Redzone Report Week 13


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 12 Touches Leaders

Christian McCaffrey far and away led running backs with 14 redzone touches in Week 12. He totaled more redzone touches than the two backs, Josh Adams and LeGarrette Blount, who tied for the second most with six each combined. Week 11 breakout Gus Edwards touched the ball five times in the redzone but failed to reach pay dirt. Ezekiel Elliott, Nick Chubb and Peyton Barber also tied for the fourth most redzone touches among backs with five. Alvin Kamara was a familiar face on last week’s leaderboard tying with four others — Chris Carson, Leonard Fournette, Saquon Barkley, and Sony Michel — for eighth with four redzone touches. Kamara remains second this year in redzone touches with 59 and narrowed the gap between he and leader Todd Gurley to just four redzone touches separating the two. McCaffrey’s massive redzone workload vaulted him into a tie for the third most redzone touches with the also aforementioned Barkley.

Top Option

Christian McCaffrey (Panthers) at Buccaneers
YTD Redzone Touches – 42 Week 12 Redzone Touches – 14

Remember when Cam Newton used to steal all of the redzone touchdowns? It feels like a distant memory now. CMC has scored nine touchdowns in the redzone, and not only did his 14 redzone touches last week lead running backs, it ties Kamara’s Week 3 output as the single-game high by a back this season. CMC scored two redzone touchdowns against the Buccaneers in their prior meeting, and, according to Pro-Football-Reference, Tampa Bay’s 17 combined rushing and receiving touchdowns allowed to backs is tied with Cincinnati for the most allowed in the NFL this year.

Value/Sleeper

Gus Edwards (Ravens) at Falcons
YTD Redzone Touches – 7 Week 12 Redzone Touches – 5

Edwards has usurped top-back duties from Alex Collins, and Collins was inactive last week. I’ll be a bit less bullish on this pick if Collins is active this week, but the undrafted Edwards has all seven of his redzone touches in the last two weeks. He’s parlayed one of those into a touchdown, and now he’ll look to reach pay dirt again against a Falcons team that’s tied for the sixth most rushing touchdowns (10) permitted to backs this year. They’ve also coughed up four more scores through the air.

Wide Receivers

Week 12 Targets Leaders

Slot stud Emmanuel Sanders led the way at wide receiver with five redzone targets in Week 12. Jermaine Kearse was alone in second with four. Julio Jones, Davante Adam and Auden Tate tied for the third most with three. No, that’s not a typo trying to type Golden Tate. Auden plays for Cincinnati and is a large target at 6-foot-5 and 228 pounds, but he turned none of his redzone looks into touchdowns. Perhaps he’ll emerge as a regularly targeted option in the redzone for the Bengals, but it’s also possible — if not probable — he takes a backseat once A.J. Green returns. There were 11 more receivers who received more than one redzone target, and all of them tied for the sixth most with two.

Top Option

Kenny Golladay (Lions) vs. Rams
YTD Redzone Targets – 10 Week 12 Redzone Targets – 1

Golladay is the last man standing of Detroit’s three top-flight receivers who opened the year on the team. Golden Tate has been traded to the Eagles, and Marvin Jones Jr. is on IR. Golladay was targeted once in the redzone last week, but he’s efficiently turned four of his 10 redzone targets this season into touchdowns. No team has ceded more touchdowns to receivers this year than the 18 the Rams have coughed up.

Value/Sleeper

Adam Humphries (Buccaneers) vs. Panthers
YTD Redzone Targets – 7 Week 12 Redzone Targets – 0

Humphries failed to garner a redzone look last week, but he’s been useful in that area of the field for the Buccaneers this year with five grabs and two touchdowns on his seven redzone targets. One of his two redzone touchdowns came against his Week 13 opponent, the Panthers. Carolina’s struggled mightily with slot receivers, and Humphries already gave them fits this year. He’ll likely be a popular value play in daily games this week, but that’s for good reason. I like his odds of scoring another touchdown against his NFC South foe.

Tight Ends

Week 12 Targets Leaders

Jordan Reed and Rob Gronkowski were co-leaders in redzone targets in Week 12 among tight ends with three each. Only three other tight ends, Eric Ebron, Greg Olsen, and Michael Roberts, were targeted more than once. There were 17 other tight ends who were targeted one time in the redzone last week.

Top Option

David Njoku (Browns) at Texans
YTD Redzone Targets – 4 Week 12 Redzone Targets – 1

Njoku has hauled in three touchdowns on four redzone targets this year. One of those redzone scores was a six-yard touchdown grab last week. Look for him to get back in the endzone this week for a Browns offense that’s clicking under new offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens and facing a Texans defense that’s getting pantsed by tight ends. Houston’s six touchdown grabs yielded to tight ends this season is tied for the sixth most.

Value/Sleeper

Cameron Brate (Buccaneers) vs. Panthers
YTD Redzone Targets – 7 Week 12 Redzone Targets -1

Another member of the Buccaneers and Panthers contest makes an appearance in this week’s Redzone Report, and after these two clubs hung 70 points combined when they met earlier in the year, there’s no reason to think there’s a lack of touchdowns to go around this meeting. Despite being the No. 2 tight end to O.J. Howard most of this year, Brate’s managed seven redzone targets. He converted his only redzone target last week into a touchdown, and he and Jameis Winston have outstanding rapport in that part of the field. The Panthers are tied for the most touchdowns allowed to tight ends this year with eight, so the matchup couldn’t be any better for Brate scoring again this week.

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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