Redzone Report Week 14

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 13 Touches Leaders

Raise your hand if you had Doug Martin as the co-leader with Todd Gurley for Week 13 redzone touches at a half-dozen. Put your hands down, liars. Gurley converted two of his redzone touches into touchdowns, and Martin scored on one of his. Peyton Barber and Saquon Barkley both tied for third with five redzone touches. Barber continues his touchdown-or-bust level of play, and he scored a short touchdown run last week. Barkley was kept out of the end zone, but his continued heavy redzone usage bodes well for his touchdown outlook the rest of the year. There was an eight-back pileup for fifth in redzone touches with four each.

Top Option

Alvin Kamara (Saints) at Buccaneers
YTD Redzone Touches – 62 Week 13 Redzone Touches – 3

Picking on the Buccaneers with running backs has been a good recipe for finding touchdowns, and there’s zero reason to deviate from that recipe with Kamara. The Saints suffered a surprising loss in last week’s Thursday Night Football game in Dallas, but they’ll be well rested and anxious to get back on track this week. Kamara’s 62 redzone touches and 13 redzone touchdowns this year are the second most among running backs. He’ll look to add to both totals this week against a Tampa Bay defense that’s tied for the second most rushing touchdowns (13) and tied for the third most receiving touchdowns (five) allowed to running backs this season, per Pro-Football-Reference. The 18 total touchdowns they’ve coughed up to backs is the second highest total.


Justin Jackson (Chargers) vs Bengals
YTD Redzone Touches – 2 Week 13 Redzone Touches – 1

The Bengals are the team the Bucs trail in touchdowns surrendered to running backs this season. Cincinnati is tied for the second most rushing touchdowns (13) and tied for first in the most receiving touchdowns (six) allowed to running backs this season. It’s possible Melvin Gordon returns this week, but with a more important game on the horizon against the Chiefs on Thursday Night Football in Week 15, I’d hazard a guess they’ll hold Gordon out one more game — especially since they shouldn’t need him to pound the Bengals. Jackson shared backfield duties with Austin Ekeler last week, but Jackson was far more productive and scored a touchdown on his only redzone carry. In the two games Gordon’s missed this year, Ekeler’s tallied only 65 yards rushing on 25 carries with 48 yards receiving on 10 receptions. He’d probably be best utilized in his standard complementary role with Jackson serving in the Gordon role. Even if it is more of a 50/50 timeshare than that, I like Jackson’s odds of reaching pay dirt against the Bengals if Gordon is once again out.

Wide Receivers

Week 13 Targets Leaders

Kenny Golladay was your Week 13 leader in redzone targets at receiver with three. He did not, however, turn any of those looks into touchdowns. A whopping 13 players tied for second with two redzone touches. Having said, it means only 14 receivers were targeted more than one time in the redzone last week. Zay Jones was among the 13 receivers tied for second with two redzone targets, and he turned one into a touchdown while also reeling in a touchdown just outside the redzone on a 25-yard grab. He’s been targeted multiple times in the redzone in two of his last three games.

Top Option

Keenan Allen (Chargers) vs. Bengals
YTD Redzone Targets – 12 Week 13 Redzone Targets – 1

The Bengals defense is atrocious, so there are plenty of touchdowns to be had against them. In other words, I don’t mind doubling up on members of the Chargers as touted touchdown options this week. Allen scored a touchdown on a tipped ball on his only redzone target last week. He’s riding a four-game touchdown streak, and he has six redzone targets in that four-game stretch. I like his odds of extending the streak to five games this week.


Jarvis Landry (Browns) vs. Panthers
YTD Redzone Targets – 16 Week 13 Redzone Targets – 0

Landry had been in a recent funk, but he snapped out of it in a game the Browns struggled in mightily last week. Even with a two-game dry spell for redzone targets, Landry’s 16 on the season are tied for the seventh most. Baker Mayfield is responsible for 15 of Landry’s 16 redzone targets, so his season total isn’t a product of accumulating them early with Tyrod Taylor starting. Carolina’s been thumped by slot receivers, and they’re tied for the 10th most receiving touchdowns (15) allowed to wideouts this year.

Tight Ends

Week 13 Targets Leaders

Travis Kelce’s a stud, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise he led tight ends with three redzone targets against the hapless Raiders last week. Furthermore, his 20 redzone touches this year lead the position. Only two other tight ends were targeted more than once. One of those two was Kelce’s teammate, Demetrius Harris. The other was Cameron Brate. Tampa Bay’s tight end failed to reach the end zone last week, but he remains a redzone favorite of Jameis Winston and one of the better touchdown dart throws at the position.

Top Option

Eric Ebron (Colts) at Texans
YTD Redzone Targets – 19 Week 13 Redzone Targets – 1

Ebron is tied with Zach Ertz for the second most redzone targets among tight ends this year. He also leads the position in redzone touchdowns this year with nine. Houston’s ceded six touchdowns to tight ends this year, a total that’s tied for the eighth most. Ebron’s responsible for one of those half-dozen touchdowns by tight ends against the Texans this year as a result of the one he scored back in Week 4.


David Njoku (Browns) vs. Panthers
YTD Redzone Targets – 4 Week 13 Redzone Targets – 0

I whiffed with Njoku as my top option to score a touchdown at tight end last week, but I’ll go back to the well with him as a value/sleeper play this week in another plus matchup. Carolina’s tied for the second most touchdowns (eight) allowed to tight ends this year. Njoku hasn’t been a big volume guy in the redzone, but what he lacks in volume he’s made up for in efficiency scoring touchdowns on three of his four looks.

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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