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Week 15 Fantasy Football Sleepers - Red Zone Risers


The fantasy playoffs are here so it's more important than ever to know who has the best chance to reach the end zone. 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 15 of the 2018 NFL season, based on red zone opportunities.

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Red Zone Risers

RUNNING BACK

Chris Carson (RB, SEA) - 25.9% Red-zone touch %

Carson has taken the opportunity to be the lead back in Seattle, and the team's primary red-zone option. Surprisingly, given the Seahawks have a good quarterback in Russell Wilson, they have a slight tendency to run more in the red zone, rushing with 53% of their plays. Carson has touched the ball in 29 plays run in the red zone and to date has scored five touchdowns, both of which are team highs. Carson has been heavily involved in the team's offense in recent weeks, with an average of over 18 touches in his last four games- with an average of 4.37 yards per carry. With a matchup against the San Fransisco 49ers this week Carson should expect to match that workload and production.

Derrick Henry (RB, TEN) - 25.6% Red-zone touch %

Henry blew up last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week and showcased his power running style. Henry trails fellow running back Dion Lewis in touches this season, but there is very little to choose between them, separated by just one touch. Unlike Lewis, Henry has been able to those touches into seven touchdowns, rather than the two that Lewis has scored. If you missed my article on if you can trust Henry in your matchup, you can find that here. Henry is a great short field runner and has a great opportunity against the New York Giants this week to add to this red zone production.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Julio Jones (WR, ATL) - 12.1% Red-zone touch%

Given that the Falcons pass the ball on around 60% of their plays in the red zone and Jones is an elite talent, it might be surprising that Jones only has touched the ball 12 times this season, equal to tight end Austin Hooper. The Falcons might be struggling for results, but Jones is still able to be productive. In this last six games he has been ranked within the top 10 at the position in five of those- the only one he didn't manage it was against the Baltimore Ravens, where quarterback Matt Ryan really struggled to move the offense. While fantasy owners might have worried about his ability to score touchdowns earlier in the season his two touchdowns last week in the red zone should alleviate those worries.

Allen Robinson (WR, CHI) - 11.8% Red-zone touch%

The Chicago Bears led by quarterback Mitch Trubisky have been a great offense this season, and Robinson is still the team's most involved red zone receiver having touched the ball 13 times in the red zone- trailing only the running back duo of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen. What is more impressive about that, is that Robinson has missed time this season through injury. Robinson has only scored four touchdowns this season, but with the matchup against the Packers this week, Robinson will be looking to perform well in and try and match the two touchdowns that Julio Jones managed last week.

TIGHT END

Ian Thomas (TE, CAR) - 4.1% Red-zone touch%

The tight end position is really determined by red zone touches outside of the truly elite at the position (Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz and George Kittle). Thomas comes in as the injury stand-in for Greg Olsen, and is one of a few big body receivers on the team. Thomas struggled to make an impact earlier in the season when Olsen missed time. However, upon his return, Olsen was given the opportunity to perform by quarterback Cam Newton, with a run of four touchdowns in five games. Thomas will be looking to build upon the nine receptions and 77 yards he had against the Cleveland Browns to score his first touchdown of the season. While he only touched the ball two times last week from 14 plays run in the red zone his big body gives him a good target, with Devin Funchess continuing to struggle after his return from a back injury, failing to have caught a ball in his last game.

 

Red Zone Fallers

RUNNING BACK

Wendell Smallwood (RB, PHI) - 12.0% Red-zone touch%

The Eagles offense looks like it will be taking a step back with quarterback Carson Wentz to miss time through injury- meaning fewer opportunities for Smallwood to be involved. The return of veteran running back Darren Sproles to mix in with Josh Adams means the rushing opportunity will be limited, and with Smallwood having been marginalized as a receiving option with Sproles- he should struggle to get involved in the team's red zone play calling.

WIDE RECEIVER

Tyler Boyd (WR, CIN) - 8.6% Red-zone touch%

Boyd is the type of receiver that is effective when he is able to get secondary coverage. With elite receiver AJ Green out of the lineup, that looks like it won't be the case. Combining that fact with the injury to starting quarterback Andy Dalton, the opportunity for the Bengals to make red zone visits will be limited- and if current trends are anything to go by those touches will be going to other options in the team.

TIGHT END

Benjamin Watson (TE, NO) - 4.5% Red-zone touch%

The Saints have elite attacking options for quarterback Drew Brees to use. Elite receiver Michael Thomas as well as running back duo Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram combine for over 64.1% of the touches in the red zone, meaning there is not very much to go around for the remaining offensive players. Watson is the best of the rest, but the reliance on those elite options means he just won't have the opportunity to score that other tight ends will have.

 

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!

More Risers and Fallers