treadwell, who will replace Wallace, will shore-up this area, and take some pressure off of Peterson and the ground game.

Play-action is a big part of what Minnesota does in short-yardage and in the red zone. Tight ends are used in and around the goal line much more than wide receivers. TE Kyle Rudolph led the team with 10 targets and touchdowns. Combined, Minnesota’s tight ends accounted for four of the Bridgewater’s nine red zone touchdowns, and running backs caught two.

Name Tgt Rec TD %Tgt
Kyle Rudolph 10 4 3 22.7%
Stefon Diggs 7 4 1 15.9%
Mike Wallace 7 3 2 15.9%
Rhett Ellison 3 2 1 6.8%
Jerick McKinnon 3 2 1 6.8%
Zach Line 2 2 1 4.5%
Adrian Peterson 2 1 0 4.5%
MyCole Pruitt 2 2 0 4.5%
Jarius Wright 2 0 0 4.5%
Matt Asiata 1 1 0 2.3%
Charles Johnson 1 0 0 2.3%

Red Zone Targets


New Orleans Saints

Red Zone Target Breakdown

Under Sean Payton, the Saints have been a prolific offense, so they spend plenty of time in the red zone. They also are good at exploiting mismatches and spreading the ball around. 10 New Orleans pass-catchers accumulated three or more red zone targets last season. QB Drew Brees is very good at breaking down coverages and exploiting match-ups, which explains the consistent success and diversity of New Orleans’ red zone numbers.

36.1% of the Saints red zone targets from last season are no longer in New Orleans, and free-agent tight end Coby Fleener and second-round rookie WR Michael Thomas are expected to become factors in that area. Last season, 54-year-old veteran tight end Ben Watson led the club in red zone looks, catches and touchdowns. Watson’s departure opens up a ton of potential looks for Fleener, who has been a good player in that area of the field, despite splitting time throughout his career in Indianapolis. Thomas is the logical choice to take over the “big slot” role that Marques Colston manned for the past decade.

Brees keeps the running backs involved in the passing game as well. When targeting his backs, Brees completed 83% of his red zone throws to four different running backs. Not only has Mark Ingram developed into a solid pass-catcher, but CJ Spiller played last season with a variety of injuries and, when full healthy, could fill out a role that was similar to what Reggie Bush and Darren Sproles played for this offense.

Name Tgt Rec TD %Tgt
Ben Watson 16 10 5 22.2%
Brandin Cooks 8 4 2 11.1%
Josh Hill 8 4 2 11.1%
Willie Snead 8 5 2 11.1%
Marques Colston 7 5 3 9.7%
Michael Hoomanawanui 6 4 3 8.3%
Mark Ingram 5 4 0 6.9%
Brandon Coleman 4 2 1 5.6%
Austin Johnson 3 2 0 4.2%
Khiry Robinson 3 3 0 4.2%
C.J. Spiller 1 1 1 1.4%

Red Zone Targets


New York Giants

Red Zone Target Breakdown

The promotion of Ben McAdoo to head coach is good news for the Giant’s red zone passing game. Due to New York’s inability to find a featured running back, the team should remain at or near the top in terms of red zone passing attempts.

QB Eli Manning‘s 90 RZ pass attempts ranked sixth-highest in the league last season. Manning was also top-10 in passing yards (295) and touchdowns (20), but threw the most red zone picks in the league (5), including three INTs inside the opponents’ 10-yard line. Just based on sheer volume alone, Manning should once again be one of the busier signal-callers in the red zone, and remains a fantastic value late in drafts.

McAdoo’s offense was quite adept at spreading the ball around as well. Four Giants’ registered double-digit red zone targets, which included a running back (Shane Vereen) and tight end (Will Tye.) Most of New York’s offensive weapons are back in place, but there are intriguing rookies, like RB Paul Perkins and WR Sterling Shepard who could make a red zone impact as soon as this season.

Name Tgt Rec TD %Tgt
Odell Beckham 18 11 6 21.7%
Rueben Randle 11 5 3 13.3%
Shane Vereen 11 8 4 13.3%
Will Tye 10 5 3 12.0%
Larry Donnell 8 4 2 9.6%
Dwayne Harris 8 5 2 9.6%
Myles White 6 1 0 7.2%
Hakeem Nicks 4 2 0 4.8%
Preston Parker 3 2 0 3.6%
Jerome Cunningham 1 1 0 1.2%
Rashad Jennings 1 1 0 1.2%

Red Zone Targets


Philadelphia Eagles

Red Zone Target Breakdown

Former head coach Chip Kelly has the reputation as an offensive mastermind and innovator, but the Eagles total touchdown numbers declined in each of the past two seasons. QB Sam Bradford, in particular, didn’t play well in the red zone, completing just 46.3% of his throws and throwing three picks. But a new regime, with new play-calling, expectations, and quite possibly a new quarterback, means the Eagles are rebuilding.

WR Jordan Matthews led the Eagles in red zone targets for the second-straight season. Last year, Matthews caught nine of 14 targets for five touchdowns, remarkably similar to the 15/10/6 line he put up in 2014. The only other Philly pass-catcher to score more than one red zone touchdown was reserve tight end Brent Celek. With Doug Pedersen and Frank Reich now running the offense, don’t expect as many ’12’ sets.

Speaking of Pedersen, one thing we can be certain is that the Eagles pace will slow down. Pedersen likes to get his running backs involved in the passing game near the stripe (Jamaal Charles), so we should see more of an impact from Ryan MathewsDarren Sproles, and quite possibly rookie sleeper Wendell Smallwood. In 2015, the Eagles thew only nine red zone passes to their running backs- that number could double this year.

Name Tgt Rec TD %Tgt
Jordan Matthews 14 9 5 26.4%
Zach Ertz 9 3 1 17.0%
Nelson Agholor 6 2 0 11.3%
Brent Celek 5 5 3 9.4%
Josh Huff 5 2 1 9.4%
Darren Sproles 5 2 0 9.4%
Miles Austin 3 0 0 5.7%
DeMarco Murray 3 2 1 5.7%
Riley Cooper 1 0 0 1.9%
Ryan Mathews 1 1 0 1.9%

Red Zone Targets


San Francisco 49ers

Red Zone Target Breakdown

WR Anquan Boldin, who is no longer with the team, accounted for a whopping 29.2% of San Francisco’s red zone targets, which was the fourth-highest percentage in the league last season. Deep threat Torrey Smith caught only one of six red zone passes, but will likely be in for a big uptake in looks this year with Boldin gone and Chip Kelly controlling the playbook.

Blaine Gabbert badly outplayed Colin Kaepernick last season, especially in the red zone. In fact, Gabbert’s 67.8% completion percentage inside the 20 led the league. Conversely, Kaepernick’s 37.2% mark was near the bottom. Kaepernick completed only 16 of 43 attempts for 97 yards and three touchdowns, while Gabbert was 19 of 28 for 150 yards and eight touchdowns. Gabbert’s QB-rating in the red zone was 120.5, Kaepernick’s was 68.8.

With Philadelphia, slot receiver Jordan Matthews led the team in red zone targets in each of the past two seasons. Third-year wideout Bruce Ellington is considered the favorite to win that job on opening day. Ellington did not receive a red zone look last season, but a starting job in Kelly’s uptempo offense will certainly change that.

Name Tgt Rec TD %Tgt
Anquan Boldin 19 10 3 29.2%
Vance McDonald 7 4 3 10.8%
Torrey Smith 6 1 1 9.2%
Garrett Celek 5 4 3 7.7%
Blake Bell 4 1 0 6.2%
Bruce Miller 4 2 0 6.2%
Quinton Patton 4 2 0 6.2%
Mike Davis 3 2 0 4.6%
Reggie Bush 2 0 0 3.1%
Kendall Gaskins 1 1 0 1.5%
Carlos Hyde 1 1 0 1.5%
Jerome Simpson 1 1 1 1.5%

Red Zone Targets


Seattle Seahawks

Red Zone Target Breakdown

Seattle’s red zone passing game was primarily funneled through the wideouts. Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse got 46.8% of the targets, while Tyler Lockett and Ricardo Lockette, now retired, took another 6.4%. Overall, the Seahawks tended to rely on their running game in the red zone more than all but one team.

While the Seattle offense tended to rely on their running backs inside an opponent’s 20-yard line, Seahawks rushers only commanded 11 targets all year. Of those 11 targets, the only running back on the 2016 roster who had a pass thrown his way was FB Will Tukuafu, who made one catch all season.

TE Jimmy Graham finished third on the team with eight red zone targets in 11 games. Graham missed the final month of the season with a torn patellar tendon, but all three Seattle tight ends struggled in the red zone. Despite getting 22.6% of the red zone pass attempts from QB Russell Wilson, tight ends caught only three of 14 attempts for one touchdown. Establishing a new run game will be integral for Seattle to have any hope of fielding a fantasy-relevant tight end.

Name Tgt Rec TD %Tgt
Doug Baldwin 17 11 7 27.4%
Jermaine Kearse 12 8 5 19.4%
Jimmy Graham 8 3 1 12.9%
Fred Jackson 6 5 2 9.7%
Marshawn Lynch 4 3 0 6.5%
Luke Willson 4 0 0 6.5%
Cooper Helfet 2 0 0 3.2%
Ricardo Lockette 2 0 0 3.2%
Tyler Lockett 2 2 2 3.2%
Will Tukuafu 1 1 1 1.6%

Red Zone Targets


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Red Zone Target Breakdown

One of the most baffling and frustrating developments from 2015 was WR Mike Evans dropping from 12 touchdowns as a rookie to only three as a sophomore. Evans’s numbers were actually better across the board, except for the huge decrease in scores. Besides 11 drops, the biggest culprit was red zone woes. Evans caught only two of 14 RZ targets last year- the worst performance in the league.

After Evans and Vincent Jackson, the Bucs didn’t send a lot of red zone targets to the other wideouts. Evans and V-Jax combined to take 37.5% of those throws, but TE’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE Cameron Brate, RB Charles Sims, and RB Doug Martin saw more red zone throws than any of Tampa Bay’s other wide receivers. Newly-promoted head coach Dirk Koetter maintains that he will remain the offensive play-caller, so expect a similar ratio to play out in 2016.

QB Jameis Winston exceeded expectations in his rookie season. Although, as stated with Mike Evans, there were some red zone issues, Winston did post a solid 15-1 TD-t0-INT inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. Winston really boosted his fantasy production as a runner. Winston’s five red zone rushing touchdowns trailed only Cam Newton as the most in the NFL for quarterbacks.

Name Tgt Rec TD %Tgt
Mike Evans 14 2 2 19.4%
Vincent Jackson 13 5 3 18.1%
Charles Sims 10 6 2 13.9%
Austin Seferian-Jenkins 9 3 2 12.5%
Cameron Brate 5 3 1 6.9%
Donteea Dye 5 2 1 6.9%
Doug Martin 5 3 1 6.9%
Adam Humphries 4 1 1 5.6%
Russell Shepard 2 1 1 2.8%
Luke Stocker 2 2 1 2.8%
Louis Murphy 1 0 0 1.4%
Brandon Myers 1 1 0 1.4%
Bobby Rainey 1 1 0 1.4%


Washington Redskins

Red Zone Target Breakdown

TE Jordan Reed was an absolute red zone monster last year. Reed led the entire league with 17 receptions and 139 red zone receiving yards and finished tied for third in the league with 10 touchdowns. The Redskins regularly lined their star tight end out wide to take advantage of single coverage from overmatched, and much smaller cornerbacks.

QB Kirk Cousins was also terrific inside the opponent’s 20. Cousins 377 red zone passing yards was No. 4 in the league, and his 22 touchdown passes were eighth. Cousins also rushed for an additional five red zone touchdowns, tied with Jameis Winston for second among quarterbacks.

Although considered the team’s No. 1 wideout, DeSean Jackson was pretty uninvolved in the red zone. Jackson caught two of five targets for zero touchdowns. That five looks were only 5.7% of the club’s target share. Fellow WR’s Pierre Garçon (17), Jamison Crowder (12), and Ryan Grant (6) all surpassed Jackson’s RZ targets, as did running back Chris Thompson (9.) Jackson’s deep speed is his main asset, and with first-round rookie Josh Doctson also now in play as a potential red zone threat, D-Jax will continue to be overlooked near the goal line.

Name Tgt Rec TD %Tgt
Jordan Reed 24 17 10 27.3%
Pierre Garcon 17 8 5 19.3%
Jamison Crowder 12 6 2 13.6%
Chris Thompson 9 9 2 10.2%
Ryan Grant 6 3 2 6.8%
DeSean Jackson 5 2 0 5.7%
Derek Carrier 4 4 1 4.5%
Andre Roberts 4 1 0 4.5%
Matt Jones 2 1 0 2.3%
Alfred Morris 2 2 0 2.3%
Rashad Ross 1 1 0 1.1%
Alex Smith 1 0 0 1.1%
Darrel Young 1 1 0 1.1%





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