Redzone Report Week 16

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 15 Touches Leaders

RB Touches 2

Derrick Henry is closing 2018 in style, and he led the position in redzone touches in Week 15 with 11. He’s tallied 17 redzone touches in the last two games combined and 20 over his last three. He nearly got the nod as my top option to score a touchdown among backs this week in the section below. Suffice to say, I like his odds of scoring again this week. Joe Mixon checked in second with eight redzone touches. Chris Carson and Peyton Barber ranked tied for fourth with six redzone touches. Mixon scored a couple of redzone touches on his steady diet of redzone touches last week while Carson and Barber each punched in one redzone touchdown. Damien Williams took on the bulk of Kansas City’s backfield work with Spencer Ware out, and he scored a pair of redzone touchdowns on his five redzone touches.

 

Top Option

Nick Chubb (Browns) vs Bengals

YTD Redzone Touches – 25 Week 15 Redzone Touches – 3

Chubb was elevated to the top of Cleveland’s depth chart after Carlos Hyde was dealt to Jacksonville in advance of the Browns’ Week 7 matchup with the Buccaneers. The rookie runner’s tallied all but one of his 25 redzone touches since the move up the depth chart. He has at least one redzone touch in every game as the team’s starter, and he has multiple redzone touches in seven of eight starts. Chubb had a five-game touchdown streak snapped in Denver last week, but he’s scored at least one touchdown in six of eight starts. When he faced this week’s opponent in Cincinnati in Week 12, he scored two touchdowns from the redzone. The Bengals have allowed 20 total touchdowns to running backs this year, per Pro-Football-Reference. That total is the second highest behind only the Buccaneers’ 21 touchdowns coughed up to backs. Chubb’s a great bet to reach pay dirt against the Bengals this weekend.

 

Value/Sleeper

Marlon Mack (Colts) vs Giants

YTD Redzone Touches – 30 Week 15 Redzone Touches – 7

Mack’s not a sleeper — especially coming off of stomping the Cowboys last week — but he’s a value at the major daily fantasy sites. The second-year back was busy in the redzone last week ranking third with seven redzone touches, and his average of three redzone touches per game this year is tied for the eighth most among running backs. He’ll look to reach pay dirt again this week against a run defense that’s been dreadful since the Giants traded Damon “Snacks” Harrison.

 

Wide Receivers

Week 15 Targets Leaders

WR Targets 2

Big second-year wideouts Josh Reynolds and Mike Williams tied atop the receiver ranks in redzone targets last week with four each. The former failed to turn any of his looks into touchdowns, and the latter terrorized the Chiefs for two redzone touchdowns receptions, and redzone touchdown rush, and a two-point conversion that iced the game. Nine more receivers were targeted multiple times while no one else saw more than one redzone target at receiver. Doug Baldwin and DeAndre Hopkins were among the receivers who were targeted a couple of times in the redzone, and both scored one redzone touchdown while adding a longer touchdown reception, too.

 

Top Option

Amari Cooper (Cowboys) vs. Buccaneers

YTD Redzone Targets (with DAL)- 8 Week 15 Redzone Targets – 0

Cooper’s been a fire-breathing monster for the Cowboys. He kicked things off with a redzone touchdown and four redzone targets in total in his Week 9 debut, and he hasn’t looked back since. He’s scored one more redzone touchdown and four other touchdowns outside of the redzone for the Cowboys. The former Raider was held in check by the Colts last week, but look for him to bounce back in a plum draw with the Buccaneers this week. Tampa Bay’s allowed the fifth most receiving touchdowns (19) to wideouts this year.

 

Value/Sleeper

DaeSean Hamilton (Broncos) at Raiders

YTD Redzone Targets -1 Week 15 Redzone Targets – 0

Don’t get too hung up on Hamilton’s goose egg for redzone targets last week and the fact he only has one on the year. Denver’s offense struggled mightily last week, and none of their receivers were targeted in the redzone. Furthermore, Hamilton actually had a target one-yard outside of the redzone from Cleveland’s 21. He’s been targeted heavily since moving up the depth chart in the wake of Demaryius Thomas being dealt and, more importantly, since Emmanuel Sanders suffered a season-ending injury. The rookie receiver’s turned his only redzone look into a touchdown, and his opponent has failed miserably in attempts to keep receivers out of the endzone. Oakland’s tied for the second most receiving touchdowns (20) allowed to receivers this year.

 

Tight Ends

Week 15 Targets Leaders

TE Targets 2

The most targeted tight end in the redzone last week is my top option to score at the position this week and featured below. Only three other tight ends saw more than one target. Those three tight ends were Jimmy Graham, Vance McDonald and Jeremy Sprinkle. Graham was kept out of the endzone, but McDonald and Sprinkle each scored a touchdown on one of their two redzone targets.

 

Top Option

Zach Ertz (Eagles) vs. Texans

YTD Redzone Targets – 23 Week 15 Redzone Targets – 3

I’m not going to over think this one. Ertz’s three redzone targets last week led the position, and that’s somewhat extra noteworthy because they came with Nick Foles starting (and he’ll be starting at least again this week). Ertz’s 23 redzone targets this year are tied with Travis Kelce’s total for the most at tight end, and his six redzone touchdowns are tied for the third most at the position. Houston’s defense has been vulnerable against tight ends, and the half-dozen touchdowns they’ve ceded to the position are tied for the ninth most.

 

Value/Sleeper

David Njoku (Browns) vs. Bengals

YTD Redzone Targets – 5 Week 15 Redzone Targets – 1

Njoku disappointed as a pick in this piece once again last week, yet I can’t quit him this week. First of all, he’s facing a Bengals squad that’s tied for the most touchdowns allowed to tight ends this year with nine. Sure, but Njoku’s squandered golden opportunity after golden opportunity of late. Why give him another chance? Njoku garnered a redzone target last week and another from just outside the redzone at Denver’s 22-yard line. Oh, and in case you haven’t noticed, the value and sleeper options at tight end — or beyond the top-flight guys, really — are a steaming pile of hot garbage.

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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