Red Zone stats are some of the most important data for fantasy player production. Since Red Zone scoring is the highest percentage scoring in the NFL, teams that regularly make it to the Red Zone and then convert at a high percentage are teams with players that can help you score more fantasy points more often. Studying how often teams use specific positions in the Red Zone can also be an excellent indicator of potential fantasy production.
A lot can change from year to year, but Red Zone production is a pretty good indicator of a team’s offensive scheme and the preference for play calling by the team’s coaching staff. This seldom changes if the personnel remain the same.
If you want some perspective on how many scoring opportunities your fantasy players may get in 2011, it can help to study Red Zone stats from 2010 but do not be afraid to let some of these stats help you make tough draft decisions.
At fantasyomatic we incorporate Red Zone Scoring into all of our Positional Rankings and our draft recommendations. We call it “Red Zone Scoring Percentage” (RZS%). We evaluate how many times each position is used in the Red Zone and then how many times those positions convert for TDs. You can find those totals below.
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Here is the legend:
RZPoss= Total Red Zone possessions for the team in the 2010 fantasy season. Great indicator of how many times a team manages to get their offense into scoring position. This doesn’t include possessions outside the 20. Note that teams like the Saints got into position 71 times while teams like the Buccaneers only managed to get into position 31 times. So two players who have the same RZS% will still have a different number of scoring chances based on RZ Possessions.
RZTD= How many times a team managed to score TDs in the Red Zone during the 2010 fantasy season.
RZ RB/WR/TE TD= Total Red Zone scores for each position. Excellent indicator of how many plays the team’s offense has designed for each position. Teams like Dallas throw to WRs more often then they called rushing plays for scores and teams like Miami called 5 times more plays for RBs than WRs in the Red Zone. Also note teams like MIN that called 13 TE TDs. These numbers are excellent indicators for potential scoring by fantasy players you are considering to draft.
RZPass%= Percentage of times a team passes in the Red Zone, completion or not- based on total plays in Red Zone.
RZRun%= Percentage of times a team runs in the Red Zone- based on total plays in Red Zone.
RZTD%= Percentage of times a team converts Red Zone possessions to TDs only.
RZ QB/RB/TE/WR TD %= Percentage of times that a team converts Red Zone possessions for TDs for each position. RZRBTD% includes receiving TDs as well as Rushing TDs and RZQBTD% includes Passing TDs, Rushing TDs and even receiving TDs in the Red Zone.
|*Stats Gem: 4 of the top 10 Players in red zone receiving TDs in 2010 were Tight Ends (Gronk, Witten, Gates and Lewis). They also finished in 3 of the top 4 spots.|
|ARI Second to last in 2010 in RZ Possessions makes them tough to bank on this year. They are also second to last in RZ TDs. With no QB until free agency and a rookie RB on deck, don’t expect much from them early in the season. Fitz is the worth taking at all in your drafts. He had 30.8% of all team targets in ’10 and was the lone RZ bright spot in ARI, with the second most in the league (24). He scored all the Cards RZWRTDs (6). Of his 24 targets, the veteran scored 20.8 percent of the time. If the Cardinals improve at quarterback, Fitzgerald’s touchdowns will rise. ARI ran 54.9% of the tim in the RZ, but only scored 5 TDs.|
|ATL led the NFL in RZ Poss and were 3rd overall in RZTDs, 3rd in combined RZRBTDs yet middle of the pack in RZWRTDS. Roddy White, one of the elite wide receivers in fantasy football, saw the highest number of his team’s targets last season. He also caught 64.2 percent of the passes thrown in his direction. Although the addition of rookie Julio Jones could affect his target totals, White was also tied for the fourth-most red-zone targets. Overall, he scored on 23.8 percent of those targets. White has scored double-digit touchdowns in each of the last two years — that trend should continue in 2011. Michael Turner is still a great bet as ATL continues to finish near the top of the league in RB RZ touches and TDs. Plus they currently have the #5 SOS for fantasy RBs. The Burner toted the rock close to 70 percent of the time for the Falcons. He’ll continue to see the majority of his team’s carries in 2011.|
|BAL was middle of the pack in RZPoss and RZTD but led all NFL teams by over 5 percentage points in RZRushes with 61.7%. However they only converted to 8 RBTDs. Ray Rice saw 18 more RZ carries than McGahee. That’s a step in the right direction for Rice’s fantasy value moving forward after dealing with that vulture in 2009. Overall, Rice scored on 11.3 percent of his red-zone rushing attempts. He also saw just 14 goal-to-go carries. However, BAL has the 3rd toughest schedule in 2011 against teams based on Opponent RZ Scoring Percentage.|
|BUF was one of three teas in 2010 that had zero RZTETDS. Despite the fact that he’s remembered in part for his touchdown drop against the Steelers, WR Steve Johnson actually hauled in close to 60 percent of the passes thrown in his direction last season and 27% of the RZ targets Overall, he was the seventh-most-targeted wideout in the league.|
|CAR Jesus…last in the NFL in RZPoss and last in RZTDs while being the only team with single digit RZTDs(7). Only scored a TD 10% of the time. Their run game fell off a cliff last season finishing second worst in RZRBTDs. No help in the “passing game” either with 2 total combined TDs from TEs or WRs in the fantasy season. Just pass on them all until further notice.|
|Jay Cutler got fantasy pts in 62% of the RZTDs for CHI in 2010, even though they were bottom ten in RZPoss. He also reduced his horrific RZ Turnover habit from the prior two seasons. CHI has the 4th best schedule in 2011 against teams based on Opponent RZ Scoring Percentage, things could keep moving in a positive direction.|
|CIN Free Agent Cedric Benson scored a mere seven touchdowns despite being tied for seventh in goal-to-go carries. All of his 2010 scores came from the red zone, but he made good on just 12.5 percent of his 56 carries. That’s a low rate considering his red-zone carries made up for 17.4 percent of his total attempts. Bernard Scott is worth watching. CIN has the 4th toughest schedule in 2011 against teams based on Opponent RZ Scoring Percentage.|
|CLE had the fifth fewest RZPoss, yet they were 5th in the league in RZRBTDs. Hillis was a beast. They only had one single RZWRTD (worst in the league) and 3 from their TEs. That led to only 41.8% of their RZ plays going through the air. CLE has the 2nd hardest schedule in 2011 against teams allowing RZ Scores and the toughest schedule in 2011 against teams based on Opponent RZ Scoring Percentage.|
|DAL It may have been because they threw from behind for half a season, or simply because they abandoned the run game, but its worth noting that DAL finished #2 overall in RZWRTDs last season. Witten used to have TD issues but DAL finished #4 in RZTETDs and Witten had the second most RZ TDs in the NFL with 8. The most amazing stat is that 71% of the Cowboys TDs were credited to a QB (9% more than any other team). Even with some balance this year, it still makes Tony Romo attractive in a comebacker. DAL has the 4th best schedule in 2011 against teams allowing RZ Scores. Pass on the top QBs and get a bargain with Romo and his new offensive line.|
|A change at the helm should balance out the lopsided Pass/Run approach in the RZ last year for DEN. They were second in the league with 62.5% passing in the NFL. Having a run game healthy should even that out quite a bit in 2011. Brandon Lloyd was The fourth-most targeted wideout last year and hauled in a little more than 50 percent of the passes thrown in his direction. Unfortunately, his number of opportunities is almost certain to decrease under new coach John Fox. In fact, Lloyd is a prime candidate to disappoint fantasy owners based on his immense of success last season. DEN has the 4th hardest schedule in 2011 against teams allowing RZ Scores.|
|Despite having Matt Stafford on the shelf with a shoulder injury for 13 games, DET managed to finish with that league’s No. 12 passing game, just behind Brady’s Patriots. Getting Stafford back healthy is key, but what you might not know is DET lead the NFl in RZPAss% during the fantasy season. Megatron was tied for third in RZ TDS with 7 last year and 7th in RZRecYDs. Expect him to be top 5 again this year.|
|GB was surprisingly only 15th in RZPoss in 2010, yet they were #4 overall in RZWRTDs,and #3 in RZPAss% with 59.5%. Expect that total to lower when Jermichael Finely and Ryan Grant are back in the mix. Finley should also help GB get out of the bottom 6 in RZTETDs. It’s a whole different offense when he is available. When Finley is in action, there is a tight end on the field on 93% of Packers’ pass plays. When he’s not, that figure drops 19%. Similarly, the Packers use the 2-TE set 15% less often and 3 or more tight ends 4% less often when he’s out.|
|Arian Foster’s impact was felt most in the Texans offense as they finished 5th in RZRBTDs. It wasn’t all the Foster show, though, HOU was 6th overall in RZWRTDs as well. Foster’s red-zone carries (66) made up more than 20 percent of his total rushing attempts and scored a touchdown on 19.6 percent of those touches. Foster also led all running backs in goal-to-go carries with 38. HOU has the hardest schedule in 2011 against teams allowing RZ Scores and the 2nd hardest schedule in 2011 against teams based on Opponent RZ Scoring Percentage.|
|IND Second in the NFL in RZTDs and led the NFL in RZWRTDs with 3 more than any other team. No question Peyton commits to the pass in the Red Zone. Not much should change in 2011.|
|Most of the JAX targets and TDs went to TEs as they finished second worst in RZWRTDs . Marcedes Lewis was a beast early in the eason and racked up enough TDs to finish 2nd in RZTETDs. He was also tied for third in the league with 7 RZTDs. Mike Simms-Walker was one of those tied with him, but he will not be back with JAX.|
|Jamaal Charles did a lot of his scoring out of the RZ yet KC ran the ball 57.5% of the time in the RZ. Dwayne Bowe was tied for third most RZ TDs in 2010 with 7. KC has the 5th hardest schedule in 2011 against teams allowing RZ Scores.|
|MIA had the fourth fewest RZPoss and third fewest RZTDs in 2010. The days of the wildcat Red Zone shockers are gone. Their RB duo was worst in the league in RZRBTDs last year. Things could improve with Pouncey on the line and Daniel Thomas in the backfield and MIA has the best schedule in 2011 against teams allowing RZ Scores.|
|Visanthe Shiancoe was our top “trade early” TE of the season last year after a strong start. Out of 109 RZPoss, MINonly had 1 RZTETDS, finishing near the worst in the league. A touchdown machine over the last two years, Adrian Peterson has found the end zone a combined 31 times in that span, including 18 in 2009. Close to 15 percent of his rushing attempts last year came in the red zone, and Peterson cashed in on a solid 23.8 percent of those carries.|
|NE led the NFL in RZTDs. They also led the NFL in RZTETDs (10), with Gronkowski leading the NFL with 9 all season. They also led with the most combined RZRBTDs. The Patriots’ leading rusher last season, Benjarvis Green-Ellis saw 21.8 percent of his carries (50) in the red zone. Of those touches, the BGE scored 24 percent of the time. Unfortunately, that percentage is likely to decline with the addition of rookie runners Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley.|
|NO was second in RZPoss and even though they spread it around so much they still finished top ten in RZWRTDs. They pass way more than run in the RZ with 56.8% of the plays going through the air, finishing 4th overall. If you have to pick one player, go with Lance Moore who was second in the NFL in RZ Receiving YDs with 112, of course Colston finished 3rd with 107.|
|NYG was 4th in RZPoss and 5th in RZTDs. They were still top third of the league in RZRBTDs and third overall in RZWRTDs. Ahmad Bradshaw saw 15.9 percent of his 44 2010 carries in the red zone last season. Jacobs had a higher percentage (17.0) of red-zone rushes, but Bradshaw rushed for just two fewer touchdowns. Overall, Bradshaw scored on 15.9 percent of his carries in the RZ.|
|Bet you didn’t know NYJ were 4th worst in RZTDs, behind WAS and STL. They also had the 5th fewest RZRBTDs behind that line built to run. However, they did finish 6th overall in RZPass%. Expect better things in 2011 as NYJ has the third best schedule in 2011 against teams allowing RZ Scores and has the 3d best schedule in 2011 against teams based on Opponent RZ Scoring Percentage.|
|OAK has the 2nd best schedule in 2011 against teams based on Opponent RZ Scoring Percentage.|
|PHI was third in RZ Poss and the RBs benefitted the most. They finished 6th overall in RZRBTDs with 13. Jeremy Maclin proved to be the biggest threat with 7 RZTDs, tied with Hakeem Nicks. Maclin also finished 4th overall win RZ Receiving Yds with 104 last year. Vick should still have good value this year since PHI has the 5th best schedule in 2011 against teams allowing RZ Scores.|
|Heath Miller used to be a fantasy TE beast, but PIT only had 1 RZTETD in the fantasy season, even with a handful of backup QBs in the first month. Mendenhall’s 324 carries last season- a career high, consisted of 51 attempts inside the red zone. That’s not likely to decrease in 2011, making him a top fantasy back. Of his 2010 red-zone carries, he scored on 21.5 percent of them. Mendenhall was also third in goal-to-go carries.|
|SD was fourth in the NFL in RZTDs and second in RZRBTDs. Even with a revolving door at the RB position all year.Some stability in th backfield, offensive line and receiving corps could prove positive.|
|SEA has the 3rd hardest schedule in 2011 against teams allowing RZ Scores.|
|Red Zone scores still evade SJax, STL finished 4th worst in the league in RZRBTDs. He’s rushed for just 10 scores in the past two years, and 13.9 percent of his 2010 carries came in the red zone. Of his 46 red-zone carries, he scored just 8.6 percent of the time. Sam Bradford was credited with 63% of the RZ TDS for STL last year (more than Manning, Rodgers and Brady). Thats impressive if they can improve their RZPoss numbers in 2011. Danny Amendola was tied for the most red-zone targets (24) among wideouts last season. He scored just three times the entire year, though, so most of his opportunities didn’t equate to end-zone success. In fact, he scored on just 12.5 percent of those targets.|
|TB had the third fewest RZPoss in 2010.|
|In 2010, Jared Cook Played 53.9% of the TEN snaps over the last 5 games and ranked as a top-10 fantasy TE during that span. TEN also finished #3 overall in RZTETDs with 6. Add to that the new QB this year and you have a legit sleeper. Chris Johnson, who has averaged 11.3 rushing touchdowns in his three NFL seasons, saw 316 carries in 2010 — 15.5 percent of which came in the red zone (49 carries). Of those attempts, he scored 16.3 percent of the time. He’ll be in a good position to score double-digit touchdowns again this year with one of th best RB schedules of all RBs.|
|WAS had the fifth fewest RZTDs due in large part to their second worst RZWRTDs total of only 2 TDs in the fantasy season. Despite the fact that he was one of the 10 more targeted wideouts in the red zone last season, Santana Moss still scored just six times in 2010 (21.0 percent of his red-zone targets). WAS has the second best schedule in 2011 against teams allowing RZ Scores. Look for another wideout to take advantage, however.|