Redzone Report Week 12

The Redzone Report takes a weekly look at redzone usage and matchups to identify top options and sleepers for touchdowns in the given week of NFL action. This is a touchdown-centric piece, and the yardage outlook for the highlighted players isn’t a consideration.

Running Backs

Week 11 Touches Leaders

Last week’s leader in redzone touches at seven was my top option to reach pay dirt last week, Saquon Barkley. He scored a whopping three touchdowns from the redzone on his seen redzone touches. My value/sleeper pick was Alex Collins, and while his overall line was forgettable, he did score a touchdown and was tied for eighth with three redzone touches. Deandre Washington was a surprise tying Mark Ingram — who was also a bit of a surprise given Alvin Kamara’s recent redzone usage — for second with six redzone touches. Denver’s rookie running backs Phillip Lindsay and Rocye Freeman tied Peyton Barber for the fourth most redzone touches with five. Both Lindsay and Freeman scored a redzone touchdown, and Barber did as well. Aaron Jones was alone in seventh with four redzone touches, and Todd Gurley failed to score in the Monday Night Football shootout but was one of the nine backs tied for eighth with three redzone touches. Gurley still leads backs in redzone touches with 63. Kamara received just one redzone touch but is along in second with 55 and has a comfortable lead over Barkley’s 38 in third.

Top Option
Nick Chubb (Browns) at Bengals
YTD Redzone Touches – 14 Week 11 Redzone Touches – 0 (Bye)

This might feel familiar. I’m once again picking an AFC North bruiser facing the Bengals as one of my running back selections to score. This week, however, that back is my top option. Sure, I could pick Kamara, but I’m self imposing my Gurley rule and excluding Kamara from top option availability. Instead, I’ll look at a back who’s cheaper in daily games. In four games since the Browns dealt Carlos Hyde, Chubb’s totaled 13 redzone touches. He’s also scored four touchdowns in that four-game stretch. Cincinnati’s tied for the fourth most rushing touchdowns (10) allowed to running backs this season, according to Pro-Football-Reference. They’ve also coughed up five through the air for good measure. Cubb’s been especially good since Freddie Kitchens took over as Cleveland’s offensive coordinator. He’s scored three touchdowns in Kitchens’ two games as OC.

Marlon Mack (Colts) vs Dolphins
YTD Redzone Touches – 21 Week 11 Redzone Touches – 3

Mack has played in only six games this year, but he’s been a force from the redzone in those half-dozen games. His 3.5 redzone touches per game rank tied with James Conner for the fourth highest mark. He’s punched in four redzone touchdowns on those touches, and the Dolphins are tied for the seventh most rushing touchdowns (nine) allowed to backs while surrendering another three through the air. Mack’s under priced at the daily sites, so while he’s not a sleeper, he’s certainly a value play at them.

Wide Receivers

Week 11 Targets Leaders

The Monday Night Football shootout between the Chiefs and Rams produced plenty of fireworks as well as the receiver with the most redzone targets in Week 11, Robert Woods. Woods’ five redzone targets paced the position, and teammate Josh Reynolds was tied with Doug Baldwin and Kenny Golladay for second with three. Chris Conley was part of the opposition in the MNF shootout, and he was one of nine receivers tied for fifth with two redzone targets. Conley was perfect converting both of his redzone targets into touchdowns. Larry Fitzgerald was also perfect converting both of his redzone targets into touchdowns.

Top Option
Odell Beckham Jr. (Giants) at Eagles
YTD Redzone Targets – 18 Week 11 Redzone Targets – 1

The Eagles held OBJ out of the end zone the first time these two teams met this year, but their secondary is in shambles and they’ve allowed the 10th most receiving touchdowns (12) to receivers this year. OBJ’s 18 redzone targets this season are the fourth most among wideouts. I’ll gamble on OBJ’s hearty redzone usage resulting in a score against Philly’s secondary this week.

Doug Baldwin (Seahawks) at Panthers
YTD Redzone Targets – 7 Week 11 Redzone Targets – 3

Baldwin set a season-high with three redzone targets last week, and his seven on the season lead Seattle’s receivers. Carolina’s held outsider receivers in check, but they’ve struggled with slot wideouts. Baldwin primarily lines up in the slot, so Carolina’s struggles with slot receivers coupled with last week’s redzone usage spike fuel his inclusion in this week’s Redzone Report as my value/sleeper to reach pay dirt at receiver.

Tight Ends

Week 11 Targets Leaders

A blast from the past was tied for the lead in redzone targets at tight end. Antonio Gates was targeted three times in the redzone and tied Kyle Rudolph for the position lead. Reynolds wasn’t the only player to step up for the Rams in the redzone in the wake of Cooper Kupp’s season-ending injury, tight end Gerald Everett was one of three tight ends who tied for third with a couple of redzone targets. Everett hauled in a seven-yard touchdown and added a non-redzone touchdown later hauling in a 40-yard touchdown grab and carefully navigating the sideline without going out of bounds.

Top Option
George Kittle (49ers) at Buccaneers
YTD Redzone Targets – 11 Week 11 Redzone Targets – 0 (Bye)

Kittle’s having a huge sophomore campaign, and his 11 redzone targets this year are tied for the fifth most among tight ends. He’s reeled in seven of those targets and two have gone for scores. Tampa Bay’s defense is hapless, and they’re tied for the fifth most receiving touchdowns (five) allowed to tight ends this season.

Cameron Brate (Buccaneers) vs. 49ers
YTD Redzone Targets – 6 Week 11 Redzone Targets – 1

While Tampa Bay’s defense is hapless, their offense is potent regardless of who’s playing quarterback. O.J. Howard hit IR this week, paving the way for Brate to be the top tight end on the Bucs. Howard was targeted eight times in the redzone and scored four touchdowns on those targets. Brate’s been no slouch scoring three touchdowns on six redzone targets this season, but if he soaks up Howard’s vacated redzone looks, he’ll get back to being a redzone monster. Take advantage of his suppressed salary from playing second fiddle to Howard thus far this year and chase his touchdown potential in daily games.

Josh Shepardson, fantasy sports pundit who's written and/or podcasted for a wide variety of websites that include The Hardball Times, Baseball Prospectus, RotoGraphs, Daily Fantasy Cafe and FantasyPros -- among other places. He's an avid Twitter user who typically tweets about sports but has occasionally been known to tweet about music, craft beer, and other non-sports things.

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