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 2010, it can help to study Red Zone stats from 2009 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 2009. 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.
RZQBRuTD= How many times a QB rushed for a Red Zone score. This gives extra value to teams like GB and PHI who call the QB’s number on the goal line more often than teams like MIN who never converted a QB Rush TD.
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.
RZScore%= Percentage of times a team converts Red Zone possessions to scores of any kind. This includes Fields Goals.
RZTD%= Percentage of times a team converts Red Zone possessions to TDs only.
RZ QB/RB/TE/WR %= 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.
Here are some key observations from the data above:
GB was 5th in Red Zone TD scoring in 2009 with a strong 56% RZS%. 5 of those Red Zone TDs were Rogers rushing TDs and 8 of them were TE TDs. They scored Rushing TDs in 44% of their scores (18th).
DAL ranked in the top 10 for QB RZS% with 62% and Tony Romo even had 1 Rushing TD in the Red Zone himself. They were #3 overall in WR RZS% with 50% of their 26 TDs going to WRs. However they were 23rd in RB RZS%.
Even though Vince Young didn’t play an entire season, TEN enjoyed a 4th rank QB RZS% (64%)for all teams with over 20 Red Zone scores (7th overall). This puts Young only one notch behind a McNabb/Vick Red Zone combination in PHI. Surprisingly, TEN was only 23rd overall in RB RZS%. Mainly because C.J was scoring at will from all over the field.
BUF is pretty poor in the Red Zone. In 2009, they were tied for the leagues second WORST in Red Zone TDs with a putrid 50% RZS% for QBs. This team needs to make a large leap to even be a league average. However, they were #1 overall in Field Goals in the Red Zone (6th most FGs in 2009). This speaks to the fact that you should use a kicker on a team with a bad offense.
In 2009, PHI was had the highest RZS% (68%) by any team with over 20 Red Zone Scores. A lead leading 5 QB Rushing TDs (2 from Michael Vick) and 6 TE TDs are worth noting. Akers had 3rd highest amount of FGs in the Red Zone in 2009 (38%). Worth noting is that PHI was 28th overall in RB RZS% (24%) and if they improve their running game, it could effect QB, TE and WR Red Zone production.
OAK shared the second worst Red Zone TD total (12) and matched their poor 50% QB RZS%. They also were 24th overall in Red Zone scoring. Although Jason Campbell did rush for 1 Red Zone TD with WAS in 2009. OAK was 6th overall in RB RZS% (50%), which goes to show that up close they will most likely run the ball.
CAR made the min 20 Red Zone scores for the top half of the league, but 12 of those were RB Red Zone scores to finish 3rd overall in RB RZS%. This left them with a league low 30% QB TD RZS%. They only threw for passing TDs in 20% of their 40 red zone visits in 2009. No surprise, CAR credited 60% of their red zone TDs to their RBs. Granted they only had 20 red zone TDs (24th on the NFL).
Although 12 of NYJs 24 Red Zone scores went to RBs in 2009 (50%), Mark Sanchez rushed for 3 Red Zone Scores himself which gave him a decent RZS% for the QB of the team who led the league in rush attempts. WRs were left alone in 2009 as they finished 23rd in WR RZS%. TE scoring was not much higher. NYJ clearly rushed the ball more than anyone in 2009, but still scored more FGs than RB TDs in the red zone.
With such an impressive arial attack, IND scored 16 of their 35 Red Zone scores on the ground and none of those rushing TDs were by Payton Manning. Manning did have a 54% RZS%due in large part to their 7 TDs to TEs in the Red Zone.
In 2009, NYG was 10th in the league in Red Zone possessions with 56, but scored TDs on less than half of those. 13 Red Zone TDs came on the ground (1 of them was Eli Manning) and had only a 48% QB RZS%.
Even though DET was 5th worst in Red Zone Scoring in 2009 (17 TDs- 47%), their QB 71 RZS% shows they are not afraid to call the QB’s number in DET. Combined, 3 of those 17 TDs were QB Rush TDs. DET did a terrible job at getting their RBs in the end zone when they were up close, only 18% of those TDs went to RBs (2nd worst in the league).
Despite the rushing focused offense in 2010, CIN enjoyed a 76 RZS% for QB, which was helped by their 3 QB Rush TDs and 16 to WRs (finishing 2nd in the NFL in WR RZ scores). However, 0 (zero) TDs to TEs. If they can get their TE involved in the Red Zone, expect that to come at the expense of their WR TDs.
In 2009, JAX had 3 QB Rushing TDs out of their 15 Rushing TDs. This still only gave David Garrard a mediocre 50% RZS% since he only completed 9 TDs in the air in the Red Zone. JAX gave 12 of their red zone TDs to their RBs in 2009, that’s 4 more than all red zone TDs to WRs and TE combined.
In 2009, MIN was second only to NO in total Red Zone possessions and they converted a league leading 43 of those. No QB rushing TDs but a whopping 13 TE TDs give Brett Favre 56% RZS% of the Red Zone scores( #1 in the NFL), even with RBs scoring 17 times inside the 20. Note that every single one of the 13 TE TDs were inside the Red Zone.
One good stat for CHI’s passing game is that they ranked #1 in QB Red Zone scoring last year (83% RZS%). Led mainly by they 11 TDs by TEs in the red zone (3rd overall). Keep in mind the rushing game was in shambles (or the Oline) and were third to the last in RB RZ scoring last year (only 17% of their TDs went to RBs). An uptick in rushing this year may bring that QB percentage down a bit. Plus, Martz likes to keep his TEs in to block in the Red Zone.
TB did have some poor stats in the Red Zone in 2009, only 31 appearances and 16 scores gave the starting QBs a horrible 44% QB RZS%. Although Josh Freeman wasn’t the QB in all those visits. They need to improve upon their poor 31 Red Zone appearances in 2009 (2nd worst in the NFL).
Last year WAS had 8 less Red Zone visits as a team than Donovan McNabb did in PHI, yet they actually converted 2 more of those to TDs. 11 of those Red Zone TDs went to TEs giving the team in 2009 an impressive 62% QB RZS% (#2 in the NFL). You can almost expect those TE totals to rise with McNabb, so Cooley could be the breakout TE on 2010.
KC converted only 18 of their 38 Red Zone appearances in 2009. However 12 of those were through the air. This actually gives Matt Cassell a surprising 6th overall QB RZS% with 67% of Red Zone scores credited to him. Jamaal Charles proved to be an effective receiver in close so this could be an interesting stat to watch under Carlie Weis in 2010. However keep in mind that for most of the season Larry Johnson was the RB.
11 of SFs 23 Red Zone scores went to RBs in 2009. But they scored 11 through the air ( 8 of those to TEs). Smith didn’t play the entire season so if he keeps his grove with Vernon Davis in close, this number could rise. They need to improve upon a 7th worst Red Zone appearances in 2009. RZ apperances did increase under Smith.
NO throws… a lot. They led all QBs in passing yards with 5,069 and pass attempts (635). The Saints were second in the NFL in Red Zone scores in 2009 (41 TDs), but interestingly, they were 4th WORST in QB RZS% with only 41%. When in the red zone, NO rushed for TDs over 51% of the time (21 TDs). They were 2nd in the NFL in RB RZS with 21 TDs.
BAL scored 15 of their 30 Red Zone scores by RBs and 1 Rushing TD by Joe Flacco still only gave him a 37% QB RZS%. BAL simply runs the ball when they get close.
MIA scored the 8th most TDs in the Red Zone in 2009 (33) but 22 of those TDs were RB TDs leaving Chad Henne with a league worst 33% QB RZS%. MIA led the NFL with 22 RB TDs in the Red Zone, leaving their WR production in the Red Zone in the bottom third of the league. MIA credited 67% of their red zone TDs to an RB. This is the second most in the NFL in 2009. Plus they had 33 red zone TDs (8th on the NFL) so this is considerable production for RBs.
HOU had the 4th most Red Zone possessions of any team in 2009 and converted 33 of those to TDs. With no rushing attack to rely on late in the season, HOU still scored 16 of those through the run. Matt Schaub had a surprisingly low 48% QB RZS% from inside the 20. If the running game pick sup in 2010, that number could actually drop. However Owen Daniels only had a chance to contribute 4 Red Zone TDs before getting injures so with him healthy, the number may correct itself.
You can’t argue with Tom Brady in the Red Zone, though. NE was 3rd in the league in Red Zone possessions in 2009, and 2 of those were QB rushing scores. giving Brady an impressive 53% QB RZS%.
19 of DEN’s 25 Red zone scores went to RBs in 2009 yet they only scored 48% of the time up close. However Prater was 10th in FG RZS (19 FGs). DEN lead the NFL in Red zone TDs credited to RBs. They credited a whopping 76% of their 25 red zone TDs to a RB.
ATL scored 13 RB TDs out of their 29 Red Zone scores in 2009. Matt Ryan ended up with a decent 53% QB RZS% mainly because of his 6 TDs to Tony Gonzales.
ARI was a different team in 2009, and led the league with 70% TD conversion in the Red Zone. This gave Kurt Warner a 53% QB RZS% because of his 17 TDs to WRs, which was actually only one less TD than RBs scored in the Red Zone (18). Things will change in 2010.
STL only had 11 Red Zone scores in 2009. To give you perspective, 17 teams had more RB Red Zone scores than that! Last year they only allowed their QB a 48% QB RZS%, which is due to a poor O line and 11 of those 23 coming from RBs. They were the worst team in the NFL in Red Zone TDs in 2009.
SD has the 7th most Red Zone appearances in 2009, converting 34 of those to TDs. 15 were RB TDs but Phillip Rivers was credited with 50% himself.
SEA had plenty of chances to score in the Red Zone in 2009, with 48 appearances and only 19 TDs, this gave them the third worst number of Red Zone scores (19) in the league and one of the worst Red Zone TD percentages (40%).
CLE only converted 44% of their 39 Red Zone appearances for TDs but 7 of those were credited to one of their QBs.
PIT did switch to a passing team in 2009, with 16 of their 27 TDs coming through the air and 2 rushing TDs by QBs. This gave the team a respectable QB 63% RZS%.