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Red Zone Usage - Risers and Fallers for Week 14


The playoffs are upon us and it's more important than ever to know who has the best path to score. RotoBaller's Premium Red Zone tool can give you a sense of who is being utilized more in the all-important area of the field to provide more scoring potential. Just like targets are the lifeblood of a receiver's value in PPR leagues, red zone touches are the most relevant factor to consider for standard leagues.

In this article each week, we'll identify red zone risers and fallers who could see their fantasy value impacted by usage in the most critical area of the field. RotoBaller's Red Zone Sleepers tool is a great way to get an edge on the competition by identifying players with greater scoring opportunities.

Let's take a look at which fantasy football players could be touchdown and scoring risers or fallers in fantasy football for Week 14 of the 2018 NFL season, based on red zone opportunities.

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Red Zone Risers

RUNNING BACK

Jaylen Samuels (RB, PIT) - 3.9% Red-zone touch %

Samuels may only be a one-week starter in fantasy leagues if James Conner doesn't miss a lot of time. However, he can't be ignored. While his red-zone touch percentage is not very high, he is certainly a riser. It's a tiny sample size, Samuels did touch the ball twice in the Steelers five visits to the red zone this past week. While the Steelers have a great quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger who they trust to pass the ball (the Steelers pass 61.2% of the plays in the red-zone), Samuels should expect the rushing work, as well as getting some passes aimed in his direction.

Justin Jackson (RB, LAC) - 2.0% Red-zone touch %

Melvin Gordon is likely to sit out for a second week, so the Chargers are able to use him in their short turnaround for a crucial matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. Austin Ekeler was given the opportunity to lead the backfield, as he was in London, but didn't take full advantage of the opportunity. The Chargers were only able to run three plays in the red zone last week, with Jackson, Ekeler and wide receiver Keenan Allen each having one touch. Ekeler was the only one that was unable to convert his touch into a score, and Jackson looked impressive in the game. If you are in need of a running back this week, there are worse options than Jackson this week.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Jordy Nelson (WR, OAK) - 7.8% Red-zone touch%

The Raiders scored a lot more points against the Kansas City Chiefs than expected. Nelson was a great red-zone weapon in Green Bay and seems as though he has finally started to see the opportunity in Oakland, having built a rapport with quarterback Derek Carr. Nelson had two touches in the red zone, but the Raiders are balanced in the plays they run in the red zone in general. Given the lack of receivers in the offense, Nelson could be an interesting option.

Dante Pettis (WR, SF) - 3.4% Red-zone touch%

Pettis is an interesting option at wide receiver this week and simply should be owned in fantasy leagues. The San Fransisco 49ers have a slight tendency to rush the ball rather than pass, and while there is a crowd of receivers with tight end George Kittle the most talented of the bunch, Pettis is proving that he should be involved going forward. The matchup against the Denver Broncos might be one to traditionally avoid, but with Chris Harris Jr. injured this week, Pettis is a great option with upside.

TIGHT END

Jordan Thomas (TE, HOU) - 5.5% Red-zone touch%

The tight end position is a minefield outside of Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz and the red-hot Eric Ebron. Each week it seems that a tight end is involved in the red zone, only to disappear the next week. Thomas has previously been included on the list as a riser, and if the Texans are able to make further red zone visits, then he offers a big body for quarterback Deshaun Watson to target.

 

Red Zone Fallers

RUNNING BACK

Marlon Mack (RB, IND) - 32.6% Red-zone touch%

The Colts have run an effective offense under quarterback Andrew Luck, and while Mack impressed earlier in the season, it seems that the team has moved to the tandem of Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins in the red zone. The Colts ran seven plays in the red zone last week, and the rookie duo had four of those touches. In an offense where T.Y. Hilton and Eric Ebron are also to be in involved, Mack may find his opportunity limited.

WIDE RECEIVER

John Brown (WR, BAL) - 8.9% Red-zone touch%

The Baltimore Ravens offense has looked completely different under quarterback Lamar Jackson. Jackson looks like a running back that passes, rather than the traditional Joe Flacco. The team seems intent on running the ball, and Brown seems to be a casualty of that change of play, not getting a touch in the red zone last week.

TIGHT END

Jimmy Graham (TE, GB) - 9.1% Red-zone touch%

The Green Bay Packers are no longer the fantasy option that they were in seasons past, and while they have dismissed their head coach the offense isn't going to change overnight. Graham hasn't had a red zone touch since Week 9, a total of 24 red zone plays. The Packers have shifted towards getting receiver Davante Adams as the primary receiving option, as well as running back Aaron Jones as the teams primary rushing option. With Graham picking up an injury recently, his red zone opportunity looks like it could be limited going forward.

 

Red Zone Sleepers

RotoBaller's Premium tools offer more detailed insight into player values and help you identify which players to target on the waiver wire and/or trade market. Start with a free one-week trial, including NFL Optimizer and DFS Premium and get an advantage on the competition!

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